Vario project started



This is my first post in this forum, but I have been lurking around, and there are a lot of interesting and impressive projects to see.

It seems that my G-wagen addict has developed to something more severe. I bougth a Vario..
The truck is a 815DA extended cab with 3700mm wheelbase from 2000. First part of the project is to get the truck in decent condition, later I plan to fit it with a camper. This is the beauty:45584.jpg
I have curently removed and sold the crane and the bed. I am now doing neccesary bodywork prior to a planned paintjob. At the same time I am trying to source parts for the interior.

Current state:

The interior does not look good. New dash board panels and possibly door panels would have been nice. Do any of you know any sources except the obvious MB dealership?
I am also thinking planning to fit new seats front and rear, what seats are using in your t2/Varios?

BR Jostein


Adventurer Wannabe
Welcome Jostien.
My dash board panels are inconsistently faded and so if you do find a good source I'd also be interested. I bought seats from Jennings C.V.S Ltd in the UK. Model JS100450. But I have come to the conclusion that the original drivers ISRI suspension seat was better.

What sort of camper are you planning on building?

Arfur's World

Hi and welcome to the club :)

My panels are also randomly faded, I guess different parts are made in different factories and of different plastics and UV stabilisation mixes. I plan to cover them with some fabric in order to make the interior look less industrial.

For seats, I have bought 2 Hyundai captains chairs from eBay and they are temporarily fitted in with unistrut, but now I am back I will get some plates folded and drilled to mount them properly.



Tea Drinker :-)
Hi guys
My dashboard panels also faded/ discoloured, some grey, some turned slightly brown. I tried different products and found some panel wipe/ thinners products removed the brownish coating. It did take a bit of elbow grease but they came up clean and back to original grey colour :)
Hope this helps


Thank you for the feedback guys,

I have tried different cleaning products, somewhat sucessful on the door panels, but the brownest dash panels are uncured.
I kind of like the utility look of the vario dash, so not I am not conviced about covering the dash With something. I do however intend to try plastidip (a sort of sprayable and flexible plastic that I see that some people are using on their dash).
Interested in the mentioned product as well.

Regarding seats, i agree that the original ISRI seat is very decent, mine is worn and the upholstery have holes though. The front non suspension passanger seat, and the rear bench are not comfortable. Based on that I would like to change all seating, rear bench would preferably be replaced by 3 or 4 separate seats. I have bought a driver side seat base (the Box were the batteris are) from a UK vario. I intend to fit that on the passanger side of mine which i left hand drive. This eases the installation of suspension seat also on the passanger side. I am also planning to install seat swivels on the front seats in combination With a removable or foldable table between the rows to form a seating group. The extended cab is roomy, so I think that will work out well. Front vito/v-class/viano seats With swivels and 4 vito rear seats, all in leather would have been Nice:) Have not been able to track Down something that are in good shape at reasonable Money yet.

Still concidering many concepts and ideas regarding the camper, I have Limited time to devote so I expect it to be awhile before I am able to start building. It will be built in sandwich composite, and has to include bath With wc/shower, Kitchen With fridge and gas burner as well a sleeping for 4 People.




You say that Your JS10-0450 is not as good as the IRIS, how is the suspension base on it? I think it is the same as the one below also sold at Jennings.


Concidering to buy this base in combination With a swivel plate and non suspension seats from Vito, alternatively New Sparco R100sky seats. They are relatively cheap and good to sit in as far as I can tell from a quick test in the shop.



Adventurer Wannabe
The bases are the main weakness of the seats I bought and those do look like the same ones but I couldn't be sure. The issue I have with them is twofold:
- There too little damping in the mechanism and so the seats tend to oscillate. This is more of a problem for me (95Kg) than for my wife.
- There is more side to side or rocking movement in the mechanism compared to the ISRI seat. This means the seat leans a little when going around corners.

I wouldn't say there are bad seats - just not as good as the original ISRI. I hope that helps.


That was very helpful, guess I should seach for another base if I choose to pursue the idea of buying non suspended seat and add a separate base.
Specially since I am even heavier:) If somebody should have a worn down ISRI that they want to get rid of, I could be interested just for the base.


New member
Hi Jostein
Congratulations on your Vario. I was in your position couple of years ago. I fitted a Knaus caravan on it and it works well. Currently I am changing tyres to Michelin XZL 275/80R20 and what a difference, much softer, lower rev and increased torque. I have difficulty including a photo, I will try later.
mvh Gretar


Thank you Gretar,

Wouldgreatly appriciate pics. The tires you are fitting are large! Did you have to raise the suspension or do mods to the cab?
As probably most other Vario owners have done, I am also thinking forth and back regarding choice of wheels/tires:)

Thought I was going to save some time by purchasing unused items:)
It turns out that the seat bases comes in different lengths, the unused base I bought had to be cut, rewelded and painted.. One day of work for just a detail...
Then it was the rear LED lights. Supposed to be just plug and play, but the connector was wrong, and the color code of the wires was different. Figured it out though.

Mvh Jostein


Adventurer Wannabe
If you are considering a single wheel conversion - I would suggest you drive a converted van before making the decision


I have seen from your build thread that you have some handling issues With Yours Ianc, I hope you get things sorted. Not to many single wheel Varios around in Norway to test drive I suspect..

I have now spent some time on the camper design. The illustrations below are representing what I think will be the concept I go for (at least at the moment).


Adventurer Wannabe
Very nice. Did you do the pic or did you find it on the Internet?
The other thing to keep a eye on id overall height. Mine is 3.55m and I wouldn't want it to be any higher. Your drawing looks to be about the same.
Do you have a list of design criteria yet? Number of beds, toilet/shower facilities, how many days independent of services etc etc?