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Thread: Sprinter?

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    Default Sprinter?

    Anyone doing the Sprinter thing?
    Post your Sprinters!

    Background- After traveling around to a few gravel events this summer, my wife and I got the Sprinter bug. She actually got it worse than me (which is nice), so I can feed the itch.
    Our original plan was to get either a Storyteller Overland or a Sync Sprinter. Both of these are taking about a year right now-
    2nd plan was to get a Revel. Reason for getting a Revel was that it would only take a few months. Also seems to be a well known and well regarded setup that holds its value well. Sort of like an Ultegra Trek vs. a custom machine-
    And if we are not happy with the Revel- We can start the process of getting one of these other rigs and sell the Revel when we finally have the new one.
    If we are happy with it. We can just stick with the Revel.
    In my search for pricing I ran across a local RV dealer who had one that just fell out of escrow. I guess the buyer couldn't secure funding or something. As luck would have it, it was the exact vehicle, color and spec that I was targeting.
    So now we are taking the plunge sooner rather than later.

    It seems like it will be a great vehicle for 2 aging ex-bike racers who want to travel around and do fun rides.

    Weigh in and post pictures.
    I would love to see some inside the van bike pics. I will likey get an Owl Vans 1-up rear rack with the large box underneath, but I am also intrigued with putting bikes inside.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Since no one's replied, I'll throw this out. It's a thread on the ADV forum with over 1000 pages, so tons of posts. It was started in 2009, but is still active today:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/vans.434542/

    If you poke around in the "Shiny Things" sub-forum you'll find lots of other threads related to vans, camper vans, Sprinters, etc.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    If the stock Mercedes camper came with six seats I’d have probably already bought one, but until a camper can seat six or seven and replace our minivan, it’s not happening.

    I’m watching closely.

    I have seen there is a tiny Nissan camper that is rated for zero passengers behind the front row. Could be a fun little toy down the road to take one kid at a time for a weekend trip. Unlikely though.
    my name is Matt

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    I've sat inside a bunch of these. They are quite small inside. It would serve me well if I was solo.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Two years ago I was visiting Canyonlands NP near Moab. I saw a Sprinter pulling an Airstream and thought that would be a great combo for a cyclist. All your bike stuff goes in the Sprinter so you can venture out from a base camp to ride.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Not mine but my son's, bought it used with very low miles(pics are from the CL listing) from a building contractor who did the interior, solar, and other "blingy" mods. He's done a few other mods to the suspension and seating but no pics of that. He loves it(33 and single, meets his needs), been traveling in CA, Oregon, Washington, Utah with his mtb bikes. It's the short wb tall model, he's 6'3" and can stand up straight inside. Sorry no "bikes inside" pics.











    bed slides on rails, bed in^, below is bed out

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Seems like you either get a bad Sprinter or a decent Sprinter. A friend had a horrible one with all sorts of electronic gremlins, and somehow managed to sell it and buy another one, and that one is fine. One of the contractors working on our house had one that was on its third transmission along with assorted other things. He was perplexed because he bought that Sprinter to replace his previous work truck - a Sprinter - that he had zero troubles with but just wanted one with a few more features. Both are using them as work trucks, but in a way that parallels the load carrying aspect of building out a camper.

    Relatively small sample size, but both guys had become part of a community of owners of "haunted" Sprinter vans that seemed curiously unreliable. I don't know how you avoid that kind of hit or miss reliability though. Or how unique that is to Sprinter vans. But my sense is that the fewer electronic gizmos you get in the van as standard equipment the better.
    Last edited by j44ke; 10-25-2021 at 10:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    ^ I've heard/read the same, discussed this with my son before he bought his, after 1.5 years so far so good(knock on wood).
    The older I get the faster I was Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Seems like you either get a bad Sprinter or a decent Sprinter. A friend had a horrible one with all sorts of electronic gremlins, and somehow managed to sell it and buy another one, and that one is fine. One of the contractors working on our house had one that was on its third transmission along with assorted other things. He was perplexed because he bought that Sprinter to replace his previous work truck - a Sprinter - that he had zero troubles with but just wanted one with a few more features. Both are using them as work trucks, but in a way that parallels the load carrying aspect of building out a camper.

    Relatively small sample size, but both guys had become part of a community of owners of "haunted" Sprinter vans that seemed curiously unreliable. I don't know how you avoid that kind of hit or miss reliability though. Or how unique that is to Sprinter vans. But my sense is that the fewer electronic gizmos you get in the van as standard equipment the better.
    We are planning on purchasing a new 3/4 or 1 ton pickup next year to pull the RV or horse trailer. The Dodge Ram trucks have lots of features, but I have a hard time getting past the concept of a great engine that wrapped in a Chrysler.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Bill is on it. I made friends with a couple who tow a 28' AS with a Nissan NV3500(?) one ton van. They haul a fully blinged Indian Motorcycle and all the gear you can imagine. That is quite a rig.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    We are planning on purchasing a new 3/4 or 1 ton pickup next year..
    I can't think of any reason not to buy the 1 ton, not sure but they don't cost much more. I used to be more up to date on payload capacities, etc., but the older 1 tons(ten yrs old) only have heavier rear springs than the 3/4, same frame, axles, brakes, transmissions. If you want to substantially increase payload you'll need to go to a dually, I believe towing capacity is about the same for both.
    The older I get the faster I was Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    I can't think of any reason not to buy the 1 ton, not sure but they don't cost much more. I used to be more up to date on payload capacities, etc., but the older 1 tons(ten yrs old) only have heavier rear springs than the 3/4, same frame, axles, brakes, transmissions. If you want to substantially increase payload you'll need to go to a dually, I believe towing capacity is about the same for both.
    Yup, it's pretty much the suspension. The motor and transmission are the same. My wife currently drives a Chevy 2500 with the Duramax engine and four-wheel drive. It's a 2007 with 240K miles but is in great condition with a new Bosch fuel injection system. I've got a 2020 Escape with AWD. We'll evaluate our lifestyle in rural Wyoming to see what we need. I'd get a 350/3500 if it was available but I'm not interested in a dually. All the diesels are good these days, it comes down to features. Chevy, GMC, or Ford, no Dodge. If our lives revolve around horses and snowbirding, we might end up with two trucks. We'll both be adjunct instructors for a junior college so there's no commute.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    Not mine but my son's, bought it used with very low miles(pics are from the CL listing) from a building contractor who did the interior, solar, and other "blingy" mods. He's done a few other mods to the suspension and seating but no pics of that. He loves it(33 and single, meets his needs), been traveling in CA, Oregon, Washington, Utah with his mtb bikes. It's the short wb tall model, he's 6'3" and can stand up straight inside. Sorry no "bikes inside" pics.
    Neat.

    How does the "indoor shower" work?

    Blue water tank somewhere and a pump? Something else?

    Shower curtains?

    Drains to the ground outside or to a gray water tank?

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    How does the "indoor shower" work?
    I don't know, certainly would need a shower curtain/barrier, but he only uses the outdoor shower the previous owner installed and biodegradable soaps.
    The older I get the faster I was Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Don't you guys have other options than the sprinter here in US ?

    On the other side of the pond nearly every manufacturer of passenger vehicule has also a similar van and also some sligtly smaller versions in their commercial division.

    We also have a culture of smaller camperized vehicles for people looking for a car that can easily enter and park in any city. Think Ford Transit connect. For example with a Fiat Doblo, that I believe is sold under the Ram brand in the US you can have a camperized setup with a roof tent that allow for a 2 adults + 2 childs family to sleep. 2 on the roof, 2 inside. During the days the bed folds and allow for the use of the rear seats. I have a project to buy and build one with an available kit. Crossing my fingers to change job shortly and have more financial leeway to start working on that.





