Sprinter Van Conversion DIY Reality
My dealership has been getting more and more folks interested in the Sprinter Van Camper Conversion which is an exciting topic for me since I share this interest!
Nothing against the custom Sprinter Campers, but I’m talking about taking a straight Sprinter Crew Van or Sprinter Cargo Van and creating your own space.
I myself am not particularly handy, but I have to admit the idea of developing a stealth DIY Sprinter does not intimidate me.
The reason I would choose a Sprinter as a stealth camper or even as a straight up camper comes down to value. I am confident that if I invested my hard work and time into the Sprinter it would pay dividends for many years with excellent fuel economy, long engine life, and time tested Mercedes Benz safety.
I had a finish carpenter buy a 170 extended passenger van because he liked the glass all around and the fact that the ceiling was already finished. He kept the first row of seats and traded the other seats to my upfitter for some window work and ceiling exhaust fan work. His camper will be a dry camper and he is using it primarily to travel to and from Florida year round.
This past month, I helped a young lady who purchased a Sprinter Crew Van and converted it to her residence. She lives in the van year round in the Northeast. She liked the extra windows and the fact that the ceiling was already done as well.
My vision for my Sprinter Camper Conversion would be a stealth Sprinter Cargo Conversion. From the outside, my Sprinter would look no different than the average work van. I would choose metallic silver. It would have no windows and a custom partition with a door between the front and back. I would be able to park the van anywhere in the USA and it would blend into the background.
I live on an old Searay 340 Sedan Bridge anyways in the northeast so I am used to small spaces. I am 6-3 and about 300+ lbs. My stealth Sprinter would be a 144 wheelbase with the high roof. The high roof option is about an additional $2500 cost on the build price but well worth it for me. At 6-3, I have approximately another inch or so of height without a headliner in the cargo van.
I would buy a new Sprinter or a certified pre-owned Sprinter and take advantage of the excellent financing opportunities MB offers plus warranty programs.
My vision would include multiple skylights with fans and solar arrays on the roof. The solar panels would power many of the gadgets I would have installed in my custom sprinter conversion.
The beauty of having such a small space to build-out is that you can afford to buy nice things. If you want really expensive wood….well you are only using a little bit of it not a whole household. I would have either custom wood floors in something like a Brazilian KOA hardwood or a synthetic Pergo like material.
My bed would take up the rear of the Sprinter and would be raised off the floor to allow space for cabinets that would roll out the back and front of the bed.
For a kitchen, I would buy a prefabricated unit that matched my color scheme and decor.
I would have a small portable toilet for emergencies only and would not have an internal shower facility. There are these things called 24 hour gyms nowadays…wink wink…..throughout the country so I would take advantage of my membership on the road.
My Sprinter would have a desk that would have multiple uses such as kitchen table, card table and portable on the road work area.
If I were building a Sprinter in the northeast, I would most likely get the 4×4 Sprinter. If I did not plan on taking it out in bad weather, I would stick with the traditional 4 cylinder rear wheel drive. Since I like to ski often, the 4×4 would be a nice option. The downside to the 4×4 is that it would cost approximately $6,900 more for the option and another $995 for the 6 cylinder. Although if I was in northern Vermont in the middle of January, the extra money would be well worth it!
Speaking of the cold, they make an aftermarket heater that can run on one gallon of diesel for the day and heat the rear of your van. It even can be tied into your diesel line and fits right under the seat.
The Sprinter provides an open canvas for you to create whatever your imagination can come up with…..More and more people are living in tiny spaces and simplifying their lives. The Sprinter in my humble opinion could make a nice rolling tiny home.
Let’s share our passion and get you into a great Sprinter to build your dream. I’ll be super competitive on price and I can ship anywhere in the USA.
Couple of cool Sprinter RV sites: