If you’re looking to DIY a Sprinter van, you’re probably curious about how much a Sprinter van costs. The answer is this: it depends.
When I first started researching my next van life van (my first was a Chevy Astro), the Sprinter was high on my list. It had 4×4 capabilities, a diesel engine option and the capability to keep running with hundreds of thousands of miles on its odometer. Sprinter vans are well made; there’s a reason RV manufacturers use them and they’re preferred by many van conversion companies.
I knew the Mercedes Sprinter I chose, a 4×4 high roof van, would be the most expensive in the line-up.
In this post, we’ll give you some examples and ideas of how much a Sprinter van costs so you can decide if it’s the right van life van for you.
What is a Sprinter Van?
The Sprinter van is a van model made by Mercedes Benz. The most common version is the commercial cargo van, which just has a cab in front and an empty van in the back. However, you can find Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans with seats for passengers.
Since Mercedes is a German company, there are some American versions that can be much more affordable and easy to find. You can buy Freightliner Sprinters and Dodge Sprinters to save quite a bit of cash upfront. These are still Mercedes vans, but with different labeling.
Why Buy a Sprinter Van?
If you’re interested in roaming the countryside in a camper van, a Sprinter is an excellent choice. Many Class B RVs made on the Sprinter van chassis, and the vehicles are well-built and should last a long time.
Another primary reason to buy one of these vehicles is that it’s easy to find Sprinter van conversion companies. So, if you want a custom build but don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire a third party to handle your van conversion. There are also a lot of DIY conversion kit parts for sale for Sprinter vans, although the market is starting to gain traction on Transits and Promasters as well.
Plus, since so many RVers use Sprinter vans, you can find tips, tricks, and insightful articles about how to make the most out of your new rig.
Types of Sprinter Vans and Cost Examples
Before starting a Sprinter van conversion, you need to know the various models available to determine how much a Sprinter van costs. Let’s break down the different options.
High-Roof vs. Low Roof Sprinter Van
Realistically, you want a camper van that’s tall enough for you to stand up inside. Fortunately, Sprinter offers high-top versions of its cargo and passenger vans. According to the manufacturer, you can get up to 87.3 inches (7.3 feet) of standing room. Otherwise, if you don’t mind stooping, you can buy a shorter model so that you don’t have to worry as much about clearance issues.
If you buy a low-roof model, you can always install a pop-top later on for standing room. One benefit of a low roof model is that it gets better gas mileage, and has a low profile for off-roading.
The other benefit of a high-roof Sprinter van is that you have more room for amenities. You can use the top for storage space, making room on the bottom for a toilet, bed, kitchenette, and more.
That said, you have to pay more for the high-top model, so you have to factor that into your budget. Mercedes also sells a worker cargo van, which can tow up to 5,000 pounds. So, another option is to bring a small RV trailer along. This way, you can have some amenities in the van and the rest in the trailer for the best of both worlds.
Adding a high roof to your Sprinter van will increase the cost by $3,000, no matter what class type or engine you get.
4×4 vs. Standard Sprinter Van
You can buy the standard Sprinter cargo van with a 4×4 diesel drivetrain. This option is useful if you want to go off-roading in your new campervan. Since camper vans are already smaller and easier to maneuver, having a 4×4 model offers more freedom and flexibility when traveling.
We knew we had to have a 4×4 as we do a lot of driving in sand and on gravel. We also wanted the Sprinter to work on snow and ice if need be.
New Sprinter cargo van models also come with Load Adaptive ESP, which helps prevent over and understeering. So, you have less of a chance of losing control of your rig while heading out into the wild blue yonder.
However, adding a 4×4 drivetrain to your Sprinter will really increase the Sprinter van’s cost.
A 4×4 Sprinter van diesel drivetrain adds around $13,850 to your Sprinter van.
1500 vs 2500 vs 3500
There are several different classes of Sprinter van models you can buy, but the most common types for van lifers are the 2500 and 3500. The 2500 is a three-quarter ton and the van I chose as it has sufficient payload for our van build. The 3500 is a one-ton truck that comes either as a dually or with single rear wheels. The dually has a greater payload and can handle a heavier build.
If you go with a gas engine, you can only get a Sprinter in a 1500 or 2500. Diesel engines offer up more options, including a 3500 and 4500.
