This is an update for previous post – What Sprinter Van would be BEST for a Conversion?

I get asked this question many times from prospects looking to custom build a Sprinter Van into their personal Luxury or RV van.

I wrote this post about three years ago and it still holds true today. There are a few items that I will address here today.

It’s July 2017 and we have just started receiving the new 2017 model year vans. We now know that 2018 model year will be a carry over from the current model, but not sure when production will begin on the 2018’s.

It looks like the 2019 model year will be the new Sprinter that will be built in our Ladson South Carolina facility. There has been many incorrect internet stories saying the new van will be here in 2018, so hang on there a little while longer to see the new Sprinter.

For now all we can get are the V6 3.0 liter diesel engine with the 5 speed automatic transmission. The 4 cyl diesel we hope to see again in 2018.

Since my last posting we now have a 3500 one ton model called the Super Single. It gives you about 4000 lbs of payload with single rear wheels in the rear. This gives you 48 inches on the floor between the wheel wells instead of the 38 inches on the dually. You can get up to 5000 lbs of payload with the dual rear wheel 3500 and the 11,030 GVWR option.

Many of you have inquired about the Sprinter 4×4. I have sold 42 Sprinter 4×4’s since production began 2 years ago. Certainly having the 4 wheel drive capability for some serious off road driving makes it a must have for some conversions. But, it adds about 4 inches to the height of the van, and of course another $7500 to the price, but if you are driving in the snow country or some off road situations, well it’s worth every penny of the difference. The only real issue is you have to wait to get one. The Sprinter 4×4’s can take 8 to 10 months to get. Take a look at this Sprinter 4×4 that is here in stock for sale today. It is a 2500 170″ wheelbase extended body cargo van.

20170527_101601

So send me an email, dave@sprinterguy.com with any questions you may have about a Sprinter van to be converted, or to get your van ordered. I have one van you might consider for a conversion, it’s a new 2016 Cargo 144″ wheelbase high roof with factory rear roof air, rear heat and the X14 Upfitter Prep package that gives you all of the factory tinted windows and the complete interior like a passenger van, but no rear seats. Here are a couple of pictures.

20170525_133145

20170525_133409

One other important item in your plan to build a custom van is which comes first, the van or the conversion? Actually you need to be working on both, but here is what I believe is the best way to proceed.

Normal production time for 2 wheel drive vans is 3-5 months from when we place the order to when it arrives here. 4×4’s will take between 7 to 12 months from order to arrival, so either way you have lots of time to be finalizing your conversion specs. Most of the conversion shops are telling prospects anywhere from 4 months to as long as a year to get in their production schedule.

So once you have decided the size and model of the van you plan to start with, you should get the order placed with the Sprinter Guy as soon as possible to get your order in the order queue. Once that part is done, you can work with your conversion shop or your own design to finalize the conversion.

But truth be told any of our Sprinter models could be excellent vans to begin your custom build. There are some options though that might just make one of these vans YOUR PERFECT SPRINTER.

But first some basics about a Sprinter van for a custom conversion. I would say either of our diesel engines will do a great job for you in a Sprinter conversion. I am a big fan of our 4 cyl twin turbo diesel with the 7 speed automatic transmission. Plenty of power and fantastic fuel economy which is one of the reasons you are considering a Sprinter in the first place.

Windows, some of these have either windows in the sliding side door or rear two doors, and a couple have windows all around. If you want more windows, the conversion shop can add whatever you want in windows. Just remember the factory rear windows are fixed and do not open.

Swivel bucket seats, from the factory are great, but if one of these does not have them we can have them added, no problem.

Some of the following examples have the optional HD Suspension package. This gives you heavier duty front and rear stabilizer bars which help keep your van from leaning in hard turns or when you come off of curbs or driveways. All Sprinters have stabilizer bars, the HD just adds thicker bars.

I have many conversations with customers in regards to rear air conditioning. Some of the vans I have listed below come with the factory roof rear air. This system is great for a rear air while the engine is running, as it has its own compressor on the engine, separate from the front air conditioning. The only negative is the van engine has to be running for you to get rear air with the factory system. Our conversion shops can add rear air units, sometimes mounted on the roof, but sometimes mounted under the rear of the van to give you a cleaner and lower roof. These units, and there are many to choose, can run from the engine or from a separate 12 volt or 110 volt electric system. The electrically operated system allows you to run the rear air conditioning without having to run your vans diesel engine. You will need some type of electric power system which can be additional batteries, roof solar panels, generators or 110 volt shore line power.

Finally in the options department, there are a couple of the following vans that have the factory Variable High Idle package. What this can do for you is when the van is parked, and you wish to run the vans engine to power either your roof air or other electrical items, you can boost the vans idle speed in increments of 50 rpm to increase the performance of the alternator to power these accessories and to recharge your batteries. The normal idle speed for a Sprinter is around 600-700 rpm. In order to get more juice from the alternator you should boost the idle up to 1200 to 1800 rpm.

