Van life can be pretty alluring. The freedom of the open road means that you can spend your time just traveling around and seeing awesome sights. You have no rent or mortgage payments to make, either. With the freedom that van life promises, you can really take the time to learn who you are and focus on the things that matter most to you. This kind of life can be much more fun and adventurous than the lives most people live. However, before you take the plunge into this exciting new lifestyle, you need to make sure that you are properly prepared with the right equipment.
The best van for living in is the Sprinter, of course. After all, Sprinters are a lot roomier than most vans. The greater headroom is especially important. You need the right Sprinter van accessories, though, if you want to live van life to the fullest.
Top Sprinter Van Storage Solutions
Now, even though Sprinters have a lot more room than other vans, they’re still not exactly what you’d call roomy. No van is. Sure, you can use tricks like making big storage containers double as chairs, but that will only take you so far. So the first thing you’re going to want to do is find ways to store more stuff without taking up too much floor space. Fortunately, you have options.
- Wall cabinets: These cabinets are made to easily attach to your van’s walls, giving you a lot more storage capacity without making it more difficult to move around on the floor. They make it easier to keep things organized and trust us, that is a necessity when it comes to van life.
- Ceiling cabinets: You should also look into soft, lightweight cabinets that are designed to hang from the ceiling of your van, giving you even more storage without taking up any additional floor space. They’re especially handy in that they can be quickly taken down when you don’t need them anymore to restore some of your headspace, and then just as quickly reinstalled when you need them again. This makes them an ideal place to keep your groceries and other things you aren’t going to have around all the time.
- Rooftop storage: You can even give your van home an attic by installing some roof racks. This lets you securely carry toolboxes, cabinets and other items on the roof. Just, you know, make sure they’re watertight.
One of the things that make Sprinter vans so great for living in is the extra headroom they give you. That benefit unfortunately also comes with one little drawback: it can make it difficult to get to things on the roof of the van. So if you intend on using rooftop storage then you should overcome this difficulty by installing a rooftop access ladder. A ladder designed for installation on a Sprinter van will let you easily and safely get up high enough to reach the things you have stored on the roof.
You should also pick up a clothes hanger bar. This will let you keep your clothes up and out of the way without getting wrinkled. If you wash your clothes by hand, it also provides a convenient way of letting them dry.
Top Sprinter Van Accessories for Comfort and Convenience
When you’re living the van life, you need to get some things to make your van more like a home. Specifically, you need things to replicate the functions of a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
There are a couple of different ways you can handle the lack of a kitchen and bathroom. One is to only park in campgrounds or near other places that offer both kinds of facilities. However, that seriously limits your options and is, well, kind of missing the whole point of van life in the first place, which is to have freedom. So you’re also going to want to get some basic kitchen and bathroom facilities for your van.
You can make a part of your van more like a kitchen with just a few accessories:
- Fire pit: When it comes to cooking, go with a portable fire pit. A portable fire pit is lightweight, easy to set up wherever you’re camped for the day and safe to use in places where you can’t dig a pit for a campfire. With one of these, you can quickly and easily rustle up a hot meal whenever you want one.
- Table: Of course, you’re also going to want a table. Fortunately, there are several durable, easy-to-install tables made for Sprinter vans.
- Sink: Some sinks are also made for Sprinter vans. They’re designed to take up little room while giving you a convenient way to wash dishes, your hands and anything else that needs to be washed.
There are also portable toilets that can give your mobile van home all the comforts and conveniences you need on the road.
Of course, if you’re living the van life then you’re also going to need a bed. An inflatable air mattress is your best choice here because you can deflate it and store it out of the way when you’re not actually using it. Also, if you want to be clever about it, you could get one that's designed to fit across the front seats of your Sprinter. That way you won’t have to keep space clear for it in the back of the van or, worse, clear a space for it every night and then redistribute things every morning.
You should also note that air mattresses are pretty comfortable to sleep on. They’re a much better choice than a sleeping bag or a foam pad.
Any bedroom needs privacy, of course. One of the drawbacks of living in a van is the lack of privacy caused by the windows. If you’re camping around other people, they can easily see into your van, which is your living and bedroom space unless you pick up some window covers. They’re basically blinds for van windows that are a breeze to install and give you total privacy.
Top Electric Sprinter Van Accessories
Unless the weather’s bad, you’re going to want to spend a lot of your evenings sitting outside your van in whatever spot you’re camping in. To get the most out of these evenings, you should get some external lights set up on your van. One great way to do this is with an awning with an LED rafter light bar. This wonderful little invention will let you sit outside and enjoy bright lighting that doesn’t require a lot of power because those little LEDs are energy-efficient.
