View Full Version : 144" 2500 vs 3500?

06-12-2016, 07:51 PM
Hi folks,
Getting close to putting in my order... Curious about 2500 vs 3500. I'm going to DIY a 144" high roof crew van and I notice you can (pay extra) and option a 3500 basically the same way. I don't hear too many people talking about the 3500. Any opinions on one vs the other?


06-12-2016, 08:40 PM
I decided to order 3500 after reading that several people doing their camper conversions were worried about weight. The 3500 allows you to add an extra 1000 to 2000 pounds of equipment depending on which body chassis you get. If you don't need 4x4, I recommend you consider the SUPER SINGLE, since it will give you added payload capacity without the loss in interior space from the double wide wheel wells. Be aware there are certain DOT registration requirements for vehicles with a GVWR at/above 10,000 pounds. I'm gonna register mine as an RV so it won't affect me, but if you're not converting it to an RV then you should look into DOT requirements, I couldn't figure out whether they applied to personal use vehicles or only to commercial vehicles.

06-12-2016, 08:54 PM
Oh, I'm going to do 4x4 or sure. Looks like the max GVWR is the only option. I googled for a while to figure out if CA has specific laws about over 10,000 GVWR but I couldn't find anything easily understood.

Hard to imagine my old f350 psd 4x4 had a gvwr under 10k, though, so maybe no big deal?

06-13-2016, 10:41 AM
That second set of wheels really eats up interior space. Unless you're towing something big or do a massive heavy buildout I think you'll be pleased with the 2500.

06-13-2016, 07:05 PM
That second set of wheels really eats up interior space. Unless you're towing something big or do a massive heavy buildout I think you'll be pleased with the 2500.

2nd this. I have a 3500 144" family van conversion. I wanted to have max flexibility for carrying capacity and towing, but in my use over 2 yrs/50k miles, the extra interior space from single rear wheels plus perceived suspension comfort of a passenger-spec'd van might have been a wiser choice.

Of course, van is still young so max flexibility is still retained :)

Jack Price
06-14-2016, 05:17 AM
Consider the total vehicle weight and the braking power of the front tires of the 3500. 215/75 R16 tires on a 16x5.5 rim.

The super single sounds great until you consider the rear tires only have a 285mm width and a whole host of DOT issues.

Method Wheels makes rims for the sprinter that are 17x7.5. You can legally mount 265/70R17 tires with no rubbing issues.

If you really want a super single, you "might" be able to mount 285mm tires on the back and 265mm tires on the front of those same Method rims while using a 265mm tire for a spare without any DOT issues.

If you want the safety of a dually, you could use run flat tires as a substitute.

There are two unbeatable benefits of the 3500:

1) Rear stability/better towing/better hauling capacity. MB makes lofty claims about hauling and towing capacity. As Sailquik has mentioned, the rear end of the dually is built stronger for the heavier towing capacity. However, the engine, transmission, and rear axle gear ratio remain the same. If you were going to confine yourself to Florida, you could probably tow 7500 lbs with a 3500 in short trips. As a tow vehicle, the sprinter van is the little engine that could. You start getting up into mountain passes with 6 and 7% grades, you don't want to tow anything more than 5000lbs, dually or not, because the engine and transmission can't handle it.

2) Rear traction. 430mm of rear traction is unbeatable. At first glance it looks like an easy way to have the traction of 4 wheel drive without the added expense of the 4wd system and the even more top heavy dynamics of the 5 inch lift. The trade off, is that you only have 215mm of stopping power. Imagine yourself coming down a mountain in snow, rain, or icy conditions. You're steering and braking will be completely reliant upon those spindley little front tires.

A DIY conversion 144 crew van probably won't require the added payload capacity. If you exceed the weight capacity of the 2500, you'll effectively be trying to stop a vehicle that weighs in excess of 8800lbs with front tires that have the same traction as you would find on a 3000lb car. Just my 2 cents

06-14-2016, 05:22 AM
Biggest difference (besides rated weight capacity) is the 3500 has a full floating axle, the 2500 does not.