Sprinter Van planning stage

It seems a lot of these conversions end up reaching the max gross weight of the 2500 chassis. Anyone consider converting a 3500 chassis? Comments?


Expedition Leader
It seems a lot of these conversions end up reaching the max gross weight of the 2500 chassis. Anyone consider converting a 3500 chassis? Comments?
The serial production versions are often impractically close to the GVWR, but with only a little attention to what your doing, you can, in my humble opinion, stay under the 8,550 GVWR of the SRW 2500.

My first conversion had everything possible on it, including some really heavy stuff,

DSC01053 cropped.JPG

and was pretty much at GVWR.

You need to pay some attention to what your're doing, but the 2500's payload is pretty workable for a one-off conversion.


Family Adventurer
Morehead Design Labs

Made a quick video from our travels in the Sprinter. Designed and built by Morehead Design Labs. We recently added a secondary diesel heater and 160 watt solar panel.

I can provide a little update regarding the NAFTA 4 wheel drive Sprinter:

It appears that the dealers will begin taking orders in November for vans to be delivered next spring. According to one dealer the additional cost for the 4wd option will be around $8,000 and the two-speed transfer case will be around an additional $2,000.

I have sent emails to ARB, Oberaigner, and Iglhaut Alrad asking if they will offer locking differentials for the North American vehicles. Oberaigner states that one must take one's van to them for upfitting. (They are in Austria!) Neither ARB USA or ARB Australia has answered my emails: I understand from other sources that the pressed-on ring gear in the Sprinter differential makes an ARB style locker problematic. I have heard nothing back from Iglhaut Alrad.

Whether we will get the option to choose between two different ring and pinion ratios like the 2 wheel drive vans remains to be seen. Mercedes has not yet released any specific ordering information for the 4wd Sprinter.

Whether we will be able to fit larger diameter tires without giving the CAN BUS system conniption fits is also a mystery to me. Between the stability control system, crosswind assist system, and the controls for the auto trans I imagine that mounting much larger tires to increase ground clearance may not be tolerated by the various control systems unless Mercedes provides modified coding to their dealers to allow for the larger tires. If these vans catch on I see a rosy future for someone who can come up with some sort of chip or program to accomplish this. Mercedes has stated that this is not an off-road vehicle, and they are perhaps oblivious to the potential market for these vans among those of us with overlanding interests.


Expedition Leader
Almost stepped up for a 2014 Crew last month but I am having a hard time spending 50K on a vehicle I can't garage...So a barn might be first on the list:)
Anyone else storing their sprinter outside/covers?
Select a home with 12' ceilings in the garage and if you're spending 50+K for a very limited use vehicle what's the problem of putting in a larger door?

Good thread! Would have been a great sticky thread on Sprinters if a few hadn't tried giving pages of alternative suggestions going off topic with other vehicles.

A good thing about converting a Sprinter is that you're more likely getting into more campgrounds in reality than trying to pull in with a converted bread truck, many campgrounds don't allow the off the wall budget minded odd conversions. At first glance a Sprinter conversion could appear to be a 6 figure rig if it's done nicely, but you could have less than 15K in it. This has nothing to do with camping off grid in the woods, but sometimes it's nice to park someplace that has a pool, laundry, restaurant and even a golf course if you play the game. Don't plan such stops in a converted step van.

Seems the Sprinter has the most economical room available with 20mpg. Did I miss the conversion with a shower? Like the bed in the ceiling too, imagine a popup, but that knocks the stealthy part out.

There is an 08 Sprinter (Dodge badges) about 2 miles from me for sale, my interest was stirred, then fell out of the running, this thread has it back in the running a bit more with second thoughts. 240K on the clock is a concern to me with that one.

4x4 would be nice, I hate getting stuck. 10K might go a long way for towing bills too if the situation dictates it. There are lots of places to go with 2wd. It's one of the best stealthy rigs I've seen, it's not obvious you have a camper.
I am curious as to what brand of side windows those are, any info on them would be great, do they open and where purchased, self installed? - Thanks
Any info on the side windows would be greatly appreciated, brand, where purchased, self installed - Thanks

The stealthy part is good, as is the security it provides. But a lot depends on the climate you'll be using the truck in. If you're in, say, Arizona, you can make the great outdoors your living space and be in the camper mostly just to sleep, cook and eat. In a place like Oregon, though, you will often be stuck inside the camper for the great percentage of your trip, and then giving up stealth to have light and a view is often a good tradeoff. It is for that reason that my Sprinter pretty much had windows everywhere they could go.

View attachment 143452

Of course, it also depends where you want to camp. I camped in scenic and reasonably safe places where I actively wanted to see out. If someone plans to camp in places where it's not permitted or in areas where it is often not safe, then my van would have been a bad choice.


Expedition Leader
Any info on the side windows would be greatly appreciated, brand, where purchased, self installed - Thanks
Sorry I missed the question the first time.

The short answer is that the windows were made by Seitz and are very common in European and Australian RVs. They are also used on a number of US RVs. Mine were installed by Creative Mobile Interiors, but the install is not too difficult for competent individuals.

The problem is that the giant US RV equipment distributor Dometic arranged to take over distribution of the windows in the US and prefers to sell only to manufacturers. This makes it very difficult for a homebuilder to source the windows.

You'll want to read through this thread:


wherein you will find details about their operation, installation and the options you have for getting them.

They are my favorite windows by far. It's disappointing they are not readily available in this country. :(


Expedition Leader
Ha Ha... so two and a half years later after starting this thread I now own a sprinter van...about time right
4x4 144" 2500 showed up two hours south of me and four hours later I had it back in the snow...who needs 4wd in PHX anyway


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Expedition Leader
Flagster. It's been awhile since you got the van. How do you like it? Did you build out the interior?
Nope:smiley_drive:...other than pluggin in my Engel and loading bikes we haven't started a build...Just got back from 2 months and 6K miles later through Montana, WA, OR, and NV...
We love it...it fits our needs perfectly and allows for mucho stealthy camping. We spent three nights in Seattle's Madison neighborhood over 4th of July and parked right on the street near the beach/showers...never got hassled...then four nights in Portland...same thing.
As for the build we are going to get started this month but I am going to keep as "sleek" as possible.
Here is a pic of the "f it get on the road build"


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