View Full Version : Crew or Cargo?

05-20-2016, 03:36 PM
Hi. My wife and I are looking to purchase a new or lightly used sprinter with plans for a fairly basic DIY conversion. I think we have decided on a 4x2 170" with the 4 cylinder engine. I am leaning towards the crew version because we have a 6 y/o daughter and need a safe place for her to ride. My concerns are as follows:

1). I like the fact that the crew van comes with side and rear windows, but I don't like the fact that they do not open. I imagine that if you are spending a lot of time sleeping in the van, then you may really appreciate the extra ventilation from being able to open the windows. A roof fan is one of the first additions I plan to make to the van, but I am not sure this will be adequate. I was hoping to get a sense of other's experience with camping/sleeping with the factory sprinter windows.

Also, is it possible/reasonable to remove the factory windows and replace them with aftermarket windows that open?

2). As mentioned above, we like the crew because it offers the second row seating. However, as part of my conversion, I have also considered extending the galley out into the sliding door entry to optimize space. This does not seem like a very practical option with the 3 person, 2nd row bench seat, because it does not allow much space to enter/exit the van from the sliding door, without crawling over the seat. A 2 person, 2nd row bench seat would be ideal. I suspect that a factory 2 person bench seat would not be compatible with the existing brackets for the 3 person bench seat.

So, in light of all the info above, I am beginning to wonder if a cargo version would be a better alternative? I think I would be comfortable installing aftermarket windows. Proper/safe installation of a bench seat sounds a little more complicated/intimidating.

I appreciate any feedback. Thanks

05-21-2016, 01:51 AM
If you add a fan, it'll want to suck air out of the van. Without another hole somewhere else in the van, it'll struggle. That's why many people replace the factory windows with a C.R.Lawrence t-vent window. However, you can also add these aftermarket windows to a cargo van, so either option is open to you still. I'm currently trying to figure out what to do in that exact situation (http://sprintervanusa.com/2016/04/21/contemplating-breaking-completely-good-windows/).

The 2-person bench seat fits in the same brackets as the 3-person seat. However, good luck finding one. Other people often choose to install captain's chairs instead of the bench seat. Obviously this requires the same complicated/intimidating aftermarket installation issues you mentioned. The benefit of doing an aftermarket install is that you can place the seat exactly where you want it, rather than in one of the existing locations dictated by Mercedes.

For our van, we moved the bench seat to the third passenger position (http://sprintervanusa.com/2015/09/06/moving-the-bench-seat/). That leaves plenty of room for cabinetry. It does mean that passengers are quite a way away from the driver though (could be a good thing?).

Walter Clark
05-23-2016, 10:47 AM
For someone planning to do a DIY conversion (headliner, sides, cabinets, kitchen, etc) and perhaps spend a few rainy days sitting in the van, I would go for the cargo since most of what you get with the crew (second row 3 wide seat, side and rear fixed windows, full headliner, rubber floor and some interior panels) are probably going to be replaced.

I went with the crew specifically FOR those added features and with our uses of the van they provide a vehicle that was much closer to our vision than the cargo.

Even WITH most of the opening after market side windows I have seen, I would guess you would probably want a power roof vent to help draw fresh air on a day when there was little breeze and more than one of you needed to stay in the van with the doors closed. As I am the only one who sleeps in our van overnight, even without a roof vent, I can normally get enough fresh air with either the side door opened (I have a Fiamma awning, and magnetic screen) or just by leaving the front door windows opened a few inches (I added those window fairings to help keep rain out when the windows are opened a little),

05-30-2016, 05:41 PM
I don't know in the US, but in Québec (Canada), the number of passenger is determined by the number of seat installed at the factory. We bought a 4x$ crew version but due to a mistake from our MB dealer or MB in Germany, no clear answer given, we received a cargo versionhttp://sprinter-source.com/forum/images/smilies/yell.gif.
We needed to have the 3-places second row bench be installed by a Transport Canada certified shop (not that many...). They also had to print a new official vehicle passenger allowance to place on the driver door. I prefer to be on the safe side when dealing with insurers, cops, inspection...
I would definitively go for a crew version if you intend to have kids on the back (we have three...)