WINTERIZING YOUR SPRINTER OR TRANSIT VAN

WINTERIZING YOUR SPRINTER OR TRANSIT VAN

Winterizing Your Sprinter or Transit Campervan

 

We get a lot of people asking us if there’s anything they need to do differently with their van in the winter and the answer is yes- there most definitely are! Our van experts at TOURIG have shared some important tips and useful information to help you take care of your van properly through the winter.

Whether you plan on storing your rig for the winter season or using it year round, it’s important to “winterize” your van, or prepare it for colder temperatures that can cause damage to your vehicle’s systems. As the temperature starts to drop in the Fall, it’s time to think about preparing your van for the winter season. Read on to learn when and how you need to winterize your van and then follow the steps below and in just a few hours you can properly prepare your Sprinter or Transit van for winter. 

When do I need to winterize my van?

The time to winterize your vehicle will depend on where you live. Any time the temperature drops below 40 degrees fahrenheit your fittings (faucet, shower sprayer, water filters, well water strainers, water pump prefilter, water pump and other ends of the lines can freeze). In many regions like here in Colorado, it’s safe to say that you should winterize your van from Labor Day to Memorial Day. (The last thing you want is to leave it sitting for a week and come home to find out the weather’s dropped and freezing occurred).

Why do I need to winterize my van?

The most important reason to winterize your van is to prevent any parts and components from freezing. This can cause broken lines, loose fittings/connections, filters and other damage to the water system in your van.

Watch the video below to learn all the steps to take to winterize your Sprinter or Transit van.

STEPS TO WINTERIZE YOUR VAN

 

▢ Step 1: Drain Your Water Tank

Step 1 Drain Your Tank

The first step of the process to blowing out the system is to drain your water tank. Open up the valve underneath the tank and let gravity drain the water out of your tank. Depending on how much water is in your tank, this could take up to 30 minutes (if your tank is full).

Step 2: Close the Tank Valve

Step 2 Close the Tank Valve

The next thing you want to do is close the tank valve and before you try to pump the system out or blow out the system you have to make sure only one valve is open at a time.

Step 3: Empty the Water Pump

Step 3 Empty the Water Pump

The next thing you’re going to do is run the water pump dry. Open up a faucet, turn on the water pump, and pump the water system until it’s spitting air.

Step 4: Remove the Water Filter

Step 4 Remove the Water Filter

Once you’re done with that, you’re going to remove the water filter that TOURIG puts in your van and replace it with the white replacement hose that bypasses the filter.

Tip: Water filters are also best to replace in the Fall. If you take out the water filter you have to leave it submerged in water or else it will grow mold (which you can’t see). So the best thing to do is just remove it at the end of the season and replace it in the Spring.

Step 5: Drain the Water Strainer

Step 5 Drain the Water Strainer

After you’ve emptied the water pump you’re going to drain and empty the raw water strainer on the inside of your water pump (this will definitely freeze if that traps water so you want to get that emptied out).

Step 6: Set Compressor to 50 PSI

Step 6 Set Compressor to 55 PSI

Now you’re going to set up and put a compressor line onto the Schrader valve. 50 PSI is what’s recommended for maximum pressure for blowing out the system. You can actually even blow out the system with a bike pump. Just remember: keep a low pressure so you don’t damage any of the fittings.

 

Step 7: Open Valves (x2)

Step 7 Open Valves

You want to do the hot and cold side of each one of the faucets or shower fittings or toilet. By doing that you want to do one part at a time so let’s say the sink, faucet, hot water cold water, rear of the van, hot water, cold water, shower toilet then repeat that step twice so you go through every step two times. So it’ll start out with water coming out, then turn to a mist, then finally fine mist. When you’re done with that process leave the valves from the tank open.

Step 8: Open AquaHot Valve

Step 6 Set Compressor to 10 PSI

There’s a valve on the AquaHot that you want to leave open during winter storage so that no water gets trapped in your AquaHot hydronic heating system.

