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Old 04-18-2015, 11:49 PM   #21
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkroczak
It seems to me that there is a much bigger price difference than $15,000 between the ProMaster and the Sprinter conversions. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places?
I'd agree with George, it's not an apples and oranges comparison. I got my latest Travato for $72K. They offered me a 2015 Era 170X for $94K. Some of the difference was the chassis, some was the upfitting, as it's a bigger van with more in it. It was quite a discount off it's MSRP - guess they were itching to clear out their Sprinters as they weren't selling very well at this particular store.

Of course, the Winnebago is going to have the Sprinter with few, if any, of the add-on packages you get from Mercedes. There are many, it seems, bells and whistles you can get on them - it's conceivable you could option a Sprinter van all the way up into S-class territory if you were so inclined.
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:55 PM   #22
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
One man's limitations is another man's strengths.....

Safety. Being in the under 10,000 lb class, that translates into additional safety requirements by law that don't apply to bigger commercial vehicles. Promaster has side impact, airbag, ESC and other safety requirements that do not apply to Sprinter and maybe some of the Transits. The seat mounted airbags are the most obvious feature, since that prevents the front seats from being recovered in leather....
Just to get the facts out... the large Sprinters can have all the safety equipment found in a ProMaster. It just depends on what you order or what the converter orders. My Airstream Interstate has all the safety features mentioned including side impact airbags built into the seats. Airstream does recover these seats with their own synthetic ultra-leather.

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Old 04-21-2015, 01:14 PM   #23
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Apart from ESP, I feel that all those driving assist features on the Sprinters (automatic braking, blind-spot assistance, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive xenon headlights) are very expensive and are not proven to be real collision-mitigation systems. I haven't heard from the promising crosswind-assist feature in Canada. Is it now available in the US? http://blog.caranddriver.com/problems-w ... ight-path/
That feature might help the "too tall" Sprinter stay on track when strong-wing monkeys are on it's back!
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

from what i've read -Crosswind Assist is only available on SRW sprinters.DRW does not get it.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #25
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Well, I have a 2014 Sprinter with the safety-plus package that includes blind-spot and lane-keeping assist. They are the most amazing leaps forward in driving that I have experienced in many a year. They work just about perfectly and I have ZERO doubt that they will save many lives. The blind-spot assist is a godsend, and the lane-keeping thing immediately makes clear just how distracting things as simple as changing the radio channel really is. It is difficult to perform ANY "driver distraction" action without setting it off. When I pay proper attention, it is silent and totally non-annoying.

Recommended.
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Old 04-21-2015, 01:52 PM   #26
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB
Apart from ESP, I feel that all those driving assist features on the Sprinters (automatic braking, blind-spot assistance, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive xenon headlights) are very expensive and are not proven to be real collision-mitigation systems. I haven't heard from the promising crosswind-assist feature in Canada. Is it now available in the US? http://blog.caranddriver.com/problems-w ... ight-path/
That feature might help the "too tall" Sprinter stay on track when strong-wing monkeys are on it's back!
People once said similar about the rear-view mirror until one driver in the Indianapolis 500 race added one and won without the customary riding mechanic with the twisted neck keeping track of the competition behind. That was Ray Harroun in 1911. The rest is history. Shall we go onto seat belt naysayers?

But if you want to rationalize and talk yourself out of it that is fine with me. I've had Sprinters now with and without all those features and know full well the benefits first hand. Some of it is annoying like the lane assist beep but in two short months out of 55 years of driving it has improved my lane keeping driving and reinforced the proper habit to turn on my turn signal to change lanes. I thought the convex mirrors were great for blind spot but the warning light in the mirror alerts me that much faster and allows me to keep more focused with eyes ahead in heavy traffic. Crosswind assist only comes on the 4-wheel 2500 so the many Sprinter Class Bs are not affected. However, the dually 3500s are much more stable than the 2500s on the highway. As for the braking. Happened once with me on a downhill hairpin turn in the Rocky Mountains. I went into the turn too fast and it slammed me down and probably saved me. It works. As for the lights, I haven't driven enough at night to see how they work. I usually don't drive much with high beams on anyway because I chance low beam so I don't have to annoyingly flip manually back and forth. If it does it automatically then having high beams on in more conditions has to be a plus. BTW, I too have all the air bags along with genuine leather seats complete with contrasting stitching of my choice.

But if you don't have it and can't have it I guess you can compensate by talking yourself out of it by dissing.
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:00 PM   #27
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Davydd-who disses other stuff more than you-lol

We all diss to a degree-but you are this sites champion disser
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
Davydd-who disses other stuff more than you-lol

We all diss to a degree-but you are this sites champion disser
Yeah, but was I wrong in what I just wrote?
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Old 04-21-2015, 02:51 PM   #29
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

There are pros and cons to most of the "driving help" features they are using, IMO. I do thing things that were more passive like seat belt, rearview mirrors, even airbags, were easier for folks to accept, because the didn't really interfere with the driver's job. Of the new stuff, blind spot lights in the mirrors would be similar, I think. The more active items are a bit of different story, again IMO. Antilock brakes, traction control, active handling assistance, automatic braking, etc are probably a good thing for some drivers all the time, and the rest of the drivers most of the time. We have all heard the often repeated bad issues with the various assists, often exaggerated, sometimes not. Do the items save lives, yep, do they cost lives, sometimes. On balance they save more than they cost, IMO, but most should be able to be turned off, based on conditions, and driver preference.

