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.
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.
We use our van to camp close to the trails we want to ride. That doesn’t mean we want the contents of those trails in our van. Keeping ourselves, our bikes, and the van clean takes some creativity.
A while back we made a joke about voiding the warranty on the van by cutting a hole in the roof. Some people took it seriously and we still get questions about what really is OK to do on a van conversion without voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.
The short answer is, it’s completely up to your dealer and Mercedes what they say they will cover or not cover, but knowing what the manufacturer warranty claims to cover and knowing what the law states about warranties is a good starting point for any warranty-based claim you might need to make.
No matter how much you insulate the rest of the vehicle, The glass in a Sprinter van is a massive heat gain/loss area. We bought a sun shade made specially for the windshield and made ones for all the other windows from Low-E foil faced foam with magnets around the edges.