The Mercedes Sprinter Van remains a popular and iconic choice for mobile life, but buying a converted model for ready-made living can be costly.
But with more adventurers than ever taking to life on the road, van-conversion options are growing in variety and availability. If you’re in the market for a Sprinter and plan on tackling the conversion work yourself, here are four easy do-it-yourself upgrades to help you get started.
MOAB Elevator Bed
A key component of #vanlife is being able to sleep wherever the road takes you, and Adventure Wagon’s MOAB Elevator Bed serves as a simple DIY option that maximizes interior space.
The Elevator Bed is available for 144 and 170 wheelbase Sprinter vans and leaves plenty of room for modification. The three-panel folding bed pairs with a lateral support kit that mounts to the interior van walls. Its mounting rails fix to a vertical L-track, allowing you to adjust and lock the bed into place.
With the separately sold Wall Track and Bracer kit, the Elevator Bed kit includes everything needed for installation. The brand offers free installation instructions and video guides on its website. Once installed, the bed’s height adjusts from 26 to 60 inches above the van floor.
Kits start at $2,850 for a standard black hex laminate bed top with aluminum frame and rails. Upgrades include a bamboo top and clear-coat finish for $350, a black anodized frame and rails for $400 and gear tie-down L-tracks for each rail for $200. The Wall Track and Bracer Kit costs $500 for the 144 model and $900 for the 170.
MaxxAir Fan Deluxe Kit
For staying cool on warm nights without relying solely on a van’s air conditioning, consider installing a ceiling fan. Adventure Wagon’s $350 MaxxAir Fan Deluxe Kit includes everything needed to install your own ventilation system.
The kit is compatible with 2007 and newer 144 and 170 Mercedes Sprinter models with universal vehicle-mounting options. It features a 12-volt fan motor, 12-inch remote-controlled fan, a built-in thermostat and rain shield, electrical connections and three primer sticks. Each kit is compatible with all standard 14-inch-by-14-inch roof openings.
Instructional videos for installation are available via the Adventure Wagon website.
RB Components’ Sprinter Raised Headliner Shelf
For high-roof Sprinter vans, a shelving system atop the driver’s cabin area provides storage and optimizes wasted space. RB Components offers the Raised Headliner Shelf that fits 2007 to 2018 Mercedes Sprinter van models. A shelf for 2019 models is in the works.
When mounted, the shelf sits 10 inches from the ceiling, creating space for gear, clothing and other accessories. It’s designed for easy installation with no modifications. The shelf is black powder-coated and includes all necessary brackets and bolts for installation, and its rear lip helps keep items securely in place. RB Components’ Sprinter Raised Headliner Shelf costs $496.
Sink and Water System
Installing your own running water system can greatly enhance your quality of life on the road. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Dometic folding lid sink: $400
- ShurFlo Revolution water pump: $80
- 25-gallon freshwater tank
- Five-gallon gray-water jug
- Metal plumbing strapping
- 1/2 -inch hose fittings
While it’s common to store water jugs under the sink, we recommend mounting them over the rear wheel with metal strapping. To do this, you’ll need to drill three holes: One for filling, one for draining and a line to the pump. Use the ½-inch hose fittings for attachment. You’ll also need to wire your pump to a 12-volt power outlet, ideally with a switch rigged between.
The ShurFlo Revolution Pump allows you to skip running an accumulator tank after the pump. Its internal system prevents excessive run time to create water pressure, and the shutoff switch allows you to turn it on and off.
The system described above is a basic way to install running water, but you can easily upgrade your system with a water heater, shower attachment, insulation or other accessories.