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Old 09-01-2015, 02:12 AM   #1
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Axis OR Sprinter ???

I and my wife are wanting to start RV travel. We are planning to make short stays and many stops. We really like the Axis platform but aren't sold on the power and performance from the V10. The sprinter platform has nice floor plans also. We were planning on a shorter platform to avoid having a tagalong vehicle. I am hoping for any input Thanks
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:01 AM   #2
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Great Question

I have been there. I started with my first unit a little over three years ago being an Airstream Class B on a Sprinter Chassis. That was a fantastic unit. We spent many weeks in Florida and Tennessee with two mini Doxies and really enjoyed ourselves. We got a little over 20 MPG with the diesel engine and had a ball. We could pull the unit into McDonald's or any fast food place and we could spend the night in a campground or Walmart; and we did it all. We even traveled to Niagara Falls with another couple and used the unit to travel but stayed in motels along the way. Travel was really comfortable for all four of us. We couldn't all sleep comfortably in the Sprinter.

Time passes and we now have two grandkids that we wanted to take. Not a lot of room for a three year old, a five year old, two doxies, my wife and me. We decided to move up with a small unit but big enough to take the grandkids so we bought a 2015 Axis 24.1.

Both are great units. I would love to have kept the Sprinter and still bought the Axis.

The issues with the Sprinter was small holding tanks. I don't remember the size but we had to dump each day if we stopped. We always had to use full hook-up sites so we didn't overfill.

I think that if I had to select just one unit for camping and family enjoyment it would have to be the Axis. If it was just my wife and I and we just traveled I would pick the Sprinter.

Your lifestyle and desires will determine which unit will work best for you.

Right now, I am retired but my wife is still working so there is not a lot of long term traveling, maybe a week or week and a half once a year so traveling is not our main focus. But taking the grandkids is at the forefront.

Short term answer, I want both.

Maintenance is considerably higher with the Sprinter but cost of long rage travel was much cheaper even when Diesel was higher than gas.

If you want to contact me by email I will be happy to talk more and answer specific questions you might have.

Short term answer, I want both.

Phil
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:11 AM   #3
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I can't really add more to the Sprinter vs Axis decision than aa9zz did but I can comment on this remark:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy Guy
We really like the Axis platform but aren't sold on the power and performance from the V10.
At this point in time Ford's V10 is about the most reliable engine they make. There is a reason they put it into everything! (Its in the E-series chassis, the F-53, you can also get it in the F-450 and F-550 and F-650).
It runs dump truck's. There really isn't any question about the V-10's performance especially when you consider how small the Axis/Vegas units are. It really is zippy for an RV (even when pulling a 4000lb toad).
Look here, the V-10 runs these guys:
http://www.ford.com/commercial-truck...f750/features/
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:19 AM   #4
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We have a 2014 Vegas 24.1. Average 8.9-9.5 towing small car thru the Smokies. The V-10 has plenty of power, and is quite lively in the Vegas. This engine/tranny combination is very dependable and cheap to maintain.Very easy to park and maneuver thru campgrounds, parking lots and small 2 lane windy roads. We added a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer, which makes the Vegas handle like a pick up truck. Very stable on the highway with crosswinds, and semi trucks passing by at high speeds. Especially like the safety factor of the stabilizer in the event of a blowout. We had a lot of QC issues with the Vegas, and Camping Worlds warranty service left a lot to be desired. However, the issues have been resolved, and we really like traveling in the Vegas. It is quite comfortable sleeping in, and the 3 TVs make it nice for such a small coach. I expect gas mileage to get better as it breaks in, usually best mileage is achieved after about 9,000 miles on the V-10. I use only Mobil 1 in the crankcase, which is good for a half mpg improvement. There are a few issues you must keep an eye on with the Vegas, so contact me if you want a heads up on them.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:38 AM   #5
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I agree with aa9zz. I have a 2014 Vegas 24.1 and it is our third RV in the last 8 Years. We started with a Class B Pleasure Way in 2007 and traveled all over the U.S. for three summers. In 2010 we upgraded to a Class B+ Phoenix Cruiser (22') with a lot more room and a real shower. We had that for three years and took it to Nova Scotia one summer and 14,000 miles to Alaska another summer. In 2014 we purchased the Vegas and have taken it to eastern Canada (3months) and Alaska this summer (4+ months). Each of the three met our needs at the time. We have been retired the whole time and so we can stay out for 2-3 months at a time. Since we live in South Florida, it is a long drive to just get out of the state. We like to stay in national and state parks and it is unusual for us to stay more than 3 days in one place. Going from 18' to 22 to 25.5' has had its issues. But the increased room and liveability of the Vegas makes it a hands down winner for us. In over 4 months this summer we only stayed in a hotel one night and this was because of a probes with our shore power on a hot night. In the previous RVs we would stay in a motel about one night a week. We are really more comfortable in the Vegas than a hotel.
I cannot speak to the Sprinter vs. Vegas issue engine wise. But my last two RVs have had the Ford V-10 and I have been very happy with it. When you look at the additional cost of the diesel and the cost of maintenance, (look at an oil change) it takes a lot of miles before the diesel beats the V-10 on overall cost. In 15,500 miles from Florida ro Alaska and back I had two oil changes ($40 a piece) and I averaged over 10 mpg. I did 80 across South Dakota and climbed the Rockies twice and the engine ran like a top. I also have been very impressed with the Ford Dealers I have run into in my travels. They have been much more helpful than the RV dealers.