Personal experience-hopefully with no exaggerations.

I got rear ended, fairly hard but not extreme, in my old 1992 Escort wagon that had no antilock brakes. Slight downhill, 20mph, couple of inches of fairly wet snow, pickup pulled out in front of us from a blind side road so very little warning. We stopped fairly quickly after one brake pump showed we would stop faster by sliding and pushing up snow in front of the tire instead of rolling over it by pumping more. The anitlock brake equipped vehicle behind us had more time than we did, but barely slowed at all before he hit us, and vehicles slid by us on the side, and they were behind him. The guy got out and wasn't happy with his brakes, because he saw exactly how it happened as he looked at out sliding tracks.

When I drive my wife's CRV with traction control, stability control, in the winter, I often shut them off as I find there are many slippery conditions that I don't think they do a very efficient job. Sometimes you need some wheel spin, or to accept a little bit of slide, to get around efficiently. In better conditions, if you are into those slides, you are in not a good place and probably need some help. I never turn it off in the good weather, as I never see it do anything (haven't done anything stupid enough yet).

One of the local car advice writers for the newspaper (exracer, defensive driving teacher) explained a lot of it very well in expressing his opinion. Basically said the automatic stuff if nice, and works pretty well, but they can't help get beyond the laws of physics. One of his big things that he has explained several times is braking and front tire traction. You only have a fixed amount of traction on the tires, and you get to choose how you are going to use it. You split up the traction between turning and stopping. If the antilock system reduces braking enough to allow you to turn around a problem in front of you, what ever traction you use turning reduces the amount you slow down by a similar amount. This is great if you can clear the problem in front of you on the shoulder, not so good if there is a bridge support there because you hit the bridge going faster than you would have hit the original problem. In the bridge case, you would be way better off not to turn and hit the original problem at lower speed (and if it was a vehicle it would also absorb more energy than the bridge).

My bottom line is that as long as these features don't make drivers even more lazy and so overconfident yhat they do even more dumb and distracted things, they are good for most folks, but personally I like to be able to turn most of them off, if they interfere with actual driving in some conditions. I also think that driver's education training, and the 55 alive courses should be addressing how these features work, what to expect, and what they can't do, as most folks don't know any of that information. My last 55 alive course never touched on any of it.

When the fully automatic, guided, no hands, vehicles, get on the road, none of this discussion will matter
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:24 PM   #30
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Dissing Bs !
Love it, we should rename this blog !

Good to know that the safety packages are working. The stats aren't yet confirming this apart from ABS and ESP, but it takes time to gather the data.
It's no surprise though that you now find MSRP up to 133 000$ for an 2015 Agile (with ugly bamboo cabinets doors that don't even match the side panels)
The B market is becoming the high-end luxury segment of the industry apart form the Awful A's. It's good for the business, but R&D should follow. We could expect to see innovation and good design, not just by installing european proven systems like Alde, Truma, Espar, Fiamma, VB suspension etc. We need good designers in the industry, but I guess, above all, good managers that are interested in innovation. Winnebago is showing it can distance itself from the Aboninable A's and go in another direction, even for mass marketed B's, but it has a long way to go. Tiny upfitters do their homework, but I find there's room for more good design in the high volume Bs.

Come on RT, hire good designers! You are selling a 2000$/square foot van!
with ugly bamboo cabinets doors that don't even match the side panels

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Old 04-21-2015, 03:26 PM   #31
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
When the fully automatic, guided, no hands, vehicles, get on the road, none of this discussion will matter
This is no joke. All of the features we are discussing are simply steps (big steps) in the direction of self-driving cars, and it isn't going to take long. Anybody who has driven a Sprinter with these features quickly realizes that the Sprinter has everything necessary to allow you to take your hands off of the steering wheel on the highway. It was simply a (probably wise) conservative decision to take one step at a time. The next few steps will be the last.

There can be no question that the path from rear-view mirrors to these features has saved countless lives over the years. I have attached an interesting chart. I strongly disagree that these features should be driver-optional. Of course, they aren't perfect and there will occasionally do harm. But it is a statistical game. If they do more good then harm (and they do), they should be mandatory on the public roads. The only counter-argument I can think of has to do with the evolution of the species.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Highway fatalities.jpg (119.7 KB, 449 views)
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:35 PM   #32
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

self driving vehicles for non-human passengers
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:45 PM   #33
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Actually, I am a follower of the "natural selection" type logic, particularly when it applies to obviously (at least to me) poor choices like no helmets or seatbelts, or drinking and driving. I mention that I would like to be able disable some things only from personal experience under admittedly special conditions, and only the active components. Things like the blind spot lights, cameras, etc are great features. On the CRV, if you disable the ESC, it reactivates on the next start, which is just as it should be I think as it is good for almost all the time for almost all the drivers.