Here are a few pricing examples of how much a Sprinter van costs in the various classes:
- Sprinter 144 Low Roof 1500 Gas Engine: $38,300
- Sprinter 144 Low Roof 2500 Gas Engine: $39,600
- Sprinter 144 Low Roof 3500 Diesel Engine: $45,430
- Sprinter 144 Low Roof 3500 Dually Diesel Engine: $47,900
- Sprinter 144 Low Roof 4500 Diesel Engine: $50,100
As you can see, the larger the class, the more expensive. And the price keeps going up if you add a longer or taller Sprinter, or one with a 6-cylinder diesel engine.
Cargo vs Crew vs Passenger Sprinter Vans
Sprinter vans also come in a few different models. The most popular choice for van lifers is the cargo van as it’s the most customizable. We briefly considered the crew van as it already has windows, but we would have had to remove those windows and add our own since the stock windows don’t have good enough ventilation.
We ended up going with the cargo van so we could add any type of windows, plus Flarespace flares to the rear quarter panels. It wouldn’t have made sense for us to get a passenger van with wrap-around windows if we were just going to remove them to add flares.
Some people do end up going with crew and passenger vans as they do have more windows, but you’ll most likely need to add an AC unit and fans to keep the interior cool enough for living. Usually, these vans are used for road trips where the in-cab air conditioning will be running. This doesn’t work if you’re out camping or boondocking.
We wouldn’t recommend getting a passenger van to convert into a camper as they come with seating for 12-15 that you’d have to remove.
Here are price examples of the various Sprinter van types:
- Sprinter Cargo Van: Starts at $38,300
- Sprinter Crew Van: Starts at $43,400
- Sprinter Passenger Van: Starts at $43,300
You can also choose whether to get a gas or a diesel engine on your Sprinter van, and whether you want a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine.
The 4-cylinder gas is the base model and won’t add any extras to the cost of your Sprinter van.
However, a 4-cylinder diesel increases the cost by $3,300, a 6-cylinder diesel by $5,320 and a 6-cylinder 4×4 powertrain increases your cost by $13,820.
Packages and Options
Not only does high roof vs low roof, 4×4, gas vs diesel and class size matter to the cost of a Sprinter van, you also have a lot of options and packages that will increase the van’s cost.
For example, here are some costs of various packages:
- Swivel Seat Package: $549
- Premium Package Plus, including maps, navigation and acoustic upgrades: $1,852
- Exterior lighting package: $1,661
- Driver convenience package: $785
Then you can pick all sorts of options:
- Electrically heated windshield: $225
- Electrically folding side mirrors: $51
- Blindspot assist: $465
As you can see, adding on all the bells and whistles to your Sprinter van will really increase the cost.
So, How Much Did My Sprinter Van Cost?
My Sprinter van came to a grand total of $72,605 for an empty shell of a cargo van. Not cheap, right?
Here’s the cost breakdown:
- 2021 Sprinter 144 WB Diesel 4×4: $64,797
- State & Local Taxes: $2,777
- Tag Fee: $400
- Customer Service Fee: $700
- Extended Warranty: $3,945
I paid a large down payment and financed the rest through the dealership at a rate of 3%.
Here are the packages and options I got with my Sprinter van. I purchased it out of the Mercedes dealership in Knoxville, where the dealer had already placed orders for a bunch of Sprinter vans. I selected the van with the color and options I wanted for a camper van:
- Sprinter Van Base Price: $42,000
- Stone Gray Color: $670
- Leatherette Seats: $60
- Comfort Package (Seats): $377
- Basic Comfort Package: $269
- Driver Convenience Package: $753
- Cargo Convenience Package: $652 (I wouldn’t have chosen this one)
- Exterior Lighting Package: $1,592
- 4×4 High/Low Range: $8,175
- Swivel Seat Package: $527
- High Roof: $2,850
- Roof Rails: $297
- Additional Battery: $246
- Electrically Heated Windshield: $215
There are way more options that were included in my Sprinter van which I’m not going to write down here, but you can see that each option you get increases the cost of your Sprinter van. The van plus all the options equalled $64,797.
How Much does a Used Sprinter Van Cost?
We chose to get a brand new Mercedes Sprinter van rather than used because we wanted to make sure the van is treated well. Sprinter maintenance costs are high and I didn’t want to risk buying a van someone abused. Plus, I’ll be able to get more life out of a brand new Sprinter as I want it to last for years and years of adventures.