Whichever you buy, I'll bet you will enjoy it and - if you are like most of us - you will probably upgrade in 3-4.years. One final word. I owned sail boats for many years before I traded the last one in for a land yacht. And the best sail boat is the smallest one that will meet your needs. I think that holds true with land yachts too.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:38 AM   #6
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I agree with the remarks above about the V10. We have a 25 footer Four Winds and DW and I love it and the V10 performs great. Going to Mobil 1 next oil change. We get about 10MPG not towing from Illinois to Phoenix.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:20 AM   #7
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I forgot to add, Airstream had no, zero, zip storage on the outside but was the most comfortable ride I have ever had. I have had Caddy's, Lincoln's and more but nothing even came close to the ride comfort and seating comfort in the Sprinter.

A plus for the Axis, we got so used to traveling light that we have empty storage bins on the Axis. And, my wife travels with a bin full of shoes.

Like I said, I'd like to have both. What features are important for you?

Phil
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for the helpful and speedy replies. I should have been more exact on my question. When I said sprinter was meaning a B+ platform such as the siesta or citation sprinter series. It is good to know that the V10 has some pep. That was one of my concerns in making the transition from auto to RV travel. We are planning a lot of travel in hilly to mountainous terrain.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:48 PM   #9
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We looked at a sprinter based class C and B+, nice units but as stated not much room out side for things. Great MPG but limited room inside as well.

As for V10, its been around, fire trucks, Ambulances and wrecks are powered by this unit. No issues.

We have a new Thor Challenger and it was great on the freeway. No issues at all and I got 10.8 mpg. I was surprised for sure.

KC
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:12 PM   #10
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I run the eastern mountains of VA, NC, TN, and PA quite frequently and have had no issues with the V10 in either the prior class C (28 foot) or the current class A (37 foot) whether towing or not.

As to reliability a few years back there were two options in the class A gas market, Ford and Workhorse (GM drive trains). Workhorse has exited the market and Ford is still going strong.
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #11
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Great comments. Different strokes for different folks. For us at this point, Vegas is a perfect match. Price is right. Hits all our needs, with few sacrifices.

You have to do some thinking before you go shopping. Will you be travelers or campers, or both? Long trips or short? How are you and your wife in a small space? Do you have matching sleep patterns?

How much food storage and frig do you need? Closet space? Are you OK with a corner bed, twin beds, folding bed? How about a wet bath, or do you want a separate shower? Do you want hitch capacity for towing if you decide later? How much outdoor stuff do you want for comfort, chairs, table, mat? How much recreation stuff will you want? Golf clubs, hiking shoes, bowling balls, you name it?

Traveling with pets? Friends? Grandkids? Parents?

The answers are different for everyone. Friends of ours love their Winnie Era Sprinter. They never cook or eat in it, and drive long days. I looked at a Travato, similar to Era but a gasser. It had too many limitations for us.

Best suggestion, rent a unit for at least a week. Sometimes the things we think are important turn out to be not so much. Have seen folks buy an RV, take it on one trip, and sell or trade it when they got home! That's an expensive education!
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Old 09-01-2015, 06:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy Guy View Post
I and my wife are wanting to start RV travel. We are planning to make short stays and many stops. We really like the Axis platform but aren't sold on the power and performance from the V10. The sprinter platform has nice floor plans also. We were planning on a shorter platform to avoid having a tagalong vehicle. I am hoping for any input Thanks
They are so different it's hard for me to compare directly -- and I've tried in my own search for the best motorhome for us.

Ford-powered Axis has 305 HP gasoline V10. The Sprinter has 161 HP 4-cylinder or 188 HP 6-cylinder turbo diesels. Unless driving at very high elevations the Ford will have much more power. On the flip side the Sprinter diesels should get a little higher MPG if motorhomes are similar in size. Having said that, Sprinter motorhomes seemed more expensive so I would not expect fuel savings to make up the difference (based on my annual mileage).

The Ford chassis also has a higher Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (12,500 pounds versus 11,030 pounds if I recall correctly), allowing for a little larger motorhome. The Ford also has a much higher Gross Combined Weight Rating, meaning it can pull a larger/heavier trailer (assuming motorhomes are of equal weight).

The Ford-powered Axis is built on a body-on-frame type chassis (similar to heavier trucks), whereas the Sprinter chassis was originally designed for unitized-body van. Both have relative pros and cons.

A personal concern of mine with Sprinters in general is the reported limited number of service locations. Otherwise a 24-foot long Class B would be very tempting.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:08 PM   #13
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Model: Vegas 24.1
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David,
I just got the front end alignment done yesterday on our Vegas. Although it is all Greek to me the shop says all are within what are the spec's [Camber: RF 0 degree, LF 1/8th degree+; Caster RF 4.25 degree+, LF 4.5 degree+ and Toe .025 degree+ (1/32"+)].

Since this is our first Class A I am in the learning curve (300 miles behind the wheel) getting use to the steering and I am intrigued by your comment "We added a Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizer, which makes the Vegas handle like a pick up truck." I think handling like a truck would be a more comfortable feeling.
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