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Old 07-01-2014, 08:29 AM   #21
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Nineteen foot trailer is marginally bigger than a AI. Four people? Jim
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:35 AM   #22
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Being over 6 foot tall is a deterrent for me on getting a Sprinter. Can't stand fully in the up-right position and laying down to sleep is another issue. They look nice, seem to be functional, but not for me.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:14 AM   #23
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Agree w Howie, never ever buy new..
Unless you want a new unit built or equipped just as you prefer ... YMMV ...
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:24 AM   #24
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Part of my concern is a breakdowns with a Sprinter. There are not many authorized dealers in the US. Some states have none. The 2500 Ram Diesel might be too much, but the fuel milage is good. Thanks for all the advise. Since we plan to retire by the end of the year, I might wait until our hurricane season is over.
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Not to worry. Plenty of MB shops throughout the south. Sprinters are everywhere and so are shops that work on them. I've owned several MB vehicles and only "broke down" once in over a million miles on them... and that was due to a faulty catalytic converter install by midas... Never again. Keep to the service plan (you can buy in advance from MBUSA for a discount) and you'll have no worries. And there are all kinds of roadside assistance packages available from third parties.

As far as hurricanes go.. its a lot easier to evacuate in a van than having to hitch up a trailer... That's my plan. And if you opt for a short wheelbase unit like the RT SS AGILE built on a 2500 chassis, I'd definitely wait for the 2015 chassis as it will have crosswind assist standard... Useful in Tropical Storm and Hurricane winds to say the least! Not so much needed on the 3500 chassis, but wouldn't mind having it myself.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #25
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Saw the "answer" today

Driving to work today, I saw a fairly big moho - 30 feet? towing a big tricked out Sprinter camper van! If you've got enough money, "convenient" and "practical" must have expanded definitions. I like Sergei's Argosy combo better though - and it's a fraction of what was paid by the guy with the Sprinter toad.

I think of myself as being "comfortable" financially - and not having children has allowed me to do that without having a fortune. But some people must just be ROLLING in money to have an outfit like that! However, a Sprinter as a toad does make a certain amount of sense. A moho isn't practical to take to a downtown restaurant or center city theater, or even into many neighborhoods... but a Sprinter can go anywhere a sedan or minivan can. Can you just hear George Carlin doing his riff on carrying your "stuff" and the insecurity of being too far away from all your stuff?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:30 AM   #26
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My toad plans are all electric. I am leaning toward a MB B-Class Plug-In Electric Front Wheel Drive Car carried on a dolly. It has a Tesla drivetrain and can go 80 or so miles on a charge, enough to go get that milk that everyone forgot to pack...

The alternative is a small trailer carrying a couple of electric motorcycles... While Harley recently debuted its prototypes, I am leaning toward the Zero brand as they have been in the electric bike business longer. Of course, both options require being near shore power when camping.

There are great tax credits for the cars of course, but did you know that the quasi-annual R&D and consumer Sales Tax credit bill now working through congress, includes a credit for two or three wheel electric vehicles as well?

Another technological innovation making the rounds is tapping the high capacity lithium ion battery packs in electric cars to act as backup power... at over 28kWh, thats a nice alternative to putting all those batteries in your van. Use it when you need it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #27
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We own both... well, sort of. We have a 1999 B190 (earlier version of the Interstate, which my wife uses predominantly) and a 2008 27 foot trailer (which we mostly use when we travel together - which is most of the time).

For me, the big thing about the trailer is I get to pack all the "stuff" that is handy when traveling, such as a charcoal grill, firewood, fire pit, cooler, and most especially the kayaks, which would be close to impossible with the B190 (or Interstate). There is a lot of extra space to carry stuff in the bed of the truck, and far more living space in the trailer (for me, far more creature comfort - particularly if the weather is not ideal). If I had to choose one or the other, I would choose the trailer.

