Sprinter A and B service costs – how to avoid dealer tricks

Service A dash message

If you call a dealer and ask how much their Sprinter A and B services cost, it won’t sound too terrible. That’s because dealers have started quoting just for an oil change, not the additional preventative maintenance that is required.

Once you drop the van off, they’ll subsequently let you know the extra cost -and time – for items such as replacing fuel filters, etc.

Do your homework. You need to know what items are typically required during the two types of service and you need to make sure the dealer quotes for all of them before you commit to getting the service done.

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Making foldable window shades from Low-E foil-faced foam

Low-E window coverings that will fold up.

We made some window shades for our van a while back using Low-E. They work great but they are a pain to store. We decided to make them fold so they’d take up less space.

We tried stitching them with a sewing machine, melting them with a soldering iron, just smooshing them together, but the best overall technique was to use a hot iron on the fold lines. This is how we made it work.

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LED lantern comparison – we did so you don’t have to

Five lanterns to test out in the van.

We bought five different types of LED lantern to test out which worked best in the van.

We found that we needed a couple of small lanterns for when we want to get up in the middle of the night rather than switching on the main lights inside the van. Because they are portable, we also use them outside the van when we’re hanging out after dark.

Here’s a list of what we tried, and which worked best for our needs…

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How corrosive is DEF fluid, anyway?

Black corrosion on copper cable from DEF exposure

When we last filled up with DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid), we poured a little into a plastic tub and threw in various pieces of metal. DEF is corrosive, but we wanted to find out just how bad it really is.

No surprise that zinc really reacts with DEF fluid, but the copper wire turned black with surface corrosion faster than we expected.

The biggest reassurance from this experiment was that tinned copper cable showed absolutely no reaction to the DEF fluid.

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Keeping the shore power plug clean and dry

ViewTainer used to hold 15A shore power plug

We’ve been using freebie plastic protectors on the prongs of our 15 Amp shore power plug, but we keep on losing them and the plug is beginning to corrode from the gunk that gets sprayed on to it underneath the van.

We found a squeezable storage container called a ViewTainer. When you squeeze the sides, a slit in the top opens up. When you release, it closes again.

The container is meant for storing small items like screws, but it works really well for our plug.

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