We bought a new Class C with a MB engine in Jan 2010. Took it to AK in August (approx 3K miles on odo). Engine went into limp home mode in Grande Prairie, AB. Spent 4 days, EGR valve replaced. Tires wore out after 20K. Replaced with Firestones LT's, they still have good tread after 40K. Rear differential seal started leaking and had it replaced. Tranny started making rumbling sound when downshifting, had tranny service at 40K, now making worse noise when downshifting (60K miles) and I have another appointment with MB. Took another trip to AK this summer, on way back rear pinion bearing started going out. Couldn't find anyone who would even work on an MB until we hit Edmonton, AB. First MB dealer wouldn't even look at us, the service mgr at the other dealership told us to head to US. MB US warranties not valid in Canada. Differential replaced under warranty in Billings (that trip cost us about 3K extra with motel rooms, car and truck rentals, etc). Engine now making whining noise at startup, it eventually goes away, service tech thinks it is the power steering pump. We now have a little over 60K miles on the RV. I wanted an engine and chassis that would be bulletproof, and I thought MB would fit that need. I believe I have had more problems with the MB RV than any of the other vehicles we have owned. The big problem is finding people to work on the RV, MB dealers are not in every town, parts are expensive and not readily available. We figure that warranty work has cost MB about 10K (we think that is what it would have cost us). We are seriously thinking about selling the RV and buying a Ford gasser. I am hoping that at least I could get the RV serviced easier. Ah, feels good to get that off my chest.
Wow, sounds like a lemon.
Lots of problems for sure.
I do not know, have there been any recalls for you problems?
Having everything replaced under warranty is good, but it still
stops you from the enjoyment that you thought you would have.
I am surprised that Canadian MB would not honor the warranty
while you ere there.
What has MB CS said?
I hope you get everything resolved. I think I would be trading it also,
if it were mine.
Sounds like an ordeal. The good news is that these horror stories are rare, although mentioning this isn't much consolation.
JMHO, from what I've read here and the Sprinter forums, they tend to be pretty reliable. The bad news is that when a Sprinter has issues, one ends up paying Mercedes prices to get things back to normal. The Sprinter-source forums has the occasional tale of woe, and when that happens, it is scary.
Nothing wrong with the Ford gasser choice. Finding service availability is one of the best things about the Econolines, not to mention parts. You will definitely miss the lack of a doghouse and the fuel economy of the Sprinter, but getting stranded is less likely with a Ford, and if you do get stranded, a Ford place is likely a lot closer that can fix things, or at least get you jerry rigged enough to make it somewhere.
I can understand tires going at 20K. OEM tires tend to do that. However, the issues that you had at 60k is what someone might encounter at 150-200k, if not more than that.
After getting stranded in Alaska, I'd almost certainly be looking at a trade-in. The rig might work perfectly after that, but why take chances? To boot, with the difference in chassis cost, you will end up with a nice Ford based motorhome.
sorry for your troubles, but like you said most MB,s are bullet proof .guess were lucky ours has been great. would be nice to find out why yours is a trouble maker. we,d never go back to a ford ,chevy dodge ,rv.
First, I would stay away from AK, it seems every time you go you have problems!! LOL sorry, I could
not help myself! I hope MB is standing behind their products, (it is actually a Freightlinner issue since they sell the Sprinters which are manufactured in Germany! Does you state have a "lemon" law in case MB deciders to call it quits? If you trade to soon, you may get hit with a lot of depreciation!
That stay-away-from-AK advice has a point: MB service shops few and far between. We see a lot of chatter about that being a risk, and I that thing about "MB-USA" warranty not honored in CA. Still, many, many drive those Sprinters all over the continent and seemingly with good reliability. Never thought about warranty across national boundaries. If a Ford, Chevy, Subaru or Toyota breaks down in CA, is this a USA or North American warranty?
I'm sorry, hope it gets better!
If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB
As to the tires, the larger RV manufacturers have been choosing what comes on the chassis. Winnebago has Contis which are louder than Michelins and don't wear as long. 30K miles seems to be a roundabout number for them being replaced. Mine look like they may go to near 40K. Fleetwood had some other brand for a while (I can't remember) which has been performing poorly (as in failures).
RonR, Your experience is not rare. The MB engine can be a reliable and durable engine. However, the electronics that control it are so over-engineered/poorly programed that a very minor issue can render the Sprinter inoperable. I had a dead battery set a code that told the ECU the tranny was bad. I was left with reverse and 2nd gear. I could see the code, but only an MB device with proper software can reset it. MB won't sell you one. If you have a problem on Friday evening/Saturday morning any road service you may have is useless until Monday. Service and parts are expensive. For many such issues are an acceptable tradeoff for a compact/fuel efficient and maneuverable Class C or B that doesn't really require a toad.
The Sprinter is a superb vehicle for folks like FedEx and local service fleets. The key word is local. They either have in-house or local maintenance available. A Sprinter based RV on highway 150 in Nevade, or in BC, or in Alaska is a different risk. I won't risk a trip to Alaska in mine. Mostly we see the horror stories, like yours. My personal belief is that having paid the substantial premium for a Sprinter based RV, most users turn a blind eye to the occasional issue and we largely hear from the relatively few (the number of RV's on Sprinter chassis is really a very small number of the total population)folks who have multiple issues. I liken it to the African Bontebok. Every night a few of them get eaten - but there are literally millions of them. Not a big problem unless you're the one that's supper!
Similar situation exists with the Ford V-10. Since 1997, a couple of them "spit a plug" every day - with 500 to over 100 miles on the clock (mine had 127k). But, there are millions of them on the road. The problem never makes news, but Google knows it's there!
"A beach house isn't just real estate. It's a state of mind." Pole Sitter in Douglas Adams MOSTLY HARMLESS
Well folks live their lives the way they are most comfortable. We have driven our sprinters three times to alaska, including to prudhoe Bay on the haul road, the Denali Highway, and the TOW from Dawson City to Tok. We have also traversed 50 through Nevada both ways and numerous other less traveled routes. We will not allow concern over the kind of problems mentioned to prevent us from going where we want prefering to believe we 'll handle any situation that happens.