Today we are getting a close look inside an immaculate Mercedes Sprinter conversion. The owners’ Cam and Em even made sure to build a motorised lift up bed for the campervan! Join us on the royal tour of Benzon the Mercedes!
Name of the Van:
Type of Van:
Medium wheelbase, high-roof van
CAM AND EM
“Don’t let life get too serious!” – Em (from The Atlas of Happiness)
Cam and Em both work as teachers at one of the biggest high schools in Toowoomba, QLD. Thankfully, their Mercedes Sprinter campervan is a medium wheel base that’s short enough to fit into a regular parking space. They drive it every day to work! When Cam and Em are not busy teaching, they enjoy taking trips in their immaculate Mercedes Sprinter conversion. It has four seats with a little window for the back seat so that their passengers don’t get motion sickness.
Although their last van was a girl, Benzson is definitely a boy. It’s their first van from a fancy car make, and they wanted him to have an upper-class name – so Benzson it is! He’s kinda like your personal butler, well-spoken and ready for service.
PLANNING THE CAMPERVAN CONVERSION
They spent about two years converting Benzson, doing little by little. They’ve had a campervan before, and therefore spent quite a lot of time planning to ensure all their needs were met. They’ve hired quite a few vans overseas too, and Em had a list of things that were important to them when designing Benzson:
- The ability to stand up
- A plumbed-in sink
- A bed that they didn’t have to pack up every day
The third wish inspired them to plan and build a motorised lift up bed for the campervan. Cam and Em hired a campervan in Scotland that had a sleeping space they had to fold away themselves everyday, which was a pain—so handy solutions to simplify vanlife was a priority.
ONBOARD THE MERCEDES SPRINTER CONVERSION
The Mercedes Sprinter conversion has a hot water system that can provides hot water to a shower out the back or at the side of the van. The system has a 12 volt pump that pumps water up from a water tank that’s stored underneath the van.
There’s 500 watts of solar on the roof and a 125 amp hour lithium battery that can go as low as 10% charge. It’s about three times the price of standard batteries, but lighter and smaller. The battery is monitored using a handy app with a charge controller on it, so that the charging can be switched between solar and engine.
TIP: BUILD A MOTORISED LIFT UP BED FOR CAMPERVAN FOR SIMPLER LIVING
The Mercedes Sprinter campervan has room for 95 litres of freshwater, mounted underneath the van. With so many RVs made from Sprinters, you can find water tanks that fit perfectly under the campervan – even though the shape of the water tanks are a bit weird to fit into the spaces! Another smart solution is the roof vent—it sucks air both in or out, and it even has an automatic rain sensor.
The leg of one of the passenger seats also serves as a foldable table, as Cam strongly believes in his stuff having a dual purpose of saving space. Thinking about smart solutions like this can really make van life simpler.
It took Cam and Em about three days to install the motorised lift up bed in a campervan. The bed lifts straight up to the ceiling above their sofas in the back, and you can operate it manually if the battery runs out. The motorised sleeping area doesn’t take any floor space at all. It’s lowered down when it’s time to sleep, but without requiring extra space. If they have guests sleeping over, they simply stop their motorised bed half way down, so that their sleeping guests have plenty of room on the sofas underneath the lift bed.
A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS
DID YOU HAVE ANY OTHER CRITERIA FOR THE CAMPERVAN?
- Yes, extra seats! We needed to hold at least four people. It can seat four people and four people can sleep in here.
- (Thanks to smart dining solutions, they can actually seat up to eight people in the Mercedes Sprinter campervan by putting up tables between the sofas in the back. The tables can be packed away and stored under the lounge after use.)
HOW DID VAN LIFE HELP YOUR AWAKENING?
- Yeah, I initially drew it on a piece of paper, but then I got a free version of SketchUp. It’s a 3D modelling software. I did some measurements and drew up the whole van in the software. It’s good to see if there’s going to be enough space for stuff.