Hi, I'm new here, and I'm asking on behalf of my parents who are nearing the golden age. They are presently looking for an RV, c-class about 23 feet, and I'm helping them with their purchase. They're looking for something to do road trips, won't really pull anything, and are only 2 people.
I did some research on Fords V10 triton and they seem ok for reliability but terrible for fuel economy. I haven't looked much at GM's Vortec engine but was interested in Mercedes-Benz when I heard they had diesel. Searched briefly on the web and found nothing bad with reliability and fuel economy.
All in all, I was wondering if anybody knows if the Mercedes-Benz engine (3 litre diesel) has any reliability issues that I didn't find on the internet and how they are at the pumps in real world driving. Are they also worth the extra money when comparing them to Ford and GM.
Go HERE, join and ask this crew. It is the most knowledgeable bunch around for the RVs. The have real data on fuel economy and engine issues. There is also the Sprinter forum out on the interwebs but they seem to concentrate on the vans more. The MB chassis costs more so you have to drive a lot to realize the fuel economy gains.
I highly advise your folks to drive a Ford/Chev based RV and then a Sprinter one to compare how they drive and what it's like in the cab. There is a huge difference.
I have a 2010 Winnebago View on a Sprinter 2008 chassis w/ 3.0 V6.
The V6 has had some issues with the EGR valve. There was a recall about 2 years ago for some reprogramming of the onboard computer to help eliminate the issues with the EGR valve...I had to have mine replaced at 8k miles. There are many who have no problems at all with close to 100k....
We consistently get 16 to 17 mpg. with our '09 Fleetwood Pulse (mercedes engine). We have had no trouble at all with anything beyond the irritating fit and finish issues inside the coach, and those were all resolved in the first month.
As to whether it is worth paying extra, that is truly an individual choice. For us, this motor home is easy to drive, and we feel like we wouldn't have taken as many trips as we have if we were getting the low gas mileage we did with our Ford truck. Of course, the price of diesel is higher, too.
We have an '08 Winnebago View w/ close to 10k miles. No issues at all, with either the coach or the chassis.
I wouldn't advise someone make a *new* purchase decision based on diesel mileage, as you would never make up the extra cost of the MH in fuel savings as compared to a small C w/gas engine. Instead, make the decision based on features, and the comfort and convenience that this chassis provides.
If you buy used, then it would make sense to use fuel mpg as part of the decision-making process. Be aware that the 5-cylinder versions had problems with a part called the "turbo resonator", that is a plastic piece that would rupture. There is an aluminum replacement that costs about $140 that permanently fixes this issue, and can be replaced by most owners.
The six-cylinder versions have had problems with the EGR valve, as mentioned above. If you get a used 6-cyl., make sure it has had the computer re-flash done. You can call a Dodge dealership and give them your VIN, and they can tell you if this has been done. Also, this version has had problems with the ends of the turbo inlet/outlet hoses cracking. The replacment hoses have fixed this issue, and you can also get aftermarket hose ends that are a permanent fix, and can also be easily installed by most home mechanics.
We have a 2009 Holiday Rambler Traveler (Sprinter) that is similar to the View/Navion. Our motorhome has been trouble free. We purchased it in 2009 and have 10,000 miles on it. It averages 15-16 mpg, depending on wind and road conditions, and is a pleasure to drive. The Mercedes diesel is a workhorse, and is very quiet.
We use it frequently for day trips, and take 2-4 week trips periodically throughout the year. We chose this motorhome over a Ford Class C, for a number of reasons....Comfort, spacious cab area and not having to tow anything. We downsized from a 28' fifth wheel/F350 combo, and find for us this has been an excellent decision.
Thanks a lot for the help. By the looks of it, my parents will most probably get the MB (new or slightly used). They will be doing a lot of mileage and will be keeping it for a long time.
The total cost of ownership for a MB diesel may well be higher due to much higher initial purchase price and, as I understand it, higher maintenance costs.
I mention that only to give you something to think about. I really have heard nothing bad about them and they certainly are much more fuel-efficient.
I think the primary concerns should be comfort and floor-plan. I suspect the MB diesel will be more comfortable to drive and ride in (the E-450s really aren't all that hot in that category) but the E-450s will often have better floor-plans largely due to having a much greater GVWR, giving much more flexibility to manufacturers.