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Old 06-17-2018, 05:55 PM   #21
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While the Ford Transit 3.5 eco-boost offers far better performance than the Promaster and Sprinter, I find it disconcerting that I can still find no verification that Ford has engineered a permanent fix for the guibo flexible coupling driveshaft issue that may require replacement every 30K miles. It cost Ford 142 million last year. It's made me lose confidence in Ford's engineering acumen, especially after Ford's recent announcement it's becoming a truck-focused company.
The Ford engine has so much torque, it is literally tearing the drive train apart. Stay tuned for future transmission trouble.


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I'm disappointed that the new generation Sprinter appears to have the previous turbodiesel though they offer a new generation inline 6-cyl in Europe on E and S-Class. Benz just recalled 774000 diesels last week due to illegal software, though the V6 was not included. Potential problems with pollution add-ons and concerns over finding prompt service nearby from their dealer network caused me to cross the Sprinter off the list.

...
Life is compromise! <sigh>
I don't think those diesel will stay much longer than the first year or so. The market wants gas engines; MB know that and they are no dummy, they will bring in the new gassers. You just have to wait a bit because they don't want to jeopardise their existing market.
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Old 06-17-2018, 06:11 PM   #22
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You might well think so, but sadly you would be wrong. Sprinter mechanics need to be specially trained, and it is a major commitment stocking Sprinter-specirfic parts. More basically, however, many (most?) Mercedes dealers do not have bays high enough to accept Sprinters. The same is true of Ford dealers, or so I am told.
This is absolutely true. I live in Vermont where there is a high-end Mercedes dealership, but they won't service Sprinters. They nicely told me where I could find a Mercedes Sprinter service center. The nearest one at the time was 6 hours and two states away. Try doing that when your dashboard light is flashing with a message that you may only start your engine 4 more times before it will totally shut down. This happened to us over ten times in one year. It's not an anomaly, just terrible engineering. Ask any Fedex Sprinter driver and you'll get an earful.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:38 AM   #23
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While the Ford Transit 3.5 eco-boost offers far better performance than the Promaster and Sprinter, I find it disconcerting that I can still find no verification that Ford has engineered a permanent fix for the guibo flexible coupling driveshaft issue that may require replacement every 30K miles. It cost Ford 142 million last year. It's made me lose confidence in Ford's engineering acumen, especially after Ford's recent announcement it's becoming a truck-focused company.
Ford has a permanent fix for the guibo issue...

https://ford.oemdtc.com/2874/17s15-d...7-ford-transit
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:52 AM   #24
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Boy does your post reflect our experience with our 2013 Sprinter. On one occasion we thought we'd have to abandon it by the side of the road...the dashboard said one start left and there was no cell service to call for roadside assistance.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:38 AM   #25
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Default VERY much enjoyed your post... made me laugh... and cry..

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I would strongly recommend the Ford Transit. I've owned two Mercedes Sprinters and could probably get college credit for the time I've spent in Sprinter service waiting lounges. The BIG service problem with Sprinters are their arcanely complicated exhaust systems that break frequently. Even with the smallest exhaust problem, usually with one of dozens of sensors, your van will go into "limp home" mode meaning you cannot drive faster than 40 mph, usually much slower until you get to an authorized Sprinter service center, which are rarely easy to find. On one camping trip in SC it took us two days to drive 300 miles home in limp home mode. Were stopped by the police twice for going to slowly. Mercedes is coming out with a gas Sprinter in 2019. That one might work.
Well said...and we actually experienced some of this on the last leg of our cross country trip 500 miles from home....a exhaust turbo sensor went bad.... tripping the CEL... don't recall that it was in limp mode... but, it did seem to tamp down performance... not limited to 40 MPH... Don't remember that...

BUT.. what really got me laughing ( and wincing) was the comment about spending time in Mercedes Benz dealership waiting rooms... we've definitely done some of this.... listen, the service advisors are some of the nicest people...and they faun all over you...I call them Dr. Feel Good ... They ply you with scones, lattes, and everything else under the sun... WHY?? They want to numb you when the bill comes....it's really insanely expensive...You kinda knew that though.. it's a Mercedes Benz....

