*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.
Ever find yourself daydreaming about a stunning Sprinter van conversion, decked out with everything you need for the perfect van life adventure? I mean, Sprinter camper vans are not only good-looking, but they’re also hardy, roomy, and fuel-efficient (especially if you get a diesel engine) – making them an ideal choice for exploring the great outdoors. Plus they hold their value better than other panel vans.
But let’s be real, are these beauties really worth the hefty price tag? A brand-new Mercedes Sprinter van can set you back anywhere from $38,000 to $64,000, and that’s without even factoring in the cost of the camper conversion.
So, what’s all the hype about?
In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown on Sprinter van campers so you can make an informed decision about your own camper van conversion. And hey, I’m right there with you! I just got my hands on a Sprinter 2500 4×4 144″ high roof van in September of 2021 and am currently working on a DIY van build, which you can follow along here.
Table of Contents
Choosing a Sprinter for Your Sprinter Van Conversion
There are many different kinds of van options for those looking for an adventurous life on the road. In this article, we’ll focus on Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans and share some of the most interesting and individualized features you should consider in your custom build.
Sprinter vans are ideal for camper van conversions because they are spacious, sturdy, and have the highly sought-after 4-wheel drive option for those bumpy dirt roads you’ll likely be traveling. Newer Sprinter vans now come with AWD, but if you are really into 4WD, you can find used Sprinters on the market.
Sprinter vans come in a few different lengths as well, including the 144 Sprinter, the 170 Sprinter, and the 170 extended Sprinter. These numbers refer to the wheelbase distance, making the Sprinter the longest option on the market for a camper van conversion. Both passenger vans and cargo van models are available as well.
The Mercedes Sprinter fleet of vans (which includes Dodge Sprinters, Freightliner Sprinters, and Mercedes Sprinters) are often equipped with diesel engines that offer better fuel economy than regular gas engines and can have a longer lifetime as well. New for 2024, there is an electric Sprinter van available as well.
Of course, these advantages can come with a higher price tag than other types of cargo van or passenger van conversions, but most owners find the Mercedes Sprinter van features completely worth it!
Once you’ve chosen a Sprinter for your camper van build, the real fun begins. There are endless ways to design and create a fully customized rig for your van life, and we’ll share some truly unique ideas to get your ideas flowing.
These are not your cookie-cutter camper vans because Sprinters are not your ordinary vans! Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your DIY build or want some layout ideas to discuss with a builder, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!
Grab a 30-Day Free Trial of The Dyrt Pro just in time for summer. Here are some perks:
- 5,000+ free camping locations
- 1,000+ discounted campgrounds
- $0 extra camping booking fees
- Get reservations at sold-out campgrounds
Try it for free, no strings attached — use code “wayward” to get 30 days free.
Space Division in Your Sprinter Van Conversion
With the limited square footage in a van, you might want to visually divide up the areas to clearly delineate them. Here are some ways to separate the space in your Sprinter van.
A see-through rattan wall in this build allows for the division of space, but still lets light through, making the area still feel open.
Installing a wall between the cab and living space is a big design choice in Sprinter van conversions. It may be necessary if you want to utilize more vertical space, create a safety barrier, or add storage to your campervan.
Placing the kitchen along this wall is another way to free up additional room in the main living space of the van.
Big bulky walls can make your Sprinter van conversion feel cramped or claustrophobic, but when used to accent design elements, they can transform the look and feel of your van.
This build has a gorgeous focal wall that separates the bathroom from the living space and almost makes you forget you’re in a van!
Beyond the Basic Sprinter Van Conversion Bathroom
Dedicating a corner of your Sprinter van build to create a bathroom can make your campervan more functional and sleek than if you put it in the middle. It also allows for more shower space and easier access through a wider entrance and exit.
This cylindrical bathroom design from Advanced RV maintains that sleek and stylish look and avoids many of the weird angles that can sometimes wind up as wasted space inside a camper van build.
Another unique build choice is putting the bathroom in the back of the van. Many times when you look at a Sprinter conversion, your eyes are immediately drawn to the bathroom. It’s big and takes up a lot of space and attention.
Consider how different it would feel to have the shower and toilet in the back of the van. This can allow for easy access to water for rinsing or showering outside the van, which will be extremely helpful if you have a pet!
Installing the bathroom in the rear can also make cleaning it much easier. When you need to dump the composting toilet or rinse out the shower, you’ll have easy access and will be less likely to make a mess in the van or have to navigate obstacles.
