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Old 08-12-2011, 05:58 PM   #5
Geek OP
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Joined: Jun 2003
Location: 8000ft.
Oddometer: 32,042
Shopping for a Sprinter

Each Sprinter comes with a few variables.

2500 vs 3500.
The 3500 is a dually.


3500 (extended):

Roof Heights:

High roof (as seen above.. you can stand up inside) vs.
Low Roof (better gas mileage.. no standing up)

There is also a super rare "MEGA roof" available.. but I've only seen one single van for sale with a megaroof in the past year.
They have something crazy like an 84" internal height in the mega.
That dually pictured in the previous post is in fact a mega roof (you can see the extra strip on top compared to the highroof pictured above it).

Low roof:

Passenger vs Crew vs. Cargo
Passenger vans come with more windows, more seats (which can be removed) and more interior finish. If you are doing a full conversion anyways, you are likely not going to use the interior stuff you are paying extra for. Crew vans come with two rows of seats and more windows than cargo (see my van). Cargo vans come with just the front two seats, a stripped industrial interior, and usually a cargo partition behind the driver to protect them in case of an accident.

and finally....

Wheel base.
The T1Ns came in various lengths:
118" shorties (super rare in the US though we saw one outside Aspen a couple of weeks ago)
140" medium wheel base
158" long wheel base

The NCV3s come in two lengths in the US
144" (what I purchased)
170" - the long one - and a 170" extended is also available which is another foot longer at the back again...

Put all these together and you ave a rather large collection of permutations and combinations (not counting the cab only configurations). Combine this with not a lot of them out there.. and it becomes a real challenge to find the right one for what you are wanting to do!

I spent literally months watching for the right van.

Fleet vans tend to be fairly beat up (the drivers don't own them and can treat them as such).
Individual owners who babied their vans wanted near-new money for them.

It took us quite a while to decide exactly what configuration we wanted.

High roof: no brainer.

2500: better in the snow and we're planning on snowboarding with it every weekend in the winter.

144": All that space in a 170 sure is tempting (especially when you see the guys that have set theirs up with a garage in the back ).. But.. the 144 can go more places (high centering a 170 is a worry for us as we want to get into the back country where we can with the van. That combined with the difficulty of using 170 in the city (I'm using it for my business as well and don't fancy trying to parallel park a 170 in downtown Denver ) made the 170 a non-option for us.

Here is our van last weekend camping on Weston Pass. I don't think we would have been able to get a 170 to this location...

So long story short(er)... I searched for such a long time for "just the right sprinter" that I ended up saving enough money up to just go buy a new one... so I did

Geek screwed with this post 08-12-2011 at 06:36 PM
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