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Old 01-05-2019, 02:10 PM   #1
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New purchase concerns

Looking at a 2016 Interstate Ext GT on a 2014 chassis. Unit only has 3025 miles. Should I be concerned with a unit 4 years old that has been sitting all it's life?
Concerns, seals, bearings, if oil has been changed, grease fittings greased, batteries, tires.
Help!
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:14 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum... if the rig you are looking at is licensed as a 2016, it is probably built on a 2015 chassis. My 2015 is built on a 2014 chassis, but because it has the bells and whistles of a 2015 (lane departure warning, parking assist, etc.) they call that a 2014.5 chassis. My VIN shows up as a 2014 Sprinter. So your 2016 is almost certainly fully equipped with the 2015 MB improvements and also equipped with the (ahem) wonderful electric window shades so many have complained about from that date forward.


You probably won't need to worry about seals. If in a dry climate, you might be halfway to needing to replace the tires (look for cracking). It's the batteries you need to pay the most attention to. Some here have told stories of brand new vehicles not being cared for (plugged in) on the dealer lot and the batteries being toast on the very first day. You can have a dealer or a competent battery testing place verify the condition under load of those batteries and provide you a printout.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:41 PM   #3
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Thanks
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:47 PM   #4
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This unit was released from Mercedes 12/03/2014.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:23 PM   #5
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AC seals could possibly be an issue. I’d run it and make sure it is nice and cold. (Should run every month)

If it was mine, I’d flush the brakes also.
Of course it depends on where it lived- and if outside etc.

Mark
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomhamrick View Post
Looking at a 2016 Interstate Ext GT on a 2014 chassis. Unit only has 3025 miles. Should I be concerned with a unit 4 years old that has been sitting all it's life?
Concerns, seals, bearings, if oil has been changed, grease fittings greased, batteries, tires.
Help!
For peace of mind you could consider hiring an RV inspector prior to the purchase. I found one and the price was around $400. I mistakingly didn't end up using him because I bought used from a reputable dealer that was going to "certify" my unit,.taking a full three weeks to get it "reconditioned". I took delivery and the vehicle house electrical was completely bad. I WISH I would have just hired the inspector. I could have at least negotatied the price or had them actually fix it before delivery. So.. if you want to at least protect your self consider hiring someone. Its no different from buying a house really.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:09 PM   #7
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Check the sensors

We have a 2016 GT that we bought used with 6000 miles on it. House batteries needed replacing. Generator needed work as it had been sitting too long without being used. DEF system sensors failed quickly due to lack of use. If you get it checked by a Mercedes dealer they can tell you how many sensors have failed but not failed enough to cause a CEL. Generator is always a pain. If your planning on boondocking the current configuration of the GT leaves a lot to be desired. To boondock you’ll need to replace the single solar with 4 decent hard panels. Tear out the crappy solar controller and put in a victron. Add a shunt and new controller to know how much battery capacity you have left. Might as well put in an AGS. The way it ships from factory the fridge and freezer will drain battery within the day if not plugged in to shore power. With all the mods ours works well now.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CharlieOscar View Post
So.. if you want to at least protect your self consider hiring someone. Its no different from buying a house really.
CHARLIEOSCAR - This very sage advise from you. I can not chime in on 2016 MY specifics but as general rule on any used big purchase, best to inspect everything if you are capable (even though now I know enough to do it myself, back then I knew nothing, so I would've needed inspector had I bought used). Worth it. The only time I may not be too worried is if it hasa long balance of a factory warranty or a 3rd party Exclusionary Extended Warranty. Best of luck TOMHAMRICK, hope it's great condition.
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:22 AM   #9
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All great advice!! Thanks
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #10
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So this unit has 2 serial numbers. One for Mercedes and one for Airstream. Which one do you use for registration and insurance purposes?
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Old 01-12-2019, 12:47 PM   #11
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In South Carolina, they used the Mercedes Vin
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tomhamrick View Post
So this unit has 2 serial numbers. One for Mercedes and one for Airstream. Which one do you use for registration and insurance purposes?
It should be the Mercedes one, that appears on the dashboard. That's the one the police will check if you're ever stopped or involved in an accident.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:37 PM   #13
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So this unit has 2 serial numbers. One for Mercedes and one for Airstream. Which one do you use for registration and insurance purposes?
TOMHAMRICK - in NV, my State Farm Insurance and DMV used the MB Incomplete Vehicle VIN which is the MB VIN. I am out of town so I will need to confirm this when I return next week - but I believe DMV NV also recorded the completed vehicle or final stage manufacturer VIN, which is the AS VIN which is also provided in the MCO. But I do not know if State Farm recorded the AS VIN. What they did record is that my vehicle is a 2018 Airstream (not a 2017 Sprinter) with a MB VIN. So, at least I know I am not considered by State Farm as just a un-built $40,000 2017 Sprinter chassis van. I may need to makes sure State Farm does have the final stage VIN because that is what is in the MCO which would have supporting docs including final build-list.

