Fully built Mercedes Sprinter van

21 Amazing Mercedes Sprinter Overland Conversions

Key takeaways

Considering a Mercedes Sprinter Conversion for Van Life?

With great reliability, tons of aftermarket parts, and an optional 4×4 drivetrain, the Sprinter van is one of the most popular vans for van life.

But how does it stack up against other popular models like the Ford Transit & Ram ProMaster?

In this post, we’ll find out.

21 Amazing Mercedes Sprinter Van Conversions

With high ceilings, up to 15 feet of interior cargo length, and lots of aftermarket parts, the Sprinter provides tons of options for designing a layout… but which is the best?

Here are 21 of the coolest Mercedes Sprinters ever:

Build #21: Sprinter with Blue Resin Countertop and Table

  • Highlights: This gorgeous build has a matching natural wood and resin countertop and dinette table. They’ve also installed a large shower, and a projector for watching movies.
  • Van: 2008 Mercedes Sprinter 170” Extended
  • Owner: @ourvanmaloi


Build #20: Sprinter with Fir Kitchen Unit and Side-Facing Bed

  • Highlights: The side-facing bed in this smaller sprinter saves room for a larger kitchen. The cabinetry in the one-wall kitchen is all fir wood and sits across from a small fridge.
  • Van: 2016 Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @soweboughtavan


Build #19: Sprinter with High Bed and Indoor and Outdoor Kitchen

  • Highlights: This Sprinter DIY build has some gorgeous solid wood overhead cabinets and countertop. The high bed has lots of storage underneath. Theres a small kitchen inside, as well as a pull-down table attached to the back door that can be used as an outdoor kitchen.
  • Van: 2018 Mercedes Sprinter 170”
  • Owner: @thedesertcruiser


Build #18: Sprinter Build with Bathroom, Long Sofa, and Workspace

  • Highlights: This Sprinter build has a uniquely long sofa. The end of the sofa functions as a work area along with the captain’s chair driver’s seat. The bed is extendable for some extra length and there’s a large shower room with a toilet.
  • Van: Mercedes Sprinter 170” Extended
  • Owner: @thesewildjourneys


Build #17: Sprinter with Extendable Bed, Large Booth, and Solar

  • Highlights: This build from Freedom Vans has a unique extendable bed design, where the bed will extend out over the booth to increase its size. There’s lots of counterspace for cooking, and a toilet hidden under one of the booths.
  • Van: 2020 Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @freedomvans


Build #16: Blue Gray Sprinter with Tiled Shower and Swivel Arm Desk

  • Highlights: This professional build from AciVan Conversions has a small kitchen with just a sink and plug-in induction van stove. There’s a large booth for dining, or a workspace, plus a large tiled shower.
  • Van: 2021 Mercedes Sprinter 170”
  • Owner: @the.activ


Build #15: Sprinter with Unique Over-Bed Shelving System


Build #14: Cozy Wood Ceiling Sprinter with High Bed and Shower

  • Highlights: This DIY sprinter build has two skylights, a unique van sliding shower door, and a booth dinette across form the single wall kitchen. The fixed bed is high up for lots of storage underneath.
  • Van: Mercedes Spritner 170” Extended
  • Owner: @a_van_and_no_plan


Build #13: Yellow Off-Grid Ready Sprinter with Lots of Gear Storage

  • Highlights: This off-grid ready van is simple inside with a fixed bed, and small kitchen. Underneath the bed is room for tons of gear storage, as well as a slide out table for outdoor cooking and dining.
  • Van: Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @igor.explores


Build #12: Luxury Sprinter Build with Skylight and Tiled Shower

  • Highlights: This fancy Sprinter build from Reset and Chill Campers has a high fixed bed at the back underneath a huge skylight. The one wall kitchen has a farmhouse sink and there’s a large faux-tiled shower at the front. 
  • Van: Mercedes Sprinter 170”
  • Owner: @resetandchill_campers


