Vanspeed Sprinter conversions beautifully encapsulate the concept of van life and allow vast customization for perfect outdoor adventures.

The concept of using the iconic Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van as a platform for an RV conversion is certainly not new. In fact, the founder of Vanspeed, Duran Morley, happily told us that when we visited the company’s facility in sunny Southern California. However, not all conversions are created equal. Particularly, these examples are far from your average cookie-cutter conversion with off-the-shelf parts installed by a third party. Instead, the conversions that come from Morely and his crew stand out as bespoke works of art of unmatched quality.

The defining line that separates Vanspeed from other conversion outfitters is, well, the term “outfitter.” That’s not a fair term to use for this company. Instead, the term “manufacturer” is not only more applicable, it’s damn near an understatement. Vanspeed designs and manufactures each and every one of its components in-house. Morely took MB World on a tour of their facility and gave us a behind-the-scenes look at their world-class conversion operation.

Remarkable Attention to Detail Inside and Out

There are a handful of stations within the Vanspeed shop: one for woodworking to construct cabinetry and accenting, a CNC laser for cutting metal components out of sheet metal, and an accompanying industrial bending brake. Of course, a welding station rounds out the production facility. According to Morely, virtually the only outsourced process is powder coating, and he may expand to doing that in-house in the future, too. The end result of all this workshop fanfare is RV conversions with unparalleled fit and finish. Being inside a Vanspeed van is truly an experience that will make you feel right at home.

The company will build you your dream conversion on either a 144-inch or 170-inch Sprinter chassis as a starting platform. From there, it offers a handful of layout options as starting points that generally encapsulate the ideal use case of various potential buyers. Once you choose your base layout, the customization truly begins. Customers choose materials and colors for their cabinetry, ceilings, walls, flooring, and upholstery. Additional features like solar panels, additional windows, showers (either a camp shower or a full-blown RV shower), a rooftop tent, or even extra seating are available.

Outdoor-Ready Exterior Options Complete the Package

A collection of Vanspeed Mercedes Sprinter Vans at Vanspeed headquarters in California

Hefty bumpers, spare tire holders, running boards, rear steps, and, of course, a burley roof rack all act as the cherry atop the adventure Sundae that is a Vanspeed conversion Sprinter van. If you’ve already got a Sprinter, Vanspeed sells many of these components in their online shop. So, you can get a little taste of the Vanspeed life without the price tag of a full-blown conversion. Of course, those doing a DIY conversion who desire these parts will also benefit from their separate sales.

Speaking of price, we’re sure you’re curious about what these cost. As one might expect, they aren’t exactly the most affordable thing out there. You get what you pay for, of course. For a ground-up Vanspeed build with all the bells and whistles, expect to spend north of $150,000. Occasionally, completed and ready-to-hit-the-road Vanspeed vans do appear for sale in their shop, too. At the time of writing, two 144-inch wheelbase examples are listed on the website with asking prices of $197,354.91 and $185,000, respectively.

Vanspeed conversion van at the headquarters in westminster, Caliofrnia

The good news is that these vans have the RVIA stamp of approval. That means that long-term RV financing and second-mortgage deals are on the table here. The Vanspeed site estimates a monthly payment of around $1,200 for the $185,000 example with a 15-year term and a ten percent down payment with a good credit score.

Overall, it seems that Vanspeed’s rapid growth over its eight years in business is all the proof one could need that they’re building an outstanding product. Though it’s not within the fiscal reach of the masses, for those with the money to spend in search of an outdoor adventure rig to serve as a home-away-from-home on wheels, it’s hard to imagine something more ideal than a Vanspeed van.

Photos: Braden Carlson

Previous articleCar Education: How Does a Prime Plug-In Hybrid Work?
Next articleMazda Production and Sales Results for April 2024


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here