High roof vans like Mercedes and Dodge Sprinters, Ford Transits, and Ram Promasters have enough room for many people to live comfortably full-time. Some people do end up going with crew and passenger vans as they do have more windows, but you’ll most likely need to add an AC unit and fans to keep the interior cool enough for living. Usually, these vans are used for road trips where the in-cab air conditioning will be running. There are several different classes of Sprinter van models you can buy, but the most common types for van lifers are the 2500 and 3500. The 2500 is a three-quarter ton and the van I chose as it has sufficient payload for our van build. The 3500 is a one-ton truck that comes either as a dually or with single rear wheels. Before starting a Sprinter van conversion, you need to know the various models available to determine how much a Sprinter van costs.
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Many financial experts consider cash flow to be the most critical component of a business’s financial health. Profitable loads are essential to fund the company’s working capital needs, but this benefit can not be realized until customers pay their invoices. Too many companies are profitable on paper but are starving for cash due to uncollected receivables.
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Expenses depend on a lot of factors such as where you camp, how much you drive, whether you eat out often, and what activities you do along the way. We know van lifers who live on $800 a month and others who spend $2,000 or more. Now that I have some experience under my belt, I’ve learned how to manage my fears with a set of practical van life safety tips that help me feel more confident and secure when I’m traveling in my Sprinter Van. If you do decide to hire a company, do your homework to make sure the company is legit. There are a lot of “van conversion” companies popping up everywhere who see the growing demand for van life.
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Though it’s still a relatively small segment of the transportation industry, this form of freight hauling has steadily grown in market share. If managed efficiently, it is an ideal business model for independent operators to start up quickly and run profitably. The steady growth of cargo sprinter van and hot shot hauling is attributed to growing market demand for priority shipping, and the higher rates operators can charge for this type of dedicated service. It is a relatively easy business to start up and run, but it is not without challenges. Limited load capacity of this vehicle class restricts the size and type of cargo that can be transported. If you can successfully create a steady flow of hot shot loads, this type of freight transportation can be a highly profitable business.
Rolling up your sleeves and building your camper van from scratch is a rewarding experience, which is why so many companies offer DIY kits. Probably more important than how many years a van conversion company has been in business is how many Sprinter van builds they have completed. If a company has been in business for ten years but only builds one van a year, you might want to ask why. In contrast, if they are pumping out 12 custom vans a year, that might compromise the quality of the builds. A new sprinter van or similar cargo van MSRP will typically be in the range of $29,000 for basic models and up to $66,000 for higher-end, luxury models.
Pros & Cons of a Mercedes Sprinter for Van Life
If you want to do full-time van life while still bringing in income, there are a number of options. All you need is motivation, a skill set, a decent internet connection, and enough power to charge up your electronics. After two years of traveling in a Sprinter Van with a shower and toilet, I decided to nix it for my second van conversion. I found an interior shower and toilet used up too much water and took up valuable space, among other reasons that I outline in this post on why you don’t need a shower. It’s easy to find a shower and toilet in most paid campgrounds, RV parks, and even gyms or your friend’s house! Of course, with our current situation, public showering is less desirable, so if you’re worried about staying fresh and clean on the road, here are some camping hygiene tips for women.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Sprinter Van Conversion Company
Many people prefer to keep this to a minimum, as it’s difficult to access them once you cover them, in case you need to change, add to or repair them. A heavier can conversion means a less enjoyable ride (unless you upgrade your suspension) and fewer miles per gallon when you drive. They’re designed for going into rugged environments, so everything from the walls and floors to the bed and galley kitchen gear is designed to be durable, tough and easy to clean up if it gets wet or dirty. As part of the cleaning process, be sure to remove existing wall and floor panels to inspect your Sprinter van for dirt and also – very importantly – to check for rust. We went to New Jersey to what felt like a mob-affiliated dealership to look at three vans. One had a wad of cling wrap shoved in to the place where the oil dipstick is supposed to be. We decided to go with a Sprinter, because we wanted a larger space and the ability to stand up inside.
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