Comfortable and reliable transportation capable of allowing us to travel long distances easily. I’d like to eliminate air travel as much as possible in my life. Those that fly often know this feeling. I’ve been turning on this idea for over a year.
Why not an RV? Because it’s an RV. I need less than an RV, but more than a minivan or SUV.
Why not buy a conversion van? Good question. With any platform that is designed and built by someone else, I’d have to live with their design decisions… some of which don’t fit us and would be costly or impractical to change. My vision is to get the right platform and build it up to everything I need, and modify it as my needs evolve.
The plan is to finish out a Mercedes Benz Sprinter. For those not familiar with the vehicle, it’s the most widely-used fleet vehicle in the world. It’s a van made to run hundreds of thousands of miles, reliably. Mercedes Benz has engineered this van to be as comfortable and safe to drive as possible. While it looks large, it is sized to fit in a standard parking space and allow 6’4″ of interior head room. It isn’t any longer than a quad cab F150 and can tow and haul as much.
The Sprinter platform is powered by two engine options: 4cly or 6cly – both turbodiesels. Fuel consumption is great, starting at 25mpg for the 4cly. It has a towing capacity of 5,000lbs and a cargo capacity of about 3,800lbs.
The estimated build time is about 4 months of I work a couple nights a week on it.
More information on the van itself can be found on the Mercedes Benz Vans website. And you can skim other builds out there on Pinterest. I will add more stats as I build it out.