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  • Writer's pictureKulAdventures

Dodge Sprinter Mountain Bike Van Build Begins

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

Mountain Biking van build on a 2004 Dodge Sprinter Passenger Van

My goal was to make a camper van for the long road trips I do to go mountain biking and other outdoor adventures. Had to fit me, the dog, and a few other people, get decent gas mileage, and haul my bikes/equipment.

I shopped sprinters for a while, tossing up T1N vs NCV3. Ended up getting a 2004 Dodge Sprinter 140 Wheelbase High roof passenger van. The van was used by a family before I bought it and had previously been a transport van (highway use) with a wheelchair lift. Van had over 230000 miles on it, but from what I had read the mileage really didn't concern me. The rear AC had been removed and the wheelchair lift no longer existed, but there was still 3 rows of seats and the duct work for the rear AC.

Without knowing the game plan yet, I wanted to work on the electronics. I knew I would at least need one battery and wanted solar. It would be much easier to do electrical before insulation and interior was built. Also a MaxxFan was essential so I jumped right into those. I picked one with a smoke cover, although slightly more I thought it matched the black color of my van better when closed. I also paid up for the one with the remote, which is really essential if you are driving by yourself.


While I was in there I decided to rattletrap the entire front end including doors. I made the mistake of doing 100% coverage, which won't hurt, but cost a lot more without much added benefit. I really wanted to quite the cabin down and looking back there was probably better ways to do this than rattletrap.

UPDATE: "The better way to quite the cabin down" would be to stick to 25% coverage (not 100%) of rattletrap and use Thinsulate/Spray Foam insulation or another form of sound deadening (cheaper form) that work with outside noise and not just body panel noise as rattletrap does. I ended up spray foaming the entire van for thermal insulation and sound insulation. You can read about that process here.

The stuff I used originally was given to me (hence no logo on it), but when I ran out I just ordered the RattleTrap Fat Matt (80mil thick) from amazon, its kinda pricey so I would defiantly consider if you really need it... and defiantly don't do 100% coverage. Its intended to deaden body rattle/vibration, which is going to be more present on large unsupported portions of metal body panels, door panels, body panels, ceiling, etc...

As you can see I went way overboard on rattletrap in the headliner:

Did the Doors also:

Side note, definitely get something like this to help apply the rattletrap, makes it so much easier to adhere.

Next I tackled the following on the van:

-MaxxFan and Electronics Install

-Radio Rewiring to Run off Aux Battery / Radio Upgrade

-Rear View Camera Install

-Engine Maintenance (constantly updated)

-Harmonic Balancer Fix

-Floor Removal and Hole Repair

-Spray Foam Insulation

-Windshield Replacement and Rust Repair

-Headlight Assembly Replacement

-Monstaliner Roll-On Bedliner install

-Fuel Mileage Increase Projects

-On-Board AC Battery Charger

-Hot Water Heater

-Battery Combiner (Engine - House)

-Plumbing, Sink/Shower/Fresh/Gray Tank

More to come...

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