If you want something brighter that covers a larger area, you could go with an A-Pillar light. This is a compact set of four powerful LEDs that are mounted on your hood and act like a spotlight, brightly illuminating a large area in front of your van. As a bonus, this lighting device will also give you increased visibility when driving at night or in other poor visibility conditions.
Living the van life means a lot of traveling. Sometimes, it involves traveling to some really out-of-the-way places. You're going to find this a LOT easier if you have access to navigation apps, and you’re going to find using those apps a lot easier and safer if you don’t need to hold your mobile device while using them. A mobile device holder that fits right into your cup holder is a great solution.
Of course, if you want extra convenience, get a mobile device holder that not only fits in your cup holder but also serves as a universal charging station for all of your mobile devices!
Best Sprinter Van Accessories for Tricky Situations
When living life on the road, you need to be prepared for the unexpected. There are a few accessories you should consider adding to your Sprinter.
When you live in a van, you don’t have running water. If you don’t want to take up a lot of your limited living space storing water, you should get an attachable water tank. They come in several varieties.
- 22-gallon undermount tank: Some water tanks can be mounted underneath your van, giving you the ability to store a lot of water without sacrificing any living space!
- 20-gallon internal mount tank: You can also choose an internal, fender-mounted option. It doesn’t carry quite as much water, but it is more conveniently located inside. Additionally, because it’s mounted over and behind the fender, it doesn’t take up that much usable space inside. Also, it has a flat top, so you can even use it as an extra shelf!
- 40-gallon dual-mount tank: If you never want to worry about water, go for the extra-large 40-gallon tank. You can mount it either inside or outside your van, depending on what works best for you. With this much water, you’ll have plenty for drinking, showering and even doing your laundry.
Auxiliary Fuel Tank
When your van is loaded down with all your stuff, you’re not going to get the greatest gas mileage. Unless you want your van life to get really adventurous, you should probably do everything you can to avoid the risk of running out of gas in some remote location miles away from the nearest gas station. Fortunately, Sprinter vans are easy to outfit with auxiliary gas tanks.
When you camp in a lot of different places, you’re sometimes going to have the problem of not having a level parking spot. It can be kind of inconvenient to try to set a table or sleep on an incline. Fortunately, this problem is easily solved with leveling blocks. These are strong, durable wedges made to support the weight of a Sprinter van. Just drive (or back) onto them and instantly level your living space.
Driving around and seeing interesting new places all the time is a great kind of adventure. Getting stuck in the mud or on some other difficult terrain is the not-so-great kind of adventure. Unfortunately, the first kind of adventure sometimes leads to the second. Be prepared for any kind of terrain with Sprinter recovery tracks.
Just place them in front of your tires and drive up onto them. They’ll interlock with your van’s tires, giving them maximum grip and helping them pull the van out of the mud to drive right over any other kind of terrain, too.
When you live in your van, you’re going to be getting into and out of it a lot. Unless you’ve got long legs, you’re going to be a lot more comfortable (and a lot less prone to accidents) if you install some running boards. Running boards turn one big step up or down into two smaller steps. It may not sound like much, but trust us, it will save you a lot of irritation.
That’s not all, though. They can also keep your van a lot cleaner. When you live the van life, you’re going to sometimes have to get in and out of your vehicle in wet, muddy conditions. Running boards provide a convenient means of wiping and scraping off your footwear so you don’t track all that into your van. That is going to make your life a lot more hassle-free!
Best Extra Space Solutions for Sprinter Vans
The major drawback to living in your van is the limited space. If you’re going to be doing it for some time then why not add a little extra space to your van? Well, with Sprinter capsules you can do just that. They replace two of the rear windows of your van with bulging side panels that increase the side-to-side room to over 6 1/2 feet. This can give you an excellent place to put a bed that lets you lie sideways, taking up less floor space. It can also give you extra storage space. A couple of capsules will make your van life a little easier.
Another way to get some extra space is to attach an awning to the side of your van. The right kind of awning will have drop-down sides as well as the awning itself. That way, when you’re camped out for the night, you can just pull it all down and instantly give yourself an entire extra room!
The van life can be wonderful, but only if you’re properly prepared. With the right Sprinter accessories, you can have many of the comforts and conveniences of home and even be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Happy traveling to you!