A while back we made ourselves some DIY fork mounts for the back of the van. They worked well for our bikes with quick-release front wheels. When we got bikes with 110mm through axles, we upgraded the fork mounts too.Continue reading “New fork mount bike rack for our L-track”
News coming out of Overland Expo East this week (Nov 2018) suggests that Iglhaut, one of the big German 4×4 Sprinter conversion companies, will be accepting orders in the USA soon. That means true 50/50 split full time 4×4 with locking differentials. But it isn’t cheap.
Sad news for Blue Sea Systems and the 75 people who work in their Bellingham, WA warehouse. On Nov 11 2018 they had a fire that has caused serious damage to the building, with no word yet on whether their stock was affected.
The full details of the 2019 update to the Sprinter have been released now. The new van has a longer-looking “snout”, updated cab interior, but almost identical load area. Mercedes will offer a gasoline version in North America but it’s not clear whether we’ll get the new front wheel drive version.
There’s a copy of the 2007 Sprinter service manual circulating online. Most of the content of that manual is still applicable to later model Sprinters, although it’s obviously missing information about the DEF, DPF and other emissions systems.
It was only designed to run on Windows XP and a really old version of Internet Explorer because it relies on ActiveX to run. We updated the files so the manual works in newer browsers and across different platforms (Mac, Linux). Continue reading “NCV3 service manual (2007 vintage) – HTML version”
If you have a Crew or Passenger van, it’s likely that you have the rear door panels installed. These have handy storage compartments in them.
If you want to insulate behind them or install a rear view camera in the license plate area, you’ll have to remove the panels.
Just recently we realized that we never described how to do this on the site. We’ve had several people ask how to take the trim off the door handle area, so here’s the missing information. Continue reading “Removing the rear door panels on Crew and Passenger vans”
The MaxxAir fan is great, but it can’t do its job if the rest of the van is sealed up. It needs a flow of air in/out of the vehicle. We’ve thought about replacing the window behind the driver with an aftermarket vented one, or making another hole in the floor or step area to act as a vent.
Before we did that though, we wanted to try these slide-in metal vents from EuroCampers. They fit in the driver’s and co-driver’s windows and are held in place when you roll the window glass up.
First impressions are that they are functional but not the type of quality you might expect for the cost.
When you order a Sprinter, there are loads of different options you can choose. Some make more sense for a conversion van than others. Some come in packages which are great value. Others come in packages where there’s little additional value at all (Mercedes branded flashlight, anyone?)
Here’s a list of most of the options you’ll care about, what they really mean, and whether they’re worthwhile having for a conversion van.
If you call a dealer and ask how much their Sprinter A and B services cost, it won’t sound too terrible. That’s because dealers have started quoting just for an oil change, not the additional preventative maintenance that is required.
Once you drop the van off, they’ll subsequently let you know the extra cost -and time – for items such as replacing fuel filters, etc.
Do your homework. You need to know what items are typically required during the two types of service and you need to make sure the dealer quotes for all of them before you commit to getting the service done.
It’s tempting to add hatches, sockets, ladders and racks on the outside of the van to provide better access to utilities and to provide places to strap stuff on.
The problem is, every hole and every screw or bolt is another place where you’ve breached the protective paint layer, so it’s an opportunity for the van to rust.