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Old 03-30-2023, 12:06 AM   #1
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Default Sprinter, Portlandia, 100% biodiesel.

In 2030 Portland OR will switch to 100% biodiesel, not the happiest plan from the perspective of fueling my Sprinter Camper Van.

One option is to deal with it, hopefully just more often oil changes and fuel filter changes. How Sprinterís Blue Tech will act is a big unknown. Second option is to get a gas-powered camper van. We still have some time to decide.

https://advancedbiofuelsusa.info/por...with-biofuels/
https://www.sprinter-rv.com/wp-conte...iesel_rev5.pdf
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Old 03-30-2023, 02:16 PM   #2
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The good news is that some places are using "renewable diesel" instead of "biodiesel." They sound similar, and both are derived from plants, but they are quite different. Hopefully, renewable diesel also meets their requirements for petroleum diesel alternatives, because it seems our fussy biodiesel-hating Sprinter engines can't tell the difference between petroleum diesel and renewable diesel.

https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/renewable_diesel.html
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Old 03-30-2023, 04:22 PM   #3
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I have thoroughly enjoyed my Sprinter Class B especially some of the unique advantages including virtually unlimited diesel heating, easy battery charging with the second alternator, no reliance on propane, great seats and handling, etc.. There also weren't many Ford Transit alternatives when I bought mine in 2017-2018 (I have no interest in a Promaster). The biodiesel issue though is a downside. I do my best to avoid buying fuel in the summer B20 diesel states like Minnesota. I also change my oil and fuel filters about twice as often as recommended by Mercedes and make sure I drive it regularly in the winter months..

I also look at my RV exactly the same as I look at my other vehicles. I buy them as relatively shorter term purchases. I typically keep them for 10 years or so and then move on. I don't look at it like buying a house that is supposed to last for 15-30 years like many RV owners seem to do. Fortunately, the B's seem to maintain pretty good resale value. I think I will keep my Sprinter for a reasonable number of years and then move on and not worry about any long term reliability issues.
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Old 03-30-2023, 06:00 PM   #4
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There is some hope that renewable diesel will get to Portland.

"Supply and demand of renewable diesel
While supplies of renewable diesel remain limited, government policies that require the purchase of renewable diesel can spur the supply chain to catch up. The biggest challenge to converting all diesel vehicles in Oregon to renewable diesel is fuel availability. While large fleet operators that have their own storage tanks can fill those tanks with renewable diesel today, those that rely on private (cardlocks) and public (gas stations) fueling have limited access to renewable diesel to date. As of May 2022, only one private cardlock in Ashland and one public gas station in Bend currently offer renewable diesel.
Oregon also needs policy changes that will accelerate the availability of renewable diesel. The 2022 legislative session contemplated HB 4141, which was originally introduced to require a transition from fossil diesel to renewable diesel, first in the Portland Metro region, and eventually statewide. While this bill was amended to shift to a study of renewable diesel, we expect this important legislation to return for the 2023 Oregon Legislative Session. Cities are also taking the lead. For example, the City of Portland is exploring the expansion of their Renewable Fuel Standard with the goal of reducing dependence on fossil fuels. "

http://<br /> <br /> <br /> https...cking%20fleets.
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Old 03-31-2023, 02:51 PM   #5
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I'm not worried because with my history I don't plan to have my Class B for more than 4-5 years and I have 2 years into it already so 2026 is my traditional date or I probably will pass up RVing by then or keep on going and at least stay off the west coast if necessary. Gasoline appears not the be the answer. It has its own problems.

I do wonder where all this plant based fuel is going to grow. This is a finite planet with a booming human population to feed. There could be a drastic upheaval of our society, lands, and economy but historically we seem to overcome it. But nothing is forever. History too tells us that.
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Old 04-06-2023, 06:12 PM   #6
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As far as I can tell, the Portland ordinance is based on the citiy's own use of "renewable diesel" for its city fleet. As I understand it,"renewable diesel" is chemically indistinguishable from petroleum based diesel. Bio-diesel is not. It is usually mixed into diesel fuel as some proportion of the total. Minnesota requires a minimum of 20% bid-diesel for all diesel sold for most of the year. That is largely driven by the farming industry.
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Old 04-07-2023, 03:13 PM   #7
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Doesn't Minnesota say it could be 5-20% bio-diesel not a minimum of 20%. I read once that it has never been over 10%. If it hasn't been over 10% it probably has been a function of farmers couldn't supply plants to make that much or just the capacity to make that much is not there. Most states I have been in say 5% Bio-diesel now.