Ceiling and Flooring for your Sprinter
Adding in-floor heating is a touch of luxury for a Sprinter van conversion. Imagine getting out of bed during a snowy morning at a ski resort and touching your toes to an ice-cold floor! No, thank you!
Ceilings and floors are excellent places to customize your rig. Add an interesting ceiling or floor design to your DIY Sprinter van conversion to reflect your personality and stand out in the crowd. (mosaic tiles, color choices, etc.)
Skylights for campervans are becoming more and more common in Sprinter van conversions and for good reason. They allow natural light into the van, making it feel more spacious, they provide the opportunity to sleep under the stars while comfortably in a bed, and they also act as roof access.
If you need to clean those solar panels or want to hang on the roof deck, just climb through the skylight!
You can find a variety of skylights for sale for your Sprinter van conversion. We like this one by Arctic Tern.
Extraordinary Bed Builds in Sprinter Van Conversions
Sleeping comfort is one of the primary functions of camper vans, so you want to make sure you plan out the bed situation thoroughly.
Consider how many people will regularly sleep in the van and whether or not you’ll have guests stay with you. If it’s just on occasion, you probably don’t need to waste space on a guest bed, but if it’s more often, build an extra sleep area into your conversion.
For families traveling or living with multiple people in their Sprinter camper van (or planning to have regular visitors), bunk beds will likely be a part of your build. There are a variety of ways to integrate bunk beds in your Sprinter van depending on your needs.
Check out these neat takes on bunk beds for van life.
You may think bunk beds are just for kids, but larger-sized bunk beds can provide space for several adults to sleep comfortably in your Sprinter van camper, too. These beds are on a track so they can be moved to different heights based on your needs.
Murphy beds have always been popular in small studio apartments or dual-use guest rooms. And now they are growing in popularity with both DIY campervan builders and professionals as well! If you think about it, your campervan is basically a small studio on wheels.
The concept of a Murphy bed is a sleeping surface that folds up into the wall when it is not in use. Adding a Murphy bed to your van will create more usable living space and/or additional storage space in your home, as you’ll see in the below image:
Here’s another example of how simply folding this murphy bed up creates a beautiful and spacious lounging and eating area for @mariajoseandchase in their Sprinter camper van! They even have a TV screen on the “wall” side of the murphy bed. Talk about creative!
Add a Guest Bed to Your Sprinter Van Conversion
You may think a “guest bed” is out of the question in your Sprinter van conversion, but @jorvickvanconversions has found a way to include both a fixed bed and a separate couch that can convert to another sleeping area! Check it out here!
Bed lifts are a game changer in van life! Some are on a manual pulley system and some are wired into the van’s electrical system, but they all work in the same way. Basically, the bed rises up and locks in place when not in use, making all of the space under it usable. If you’d like to install a bed lift in your own van, there are tons of YouTube DIY videos to help.
A double bench dinette area under the bed in this Sprinter van makes it the perfect place for hosting a game night or group dinner.
Convertible Bed Systems
Convertible couch beds in these Sprinter van conversions from Sync Vans add that touch of familiarity to make your van feel just like home.
Sprinter Van Roof Ideas for Your Van Conversion
The roof might not be something on your mind when you think of a van conversion, but it’s an important area of the van from both a function and design standpoint.
There are low and high levels of roof heights available in the Mercedes Sprinters and there’s a significant amount of clearance difference between them.
The low roof has about 5’5″ of standing height inside, while the high roof has about 6’4″. Keep in mind you’ll be adding flooring and ceiling that will take several inches off of this height as well.
Pop Tops, Roof Tents and Hammocks
The Mercedes Sprinter with the high roof is the most comfortable height for standing inside the van, but adding a pop top can make it more spacious. These pop tops provide more space that is accessible from inside the van. You can even install solar panels, fans, and additional storage on top of these pop tops from @poprakusa!
Roof pop up tents are most often found on low-roof or standard roof-height Sprinter vans to add a sleeping area, but they can be installed on high roof builds as well.
Rooftop hammocks are the ultimate in luxury relaxation. Hang out in style anywhere with this custom setup!
Tent Attachment for Side
Let’s face it; you can be at the most beautiful campsite ever, but if the bugs are bad, you’ll probably be miserable. While a magnetic bug screen like The Bug Wall is considered an essential van accessory by many, it doesn’t protect you from bugs outside the van.
A Sprinter tent attachment extends your living space to the outdoors while protecting you from those pesky pests. Add an air mattress and you’ve created a guest room!
Pet-Friendly Sprinter Camper Van Conversions
Setting out on a van life adventure doesn’t mean you have to leave your pets behind! In fact, your pets will probably love van life once they adjust to it. Here are some custom van solutions for traveling with your furry friends.
