2009 ERA Series 170XL-Limited Dodge Sprinter
Rare find at a reasonable sprinter price!
Built on the popular Dodge Sprinter chassis that uses the Mercedes-Benz, 3.0-l turbo-diesel, the ERA offers a full list of features in a very pleasing, compact form.
This Limited version is built on the single rear wheel (SRW), 170-inch wheelbase using Winnebago‘s well-conceived floor-plan and striking Charcoal Limited Package, leaving no doubt that this is much more than just a simple van conversion.
Under the Hood
The heart of the Sprinter is the Mercedes CDI turbo-diesel pumping out 154 smooth ponies through a paddle-shift-assisted five-speed transmission. The engine bay is open and neatly organized,
making fluid checks a breeze, and owners will appreciate the clever nonskid step integrated into the lower grille valance.
Under-hood features include the passenger-side fresh air intake for the cabin. Air enters the vehicle through the driver-side hood grille intake, crossing the full width of the hood’s core and under the matching passenger-side dummy hood grille, wringing out any moisture along the way and entering a large filter box that uses the hood as the lid. An easy-to-change 9 x 14-inch pleated filter is visible anytime the hood is opened and ensures only fresh, filtered air enters the cabin’s blower motor housing for dash-selected distribution. At first glance, the battery seems to be missing, but it’s actually secured in a well under the driver’s feet. Dodge has wisely provided additional space for an optional driver-side second battery and tray combo under the hood while the house battery resides in a vented battery box in the rear cabinetry.
A short step up into the driver’s seat provides uncompromised forward visibility maintained by large 23-inch wipers and the sharply sloping hood. A pair of round, no-nonsense analog gauges clearly display speed and engine rpm. Numerous color-warning icons logically arranged above and between the gauges inform the driver of a laundry list of maladies – from low tire pressure to burned-out signal bulbs, plus a host of engine, brake and traction/stability system malfunctions. A small, centered digital information screen displays distance functions and fuel status along with
Within the center dash pillar is Winnebago‘s RV Radio, which includes an AM/FM stereo/CD player and a connection input. Immediately below, two bands of controls include three large
intuitive knobs and adjacent switches to control air and A/C distribution. Rounding out the dash is the ergo-located paddle shifter, cup holders and a 12-volt DC power point.
Fully adjustable, comfortable captain’s chairs sport a single ratcheting armrest and are equipped with a manually adjustable lumbar support. The chairs easily swivel to face matching
companion seats around the movable pole-mounted table that can also be positioned in front of the sofa bed.
Loading the ERA for a weekend getaway is no problem thanks to the storage area under the removable rear 60 x 80-inch sofa bed, which is equipped with the optional electric fold-down mechanism that really is a necessity for owning this motorhome.
Additional storage is available above the sofa bed in an overhead cabinet, thanks to the Dodge “High Roof” that creates the 6-foot, 3-inch interior height. More storage abounds in the 9-foot length of upper Euro-style Light Maple cabinetry that runs unbroken nearly the length of the driver’s side cabin area.
A removable clothes bar is provided across the length of the bath for drip drying wet clothing or towels and can act as a temporary hanging space for long items. Permanent hanging shirt-length wardrobe cabinets can be substituted for one or both of the companion captain chairs if storage is preferred over seating and six drawers of various sizes are provided in the galley module
to stow cooking utensils and dishware.
Setting up camp is as simple as backing into the site and plugging in … or not. It’s your choice. This ERA comes equipped with the optional 2.5 kW Onan LP-gas-powered AC generator that is tucked up behind the rear axle. Sliding open the side door reveals the companion seats, making entry an easy step up on the over-sized but low running board design.
Galley duties are a breeze on the dual-burner stove-top. Dometic’s three-way single-door fridge stows perishable supplies as well as other tasty treats slated to be finished in the small built-in microwave.
With dishes washed in the hinged lid single-basin sink and stowed, a rejuvenating shower is possible courtesy of the 6-gallon water heater. The wet bath is similar in design to those found in truck campers and though tight for some, it’s still nice to have a hot shower anytime you want.
Then there is the additional benefit of the electric sofa bed: leaving the seat-back partially raised for perfect movie viewing on the HD-capable LCD TV. Unique pleated horizontal blinds are fitted to the windshield and doors, eliminating the need for traditional wraparound curtains. Pull-down shades handle the cabin.
Despite its tall silhouette, the ERA gives little indication of top-heaviness or any sickly roll during spirited foothill driving. The computer-aided stability control system, which senses speed and steering angle to ensure proper direction control based on payload, is a reassuring feature to have. The system seamlessly monitors off-camber turns and sudden braking.