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Old 06-10-2018, 07:01 AM   #1
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Default Wouldn't you agree that time is more important than mileage?

In the world of RV'S, especially diesel engines....the number of years old your rig is is much more significant than the number of miles...in my opinion.....

Well maintained diesel engines can run for a half a million miles...and Class B's are known for being more mobiile than larger Class A rigs that get driven much less due to their fuel consumption...not to mention Class A's and C's that are gasoline engine models getting 5 MPG......

It's not uncommon to find many Class B's with well over 100,000 to 150,000 miles especially the Sprinter diesels....

What's your opinion on this???
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:55 PM   #2
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I'm thinking a property maintained, recent model, commercial gas-engined van could easily make 100-150K miles as well. So I'm unsure if the math for the MB diesel really comes out ahead based purely on that criteria.

But if you just like the Sprinter for other reasons, then factor those in, too. It's certainly not a bad choice, just a different one...
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Old 06-10-2018, 04:02 PM   #3
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I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a quarter million miles on a maintained gas engine in today's world. My Chevy 5.7 is at 178 and counting. In the middle of another 10k mile trip now.

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Old 06-10-2018, 05:42 PM   #4
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The engines this day and age whether it be gas or diesel probably would not breakdown within anyone's expectation of owning the B. It is just the other nagging things that wear out throughout the chassis and coach. Unless the engine is belching smoke and leaking oil you might be good to go. Those are readily detectable things. It is kind of a moot topic for me because I will never buy a vehicle with over 100,000 miles with the exception of a classic vehicle.

I've spent a ton of money on my 2003 Subaru Baja maintaining it that I never would have bothered and will never recover if I sold it with any vehicle I would actually depend on. It is not that old and only has 103,000 miles but the previous owners abused it. Now that I have a huge garage I'm considering a classic Volkswagen Beetle from the 50s. My first car was one of two 1949 Beetles brought over by an Indianapolis car dealer before they started officially importing them in 1950. I bought it when I was 15 years old and gave it up in weak moment when I was away at college.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:02 PM   #5
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There is a lot of discussion on the Sprinter-Source forum about the life of the Sprinter diesel engine. Average speed over life of engine is more important than age or mileage.

From what I've read on that forum the only people getting 500,000 miles on their Sprinter are expediters that drive continually across country at highway speeds. They do that in less than five years often at over 100,000 miles a year.

The typical RV Sprinter diesel probably only has a useful life of 250,000 miles based on comments from various owners and mechanics on the Sprinter forum. The Mercedes lightweight automotive diesels are not the same as heavy truck diesels.


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Old 06-10-2018, 06:15 PM   #6
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There is a lot of discussion on the Sprinter-Source forum about the life of the Sprinter diesel engine. Average speed over life of engine is more important than age or mileage.

From what I've read on that forum the only people getting 500,000 miles on their Sprinter are expediters that drive continually across country at highway speeds. They do that in less than five years often at over 100,000 miles a year.

The typical RV Sprinter diesel probably only has a useful life of 250,000 miles based on comments from various owners and mechanics on the Sprinter forum. The Mercedes lightweight automotive diesels are not the same as heavy truck diesels.


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SO....at 41,000 miles..my Sprinter is just barely getting broken in... doesn't use any oil... doesn't drop any fluids.... very clean...
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:40 PM   #7
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SO....at 41,000 miles..my Sprinter is just barely getting broken in... doesn't use any oil... doesn't drop any fluids.... very clean...

Agree - and my Sprinter at 100,000 miles is running great. Considering the value of a fully equipped B-van like my Interstate, where over 50% of the value is in the RV conversion components, having to replace an engine later in its useful life is not unreasonable.


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Old 06-10-2018, 06:45 PM   #8
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Default Interesting response.... really...

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The engines this day and age whether it be gas or diesel probably would not breakdown within anyone's expectation of owning the B. It is just the other nagging things that wear out throughout the chassis and coach. Unless the engine is belching smoke and leaking oil you might be good to go. Those are readily detectable things. It is kind of a moot topic for me because I will never buy a vehicle with over 100,000 miles with the exception of a classic vehicle.

I've spent a ton of money on my 2003 Subaru Baja maintaining it that I never would have bothered and will never recover if I sold it with any vehicle I would actually depend on. It is not that old and only has 103,000 miles but the previous owners abused it. Now that I have a huge garage I'm considering a classic Volkswagen Beetle from the 50s. My first car was one of two 1949 Beetles brought over by an Indianapolis car dealer before they started officially importing them in 1950. I bought it when I was 15 years old and gave it up in weak moment when I was away at college.
SO, David, you won't keep your van more than 60,000 to 65,000 miles...but, you're willing to hold onto a 2003 Subaru Baja... yes, I know they don't make those anymore... I also am a Subaru Outback owner...they seem more sensitive to age than miles.... mine is a 2010..

