Finding the best van for your adventures is about more than just the conversion inside. When it comes to your home on wheels, it’s just as important to choose the right vehicle itself.
Our team has been travelling in Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans for many years now. We’ve always appreciated the functionality and comfort, and have admired the attention to detail that goes into designing them. The Sprinter continues to hold its spot as our favourite van with each model year released – and their new one is no exception. Join us for a detailed walkthrough of our new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van converted by Safari Condo.
How the Camper Van Works
Every area of the Go-Van conversion design has multiple functions. For example, the passenger seat has a swivel feature that, when combined with the table, turns the cabin into a functional lounge area. This space makes an excellent dining room, workstation and more.
The instant water heater makes life on the road easier, providing warm water for washing dishes, a hot outdoor shower that’s much needed after a surf session, or even a small bath for baby Zak. The van’s ceiling not only provides shelter on the road, but also doubles as a place to hang our longboard. Even the fuel tank of the Sprinter has a dual purpose, connecting directly to an interior heater that keeps the inside of the van warm.
Finding the Perfect Van
Sprinter Van Specs
When travelling year-round in a van, sufficient space is important, especially with a newborn. We are currently enjoying a 170” wheelbase Sprinter which gave us several feet of additional length for our interior build.
Our Sprinter 3500 Cargo van is exceptionally heavy-duty, capable of hauling and holding more weight than other vans. This meant we had fewer limitations on the number of custom features we could include in our build, and the type of materials used. It also gave us the option to have larger holding tanks installed – something every vanlifer appreciates. Being able to carry 100 litres of water means more days out in nature and fewer days running errands in town.
Sprinters come with various drivetrain configurations, and this specific model is rear-wheel drive (RWD). The engine’s power is delivered to the rear wheels, as opposed to the front, providing more control without losing traction. RWD vans also tend to be more maneuverable in various terrains, which is perfect for the off-roading adventures that are a big part of vanlife.
Our Sprinter has dual rear wheels (often referred to as “a dually” van). This helps increase weight limits, which is essential. A camper van requires more than just the capability to support the build itself because the overall weight increases when the gas, water, and other tanks are full.
Adding exterior accessories helps make camping even easier. The Go-Van build is equipped with a retractable awning for extra shade and shelter, with an LED light strip to brighten up the entrance area.
One of the many joys of vanlife is experiencing the sunset every evening. In true Go-Van fashion, this van has a roof terrace that can fit up to four people and is perfect for sunset viewing – a few easy steps up the rear ladder, and you’ve arrived! Next to the ladder, we’ve added an external storage box, perfect for wetsuits, bundles of wood and so much more.
Electrical System Setup
Sustainable energy is vital for digital nomads, like us, who need proper power and charging capabilities. The Go-Van Sprinter build has three 95-watt solar panels for a total of 285 watts. All solar power is housed in two large lithium batteries, each with 220 amps per hour. A 2,000-watt inverter converts the power for 20 USB outlets installed throughout the van.
This robust electrical system also allows for heavier usage amenities and appliances, including a height-adjustable electric bed and a microwave for heating young Zak’s bottles.
User Functionality and Experience
Mercedes-Benz always delivers on performance, but beyond that, they are known for their function and comfort. Our new Sprinter has more user capability than any previous model we’ve owned. The seats are what we call “next-level amazing”, with just about every kind of adjustment possible. They can be angled to personal preference, and even have a lower back support adjustment for extra comfort. The newest seat addition is an extender just below the front of the driver’s seat that slides out for a few extra inches of leg support. Say goodbye to sore legs on road trips!
Another amazing upgrade is the Sprinter’s defrost capability. The new model has a “max defrost” setting, which helps clear condensation and thaw frost quickly. Also worth highlighting are the two dashboard screens, both of which can be managed from the wheel, plus exterior side-view mirrors that can be folded in with the press of a button. Lastly, the new Sprinter has updated safety features, including Crosswind Assist, Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC®, and Lane Keeping Assist.
Our new van truly has everything we need for life on the road, exceeding all expectations for performance, functionality, efficiency, safety, and comfort. Everyone at Go-Van is excited to see where the Sprinter will take us next.
To explore more adventures in our new Sprinter van, follow Mercedes-Benz Vans Canada on Instagram.