Having said that, there are a host of reasons why the B190 (or in your case Interstate) provides a far better solution. If we travel with just bikes, they mount easily on a rack on the back of the 190. And it comes with a built-in generator. Plus, choices as to where you park overnight become greatly increased. Just depends on your needs/wants. And Howie's comments about not buying new - particularly in your case, is probably good counsel.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:57 AM   #28
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TomStream.... Electric vehicles. Muy interesant!

What are the considerations of adding solar panels to your carrying vehicle and charging the car/motorcycle/segway/whatever from the solar? Talking about the flexible glue down type. The roof of a truck or van, and possibly even the truck Cap or part of the bed could be used for more of the same.

Just thinking outside of the straightjacket, eh?


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Old 07-01-2014, 01:45 PM   #29
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If you have a generator and macerator with your trailer you have the flexibility to park almost anywhere.

I love gypsy-style roadside camping most of all. Itís my preferred way enroute to anywhere.

On our last major travel, 93 days to Newfoundland and back, we stayed 51 nights in campgrounds and 42 freestyle, like so:

At the Fisheries Station on Lake Ontario at Port Hope; behind the Town Hall in Dunham, Eastern Townships of Quebec; for THREE nights beside a grassy knoll at the WALMART in Sherbrooke, PQ (the manager, who didn't speak English, gave his permission, interpreted by a staff member who did); at the Millworker's Memorial Park, along the St. Croix River on the main street of St. Stephen, New Brunswick - we stopped at St-Andews-by-the-Sea for lunch the next day; at a Home Depot lot on a high cliff overlooking part of St. John, NB ( the Garden Centre cheerfully filled our water tank);in the pines alongside the Baptist church in downtown Sackville, NB; alongside a golf club at Truro, NS; behind the curling club in Windsor; at The Osprey Art Centre and Shelburne, NS, Yacht Club;

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at the Great Atlantic Superstore, Upper Tantallon, NS; roadside, by a water fall, at Sheet Harbour NS, roadside at Boylston NS; on the plains overlooking the ocean and historic Fort Louisburg, and at a Sobey's store at North Sydney, NS, awaiting the ferry to Newfoundland.

In friendly Newfoundland we parked in Deer Lake at the Recreational Complex; in Lawrence and Josie Lush's front yard at Gambo ( thatís a story in itself); for several days at the Dominion Store along Quidi Vidi Lake in downtown St. John's; bayside at Clarenville; at the Dominion Store at Gander; at the Salvation Army Citadel in Springdale; at Murphy Square in Corner Brook ( the Canadian Tire Store there has a dump station!) and then, returning to the mainland, the Antigonish Mall at Antigonish, NS; the Welcome Centre at Wood Island, PEI;

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at an Irving Oil BIG STOP for several days near Fredricton, NB; Rotary Waterfront Park at Perth-Andover, NB; at a MAXI store at Riviere du Loup, PQ; along the road in Louisville, PQ and at Loblaws, Cavendish and St. Jacques, very near to downtown MONTREAL.
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Old 07-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #30
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Hey Joe, sounds like my dream retirement trip (my wife's is to to completely traverse Canada East to west...) I spent three years at Harmon Field near Stephenville when I was a kid and my Dad commanded the Weather squadron there in the late 50's. Saw both the King (Elvis) and the Queen (Elizabeth) stopover at the base...

The road to Corner Brook was still gravel at that time. Went back for a short visit while on sabbatical from Intel in the early 2000's. Took the "fast" ferry (Scandinavian style Cat Ferry). I understand that now there are only the big slow ferries running. How much did it run fare-wise for that big rig of yours?

Hoping to do it again in a few years in our Sprinter... Appreciate your list of stop-overs!
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:11 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
TomStream.... Electric vehicles. Muy interesant!

What are the considerations of adding solar panels to your carrying vehicle and charging the car/motorcycle/segway/whatever from the solar? Talking about the flexible glue down type. The roof of a truck or van, and possibly even the truck Cap or part of the bed could be used for more of the same.

