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:
More to come...