Building Out a Bitchin’ Sprinter Van

Filmmaker and all-around creative dude Cy Sutton brings his own take to this versatile van.

Cy Sutton has had his hands in so many cool things, it was probably only a matter of time until he turned his creative energies to pimping out a Sprinter, in this case one with a 170-inch wheelbase. The van had housed a mobile pet grooming business, which apparently had suffered a flood and rather than drying and fixing the flooring, the previous owners simply added more flooring on top of the wet. Sutton’s demo took out hundreds of pounds of unnecessary weight and a scary amount of mold.

“I realized that I needed to remove everything and start from scratch,” he writes. “I knew coming up with good design was key. I needed a well thought out space that served multiple functions and had built-in incentives for keeping my stuff orderly. I spent a lot of time prioritizing my needs and thinking about how to most simply address those needs.”


In the end, open space and flexibility were key. He wanted a wood stove to avoid problems with propane heaters. He wanted a kitchen and a fridge and enough solar power to drive the fridge, not just his laptop.

Working with a friend and an electrician, the buildout took about nine days spread over two and a half weeks. The final cost was around $8,000 (plus van).

Here’s a list of features the van has now:

1. Vertical racks at the rear for shortboards, tripod, beach umbrella, fishing rods and yoga mat

2. Raised bamboo grate, solar shower and shower curtain that spans the two back doors to create an outside but private shower area.

3. Sink and pump faucet

4. Propane stove with propane container mounted on outside of van

5. Clothing storage and hanging rack

6. Top loading compressor fridge (energy efficient)

7. Food storage

8. Glass water jugs with pumps- padded and secured

9. Clothing and backpack hooks

10. Fold up third seat

11. Ventiline vent with 12v high power fan

12. Fold up bed- underside is a white board and cork board for storyboarding, planning and note taking

13. Hammock mount and hammock desk- my most proud invention (game changer when working)

14. Longboard sling on inner roof

15. First aid kit

16. Kitchen towel and paper towel rack

17. 2 sets of 32′ LED Christmas fairy lights

18. Compact wood stove 8″ x 8″ x 14″ (yet to be installed)

19. Rear exterior mounted propane cylinder and diesel gas can





Camp Notes is a big high five to the fun of sleeping outdoors and all that comes along with it. You know, camping and stuff.



Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.
Showing 7 comments
  • Jay Long

    This camper is a thing of beauty; love it.

  • jill adler

    As cool as it is i would be sooo claustrophobic. Definitely a van for a single guy. 🙂

  • Dan Murphy

    Not sure if Cy will answer this, but I’m curious what he has for power. Does he have a deep cycle battery?

    • Steve Casimiro

      I believe he has two.

  • Kevin

    I was wondering what woodstove system Cy came up with for the van?

  • Solomon

    About how much did this build cost?

  • Jacob Duran

    So awesome! I have a quick question. I’m considering hanging a hammock from the front rafters over the driver’s seat, instead of my bolt directly to the frame. I see you have your hammock down the center, but I can’t see what you have it mounted to run the front. Any chance you have had success mounting it to the rafter in the center?

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