Full Automatic Sprinter Based Motorhome?

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by veevee, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Looking for an opinion from anyone who has or has had a motorhome with a Mercedes Sprinter full automatic gearbox in preference around 2004 year models.

    There is quite a bit of discussion here about the semi automatic Sprinter Sprintshift system but can't find anything for the full automatic one.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. ColinandDawn

    ColinandDawn Funster

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    Hello,

    We have a 1997 Mercedes Sprinter 214 petrol campervan with a fully automatic gearbox.

    Driving to and from the Twin Lakes meet in France this May we achieved 25.7 mpg cruising at 60 mph.

    I find it very easy to drive - and I use disabled hand controls.

    Hope this is of some help.

    Regards,
     
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  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    We have a 2003 Hymer on a 316 chassis with 5-speed full auto box. Very smooth and easy to drive.

    p.s. laptop about to die - not back till tomorrow morning
     
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  4. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    What sort of mpg do you get as an average JeanLuc and have you had or heard of any problems at all?

    Thanks to you both
     
  5. davejen

    davejen Funster

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    Hi, Just sold my Autotrail /sprintshift 2004, I think they used the sprintshift box from 2002 to 2006or7, so not sure if full auto was available then, stand to be corrected.
    BTW, never had any trouble with the sprintshift on last 2 m/homes. Great system when you get used to it.
    Cheers, Dave(y)
     
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  6. Mr Mousy

    Mr Mousy Funster Life Member

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    Our first Moho was a 3500kg 2011 Coachbuilt Autosleeper, it had the 2.2 Mercedes with the full auto box - loved it.

    When looking for a new Moho the Mercedes full auto was a prerequisite.

    We now have a 2.2 Mercedes full auto on a 4250kg A Class Hymer and it is great.

    No idea about MPG as I don't bother calculating - it does what it does!
     
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  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Being a 316, it has the 2.7 litre 5-cylinder CDi engine with power output of 156 bhp. Average fuel consumption, calculated over 51,000+ miles, is 24.8 mpg. The tank-to-tank variance is between 23 and 28 mpg; higher consumption tends to occur with long motorway trips, lower consumption when just pottering about on the Continent.
    I drive fairly carefully, cruising around 60mph on motorways and circa 50 mph on main roads. The GVW (MAM) of the Hymer is 3,800 kg and we normally travel pretty well-loaded (although I have not noticed that loading makes a huge difference).
    I have not had any problems (to date), nor have I heard/read of any from others, although I'm sure there are occasional gearbox failures as with any mechanical device. The only thing I have experienced is gearbox 'grumble' when pulling away at low speed. This is most noticeable when heavily loaded. At first I thought it was a fault developing, but after a lot of research, I have concluded that it is something referred to as 'rumble-strip noise'. This has been well-reported by Sprinter users in the USA (where there are a lot more automatics). It is caused by a rather aggressive torque-converter lock-up system which is designed to improve fuel economy. Pulling away gently from standstill exacerbates this as the lock-up senses that you don't need a lot of power and tries to activate a bit soon. It then cycles on and off (very quickly) with the resultant 'grumbling' noise. This phenomenon would not show up the way most Sprinters are driven as 'white van man' just puts his foot down and tears away from rest. It only happens when you are being gentle and is easily rectified by lifting off the accelerator briefly.
    The gearbox is a pleasure to use; it is auto-adaptive (fine-tunes its change programme as is 'learns' your driving style), can easily be over-ridden for manual selection and detects when you need engine braking (e.g. it changes down on steep descents).
    The auto box works particularly well with the Mercedes cruise control (factory-fitted option) - not sure how it would work with a retro-fitted non-Merc device.
     
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