▢ Step 9: Leave All Faucets Open

Step 9 Leave all Faucets Open

You want to leave all faucets open (including drain valves) so that there’s room for water to expand.

Step 10: Empty All Hoses and Toilet

Step 10 Empty All Hoses and Toilet

Finally, you want to make sure you empty any hoses for sprayout- get the water out of those. Get water out of any portable or cassette toilets. And empty any gray water tanks. You can add marine antifreeze to any gray water tank because that’s underneath the van or in your cassette toilet.

That’s the process of blowing out your water system to winterize your Sprinter or Transit van. 

As a reminder, if you’re planning on storing your van for the winter, it’s important to blow it out before it’s stored for the winter. If you do plan on using your van throughout the winter, it’s important to blow it out every time after it’s used. Keep this checklist on hand so you can easily run through all the proper steps to winterize your vehicle, whether you intend on winterizing it once and then storing it for the season or winterizing it for use throughout the colder months.

Want to Schedule an Appointment to Winterize Your Van?

If you don’t have the time to winterize your van on your own, or would rather leave it to the experts, that’s totally fine. We’re here for you! Simply fill out a Service Request Form and let us know you want us to winterize your van and we’ll get you scheduled with a Technician from our Service Department asap!

What You Need to Know About Service A and Service B Maintenance for Sprinter Vans

What You Need to Know About Service A and Service B Maintenance for Sprinter Vans

What You Need to Know About Service A and Service B Maintenance for Sprinter Vans

 

Sprinter van dashboard with Service A reminder

“Service A and B are the lifeblood of your Sprinter van”.
-David Kiser, TOURIG Mercedes-Benz Certified Service Technician

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter maintenance schedule includes Service A and Service B maintenance. Other Mercedes vehicles have similar maintenance schedules, but the requirements for the Sprinter van are a little different from that of other Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

 

The Differences Between Service A and Service B

In general, Service A is an Oil Service Plus package, and it focuses on servicing your van’s motor oil and associated components. Service B includes everything that’s done in a Service A inspection, plus an array of fluid checks, tire checks, brake inspection, dust filter replacements and sealant checks.

The Importance of Service Tailored for Off Road Travel 

We know how much fun it is traveling off road and off grid, and we also know that this type of mileage accrues different wear on your rig than your standard highway miles does. At TOURIG, we offer an Off Road A and B Service that specifically addresses the inspections and service that off road travel needs. Most dealerships and service centers don’t consider the maintenance that off road vehicles require, which is why it’s so important to service your rig with professionals that understand the type of service work you and your rig need. See below for a breakdown of what each of the two service intervals entail.

 

When to Schedule Your A / B Maintenance

In general, Mercedes-Benz recommends scheduling Sprinter van maintenance at least every 20,000 miles. Here’s a breakdown of what’s recommended. You’ll want to schedule your first Service A after one year or 10,000 miles (whichever comes first), and every 2 years or 20,000 miles thereafter. Your first Service B should be scheduled after 2 years or 20,000 miles (whichever comes first), and every 20,000 miles or 2 years going forward. To make services easier to remember, a Master Certified Technician will reset the maintenance calculator on your service due date display so that you always know when your next service will be. See the chart below for a visual diagram of the recommended servicing intervals. See more information from Mercedes-Benz here.

Mercedes-Benz Schedule A and Service B Schedule
Chart of Recommended A/B Maintenance Schedule and Timeline from Mercedes-Benz

Similar to all other maintenance work, it’s important to take your Sprinter van in for Service A and Service B maintenance to ensure your rig drives and performs optimally. Missing these routine maintenance services can impact how your vehicle performs, and can lead to more expensive repairs and damage down the road. Stay on top of your service work to keep your van running longer. 

Don’t Wait, Schedule Your Service Now

Learn More About Van Maintenance

Why Wheel Alignment is So Important for Sprinter and Transit Vans

Why Wheel Alignment is So Important for Sprinter and Transit Vans

Why Wheel Alignment is So Important for Sprinter and Transit Vans

 

It’s important to keep your wheels aligned because it can impact how smooth, safe and efficient your campervan drives. In this article we’ll explain how wheel alignment influences the way your van responds to steering, handling, tire wear, fuel efficiency and more. 

