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 the Rockies to the Everglades – a once in a lifetime experience
Rob and Jan will start their journey at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado on April 28, 2010. After touring through the southwest, the couple will travel through California and up to the wilderness of Alaska. 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, Kentucky around November 27th. Sprinter Tour 2010 culminates in the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s National RV Show in Louisville, KY, November 30 – December 2nd. The Wilson’s entire 20,000-mile route and scheduled stops are listed later in this release.

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, OH, 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 cook top 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′ 2″ can stand comfortably inside the cabin. 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.

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.

Source: Daimler AG