Is A Sprinter AWD Conversion Right for Me?

Is A Sprinter AWD Conversion Right for Me?

At ADF Sprinters, we pride ourselves on being industry experts in van conversions, tailoring our conversions to fit our customer’s needs and preferences. As you explore the options of different vans to convert, particularly the All-wheel drive (AWD) Mercedes Benz Sprinter van, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons of each configuration and how they align with your lifestyle and needs.

A Mercedes all wheel drive sprinter van on a dirt road with flowers

Questions to ask yourself to determine if an AWD campervan is right for you? 

  1. What type of terrain will you primarily encounter?
  2. How important is weather versatility for your travels?
  3. How often will you be using your campervan?
  4. What is your budget for purchasing a campervan?
  5. Do you need the campervan for year-round travel?
  6. What is your level of experience with driving larger vehicles?
  7. Do you plan to resell the vehicle at some point?

Considering these questions can help determine whether an AWD Campervan suits your needs. Factors such as terrain, weather conditions, and how you plan to use your adventure van are crucial in making this decision. Now, let’s dive into learning more about the Sprinter AWD van.

Understanding A Sprinter AWD Conversion

Firstly, let’s clarify what AWD entails and how it distinguishes itself from four wheel drive (4×4). 

Is AWD the same as 4WD? 

No, AWD (All-Wheel Drive) and 4WD (Four-Wheel Drive System) are not the same. All-wheel drive (AWD) distributes power to all four wheels continuously for off or on-road driving, adjusting power distribution as needed through a center differential. Four-wheel drive (4WD) is typically selectable and designed to be engaged for use off-road or in slippery conditions, distributing power equally to all wheels simultaneously. While both improve traction and control, they serve different driving purposes.

Benefits of A Sprinter AWD Van

An AWD Sprinter van offers a plethora of advantages. First, there’s safety. AWD vehicles have excellent traction and control, especially in poor weather conditions like rain, snow, or ice. This typically leads to a mindlessly safer driving experience for you and your passengers, regardless of the road conditions.

Moreover, AWD-equipped vans typically command higher resale values due to their appeal to a broader range of potential buyers. Whether you’re using your Sprinter for business or pleasure, having AWD can significantly enhance its marketability in the future.

Lastly, Sprinter AWD conversions aren’t solely reserved for off-road enthusiasts. While they certainly excel in rugged terrains, their benefits also extend to everyday driving scenarios. From navigating slick city streets to traversing unpaved roads during weekend getaways, the versatility of an AWD Sprinter is unparalleled.

Reasons You Don’t Need An AWD Campervan

The two wheel drive (TWD) option is more cost effective and perfectly suited for on-road driving conditions. It will even get you down dry dirt roads with ease as long as you’re mindful about your clearances. 2WD vans are particularly of interest for those who may have a difficult time stepping into the raised AWD options. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your specific needs and priorities.

Explore our blog “2WD vs 4WD” to help you decide between a 2WD and a 4WD Sprinter van. 

In 2-wheel drive vans, 100% of the power from the engine is typically transmitted to the wheels through the rear axle. While not as versatile as all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive systems, the rear axle setup provides a straightforward and reliable driving experience on paved surfaces.

If you’re opting for a 2WD Sprinter but anticipate occasional mild off-road use, there are several accessories and modifications you can consider to enhance its capability:

  • All-terrain tires: Upgrading to all-terrain tires can provide better traction on unpaved surfaces while maintaining good performance on paved roads.
  • Traction aids: Carry items like traction boards, sand tracks, or traction mats to help you get unstuck if you encounter soft or muddy ground.
  • Recovery gear: Equip your vehicle with recovery equipment such as a tow strap, recovery shackles, and a portable winch to assist in self-recovery or helping others.
  • Skid plates: With the reduced ground clearance compared to a 4X4 van, installing skid plates under the vehicle can protect vulnerable components like the engine, transmission, and fuel tank from damage when driving over rough terrain.
  • Air locker: Adding an air locker to the rear differential will allow you to ensure that both rear wheels will always spin and push you over any obstacles patches of limited traction

Choosing the Right Conversion Company for Your AWD Sprinter

When choosing the right company to convert your AWD Sprinter van into a campervan, mobile office, or transportation vehicle, look no further. 

At ADF Sprinters, we specialize in custom solutions tailored to your needs. We have extensive experience converting AWD Sprinter vans and completing dozens of conversions. As a recognized Mercedes-Benz eXpert Upfitter, we maintain a close partnership with Mercedes-Benz to ensure that our conversions meet the highest standards without voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. This means that your Sprinter will retain its warranty coverage even after conversion.

What sets ADF apart is our exclusive focus on Sprinter vans. By concentrating solely on Sprinter conversions, we have developed a deep understanding of the unique requirements for safety, comfort, and aesthetic appeal. Whether starting with a passenger van, a cargo van, or a van with a short or high roof, we can customize the conversion to match your dreams. When you choose ADF Sprinters, you can trust that your conversion will be done with precision and care, resulting in a vehicle that meets your exact specifications.

the inside of a AWD van conversion

AWD Van Conversion FAQs

What is AWD, and how does it differ from 4WD?

AWD continuously distributes power to all wheels, while 4WD System typically allows switching between rear-wheel and four-wheel drive modes.

How does an AWD Van affect fuel efficiency?

AWD Sprinter Vans may slightly impact fuel efficiency due to increased weight and drag, but technological advancements mitigate this effect. The average miles per gallon (MPG) for these 2023 sprinter vans ranges from 18 to 20 MPG before being converted.

What are the maintenance requirements for an AWD-converted Sprinter van?

Regular servicing and inspections are necessary to maintain the optimal performance of the AWD system.

What are the key differences between gas and diesel engines in Sprinter vans?

The key differences between gas and diesel engines in Sprinter vans lie in factors such as fuel efficiency, torque, and maintenance requirements. We discuss this further on our blog, “Gas Vs. Diesel Sprinter—Which Is Right For You.” Keep in mind that there is no option for an AWD system on Mercedes-Benz Sprinters equipped with a gasoline engine.

About Us

As a Mercedes-Benz Certified Expert Upfitter, ADF Sprinters has been perfecting the craft of van conversions since 2009.