Build #11: Double Couch Sprinter with Huge Shower and Roof Deck

  • Highlights: This Sprinter has a huge double couch in the back that converts into a bed. At the front is a large shower with room to store a toilet. On the top, VanSleek Campervans have installed a roof deck.
  • Van: 2010 Mercedes Sprinter 170” Extended
  • Owner: @vansleek_campervans


Build #10: Sprinter Build with Lots of Seating and Hidden Shower/Tub

  • Highlights: This extended wheelbase Sprinter has captain’s chairs and a long booth to maximize seating and lounging area. Underneath the booth area is a tub with a shower-head and a porta potty.
  • Van: Mercedes Sprinter 170” Extended
  • Owner: @patthevan


Build #9: Japanese Teahouse Inspired Sprinter with Room for a Dog and Baby

  • Highlights: This unique Sprinter build took inspiration from Japanese teahouses with its floor to ceiling wooden slats. The back of the van has some booth seating and a small table that turn into a bed. In the front is room for a baby carrier and crib. Under the passenger seat the owners mounted a diesel heater to keep the van warm in cold weather.
  • Van: 2018 Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @theryovan


Build #8: Sleek Sprinter with Wood Paneling and LED Lighting

  • Highlights: This short wheelbase sprinter has a small kitchen underneath a window and booth seating with a slide-out table. There’s recessed LED lighting in the wood paneled ceiling and underneath the minimalist cabinetry.
  • Van: 2020 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @sprintervanlife


Build #7: Sprinter with Redwood Ceiling and Hand-Etched Cabinetry

  • Highlights: This Sprinter build from Atlas Vans is all about high-quality materials with its bamboo cabinetry and redwood ceiling. It’s designed with a low fixed bed for extra headroom above, an outdoor shower, and extra fold away seating.
  • Van: 2020 Mercedes Sprinter 170” High Roof
  • Owner: @atlasvans


Build #6: Sprinter Build with Couch and Double Slide-Out Storage

  • Highlights: This smaller professional Sprinter build has a fixed bed and a small couch in front of the bed. Under the couch is a huge slide out for storage, and under the bed is another slide out for gear storage.
  • Van: 2014 Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @peachwoodco_


Build #5: Small Sprinter Build with Captain’s Chairs and Tons of Drawers

  • Highlights: This professional build by California Custom Vans has a simple one-wall kitchen with a sink, fridge, and induction stove. The front seats swivel around for a dining area/workspace, and there are tons of drawers under the fixed bed.
  • Van: 2021 AWD Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @californiacustomvans


Build #4: Large Dinette Sprinter with Lots of Cabinetry and Arched Doorway

  • Highlights: This Sprinter build has a large U-shaped dinette that converts into a bed. It’s made for indoor/outdoor living with a huge awning, outdoor shower, and outdoor kitchen.
  • Van: Mercedes Sprinter
  • Owner: @southcoastvanfitouts


Build #3: Adventure Ready Sprinter with Unique Bed and Plenty of Storage

  • Highlights: This adventure oriented Sprinter features a pull-out bench behind the driver’s seat, a full kitchen with upper cabinet storage, and a unique sliding bed that tucks away during the day to provide additional space.
  • Van: Sprinter 170”
  • Owner: @syncvans


Build #2: 4×4 Sprinter with Two-Person Dinette & Gear Storage

  • Highlights: This professionally built 4×4 Sprinter has a custom 2 person dinette, fixed bed with bumpouts, Aluminess modular roof rack, and tons of gear storage.
  • Van: 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter 144”
  • Owner: @rossmonster_vans


Build #1: Boho Sprinter with Fixed Bed and Roof Deck

  • Highlights: This gorgeous Sprinter has a boho-style interior with a small kitchen and dinette under a window. The fixed bed at the back sits on top of a dog bed, and they’ve installed a large awning and roof deck on top.
  • Van: Mercedes Sprinter 170”
  • Owner: @takeadriveonthewildside


14 Reasons Why Vanlifers Like the Mercedes Sprinter

The Sprinter is reliable, fuel efficient, and offers the best community support of any van – but is it the best option for vanlife?