However, new Sprinter vans are pretty expensive – my 4×4 version was around $64,000 with the options and add-ons.
A used Sprinter van is cheaper, depending on the year and mileage. The oldest Dodge Sprinters – made around 2006 – are the cheapest out there. However, buying a used Sprinter van will never be dirt cheap as these vans hold their value well.
When browsing resale website I’m seeing prices between $30,000 and $60,000 for used Sprinter vans.
Check out this article on where to find a Sprinter Van for Sale.
The Costs of Converting Your Sprinter Van
Before you can hit the road and start experiencing van life, you need to convert the vehicle into a Sprinter camper van. The conversion process can take a while and cost quite a bit, depending on what kind of amenities you want. Let’s break down the various factors to consider before starting a conversion.
What Does a Sprinter Van Camper Conversion Cost?
There are two ways to convert a Sprinter cargo van. First, you can do it yourself, meaning that you source individual components and install or build them on your own. The second option is to hire a Sprinter van conversion company to handle everything for you.
Typically, these companies have a menu of installation options and you just pick which ones you want. In most cases, they will supply the vehicle as well, but sometimes, you can save money by having them convert an existing Sprinter van.
If you go the DIY route, you can potentially spend only a few thousand dollars. However, the cost depends on a few factors:
- First, how handy are you at installing elements in a vehicle? Also, do you have the tools necessary to cut the van’s panels as needed?
- Do you want brand-new equipment in your Sprinter camper van, or are you okay with used items?
- Finally, what amenities do you want? Are you okay with just a bed and a kitchenette, or do you want a toilet, shower, and dining area? The more accommodations you install, the higher the price.
Overall, if you have the tools and know-how, you can wind up spending anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 on a DIY Sprinter van conversion.
If you use professional conversion companies, you’ll spend at least $50,000 for a basic rig. However, some companies offer lots of high-end amenities, which can inflate the price tag to $100,000-$15,000 or more.
Another option is to have a basic professional camper conversion and then install various components yourself afterward. This way, you can have the pros take care of the big stuff (i.e., plumbing) and you can install the easier elements.
DIY Sprinter Van Conversion Costs
Once you determine the amenities you want in your camper van, you have to source each piece and install it yourself. Here’s a quick rundown of the various costs associated with individual components:
You need a roof vent to keep the interior climate controlled. This vent is necessary to keep the air flowing during the summer and for steam to escape while cooking. These vents cost around $250 and involve cutting a hole in your roof.
Solar Power & Batteries
Instead of plugging into an outlet to recharge your batteries, you can rely on solar power. These panels can cost a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the quality. You can also buy retractable panels for added convenience. If you go with lithium batteries for a van conversion, those can run $1,000 each per battery. Your battery and solar setup can end up costing $4,000-$5,000 depending on what types of batteries and panels you use.
You have quite a bit of flexibility when installing storage cabinets and drawers. Usually, you want to start with the essential elements (i.e., your bed and kitchenette) and then figure out storage afterward. If you build them yourself, you can spend $100 or less on raw wood. Otherwise, van cabinets can cost at least $200 each.
This appliance is essential to keep your food fresh during your trip. Compact compressor fridges can cost between $400-$1,000, depending on the exact size and model. Also, consider if you need a freezer or not. Check out the best 12-volt fridges for van life.
Walls, Ceiling, and Insulation – You can’t leave the interior of your Sprinter van exposed. Instead, you have to build walls, floors, and a ceiling. To ensure that you don’t freeze or overheat inside, you also have to install insulation. We chose wool van insulation for our build. The wood paneling (we recommend Baltic birch) can cost several hundred dollars while insulation can cost over $150 per foot, depending on the quality. You can also buy pre-cut wood panels from Titan vans.
Kitchen Unit: You can either build your own kitchen unit or buy a prebuild kitchen pod for $1,000-$3,000
Bed system: We opted for Sprinter van flares and
As you can see, the more components you add to your DIY Sprinter van, the more expensive it will get. You can always do a bare bones conversion to see what van life is like, and add components as time goes on.
