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Old 01-17-2010, 04:17 AM   #1
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Dodge Sprinter for towing??

Anybody here use a Dodge Sprinter van for towing. I like the vans but it seems like the max towin capacity is 5,000 lbs. My 63 Tradewind is about 4,000 dry and probably close to that when loaded.

Any thoughts most appreciated!

Thanks,

-Sig
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Old 01-17-2010, 06:34 AM   #2
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Hi Sig

I used one converted into a Pleasureway Motorhome last year to tow a 34' to the Region 1 Rally in PEI. It worked flawlessly, handled much better than any full size van I have towed with, plenty of power and great fuel mileage. Our combination was 19,000 lbs so I thought I might have to tow in 4th gear but it pulled easily in 5th. The temp gauge never moved. My only problem was it was not possible to put McKesh Mirrors on it but that would not be a problem with your trailer.

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Old 01-17-2010, 07:08 AM   #3
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We have been toying with the idea of getting a bare bones Interstate from Airstream and making the interior work for us. With the little one on the way- we think a van would be a great choice- especially since we also travel with our 4 dogs. In a truck- our full size cab is great fro the dogs when the rear seats are folded- but where do we put the baby. In our SUV we could relegate the dogs to the way back and put the kid in the middle (with one of those gate barriers in between)- but how do you get the dogs out to walk them when you stop if you are hooked up- our tailgate doesn't clear the jack on the trailer. We though a van would give everyone room and tow all the trailer we have. Still looking into what our tow situation is going to be. Andy is leaning towards the Interstate- I like the look of the E-350's better- but you can't stand up in one of those.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:41 AM   #4
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Thanks

Andrew - thanks for the quick reply. That is pretty impressive. The towing capacity (i believe) is 5,000 lbs. I am going to start looking for a used one.

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Hi Sig

I used one converted into a Pleasureway Motorhome last year to tow a 34' to the Region 1 Rally in PEI. It worked flawlessly, handled much better than any full size van I have towed with, plenty of power and great fuel mileage. Our combination was 19,000 lbs so I thought I might have to tow in 4th gear but it pulled easily in 5th. The temp gauge never moved. My only problem was it was not possible to put McKesh Mirrors on it but that would not be a problem with your trailer.

Andrew T
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
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... That is pretty impressive...
perhaps, but almost anything may work ok for ONE TRIP (of a few 100 miles) to a rally.

so before u head out to find a good used sprinter,

read some of lew's posts on real life with one.

he was VERY enthusiastic about his until the end...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ate-46110.html

of course used less often and with less mass one might hold up longer...

the issue with USED is not knowing the real service/duty history...

keep in mind anything merc'=expensive parts/repairs.

cheers
2air'
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
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Fed-Ex uses a lot of sprinters for delivery vans, and UPS is using a number of sprinter cutaways for deliveries. A lot of expedited freight drivers are using them over the road and like them for the size and fuel economy. Not every Mercedes dealer can work on them, they have some quirks. One of the biggest complaints I've heard has been service availability, Dodge sold them under their label and will only service the ones they sold. Freightliner and Mercedes are they only game in town, for the most part. If you're going to buy one, either go new or an 09, seems that most of the major bugs have been worked out of the line.
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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I should have Clarified. Our trip to the Rally in PEI was a lot more than 100 miles, just under 3000 miles for the round trip. Northern New Brunswick has lots of 9% grades and the back roads around fundy have some 12%.

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Old 11-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #8
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Andrew,

Regarding your experience, was there any reinforcement done to the hitch on the Sprinter?

Thanks!
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #9
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William, no telling whether you'll receive a reply as you responded to a three year-old (almost four year old) post. However, I too am considering using a Sprinter as a towing vehicle and have a few questions.

- Is a class IV hitch available for the Sprinter? I've not found one online. They all seem to be Class III.

- Is a class IV even necessary to tow a 16' Sprinter? I know the class III specs are within the requirements of the Sport 16, but would it be wise to use a beefier hitch?

- Does anyone have a suggestion for the best Sprinter hitch?

I noticed that the posts above mostly applied to pre-2008 Sprinters. After 2008 they changed the entire drive train and don't seem to have had the typical problems that the old five cylinders did (harmonic balancers, etc.). That said I know that there have been other problems (EGR valves, etc.), but mine (2009) has run like a clock so far. I have a nice V8 Toyota 4-runner as a tow vehicle which tows very well, but I'd like to haul a motorcycle in my Sprinter on trips next year.

Has anyone been towing with one of the 3.0 diesel V-6's?
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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More real world, useful Sprinter experience on this thread:


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...mpg-92950.html


Sergei
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #11
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Before we got our airstream we were looking for a Winnebago View P model with rear bunk beds - they are very hard to find
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Old 11-25-2013, 12:52 PM   #12
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Yup - I love resurrecting old thread

Looking at all the numbers, I'm planning on using a 3500 144 Sprinter, which ups the tow capabilities to 750/7500 with factory hitch (non-extended body) vs the 500/5000 on all other models. There's a person on the Sprinter Forums that regularly tows a lightweight (~4000 lbs) trailer with his 2014 3500 170 Sprinter and has posted his (generally positive) experiences. His username is "sailquik" - lots of good info.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokelessJoe View Post
More real world, useful Sprinter experience on this thread:


http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...mpg-92950.html


Sergei
Thanks Sergei. Interesting info but didn't answer the questions that I have. My Sprinter is a standard 2500 with the 3.0 V6. I do agree with the comments about the transmission. I've thought it the weakest part of my van. My transmission occasionally "gets confused" and will hammer until I take my foot off the accelerator. I am a bit concerned that if it goes into that mode while I'm fully loaded that it would damage the tranny. However, my main questions regard the best hitch to use.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMKY View Post
William, no telling whether you'll receive a reply as you responded to a three year-old (almost four year old) post. However, I too am considering using a Sprinter as a towing vehicle and have a few questions.

- Is a class IV hitch available for the Sprinter? I've not found one online. They all seem to be Class III.

- Is a class IV even necessary to tow a 16' Sprinter? I know the class III specs are within the requirements of the Sport 16, but would it be wise to use a beefier hitch?

- Does anyone have a suggestion for the best Sprinter hitch?

I noticed that the posts above mostly applied to pre-2008 Sprinters. After 2008 they changed the entire drive train and don't seem to have had the typical problems that the old five cylinders did (harmonic balancers, etc.). That said I know that there have been other problems (EGR valves, etc.), but mine (2009) has run like a clock so far. I have a nice V8 Toyota 4-runner as a tow vehicle which tows very well, but I'd like to haul a motorcycle in my Sprinter on trips next year.

Has anyone been towing with one of the 3.0 diesel V-6's?
I do not believe this is correct. I have a 2011 Sprinter (yes, I did buy another after my #2 cylinder developed a hole in it at 160,000 miles and was NOT repairable) as it was the only vehicle at the time that would suit my needs for work. I have been told repeatedly that it is the same transmission as the T1N Sprinters……..the same 5 speed, inadequate slush box that is most definitely the weak link in the otherwise far improved engine.

I have towed a 2000-2500 lb. cargo trailer cross-country twice and the new Sprinter did a much better job than the older model.

If you want a Sprinter with a good transmission, get the new 4 cylinder turbo model with the 7 speed!
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