I do have to admit, though, that I think I would be very uncomfortable driving something that could put on the brakes itself, or change lanes, controlled by electronics. Having had two different vehicles that did the self acceleration thing, I know the stuff isn't totally foolproof. I see the commercials with the automatic car stopping 5 lengths behind the problem and wonder about if that put the vehicles behind them at risk by wasting their stopping distance. If I have a quick stop happening, the first thing I always do is check the mirror to see how close folks are, and adjust stopping rate to help them if needed, or to go around the obstruction to give them more room.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:49 PM   #34
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I repeat: NOTHING is "totally foolproof". It is a statistical game. I can guarantee that the technology will, on average, win that game. Unfortunately, you can't choose on a case-by-case basis--no time. Nor, do I think it has anything to do with "active or passive". Your rear-view mirror can blind you from a glint of sunlight at the wrong time and kill you.

BTW: You CAN turn off the Mercedes active features. They come back on just like your CRV.
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:53 PM   #35
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

You just got love the vinyl print woodgrain Roadtrek uses

It didn't match the oak, or maple, or cherry either, so at least they are consistent. When I asked, they said that it is the only way they can get the super light plywood they use (which is very light). Don't know if that is true or not. For $150K I would think the could afford to do it nicer, also. And as the wood parts age, the mismatch gets worse.

Campskunk actually veneered over the vinyl on his Chevy when he had it, because it bothered him enough. It looked so, so, much better.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:07 PM   #36
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti
I repeat: NOTHING is "totally foolproof". It is a statistical game. I can guarantee that the technology will, on average, win that game. Unfortunately, you can't choose on a case-by-case basis--no time. Nor, do I think it has anything to do with "active or passive". Your rear-view mirror can blind you from a glint of sunlight at the wrong time and kill you.

BTW: You CAN turn off the Mercedes active features. They come back on just like your CRV.
I totally agree, you don't have enough to change a setting while an event is happening, it would be crazy to even think about that. I do think the active, passive is a difference because it is either giving information to the driver to consider vs eliminating the driver.

I do think that the manufacturers have figured out that having active features selectable is a good idea, probably mostly from a marketing standpoint, and secondarily because they know that there are conditions that aren't handled well. I wish I knew someone that has a commuter with the active braking to see what it does in stop and go traffic on the freeway, which has a lot of weird circumstances.

On the MB do all the active features go on and off together, or can you select?

Here in Minnesota, the snow plow drivers now plow a lot of the areas by GPS, from what the news was saying over winter. They claim 3' accuracy in location the road positions, which is apparently a lot better than they can do trying to look through the snow. I don't think they said if the system also picks up unexpected obstructions like a stalled car.

I think it was Google that did a coast to coast driverless car?
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:18 PM   #37
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

Quote:
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You just got love the vinyl print woodgrain Roadtrek uses

It didn't match the oak, or maple, or cherry either, so at least they are consistent. When I asked, they said that it is the only way they can get the super light plywood they use (which is very light). Don't know if that is true or not. For $150K I would think the could afford to do it nicer, also. And as the wood parts age, the mismatch gets worse.

Campskunk actually veneered over the vinyl on his Chevy when he had it, because it bothered him enough. It looked so, so, much better.
OK I' m switching the thread to more important life-saving topics

Agree booster, that was one of the reason we opted out of RT, their designs are outdated, but customers don't seem to bother !
They tried the white paint, but got back quickly to the sweety cherry.

And I don't mind using printed woodgrain as long as it is well done:
See the nice and tight Hymercar Serengiti bathroom at the back of a Ducato. And compare it to the finishes in the RT or even the W 59K with the same end bathroom layout!

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Old 04-21-2015, 05:36 PM   #38
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Quote:
On the MB do all the active features go on and off together, or can you select?
You can select.

Davydd:
The high-beam feature is da bomb. This is not the most important feature in the package, but it is the one that comes closest to artificial intelligence. It almost always gets it right, and does so faster than you ever could.
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:49 PM   #39
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Default Re: A taste of a Transit conversion

If every vehicle on the road was self driving I think I would feel a little more comfortable. As it is, no intelligent system can anticipate what a human might do. Isn't that basically the definition of an accident?

Not exactly driverless but I loved this report on quadraplegic Sam Schmidt driving a car with head movements and jaw pressure. This report has him driving a Corvette at nearly 100 mph.

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/vid ... 1076931821
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:12 PM   #40
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Quote:
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If every vehicle on the road was self driving I think I would feel a little more comfortable.
Yeah. After Norman Bel Geddes designed the GM Futurama for the 1939 Worlds Fair, he wrote a book called "Magic Motorways", which predicted that highways would eventually be totally automated. He pointed out that in such a world, you wouldn't need cloverleaf interchanges. There would simply be grade crossings at which the cars would time themselves so as to interleave at speed. What an image! It may come to that, though. There certainly will be "trains" of cars traveling inches apart in each other's slipstream. Will save tons of fuel.
Quote:
As it is, no intelligent system can anticipate what a human might do.
...including humans.
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