After many moons of research mainly on r/vandwellers, we pulled the trigger on a 2005 158″ Wheel Base Sprinter from Freightliner.
I searched on Craigslist every day for about 3 weeks before we finally found a van that fit in our budget. It was being sold by a used car lot about 20 miles outside of Houston, Tx.
We chose this specific van for 3 main reasons.
Cheap – I’ve not seen any sprinter that isn’t run into the ground for less than $6k. Sprinters can be branded with Mercedes, Dodge or Freightliner. Our van was a part of the Freightliner fleet used to deliver parts. It was so dirty and nasty on the inside.
Miles – It only has 104k miles. We took it to a Sprinter Specialist mechanic about an hour away from our house & they said it as overall in good condition but definitely need a few parts replaced. They wanted to charge $1,800 for the parts & labor but I simply ordered the new parts online & got help from our very handy Brother in Law to install them. The new parts needed were an EGR Valve, Turbo Resonator & air filters.
Size – Being able to stand up in the van was priority #1. Jonathan is 6’1″ so only the tall roof vans would work. That definitely limited our choices. Older Ford & Chevrolet vans don’t have tall enough ceilings for Jonathan to stand up in. The Sprinter comes in 3 different size wheelbases.
The 144″ is extremely small but the 158″ felt good enough for our big bodies. SOLD!