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I’ve been a Ford f-150 guy for the last 12 years. I get a new one every 2 years on lease, and it has served me well. I have a board pad on the tailgate for my surfboard and I can haul all of my snowboard gear in in the back. But, something was missing. When we go snowboarding, Mammoth Mountain is our favorite, and it’s about 6.5 hours from San Diego. So, it’s not just around the corner. What was missing was more room in the cab. I had a F-150 crew cab, the biggest they make, but with my wife, 2 dogs and the gear that can’t be thrown in back, it wasn’t a pleasant 6+ hours.
We decided a van would provide us much more room and we stated the search. We wanted a van that we could use every day and didn’t want an RV. We looked at old VW buses, and new Dodge, Ford, Nissan and Mercedes vans. The Mercedes won by a far margin and we decided to go with a Passenger Van, short/tall, so I could stand up in it (I’m 6’4”) and it can be parked anywhere. We also decided to get 4x4 for the Mammoth runs.
So now what? We’ve bought a great van, but with 3 rows of seats, we looked like more of a short school bus than a multi-purpose van. We figured we’d go to the van conversion folks and see what they had. If we wanted it converted to a mini-rv, lots of folks did that. If we wanted to deck it out like a limo, lots did that also. But a comfortable, basic custom, no one would do, so we did it ourselves.
So, we’ve fully converted from a F-150 daily driver to an MBZ Sprinter 2500 4x4 daily driver. Only 2 things that I wish were different on the MBZ. First, it needs to have a “smarter” key/door. When I open the driver’s door, all doors should be unlocked. Secondly, it needs a bigger gas tank. It seems like I am always filling it up. A 30 or 35-gallon tank would rock.
You can check our van out on Instagram @malooracks and MBZ Sprinter can be a daily driver! Remember the DryRack and share with us your van project #maloovanproject