But, the most interesting of all is your desire to have an old VW from the 50s??? Yes, they're nostalgic...I had a 57 Chevy ... but, I would never purchase another 50s car..... just unsafe...

Look at getting multi layered head gaskets for your Subaru... they're more robust than the original .... just got my Subaru Outback Limited serviced at 85,000 miles... with everything ...
It's a nine years interval...for a major service with the timing belt, water pump thermostat and change of the radiator coolant.... Make sure you never overheat the Subaru.. I'm sure you know that...

Good luck and be safe in the old cars... accidents in older cars without safety features like airbags is extremely risky... just my opinion...
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
Agree - and my Sprinter at 100,000 miles is running great. Considering the value of a fully equipped B-van like my Interstate, where over 50% of the value is in the RV conversion components, having to replace an engine later in its useful life is not unreasonable.


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Mike,

I cannot imagine that you would have to replace the engine until 250,000 minimum...

---MARK
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:39 PM   #10
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Sense of safety is relative, I'm safer in on old car than on a motorcycle without a helmet. I won't do motorcycles, with or without a helmet. I would do an old car while paying attention as I imagine I would do if riding a cycle without a helmet.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
SO, David, you won't keep your van more than 60,000 to 65,000 miles...but, you're willing to hold onto a 2003 Subaru Baja... yes, I know they don't make those anymore... I also am a Subaru Outback owner...they seem more sensitive to age than miles.... mine is a 2010..

But, the most interesting of all is your desire to have an old VW from the 50s??? Yes, they're nostalgic...I had a 57 Chevy ... but, I would never purchase another 50s car..... just unsafe...

Look at getting multi layered head gaskets for your Subaru... they're more robust than the original .... just got my Subaru Outback Limited serviced at 85,000 miles... with everything ...
It's a nine years interval...for a major service with the timing belt, water pump thermostat and change of the radiator coolant.... Make sure you never overheat the Subaru.. I'm sure you know that...

Good luck and be safe in the old cars... accidents in older cars without safety features like airbags is extremely risky... just my opinion...
As I explained they are classics in time, in effect toys. I made no pretense about safety, practicality, service, cost, etc. Class B's I want to rely on, long distance travel, figure out what I want to change for the better, and change out when the ash trays get full. Damn, though, I don't smoke.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:44 PM   #12
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I'd say the consumption of fuel at whatever the current cost is, matters to most of us. RV's are not know for their mileage. Hey, they are mainly shaped like a brick and heavy like a bunch of them. Just taking off from a dead stop to get all of that weight rolling has a high rate of fuel drain for a moment.

Diesels traditionally last longer. In part, because they WERE simpler. I say were, because todays emission controls on diesels provide very complex plumbing, sensors and computer(s). We can grumble about that but the visible and invisible pollutants from diesel is/was killing us in the big picture. Still, the durability of the engine and frankly, todays emission controls are excellent. Just don't have a repair required on a diesel or (new ones) the emissions system that is not covered by warranty. Your bank account will suffer greatly unless you have insurance for that sort of thing.

As for which engine lasts longer; we all know diesels are famous for long life. Gas engines, not so much. At least not the gas engines your Dad had. Materials used are way, way more advanced today. Tolerances are much tighter. Lubricity is better. Metered fuel and air, combined with tighter piston to wall clearances and emission controls all make the gas engine burn fuel much more efficiently. A good part of the reason that oil change intervals are longer is because less fuel and carbon sneak past these new engine piston rings and walls and the rest of the "plumbing" involved.

This makes the engine life differential between gas and diesel take on a new perspective.
Diesel engine will still have longer life as it too has benefited from technology. But the gas engines are going 200,000 miles easily if taken care of. Going 500K miles? Can do.

Now whether or not you still want to be driving that RV with ultra miles on it with either powerplant is another matter. 'Cause just about everything else is worn fairly well. In the same weight class and quality of coach construction, I'd say the used price differential is not as big of a gap as it used to be. If I wanted to buy an old one and refurb or replace the power train, a gas engine based replacement will still be a lot cheaper than a diesel. Now when practical Hybrids and maybe all electric (later) RV's come to pass, it will get really interesting on the resale price of fossil fueled only rigs. In the meantime, the latest gas engined Class B's are fairly efficient. Cost per gallon versus diesel makes the gas versions hard to ignore. Unless your into towing stuff. Then I'd probably flip to a diesel on a real chassis such as the MEWRCEDES Sprinter (expensive), or FORD Transit (lesser expensive). The RAM Promaster with its gas "JEEP" engine and front wheel drive has a lot of advantages that fit my type of travel. If I wanted to two another vehicle, I would have purchased the FORD Transit w/diesel, despite my grumbling about driver compartment/coach access unless your a rubber pretzel with matching soft noggin. I can't afford to maintain a MERCEDES Sprinter, much less afford to fix one. If you want or need to tow and if you also go off road (really off road), then a vehicle that is more suited to that kind of service is the best way to go. To me that would be a MERCEDES Sprinter. over the FORD Transit.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:09 PM   #13
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Default Diesel vs gas