What to Consider When Getting a Sprinter Van Conversion
Since you’ll be living in your camper van for at least a few days at a time, you need to make sure it’s accommodating for you and any companions. So, before making any final decisions, keep these elements in mind:
- Fuel Type – Typically, you want a diesel engine so that you can save money on fuel costs. Not only is diesel often cheaper than regular gas, but you get better fuel efficiency, meaning you don’t have to fill up as often.
- Bathroom – Although Sprinter cargo vans are pretty spacious, they have limited room for amenities. Many van conversion companies will eliminate the bathroom first. So, you have to figure out how to use the facilities when you’re traveling. If you’re planning to go to RV parks and campsites, a lack of a toilet shouldn’t be an issue. If you spend lots of time off-grid, you can go in the ground backpacking style. Lack of a bathroom is more of an issue if you’re doing a lot of stealth camping.
- Water Tanks – If nothing else, you’ll need water for cooking. If you don’t have a toilet, you only need a gray water tank, which can help save space (and weight). If you install smaller tanks, you’ll have to be frugal with your water usage. We have a 27-gallon spare tire water tank from RB Components mounted under our Sprinter van.
- Sleeping Capacity – Are you planning on traveling solo or with other people? If you’ll have multiple travelers riding along, you need enough space for everyone to sleep. Since beds usually take up the most space, you might have to sacrifice room for other amenities, so keep that in mind. You can also add two platform beds in the back of your Sprinter to create bunk beds.
- Kitchenette – Camper van kitchens can range from fully-loaded to bare-bones. On the latter end, you’ll get a sink and a countertop with a couple of drawers. On the high end, you can get a kitchen with a built-in stove and fridge. Alternatively, you can buy a removable kitchenette so that you can do all your cooking outside.
Pros and Cons of DIY and Professional Sprinter Van Conversions
As we mentioned, you can either convert your Sprinter van yourself or pay for a professional custom van conversion. Let’s break down the pros and cons of both options.
DIY Sprinter Van Conversions
- Pro: More Affordable – You can spend as little or as much as you want on Sprinter van conversion costs. Also, you can start with basic amenities and add more later on.
- Con: Harder to Insure – Many insurance companies won’t cover a DIY van conversion, only professional custom vans or Class B RVs. You may have to get personal article insurance to protect the contents and components of your van. Check out this article for more info: How to get campervan insurance
- Pro: Better Customization – Since you can pick and choose each element yourself, you can get as creative as you like. Also, if you’re really handy, you can build pieces to be as accommodating as you like. This gives you great control over your layout, which is we why went the DIY route.
- Con: More Time and Energy Involved – You will need to have a few months (or years!) to dedicate to your van conversion. Converting a van from scratch is often a tedious, difficult effort, but very rewarding to say the least!
Professional Sprinter Van Conversions
- Pro: Guaranteed Work – Sprinter van conversion companies often guarantee their work. So, if something inside the van breaks down, you might get covered by a warranty. Also, you know that everything was installed as safely as possible.
- Con: Higher Cost – Even if you were going to install the same components yourself, you have to pay for parts and labor with a professional conversion. As we mentioned, these conversions can cost upwards of six figures if you want your camper van fully loaded.
- Pro: Faster Results – Since companies only do conversions, they can get your rig ready in much less time than you could on your own. That said, because camper van conversions are much more popular these days, the waiting period is longer than usual.
- Con: Limited Selection – Most conversion companies use specific gear and components during the conversion process. If you did everything yourself, you could source pieces from anywhere, including competing brands. Also, you could potentially build your own components.
Companies That Offer Sprinter Van Conversions
If you’re interested in converting your Sprinter van professionally, you need to find a company that can do it all for you. Fortunately, there are quite a few conversion businesses out there, so it’s all about finding one that offers the amenities you want and is close by. Many of these are based on the west coast, so you might have to plan accordingly.
Check out our article about Sprinter van conversion companies here.
Based In: Montana
Beartooth offers both Sprinter vans and full-scale custom conversions. However, if you don’t want to go the customized route, you can pick from one of their standard conversion options. For example, the Chalet build offers two beds for multiple campers, a sleek white and brown color scheme, and an extendable awning over the sliding door.
If you do want a fully-customized van, you can fill out a survey that includes your interests and how you plan to use the van. From there, Beartooth can deliver a floorplan to suit your needs, and you can approve the look before finalizing your purchase.