But it is very interesting the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has published a document entitled “Q & A’s on Split Model Years for Motorhomes.” (which mine is 2017 chassis with 2018 AS build). Google the full doc. I have excerpted the final 2 Q&A:

<<quote>>
"What information is used by the state DMV offices to register motorhomes?
When a consumer has a new motorhome registered for the first time, the state DMV will use both the VIN assigned by the incomplete vehicle manufacturer and the model year and make assigned by the final stage motorhome manufacturer for the vehicle registration. All states should title motorhomes using the model year assigned by the final stage motorhome manufacturer.

What should I do if a state DMV registers a new motorhome with the chassis model year?
If a DMV employee insists on using the incomplete chassis model year, please call the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association at 703-620-6003 for assistance. Ask for the Government Affairs Department."
<<end quote>>
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:06 PM   #14
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TOMHAMRICK - in NV, my State Farm Insurance and DMV used the MB Incomplete Vehicle VIN which is the MB VIN. I am out of town so I will need to confirm this when I return next week - but I believe DMV NV also recorded the completed vehicle or final stage manufacturer VIN, which is the AS VIN which is also provided in the MCO. But I do not know if State Farm recorded the AS VIN. What they did record is that my vehicle is a 2018 Airstream (not a 2017 Sprinter) with a MB VIN. So, at least I know I am not considered by State Farm as just a un-built $40,000 2017 Sprinter chassis van. I may need to makes sure State Farm does have the final stage VIN because that is what is in the MCO which would have supporting docs including final build-list.

But it is very interesting the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) has published a document entitled “Q & A’s on Split Model Years for Motorhomes.” (which mine is 2017 chassis with 2018 AS build). Google the full doc. I have excerpted the final 2 Q&A:

<<quote>>
"What information is used by the state DMV offices to register motorhomes?
When a consumer has a new motorhome registered for the first time, the state DMV will use both the VIN assigned by the incomplete vehicle manufacturer and the model year and make assigned by the final stage motorhome manufacturer for the vehicle registration. All states should title motorhomes using the model year assigned by the final stage motorhome manufacturer.

What should I do if a state DMV registers a new motorhome with the chassis model year?
If a DMV employee insists on using the incomplete chassis model year, please call the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association at 703-620-6003 for assistance. Ask for the Government Affairs Department."
<<end quote>>
That RIVA info applies to mostly to Class A motorhomes.

I don't think the VIN assigned by Mercedes to the cargo van used to make the Airstream Interstate is considered an "incomplete vehicle".

My Progressive policy uses the Mercedes VIN and it is identified as an Airstream Interstate.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:21 PM   #15
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I don't think the VIN assigned by Mercedes to the cargo van used to make the Airstream Interstate is considered an "incomplete vehicle".
You're right. The Atlas, as a Class C, started off as an "incomplete vehicle" namely a cab/chassis before Airstream added the living-space box on the back. The Interstate started off as a complete Sprinter cargo van before the conversion to a motorhome.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:36 PM   #16
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You're right. The Atlas, as a Class C, started off as an "incomplete vehicle" namely a cab/chassis before Airstream added the living-space box on the back. The Interstate started off as a complete Sprinter cargo van before the conversion to a motorhome.

Thanks Protag - I forgot about the Class C motorhomes. A normal Sprinter cab-chassis has the rear of cab enclosed so it is a complete vehicle. But the ones used for Class C motorhomes have no rear cab enclosure so they are incomplete.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:26 PM   #17
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MIKE, PROTAGONIST - I want to agree with you guys (1) because my reg & insurance in NV uses MB VIN indicating my 2017 Sprinter was/is considered a complete vehicle from beginning (2)makes things simple for me, nothing to call DMV about.

