Why We Build Camper Vans on the Mercedes Sprinter Van Platform
Converted camper vans are all the rage nowadays. The term camper van conversion comes from the fact that the high top vans being transformed into campers these days are actually manufactured with the intended use of a cargo van. There are multiple options when it comes to high top cargo vans that can be converted into campers.
Muse & Co. Outdoors has chosen the Mercedes Sprinter as our go-to platform for building our state-of-the-art camper vans. Curious why the Sprinter van is our platform of choice? Keep reading to learn all the unique benefits of Mercedes Sprinter camper vans.
If you’re going to spend the money on a camper van conversion that will last for decades, it only makes sense to have a van that will last just as long. The Mercedes Sprinter van has a longstanding reputation for excellent reliability.
The Sprinter utilizes a German-built engine, which can come in either a gasoline or diesel-powered configuration. The engines get great gas mileage considering the size and weight of the vehicle, and the diesel engines in particular are known to run well over 400,000 miles.
Aside from longevity, the superior reliability of the Sprinter should be a major factor for anyone looking to take their camper van off the grid. The worst-case scenario for many van owners is suffering from mechanical problems deep in the backwoods and out of cell range. Sprinter vans are reliable not only because of their long-lasting engines, but also because the rest of the chassis and vehicle are built to easily withstand rugged environments.
The bottom line? If you’re going to invest in a camper van conversion, Sprinter vans are the only vehicle that you can rely upon for longevity and rugged performance.
Features and Drivability
The Mercedes Sprinter van is the only cargo van option that is, well, a Mercedes. Why is this important? Because this high-end van is packed with features and options that make it easy and safe to drive, and more capable than any other van on the market.
One of the deciding factors for many prospective van owners is that Sprinters offer the only factory-ready 4×4 option when it comes to cargo vans. 4×4 is simply a must-have for many van owners who want to push the edge of adventure without being held back by the capabilities of their vehicle. Whether you are a skier who frequently drives on snowy mountain passes or a mountain biker who finds themselves on long, steep dirt roads, having a 4×4 vehicle can mean the difference between making it to your destination, or not.
Aside from the 4×4 option, Sprinters come with a myriad of other features that make them much easier and safer to drive than the competition. Examples include Crosswind Assist, which senses the presence of crosswinds against the sail-like side of the cargo van, and adjusts the brakes of individual wheels to keep you safely on the road.
Additionally, Sprinters get surprisingly good gas mileage. Depending on the engine configuration and length of the van, you can get as high as 22 mpg combined in a Sprinter, which is astonishing for such a large and powerful vehicle.
Despite being a long and tall vehicle, Sprinter vans are surprisingly nimble and comfortable to drive. They have ample power for getting up to speed. They are easily maneuverable in city environments and campgrounds, and comfortable to drive for long distances on the highway.
Sprinter vans come in 3 lengths – a 144” wheelbase, a 170” wheelbase, and the 170” wheelbase extended length. Different roof heights are also available, but for the purposes of a camper van, standing is a must and the high roof is simply the only way to go.
The different wheelbases allow for varying configurations based on your needs. Our standard models utilize the 170” wheelbase, which allows for a queen-sized bed to be oriented from front to rear, while also leaving room for a kitchen and extra seating. If you go with the 144” wheelbase, most will opt to orient their beds from side-to-side to leave room for the rest of the build, which means a few less inches of bed length. For shorter folks and those who are set on the smaller wheelbase, this is still a totally viable option.
In addition to offering multiple options for length, Sprinter vans come with plenty of roof height. This means that even taller people up to 6’ 5” or so will be able to fully stand in a built-out Sprinter camper van. Some other cargo van options, such as the Ram Promaster, have a shorter roof height that makes the van feel less roomy and unable to accommodate taller people.
The Bottom Line
The truth is, there was never another option for us when choosing a van model to offer our standard builds in. The Sprinter outperforms other cargo vans in virtually every way, and it does so in a sleek and rugged package that will offer you reliable performance for decades to come. Need 4×4 to get your van to the places you love most? Sprinters are the only van that can offer this key option.
Are you ready to make your Sprinter camper van dreams a reality? Head over to the Build My Van tool to start building your dream rig!