Now, the positive side..... the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is a dream to drive... when it's running fine... there's really nothing quite like it to compare.... It's an enormous amount of space, pretty peppy for a small 3.0 turbo diesel engine and fairly quiet... handles beautifully... and has a commanding feel on the road...

SO...you need to make a decision on what you can and cannot live with...

I purchased the Roadtrek RS Adventurous and it was built on the Mercedes Benz Sprinter 3500 platform.....

I test drove a Winnebago Fuse... with the Ford Transit 350..... here's the thing..you might like it.... I did NOT... Besides the extra girth on the Winnebago Fuse which made it feel like a overloaded boat making a wide turn that I would never feel confident about...the thing pitched and bobbed and I was singularly unimpressed..... And the Ford Transit felt laborious to drive... with it's very confining stupid protruding dashboard... what were they thinking..??

The Sprinter has a more European dashboard feel.. there's plenty of room to get out of the driver's seat and move towards the back of the coach...this arrangement on the Ford Transit was a huge show stopper for me... Besides, I hated the way it drives..and if I'm not comfortable driving it.. I won't take it out as much...

Please look carefully at all these things before you make a decision..... getting the wrong vehicle is even more expensive than having some repairs.....

Remember that we went 10,500 miles across the USA with absolutely no issues until we were on the last leg of the trip... I would say that the Mercedes Benz Sprinter was a robust performer .....

YES... maybe the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is more expensive... but, it's also a better experience in driving... AND.. I think that over the long haul.. you're going to find that either one will pretty much cost the same ..Mercedes has a longer service interval and diesel engines ( especially Mercedes Benz) are known for robust longevity...

Good luck...
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:57 PM   #26
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YES... maybe the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is more expensive... but, it's also a better experience in driving... AND.. I think that over the long haul.. you're going to find that either one will pretty much cost the same ..Mercedes has a longer service interval and diesel engines ( especially Mercedes Benz) are known for robust longevity...
I am not worried about longevity and I am not worried about cost. I am worried about spending my precious vacation days sitting in a random Mercedes waiting room nibbling biscotti.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:46 PM   #27
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I am not worried about longevity and I am not worried about cost. I am worried about spending my precious vacation days sitting in a random Mercedes waiting room nibbling biscotti.
Every time I listen to my bullet proof Chevy smoothly ticking over, I'm invariably reminded that Emperor Mercedes ain't wearing no clothes.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:53 PM   #28
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.

There is nothing worse than driving a $100+k RV in limp mode.


ps. it never happens when you take the RV to your neighborhood Homedepot or Safeway; it only happens when you are on vacation. And it always happens while you are miles away from the nearest Sprinter service dealer.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:26 PM   #29
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There is nothing worse than driving a $100+k RV in limp mode.
There might be something worse. It could be a traffic officer pulling you over for failing to maintain the minimum speed required on a freeway.
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:31 PM   #30
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There might be something worse. It could be a traffic officer pulling you over for failing to maintain the minimum speed required on a freeway.
I must be really lucky because I NEVER had any of the mechanical problems described / experienced with the Mercedes. I drove across the country, throughout the south and up into the midwest then back to the south - all sorts of weather & temperatures without any issues.
Lots of highway miles so the diesel was happy to be working. I changed the oil early intentionally and tracked the Blu-Tech fluid so it stayed topped up. Tracked fuel mileage 18-21mpg avg - don't have exact sheet in front of me right now.
My only complaint with the MB Sprinter platform was sensitivity in high cross-winds which was not fun........only a few times. It was easy & fun to drive. I was much more concerned about being stopped for speeding than going too slow.

Winnebago workmanship & design was much more of an issue for me.

