There are several different types of vans called “Sprinters” in the USA. Some have badges that say Dodge, some say Freightliner, and some say Mercedes, but they were all made in the same German factory. Here’s a guide to what’s what in the Sprinter world.
The Sprinter’s “Audio 15” stereo system has an interface from the mid-90s, and speakers that sound like they are made from wet toilet paper. Sane people would just replace the whole lot, but we experimented with keeping the head unit and seeing what a difference good speakers would make.
When that didn’t give us quite enough improvement, we swapped out the head unit for something that produces clearer sound and connects better with our phones.
This is an overview of the different articles we’ve written about our attempts to get good sounds inside the van. If you’re trying to do the same thing, start here.
We wanted to be able to listen to tunes while we’re parked up camping without running down the starter battery. When we added rear speakers to the van, we wired them with a switch so that we could use them either with the regular stereo or with a separate amplifier. Here’s how we did it.
We gave in. Even after changing out the front speakers and adding a subwoofer, the Audio 15 stereo that comes as stock in newer Sprinters was just not up to the job.
We chose to replace it with an aftermarket unit from Sony that has Apple Carplay and Android Auto so that we can use our phones to provide navigation and music through the stereo.
The swap-out wasn’t hard, but there are a couple of sticky points along the way. Read on for the details.
We’ve already written about how flimsy the Sprinter’s antenna (aerial) is. We’ve repaired ours before after snapping off part of the housing when we caught the mast on something.
This time, we needed to remove the antenna from the roof to really glue it back together properly. Here’s how we did it, and some other options if you can’t make the repair work.
The stock Sprinter stereo doesn’t have great dynamic range. It does relatively OK in the high end because it has separate tweeters, but the door speakers just aren’t big enough to reproduce low frequencies very well.
The head unit doesn’t have a dedicated subwoofer output so you have to get creative if you want to add better bass. Here’s how we did it.
We’ve got L-track mounted in the floor of our van. It’s ideal for placing bike fork mounts pretty much wherever you need them. Here’s how to build your own fork mount that attaches to any piece of L-track on your floor or wall.
If you have an alarm in your Sprinter, or if you specified the overhead cubby option, there’s a neat source of power you can hook in to for things like dash cams or equipment that would fit in the DIN cubby hole.
Our bed is 42″ off the ground. We used to have the factory bench seat right in front of it, but now we’ve just got a blank space. We needed some way to get up and down from the bed platform.
We just bought the Nature’s Head composting toilet. After testing it out in our spare bathroom for a week, we installed it in our van. Here’s how we chose to fit it in.