Archive for August, 2008

Sprinter Van

Monday, August 25th, 2008

When we started thinking about a camper van, we wanted a big diesel van with good mileage, and didn’t even know they existed.   After looking around I found a Dodge Sprinter van  - really a Mercedes Benz.

They were sold here after 2002 as a Dodge - and also as a Freightliner.     They come in 3 wheelbases and two heights, and two engine sizes.    We wanted a 2002 thru a 2006 because they had the 5 cylinder Mercedes turbo diesel and can get 25 mpg. The newer ones are 6’s and the fuel comsumption is greater.

Following the speed limits, we did get 25 mpg on the way home to MA and got a kick out of the features we found by reading the book at the rest stops.   The back was a big empty shell, it was used as a cargo van - It only had 25,000 miles -   about broken in for a diesel.  One of the best parts was the color,  it wasn’t white, like 90% of them.  Most of them are used for commercial vehicles - deliveries, tradesmen, etc. so I imagine that white would be easier for the graphics.


Dodge Sprinter Van

Dodge Sprinter Van

The middle length (140″ wheelbase) is about 19 ft long, so it can be parked in a regular space and no extra charge for ferries  - the cutoff there is sometimes 20 ft.  The high top gives 6′1″ headroom and the length from the back of the front seats back is around 11′ and they have a 3500# paytload.  There are also many window configerations.  We found one in FL that was just right there, it had windows in the back and side door and a window in the left side across from the right side sliding door.

After having it for a while, a few things stand out.   Nice to walk out of a big box store and with a glance at the parking lot, you know right where it is.   When driving, you can look right over the SUVs, pickups and other vans  - and you feel a litle smug because you know you can carry more than most of them while getting a lot better fuel mileage. 

After fixing it up some, a refrigerator in the back comes in handy for something cold to drink. It is even nice to stop at a store, put the milk, fish, etc. in the frig and make another stop on the way home if you want - no rush