Choosing the right Sprinter van windows for your van build can be a tough decision. Do you want awning-style windows, slider windows, glass or acrylic, curved or straight? What about the sizes for the sides of your van and back doors? There are so many choices on the market that it can be overwhelming.
The top companies that make Sprinter van windows these days are Wilderness Vans, C.R. Laurence, AMA Auto and Arctic Tern.
In this post, we’ll help you decide which windows to put in your Sprinter van, and major factors to consider. The windows mentioned here can fit in a 144″ or 170″ wheel base Sprinter.
#1. Wilderness Vans Broad Arrow Curved Awning Windows (Acrylic)
We researched van windows for a month before choosing the very best windows for our Sprinter van camper. We finally decided on awning-style Broad Arrow windows from Wilderness Vans, a Canadian company I first found out about on Facebook. Wilderness Vans Broad Arrow windows are awning-style, double-paned black acrylic that come with bug screens and pleated blinds.
They are also curved to fit the sides of a van, unlike Arctic Tern windows, which are also awning-style but are flat, better suited for the flat side walls of an RV or box truck. They can be put into a van as well but you have to be very careful to avoid warping the metal (more on that later). Broad Arrow window are also tinted and have a flat exterior, unlike the bubbled exterior with Arctic Tern.
With the curved nature of Broad Arrow windows, we were able to add larger windows to the middle panels of our van. We also added small rectangular windows to our two back doors, which creates wonderful airflow throughout the van along with the C.R. Laurence half-sliders in our Flarespace flares.
I love that these awning-style windows can be used in rainy conditions. I also think they create maximum air flow in a van as they open to various heights.
Customer service with Wilderness Vans has also been a dream. One of our window shades ripped apart after only a few months of use, which they replaced with no questions asked. One tip I have is to be gentle when raising and lowering the privacy and bug screens.
Here are the sizes we used in our Sprinter van:
- Broad Arrow Curved Window 1097×597 for our middle panels
- Broad Arrow Curved Windows 497×297 on our two back doors
#2. Arctic Tern Flat Awning Windows (Acrylic)
Another popular brand of Sprinter van windows awning windows are those sold by Arctic Tern. These are also made of double-paned acrylic with an integrated shade and bug screen. The windows push out on gas struts and can be positioned at angles of 20, 40 or 60 degrees.
Arctic Tern windows get very good reviews from both DIYers and professional van build companies, yet we didn’t choose them as they are flat windows.
You must take this into consideration before ordering the windows, as the cut hole on the sides of the window must be 3 to 4 inches away from any major support structures that are curved. This means you can’t have quite as big of a window in your van as you would with Wilderness Van windows, which don’t require the 3 to 4 inches of space. If you don’t allow for this space, the windows can warp the metal of your van, which we’ve seen in lots of van builds!
You must also make sure the clearances inside the van allow for space for the blind assembly, which is slightly larger than the window.
Arctic Tern has a helpful document so you can figure out which size windows to put in your Sprinter van:
Or you can watch the video about fitting Arctic Tern windows:
#3. C.R. Laurence Sprinter Van Windows (Glass)
CRL Sprinter van windows are also a popular choice amongst van lifers and RV companies. Storyteller Overland uses the CR Laurence T vent in their Sprinter van builds. The larger T-vent windows fit the passenger-side sliding door and driver’s side middle panel of a Sprinter.
The T-vent windows are way easier to install than Wilderness Vans and Arctic Tern windows as they fit right into the factory cut-out of the van. The large fixed windowpane at the top half gives you plenty of light and views, while the crank-out opening panels at the bottom provide great ventilation.
The T-vent windows are made out of tempered glass and have a 28% factory tint that matches other windows in your van. Since the windows are made of glass, they weigh 35 pounds, about 15 pounds heavier than Arctic Tern and Wilderness Vans acrylic windows. Since they are vented outward awning-style, you can use these windows in rainy weather.
One nice thing about using the CRL T-vent windows for your side panels are that they have interior clamp rings, which means you don’t have to use adhesive, primer or sealant for installation. These are probably the easiest windows to install on our list!
Here are popular sides for a Sprinter van:
- Driver’s side forward T-vent
- Passenger sliding door T-vent
- Universal half-slider bunk window (passenger side)
- Universal half-slider bunk window (driver’s side)
- Rear door window (passenger side)
- Rear door window (drivers side)
You can also choose to put a fixed glass window in your Sprinter van but I don’t know why anyone would do that as it decreases airflow.
CR Laurence windows are also a great way to replace factory glass as it fits right into the same cutout.
#4. AM Auto Sprinter Van Windows (Glass)
If you’re looking for even more ventilation from a window that fits right into the factory cut-out in your van, look no further than the AM Auto Half-Slider windows. This single-pane glass window has tinted glass bordered by a black ceramic frit, with an inset sliding glass panel and black interior frame. The panel has a push-button latch and a removable sliding screen. You’ll need to build an interior trim ring to finish out the window inside your van.
