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Sprinter: The motor home of choice?

2008-08-13 09:57
A Discoverer Deluxe motor home built in Cape Town.

A Discoverer Deluxe motor home built in Cape Town. Based on the Sprinter 315 DCI chassis, it retails for R498 830.

Motor homes are hardly sexy wheels. If you’re a rustic type who enjoys taking the long way round from Jozi to Durban, Mercedes-Benz have some neat locally converted variants available though.

Growing market

The marketing spiel around increased motor home demand – up to 40 units a month are just the start according to Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles – is the build-up to the 2010 World Cup and foreign visitors increasing preferring to do the self-drive South African vacation experience.

Already the doyen of delivery drivers and production company chaperones, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis is the conversion base of choice for motor homes.

Motor homes based on the NCV 3 Sprinters – specifically the 315 CDI model – are ideally suited to the long-distance, deteriorating road quality enviroment endemic to most of rural South Africa road networks.

Sprinter the one

To avert high toll-road fees most conversions favour the Sprinter range equipped with single rear wheels. Gert Grobler, product manager for the Sprinter and Vito ranges locally, estimates most motor homes built in South Africa are based on the Sprinter chassis.

In conjunction with Cape Town based company Bobo, Mercedes has developed a standard CD 315 MH chassis for a twin-berth motor home aimed at both the rental market and individual owners, using the 110kW/330Nm 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. The prototype is equipped with a motor home body built by Bobo.

Motorhomes manufacturers the vehicles for Bobo, and they have a Discoverer Deluxe model complete with 60l water tank, 25l geyser, 80l fridge, 2-plate gas stove and separate shower and chemical toilet arrangement. Sleeps two adults comfortable too.

There has also been a call from Jurgens for the 4.3-metre ELWB chassis. The caravan specialists want the ELWB vehicle to be distributed through its outlets and also to individual buyers, as these ELWB motor homes – equipped with swivel chairs, air conditioning, other luxury items and special electronic and electrical harnesses – are usually too expensive for the rental market.

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