Building a custom camper van requires an adventurous sprit and much care in choosing suppliers. For the Sprinter, I wanted a Mercedes-Benz dealer near where I live, so I first had a few meetings and phone calls with Mercedes-Benz of Plano. I had the impression that the salesman there thought that trying to do business with a woman was a waste of his time. I guess he was right, because I moved on to Park Place Motorcars Mercedes-Benz Grapevine, which to date, has done a great job of helping me understand every feature possibility some of which are both non-obvious and critical to enabling my RV builder (Sportsmobile, Austin) to build the van of my dreams.
The steps I am following in building my camper van are:
- Step 1: Choose the features of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
- Step 2: After Sportsmobile checks features, order the Sprinter.
- Step 3: Design the Sportsmobile additions.
- Step 4: Wait several months for the Sprinter to be delivered.
- Step 5: Finalize the Sportsmobile features.
- Step 6: Wait a couple of months for the Sportsmobile additions to be done.
- Step 7: Take delivery of a gorgeous little rolling house.
Like the one shown here, my Sprinter will be metallic silver, extra tall and standard length. One difference is that being 4-wheel drive, my Sprinter body will be about 4 inches more above the ground and tires. The interior will be empty except for the driver and passenger seats. Sportsmobile will finish out the inside adding the RV feature making the van into a little rolling house.
The finished RV will have a kitchen with refrigerator, microwave and cooktop. It will have a tiny but full bath. The two facing sofas can be used for dining with a table between them, and at night they make into twin beds. Under one sofa are the house batteries, fresh water storage, gray water storage and other house systems. The second sofa storage is available for my personal things like pug food, computer displays, laundry soap and a change of jeans.
I am now at Step 4 — waiting for the van. I was told when I ordered it that it should leave Germany about Feburary 10th arriving at Sportsmobile, Austin about February 24 .
As to Step 3, I have done some rough drafts of the RV features and floorplans. Last September I traveled to Austin for a meeting with Paul Meyer at Sportsmobile for a quick but thorough review of the RV feature options resulting in a good rough plan. I expect to have another meeting with him about the time the Sprinter is delivered to Sportsmobile.
As I write this, I am waiting for Chad Clark, Park Place Motorcars Mercedes-Benz Grapevine, to let me know exactly when I can expect my Sprinter to arrive.