The Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 Drought

The Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 Drought

The 4X4 Sprinter Van Demand

It was inevitable, the demand for a new Sprinter 4×4 has grown exponentially over the years and most recently has hit its highest order volume. With large companies like Winnebago reserving a substantial percentage of the yearly production vans and it being the most popular base for a camper van, that has left a lot of people waiting sometimes up to 1 year to get one. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t keep consistent production lines open for their vans, but rather produces vans in runs of similar types. So there are 4×4 runs, tour bus runs, work truck runs, gas engine runs, etc. Because of this, there are large gaps in 4×4 production, and waves of availability.
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If you are currently looking for a 4WD Sprinter van to convert and having a tough time finding one, this blog will help you determine if a 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter is the right choice for you.

Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 For Sale

You can still find 4×4 Sprinters available, but your options are less than a normal 2-wheel drive. For instance, you may want the driver’s assistance package and passenger van but all they have is a cargo van with that particular package. You may not get the pebble grey color you wanted and if so, you’ll have to drive to Texas or settle for one in red. Some people are waiting up to a year for it to be built based on their specifications.

If you are looking for an already converted sprinter camper van, we have 2 more available to reserve for this year!

TriMax sprinter 4x4 vanOff Grid Adventure Vans

You’ll be surprised by the capability of a 2WD Camper Van and what it can do. There are plenty of 2 wheel drive Sprinter Adventure Vans that have gone to some amazing places. While most BLM and dispersed camp spots are accessible for all types of vehicles it’s more about the driver’s ability than the van itself; Reading the terrain, choosing good lines, having a helpful spotter, and avoiding sand/ mud at all costs will get you and your van further down the way. For those who sometimes want to take their van off the beaten path and put it in situations that need extra assistance. You need to be prepared when traveling down back roads, especially without another vehicle. We advise that you always bring some recovery trackstowing winch or even some off road tires would be helpful.

Benefits of 2WD Vans –

  • Better fuel efficiency
  • Smoother drivetrain
  • Cost

sprinter 4x4 camper vanIs a Sprinter 4×4 worth it?

Maybe. The 4×4 option on a Sprinter costs $7,975 and after-market kits can cost $12k on average so the price is worth it. But if money isn’t the issue, you need to ask yourself if you really need the 4 wheel drive and will use it in the places you plan ongoing. The only time you would need 4-wheel drive is when the road is really muddy, extreme snow, and lots of deep ruts. So, if you don’t find yourself in those scenarios often then a 2-wheel drive will work just fine. Lastly, 4×4 Sprinter vans will continue to be popular and the demand will always be there so if you’re looking to re-sell the van down the road, it will hold its value much more than a 2-wheel drive van.

2 wheel-drive vs. 4 wheel-drive

Both models have identical interiors and outside appearances. The Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 is 4.3” higher in the front and 3.1” higher in the rear but the ground clearance isn’t much different than the 2 wheels because of the 4WD transfer case and the front differential. In addition, the ground clearance is the same because of the way in which the front of the van is lifted. ie it’s not a suspension lift, it just a big spacer between the body and the front engine cradle which also holds the suspension components

If you’re converting a sprinter camper van and deciding between a 2WD or 4WD, we recommend you ask yourself these questions and take the time to weigh the pros and cons. Four-wheel drive Sprinter vans will always be more difficult to get than two wheel drive where they are readily available now and have more options to choose from.

Mercedes sprinter 4x4 vanQuestions to ask yourself when choosing between 2WD and 4WD –

Could you use the $8k savings and put to something else?

– Not spending the money on the 4×4 option can save you some serious money that can be better used for other parts of the van conversion. You can also use that money to invest in some all-round tires, recovery gear, and other off-road assistance items. Or maybe had a heater and air conditioning…

When was the last time you needed 4-wheel drive while driving your current vehicle?

 – Look at your current lifestyle and ask yourself how different it’s going to be when getting a van. Does your current vehicle have it? If so, look at the percentage you’ve engaged the 4WD and ask yourself if that will be the case for your camper van.

Are you living in the van part time or full time?  

– We ask that question because when you’re living full-time in a van, you’re traveling with your “home” and all your possessions so you may not want to put yourself in scenarios where the entire van is shaking and tipping from one side to the other.

Is snow going to be a big part of your travels?

– Lots of people want a camper van that will handle snowy climates since they want to be skiing/snowboarding year around. 2-wheel drive vans are more than capable to handle snow and ice conditions with a good set of tires. For extreme snow conditions on challenging roads, you can always carry a set of chains that will typically get you through anything.

About Us

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