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Old 12-14-2018, 02:21 PM   #41
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I laughed at that 5,000 mile/year average for Class B. We are putting miles on at 30,000/year.
Please don't muddy the water with an actual data point.
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Old 12-19-2018, 05:31 AM   #42
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YES, regardless of mileage, you should definitely have your oil changed once per year...so.

My 2013 sprinter manual says “Your Sprinter is equipped with the Active Service System (ASSYST). The maintenance computer tracks distance driven and the time elapsed since your last service. The service is shown in the multifunction display in the instrument cluster.” So I follow what it says.

If newer models have longer intervals and I owned one, I’d follow the recommendations for the model I own. But my model year tops out at 10,000 miles.

Why would you not follow the OEM recommendations for your vehicle? It knows how you are driving it.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:07 PM   #43
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Why would you not follow the OEM recommendations for your vehicle? It knows how you are driving it.
Excellent question!
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Old 12-20-2018, 04:50 PM   #44
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We just bought a used 2015 Roadtrek etrek with less than 30,000 miles on it in a little over three years of service. A 2015 Adventurous RS we were looking at at the same time had less than 7,000 miles on it.

Several dealers pitched class b's as great for tailgating. And one dealer told me that people bought them to go south for the winter where they would park them and then use them for the return trip. I am not sure I would invest $100,000+ for that purpose, but assuming that most people are anything close to full timing it in these small RV's is unrealistic.

It appears to me that a diesel makes more sense the more miles you are going to put on it. As some have pointed out, the rest of the RV hardware is going to wear out before the engine. That wear is mostly not based on mileage, but on time and use. Neither a modern gas nor diesel is likely to wear out before the rest of the rv if you are driving it less than 10,000 miles per year. And if you are using the rv as a second car for lots of short errands, the diesel is going to have a harder time handling it than gas.

On the other hand, if you are driving 30,000 miles each year then the diesel is likely going to hold up better, give superior performance and cost less to operate in terms of gas. Higher maintenance costs might eat up those savings initially, but once you get past $150,000 miles on a gas engine, necessary repairs as it wears out are going to eat you alive. And the resale value is going to be nil.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:06 PM   #45
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On the other hand, if you are driving 30,000 miles each year then the diesel is likely going to hold up better, give superior performance and cost less to operate in terms of gas. Higher maintenance costs might eat up those savings initially, but once you get past $150,000 miles on a gas engine, necessary repairs as it wears out are going to eat you alive.
If you want to know what being eaten alive is like, just spend some time keeping a modern diesel's DEF system operating. Just make sure you have a plan for the inevitable "xxx starts remaining" messages.
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Old 12-20-2018, 05:31 PM   #46
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Google search "Maritime diesel" and you will find many articles about the world shipping industry moving from bunker fuel to low sulfur diesel in 2020. An alarming prospect. This huge shift is likely to create a strain on domestic supply driving pump prices through the roof. As far as I'm concerned, diesel is a moot point and I will stick with gasoline, or a gas-electric hybrid.
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:36 PM   #47
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The article I saw said there was a likely increase in both diesel and gasoline with $.12/gallon for diesel and $.07/gallon for gas that would result from the low sulfur fuel demand for maritime uses. Neither of which I would characterize as "through the roof".

As for DEF, I have heard mixed reviews with some people not having any problems and others having nothing but problems. Again, these seem to relate to usage. If you make a of short trips, the filters are going to plug up and and not get cleaned out. That creates ongoing problems. If you consistently drive longer distances those problems are a lot less common. Of course in either case stuff breaks or wears out eventually.
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:53 PM   #48
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As for DEF, I have heard mixed reviews with some people not having any problems and others having nothing but problems. Again, these seem to relate to usage. If you make a of short trips, the filters are going to plug up and and not get cleaned out. That creates ongoing problems. If you consistently drive longer distances those problems are a lot less common. Of course in either case stuff breaks or wears out eventually.
My only experience is with Sprinters, but I can attest that what you say grossly understates the problem. I am not at all talking about DPF issues, which I agree can be avoided by proper usage. Rather, I am talking about the DEF system and its associated sensors.