What is renewable diesel?
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Old 04-07-2023, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
Doesn't Minnesota say it could be 5-20% bio-diesel not a minimum of 20%. I read once that it has never been over 10%. If it hasn't been over 10% it probably has been a function of farmers couldn't supply plants to make that much or just the capacity to make that much is not there. Most states I have been in say 5% Bio-diesel now.

What is renewable diesel?
https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/renewable_diesel.html
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Old 04-07-2023, 03:32 PM   #9
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The current Minnesota requirements vary by time of year:
Quote:
The biodiesel mandate law requires a 20 percent blend of biodiesel (“B20”) in most diesel fuel sold in Minnesota during the warm-weather period of April 15 through the end of September. October through March, the mandate level reverts to B5 due to concerns about B20’s performance in cold weather.
https://www.house.mn.gov/hrd/pubs/ss/ssbiofuel.pdf

I am not aware of any other states with mandates, except Oregon and (sort of) Pennsylvania.

Happily, I am out of the diesel game forever.
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Old 04-07-2023, 03:42 PM   #10
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The Minnesota mandate is for a minimum of 20% biodiesel from April to October (ie. at least 20% and it can be higher). I doubt that you are going to find much 5-10% biodiesel in Minnesota. I try not to fill my Sprinter in Minnesota or at least try to blend it with diesel from the surrounding states if possible. I think Iowa and Illinois have incentives to sell biodiesel but no actual mandates.

The problem is that fuel trucks cross state lines and the Minnesota mandate impacts other states. My Wisconsin Freightliner dealer has tested the fuel at their surrounding gas stations and it is often well above the 5% typical WI biodiesel levels. This whole issue probably isn't a huge concern for those that don't plan to put excessive miles on their vans before they sell them. In fact, it is almost a reason not to keep it for very long periods of time.
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Old 04-07-2023, 07:11 PM   #11
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It doesn't say a minimum of 20% in Minnesota. The pumps say 5% to 20%. So 5% would be considered a minimum. They can mandate 20% but like I said, if it can't be supplied they couldn't reach 20% and it is more like 10% on last report I found. Who is going to supply greater than 20% if their customers don't want it to consider 20% a minimum? I think it is more a farm subsidy than environmental so if farmers can't supply 20% there is no harm from the state or even an enforced mandate.

I'm not worried as I haven't detected any problems or detectable mileage drop off with bio-diesel and If I was concerned the Wisconsin border is close to me and most Minnesotans to fill up there.

I will agree, gasoline is much more convenient, but I like Sprinters way more than Fords or Rams to put up with diesel.

There are some advantages to diesels (from Google): Do thieves steal diesel catalytic converters?

While all catalytic converters contain valuable metals that make them attractive to thieves, models with diesel catalytic converters are less likely to be targeted. This is because diesel catalytic converters do not contain any precious metals, such as platinum or palladium.
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Old 04-07-2023, 08:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd View Post
.......................

There are some advantages to diesels (from Google): Do thieves steal diesel catalytic converters?

While all catalytic converters contain valuable metals that make them attractive to thieves, models with diesel catalytic converters are less likely to be targeted. This is because diesel catalytic converters do not contain any precious metals, such as platinum or palladium.
My old catalytic converter was replace with the new copper based catalytic converter when Mercedes performed major update on my van a few years ago.
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Old 04-07-2023, 09:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
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My old catalytic converter was replace with the new copper based catalytic converter when Mercedes performed major update on my van a few years ago.

Is there a catalytic and a DPF in the Sprinters?
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Old 04-08-2023, 12:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
Is there a catalytic and a DPF in the Sprinters?
Yes, both are there. I don't know why MB replaced my original catalytic converter with the copper one, could be due to a new and different emission control.
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