While the Benz Company first introduced their first “van” in 1896, the first model most similar to the current-day Sprinter, the L 319, wasn’t released until 1956. The L 319 van had more payload capacity than the average delivery van, making it ideal for construction or delivery workers who needed something capable of hauling large and heavy loads. With a stronghold of success in the light van market, Mercedes-Benz has continued to fine-tune and develop its van chassis for multiple different uses and industries. In 2022, the third generation of Sprinter offers two roof heights, five weight classes, five different body configurations, and a wide array of high tech safety and luxury finishes. While the bones of the VS30 model Sprinter (2019 and newer) remain very similar to the 2007-2018 NC3V Sprinter van, the new VS30 see’s modern Mercedes-Benz passenger car type luxury and safety features in the cabin.
ADF & The Mercedes Sprinter Van
Before founding ADF Sprinters, Ron Weaver worked extensively with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis immediately after it was released into the United States. Ron was responsible for designing and overseeing the production of ultra high-end, private jet style interiors for A-list celebrities and C-level executives around the globe. During this time, Ron built a lasting relationship with Mercedes-Benz Vans engineers, and Sprinter chassis was a quickly established favorite among customers. Fast forward 18 years, and ADF Sprinters continues to focus their builds primarily around the Sprinter Chassis, with emphasis on builds including Adventure vans, mobile offices, tour busses, executive suites, and commercial solutions.
The Options Are Endless
What’s exciting about shopping for a Mercedes Sprinter Van is there are several options for you to choose from. There are 21 variations of the Sprinter Cargo van alone. This variety allows potential customers to select a model that will suit their needs exactly and not settle for a van that won’t provide the requirements of what they plan to use it for. Mercedes continues to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to their clients and vehicles; everyone will need something different, and they continue to provide significant value.
4×4 & 2WD Drivetrains
The Sprinter 4×4 drivetrain was made available by Mercedes in 2015. The selectable 4×4 chassis is the only full size van to come straight from the factory. Because of their sheer popularity in the campervan and adventure van market, 4×4 Sprinters have become difficult to get. Potential buyers find themselves on extremely long waitlists or traveling far distances to source them. Because of this 4WD demand, many people have relegated to the 2WD Sprinter, which is also challenging to purchase.
Diesel & Gas Engines
When choosing a Mercedes Sprinter van to convert, you also have the choice of a Gas or Diesel engine, which will both provide their specific benefits.
A gas sprinter will be most comparable to the average passenger vehicle, such as a sedan or compact SUV. They’re excellent engines for those in more urban areas who expect to be stopped frequently at red lights, stop signs, etc. However, if you know you will spend a great deal of time on highways and traveling long distances, a diesel engine would be more ideal! Something to mention is how Diesel engines experience a turbo-lag on the initial acceleration but provide great strength and longevity over the life of the engine.
Fortunately, the Mercedes Benz Website provides a great Cost of Operation tool that lets anyone compare various Engines (Gas/Diesel) and Drivetrains (2WD, 4WD) against each other, before you build the van. This enables you to enter your annual Mileage and then gives you the expected Cost of Operation to make an intelligent decision based on these real-world metrics.
144, 170, 170” Extended Wheelbase
Determining the correct wheelbase for your conversion is essential, so ask yourself these questions:
- How do you want to use your conversion?
- How many people do you want to seat?
- How much storage space do you need?
- How do you like to organize your gear?
Mercedes-Benz continues to provide you with multiple solutions and offers three different wheelbases, the 144″, 170″, and 170″ Extended. The 144″ wheelbase will allow you to be the most agile if you want to explore remote locations and tackle challenging trails. But, if you’re a family of four, who loves to set up camp in established campgrounds, consider the 170″ or 170” Extended, as everyone will have ample space to lounge inside the conversion comfortably.
When looking for a Sprinter van, there are two roof sizes, the Standard Roof and the High Roof. The High Roof is one of the most popular roof choices among vanlifers as the 6’2” finished height allows almost anyone to stand and move around comfortably. If you choose this height, be aware of low-hanging bridges, garages, drive-thrus, and more, as your nearly 10 foot tall conversion will likely exceed the height limit for these areas.
The low-roof sprinter is an excellent choice if you prefer to camp in something more stealthy. While the standing height measures about 5’5″, there is always the option to add on a pop-top to extend your height and provide you with additional sleeping space. The standard roof option is limited to the 144” wheelbase van.
If you’re curious about the lifespan of the Mercedes Sprinter Van, understand they are famous for durability and longevity. With regularly scheduled maintenance, your van can easily make it 300,000+ miles. It’s not rare for these conversions to exceed 450,000 miles, we’ve even had customers completely rebuild their interiors inside vans with 250,000 miles. Of course, like any vehicle, they will need standard repairs, such as battery and brake replacements, as the vehicle ages.
By taking care of the van, you can have a vehicle that stays with you through every adventure. Just listen for new noises, pay attention to the feel of the steering wheel and if you’re ever in doubt, bring it to a mechanic so they can check it out.
Re-Sale Value of the Mercedes Sprinter Van
Lastly, one of the most important benefits of a Mercedes Sprinter is its incredible resale value compared to its competitors when it comes time to sell your campervan. They’re reliable vehicles with a respectable reputation, so there will likely always be a buyer if your campervan was appropriately maintained!
Sourcing A Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van
It’s easy to understand why the Mercedes Sprinter is the go-to vehicle for luxury campervan conversions. Some even refer to Mercedes as “the king of passenger and cargo vans” as they’re not only reliable but perform exceptionally well on established roads and remote trails. If you’re interested in learning more about Mercedes and why a Sprinter Van is suitable for your conversion, reach our team at [email protected].
We also have multiple Sprinter Van Chassis ready for purchase – Check out our Sprinter Vans For Sale Page.