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Mercedes Sprinter  Van Conversion Guide

Mercedes Sprinter Van Conversion Guide

Posted by Heatso on 4th Apr 2022

One of the most versatile and sought-after vans on the market, the Mercedes Sprinter camper is a great choice for van life.

MERCEDES SPRINTER
VAN CONVERSION GUIDE

MERCEDES SPRINTER
VAN CONVERSION GUIDE

One of the most versatile and sought-after vans on the market, the Mercedes Sprinter camper is a great choice for van life. Its long wheelbase and high roof mean it has plenty of space for your layout, and the Sprinter’s fuel efficiency and durable build make it perfect for long road trips. A Mercedes Sprinter is also a good investment, often with high resale value, unlike most other vans.

MERCEDES SPRINTER
VAN CONVERSION GUIDE

One of the most versatile and sought-after vans on the market, the Mercedes Sprinter camper is a great choice for van life. Its long wheelbase and high roof mean it has plenty of space for your layout, and the Sprinter’s fuel efficiency and durable build make it perfect for long road trips. A Mercedes Sprinter is also a good investment, often with high resale value, unlike most other vans.

CHOOSING A MERCEDES SPRINTER FOR YOUR VAN CONVERSION

If you’ve decided that you want a Sprinter, now’s the time to figure out which one you want. Mercedes Sprinters, also known as Dodge Sprinter and Freightliner Sprinter (depending on the year it was made), can be found both brand new and second hand, in a range of conditions.

For an easier conversion, you may want to get a semi-fitted Sprinter. But if your budget does not allow it, the vast amount of guides and Sprinter conversion tutorials online make it relatively easy to build your motorhome from the ground up.

The three main choices you’ll need to make when choosing a Sprinter are: what type of van do you want, how high do you want the roof, and which wheelbase length are you going for. We’ll go over each of these three aspects and look at the main differences.

CHOOSING A MERCEDES SPRINTER FOR YOUR VAN CONVERSION

If you’ve decided that you want a Sprinter, now’s the time to figure out which one you want. Mercedes Sprinters, also known as Dodge Sprinter and Freightliner Sprinter (depending on the year it was made), can be found both brand new and second hand, in a range of conditions.

For an easier conversion, you may want to get a semi-fitted Sprinter. But if your budget does not allow it, the vast amount of guides and Sprinter conversion tutorials online make it relatively easy to build your motorhome from the ground up.

The three main choices you’ll need to make when choosing a Sprinter are: what type of van do you want, how high do you want the roof, and which wheelbase length are you going for. We’ll go over each of these three aspects and look at the main differences.

SPRINTER TYPE

There are three base types of Mercedes Sprinters: passenger, crew, and cargo vans.

A passenger Sprinter is essentially a minibus, capable of seating 8-15 people. The extra seats make it less popular for vanlife, but those seats can be removed for the extra space. Nonetheless, you’ll be paying extra for those seating spaces, making the passenger-type Spinter the most expensive of the three.

The crew-type Mercedes Sprinter includes only one extra row of passenger seats and has more storage space than the passenger van. This makes it better suited for conversion and could suit you if you’re traveling on the weekends and need those extra seating spaces.

Finally, the cargo Sprinter is the most popular option for conversions. Without any extra seating except for the two seats in front and plenty of space in the back, this van type is the equivalent of a blank canvas. The cargo-type van is easiest to convert and is also the most affordable, allowing for more of the budget to be spent on the conversion process.

ROOF TYPE

Now that you know which type of van you want, the next step is to decide if you want a high-top or standard roof. Both options have their pros and cons: a high-top Sprinter can be up to 9 feet tall, providing more space for you to work with. On the other hand, a standard roof is more budget-friendly and discreet and offers more parking options once you hit the road. You can always extend a standard roof with a pop-up if you feel like you’d like more space.

WHEELBASE LENGHT

Finally, you need to decide the length of your Mercedes Sprinter camper. The three available are 144-inch, 170-inch, and an extended 170-inch wheelbase with an additional 15 inches at the back.

This primarily depends on your budget, planned layout, and how confident you are driving large vehicles. Longer vans take more skill to maneuver and are more likely to get stuck on rough terrain, in exchange for the extra space.

