Category: Specs/Gear

Open cargo = clean slate

Open cargo = clean slate

The Sprinter comes with a few interiors but I wanted the benefit of a clean slate by going with a raw cargo van. This helped me to avoid spending money on interior components I found difficult to factor into my designs. Plus it allowed me to play with different interior layouts without any obstructions.

I also knew what kind of windows I wanted – custom slider windows with screens. There were a few sizes so I made cut outs and taped them outside of the van while trying to determine how many windows I preferred and which sizes.


Choosing a custom shop

Choosing a custom shop

Lots to share – coming soon


The van

The van

I eventually bought a cargo van – a 2016 Mercedes Sprinter. This was not the obvious choice although early on it seemed right. However a lot of work went into getting the specs right given some unique requirements with a conversion. For example – this particular make and model van would benefit from features like high idle and an added alternator bracket – when there is an interest in relying on power from a battery array instead of a generator.

Given my preference to maximize space and engine power I went with a 170 inch wheelbase and 6 cylinders. I also wanted the high roof option which is standard with the 170″ WB. I chose silver exterior paint over the more common white and black exteriors. I wanted to no side windows because I did not want their large fixed plates of glass. I considered the 4×4 option but did not see much use for the way I would use the vehicle plus there was a 1 year lead time when ordering 4×4.

 


Time for a custom camper van

Time for a custom camper van

About a decade ago I took a few cross country trips in a sedan. From these trips I learned I wanted to take road trips on a regular basis and bought a used Toyota Sienna, removed all seats in the back, and installed a bed, storage and a cooler. After a few years of that I bought a brand new Class B motorhome from a large manufacturer. That motorhome was closer to the exact vehicle type I wanted to travel in but not close enough.

After many lessons with the mass manufactured motorhome it occurred to me that I could start fresh with a custom van converted the way I would find it most useful. In 2016 I embarked upon a journey to determine the best way to obtain a custom Class B camper van.