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sf3291
06-03-2007, 01:10 AM
I am considering buying a used sportsmobile sprinter conversion. Here is the link:http://picasaweb.google.com/jws.snydersrv/2005Sportsmobile

The price they have listed is 45k, however the sales guy said they'd probably take 37.5k.

I am really considering pulling the trigger. As far as I can tell, 37.5k should be a pretty good price. However, I am unsure of a few things. Sportsmobile rates all of their conversions as having a tow capacity of 5000lbs. This is a 3500 chasis with the dual rear wheels and a very sparse conversion. Is that really all I could tow with it?

I am in the military and move often. Will most likely move over 1000 miles 3 times in the next 7 years, with a move from VA to CA in the next 9 months or so. Already having a 68 mustang that I will have to have shipped (out of pocket expense), I'd prefer that if I got an RV, I could at least flat tow my 2002 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with it so that I don't have to pay to ship 2 vehicles when I move cross country.

Since I'll be somewhat close to Lake Tahoe (reasonable days drive that is) when I move...ski trips are likely to become part of my routine once again. If I had the sprinter...it would get better mileage than my truck. But, don't know about chains and dual rear wheels....

So, here are my questions:

1. Does $37.5k sound decent for the sportsmobile? (18k miles)

2. Can I reasonably expect to flat tow my truck as I move cross country? (I don't know what it weighs, but the truck's door jamb sticker lists the GVWR as 6010 and the owners manual says the payload is something like 1400 lbs).

3. Anyone ever messed with chains and dual rear wheels? Sounds like a P.I.T.A to me....

4. Anything in particular I need to inspect prior to closing a deal? (resonator, etc?)

Thanks,
Sam

gerrym51
06-03-2007, 02:41 AM
you could probably tow the car, but the odds are you would damage the
sprinter. buy the sportsmobile but get the car there another way.


gerry

jdcaples
06-03-2007, 04:06 AM
I am considering buying a used sportsmobile sprinter conversion.

I am really considering pulling the trigger. As far as I can tell, 37.5k should be a pretty good price. However, I am unsure of a few things. Sportsmobile rates all of their conversions as having a tow capacity of 5000lbs. This is a 3500 chasis with the dual rear wheels and a very sparse conversion. Is that really all I could tow with it?
5000 lbs is all I'd be willing to risk for $37.5k

...

So, here are my questions:


2. Can I reasonably expect to flat tow my truck as I move cross country? (I don't know what it weighs, but the truck's door jamb sticker lists the GVWR as 6010 and the owners manual says the payload is something like 1400 lbs).
GVWR - someone correct me if I'm wrong - is basic vehicle weight w/o passengers or tools or anything else + payload.

The math: GVWR - Payload = Vehicle Weight
6010 - 1400 = 4610 lbs.

Theoretically, the vehicle as it left the factory (w/o you, w/o passengers, w/o tools, w/o spiffy new & excessively heavy add on gear) weighed about 4,610 lbs.

If I'm right about the math, and you're right about the payload figure, you'd have a Dodge Dakota "factory" vehicle in tow, with maximum margin of 390lbs before you exceeded rated towing capacity of your Sportsmobile candidate.

3. Anyone ever messed with chains and dual rear wheels? Sounds like a P.I.T.A to me....

The Sprinter Owners Manual has guidance for traction assistance like chains, including what to do for dually rear ends. I understand that the Sprinter's computer can assist by applying the appropriate wheel brake to keep wheels from spinning uselessly in the snow, the sand, the mud or other "zero forward motion inspite of sufficient engine output" situation

4. Anything in particular I need to inspect prior to closing a deal? (resonator, etc?)

Honestly, as much of a Sprinter fan as I am, Duramax and Cummins powered RVs are something I'd "inspect."

Thanks,
Sam


-Jon

BaywoodBill
06-03-2007, 03:30 PM
The 5,000 towing limit includes the trailer as well as the Dakota. It sounds like not the thing to do.

sf3291
06-03-2007, 04:11 PM
The 5,000 towing limit includes the trailer as well as the Dakota. It sounds like not the thing to do.

I realize that. Maybe I wasn't clear...but if I towed the dakota...it would be a "flat tow"...all 4 wheels of the dakota on the ground...pulling it along with a tow bar. I am guessing the dakota weighs in around 4600 lbs based upon the GVWR and payload information from both the door jamb sticker and the owner's manual.

