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Ultimate Guide to Sprinter Van Conversion Layouts

Updated: Jun 3

Brooklyn Campervans has been building bespoke custom camper vans for clients across the US. The amount of times we've had layout conversations are well over a thousand. We figured, if we're talking about it this much, why not write an article about it?!

Where to start to find the best camper van layout?

To find the best van layouts we have to take a step back and look at the big picture. How will the majority of the time be spent using the camper van? We'll start with the biggest and most important questions first to narrow down which van to build on, then what's the best layout for van life.

Shows exterior length of Sprinter 144WB 170WB, Promaster 136WB 159WB, and Transit 130WB and 148WB. Bumper to bumper

Let's introduce the first step:

What size van works best for your camper van layout?

For simplicity sake and because we specialize in it, we will largely talk about the Mercedes Sprinter platform, however you can look at the size chart and translate the layouts onto Transits or Promasters.

We will be especially focused on the Sprinter 144WB and the Sprinter 170WB van conversion layouts. For the most part, extended lengths are not popular for Van Builds on all vans due to weight and drivability issues. With the extended, the wheelbase remains the same, but the back is just longer often resulting in rear end sag.

For our builds the Sprinter 144WB can offer every amenity, but the 170WB with 3.5 feet of more buildable space, can offer a lot of options.

Sprinter Exterior Length of 144WB 170WB and 170WB ext

Between these two options, 3.5 ft may seem small, but depending on what you're looking for, they can make a world of a difference. Here a few questions to help you decide.

Camper van layout blue print with bathroom on 170WB

Camper van layout blue print with bathroom on 170WB

Section 1: Who are you traveling with?

  • Are you a solo traveler?

  • Do you travel with your partner?

  • Any pets?

  • What size are they?

big dog, great dane, in camper van layout

  • Who else might come along?

  • Is your camper van going to be a hang out spot for friends or are no visitors allowed?

 If you're 1-2 people traveling, you'd be great with a 144WB. If there are 3 or more people in a van, then the 170WB is the way to go. A lot of our clients are couples with pets in a 144WB. It is do-able, but if the pet is a Great Dane - consider the 170WB.

Section 2: Where are you going?

  • Off-roading or on paved roads?

  • Cities or places where parking is easy?

  • Mountains or places with no tight turns?

170WB Sprinter parked on street in NYC

The 144WB is a lot more versatile driving in the city and mountains. In places like Bryce Canyon and Yosemite National Park, there are often signs saying "no vehicle over 20 feet" due to the tight turns of the switch backs. While generally you're more than fine with the powerful and well-driving Sprinter 170WB at 23 ft long, it is something still to be considered.

In the mountains or for off-roading, having a shorter wheel base, also means better turning radius and less chance of bottoming out going over humps. In the cities, a shorter van would be easier to park.

Section 3: What are you bringing with you?

  • Is the camper van used for full-time travel or part-time?

  • If part-time, are these trips week trips or usually 2-3 months at a time?

  • Beyond the basics (clothes, kitchenware, food, laptop), what is the bulk of your storage requirements?

Storage in sprinter camper van layout

The 144WB Sprinter van has enough storage space for someone living full time. However if it's two people full time living together in a van and neither are minimalists plus a pet, then consider the 170WB.

Generally people underestimate how much can be packed into a 144WB. However, it also depends on what layout you go with. These questions will help further determine what layout you go with.

Which Sprinter Van Conversion Layout is best for me?

Now that you got a good feeling on which size van you want, let's look into the layout options. There are a few van conversion layouts to choose from, and something for everybody. To set the ground rules we are assuming each van layout comes with the essentials

  • A full size bed

  • A kitchen (sink, stove, countertop space)

  • A place to work, sit or dine for 2 people (or more).

  • 40 gallons of water

  • Solar panels and enough battery to run the AC off-grid without worry.

  • All the tech amenities, which don't really take us much space i.e. home theater, satellite internet, security systems and cameras, monitoring systems for water and battery levels and so on.

camper van tech upgrade options. security camera and rearview digital camera

Essentially everything above can be fit into any van with any layout. You are not missing on any amenity by going with a shorter 144WB or a convertible bed layout.

144WB Sprinter Camper Van Layouts

For these layouts there are two main questions to decide

  1. Do you want a fixed bed or a lounge area that converts to a bed?

  2. Do you want an indoor shower or not?

The answers give way to 4 total outcomes.

rendering of 4 different layouts for 144WB Sprinter Camper van

Fixed Bed With Shower

Our most popular 144WB sprinter van layout. This is great to maximize storage and to enjoy the creature comfort of daily hot showers and a real mattress.

Sprinter 144WB Layout with Indoor Shower and bathroom

There is still a front dinette space with the front swivel seats.

