Full-Time #Vanlife Living in a Mercedes Sprinter Camper Van

Mercedes Sprinter Camper Van

In August of 2017 I departed Miami Beach Florida in my SUV to be a full-time nomad; my goal was to do the ultimate road trip to visit all of the National Parks in the United States. I had no timeframe and no real plan; other than to follow a general outline on a map of the National Parks. When I left Florida I had been debating whether I should buy an RV, buy a converted Mercedes Sprinter camper van, or just use my SUV. Because there were no RV’s that suited my travel style, and because there were no converted Sprinter vans for sale anywhere at the time, I decided to hit the road in my SUV.

For 6 months I traveled the country in my SUV and camped in my tent, as well as staying with friends and staying in hotels & Airbnb’s. It was a logistical nightmare because I spent nearly every day for 6 months in the National Parks and then would have to locate a hotel, or set up a campsite with my tent. Whenever I had free time I would actively be looking for a converted Sprinter van in all of the usual places (I’ll peovide tips on that in a separate post), but nothing that came up ever suited my travel style. I almost pulled the trigger on a Winnebago Revel, which is a converted 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter, but at $115,000 it was overpriced, and didn’t have the style or features that I required.

In January of 2018 I ended up in San Diego (via Mexico), and from there I decided to go to Hawaii for 3 months to hike, explore the islands, and visit friends. While in Hawaii I continued shopping for a converted Mercedes Sprinter camper van, knowing that once spring arrived I would want to hit the road again as soon as possible. I got really lucky and the timing worked out perfectly; as my 3 months in Hawaii was winding down, a freshly converted Sprinter came up for sale in California; right near where I’d left my SUV 3 months prior. I booked a flight to California and bought the van two days later.

Mercedes Sprinter Camper Van
This is how my Mercedes Sprinter looked before I upgraded it.

For 7 weeks while I was back in San Diego, I did over 300 hours of research, shopping, and upgrading of the van. It was a huge challenge to be 2700 miles away from my home in Miami Beach without any of my tools or belongings, and do all of that work, but thanks to friends, and a LOT of Amazon orders, I was able to complete all of the Mercedes Sprinter camper van upgrades and get back on the road the day after my 41st birthday.

Through all of my research, and through all of the physical work that I did on the van since purchasing it, I now know more about Mercedes Sprinter camper vans than I ever had intended to. I will soon be adding a bunch of new content to the website with information on Sprinter camper van conversions, Sprinter camper van parts, and tips for living full-time in a van.

Stunning views of Zion National Park from my campsite in Utah
Stunning views of Zion National Park from my campsite in Utah

Since departing San Diego on June 11th, 2018 I have visited 15 more National Parks and am currently en-route to Wyoming from Utah. For a list of where I’ve been and where I’m going, check out my blog post ‘Epic Road Trip to Visit 200+ National Parks in the USA & Canada’.

Shifting my life to living in a van full-time took a few weeks to get used to, but for this 2-3 year long road trip there is definitely no better way to travel. I wake up with a new view every single day, I have everything I need with me at all times, and I have complete control over where I go.

For daily updates on what I’m up to I recommend following my stories and photos on Instagram. Thanks for following along!

My view from my Sprinter van changes every single day.
My view from my Sprinter van changes every single day 🙂

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