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Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-07-2014, 11:24 AM Reply   
I am thinking of selling my truck and buying fuel efficient car and a diesel Sprinter to use as a moto-van but it would also have to pull the boat.

Has anybody done any towing with a diesel Sprinter.
Old     (kx250frider617)      Join Date: Aug 2013       07-07-2014, 12:28 PM Reply   
I know they have a horrible tow rating. The family business had the larger 170" wheel base sprinter van with the diesel engine and it got great fuel economy. It did NOT have a hitch so I can't comment on the the way it towed. I thought about installing a hitch to tow the boat with it but it only had a 5,000lb rating and I really didn't want to over work that little 161hp engine.
Old     (kx250frider617)      Join Date: Aug 2013       07-07-2014, 12:30 PM Reply   
I forgot to mention, that i need to climb some pretty big mountains to get out of socal and too havasu so I really didn't want to push it. If your just towing around town on a flat highway, I would go for it.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-07-2014, 1:19 PM Reply   
Lets not look at HP too much. Torque is at 325 and HP 180 on the info I read. The torque is not great but there a lots of other "tow" vehicles of much lesser torque.

I would be towing around flat Florida but regardless it's never fun to tow under-powered. I see that one model has an upped towing capacity of 7500#. Can I assume that the size and suspension capacity of the Sprinter will at least keep it from being pushed around too much?
Old     (kx250frider617)      Join Date: Aug 2013       07-07-2014, 1:45 PM Reply   
If you go with the 2500 or even 3500 series, I wouldn't worry about the van, handling the boat. The length will keep it from swaying and the brakes are really good. It's really the engine you have to think about. Ours had 161hp and 285tq I believe. It would cruise unloaded at 65mph so with a boat attached, don't expect to do anything above 55 in tow mode. That little diesel does like higher rpms though.

I'm curious to see the Mpgs while towing. If I rember right, I would get 20-25mpg unloaded.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-07-2014, 1:53 PM Reply   
Everybody I talk to at the track are getting 23 mpg hauling 3 bikes and gear. With a boat I would expect that to drop into the mid teens. Not much worse than the 13-14 I am getting in my unloaded Raptor. I do a lot more work driving so I was going to get a more economical daily driver.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-07-2014, 4:51 PM Reply   
Why don't you buy a full size van with a duramax. Or do you need something bigger.
Old     (hotrod508)      Join Date: Oct 2013       07-07-2014, 5:03 PM Reply   
I towed a nautique 230 with a short wheelbase 2003 sprinter duellie for a season , got the same or worse than a real, big diesel. Best I ever got was 13.5-14. There is no replacement for displacement! I have a 2011 duramax van it gets 15 towing the same boat. My buddies cummins towed it all the way to Florida and back got 15-17.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-08-2014, 3:46 AM Reply   
The Sprinter is the best Motovan because of the size. Add a bulkhead at the rear for bike storage, an "attic" overhead bunk, bucket rear seating, A/C off a Honda generator and you have a great set up for a day or overnight at the track.

