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Rapido a class, 2.7 auto


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Hello to you all, new member here.Have been looking at a 52 plate rapido A class 2.7 auto. Have any members got one or can anybody tell me the following.


New road tax

Any problems to look out for.

We are caravanners now but wish we had not changed from m/h.

Thanks for any info.

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If you don't get a useful response, you might try directly e-mailing 'libby', or sending him a Personal Message (PM), as I believe his Rapido motorhome (although newer than a 52-plater) has a broadly similar specification.


The following forum thread is one of libby's and has his e-mail/PM details



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I've now found some old Rapido leaflets, so I'll have a go at answering your questions.


In 2002 there were about half a dozen Rapido '9-Series' A-Class models all based on a the same Mercedes Euro-Sprinter chassis (3.55m wheelbase) and with a vehicle overall length ranging from just under 6m to around 6.6m. Motors (turbo-diesel) were either a 2.2litre 4-cylinder or a 2.7litre 5-cylinder. The maximum overall design-weight for the chassis was 3800kg, but this was often 'down-plated' to 3500kg leaving the longer models with a less than generous payload.


Regarding average mpg, I'd expect this to be (with the smooth but large 2.7litre motor) in the low to middle 20s.


The VED (road tax) with effect from 13/03/2008 is as follows:


If the Rapido you are considering buying has a 3500kg maximum overall weight it should be registered as Private/Light Goods and the annual VED will be £185.


If the motorhome has a maximum overall weight above 3500kg (ie. 3800kg) it should be registered as Private Heavy Goods and the annual VED will be £165. (Yes, I know it's bl**dy odd, but that's what it is!) There are driving-licence implications for over-3500kg motorhomes - see the "Buying a Secondhand Motorhome" section in each month's MMM magazine for more details.


The auto gearbox will (I'm pretty sure) be Mercedes' "Sprintshift" unit. This was an automated-manual device that, on its introduction, was generally criticised by the motorcaravanning press for its gear-changing crudeness compared to a 'traditional' auto-box. There's a reference to it in Dave Hurrell's piece on page 219 of MMM May 2008, though Dave is wrong to claim it was soon dropped as Sprintshift soldiered on until at least 2007. I remember plenty of forum discussion (sadly long since lost in the mists of time) about Sprintshift and, although it's undoubtedly true it wasn't the most sophisticated of auto-gearboxes in terms of performance, owners of motorhomes equipped with it said they could happily accommodate its idiosyncrasies after a bit of practice.


There's a one-page article in January 2007's MMM (page 126) on a 2002 Rapido 972M with 2.7 motor and Sprintshift, but it doesn't say anything earth-shaking about the vehicle (other than the author liking it).


Not sure what else to tell you as you've had motorhomes before. The Rapido will be 6 years old, so tyres and batteries may be coming to the end of their useful life. Make sure everything works properly, especially the Truma heater as this can be a costly brute to fix if it goes wrong, particularly if Rapido has installed it inaccessibly. The Rapido might lean a bit on corners (narrowish track, softish suspension), but Mercedes has a good reputation for reliability/longevity, as does Rapido. If you buy from a motorhome dealer, make sure you FULLY understand the scope of the warranty and make sure you get a damp-test done. If you are buying privately, it would be wise to get a damp-test done.


Best of luck...

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Our Rapido 987M is plated 55 (2006) its the sprint shift type with a cruise control. The road tax is £185 I believe. The fuel consumption I hardly think about it depends if you need to race away from junctions and how fast you want to drive.


1- As the cook I did make the mistake of putting a hot plate on the bare table top causing a slight raise in the surface. 2- if you park on a cliff top in a gale the top vents are very noisy. 3- there's a gap at the back and front of the hand brake base so make sure you stuff it with foam so's not to loose things.


Otherwise in two years use there have been no problems anywhere.



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