View Full Version : Driving Sprinters in high elevations....

05-13-2008, 01:56 PM
I am about to embark on a whitewater kayaking adventure with my family in the state of Colorado.

One of our routes is taking us through the Rocky Mountain National Park, driving on the Trail Ridge Road.

One of the great alpine highways of the US. :thumbup:

The road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet. :eek:

Is this a concern with the Sprinter. Or will it just cruise as normal.

Do I have to worry about overheating etc.? :thinking:

What are some things to check, look for?

I will have been driving around the state for about a week in lower elevations (5000-9000ft) before taking this road.

Any help, tips etc would be appreciated.

Many thanks. :popcorn:

05-13-2008, 02:30 PM
Nope I have taken my sprinter over a pass in colorado that 13,113 feet... Towing a 5000lbs 30ft travel trailer... The only thing you will notice is that your turbo get's pretty loud... It has to spin faster in order to keep the same boost... You won't loose any power, thanks to our hard working little turbo...:rad:

05-13-2008, 03:01 PM
These van are amazing in the mountains. Manual gear selection with engine braking is the best. As much as I like my van in the flatlands, it is right at home in the mountains.

05-13-2008, 03:09 PM
The Sprinter will do fine. All you will need to worry about is all the other traffic and not running into an elk! It is a wonderful drive. Make sure you stop at the visitor center on top.



PS. Have you tried Google Earth to check stops, etc. along your route? It is a great planning tool.

05-13-2008, 04:40 PM
Downills are the real part to be cautious about. Someone recommended always using the same gear going down as going up. Sometimes it's better to use an even lower gear. You don't want your brakes overheating on you and the Sprinter engine isn't one to really slow you down terrifically when you're on a 6% (or more) grade.

I really hate it when I'm going downhill on an unknown road and there's a curve coming up with a 2,000 ft drop off :smilewink: for those who misjudge.... I want to have some brakes left. I don't care how many cars or trucks pass me on the way down.

By the way, AVL I hope your whitewater trip is one with lots of fun and a good outcome.

05-13-2008, 08:01 PM
Downhill is your bigger issue...factory brakes may grind and protest...BUT they will stop you. I have been down some pretty steep hills and eventhough the brakes did not sound good..they stopped me no problem.

Never felt as though i was going to lose braking ability.


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05-14-2008, 01:49 AM
Did that route last year. Fantastic, Sprinter did great. It was in Utah on a small grade that the hose right after resonator came loose. Check all your hose clamps now.