Dinette space in 144WB Sprinter Layout Camper Van

Fixed Bed, No Shower

Without the shower, there's extra space for a lounge. Under one of the lounge seats there will be your self-contained toilet. This is for people who are totally ok with taking the 15 minute drive to planet fitness or one of the many other places for showers... or just using baby wipes - no judgement!

Sprinter 144WB layout without shower

U-Lounge With Shower

The bed in the back coverts to U-Lounge that can seat 5 people (see the next photo). This layout is great for those that want to host or have more space for work / dining.

U-Lounge couch to bed layout with shower on Sprinter 144WB Camper Van

We also offer a raised U-Lounge which means a longer bed thanks to the bed bump outs, and more storage underneath the benches.

Lounge layout with extra sleeping space on 170WB Sprinter camper van

Additional Storage on 170WB Sprinter garage space in camper van

U-Lounge No Shower

We find this option more popular as a mobile office unit. Without the shower, you can have a much bigger projector screen in the front for presentations or movies.

Open airy 144WB camper van lounge layout

170WB Sprinter Van Conversion Layouts

For these layouts there is on more question to consider compared to the 144WB.

Here are the three main questions to decide

  1. In the front- the space behind the driver seat, do you want a legal bench seat for 2, storage, or a lounge?

  2. Do you want an indoor shower or not?

  3. In the back, Do you want a fixed bed or a lounge area that converts to a bed?

Luckily there is not exponentially more layouts to confuse you - there are still 4 layouts that make the most sense.

U-Lounge + Shower + Storage space

This is a beautiful layout for those who want it all. The front storage space gives the option for the front cab to be partitioned off giving it added security and a more home like feel at the expense of the driver and passenger seat swiveling to expand the living space.

170WB Sprinter Layout with indoor shower and lounge

Table for work or dining space for remote worker layout on Sprinter camper van

Fixed Bed + Shower + Front Dinette

Like the last van conversion layout, the hang-out spot is switched to the front, making use of the front swivel seats. The storage space is made up with the space under the fixed bed.

Sprinter camper van  layout for family with seating for 4

 The bench seats can also swivel to face the open passenger door.

Bench seat that swivels in camper van

Fixed Bed + Shower + Storage

This layout is more for 2 or less travelers as there is only seating for 2. If you prioritize maximum storage, this is for you.

Sprinter camper van with pop top

Fixed Bed, No Shower, + Front Lounge

If having a shower is no big deal, then might as well add more living space for lounging and enjoying the van. The table slides down and also forms a guest bed.

Sprinter camper van with big lounge area

Other considerations on finding the right Sprinter van conversion layout for you.

Storage - If you're worried about storage, there is always the option to add upper cabinets on the passenger side, a headliner shelf above the passenger and driver seat, and exterior storage compartments. Generally, most people underestimate the amount of things that can be packed inside a camper van. We always find people surprised at how much can fit in there.

Sprinter camper van with full exterior modifications

Pop-top - Having a pop-top is another way to sleep two more people on the 170WB. These pop-tops are insulated, and with the heat rising, they can stay pretty warm in cold climates. They're just not very stealthy when open. The sacrifice would be that a pop-top can only hold 350w of solar - still adequate for the majority of people.

Sprinter pop top that can sleep two

Extra Removable Seat Behind the Passenger

This seat is clipped into aeronautical tracks on the floor, which means the seat can also be removed. If you decide you're traveling with a 3rd person, just add it on for the trip. This was the perfect solution for the client who sometimes brought his child on trips.

Sprinter camper van with jump seat for additional person

How are these camper van layouts decided?

For a small space that can fit a shower and a 40 gallon water tank along with the many other amenities there are really not many other choices from physical standpoint.

One safety element in the van floor plan is that we want the weight to be evenly distributed and also the electrical system on one side and the water system system on other. Mixing electronics and water is not a safe bet, nor is criss-crossing water lines back and forth.

With that being said, the water tank, water heater, sink, and shower are all on one side. The other side would include the batteries, stove, and fridge.

Can there be any more options?

With all the amenities, there really is no other valid layout for a van build unless we put in a bed lift. We have some opinions about the standard mass manufactured Class B RVs with their bed lifts in the back that you can read about that here.

However instead of a bed lift in the back, there is the option of putting it in the front. Here's a whole video breaking down this layout specifically along with the article "The Concrete Oasis Layout Review"

In the end we feel like the layouts listed above are the most logical for van builds. Let us know which layout is your favorite and why!

Finally, if you're done racking your brain, just schedule a free consultation with us, and we'll guide you in the right direction!

If you want to see how much these layouts vary in cost, or if you want to spec out your entire van online, you can use our Van Builder.


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