Sprinter van alignment at TOURIG Recreation Group

 What is a Wheel Alignment?

There are a few routine services that are very important in order to keep your Sprinter or Transit van running smoothly and efficiently and proper wheel alignment is one of them. Before describing what a wheel alignment is, it’s important to know a little bit about your vehicle’s anatomy. Your wheels and tires are connected to the rest of the vehicle via the suspension system. Therefore, the suspension system allows all four tires to move in the same direction and rotate at the same time.

A wheel alignment is a series of technical and precise adjustments of suspension system components. Adjusting these will reset the angles of your tires and your suspension system back to the manufacturer’s recommended settings. Likewise, an alignment machine is used to measure the position of each wheel and the adjustments needed to get the wheels aligned back to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended measurements.

 

Why is Alignment Important for Sprinter and Transit Vans?

Wheel alignment influences the way your van responds to steering, handling, tire wear, and fuel efficiency. For instance, driving with properly aligned tires reduces wear on the steering column and the suspension. Bad alignment, on the other hand, can cause shaking and compromised handling. Secondly, when all tires have equal and even contact with the road, they wear more evenly and last longer. This, in turn, means you won’t have to replace your tires as frequently. Less frequent tire replacements save you money over time. In addition, having your tires and wheels properly aligned will save you money on gas. Simply put, when your wheels are out of alignment, they’re not working together optimally. When this happens, your engine has to work harder. Simply put, when your engine has to work harder, it needs to use more fuel to work. This can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 10%!

Common Signs that Your Van Needs to be Realigned

There are lots of factors that can cause your alignment to change. For example, any time you hit a pothole, a curb, go off-roading, or even just travel down a bumpy road, your tires and your suspension are taking the brunt of the impact. This repeated impact will cause your alignment to shift, which can alter your van’s handling, steering, tire wear and fuel efficiency. Because of this, Sprinter and Transit vans that are frequently used off-roading  should be realigned frequently to avoid these issues related to misalignment. If you experience any of the following, it is likely a sign that your van needs to be aligned.

Uneven Tire Wear

Now that we’ve talked about what an alignment entails, this should make a lot of sense. If the treads on any of your tires are uneven, this is a clear sign that your alignment is off.

Unnatural Pulling

If you are driving and your rig is pulling to the left or the right without you turning the wheel, your alignment likely needs to be realigned.

Steering Wheel Vibration

Similarly, if your steering wheel shakes when you are driving, this is also a sign that you need your wheels realigned.

 

How Often Do I Need This Done?

In general, both the Sprinter and Transit van are recommended to have a wheel alignment every 6 months or 5,000-10,000 miles. However, if you are driving off-road frequently, or hit a curb or lots of potholes, or have been in a minor accident, this can cause your alignment to need to be adjusted sooner.

It’s important to get your van aligned at a reputable shop or dealership. If you want to take your van to a trustworthy, professional shop and avoid paying dealership prices, schedule a service at TOURIG’s Service Department in Golden, Colorado. A proper tire alignment is a very technical job that is best done by an alignment technician with the proper equipment. At TOURIG, we use the newest alignment technology and trained technicians to measure the angles of the toe, camber and caster and adjust them as needed. Furthermore, our alignment service comes with a complimentary tire pressure and tire condition check. If you cannot bring your van to us, we suggest asking an auto body shop what equipment they use and how long the alignment will take. Some shops use “quick” alignment check machines, which is not as thorough or involved a service, and something to be aware of. In short, always remember to have your Transit or Sprinter wheels aligned every 6 months or 5,000-10,000 miles, and be sure you work with a reputable service shop that will take care of your van as if it were their own!

Don’t Wait, Schedule Your Service Now

Learn More About Van Maintenance