Llarry
06-03-2007, 05:07 PM
6010 sounds about like the curb weight. GVWR should be up around 9,000+



(I don't know what it weighs, but the truck's door jamb sticker lists the GVWR as 6010

jdcaples
06-03-2007, 07:39 PM
I realize that. Maybe I wasn't clear...but if I towed the dakota...it would be a "flat tow"...all 4 wheels of the dakota on the ground...pulling it along with a tow bar. I am guessing the dakota weighs in around 4600 lbs based upon the GVWR and payload information from both the door jamb sticker and the owner's manual.

Is it a good idea to install a mechanical exhaust thermometer in this situation?

Is the turbo at risk of heat-soak cooking after stopping?

-Jon

gerrym51
06-03-2007, 07:48 PM
I realize that. Maybe I wasn't clear...but if I towed the dakota...it would be a "flat tow"...all 4 wheels of the dakota on the ground...pulling it along with a tow bar. I am guessing the dakota weighs in around 4600 lbs based upon the GVWR and payload information from both the door jamb sticker and the owner's manual.



still not a good idea. towing that vehicle a long distance, the odds are
against you not damaging the sprinter. the sprinter is an excellent van,
but your truck is too close in weight to it. i can't imagine ability to
brake will be very good either.

gerry

sf3291
06-03-2007, 08:08 PM
6010 sounds about like the curb weight. GVWR should be up around 9,000+

This is from Dodge's website for the 2007 Dakota...probably a little heavier....

With 3.55 Axle Ratio You Can Tow 5150 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating(GVWR)[i]=6010
Payload[i]=1305
Curb Weight[i]=4705
Curb WeightFront/Rear=2695/2010
GAWR[i]Front/Rear=3600/3600
Gross Combination Weight Rating(GCWR)[i]=10000


But, alas, I think I get it. Probably is a little too close to the stated tow rating for a sportsmobile converted sprinter. That is, if the tow capacity is 5000lbs. For the 07...the 2500 chasis is rated at 7000 or 7500 lbs towing if I remember correctly.

Overall, I was kind of thinking that maybe since the one I was looking at was a 3500 chasis, 144" wheel base and a sparse conversion package...surely it should be less work to tow something like my Dakota for this one than say a loaded down sportsmobile conversion on the 170" wheel base. But, then again...I have to remind myself that it is only a 2.5L motor....

BMA
06-03-2007, 08:28 PM
2. Can I reasonably expect to flat tow my truck as I move cross country? (I don't know what it weighs, but the truck's door jamb sticker lists the GVWR as 6010 and the owners manual says the payload is something like 1400 lbs).

Weight wise, flat towed without anything in it, or just very light fluffy stuff in it. Having said that, the Dakota will present allot of caster steering issues which may push the rear end of the Sprinter around. I'd recommend having a full load in the Sprinter when you do it to help the Sprinter to stay put. Due to the weight of the Dakota I'd also have some sort of brake actuation to use the Dakota's brakes. When you setup the tow bar, make sure that it is lower at the Sprinter's end. This is so braking forces push the rear end of the Sprinter into the ground rather than lift it up.

3. Anyone ever messed with chains and dual rear wheels? Sounds like a P.I.T.A to me....

Yes, not much worse to put on than single wheel chains. Usually they are setup to go over both wheels at once due to the lack of space between the wheels.

- Bryan

sikwan
06-03-2007, 09:16 PM
It might be doable, but you have to take precautions.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4410&postcount=2

dbeyer
06-04-2007, 01:06 AM
". Anyone ever messed with chains and dual rear wheels? Sounds like a P.I.T.A to me...."

When I put chains on my 18 wheeler I only hang the outside wheel.

David

rvdriverca
06-04-2007, 02:07 AM
It is doable, just rent a 2 wheel dolley from u-haul and back the car onto it, lock down the steering wheel so it is straight. The dolley has it's own surge brakes and takes out the side push you get from the towed vehicle with a tow bar.

SprntrStkd
06-04-2007, 06:06 PM
Sportsmobiles are nice, simple and have a great reputation around here. They are highly sought after among those that frequently travel south of the border! They don't have the excessive goodies and gagetry that commonly tend to strain your resources while traveling.

Looks clean too! Ask for the main. records and offer 35, that would be considered a steal out here!

Ogre
06-05-2007, 01:46 PM
just a thought, when towing any vehicle, whether flat or trailer towing, make sure the towed vehicle has little to no gas in it, since that adds weights as well. :thumbup:

sf3291
06-05-2007, 08:58 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the input. What really attracts me to this particular sprinter/sportsmobile is the low frills simplicity that supports spontaneous get up and go whenever you want kind of trips as well what I perceive to be pretty good reliability and economy of operations.