I sold the ERA in 2016 because I was planning some different lifestyle plans but I might return to smaller RV world in near future. Sounds like some new rigs have joined the party.
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Old 07-05-2018, 02:51 PM   #31
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I must be really lucky because I NEVER had any of the mechanical problems described / experienced with the Mercedes. I drove across the country, throughout the south and up into the midwest then back to the south - all sorts of weather & temperatures without any issues.
Lots of highway miles so the diesel was happy to be working. I changed the oil early intentionally and tracked the Blu-Tech fluid so it stayed topped up. Tracked fuel mileage 18-21mpg avg - don't have exact sheet in front of me right now.
My only complaint with the MB Sprinter platform was sensitivity in high cross-winds which was not fun........only a few times. It was easy & fun to drive. I was much more concerned about being stopped for speeding than going too slow.

Winnebago workmanship & design was much more of an issue for me.

I sold the ERA in 2016 because I was planning some different lifestyle plans but I might return to smaller RV world in near future. Sounds like some new rigs have joined the party.

You wrote....
"My only complaint with the MB Sprinter platform was sensitivity in high cross-winds which was not fun"


YES.....we went across the USA last year...and I encountered a lot of "HIGH WINDS".....
What I discovered is that many people who purchase "brand new" rigs like this actually change the suspension before they even take delivery.......

When we got the rig... only had 26,000 miles..5 years old..... last thing on my mind was new shocks.... what I discovered is... these vehicles were delivered to companies like Roadtrek...and converted to an RV with constant weight.. holding tanks.. cabinets, generator, ...a lot of extra weight all the time....

SO... of course it will handle differently..and when I went over any speed bumps and uneven surfaces...in and out of fueling stations with humps in the driveway...the vehicle and the cabinets shook like an earthquake.....

My RV shop recommended that I call and consult with Super Steer in Grants Pass Oregon..
I highly recommend that you talk with them whenever you decide to get an RV again... they have been in business since 1961... that's a very long time....

My local RV shop did the suspension upgrade...and the results are very good.... I don't have the unstable high winds pushing me around like I previously did...... sure..it's a high profile vehicle....you want to feel pushed around...try renting a U-HAUL truck...it's downright scary...
AND... even Class A's have problems....

Here's the number of Super Steer...541-326--4033. .... talk with Dave...
You won't regret making a short phone call.....
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Old 07-05-2018, 05:30 PM   #32
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Default Aware of Suspension Upgrade

Thanks to Forums such as this I was aware of the Suspension changes that would minimize the sensitivity to cross-winds, etc when I owned the ERA.
It was not a critical need plus I was not sure how long I would own it and I sold it even sooner than expected.
So the next owner can upgrade if they choose.
If I buy another RV, I'll consider the upgrade if necessary or needed.

Forgot to add earlier - I would buy another MB Diesel Sprinter without any hesitation since I never had any hints of the problems mentioned. However, one factor to consider is Fuel Cost - Diesel Fuel is not cheap - actually surprised me to some degree given all the critical transportation (trucking, railroads, etc) that uses it, although I think many have discount agreements.
Just checking Gas Buddy locally - there is a 40 cents @ gal difference today between Reg gas vs Diesel .........which certainly added up as I criss-crossed the country - I always searched for best price.
So if a regular gas Ford engine is attractive for service & fuel cost, I can certainly understand.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:56 PM   #33
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Default I understand.... however fuel is only one cost.....read below

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Thanks to Forums such as this I was aware of the Suspension changes that would minimize the sensitivity to cross-winds, etc when I owned the ERA.
It was not a critical need plus I was not sure how long I would own it and I sold it even sooner than expected.
So the next owner can upgrade if they choose.
If I buy another RV, I'll consider the upgrade if necessary or needed.

Forgot to add earlier - I would buy another MB Diesel Sprinter without any hesitation since I never had any hints of the problems mentioned. However, one factor to consider is Fuel Cost - Diesel Fuel is not cheap - actually surprised me to some degree given all the critical transportation (trucking, railroads, etc) that uses it, although I think many have discount agreements.
Just checking Gas Buddy locally - there is a 40 cents @ gal difference today between Reg gas vs Diesel .........which certainly added up as I criss-crossed the country - I always searched for best price.
So if a regular gas Ford engine is attractive for service & fuel cost, I can certainly understand.
We normally travel across the USA once per year... and I've been actually "thinking"?? of taking my car and staying in hotels... especially since there's a 50 to 80 cents per gallon difference..... plus my car gets about 28 MPG highway and the Sprinter gets 18.....

