Mercedes Sprinter Features that Make Camper Van Life Safe, Fun, and Easy


Photo by Muse & Co. Outdoors

When it comes to converting a cargo van into a camper van, there are a lot of decisions to make. The first, and one of the biggest, is what type of van to use as your ‘base.’ There are a few high-top vans on the market in the U.S. today, with the Mercedes Sprinter, Ram Promaster, and Ford Transit being the three most popular options for van life.

Still, when people think of a converted cargo van, they tend to think specifically of the Mercedes Sprinter. The Sprinter has built a reputation for itself as the best van for converting into a camper van. Among the reasons for this reputation are the loads of features that separate the Sprinter from other comparable vans. Keep reading to learn about some unique features and options that make the Mercedes Sprinter the best van for van life!

Optional 4×4

When you purchase your Sprinter van, you will have the option to choose either a two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive model. The Sprinter is still the only high-roof van sold in the U.S. that comes in available 4×4.

While 4×4 is an important feature for people who spend a lot of time driving in extreme winter or offroad conditions, keep in mind that even Mercedes’ two-wheel-drive system is more robust than that of most vehicles. Traction control systems help your 2wd van to stay on the road, even in tough conditions. Muse & Co. Outdoors offers suspension and wheel+tire upgrades for added clearance, stability, and traction. This can help your two-wheel-drive Sprinter to look and function much like a 4×4.

360-Degree Camera

The 360-degree camera is a Mercedes Sprinter feature that allows van owners to see a bird’s eye view of their entire van as they maneuver it in and out of tight spaces. While the Sprinter is quite nimble given its large size, the camera gives drivers an extra level of confidence when parking or driving on small dirt roads or trails.

Whether maneuvering your Sprinter out of a tight parking space in the city, or backing it into a narrow camping spot, the 360-degree camera gives you a view of your entire van’s footprint, as well as its surroundings, so you can be confident that you aren’t missing anything in blind spots. This feature is now being added to newer off-road specific vehicles, because it is so helpful in avoiding obstacles when driving on narrow trails.

Driver and Passenger Swivel Seats

Photo by Muse & Co. Outdoors

Swiveling ‘captain’s chairs’ are a popular addition among camper van and RV owners. Swivel seats aren’t a new technology; they have been around for decades and have proven to be an ingenious solution for adding functional seating to a camper. They function simply by adding a swiveling platform underneath the driver and/or passenger seats, allowing for the seats to be turned 180 degrees when parked to add seating to the rear area of the van without taking up much space.

While swivel seats are quite popular, there is little use for them in a van that is being used for cargo purposes. Mercedes, well aware that many van lifers are buying Sprinter cargo vans to repurpose them into campers, added swiveling driver and passenger seats as an available option in their vans. Factory seat swivels mean you don’t have to pay for the parts or installation costs of adding a swivel later on, and safety is not a concern, as all factory features must meet highway safety standards and fall within warranty specs.

Safety Features

Sprinter vans may be intended primarily for utilitarian purposes as cargo carriers, but they are still Mercedes vehicles, and owners can expect the same quality and many of the same premium features as are found on other Mercedes models. Among these are a long list of cutting-edge safety features that help to keep you, your passengers, and your precious camper van out of harm’s way. Below are some of our favorite Mercedes Sprinter safety features:

  • Active Brake Assist: This system senses when a collision with a vehicle or object ahead is likely, and alerts the drivers visually and audibly, followed by taking control of the brakes if necessary to avoid an accident.
  • Attention Assist: This unique Mercedes feature takes note of your driving patterns and provides an early warning if it senses driver fatigue. Very helpful for those long cross-country drives!
  • Load-Adaptive Electronic Stability Program: This feature, which comes standard on all Sprinters, helps to stabilize your van by providing automatic individual wheel braking and reduced engine power in urgent situations, taking into account the load you are hauling in the van.
  • Crosswind Assist: Another unique feature that comes standard on all Sprinters is Crosswind Assist. This feature helps to keep your van safely in its lane when traveling at highway speeds with strong crosswinds–something that can be difficult to achieve otherwise, given the large surface area of the side of your van.

Other Sprinter van safety features include Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Hill Start Assist, and Rescue Assist. With these amazing safety features, and the convenience and comfort features of this luxury van, the Mercedes Sprinter is by far the most well-equipped van platform available for a camper van conversion. Head over to our model overview page to check out our Sprinter-based van builds.

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