After some thought and discussion with some friends..I guess I gave up on the idea of towing the dakota. From what I remember when I moved from CA to VA, I was able to find deals as low as $700 to ship a car on an open transport without point to point, same trailer service. Which in reality, if I can afford the sportsmoblie...I can afford to ship my truck in addition to shipping my mustang (though she goes in a fully enclosed, door to door delivery - same trailer the whole trip kind of rig). And, if I do buy the sportsmobile...I can probably drive out west at christmas and leave the dakota with family..then make my x-country move 3 or 4 weeks later.

altered_ego
06-19-2007, 06:32 PM
First let me say that I have little experience with diesel engines personally used in small cars, trucks and RV's. I have been reviewing many articles on this forum as I also am "thinking about pulling the trigger" purchasing a Sprinter chassis RV and wanted to know a bit more about the engine and problems other folks were having.

JDCaples commented that if a Duramax or Cummins was in a RV he would inspect them and not the Mercedes Sprinter. I realize he is partial to his vehicle

BUT

I seem to notice (if not incorrectly) that the 2.5L SEEMS TO BE more susceptible to problems than the American Made Diesels (I have no preference for any engine at this point.) I have acquaintences that run whatever oil or diesel fuel is handy for their AMD's without any ill effects some pushing 200 to 300k. Altered Sprinter has posted numerous good postings, he referenced fuel quality, oil and using upper end oil. Is this a problem or issue with the Mercedes or is this something the AMD's should be doing also?

I read on another forum where folks were required to replace the Mercedes engines before 100k or had major engine failures. Of course they do not see 20mpg either. Some of my boating friends are pushing 1000 hours with their ole diesel clunkers, they just keep changing the oil once in a while. The 2.5 is a fairly small engine pushing and pulling a bit of a load.

Am I interpreting what I am reading wrong? Am I missing something?Appreciate your comments, this is a great forum with lots of good info :clapping:

jdcaples
06-19-2007, 08:42 PM
Am I interpreting what I am reading wrong? Am I missing something?Appreciate your comments, this is a great forum with lots of good info :clapping:

My point earlier in this thread is that if heavy trailer hauling is the goal, the torque and horsepower needed can be had in a Duramax or a Cummins engine.

I - and this is a personal preference - wouldn't consider using a Sprinter to haul 4500-8000 lbs of payload. Cummins and Duramax can manage this nicely, at the expense of fuel economy.

The Sprinter does a fine job at its core competency, at the best fuel economy. I ordered a 2500 Sprinter because I am sick of bending over in my cargo bay; I've had it with knocking my head on a 4' 6" ceiling and I'm not taking it anymore.

I don't need to haul a boat or living quarters for 4 behind me. I haul drums, amps, construction/landscaping supplies and, if you're nice to me, that new 7 foot couch, love seat and coffee table you bought at IKEA.

The Sprinter will never win a Diesel World or Diesel Power "Contest" for hauling massive weights, demonstrating 350+ horse power, 400+ foot pounds of torque, or win awards for how fast/easily it can pull 27 foot Bayliner 8 or 12 miles up a 16% grade.

If you need that kind of payload capacity, look elsewhere.

-Jon

BaywoodBill
06-20-2007, 04:19 PM
Hi Altered,

I guess you need to know how many miles the owners of Sprinter-based RVs have logged and what trouble they have had with the engine.

We only have 15,000 miles on ours and the trubo resonator failed, putting us at reduced power until it was replaced. (Now I have the aluminum substitute that I installed myself)

I've seen that some of the owners who run fleets of Sprinters have logged as much as 330,000 miles at last report (I think I saw things like this on the Yahoo!Sprinter list) with no engine problems.

My wife and I really like the way the engine sounds when we're cruising along, no matter if it's 25 mph or 70 mph but that, of course, has nothing to do with your question. :cry:

sikwan
06-20-2007, 08:58 PM
I seem to notice (if not incorrectly) that the 2.5L SEEMS TO BE more susceptible to problems than the American Made Diesels (I have no preference for any engine at this point.)

Not disputing your claim, but can you site any specifics? I haven't had any problems yet with my 2.7l, but mine is the latest and greatest of the T1N's.

This seems to be true for domestic diesels as well; Powerstroke 6.0l, Duramax 6.6l (Isuzu), and the Cummins 5.9l.

I've read a lot, and I mean a lot, of complaints about the Powerstroke 6.0l, but then there are a few that have no problems.

:idunno: