This seems to be the most common question that we get on our Instagram channel. “Hey, if you could do it all over, what would you change about your van build?”
Here’s the deal, we took 3 years to solidify our van project. We were on the Car Matchmaker TV show where we got to explore and drive a Sportsmobile Mercedes Sprinter Van with pop top.
That confirmed that we wanted a Sprinter Van. Then we looked literally at every single converted Sprinter that we could find online, and asked as many questions as we could think of.
Lastly, we were incredibly blessed to have met Brian and Brianna Wright of Momentum Vans when we decided that we shouldn’t do the van build ourselves.
Brian is one of the most thoughtful and knowledgeable people that I’ve ever met. And he went over absolutely everything about our build, including asking all of the essential questions that brought us to having a van we absolutely love!
But, what would we change…
Hardly anything, really. And most of the stuff that we might change is just personal preference stuff.
Flooring – This isn’t a gripe on our flooring at all, but we think we’d enjoy a softer flooring. And would probably choose this new flooring that Momentum Vans is installing that looks like carpet but acts like hard flooring.
Solar – Originally we thought we’d use our roof rack for either hanging out up high or storing things. But after two years, we rarely use the roof rack for that stuff. So, we would get a rack that was designed for double the solar that we have now (which would be 400 watts instead of 200 watts).
Stereo – We paid a lot extra to have a Pioneer stereo with GPS. First, the Pioneer stereo has been terrible (including their customer service), and second, we hardly every use the GPS (like maybe 3 times in 2 years). So, we would recommend a stereo without paying the extra for GPS and just using your phone. It will work most of the time, and you can load maps ahead of time if you need to.
Water Tank – We currently have a 20 gallon fresh water tank, and that’s really about the most that we could fit. BUT if we could fit more fresh water in the van, we would. We keep an extra 5 gallon collapsable water blob with us that gets filled in the winter when water access is limited.
2nd Fuel Tank – If you can afford adding a second fuel tank (space, weight, and financially), it would be a nice addition. We actually might do that in the future now that our spare tire is mounted on the back of our van thanks to the Owl Vans Tire Carrier.
Update – We moved our spare tire (from under the van) to the back drivers side door, via the Owl Vans Tire Carrier. This allowed us to add a 21 gallon fresh water tank to the original Sprinter tire cage (under the van).
This (new) 21 gallon tank was installed by Momentum Vans and allows us to pump water from the lower tank to the upper tank (via a second water pump).
Due to the tank being outside of the van, we will only use it during the warmer summer months.
What we wouldn’t change
Isotherm Fridge – This thing uses hardly any energy, and can hold about a week of food for two big eaters!
Bamboo Cabinet Fronts – These still look great and are very durable.
Interior Shower – Even though it’s a squatting shower for Joe, it’s so nice to be able to shower inside on cold nights.
Rear Seating Configuration – The bench seat with two ottomans (that folds into a second bed) has worked out great for us. The only downside is that it would be nice to be able to roll our bikes into the back when traveling.
Espar Heater – This thing has been amazing, and we would highly recommend it. In fact, I’m not sure how we would have done snow chasing without it.
Battery System – This is really all Momentum Vans doing. We all run into times that we wish we had just a little more juice for cooking things in our Instapot but all in all, it’s great!
BFG All Terrain Tires – These tires have driven 56,000 miles so far, and have been great in all weather conditions!