This Custom Sprinter Owner Really Lives In A Van Down By The River
25 April 2019 - Motor1
It's #vanlife to the extreme.
Vanlife is hugely popular these days, though the vast majority of overlanders consider it a holiday away from home. This old Dodge Sprinter 3500, however, isn't designed to be a weekend adventure machine. It's the actual home for a hardcore mountain biker and bike shop owner named Mike, who realized he spent so much time on the road doing bike and camping stuff, he may as well just live in a van full-time. If that seems rather bonkers you're not alone, but there's more to this orange Dodge than you might expect. Among other things, Mike did the full conversion himself with deserves some mad respect, especially when you see the garage. Yes, garage.
For starters, this is a 2004 Dodge Sprinter 3500 that Mike acquired secondhand. Mechanical modifications are relegated to a larger set of wheels and tires to give the van a bit more ground clearance for off-road exploring, and the vinyl work was accomplished by Mike and a friend at his bike shop. That is, the primary bike shop – this van doesn't just serve as a home but as something of a mobile two-wheeled workshop as well. More on that in a bit.
Looking inside, we see much of the space is taken up by an elevated full-size bed and a long kitchen countertop. Across from the kitchen is a small table that converts into a narrow sofa, with the rest of the interior devoted to storage. Since this is Mike's full-time home, space abounds for clothes, supplies, and yes, the van features a small toilet stowed beneath the folding chair. It's piped for water and wired for electricity, using a set of batteries and three 100-watt solar panels for power. When it gets cold, a diesel heater behind the passenger front seat draws fuel directly from the van's tank to keep things warm.
You might be wondering about all the wasted space beneath the bed. Every mechanic needs a garage, and Mike configured the big Sprinter to have a generous workspace utilizing the back section as a bike shop. It can easily fit a couple mountain bikes; it's outfitted with tools, frame stands, and there's even a hose for washing down muddy parts, not to mention grabbing a quick shower.
Enjoying the outdoors is something pretty much everyone can relate to, but could you live full-time in a van like this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.