Volkswagen buses hold a special place in our nostalgic hearts, but we are partial to Mercedes Sprinter vans for our personal use and our rental business. The Sprinters have a lot of things going for them. They have plenty of room for everything we need, and there are tons of add-on gadgets that can make life on the road so comfortable. Here are our four favorite things about Mercedes Sprinter vans:
- When you drive a Sprinter, it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a massive van. The car-like ride quality makes them a pleasure to drive. Even the big van with 170 inch wheelbase has no problem sprinting (heh) up mountains when she’s fully loaded. It’s true that we can’t see out the back of either of our vans, but backup cameras and double side mirrors make up for that. And yes, the broad side of a Sprinter can catch a lot of wind. The Wind Assist feature is a huge help when the weather really kicks up, like it frequently does here in the Palm Springs area.
- Mercedes Sprinter vans have tons of headroom. Geoff is 6′ 2″ and he can stand up straight in the vans. In fact, this was one of the major selling points for us when we were shopping around for a van to build out. We kept thinking back to our beloved sailboat…inside of which we all had to hunch over at all times. After smashing our skulls five or six times a day it became a cursing frenzy. It got old. We didn’t want to recreate that experience in our camper van.
- Traveling in a Mercedes Sprinter, with all the personal stuff you need, is super convenient. It’s like having a rental car and a hotel room in one. You never have to drive all the way back to your room, because your room is with you! With a refrigerator, a private toilet, and cooking supplies, life on the road becomes much more enjoyable.
- They get great mileage. Both our Sprinters have diesel engines. Our big girl has the 4 cylinder engine (which is no longer available) and averages about 22 mpg. Not bad for a 23 foot vehicle! Our new 140-inch wheelbase van has the 6 cylinder engine and gets close to 20 mpg. When you look at other large passenger vans with 6 cylinder engines, they average 11-16 mpg.
We are excited to get started on our second Mercedes Sprinter van conversion! You should see some updates on that project very soon. We are going to try our hands at video making (pray for us), but if that doesn’t work out so great we will share photos and our best stories and advice.