We’re trying to fine tune our road tripping rules for a couple of years now and I think using these rules make us happy campers when discovering the country. I hope they help you as well on your next trip. Let me know what rules you have!
After driving 7,000 miles without ABS I finally figured out what was wrong with the ABS unit in my Sprinter van. The fix was surprisingly cheap and compared to a new pump which is about $2000 my repair costs were only $20. Win!
As much as I like being outdoors there are a few amenities I don’t want to miss out there. One of those things is a shower. Based on some good reviews I recently purchased a portable pressure shower from Nemo. It’s a bit pricey but it works really great: Just fill the bag with water, pump a couple of times and you’ll have a shower to clean yourself, a bike or dishes.
Because of its dimensions, some maintenance jobs are so much easier on a Sprinter. A great example of this is changing the rear differential oil. You just need a wrench with a 14 mm hex socket and 30 minutes time to fill fresh gear oil into the differential – which you should do every 120,000 miles according to the Mercedes service interval.
Another post about cutting holes in the van and adding windows. After a year in the dark (literately) I’ve decided to add two sliding windows in the back doors. After practicing with the side panel windows, installation of the rear door windows was very easy. On the on to ten difficulty scale a three.
A functioning coolant sensor is your best protection from an overheated engine. The design of the warning system unfortunately is not fail safe so you should check the coolant sensor from time to time. Any person can do this test or replacing a worn out sensor in a few minutes.
There are some jobs that require you to remove the fuel tank. Luckily the Mercedes engineers made that pretty easy. It’s as simple as removing a few bolts and you can pull the tank from under your van. On the difficulty scale, this job is a (messy) three.
If you’re running larger wheels like me or if you need the space of the factory spare tire location for something else you should think about adding a spare wheel carrier to your rear door. The Surco TS-100B is made to fit the T1N Sprinter and installing it is very simple. In summary I would rate this job a 2 out of 10 on the difficulty scale.
I was surprised how quickly you can turn your headlights from yellow and hazy to almost new looking with a headlight restoration kit. If you can handle a drill, this is a quick (45 minutes) and easy job (a simple 1 on the one to ten scale).
A quick summary of what I think about running larger wheels and tires on the T1N Sprinter 3500. In summary: Very positive. The van looks so much better and the handling is very good (once I’ve figured out the perfect psi settings). Also the mpg is about the same as it was with the 15 inch wheels. “Downside”: the speedometer is off, by 18%.