Of course, there are people who report "no probems". That continues until they find themselves with "10 starts remaining". It happens over and over again, both here and at Sprinter Source. Moreover, out-of-warranty repairs are obscenely expensive, getting appointments for such repairs is often ridiculously difficult, and the ham-handed way that Mercedes disables the vehicle upon sensor failures is insane.

The Sprinter diesel emissions system is a nightmare. Beware.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:33 PM   #49
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I am very satisfied with 2013 Sprinter, my issues were:

1. Fault code due to the system confusion of hot oil and cold coolant. I placed an electric heating pad on the oil pan and Sprinter’s brain got confused. MB recommended a coolant heater instead.

2. Dead starting battery flipped fault code for low voltage, replaced the5 years old battery.

3. Leaking tail light – replaced.

4. Air bags recall – done.

Not too bad for over 5 years old vehicle. My van is serviced at either MB or Freightliner dealer since it was new. The Sprinter forum has a lot of folks complaining, we all tend to be skewed towards negative reporting than positive and these statistics are showing. Some comments relate to disliking of EU brand, often by folks driving Dodges or Fords.

I also believe that dealing with a very corrosive, concentrated urea solution (DEF) through various climates is not easy and engineers are solving some infancy issues. Any contamination of this pure 32.5% urea in deionized water could kill the system. This urea solution requires special SS or Zirconium to prevent corrosion, certainly I shouldn’t care, this should MB engineer’s problem, I am pointing that this urea injection to reduce NOx emission is not easy. I hope that my van will remain being a good example of MB efforts.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:55 PM   #50
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A couple of thoughts ... I now have 120,000 miles on my Sprinter and might buy another B-van in a few years.

I’ve looked at options on the diesel vs. gasoline for my next Sprinter as they are now available with gas engine. But it is a modern GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) which can have as many maintenance issues as a diesel with DEF. I’ll probably stay with diesel as I want to eliminate propane and have a diesel heating system on my next B-van.

I have not had abnormal issues with the my Sprinter DEF system. I top off the tank at 5,000 miles between my 10,000 mile service intervals. I drive about 20,000 miles per year.

At 115,000 miles I got a CEL (Check Engine Light), with no obvious driving issues. Turned out to be a DEF tank heater problem that I had fixed before the cold weather started. I consider that normal wear on this emissions system, much like recently having to replace the Catalyst Converter on my Toyota after 150,000 miles.

Here in Maryland/Virginia area diesel is now almost $1.00 more than regular gasoline.

Just my 2˘ on this topic,

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Old 12-20-2018, 09:47 PM   #51
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I’ve looked at options on the diesel vs. gasoline for my next Sprinter as they are now available with gas engine. But it is a modern GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) which can have as many maintenance issues as a diesel with DEF. I’ll probably stay with diesel as I want to eliminate propane and have a diesel heating system on my next B-van.
I am aware of the concerns that folks have with GDI engines. However, it is worth noting that GDI is already used in a majority of new cars, and the percentage is growing rapidly. Gasoline engines represent something like 97% of US car and light truck sales. It is lower in Europe, but diesel is fading fast there. Given these facts, making GDI work well is mission critical for the industry, so funding will follow. Diesel, OTOH, is a sideshow, and a fading one. I have little doubt that diesel emissions could be made reliable with proper investment, but I do not believe that such investment will ever be forthcoming. I am much more sanguine that whatever issues exist with GDI will prove to be growing pains. At least I hope so, because sad experience motivates me to try hard not to ever buy diesel again if I have any reasonable alternative.

BTW: petrol-fired versions of nearly all the popular diesel heating systems are available, so avoiding propane should not be difficult.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:33 PM   #52
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Interesting. So which Class B's offer petrol heat?
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:59 PM   #53
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Interesting. So which Class B's offer petrol heat?
No idea--I am not currently in the market. I just meant to say that the furnaces are available. For example, all the Espar Airtronic and Hydronic heaters are available in petrol versions.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:10 PM   #54
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Read this article.... diesel is NOT dead, contrary to what many people think....

