What is a Sprinter Camper Van?
Everyone loves traveling and adventure, right? And if you want to know 9 AMAZING reasons you should choose a Sprinter Camper Van for your adventures, you are in the right place.
If you are interested in camping, traveling, or even the tiny home movement, you have probably heard about “Sprinter Vans”. Sprinter Vans is a type of Van that actually was made by Dodge, Mercedes, and Freightliner. To be clear. This is the SAME SPRINTER VAN, just marketed under different companies. They must have something good if everyone wants in on it!
The Sprinter Van typically has three variations: Cargo, Passenger, and Crew. The Cargo van has one row of seating up front for three people (or two) and the rest of the van is reserved for cargo in the back. The Sprinter Passenger Van has 4 or 5 rows of seats to fit up to 15 people. The Sprinter Crew Van is in the middle and has two rows of seats for up to six people and the rest is cargo space.
At the end of the day, they are cargo vans. The type used in heating/cooling companies, flower delivery companies, and people who want to be adventurous enough to convert them into a tiny home and travel the world.
But wait, before you get started, are you interested in trying out a converted van and living the #VanLife? Help is here 🙂 We’ve partnered with the amazing #1 rental company Outdoorsy! If you click here, then you can search for campervans, sprintervans, (or RVs!) and get a special discount if you are a Van Adieu reader with a special code!
But now, on to the important information about choosing a sprinter camper van for conversion!!!
9 Amazing Reasons You Should Choose a Sprinter Camper Van
1. A Sprinter Van is extremely customizable.
The Sprinter Van is like the Mr. Potato Head of vehicles. You can change it up to fit your needs, and make it look anything you want. Let’s talk length. It can be from 144 to 170 inches long, and if you are making this into a living space every inch counts (easy, boys. This is a family blog.)
Next, is the height. Now, I’ll be honest, we are hobbits. I’m 5’2″ on a good day, and my husband is a strikingly, handsome 5’6″. The Sprinter Van has three different roof heights, and you can do whatever you want but I’ll tell you, being able to stand up in this baby is nice. It was a dealbreaker for us for sure, and the tallest allows enough room for a 6-foot tall person to stand upright. But of course, given our height we could probably stand up in a smart car, so take that for what it’s worth.
The last customizable is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR. This measures the Sprinter Van weight at maximum weight capacity, which ranges from 8,550 lbs. to 11,030 lbs.
2. A Sprinter Camper Van can be made from either New or Used Sprinter Vans
You can buy a new Sprinter Van for approximately $50,000. To be clear, this is WITHOUT making it into your little place to live. It’s just a stripped down cargo van. So, unless you are the Queen of England, then this is probably outside most of my reader’s price range. (By the way, picture the Queen of England in a Sprinter van for a moment, because that’s an awesome visual.)
If you want to pay for a Sprinter Van Conversion already completed, you will have to shell out anywhere from an additional $30,000 to $130,000. Yes, that isn’t a typo. That is ON TOP OF purchasing your van (either new or used.) Again, this was just way to spendy for us, commoners.
We purchased our Sprinter Van used for $3,250 from a Plumbing, Heating and Cooling company. We knew there would a be a lot of work to be done, but we were excited about that. (Hey, we get excited about weird things.)
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3. A Sprinter Camper Van is Affordable
As stated in the paragraph above, we bought our Sprinter Van used for $3,250. Yes, we could put in 100k of work into it, but we don’t have to. At this point, it’s truly up to YOU how much money you want to put into it. Do you want to get pallet boards and make your own cabinets? Or do you want to go to Ikea to buy cabinets? Price at this point is completely customizable as well!
4. Gas Mileage
Sprinter Vans have multiple engine options. Some Sprinter Vans are diesel and some are just normal regular gas engines. (No electric Sprinter Vans yet, haha!). It’s up to you whether that is important to you. My husband was a mechanic in a former life, before becoming an engineer, and he hates diesel engines. They are smelly, nasty, and he will admit he has a skewed opinion about diesel engines. Guess what? We have a Sprinter Van with a diesel engine. Why? Because it truly serves its purpose. He specifically sought out a Sprinter Van for our Sprinter Conversion because it came with a diesel engine. Because its a Mercedes diesel engine, it should last forever, and it gets fantastic (I mean, insanely fantastic ridiculous) gas mileage. It gets about 26 (give or take) miles to the gallon. Insane, right?
5. Easy to Drive
A Sprinter Camper Van is crazy easy to drive! One of the reasons many people are against an RV is because, let’s face it, they can be difficult and cumbersome to drive. In fact, the idea of backing one of those babies up gives me nightmares! They just feel so large and huge that the idea of driving them around the mountains seems too overwhelming.
Enter your Sprinter Camper Van! This van drives like a dream! It honestly is like a large SUV. You don’t notice any difference, except for the fact that many don’t have a rear view mirror. This is an easily solved problem. You can purchase a rear view mirror for your Sprinter Camper Van, and even go so far as to purchase and install a back up camera if that will ease your fears. But even without the two of those products, I can tell you from experience, this is an easy, easy, (did I mention easy?) drive.
6. Standing Room Only
One of the main requirements I had (besides a toilet and a shower) was that I wanted to be able to STAND UP. I wanted to be able to stretch my legs, stand up and move about the cabin, as they say. This was a deal breaker for me. I know it’s a deal breaker for many of you! Sprinter Conversion Vans have you covered. These things are tall. They are MEANT for grown men to stand in and move around as they work. We love the fact that we have so much space, and it absolutely makes it less cramped! This is one of the most amazing features of a Sprinter Conversion Van that many other options don’t have. Either you can’t stand up (normal van), or you are pulling it behind you (trailer). This is a fantastic compromise and honestly not a compromise at all – it really is like a tiny home!
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7. Ability to Install a Shower and Toilet (Yay, personal hygiene!)
Just like the standing room only, this was a deal breaker for me! I need a shower, people. YOU need ME to NEED a shower. Long day, hot sun – let’s just say this is a necessity. With the Sprinter Camper Van, we are able to do this because of #6 above – Standing Room! The toilet and shower we will be using in our van are going to rock, people. And don’t worry! I’m going to have many, many tutorials coming soon on which options we are choosing, and also how to tile that shower. Get ready for it – it’s going to be the most epic craft project of all craft projects! But, I’m definitely off topic now – bottom line? I need a shower and a toilet and a Sprinter Camper Van makes it easy to have both!
8. Allowed in Most Homeowners Associations
Ahhhh, homeowners associations. They are lovely, aren’t they, with their restrictions and guidelines. More like drunk with power! The point is that because a Sprinter Van is still just considered a passenger vehicle (and you can even register it as such) they are allowed to be parked in most driveways of Homeowners Associations. You need to check your guidelines first, of course. However, we have found that many Homeowners Associations that will not allow RV’s or Trailers will, in fact, allow Sprinter Camper Vans! (Mostly because they may not know it’s actually a Camper Van!)
And now last, but not least…..
9. PRIDE OF CREATION
We are PROUD of our baby, Van Adieu. We have already put a lot of hard work into this Sprinter Camper Van, and intend to put a lot more work in! There is a sense of pride and accomplishment that you simply can’t get with purchasing an RV off the lot. Sure, if you have the money for that – the more power to you! That’s incredible and I applaud you! But, there is something to be said for ripping a Sprinter Van down to its bare bones and starting over and creating something from nothing that you love. It’s an incredible feeling!
Ultimately, you need to see what is going to fit your needs. Do you care about gas mileage? What about having it bright and shiny and new? Do you care about having to clean out an older Sprinter Van, and maybe take vinyl lettering off ? Is there someone you know that can work on cars? (If you purchase used, please make sure to check if your Sprinter Camper Van has the “Black Death” which is not readily seen, and you can read about here.) Ultimately this is going to be a comfort level issue. I can’t decide that for you, but I can tell you that a bit of sweat equity has definitely paid off for us. We have a 2003 Sprinter Van that has over 200,000 miles on it, and needed a LOT of elbow grease, and we couldn’t be happier with our purchase!
And remember! If you are interested in living the #VanLife, we’ve partnered with the amazing #1 rental company Outdoorsy! If you click here, then you can search for campervans, sprintervans, (or RVs!) and get a special discount if you are a Van Adieu reader with a special code!
What do YOU THINK? Did you choose a Sprinter Conversion Van? If so, why? I would SERIOUSLY LOVE to hear from you in the comments below, or send me an e-mail! Did you choose something else that you thought was a better option? I’d STILL love to hear from you and hear why!
Adieu for now!