You then have to consider that hotels are averaging $85 to $100 per night....we can boondock a for three or four nights on a six days cross country journey....and there's inexpensive places like out of the way RV parks..or BLM land......

We get 18 MPG...or better depending upon how fast we go.....

Decided to upgrade since we own it... might as well enjoy it....

Did you have any difficulties selling the ERA...low ball offers...
Did you purchase the ERA new...and what did you get back when you sold??

I generally don't like to trade in or swap vehicles ...it's usually very EXPENSIVE...and wind up losing money....

The "trac bar" that Super Steer developed really helped with the "tail wagging" and steering corrections......the shocks and sway bar helped with rocking, bobbing and side to side motion rattling all of the cabinets....
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Old 07-06-2018, 12:31 PM   #34
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Did you have any difficulties selling the ERA...low ball offers...
Did you purchase the ERA new...and what did you get back when you sold??

I generally don't like to trade in or swap vehicles ...it's usually very EXPENSIVE...and wind up losing money....

....
Selling - I always hate that part of owning things.........but overall it was not terrible. Low Ball offers came mostly from Dealers.....The ERA was a "leftover" bought at the end of model year..........so I got a discount but when adding acquisition costs ie; CA Taxes, etc - it was impossible to break even when I sold it less than a year later...........I chalked up the difference to Learning, Once in a Lifetime Experiences & Crazy RV marketplace.

Just like owning a Boat (and other things) the best 2 days = First & Last

BTW - my friend just reminded me of another complaint / weakness in the ERA - it was not a 4 Season RV - so as the Temps dropped at certain stops including northern GA in the winter, I was worried about plumbing & lack of insulation.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:49 PM   #35
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.

There's no such a thing as a production 4-season RV.

Well... at least not in the mass market.



None of the RV have half-decent insulation. This is a cut-throat business; the manufacturers want to push out as many RVs as quickly as possible -- at the lowest cost to maximize profit. If they can get away with murder, they will. Insulation is the last thing an emotional buyer ask. It is something hidden, so it is in the lowest priority of things an upfitter would do. Sad,but such is the reality of the marketplace.
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Old 07-06-2018, 03:29 PM   #36
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Selling - I always hate that part of owning things.........but overall it was not terrible. Low Ball offers came mostly from Dealers.....The ERA was a "leftover" bought at the end of model year..........so I got a discount but when adding acquisition costs ie; CA Taxes, etc - it was impossible to break even when I sold it less than a year later...........I chalked up the difference to Learning, Once in a Lifetime Experiences & Crazy RV marketplace.

Just like owning a Boat (and other things) the best 2 days = First & Last

BTW - my friend just reminded me of another complaint / weakness in the ERA - it was not a 4 Season RV - so as the Temps dropped at certain stops including northern GA in the winter, I was worried about plumbing & lack of insulation.
This is so classic....I guess you can say this about anything...

You wrote.......Just like owning a Boat (and other things) the best 2 days = First & Last

BBQ is correct...none of these are four seasons RVs.....I suppose you can find an upfitter like Advanced RV.....the ONLY way I would ever consider doing this is IF I lived full time in my Class B....... I don't....and have no interest in this....

I see you live in California...you don't have to worry about the weather in Socal except for the heat....

YES... learning experience....I'm thinking that whatever I paid for my Sprinter and the money we get back is equivalent to what the cost of a rental might have been.... I'm sure that if you pencil out the numbers..the straight rental cost would have been significantly more. These Class B's typically rent for $275 to $350 per day.....

SO...you sold it back to the dealership?? Did you originally purchase the unit from Camping World?? We looked at the ERA back in 2015...they were asking around $100,000...
Considering all the various upgrades I did... I could have easily done that... when I purchased my 2012 Roadtrek last year at 5 years old... I had to make a number of changes and upgrades.... easily pushing the purchase price to just over $100,000..all adds up quickly. NOW... I have exactly what I want....