Just thinking outside of the straightjacket, eh?


Paula
Hey Paula,

I've sized up a Solar system to put on/in a 6x12 cargo trailer, including weight calculations, allowing for a sizeable battery bank (8-10 deep cycle batteries), as well as an inverter. Unless you have many days on the road, the panels simply won't keep up with the demand required to charge bikes. Realistically, using a good generator probably beats the solar method anyway. I have 30 250W panels on my roof here in FL and I typically yield 40kWh daily this time of year. A couple (at most three) of the same just isn't going to yield the energy to fully charge a couple of good electric motorcycles.

I was more looking at it as a way to supplement my Van's electric storage without relying on the generator and depleting my propane. Of course, the newer Sprinters can be equipped with an optional Mercedes OEM Engine driven generator (Diesel) that might be a good alternative for charging bikes or a car in a pinch. A car with a battery pack serves a similar purpose to my Cargo Trailer utility concept, if it can be made to reverse the flow of power back to an inverter for other uses... You get the best of both worlds with both a car and a battery store.

One thing I like about using the MB B-Class as a toad is the possibility of taking a route that includes the Tesla Fast Charge Power stations. One could unhitch the car, set it up to charge, and then tour around a bit in the Van... or just hang out in the Van. Tesla is really looking to build out their network of stations by licensing their technology to lots of manufacturers now. Of course I would always start out a trip with Power stored from my home array.
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:18 PM   #32
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The big issue with the sprinter van is the plastic turbo resonator which is factory installed. Mine left me stranded twice until I put an after market aluminum resonator in. No worries since. Pushing 70,000 miles and that was the only van issue. Now the airstream components, that is a whole different story.
I believe this was the part unofficially recalled several years ago.

I don't know that they are using the same part any more.

When ours went bad, it was replaced at no cost, as they were aware of the problem.


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Old 07-01-2014, 03:29 PM   #33
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Hey, Tom, its CANADA DAY today, JULY 1.

Give your wife a gift - promise to take her across Canada soon, Sea to Sea. You could make that Sea to Sea to Sea if you take her up north too.

Your questions about ferry fare to Newfoundland easily found in a quick search of my VISA accounts:

MV Atlantic Vision North Sydney- Port aux Basque 373.80

MV Blue Puttees - Port aux Basque North Sydney 423.78

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Old 07-01-2014, 05:09 PM   #34
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Joe/Sergei, Thanks for the follow up! I would certainly want to make it worth my while for those rates, and spend at least a month up there... That would have to be in July (as I most recently did), after the locals informed my wife it was the first nice week they had that "Summer". She's heard too many stories from me about the other months... http://www.airforums.com/forums/images/smilies/lol.gif

Was terribly disappointed to find out they had instituted a "season" for Lobster which did not include July, so there's a tradeoff.

Happy Canada Day to You! I have been to Ottawa on Thanksgiving Day (yours not ours) and thoroughly enjoyed a great meal with all the trappings at a small Mom and Pop shop. Used to go up that way quite a bit on business. Your photos have me wanting to go sooner than later for sure!
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:49 PM   #35
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We rented a camper van to tour the Australian outback a couple years ago. It was a very well equipped unit and we enjoyed it, but we found the sliding door a real pain. I've seen a post recently addressing the electric door mod, but even so how do those of you who own one really feel about this sliding door? Am thinking it may not bother you as there has been no mention of it on postings thus far.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:09 AM   #36
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The sliding door has never been a problem for us.

We do have a velcro-attached screen for that opening, which we use in good weather.

Keeps the insects out, allows fresh air in, and leaves the door in place.

A lot of loving and truly enjoying whatever unit you have, large or small, is living with what is and isn't......wanting what you have vs. having what you want. The key to satisfaction in many areas of life.

There are many advantages to an Interstate.....some would say many disadvantages, but we never focused on them.

Be thoughtful and careful, select what will work for you, then settle in and enjoy it.


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