Here are 14 reasons why vanlifers like the Mercedes Sprinter:

  1. Long Cargo Length: The longest Sprinter wheelbase option is the 170” extended. It offers 189 inches of cargo space–over 10 inches longer than the longest Ford Transit.
  2. High Ceiling: The high roof option of the Sprinter offers 79 inches (6’7”). So even with flooring and ceiling installation, there’s enough room for anyone over 6 feet to stand up and walk around inside.
  3. It’s a Mercedes: Mercedes are luxury vehicles. If you care about brand name, the Sprinter is by far the fanciest van base model out there.
  4. Comes in 4×4 and AWD: FWD doesn’t cut it for some hard-to-reach campsites. But a 4×4 or AWD Sprinter van can take you to more places than a 2wd van.
  5. High Ground Clearance: The Sprinter has 8 inches of ground clearance, which helps it clear large rocks and potholes. Many people also lift their Sprinters for extra clearance.
  6. Great Resale Value: Sprinters are pricey up front, but because of the name brand and quality of the car, Sprinters hold their value very well. You can expect to make back a good amount of the money you spent on the car if you ever decide to sell.
  7. Relatively Fuel Efficient: The gasoline and diesel versions of the Sprinter vans are both relatively fuel efficient compared to vehicles that are similar in size.
  8. Lots of Professional Van Builder Options: The Mercedes Sprinter is currently the most popular van for van life. That means, no matter where you are, there’s probably a conversion van company not too far that specializes in Sprinter vans.
  9. Long-Lasting: Sprinter vans are known to last a long time–especially those with diesel engines. It’s not uncommon to see Sprinters from the 1990s on the road today.
  10. Can Handle Heavy Builds: Compared to Transits, Sprinters have a higher payload and can handle heavier build-outs.
  11. Tons of Online Info: Because the Sprinter is the most popular vanlife van, there’s tons of educational info and how-to’s for conversion online. This makes a DIY build way easier.
  12. Lots of Aftermarket Options: The popularity of the Sprinter also means that there are tons of companies that make aftermarket windows, roof racks, and other aftermarket add-ons specifically for the sprinter.
  13. Comfortable to Drive: For the size of the Sprinter, it has an excellent turn radius and is comfortable and easy to drive.
  14. Aerodynamic Shape: The Sprinter is built in a very aerodynamic shape, which means less wind drag and better fuel economy.

10 Reasons Why Vanlifers Dislike the Mercedes Sprinter

As with every vehicle, there are downsides to the Sprinter.

Here are 10 reasons why vanlifers dislike the Mercedes Sprinter:

  1. Expensive Upfront: The most obvious drawback of Mercedes Sprinters is their upfront cost. They can cost an extra $10,000-$20,000 compared to their non-luxury counterparts.
  2. Diesel Engine: The Sprinter offers diesel engine options. Diesel engines last longer but diesel fuel is more expensive and can be harder to find.
  3. Pricey Repairs: Mercedes Sprinters are luxury vehicles, so the cost of parts and maintenance comes at a luxury price.
  4. Issues with Diesel Exhaust Fluid System: Sprinters made from 2007-2015 are known to have issues with the DEF system, which can mean costly repairs.
  5. Prone to Rust: Older Sprinters are known to have rust issues, especially around the wheels.
  6. Parts Have to be Shipped Internationally: Lots of Mercedes parts are manufactured in Germany, so shipping parts to the U.S. can be costly and means longer wait times.
  7. Not Stealth: Sprinters now have a reputation as a vanlife van. If you’re traveling in a Sprinter, odds are people will know it’s a campervan.
  8. Larger Sprinters Don’t fit in Parking Spaces: The 170” and 170” extended Sprinters (which are 22’10” and 24’1”, respectively) don’t fit into an average 16-18 foot parking space.
  9. Rounded Shape Makes DIY Builds Harder: Skoolie buses and even vans like Vauxhall Movano campervan are very square in shape and easier to build out. The Mercedes Sprinter is rounded. This means fewer right angles and a harder DIY build.
  10. Hard to Find Used: Mercedes Sprinters are in very high demand right now for vanlifers. That means there are few Sprinters on the market, and those that are can be even more expensive than brand new Sprinters.


Cost, Dimensions, & Fuel Economy

Now that you know a little more about the Sprinter, let’s see how it stacks up against the Transit & ProMaster.

Mercedes Sprinter Cost

Cost: Mercedes Sprinter vs Ford Transit vs Ram ProMaster

Model New Used Price
Mercedes Sprinter 144” $41,300 $60,000 Check Price
Mercedes Sprinter 170” $45,340 $70,000 Check Price
Mercedes Sprinter 170” Ext $50,660 $75,000 Check Price
Ford Transit 130” $41,665 $30,000 Check Price
Ford Transit 148” $42,940 $31,000 Check Price
Ford Transit 148” Ext $48,085 $34,000 Check Price
Ram ProMaster 118” $39,490 $28,000 Check Price
Ram ProMaster 136” $41,250 $30,000 Check Price
Ram ProMaster 159” $44,450 $32,000 Check Price


Mercedes Sprinter Dimensions

Dimensions: Mercedes Sprinter vs Ford Transit vs Ram ProMaster

Model Interior Height Interior Length (cargo) Interior Width Ext Length
Mercedes Sprinter 144” 79 inches 132.9 inches 70.4 inches 233.5 inches
Mercedes Sprinter 170” 79 inches 173 inches 70 inches 290 inches
Mercedes Sprinter 170” Ext 79 inches 189 inches 70 inches 274 inches
Ford Transit 130” 56.9 inches 126 inches 69 inches 219.9 inches
Ford Transit 148” 81.5 inches 143.7 inches 69 inches 235.5 inches
Ford Transit 148” Ext 81.5 inches 172.2 inches 69 inches 263.9 inches
Ram ProMaster 118” 66 inches 96 inches 75 inches 195.4 inches
Ram ProMaster 136”  77 inches 120 inches 75 inches 213.2 inches
Ram ProMaster 159” 77 inches 144 inches 75 inches 236.2 inches

Related: Mercedes Sprinter Van Dimensions (more in-depth stats)


Mercedes Sprinter Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy: Mercedes Sprinter vs Ford Transit vs Ram ProMaster

Model City Highway Combined
Mercedes Sprinter – 2.1L L4 Gas 21 MPG 24 MPG 22 MPG
Mercedes Sprinter – 2.1L L4 Diesel 21 MPG 24 MPG 22 MPG
Mercedes Sprinter – 3.0L V6 Diesel 18 MPG 21 MPG 19.5 MPG
Ford Transit – 3.5L PFDi V6 14 MPG 18 MPG 16 MPG
Ford Transit – 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 18 MPG 24 MPG 21 MPG
Ford Transit – 2.0L GDI I-4 19 MPG 27 MPG 23 MPG
Ram ProMaster – 3.6 L V6 19 MPG 25 MPG 21 MPG
Ram ProMaster – 2.4 L V4 21 MPG 28 MPG 24 MPG

Related: Mercedes Sprinter Van Gas Mileage (more in-depth stats)


Conclusion: Is the Mercedes Sprinter Right for you?

There are a lot of reasons to like the Mercedes Sprinter: It’s iconic design (which may be partly responsible for vanlifes growing popularity), it has a diesel engine with optional 4wd, and has high ceilings that make daily living comfortable – but it may not be for you.

Biggest factors:

  • Reliability
  • Lots of aftermarket parts
  • Mercedes brand
  • Fuel efficient
  • Longest cargo length
  • Comes in 4X4

So should you get one?

Yes! We’d recommend the Sprinter over the Transit or ProMaster for vanlifers who want a diesel engine, optional 4×4, and like the Mercedes brand.


Read Next