For those of us who are diesel owners....its the emissions system that has me most concerned.... the base engine is fine......

Are you happy you chose diesel and WHY???

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/d...oline-engines/
No, not happy with my 2011 Mercedes-Benz 3 Liter Turbo-Diesel.

Two Reasons:

1. (Lesser Problem) Cost. Higher Cost of Oil Changes and Very High Fuel Filter Change Costs, both mandated in my operator's manual for 10k miles or annually. While my current RV gets 50% better mileage over the Ford V-10 I had previously, it does not offset the maintenance costs.

2. (Greater Problem) Future Availability of Fuel. My operator's manual mandates Diesel #2 or B5. Because of environmentalist concerns, many interstate refueling stations (like Flying J or Pilot) have switched to B20. In fact, the whole state of Minnesota requires B20 or better bio-diesel only. I feel like I could be left holding a vehicle which will eventually have no fuel to run on, like a motorized game of "Old Maid"
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:22 PM   #55
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No, not happy with my 2011 Mercedes-Benz 3 Liter Turbo-Diesel.

Two Reasons:

1. (Lesser Problem) Cost. Higher Cost of Oil Changes and Very High Fuel Filter Change Costs, both mandated in my operator's manual for 10k miles or annually. While my current RV gets 50% better mileage over the Ford V-10 I had previously, it does not offset the maintenance costs.
Change them yourself, and save a considerable amount. Oil, oil filters and fuel filters can be had for a lot less money than charged by Matrix Pricing MB dealers.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:35 PM   #56
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Interesting. So which Class B's offer petrol heat?
In 1985 I had a Webasto gasoline powered heater installed on my European delivery VW Westfalia in Germany. So, a gasoline power furnace is not a new technology. I had a lot of issues with ignition, it used a combination of spark and glow plug like the one on the picture, glow part was OK but the high voltage electrodes were constantly fouling up with junk.
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Old 12-21-2018, 02:34 AM   #57
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My understanding is that using b20 very often probably means you will need to change the oil more often. One main problem apparently is water and it can collect in the oil. I live in Minnesota, so I have no alternative to using b20.
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Old 12-21-2018, 04:18 AM   #58
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For many rv diesel owners that don't put big miles on their vehicles the cost of repairs to emission controls, exhaust systems, turbos and air to air coolers, far offsets savings in fuel attained. There are lots of 6.0 litre and Maxforce owners out there that would agree.
I love the torque of small diesels but not the noise or grief.
Navistar is starting to offer gas engines so unless a breakthrough comes in emission technology diesels days are numbered.
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Old 12-21-2018, 11:10 AM   #59
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I love the torque of small diesels but not the noise or grief.
Noise? My MB ML with the OM642 engine (same as the Sprinter) and my Audi Q7 TDI are so quiet that anyone who has listened to them does not believe they are diesels.

As to grief, I find them no more so than my gasoline powered MB G500 and VW Tiguan.

Ymmv, and to each their own.
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Old 12-21-2018, 12:37 PM   #60
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Noise? My MB ML with the OM642 engine (same as the Sprinter) and my Audi Q7 TDI are so quiet that anyone who has listened to them does not believe they are diesels.

As to grief, I find them no more so than my gasoline powered MB G500 and VW Tiguan.

Ymmv, and to each their own.
I agree that noise is a non-issue. Indeed, owning a Sprinter is a dream in all respects but one. I don't even really care about cost. But once you've been stranded in a strange area with a ruined vacation facing an emissions-related no-start condition and all the dealers saying "appointment in two weeks", every trip starts with a sword of Damocles over your head.

To each his or her own, but I find the situation nearly intolerable. I have gone as far as buying a clone Star diagnostic system and associated PC in hopes of being able to add extra starts next time it happens.

I am glad for those who have avoided these issues. But there is little doubt that they are quite real. Some people think that the kinks are now out of the system and that current production is reliable. I hope they are right.
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