Well ... that seems to me to not really be "getting around this (problem)". After all, the idea of idling quietly means just that ... idling in the mid-hundreds of RPM for maximum quietness... not rev'ing somewhere above 1000 RPM. The high-idle approach raises the noise back up above the quietness of a truly idling Sprinter's small diesel engine.
As many know, the Ford V10 RV engine can of course "idle" for hours at a low 550-650 RPM, which makes outside engine noise ultra-low (lower then small portable Honda inverter generators at their idle speed). Inside an idling V10 motorhome, the (our) engine cannot be heard or felt. Very nice and un-obtrusive.
The problem is only a problem to those delivery companies. The drivers could not care less that their vans idle a bit higher. Especially since they aren't even in the van when the motor is at high idle in the first place.
To everyone else, it is a non-issue. Well, except to those whose lives are enriched by attempting to make it a problem....
The issue with idling is that many Sprinters were being used as delivery vehicles, and the drivers would drive them a block or two, then idle, then drive a block or two, then idle, repeat-repeat-repeat -- you get the idea. These vehicles were not designed to spend a great amount of time idling, with another large portion of their lives running at low speeds for short periods of time. Damage was incurred, until the American companies figured out ways to get around this. Keep in mind that in the land where these were designed, letting a vehicle idle for anything more than sitting at a traffic light is illegal. Or to put it another way - these were not designed to spend a great portion of their lives at low idle. A high-idle mechanism solved this problem.
Because of this issue, people now think that a Sprinter can't be idled. Even here, there are people who continue to perpetuate that misbegotten notion. A Sprinter can be idled if you get caught in a traffic jam. You can idle it for hours if needed. You just can't drive it all the time at low speeds for short periods of time (engine never has a chance to warm to normal operating temps), and then leave it idling over and over and over.
As for maintenance centers - yes, there are not as many as Ford or Chevy. However, they are out there, and if you are worried about a breakdown, get a breakdown service that will tow you to an authorized service center. If this is an issue for you, then you should look elsewhere.
Oil and filter changes are extremely easy. You can order OEM filters online for about $12, and oil for about $8 a quart. Be warned that these use about 13 quarts. We have had our Sprinter for about three years. Not counting oil changes, we have spent about $400 on service. Our service costs have not been any more than what we would have spent on any other make of chassis.
We have a Winnie View that is 24.5' long. We take it anywhere. Fuel economy is so good that we often take it on day trips, and sometimes we just take it when we go out to dinner. Since we can take it anywhere, we do not tow an extra automobile (do on occasion tow a motorcycle, for the fun of it). We drive it to wherever it is that we want to be, and at some point in the day, we drive to a state park and camp. the next day, we are on to our next destination. If we plan on being at a park for a few extra days, we just stock up on whatever it is that we will need, and therefore have no need for a toad to take us somewhere else.
We have not ever found it difficult to find a parking spot. With the exception of overall height, we just don't ever concern ourselves about potential difficulty in finding a place to park. I don't ever worry about parking lots that are too small to maneuver in.
Avoid using an aftermarket oil filter on the Sprinter. It won't seal right, and under heavy load the O-ring can blow out, and make a HUGE mess, which could be a fire hazards. The one I saw this happen on on a 2010. He made it 10 miles out of town, and it blew out on the first big climb (~6% grade). Stick with the OE stuff for this motor.
The Sprinter engine does not use an oil filter that spins on. It is instead a cartridge insert, covered by a permanent canister-type of cover. The instance you describe was not caused by the wrong make of filter, especially since it is not the filter that does the sealing. It was caused by someone not seating one - or both - of the two O-rings that seal the outer canister cover.
I would wager that the person who changed the oil completely negelected to replace the inside O-ring, which is only about 1/2" in diameter.
We have an '08 Winne on an '07 chassis. No problems at all. Just normal maintenance, which is no more costly than other brands, with the exception of oil changes. The MB takes 13 quarts of a specific synthetic oil, so you will pay a bit more than you would when changing other brands. Then again, you only have to change every 10k miles, so it's a small price to pay. You can easily order what you need for normal regular maintenance through the internet.
As for fuel mileage -- yes, you can't beat a Sprinter, but they do cost more to buy. I tell people *don't* buy a Sprinter-based MH merely because of fuel mileage. Instead, consider it if you want a small MH that rides and handles better than anything else out there, while making less cabin noise/heat in a cabin that is much more expansive in all directions than the others.
We have a Winne View, which is about 24.5' long. Pretty much all we do is sightsee/tour, and we never take a toad. There is no need for a 2nd vehicle, as we go wherever we want. We go exploring during the daytime, and in the evening we go to a state park and camp for the night. The next day, we are off to our next destination. Occasionally we stay an extra day at a park if we really like it, and since we always travel fully stocked, we have no need to go somewhere else if we are rooted in place for a while. In other words, we go where we want with the MH, and see no need to park one vehicle and then go somewhere else in another vehicle.
For our size of MH, there is no need for advance planning. We have never had any type of problems at all in finding a place to park, even in downtown areas. We might not always be able to park directly on the main drag, but can always find a parking place a block or two off of the main drag. We don't let our size stop us from planning on going anywhere we might ever desire.
We saw a very clean 2010 Via but it has 100k miles on it! I know, I know, its a diesel!! I'm assuming that is about 1/5 or less of its life expectancy?!?
The shop that takes care of our View more or less specializes in this platform. The owner told me he takes care of a number of Sprinters that have between 500k and 850k miles on them.
But I am looking for other ideas using wood.
Anyone be willing to share what they use?
Well, I don't have any ideas using wood, but as we do have a View, I thought I would input anyway. We keep four Camco tri-leveler blocks along with a pack of those orange interlocking pads from Wally World in our View. These allow us to level in any situation, in any orientation. They are extremely easy to use, and weigh a lot less than a leveling system. No parts to break either. Leveling doesn't take more than two minutes.....
For all practical purposes, there isn't any real difference as to which is better. IOW, one brand does not stand out over the other in this case. If they are both new, I would let like or dislike of floorplan be the deciding factor. If they are both used, then one would also have to consider overall mechanical/cosmetic condition in addition to floorplan.
We have an '08 View ('07 chassis). No problems of any type, so I can't say anything about repair costs. Maintenance isn't any more than a gas engine, but of course *your* actual costs will depend on where you take yours. IOW, your normal maintenance costs may be more if you take your View to a Mercedes Benz dealer, as compared to a Ford chassis taken to a Ford dealer.
If you do maintenance yourself, you can order parts over the internet. Parts can also be easily found at any decent auto parts store. Changing the oil is about the easiest of any vehicle I've ever seen. Be aware that you will need a very large catch pan.
In the southern tier of states, we have not had any problems finding diesel. I very much doubt that you will have a problem finding fuel anywhere in the US.
We have an '08 View, and can say that Wes' reply is right on the money.
As for the wardrobe -- it's only tiny if you take a lot of stuff. Don't take a lot of stuff. Or to put it another way -- it's a small motorhome, so only take what you need.
You're gonna love it, especially when you realize how easily it handles and drives, and what kind of fuel mileage you will be getting.....