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Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van Is Making 20,000-Mile Journey Through 50 National Parks

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Daimler Vans USA is announcing that a specially equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van is touring 50 U.S. national parks this summer as part of a 20,000-mile
journey of discovery. Piloted by author and photographer Rob Wilson,
with his wife Jan as co-pilot, the Sprinter Interstate 3500
model has been upfitted by Airstream to serve as a high-tech,
fuel-efficient and highly practical RV for the cross-country tour.

From Rockies to Everglades – A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
The Wilsons started their journey at Rocky Mountain National Park
in Colorado on Friday, April 28. After touring through the Southwest,
the couple will travel through California and up to the wilderness of

Back through the continental U.S., the Sprinter Interstate 3500 will cross the plains of the Midwest, ultimately arriving at Acadia National Park in Maine in late September. From there, a trip down the East Coast ends at Mammoth Cave in Brownsville, Ky., around Nov. 27. Sprinter Tour 2010 culminates in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s
National RV Show in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 30-Dec. 2. The Wilsons’
entire 20,000-mile route and scheduled stops are listed below.

Following the Tour with Digital and Social Media
During Sprinter Tour 2010, the public can follow the Wilsons’ progress at www.SprinterTour.com,
which includes a Google Earth tour tracking feature as well as
background information about the Tour, the Sprinter and the Wilsons.
Plans also include a Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel
and Picassa photo albums.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Interstate 3500 – The Comforts of Home
Airstream, maker of the iconic “silver bullet”
trailer, was founded in 1931 and is the oldest and most recognized RV
brand in the world. Based in Jackson Center, Ohio, Airstream has fitted
the Class-B Interstate 3500 with seating for eight people, a kitchen and
bathroom as well as a bedroom for two, complete with a 19-inch
flat-panel LCD TV, which can also serve as a daytime lounge area. Bucket
seats in the cockpit can swivel to face a removable table that seats
four at mealtime.

The galley features a convenient 1.2-cubic-foot
convection-microwave oven and a stainless steel two-burner cooktop
that’s flush-mounted under a glass cover. A 3.1-cubic-foot refrigerator
is cooled by an AC/DC compressor that uses 90 percent less power than
conventional models.

The Sprinter Interstate comes with a high-efficiency 13,500 BTU Carrier
air conditioner that’s mounted on the roof, plus a 2.5-kilowatt Onan
propane generator for those nights in the wilderness when power hookups
aren’t available. Its 32-gallon fresh-water tank has a water heater for
taking hot showers and washing dishes.

Although the Sprinter Interstate is less than 23 feet long and 80
inches wide, people up to 6-foot-2 can stand comfortably inside the

For worry-free backing-up, the Interstate comes with a 5.5-inch LCD
screen in the dash that displays the area behind the van whenever it’s
in reverse. The Wilsons’ Sprinter has also been equipped with GPS
navigation, a satellite TV audio receiver and a special laptop with
mobile wireless access.

The 2011 Interstate 3500 is available in both twin and lounge
floorplans, with two interior decors – Onyx and Sand Pearl, and two
exterior colors – silver and white. The Interstate 3500 has a suggested
retail price of $117,000.

A Fuel-Sipping High-Technology Diesel
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Interstate is powered
by a 3.0-liter V6 diesel that produces 154 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of
torque from 1,200 to 2,400 rpm. Most important, the Sprinter engine
gets 30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine.
The Sprinter’s four-valve-per-cylinder diesel features centrally located
piezo-electric injectors, CDI direct injection, a variable-nozzle
turbocharger and exhaust gas recirculation. Building on this foundation
of advanced engine design, the Sprinter engine incorporates an oxidizing
catalytic converter and a maintenance-free particulate filter.

About the Sprinter
The highly successful Mercedes-Benz Sprinter made its European
debut in 1995, and a new generation Sprinter was launched globally in
2006. Since 2001, the Sprinter has been sold in the U.S. by
Freightliner, the leading manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty trucks
in North America, and since 2010, through select Mercedes-Benz dealers.

Both Mercedes-Benz USA and Freightliner are divisions of Daimler
AG, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. In the
U.S., the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is targeted toward small businesses,
while the Freightliner version continues to be available to its
established customer base of commercial vehicle operators.

About Airstream
In 1931 Airstream began with one man’s dream to create lightweight
travel trailers that slipped cleanly through the wind. And with it was
born another dream, one of new freedoms, new places, new experiences,
and new friendships. It was a dream so powerful and so enduring that it
did more than create a new way to travel, it created a new way of life
shared by thousands upon thousands of families. The Airstream Interstate
continues the tradition of extraordinary design and handcrafted quality
that has made Airstream world famous. Since 1974, the brand has been
producing motorized recreational vehicles that provide a comfortable and
convenient way to discover the adventures that await you around the
next bend.

About Daimler Vans USA
Located in Montvale, N.J., Daimler Vans USA LLC is an indirect
wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz USA LLC responsible for sales
and marketing of Sprinter commercial vehicles in the U.S. Marking the
return of the three-pointed star to the U.S. light-duty commercial
vehicle market, Daimler Vans USA markets the Sprinter van line through a
network of Freightliner and select Mercedes-Benz dealerships. More
information on Sprinter vans can be found at www.freightlinersprinterusa.com and www.mbsprinterusa.com.

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