We like these windows because they have a large opening, which increases airflow inside your van. The main downside is they can’t be used in rainy weather.
AM Auto Sprinter van windows are bonded, meaning you must use primer and adhesive to install, unlike the CRL windows T-vent which are clamp-in.
Here are popular AMA Auto windows for Sprinter vans:
- Sprinter passenger sliding door half-slider window
- Sprinter driver’s side forward half-slider window
- Universal-Fit Driver Side Half-Slider Screened Window
- Universal Fit Passenger Side Half-Slider Screened Window
So Should You Choose Glass or Acrylic for your Sprinter Van Windows?
The two main types of windows sold for a Sprinter van conversion are either double-paned acrylic or glass. Acrylic is more common in RVs and in campervans in Europe. When choosing the right windows for your build, you’ll want to know some of the key differences.
- Acrylic windows provide better insulation as they are double-paned
- Acrylic windows are lighter
- Glass offers better views as acrylic can be mildly distorted
- Glass is easier to clean. You must take great care with acrylic to not scratch it when cleaning
- Glass is hotter. When sun hits glass it heats it up way more than acrylic
- Acrylic is shatter-resistant. It cracks rather than shatters with impact
- Glass is scratch-resistant, where acrylic will easily show scratches that need to be repaired
- Acrylic has more UV blocking properties
The main reason we chose acrylic windows for our Sprinter van is that they are better insulated, shatter-resistant and lightweight. We also love that the Wilderness Vans windows come with an integrated bug screen and pleated privacy shade.
Curved vs Straight Sprinter Van Windows
A curved window is less likely to cause puckering or dimpling in the metal around the window installation. We’ve seen some van builds with terrible warping around flat windows. So far, Wilderness Vans is the only company we’ve found that makes curved awning windows for Sprinter vans.
With flat windows, you’ll need to add more space around the window so it doesn’t warp the metal. For Arctic Tern windows, this means 3″ on the sides of the windows and 1.5″ on the top and bottom.
We chose curved windows so we could add larger windows to our Sprinter van as we love big views.
Slider vs Awning Sprinter Windows
Another factor to consider is whether you want push-out awning windows or slider windows for your Mercedes sprinter.
Awning-style windows create maximum airflow, as you can push them way open. They are also usable in rainy situations, unlike slider windows.
The T-vent windows made by CR Laurence work well in rain but don’t have as much airflow as larger awning windows, but you could argue they offer more of a view since you have 2/3 of the window as uninterrupted glass.
Should You Even Put Windows in a Sprinter Van?
I’ve heard some van lifers argue that the fewer windows the better for a camper van. Windows mean a lot of heat and cold transfer happens within your vehicle. If you’re in a super cold or super hot climate, for example, you may get uncomfortable in a van with too many windows.
Fewer windows also means your van is stealthier. Big awning or T-vent windows pretty much say, “I’m a camper van.” However, if you only have a couple small slider windows and get most of your ventilation from a roof vent, you’ll be more stealth for urban camping.
Double-paned acrylic windows also help with insulation and will keep your van a more stable temperature.
Windows are expensive, so might not be right for you if you’re doing a budget van build. Large windows for the sides of your van can cost around $600-$700 each. Smaller rear sliders can be $250-$300 each.
Campervan windows also give you plenty of natural light so you don’t have to rely on indoor lights during the day. I can’t imagine being inside a dark vehicle while the sun is out!
We absolutely knew we wanted a lot of windows in our Sprinter van. We both love having every screened window open for increased airflow in the van, which is amazing for cooking and sleeping. The views also can’t be beat. It can be a chilly or rainy day but we can sit in our van and look out. I can’t imagine living full-time in a van without windows.
Installing our Sprinter Van Windows
Wilderness Vans sends paper templates for each window, which is really handy when it comes to installation. We started by first creating measurements inside the van where we’d want the window to sit, then held up the paper templates to the outside of the van and lined them with blue tape.
Tom used a jigsaw to cut through the metal of the van. After treating the metal with Rustoleum anti-rust paint, we glued the windows in place.
Then, Tom created framing for the windows that would match flush with our interior wall panels.
To learn more about installing Wilderness Vans windows, check out this video:
Whatever window you choose will provide detailed installation instructions.
Conclusion on the Best Sprinter Van Windows
There’s lots to think about when choosing windows for a Sprinter van conversion. You’ll have to decide between acrylic and glass, awning vs slider vs T-vent and curved vs straight.
After a year of use, we still love our Wilderness Vans Broad Arrow awning windows. They look great, are easy to use, come with a built-in privacy screen and shade, and work well in rain. In fact, it was raining this morning as I wrote this post and we have the windows cracked at least 8 inches, creating a lovely airflow in the Sprinter.
I hope this post helped you figure out all the options out there for Sprinter van windows. Let me know if you have questions!