Based In: Colorado
Living in a camper van is a unique experience and not one that many people are used to right out of the gate. So, if you like the idea of van life but want to try it out before you commit, Boulder Campervans offers rental services. Then, once you’ve made a final decision, you can pick from several build options.
If you’re not interested in custom-converting a Sprinter van, you can buy one “off-the-shelf.” However, these vans are in high demand, so you might have to wait a while before you can drive off the lot with your new mobile home.
Based In: Indiana, Arizona, Texas
If you want to work with a reputable company with decades of experience, Sportsmobile is the best option. This brand has been around since 1961, so it knows a thing or two (or three) about converting camper vans.
Sportsmobile can actually convert various van models, including the Mercedes Sprinter. We like that the site has a Design Your Own tool that empowers you to take charge and build the van of your dreams. Otherwise, you can select from standard build options and let Sportsmobile take the wheel (figuratively speaking).
Based In: Colorado
Although Vanworks hasn’t been around quite as long as Sportsmobile, it has plenty of experience under its belt. Since 1978, the company has been converting Sprinters, Rams, and Fords to accommodate their clients. As with other conversion van companies, you can either buy one off the shelf or get a fully-customized version.
Vanworks also offers financing options and a three-year warranty on all builds. So, you can buy with confidence, knowing that your van is built to last. Also, if you’re trying to convert your own Sprinter van, you can buy components from the company and install them yourself. Vanworks offers everything you need from beds to storage to power systems to seating.
Companies That Offer Sprinter Van Conversion Kits or Materials
While ordering a Sprinter van conversion from a company can offer guaranteed results and peace of mind, sometimes it’s better to do it yourself. Rolling up your sleeves and building your camper van from scratch is a rewarding experience, which is why so many companies offer DIY kits. Here are our top picks.
Adventure Wagon offers a full interior kit to help you with the inside of your van build. This kit includes things like a wiring harness, insulation, pre-cut panels and lighting. Either Adventure Wagon can install the interior kit for you or you can do it yourself.
You can also get things like cabinets and beds from Adventure Wagon.
When converting your own Sprinter van, you have to consider all the little elements that conversion companies won’t miss. For example, what about plumbing systems to use a kitchen sink or toilet? What about drawers and under-bed storage compartments? What about roof racks?
Fortunately, you can get most of your supplies from Flatline Van Company. This brand offers a wide array of products to help you get your van on the road. You can buy cabinets, galleys, bed systems, step extensions, and more. However, because these pieces are in high demand, you might have to wait a while for them to get back in stock.
If you’re trying to get all your materials in one place, Titan pretty much has everything you need. You can buy pieces like galleys, cabinets, heating systems, water tanks, seats, and more. You can also buy paneling so that you can insulate your van and provide solid walls for your living area.
Each piece is made of unfinished birch pinewood, so you’ll need to stain or paint everything yourself. Also, they all come as kits that you’ll have to assemble before installing anything inside the van.
If you’re looking for a lightweight campervan interior, you might want to go with one of Esplori’s campervan conversion kits. These are made out of aluminum, and Esplori claims the kits are 40% lighter than alternatives.
A lighter weight campervan build is best if you want to go off-roading in a Sprinter van.
Also included in the kit will be a complete wiring harness for a van, lighting, a fan, insulation and charging outlets.
What’s really cool is that you can decide to do a DIY install, an assisted DIY install or bring your van into Esplori headquarters for a professional install.
Rather than picking and choosing the elements you want, Zenvanz gives you a complete DIY kit. Theoretically, you can just not install whichever components you don’t want, but if you have them, you might as well use them.
The Zenvanz kit comes with a kitchen, cabinet set, gear drying rack, bed system, and wood paneling. Basically, you should be road-ready as soon as you install everything.
Conclusion on Sprinter Van Costs
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that determine how much a Sprinter van costs. You’ll have to decide if you truly need a 4×4 or a high top, whether to go new or used, or whether to do a DIY van conversion or hire a company.
My main word of advice is this: Buy a van you can afford!
If you need to have a car payment, make sure you have enough in the bank to pay it off if need be. Don’t buy a van that’s above your means. I waited many, many years to buy a Sprinter van because I can finally afford it now.
Sprinter vans aren’t cheap, but they do keep their value better than other vans on the market. Plus they are sleek, well-built and come with a diesel option.
What questions do you have about Sprinters? Let me know in the comments!