The Exterior: Before & After of
Our Ultra-compact, Custom Camper Van!

This is a 2006 Sprinter cargo van, manufactured by Mercedes and imported to the US by Dodge. That’s why it has Dodge hubcaps. It was a bare-bones model — no automatic windows, no power mirrors, nothing extra. Its 5-cylinder, turbo-charged diesel engine was a big plus, guaranteed to get gas mileage in the 20s on the highway.

I tested out my paint scheme by photoshopping the picture so that I could show the guy at the bodyshop exactly what I wanted. He did a great job in the final product.

The aluminum bundle over the sliding door is an awning, which looks like this:

Notice that I took off all factory signage in order to make the van look as clean as possible.

Three custom touches: a bully bar, fog lights, and a Mercedes logo.


Custom (coated aluminum) water tanks in the rear where the spare tire used go. Tanks are coated and have heating pads (AC and DC powered) to prevent freezing.

Porthole window on the driver’s side. It’s important to have screened windows on both sides so you can get cross ventilation.

Solar panels on the roof

The Interior: Before & After of
Our Ultra-compact, Custom Camper Van!

What a terrific challenge to make the most of such a small space!

Cutting out for windows, fan, and AC.




I designed the interior in the spirit of old sail boats and travel trailers, with a special nod to the classic Westfalia VW camper van. I used vintage lumber and vintage hardware. All of the lighting is antique, which I converted to DC use.