Van Diesel unveiling

We have camped in the sequoia maybe 10 times but when we have both bikes it’s a little tight. Need to bring a trailer or one goes on carrier and one gets taken apart and put inside. Add some cold weather and rain and it’s a pain.

I’ve been looking for a sprinter for a long time but this one popped up and it was perfect.

2006 mid length high roof cargo model.


It’s got good service history and lots of expensive parts already replaced like injectors, injector pump and glow plugs.

There was one defect – the AC did not work. Mercedes estimated 1200 to replace the compressor but I suspected that was not right. I got it home and started troubleshooting and found a single broken wire to the heater core diverting valve. The AC always worked but the heat was stuck on 100%.

Next on list is the water pump – the easy one. The van has a diesel burner that heats the coolant when the engine is off to either preheat the engine, or heat the cabin. Since the engine is off the normal water pump is stopped so there is a second one electrically driven. The brushes commonly wear out. Needs replacing.

Now the real build can happen. Mock up placement of interior walls. Rivnuts installed into the body. Unistrut run and plywood placed to fit around the bikes. Bikes will go in backwards so the handlebars (tallest) will be to the rear.

Scary to cut a hole in perfectly good roof but a fan is needed to get all the water vapor out to reduce condensation.

the wood frame receives the screws from the fan and also frames out the insulation from the fan. Same thing is needed for the skylight however this had a larger curve so I scored the back of the 1×2 to make it compliant.

Insulation and sound deadening are next

Wiring through cabin run and put in loom for all the house fixtures and a few spares

Cut 2.5 mm veneer plywood for the walls


once the roof section went up I installed the lights which made it easier to work late at night

Also reassembling interior walls

Next big part was the galley. Plan for fresh water, gray water, sink, stove and fridge. The right side is closest to the house battery connection point so it will have power distribution. Hot lead comes from the second van battery to fuse block then to the switch panel. This will be mounted in metal enclosure soon. Everything is fused at 5a so I am not worried about burning it down



then this was installed behind driver seat. Need to make some drawers and fold up cutting board in the future

With tanks and fridge sort of in place ( need a cover over these) making some coffee on Sunday morning

Major parts are in place and just incremental improvements from here



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