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Old 08-24-2015, 07:37 AM   #1
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Anyone want to talk me out of buying a gas sprinter?

Looking at an Airstream Interstate and another RV conversion that's an '07 gas powered sprinter, 94,000 miles. Wondering what engine life might be and how to value compared to the diesel?

Thanks for any wisdom.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:15 AM   #2
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Diesel

We have a 2016 airstream and all I can say is that diesel works wonderfully well.
It has the torque for going up mountains at altitude and good fuel economy. Don't know about values, but diesel vs gas, both with high mileage, the diesel will sell at a significant premium.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:14 AM   #3
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Engine life is a function of many things including how well it has been maintained, and how it has been driven. I would venture a 2007 gas engined unit spent most of its 97,000 miles at close to maximum output which would tend to reduce engine life. A good Mercedes mechanic with Sprinter experience might be able to give you an adequate estimate of engine life, but any real accuracy would require a teardown and if you go that far why not go ahead and rebuild the engine while you are at it?

Personally, I love the performance I get from the diesel in my 2013 Sprinter. Driving over 10,000 foot mountain passes in Northern New Mexico and Colorado pulling a VW GTI on a tow dolly, I am constantly passing 18 wheelers, camper trailers towed by heavy duty trucks or SUVs, and struggling OM motor homes. About the only thing that passes me is the occasional Corvette or similar vehicle. The GTI on the tow dolly has more rated horsepower than the Sprinter, but it is the diesel torque that makes all the difference.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:00 PM   #4
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I didn't even know that there was a gasser Sprinter.
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Old 08-25-2015, 12:16 PM   #5
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A friend had the 3.5ltr V6 gasoline motor in his '07 Sprinter service van (electrical contractor) and was always complaining he only got 13 town/16 highway, no where near the claimed 24 combined mpg when sold. I doubt he ever carried enough to approach RV weight so I'd question fuel mileage claims.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:10 PM   #6
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WHO made that gas engine (Mercedes Benz or Dodge)? IF it's a MB AND the seller has ALL the service records showing it's been properly maintained, I'd consider it. If it's NOT a MB gas engine, I'd pass.

I had a 2010 MB 3500 Sprinter with the MB 3 liter V6 turbo diesel. Every 10,000 miles, I took it into a MB dealer for whatever service the manual called for. The Sprinter was used to tow a 17' travel trailer. The only reason I sold the Sprinter was because I moved up to a 39' diesel Super C Class motorhome.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:38 PM   #7
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If a gas engine floats your boat then that's what you should get. I would go diesel but your money so you can decide.
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Old 08-25-2015, 01:57 PM   #8
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The gas engines offered in Sprinters a few years ago are 100% Mercedes as was the entire Sprinter sold by Dodge. Dodge and Freightliner have never had any content on the Sprinter other than their unique badging. The Sprinter gas engine was a solid 3.5 liter V-6, the same engine widely used in the Mercedes line. I don't think it was that popular in the U.S. market because it lacks the torque to move the Heavy Sprinter like the turbo-diesel does.


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Old 08-25-2015, 05:08 PM   #9
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We lived in Europe for 20 years and among our vehicles was a 3500 Sprinter with a 3.0 L turbo diesel engine. We used the big van for family travel/camping almost all over western Europe. Great vehicle (though the three girls groaned if dad picked them up at school in it). It wasn't 4x4 so in winter the van stayed home.

I don't know anyone that had such a van with a gas engine. Gas cost @ 20% more than diesel fuel in our part of Europe. Also, the MB van is generally used as a work truck there and as diesel fuel cost 20% less.........no brainer. My thinking is a gas engine van such as the Sprinter is targeted for use in the US.

All the above considered, a MB Sprinter, well maintained as mentioned already, should be performant for many, many miles beyond 94K. I would check the maintenance record and insure through quality inspection all is well. Then it's all about price and your intended use. Will you put another 100K miles in a few years or significantly less? How fast do you drive? How quickly must you get to your destination? I would choose based on how much I liked the van in question. I don't drive fast; we travel infrequently; we camp within a few hours of home. Gas would be just fine. Oh, my TV is a Ford 250 with the 6.7L TD engine towing the 23' International Serenity.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:47 PM   #10
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Thanks, good input all. Obviously the motivation would be a great price on a coach that I otherwise like a lot, just worried about the gas engine...
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie39j View Post
Thanks, good input all. Obviously the motivation would be a great price on a coach that I otherwise like a lot, just worried about the gas engine...
Sorry if this is a repeat--lost internet in a trailer park--what a surprise!

All good advice here, but one consideration may be if you plan to travel into Mexico. It can be difficult to find our more heavily refined diesel 2 south of the border, which is why most Nexican Sprinters are gas driven.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:36 PM   #12
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Anyone want to talk me out of buying a gas sprinter?

Good point gecko. Finding usable gasoline in Mexico is probably easier than finding usable diesel.


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