BUT it can't really be a complete vehicle because reg & DMV says it is a 2018 AS vehicle based on MCO. That means AS determined WHEN vehicle is deemed complete (2018 or even 2019).

And (1) RVIA makes no mention of this limited to Class A or C. (2) MB document for qualified incomplete vehicles. Full IVD.pdf file attached below and 1st page of Sprinter configs that are valid incomplete vehicle includes the fully enclosed van. That's what we all have, right?

Click image for larger version

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Can you guys then explain why MB thinks a passenger van is an incompete vehicle? Not my intention to start a debate, even though it already is starting to be. Just trying to say this is all very confusing. I read entire 64 page .pdf doc from MB below and all indications show a Sprinter 3500 passenger van is a valid type of incomplete vehicle.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ivd.pdf (2.16 MB, 15 views)
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:56 AM   #18
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UPDATE: The more I read the MB IVD document, the more I think that our Sprinter vans were classified as Incomplete Vehicles prior to AS completing it. On top of the info from my prior post, look at page 28 on the IVD .pdf file:

The original placard in all Sprinters that are upfitted to be AI's are required to be superseded by the placard mandated by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 110) below:
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The original MB placard (below) that shows the front tires recomended pressure is 55 psi.
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The superseding placard mandated by FMVSS 110 on my AI shown below. Notice the last 6-digits on that placard 305901. That happens to be the last 6-digits of my AI VIN, not the MB VIN.
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This further supports my argument that the original fully enclosed Sprinter van is designated an Incomplete Vehicle from MB. AS is the 2nd stage manufacturer that moves it's designation into Completed Vehicle. Only an Incomplete Vehicle is required to update this info with this placard. If our Sprinters were designated as Complete Vehicles from the get-go, this placard would be non-existent. FYI - minor point - from FMVSS POV, a Complete Vehicle is not the same as a Completed Vehicle.

I know it's all kinda wonky stuff, but this is important if you want your rv registered and insured correctly. I luckily do not need to contact my DMV and State Farm. They got the Model (Airstream), MY (2018), and VIN (original MB VIN) recorded correctly. My regs noted the AS VIN, but I confirmed from DMVNV website that it is not even required. Not sure how other states treat it. But I have read so many stories out there where their registrations reflect MY of the Incomplete Vehicle Sprinter instead of the MY of the Completed Vehicle <insert rv manufacturer here>.

Best to double check your regs & insurance got it right.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:47 AM   #19
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Thanks for the info. We have owned several motorhomes and this is the first time I have seen this VIN issue.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:52 AM   #20
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Basically - what ever works with your state DMV and insurance company is the correct answer. Personally I think the RIVA info would just confuse your DMV if you do what they suggest, especially for a B-van.

Does anyone think they would get an important Mercedes safety recall for your Sprinter van based on the Airstream assigned VIN? The vehicle safety recalls like airbags are tracked by the original vehicle manufacturer's VIN. I've had two Airbag recalls on my 2012 Sprinter. Both notices came from Mercedes.

There are also safety recalls on the items installed by Airstream. They are tracked as "Equipment" by NHTSA. I've had one on my Interstate for the propane regulator. That notice came from Airstream.

Each new vehicle manufacturer issues a "Certificate of Origin for a Vehicle". It is a legal document establishing the origin of a new vehicle before it gets titled in a specific state. I received two when I bought my Interstate new in 2012. One was from Mercedes that indicates the van was purchased by Airstream, then transferred to the dealer and ultimately sold to me as the retail customer. The Airstream document has the Mercedes Sprinter VIN listed as the "Vehicle Identification No.", it has the Airstream number in the margin as the "Airstream Production #" and also lists me as the retail customer.

Those were the documents I turned into the Maryland DMV and they registered it as a 2012 Mercedes Sprinter van because that is what came up on their computer when they entered the VIN. My insurance company, Progressive, has it identified as a 2013 Airstream Interstate since I insured it as an RV.

For certain this is all very confusing when two companies are involved in building a vehicle.
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