Dogs deserve their own dedicated spot in your van, and creating one under the bed is a great way to give them room and free up more space throughout the van for human needs. This custom Sprinter van conversion includes a locking pet door to keep the dogs secure or confined if necessary, which is great for a puppy who needs some extra boundaries!
There are of course lots of adventure cats on the road as well. Cats require a bit more dedicated indoor space and planning since they need an area for a litterbox and some type of odor management.
Office Solutions for your Sprinter Van Conversion
One of the biggest changes in Sprinter van conversions over the past few years has been the addition of dedicated office space. While camper vans were once used for weekend getaways or road trips, they have now become full-time homes and workspaces.
In order to be productive from your Sprinter van office, you’ll need to be thoughtful about the design of your work area.
Counter space doubles as a desk in this office setup that uses swiveled seats to make multiple comfortable work areas.
Cool Sprinter Camper Van Kitchen Designs
A van kitchen needs to be functional foremost, but it also provides an opportunity for design flair. While almost every kitchen includes a cooking surface and sink, there is a lot of room for customization.
Customize your backsplash or countertops to show off your personality!
Typically, a converted Sprinter van will have the kitchen near the slider door, but installing a rear kitchen can be unique design choice that sets your van apart. Imagine cooking your favorite meal while gazing out the back of the van at a beautiful mountain sunset or water view.
Designing your space with a rear kitchen also opens up the possibilities to customize your lounge area, create a unique sleeping system, and add even more storage.
Situating the kitchen along a wall behind the cab will free up tons of room throughout your camper van. Bonus idea – use the counter space as an accessible snack area on those long drive days!
In addition to the daily use indoor kitchen, an outdoor kitchen can be perfect for a picnic on a nice day.
Closets and Other Storage Space Ideas in a Sprinter Van Conversion
Keeping your camper van free of clutter is key to staying comfortable and content on the road.
Storage is one area you can get super creative with your sprinter van conversion. There are lots of nooks and crannies in a Sprinter van that allow for much more storage than meets the eye.
Overhead cabinets are the usual go-to for built-in storage in a Mercedes camper van. But to give yourself more open space, think about creating hidden storage in the floor or seating areas.
This Sprinter van conversion has bench seats to stow folded clothes in packing cubes and overhead netting for additional small item storage.
Hanging clothing storage is a premium feature for many van lifers. Here are a few creative closet builds to keep your clothes wrinkle-free and ready to wear.
Fresh and gray water tanks will take up a lot of room in a camper van conversion. Find a special water tank to fit your specific Sprinter van and maximize your space.
Wheel wells and underbed mounted water tanks are most common, but other shapes can be custom ordered as well.
Accessible Sprinter Van Conversions
Camper van builds can be extremely personalized based on their occupants. There’s not enough online representation of different abilities in van life, but there are folks of all different abilities traveling in vans. Here are several ways Sprinter van conversions can be made accessible for all.
Wide areas, remote-controlled doors, and a chair lift are just some of the features in this wheelchair-accessible Sprinter van conversion. Check out Tarek’s Instagram for more inspiration on making van life accessible for everyone.
Entertainment Options in a Mercedes Sprinter Van Conversion
After busy days of traveling and soaking up the outdoors, it can be nice to relax and watch a movie or TV show. However, you might not want your electronics to be visible at all times and you might want to protect them while you take your camper van off roading!
A hideaway TV is a convenient way to keep entertainment options stowed and safe while not in use. Check out how this hidden TV system works:
High end Sprinter van conversions often have built-in sound systems, but this is doable in a DIY build as well. The back doors are a great place to install speakers since you can hide the wires inside them.
If you’re a gamer, you can strategically fit all your gear into a Sprinter van conversion by building in dedicated storage.
Keep in mind the more electronic devices and entertainment equipment you have, the more power you’re going to need. Find out more about solar panels, lithium batteries, and other power system options in this post.
Removable/Movable Seats in a Sprinter Van Camper
While most Sprinter camper van conversions have at least two front seats, some have extra chairs or a bench seat behind the driver’s seat to accommodate children (and their car seats or booster seats) or guests.
Though additional seats take up a large amount of space, there are options for making them multi-use. Check out how this Sprinter van combines swivel seats and movable seats for multiple sitting, working, and resting configurations!
This gorgeous build has table seating for four thanks to these incredible moving seats. Who says you can’t have friends over for a dinner party in van life?
Looking for More Ideas for Your Sprinter Van Build?
There are SO many options these days for doing a unique Sprinter van conversion.
Check out these options and ideas: