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Old 06-04-2016, 07:31 PM   #21
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I'm not certain, but I suspect that a lot of people who have never used a proper macerator setup don't realize how much more sanitary and pleasant such a system really is. As stated above, the pump, valves and hoses are all completely sealed--nothing is ever connected or disconnected and it doesn't matter whether the (much smaller) hose is kept clean or dirty. It is really an entirely different experience from the traditional gravity dump.

I did go to the trouble in both of my rigs to arrange for a gravity dump backup, and that is probably a good idea. However, I sold my old rig with a slinky that was never used even once, and so far it is the same with my current one.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:30 PM   #22
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Default Spoke with a Sprinter Mechanic Last Saturday

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Welcome Z.

Take suggestions for what they're worth. We all have different likes and needs. You mentioned waiting for next years models, so you have some research time.

I do, however, share your concerns with a black water pump. It may end up trouble free, or it could get a bit stinky and messy.

You may want to research the different chassis that the coaches are built on. Get some prices for parts and maintenance, and research reliability.

Gas or Diesel? The Diesels are going through a transition stage right now with pollution controls. Manufacturers are going through a learning curve. Maybe check with other new owners, and see how reliable each is.

Most important, don't put your faith in the Salesmen. Find out for yourself, and get everything in writing.
Well I am glad I followed your suggestion. I spoke with a Mercedes Sprinter mechanic Saturday about long idles with RV under hood generator systems (i.e. Volt Start, etc). Basically said bad idea. For every hour of idle you need to drive the Sprinter at 65 mph or greater for two (2) hours. He said the sensors on the DEF injection and emissions are so sensitive that you will get an engine check light if you do not let the system clean up after long idles. So I am now focusing on a gasoline RV or a gasoline/or diesel generator supplied off of the main fuel line. I drove the Sprinter 2500 and 3500 and was not that impressed with the handling. I had a friend Saturday suggest going with a gasoline Ford Transit with a build from Sportsmobile. I do not know anything about Sportsmobile. Looked at their website and gave them a call. Pretty snooty group of folks. Only want to do an initial contact via a web form and not in person. They also pointed out that they have a 14 month wait list. That is ridiculous. A whole new model year comes and your build is based on the previous year. No way. This RV purchase idea is getting way too difficult.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:24 PM   #23
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You keep believing every mechanic you will never make a decision.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:31 PM   #24
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You keep believing every mechanic you will never make a decision.
Agree. I would be very interested in written confirmation from MB of the "information" you received about idle times.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:38 PM   #25
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Just posting the information I got from a mechanic. Having owned Mercedes sedans I can assure you MB corporate will not come out with an official position on idles given the current media focus VW has had.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:39 PM   #26
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Yup. This will be a very slow and drawn out decision.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:41 PM   #27
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Thanks for the input. PleasureWay stands by gravity and RT stands by pump. Smart engineers at both companies.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:16 PM   #28
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You have a lot of Die-Hard owners. Put em all together, shake em up, and decide what's best for you.

I happen to be a Die-Hard Ram guy, and am happy with what I have.

Promaster over Mercedes - Parts are reasonable, Maintenance is also reasonable. I find that Ram parts are a bit easier to find around the country.

Gas over Diesel - I get good mileage, Fuel is cheaper, no DEF, reasonable maintenance.

Gravity Black tank - I take my time emptying, it's not the worst thing in the world, and one less pump to maintain.

I don't idle. I run the Generator. Uses less fuel, and less engine wear than idling.

I baby my Ram. 8 months old now, and 47,000 miles. I keep it spotless, lubed, and drive it like an old lady.

That's my story. I'm sure more will chime in with their pros & cons. Add em all up, and pick out what you like.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:11 PM   #29
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Just posting the information I got from a mechanic. Having owned Mercedes sedans I can assure you MB corporate will not come out with an official position on idles given the current media focus VW has had.
In another thread, I don't remember which one, I think it was Marko that had several different releases from MB about idling. IIRC none said no problem, but they did have varying versions of how long is OK before highway driving, and if high idle is needed or helps.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:26 PM   #30
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I think it was Marko that had several different releases from MB about idling.
Well, as I say, I would love to see something definitive (or even credible) on this topic. There is a lot of chatter, but almost everything I have found is hearsay. The opinions of random MB mechanics are useless or worse (e.g., a lot of them apparently recommend fuel additives, which MB explicitly forbids). The only thing I know of in writing was a powerpoint presentation that some MB employee once gave at some automotive conference. If there were real issues, one would think that it would be in the Operator's Manual. It is not.

I am not saying that long idling is OK. What I am saying is that it is hard to disprove the theory that the claims going around are more than Internet urban myths. As an owner of a Sprinter with a second-engine alternator, I am very interested verifiable facts on this subject.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:47 PM   #31
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Here is one of the threads.

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...tion-3248.html

Using the Google advanced search for the forum will give a big list of others also.

There are quotes of MB and other manuals and such, and I know some of the threads had other MB documents, although as I said they weren't completely consistent between them.

How big a problem is it? I have no idea, but the manufacturers are covering their butts pretty thoroughly with warnings, so it is at least possible. Most of the "tourers" in the class Bs drive enough it would likely never be an issue. Those of us that like to sit for a week or to, with minimal, if any driving, would be more likely to have an issue.

I have been asking OTR truckers what they think, whenever I get a chance, and they say for normal use, they don't have an issue because their trucks work hard whenever they are moving, but most of them with the new trucks use an auxiliary power generator, or batteries, instead of idling overnight like they used to do.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:59 PM   #32
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My two cents: I tend to keep vehicles until they can't be driven anymore. Long idling your diesel, gas or rubber band engine, like otherwise running your engine, causes wear and tear. I'd rather wear out a replaceable generator, than add wear to an engine on a high-end vehicle.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:02 AM   #33
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Quote:
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Here is one of the threads.

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...tion-3248.html

Using the Google advanced search for the forum will give a big list of others also.
I know that thread very well, having paid close attention to it. I quickly reviewed it now (as well as some but not all of the referenced threads). Plenty of talk about DPF issues plus more hearsay, but if there are any actual citations of published MB documents concerning idling, I can't find them. There is one (repeated) reference to the advice about "short distance driving" that does indeed appear in the manual. It says that one should drive at highs speed for "20 minutes every 300 miles" of such driving. So, how much idling translates to 300 miles? I do not know. But, if time is the issue (which it probably is), 300 miles at 30 miles/hour would translate to 20 minutes of high-speed driving per 10 hours of idling, which sounds reasonable. Are there other documents that I am missing?

I want to emphasize again that I am no fan of long idling, and I rarely do it myself. But I would like to know the facts, and I so far cannot substantiate the widely-held claim that MB prohibits or even warns against long idling.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:06 AM   #34
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My two cents: I tend to keep vehicles until they can't be driven anymore. Long idling your diesel, gas or rubber band engine, like otherwise running your engine, causes wear and tear. I'd rather wear out a replaceable generator, than add wear to an engine on a high-end vehicle.
Carrying around an extra 125 lbs every mile you drive is a different kind of wear and tear. Which is worse? I have no idea.
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:47 AM   #35
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This link: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...html#post23685

had references to "stationary for long periods" from actual MB docs.I interpreted that in context to mean idling not simply parked.

I do have an email from Sprinter Engineering Support that I have previously posted.

Quote:
Per your request, with the SCR technology of our engines, we do not recommend idling a Sprinter for longer periods than 2.5 - 3 hours.

Even with the high idle engaged, you should not exceed the aforementioned times to avoid clogging the DPF or damages to the EGR valve.

Fyi, the fuel consumption is .4 - . 5gal. per hour of idling.

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That's the extent of my knowledge of the issue!
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:54 AM   #36
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Carrying around an extra 125 lbs every mile you drive is a different kind of wear and tear. Which is worse? I have no idea.
If 125lbs made a difference, my fat ass would wreck my Promaster in a week.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:02 AM   #37
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Let's take one step back and look at the larger picture...


1. Long idle is anything longer than 2.5~3 hrs continuous (according to MB)

2. how often are your Volt-start going to kick in? Once a day? 5 times a day? everyday?

3. I accept that these engines are not designed for L-O-N-G idles. But are we doing long idles here? If Volt-Start kicked in twice in one night for 35 min each, should we really be that concerned?

4. I love the fuel consumption is only .4 - . 5gal. per hour of idling
(I assume that is the 3L engine?)



ps. not trying to persuade anyone here. This is one of those endless debates. Have fun.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:21 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
Let's take one step back and look at the larger picture...


1. Long idle is anything longer than 2.5~3 hrs continuous (according to MB)

2. how often are your Volt-start going to kick in? Once a day? 5 times a day? everyday?

3. I accept that these engines are not designed for L-O-N-G idles. But are we doing long idles here? If Volt-Start kicked in twice in one night for 35 min each, should we really be that concerned?

4. I love the fuel consumption is only .4 - . 5gal. per hour of idling
(I assume that is the 3L engine?)



ps. not trying to persuade anyone here. This is one of those endless debates. Have fun.
From the information we have seen on the Yahoo board for a Zion SRT, if the AC is running fairly hard, the Voltstart will need to start the engine so it runs about 1/2 the time. I think they run about 20 minutes or so, and can do 5 cycles, so after 3-4 hours you would have to restart the cycle. Bigger battery units will run less cycles, but longer ones. The 50% engine on is probably reasonable for many of the engine generator setups when running AC, but I haven't run the numbers. All this is based on the AC taking about 100 amps and the generator being capable of about 200 amps, so 50% run time.

IF some to the idling rules are correct (2-3 hours from MB or 10 hours from Advanced before a 20-40 minute highway drive to regen the DPF, you would get there pretty quickly if running the AC. The questions is if it they are correct. The current Sprinter manual state 300 miles of slow driving needs to be regenned, and "stationary" use counts towards that, but they don't say how much time. Very non committal from MB. I haven't seen anything about gassers having problems with long idling since the everything went EFI and that eliminated the catalytic overheating issues that carbs caused. Police idle gassers for hours at time and most still go well over 100K miles.

As more of these systems get out and older, I am sure we will find out if there are any issues, as the repairs wouldn't be cheap. But as I said earlier, almost all B users drive so often it probably won't be an issue.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:32 AM   #39
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something to consider

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Old 06-07-2016, 03:34 AM   #40
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I interpret the idling rule from MB as 2-3 hours continuous, not cumulative.

If the Volt-Start kicks in for 35 min, off for 30 mins, and kicks in again. That should be ok.


My interpretation could be wrong. YMMV.
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