When we bought our 2008 RS we bought the whole package; diesel, space, and camping amenities. Had a turbo charged V6 gas been an option in 2009 I would have considered it and made my decision based on mileage, torque, etc, but gas was not an option, Further, the RV we bought was the only one at a dealer nearby. An old trucker sage friend once told me that diesels are meant to run long miles and our plan was to travel large distances and almost never go to a campground and sit close to home. Thus the diesel seemed a good option. I did not do a cost analysis considering service costs and future repair costs on the Sprinter. I believe the cost of use is higher with the diesel sprinter but so is the cost of my brick and mortar home but I still enjoy both and am willing to pay the piper. If we did not enjoy traveling in our RS it would have been on the market long ago. We do enjoy driving and camping in it and it fits our needs to a "T". So far at 92,000 miles and over 300 nights sleeping in it we are a satisfied user. I am certain there a lot of other campers using other modes of travel who are just as satisfied with their unit whatever it may be.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:40 PM   #14
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Where is the "Sprinter-Source" forum that was mentioned. I have a 2011 Sprinter under our 2012 Winnebago ERA. Changed oil at Walmart for $85. at 10K miles Changed oil at MB Dealer for $350 at 20K miles ----Thats the last dealer service I will EVER do! MB 229.52 Spec Oil is expensive but $150 to pour it in !!!!
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:58 PM   #15
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Where is the "Sprinter-Source" forum that was mentioned. I have a 2011 Sprinter under our 2012 Winnebago ERA. Changed oil at Walmart for $85. at 10K miles Changed oil at MB Dealer for $350 at 20K miles ----Thats the last dealer service I will EVER do! MB 229.52 Spec Oil is expensive but $150 to pour it in !!!!
Let’s see, you could google “sprinter source forum” and it would show this as the first link listed...

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:34 PM   #16
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Where is the "Sprinter-Source" forum that was mentioned. I have a 2011 Sprinter under our 2012 Winnebago ERA. Changed oil at Walmart for $85. at 10K miles Changed oil at MB Dealer for $350 at 20K miles ----Thats the last dealer service I will EVER do! MB 229.52 Spec Oil is expensive but $150 to pour it in !!!!
It is expensive at $7-8 per quart and 13 guarts. I pay about $360 every 10k miles and my Freightliner dealer does oil,oil filter, fuel filter,tire rotation,and complete vehicle inspection. It is a lot and I could do it but this is one of those cases where I am willing to let the professional go it. They have found things that could have stranded me in the middle of nowhere so worth the price imho.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:20 PM   #17
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Mike,

I cannot imagine that you would have to replace the engine until 250,000 minimum...

---MARK
As was mentioned by others, that same mileage is very likely in most of the gas engines also, but a big question is how much it costs to get there, especially with the new emissions stuff on the diesels.

As Gary mentioned, it is very important to keep track of oil dilution in a Sprinter, as it can cost you an engine at any mileage or age.

I always like to watch Craigslist to see how long vehicles last, and have not seen any real difference between the Sprinters and the Chevy or Ford traditional vans. I will say that none of them are 500K motors, including Sprinters. 200-300K looks to be the high end on all of them, with most at the low end of that range.

I fyou want a 500K engine you will need to get a Super C on a real truck like a Freightliner. They have the engines like the OTR trucks and will last a long time with good care.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:26 AM   #18
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The longevity of diesels is mostly wives tales and wishful thinking in normal RV service. Big trucks and engines that run constantly seem to have the desired health and end up running many hundreds of thousands of miles, if not 1 million.

But the way we use them, it might be considered abuse in some circles.

FWIW, on the Promaster forum, there are many instances of folks running up 300k miles on the gas engines in them in just a few short years in delivery/cargo van duty. You'd think that is abusing duty, but really it's not. Engines like to be run, not sitting around to be used some day.

In my view, the reason to get a desiel Sprinter is because you want a 24' long van with a high payload. If you want a shorter van, go with the gas Sprinter or a Promaster.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:53 AM   #19
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The longevity of diesels is mostly wives tales and wishful thinking in normal RV service. Big trucks and engines that run constantly seem to have the desired health and end up running many hundreds of thousands of miles, if not 1 million.

But the way we use them, it might be considered abuse in some circles.

FWIW, on the Promaster forum, there are many instances of folks running up 300k miles on the gas engines in them in just a few short years in delivery/cargo van duty. You'd think that is abusing duty, but really it's not. Engines like to be run, not sitting around to be used some day.

In my view, the reason to get a desiel Sprinter is because you want a 24' long van with a high payload. If you want a shorter van, go with the gas Sprinter or a Promaster.
That Payload gets much greater with the IVECO, that is replacing the Sprinter here for a lot of RV applications
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:36 PM   #20
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I'm in Boston area, and up here its usually rust/rot that condemms a vehicle before the engine let's go. "rust never sleeps"
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