Trip Report: Arizona to Canada in my first Sprinter road trip.


Well-known member
With less than 10K miles on the clock and a one-owner Carfax report, this Ebay find seemed like a good bet for my first Sprinter. I sent a bunch of money by wire to "Trucks Only" in Phoenix and then flew down to see what I'd bought.

The 04 T1N appeared to be in showroom condition so, following a quick phone consultation with The Doktor, :bow: I finalized the deal and drove away into the 112 degree Phoenix heat. A dream that began five years ago with me scaring the pants off a FedEx driver with my Sprinter enthusiasm was finally coming true.

Accompanied by Jon, a friend who happened to be in Texas at the time, we struck out for home in British Columbia, nearly two thousand miles away. We purchased some camping supplies and a couple of sheets of plywood for a bed and headed north. No hotels on this trip. This Sprinter has one main task: long distance, remote location landscape photography. With only minimal equipment (I'd flown in, right?) and a travelling partner focused on getting home, not dawdling around with cameras, I was up for the challenge. First stop: Monument Valley.

We lucked out. The weather was changing fast, and that makes for good shooting. In half an hour we were gone, bound for Mexican Hat and the Moki Dugway.

Whatever possessed the engineers to build a highway up this cliff face is beyond me, but it's sure a great drive. The Sprinter shrugged off the 15% grade, switchback gravel, no guardrails and 100F heat.

At the top, we made camp. Pork loin with a red wine reduction, plenty of Stone IPA and a green salad.
After we learned how to work the new stove.:thinking:

Better than any Four-Star hotel, if you ask me. :tongue:

Following a brief stop in Moab, UT at Dead Horse Point...

... we camped in grasslands near the Wyoming border. No lights visible, save the stars. Millions of them.

Then, onwards. Angling NE through Wyoming, we arrived here at Dead Indian Summit, NW of Cody.

This was the second 8,000 ft pass we'd crossed so far, following Douglas Pass, NW of Grand Junction. The last, over 10,000 feet was no problem either. The Sprinter took them all in stride, barely breathing hard. The only clue I had that he was altitude sensitive was a change in the shift pattern of the transmission. He liked to hold on to gears a little longer before changing up.

Charles Kuralt called it "The most beautiful highway in America". He should know. Having crossed this amazing bit of geography several times on and in various vehicles, I have to agree with him. Access to the high alpine is difficult, nearly impossible, for average people. Here, at Beartooth Pass on the Wyoming/Montana border, it's easy. And breathtaking. Grassy meadows at 10,000 feet are a great place to be in the late afternoon.

Doktor Andy said to be sure and check my roof for signs of damage, so I did. :professor:

However you look at it, driving a Sprinter is a vehicular experience like no other. Beginning with my amazement at how he negotiated 10% grades at 70 mph in 110 degree heat, and ending with my delight at how easy it was to maneuver in suburban parking lots, I'm just plain stoked with every aspect of this van. In just three short days, we crossed most of the USA, south to north in comfort and style, barely stopping to rest, yet I managed to prove that it'll do exactly what I hoped it would do, and then some.

That's how this dream came true. :rad:



Not Suitable w/220v Gen
Those are some stunningly beautiful pictures.

Congrats on your ride. I'm glad you're happy and that you're confident in the vehicle.

I'm curious about your photographic equipment... lenses, body and tripod.

Thanks for the pictographic recounting of your journey!



Well-known member
Thanks, jd (and the rest of this forum) Sprintering would be difficult or impossible without it.

Nikon D300, 16-85 and 70-200 zooms. No tripod on this trip. (airline travel) Photoshop.:bow:


New member
fantastic images - great combination of vehicle, road and distance. I too, would love to know what camera body you used and how wide some of those lenses were!


Sacto John

New member
Great pictures and great story. Only one complaint, not enough pictures of the Sprinter :)

I recently bought my Sprinter after years of wanting one a immediatly went on a road trip. I was equally impressed.


06 T1N Can
Amazing Pictures, Amazing Story! :bow: Congratulations on your T1N! :clapping:

I'm jealous! :cry:

I'm going to have to do a return trip just to get my Sprinter in there.
Your pictures surely puts my scanned photo to shame. :smirk:


Thanks specially for the shot of the Moki Dugway. I only recently heard of it and didn't know what it's all about.


Well-known member
The Moki Dugway is a must-do if you're in the southwest. Quite amazing.:professor:


Live life to the fullest!
Truly Amazing pictures, looks somewhat like HD photos.I am sure you have plenty of experience in taking photos. Please post more pictures of Sprinter and future trips. Congrats with your new sprinter. Thanks for sharing.


Well-known member
Great pics.................certainly proves that a pic can tell a thousand words.:thumbup:

Looks like a few of us will be brushing up on our camera skills.:bow:



Well-known member
Great Pictures!
I'll let you drive my 4x4 if you take some pic's:hugs::laughing:
That's a DEAL, motobueno. :thumbup: Heck of a rig you have there. Did you import the 4X4?



Well-known member
Great Pictures!
I'll let you drive my 4x4 if you take some pic's:hugs::laughing:

Curious motobueno...............can I enquire as to the brand,size and load rating of your tyres?

Altered Sprinter

Happy Little Vegemite
A few sneak trick-pics of Tom's My Man's 4x4:rad:
It has one specific role in life:shhh:



Well-known member

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