The whole reason I purchased a 5 years old model..and was lucky to have found one with low mileage is the awful deprecation factor...the problem I didn't think about was all the maintenance issues like aging tires..they looked fine.. but they were six years old....a friend of mine who had a Class B and experienced a blowout said.. look...are you really trying to save a few dollars over a possible tire failure....it's almost a ten foot tall vehicle.... As soon as I heard that... I realized he was absolutely correct...

Also... can't blame the vehicle on batteries, maintenance and oil changes... these Mercedes Benz Sprinters are very EXPENSIVE to maintain.

Here's what I purchased in May 2017....


https://www.conejowholesaleauto.com/...beffb59e9eb708


Too bad about your personal situation changing that required you to sell it after one year or so... that's the worst possible time to turn it around...I think if you had kept it at least five years..it would have been better... more use for your money....

Car dealers are like sharks .... selling you the highest price and buying at the lowest...then turning it around and doing the same thing... insidious...... that's capitalism.... guess we all do that...but, when dealers and people think you are desperate they really stick it to you...
I hope that your end of the year "DEAL" when you got it took a little of the sting away.....

Good luck in the future....
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Old 01-26-2019, 12:18 AM   #37
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I have a sprinter cargo van I use for my construction business. Every trip to get it serviced is a major drain to the finances they always tell me I need all this work done. For instance at 120000 miles I replaced intake manifolds my self parts were $1000. After that check engine light came on again so took it in. Estimate was $7000 yes $7000. Said I basically needed new exhaust system to keep it short. There is no way I would buy another sprinter diesel. Dealer wants $175 an hour minimum. And wanted 4.5 to change muffler and Cadilac converter the unit has one clamp and two sensors. There price was $3400 .Took half an hour to do it myself. I’m looking at a new transit this weekend with the 3.5 eco boost engine more power than the diesel and no def fluid particulate filter $1300 or nox sensors $500 each x 2 not including labor guys. Should average 15mpg vs 17 to 19 I get in the sprinter. I could go on all day really. But my opinion is the cost to own a Sprinter is truly unbelievable.
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:22 AM   #38
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I have a sprinter cargo van I use for my construction business. Every trip to get it serviced is a major drain to the finances they always tell me I need all this work done. For instance at 120000 miles I replaced intake manifolds my self parts were $1000. After that check engine light came on again so took it in. Estimate was $7000 yes $7000. Said I basically needed new exhaust system to keep it short. There is no way I would buy another sprinter diesel. Dealer wants $175 an hour minimum. And wanted 4.5 to change muffler and Cadilac converter the unit has one clamp and two sensors. There price was $3400 .Took half an hour to do it myself. I’m looking at a new transit this weekend with the 3.5 eco boost engine more power than the diesel and no def fluid particulate filter $1300 or nox sensors $500 each x 2 not including labor guys. Should average 15mpg vs 17 to 19 I get in the sprinter. I could go on all day really. But my opinion is the cost to own a Sprinter is truly unbelievable.
You're not alone. Over on airforums, quite a few owners of late model sprinters report many expensive repairs, most related to the diesel aspect of their engines. Then again, many owners report few problems. Still, I haven't seen such reports from promaster, chevy, ford, or transit owners.
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:24 AM   #39
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Meeting Ford salesmen in the morning. I donít have time to work on the Sprinter every weekend 😩
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:20 PM   #40
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Default Same drama with Ford diesel transit

The Diesel Transit owners have a similar fate with emission systems. The new 6.7 liter full size trucks have 10 sensors on exhaust system. And Ford actually extended the warranty on nox sensors because they had so many problems. This according to the service writer Ats for tech at local dealership. As for Dodge owners they donít offer a diesel in the cargo vans anymore just v-6 3.7 liter gas. I drove one not impressed. The 3.5 eco boost Ford is my choice. 400 ft lbs of torque vs 385 for the Sprinter. No nox sensors def,or particulate filter. 16 mpg vs 19 average cheaper fuel cheaper maintenance.
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