    You won't live inside all year long that is for sure and rainy days would be crap but you can sleep inside and live the camping life for extended week-ends. The thing is those cars are so small on rainy days you can ust go to the nearest city and do some city exploration.
    Last edited by sk_tle; 10-27-2021 at 08:53 AM.
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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    Don't you guys have other options than the sprinter here in US ?
    Yes, interesting how there are relatively few other make vans used as campers, most likely the base models cost less so what's not to like? Could be similar to high end bikes, tricked out Sprinters are a bit of a status symbol. Chrysler, GM, Ford, Nissan all have work class vans(with high roofs) that can be converted, not sure if they offer a camping ready one but quite a few companies offer retrofit setups if you're willing to spend the $.
    The older I get the faster I was Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    We have a Winnebago Revel with the Owl sherpa and one up vertical rack set up. Also have risers in the garage so 2x bike can go inside with the front wheels off and the saddles dropped, but you lose some living volume. We also have the Aluminess ladder with spare tire holder and a thule spare tire mounted rack for the tandem to sit on vertically if the mission calls for it. The set up is ideal for 1. 2 people make for some dance moves. If you're over 6'2" ish not enough sleeping length IMO.

    Facebook has 2 very active revel owner groups.

    We use it 4 seasons, been very comfortable spending the night to below -10. it's an awesome ski lodge/office and place to stay for first skin tracks and/or a hot breakfast while you wait for the wheels to turn or take that business call. Just got back from 5 weeks on the road. MTB in Micheaux/Pisgah/Bentonville/Big Bend state park in TX/Santa Fe. Ideal for dispersed camping, beach driving for paddling and 4x4 roads in the west if modified and driven prudently, and at 19' I can parallel park it in Austen or Boston if the bikes are inside. Not ideal if you're looking for a stationary base camp, but if you're touring not living in it, it's tough to beat the approach if you can swing the $ pain.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    As for other chassis options, the Ram Promaster is a nice platform, but you give up ground clearance and some load capacity. Buy you can easily sleep east west. The ford Transit is also a good option. If you need more room, Winnebago just came out with a small class C targeted at active lifestylers with more room based on a Ford Transit AWD duallly called the Ekko. Not as nimble as a Sprinter van based rig, but it checks a lot of boxes. I think you'll see more offerings along these lines as the traditional RV market flat lines.

    They're all like owning a boat, endless add ons, repairs and tinkering which equals $. Think long and hard but it's definitely a thing.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    We are going to outfit our Revel in a similar fashion, But we are going with horizontal 1-up mounts with a large Owl box underneath. We will likely do an Owl ladder, with tire mount but maybe another box instead of the tire.
    Care to post pictures of your inside bike mounts and rear of your van inside and out? Trying to figure out how much height I would need inside. I was thinking that we could put our mountain bikes inside with the droppers dropped.

    We are not super tall- I am 5'10 and my wife is 5'5- And it will just be the two of us.

    Usage will be 3 season- We will use the van to get away from rain and winter, not going towards it. We will likely not stay anyplace more than a couple days- So not really a base station. More a mobile garage and place to sleep and have breakfast or lunch. We would cook dinner outside or go out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markco View Post
    We have a Winnebago Revel with the Owl sherpa and one up vertical rack set up. Also have risers in the garage so 2x bike can go inside with the front wheels off and the saddles dropped, but you lose some living volume. We also have the Aluminess ladder with spare tire holder and a thule spare tire mounted rack for the tandem to sit on vertically if the mission calls for it. The set up is ideal for 1. 2 people make for some dance moves. If you're over 6'2" ish not enough sleeping length IMO.

    Facebook has 2 very active revel owner groups.

    We use it 4 seasons, been very comfortable spending the night to below -10. it's an awesome ski lodge/office and place to stay for first skin tracks and/or a hot breakfast while you wait for the wheels to turn or take that business call. Just got back from 5 weeks on the road. MTB in Micheaux/Pisgah/Bentonville/Big Bend state park in TX/Santa Fe. Ideal for dispersed camping, beach driving for paddling and 4x4 roads in the west if modified and driven prudently, and at 19' I can parallel park it in Austen or Boston if the bikes are inside. Not ideal if you're looking for a stationary base camp, but if you're touring not living in it, it's tough to beat the approach if you can swing the $ pain.

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    Default Re: Sprinter?

    80/20 extrusion system for the spacers. Rockler woodworking for the fork mount extrusion and use sliding T nuts (it's a table saw accessory for mounting fixtures. Drop the seat posts and you get clearance for the bed to go down if you have the "lift" provided by the 80/20. I just unpacked from a trip and fumigated, so no pics handy. After Thanksgiving the 1 Ups come off and ski box goes on. Out of town for a bit, so no pics handy.

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