PLANNING YOUR
SPRINTER VAN LAYOUT

Your next step should be to decide what you want the conversion to look like. You may want to build your Sprinter van for family weekend trips or choose to convert the van to hire out for luxury adventures. Some may consider proper kitchen space and a shower to be must-haves, while others may compromise on these features to add extra space next to the bed. When designing your floor plan, try to keep in mind the following:


Bedding space – Would you like a fixed bed or a bed that folds or packs away? How many people will be traveling?
Bathroom – Do you prefer a separate area for the toilet combined with a shower, or have an outside shower?
Kitchen area – Should your van have a deployable dinette or cab-side kitchen, and what size fridge would you like?

Remember storage, too: the Mercedes Sprinter is big enough to pack a lot of stuff, but a messy van doesn't make for a fun ride and can even be dangerous. Plenty of neat storage units will make it easier to carry out everyday tasks.

You can also fit your Sprinter with an X100 Diesel cooker, a solar power station, an oven, or full size bunk bed. You can really create a comfortable living space in a Mercedes Sprinter.

MOTORHOME WIFI USING
A CELLULAR ROUTER

Built into nearly every modern smartphone is the ability to use the phone as a personal hotspot device. This means that if you have a smartphone or a tablet with a SIM, you can share the incoming 4G/5G signal with other devices. With one phone hotspot, you can provide an internet connection to your laptop, tablet, and smart TV, among other devices.

This is the simplest way to get internet for campers, with no additional equipment required. If you have a good signal, you can watch videos, browse the internet and have a WiFi connection hassle-free.

Nonetheless, there are a few downsides to this approach. First of all, you can only create a mobile hotspot if your phone is connected via 4G/5G. Your phone will not be able to share a WiFi connection if it’s connected to WiFi itself. Secondly, don’t expect a fast connection if you’re down to one or two bars. This method is highly dependent on your phone having a good signal, so it may not be for you if you need a reliable internet connection.

Another thing to keep in mind is the provider. Some mobile network providers limit the amount of data you can use when using a personal WiFi hotspot. Make sure you know your data cap or get an unlimited plan. If you’re going abroad, think ahead and find out your roaming fees, or use an international provider.

sprinter van conversion essentials

Espar Airtronic AS3 D2L 12v

EcoFlow Delta + 160W Solar Panel USA

Indel B OFF Plein-Aircon 12V Air Conditioning Unit

65 Liter Indel B Refrigerator / Freezer - CR65

THETFORD C223CS Cassette Toilet for RV

SPRINTER VAN CONVERTION ESSENTIALS

No matter which layout you decide to go with, we highly suggest you invest in these few vanlife essentials, which will drastically improve the quality of life in your Sprinter.

REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER

No matter whether you’re going somewhere for the weekend or living off-grid full-time, having a fridge is a must. A high-quality refrigerator/freezer is efficient, spacious, and reliably keeps your food fresh and drinks cool. Indel B portable or mounted fridges like the Cruise 65 are some of the best on the market, featuring cutting-edge SECOP compressors and a tasteful, modern design.

SOLAR PANELS AND POWER STATION

Any off-grid motorhome needs its own source of renewable energy. Installing a few solar panels on the roof is a great way to keep your appliances running without needing to plug in at campsites. Combine an EcoFlow DELTA portable power station with a 160W solar panel and you have a convenient source of free, clean energy for all your RV devices and appliances.

AIR HEATERS

An air heater like the Airtronic 3 D2L is one of the most important van life essentials. Any experienced vanlifer will tell you that staying warm at night is crucial for a good night's sleep. Especially if you live or travel in colder climates, good insulation and reliable heating are impossible to live without. A good air heater heats up quickly, works silently, and uses very little fuel. It will reliably keep the cabin warm and cozy, and prevent the pipes under the floor from freezing.

AIR CONDITIONING

It can get very hot in a van in the summer, which is why an AC is a van essential. A good air conditioning unit will keep your cabin cool and provide fresh air circulation, while remaining power efficient. A good AC is especially important if you’re traveling with a pet, like a dog or a cat. The Indel B OFF Plein-Aircon is a state-of-the-art AC, which quickly cools off your RV’s interior, letting you avoid the discomfort of the summer heat.

TOILET

You will need to go number two at some point, and if you’re tired of going to the bushes and there’s no cafe nearby, having a toilet is a lifesaver. There is a wide range of toilets available: from the affordable Thetford Porta Potti Qube 365, to the more comfortable and full-size Thetford C223CS Cassette Toilet.

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