When it comes to discussions about the size of your Sprinter for your custom conversion, it is a tough decision sometimes as to which van to choose. 2500 or 3500, pretty much I suggest you stay with the 2500 as long as you are not going to have over 3000 lbs of total cargo. That is the conversion, plus your personal stuff as well as fuel and any water in holding tanks. If you are over the 3000 lb weight, then definitely you need to be in the 3500 with the dual rear wheels. With a 3500 and the 11,030 GVWR you can carry about 5000 lbs of cargo. Down side, you have 6 tires to replace instead of 4, you will lose a little fuel economy and you lose a little floor space as the distance between the wheel wells on the floor on the 3500 is 38 inches, compared to 53 inches on the 2500.

On the 144″ wheelbase you have a choice of either the standard low roof or the high roof model. All 170″ wheelbase vans are high roofs. The low roof van is 8 foot high outside height, compared to 9 foot high on the high roof. Add to that any roof mounted air conditioning system that typically will be about 9″ to 10″ additional. On the inside, the low roof gives you 5′ 4″ of inside stand up height compared to 6′ 4″ on the high roof. Usually neither will go into normal size home garage or parking structures. I find I can drive the low roof models through most all of the food drive-throughs, high roofs will normally not fit the drive-throughs if you have a roof air unit.

Then we get into the interior cargo length. a 144″ wheelbase gives you 10 1/2 feet of length from the back of the drivers seat to the rear door. The 170″ wheelbase gives you 14 feet of cargo floor length. If you get the 170 Extended body Sprinter, you get an additional 15 inches of cargo room or almost 15 1/2 feet from the back of the drivers seat to the back doors. You can access on some of the conversion company websites, their floorplans to see how much room it gives you when you start adding seating, toilets, kitchens and sleeping areas. I can also assist you with determining how much room you will need to do what you want with your custom conversion.

So now let’s look at my top picks out of my current inventory that I suggest you consider for a custom Sprinter conversion. Click the following links to open the PDF showing the options and retail price for each van, and click the photo to enlarge it for easier viewing.

2014 2500 144 low roof Pearl Silver Met 4 cyl $44,230 #E5874848
20140324_152340
This low roof 144″ wb would be a great van to add a Sportsmoblie poptop to, or one that can tow your boat or small travel trailor, and still have plenty of room inside the van for your “STUFF”

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2014 2500 144 high roof Pearl Silver Met 4 cyl mobility prep pkg rear roof air $55,080 #E5914080

20140621_113308
With the Mobility Prep package that this van has, you get full windows all around, interior trim like the passenger vans, but no seats. This also has the factory roof rear air and front swivel bucket seats.
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2014 2500 170 Pearl Silver Met. 4 cyl $51,020 #E5867472

20140304_154045

Active Safety Pkg, in dash GPS/Nav along with rear camera, heated front seats, allow wheels, variable high idle pkg, HD stabilizer bar pkg and windows in side and rear doors. Perfect start for a full RV or luxury passenger conversion.
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2014 2500 170 Brilliant Silver 4 cyl $51,715 eta early September

20140224_155552

Factory trailer tow hitch and wiring, additional bracket to add a second air conditioning compressor on the engine, cold weather pkg, Nav and back up camera and active safety, loaded and ready to convert.
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2014 2500 170 Arctic White 4 cyl rear roof air $55,160 #E5879741
20140728_105815

This van was ordered for a customer to be converted, and his business failed and now it is available. Has factory rear roof air and heat in a 170 cargo van. Has the variable high idle pkg, safety Plus pkg, nav and rear camera.
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2014 2500 170E Extended Body Arctic White 4 cyl $56,130 #E5935509 eta mid July
This van is due in any day now. Has it all, full extended body 170″ wbase, rear roof air, rear heat, active safety pkg, cold weather pkg with heated seats adn windshield, high idle pkg, lighting pkg with bi-xenon headlights and more.
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2014 3500 170 Brilliant Silver V6, fleet window, dual sliding doors $53,765 #E58577232014 2500 170E Extended Body Arctic White $44,630 eta early September

VIN #723 dual sliding door silver 170 1
I bet you won’t find too many like this van, sliding doors on both sides. Windows all around, front buckets swivel, HD suspension, V6 and the heaviest load rating on this 170″ wb 3500.
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2014 3500 170 Extended 9,990 gvwr brilliant silver 4 cyl fleet window $49,510 #E5889192

VIN #192 pic 2

3500 with extended body, dark tinted windows all around, trailer tow pkg, additional aux battery, high idle pkg and second bracket on the engine for another air conditioning compressor. Perfect for a fully equipped luxury RV conversion.
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Every one of these vans I can get converted by one of our conversion vendors, or assist you in doing it yourself. There will be a special sale price for each of these vans, just send me an email with what van you are interested in and I will give you the Sprinter Guy sale price.

contact dave@sprinterguy.com or call me at 512-930-6158
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3 thoughts on “This is an update for previous post – What Sprinter Van would be BEST for a Conversion?

  1. Brian Peterson says:

    Great stuff Dave. That’s why you are The Sprinter Guy!

    Brian Peterson Vice President of Business Development Kidney & Hypertension Associates

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