I think the newer engine has more torque than the 2003. I would not complain with 14mpg towing knowing I will be plus 20 in non-towing situations. Other than mileage, how did the 03 duellie tow?
Old     (hotrod508)      Join Date: Oct 2013       07-08-2014, 5:18 AM Reply   
Towing was fine, it was hard on the brakes and tires, don't think my boat trailer ones were working that great . Just never knew if you'd have enough power to make it up a ramp or up a hill, the thing downshifts all the time. The anti slip ,switch you think you can turn off, never really shuts all the way down, I had several times wear I was sliding on a slimy ramp trying to pull out of the lake and the little 25" tires would spin and reduce torc from the traction control. Overall if you just "want" the van you can get it done, I would never recommend a sprinter to anyone! Parts are expensive, the scan tool you have to work on it cost 4-5000$. My 04 sprinter threw the timing chain off at 89k, the dealer fixed it under warranty, repair total was just over 15k! After having 2 of them I now drive a GMC duramax van, and with the weight of my equipment it DOES get better mileage than he sprinter! The only way you beat the gas pump with one of them is by sacrificing power, they are limited to 82mph,,, why? Because the motor is turning almost 4 k at 82? Better think twice!
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-08-2014, 5:34 AM Reply   
Thanks. I guess you are paying Mercedes prices for repairs and after getting rid of my Mercedes car I knew I would always think twice about another purchase. Everyone else I speak with loves them but you also rarely hear anyone knock their Mercedes choice either. Maybe I need to review what dodge is putting into their now non Mercedes model.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       07-08-2014, 6:06 AM Reply   
I have a 2014.5 Airstream Interstate EXT built on the Mercedes Sprinter platform. It's basically a hotel jumper that is agile enough to drive around town and find parking without difficulty. It will handle almost anything, including mountains with ease. While the millage is normally great, because it's loaded the millage plummets in the mountains. I've considered pulling a toad like a Mini Cooper for example but I cannot image pulling a heavy boat. Two issues. When loaded, they do not brake with much authority. The wind is the other issue for me and I'm already white knuckled at 65 mph on a very windy day. So I'm not sure how towing a boat would impact those two issues.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-08-2014, 7:33 PM Reply   
I see Ford has a competitive.product with the ecoboost engine I will have to check it out. 400 torque.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-08-2014, 8:27 PM Reply   
Why not get one of the older E350 or E250 vans with the powerstroke? problem solved. Fits a moto, tows like a champ.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-09-2014, 6:28 AM Reply   
The taller van provides much more usable space.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-09-2014, 6:34 AM Reply   
I just looked at the interstate online with the 4 bucket seats up front it looks very comfy. Can you run at 70 mph on good days with confidence? What was your mileage at that speed? On most trips to the track I would probably pull a trailer totaling about 1000#.
Old    David (DavidAnalog)      Join Date: Sep 2013       07-09-2014, 10:47 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by srock View Post
I just looked at the interstate online with the 4 bucket seats up front it looks very comfy. Can you run at 70 mph on good days with confidence? What was your mileage at that speed? On most trips to the track I would probably pull a trailer totaling about 1000#.
When I wasn't paying attention it was easy to creep up in the high 70s. So it doesn't have much trouble achieving and maintain that speed even with moderate changes in landscape. It does have an 80 mph governor I am told but I fell just short of that. Since it's a fully equipped RV it is already loaded with weight, although very tight in space with all those amenities squeezed into an extended van.
It really feels like you are driving something smaller.
The first trip was a bit over 2000 miles round trip. On the way up there I ran 75 mph the entire way. But the wind and traffic beat me up so on the way back I reduced that to 65 mph which minimized the wind impact and the amount of jockeying in traffic. So the return trip was very easy and pleasant. I never really noticed any loss of time with a couple of stops factored in. We (wife, dog, and I) drove about 550 miles per day very comfortably. I did 100% of the driving.
I can't give you hard mileage numbers but the mileage did exceed my expectations based on the published numbers until I hit the mountains where I noticed a drop in economy.
Getting those mirrors adjusted just perfect is a big deal, even with twin mirrors on each side (one flat and one contoured).

Right now I'm having a very nice audio system installed in the forward cab and without stealing any space, which isn't easy. It's finished other than the final tuning. The next excursion will be so much better.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-09-2014, 10:57 AM Reply   
I am looking at day trips or 1 overnight so I don't want anything bigger. Thanks for all the info.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-13-2014, 8:19 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by srock View Post
The taller van provides much more usable space.
Gotta take some and leave some... is the extra usable space worth the trade off of poor towing and no 4x4 capabilities. Idk. Id rather have the van with the big turbo diesel, 4x4. its big enough for most anything, and its way more versatile. Snow? Launching in dirt?
Sounds like you want that big diesel mini van sprinter, so go for it, dont need us to justify it for you.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-14-2014, 7:12 AM Reply   
Joe your right I dont need you to justify my decision. However, I certainly recognize after reading the comments that a new model with more torque is important. That maybe a 4x4 for ramps is a nice extra and to check on the maintenance costs. I do know is if you are riding dirt bikes traveling with a Sprinter is awesome. Ford now has a competing vehicle available with the ecoboost engine as the F150. The torque of the Ford may be the better option.

Let me correct your comments, the latest Sprinter is available in 4x4 and the torque is now up to 325. I would think towing would be a snap with the long wheel base if you have the torque.

I'm in Florida so snow is not a big factor and water is everywhere so I need not go far the splash the boat. It sits on a lift. Its the 2-3 times per year I take a trip that would require some effort.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-16-2014, 6:04 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by srock View Post
Joe your right I dont need you to justify my decision. However, I certainly recognize after reading the comments that a new model with more torque is important. That maybe a 4x4 for ramps is a nice extra and to check on the maintenance costs. I do know is if you are riding dirt bikes traveling with a Sprinter is awesome. Ford now has a competing vehicle available with the ecoboost engine as the F150. The torque of the Ford may be the better option.

Let me correct your comments, the latest Sprinter is available in 4x4 and the torque is now up to 325. I would think towing would be a snap with the long wheel base if you have the torque.

I'm in Florida so snow is not a big factor and water is everywhere so I need not go far the splash the boat. It sits on a lift. Its the 2-3 times per year I take a trip that would require some effort.
then go for it friend! I like 500+ ft lbs but thats just me

Lots of room to camp in the back im sure. Should get one of those sweet shade tarp tent things that retract into the side, I want one for my land cuiser
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-17-2014, 7:15 AM Reply   
My old 1996 Landcruiser was a complete dog. The gas 5.7 liter that came out later with 401 ft/lb of torque was tons better and more than adequate for towing a boat. Yes 500+ is nice but not necessary for those pulling on flat land unless you have a very large load where stopping becomes the pressing issue.

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