Hill starts?

Discussion in 'Mercedes' started by Wizbangs, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. Wizbangs

    Wizbangs

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    Hi

    I soon take delivery of a new Rapido on a Mercedes chassis. It's an automatic. What are they like for hill starts compared to a Fiat comformatic please? Also, can someone explain what a soft ride actually means as a lot of reviews put this as a negative.

    Thanks,
    Mary
     
  2. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Hi Mary
    They seem to have skirted round this post
    Not an expert in either ford or Merc Auto's but hill start and gradient take off will vary not just manf to manf, but vehicle to vehicle and is subjective depending on expectations and driving style

    Soft ride in a Motor home would be in my opinion a negative,
    Soft (Ride)suspension will result in a lot of unwanted roll on corners and on roundabouts. whereas a Hard ride would be a positive in these ares, it might be a negative on straight roads
    Firmish would be a compromise, and as near perfect as possible

    Don't judge your vehicle until it is in full running trim, with all on board thatyour likely to carry
    Suspension and ride changes with loads carried,
    A brand new empty motor home might well be described as a soft ride but when loaded could be just right
    If you still require firmer or softer rides when loaded there are many after market solutions so all is not lost.
    Just remember most of your motor homing experience will generally be a compromise, the perfect vehicle has not been built yet
    Geo
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
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  3. makems

    makems Funster Life Member

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    We have a Rapido 983M automatic.
    Hill starts? That's what automatics are for! Release the handbrake, press the accelerator and away you go. No rolling back even when fully loaded and we've been up some wicked steep mountains and ramps.
    Soft ride? What it means for us is that when fully loaded the back end can whip violently from side to side on speed bumps, potholes and uneven surfaces. Quite uncomfortable and if everything isn't properly secured things can go flying about.
    Easily cured by fitting air suspension - the best accessory we've added to the van since we bought it. We got the air bags from Airride at Lincoln show for £500 fitted. Some people say they are an easy DIY job so you can save quite a bit, but for me there is no such thing as an easy DIY job!!
     
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  4. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    From memory, the Rapido Merc Auto's will not hold you on a slope, you do need to use either the handbrake or footbrake to stop rolloing back.

    Not a problem.

    Peter
     
  5. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    My manual Merc claims to have an automatic hold on the footbrake to prevent you rolling back. I've never actually risked trusting it.

    My only automatic is my Discovery, and that can hold on a 1in2 gradient and do a hill start without using the brake (off road of course, I don't think we have any gradients like that on the roads.:Laughing:)
     
  6. Wizbangs

    Wizbangs

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    Thanks for all of the replies. I hate hill starts with a vengeance. Our auto car holds on hills thank heaven. As to the soft ride, I guess I will be learning another new driving skill or two and neater packing and storage. Living in Milton Keynes there are roundabouts everywhere. I hope it doesn't wallow around like a pregnant whale.
     
  7. spongy

    spongy Read Only Funster

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    We have a 2008 Rapido 966M with the merc automatic gearbox. I find the ride is good, far better than the Fiat 2.8 that we had before, it will roll a bit on roundabouts but its not a sports car just slow up a little and it will be fine. The auto box will not hold on a hill without using foot or hand brake but I have never had a problem. My mercedes has not been without problems, all electrical but hopefully now sorted.

    spongy
     
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  8. maxsdad

    maxsdad Funster

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    Idon't think you will be disapointed with your new Rapido.
    We collected our 891M 3litre auto a couple of weeks ago,it drives like a dream the Mercedes suspension coupled with the stability control gives a brilliant ride.
    Just travelled up from North Wales into the Derbyshire peak district in really strong winds solid as a rock on the road even when passing HGV'S.
    The seven speed auto is smooth as silk although to be honest i have stuck to about 60 MPH for the time being,hill starts are no problem and you can reach the hand brake easily.
    Hope you enjoy your new motor home we could do with some more Rapido owners on here
     
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  9. Larrynwin

    Larrynwin Funster

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    [HI]Oh yes it has , I have got it [/HI]:RollEyes::BigGrin:
     
  10. Spenders

    Spenders

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    I have an Autotrail Scout on a Merc chassis but it has the 'Sprintshift' box, which I'm told is an automated manual (6 speed) and not a traditional auto.

    It was a bit disconcerting at first, as there is a noticeable delay in changing from one gear to another, much more so than with a traditional auto, but now I've got used to it it's no problem. It doesn't have 'creep' like a traditional auto, but does seem to hold still for the moment when you take your foot of the brake and apply accelerator.

    I won't willingly go back to a manual box in the future!
     
  11. jeepmadmike

    jeepmadmike Read Only Funster

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    I don't like auto hand brakes you need to think quick if a car in front starts reversing

    I really like most autos for hill starts but have no experience with the chassis your talking about, my land cruiser will spin all 4 wheels doing a steep hill start with a 3+ Ton trailer but that's a whole different animal.
     
  12. Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

    Johns_Cross_Motorhomes Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales

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    What a coincidence ! I met them at Wokingham motorhomes today, noticed the Fun sticker in their windscreen and said you will have to get another one from Jim:Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Enjoy the van Mary, nice choice and best dealer in UK for Rapidos

    Peter
     
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  13. Wizbangs

    Wizbangs

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    Hi Peter,

    It was lovely to meet you and very informative too. :Wink:What a great team at Wokingham. So friendly and helpful. Yes, I will need another Funsters sticker as that one is well and truly stuck on. So far I am thrilled with the Merc chassis. So very different from a Fiat for driver appeal.
     
  14. spongy

    spongy Read Only Funster

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    Hi Wizbangs
    I see that you went to Wokingham Rapido, we bought ours there as well. You have made a good choice, you will always find Martin and his team very helpfull and obliging and will always give you excellent after sales service. Hope you enjoy your Rapido, we certainly do.

    spongy
     
  15. s123wba

    s123wba Read Only Funster

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    with the sprintshift you have a minute or so before any roll ... the latest auto is fully automatic

    so no problems with roll i av a merc auto 2008 fantastic gearbox . :BigGrin:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  16. Wizbangs

    Wizbangs

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    Well, it drives like a dream, with no rollback at all. I have had a year from hell with the Fiat comformatic. I will never go the Fiat route again. EVER!

    The lights over the bed don't seem to work, perhaps there is a hidden switch. Overall, Mary is a very happy lady.
     

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