The release of the brand new Mercedes Sprinter van this year has been exciting all sorts of conversion companies across Germany and the U.S., and now UK-based company RP Motorhomes is getting a slice of the action. They’ve created a high-tech, gear-hauling camper van that sleeps two and has an expandable bathroom, all in the space of a medium wheelbase Sprinter van.
The Rebel Sprinter conversion packs a mind-boggling amount of features into a 5.9m (18.4ft) long base van, all the optional extras you could ask for, and if you love to lounge it’s even got two of them.
The Rebel begins its life as a Sprinter van, nestled in the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England, the home of RP Motorhomes and a place that evokes the very essence of camping amongst its backdrop of rolling moorland.
This is not your typical van though, as Mercedes has equipped their new Sprinter will all of the latest tech usually reserved for passenger cars. It’s got active brake assist, attention assist, hill start assist and crosswind assist, not to mention the 7” MBUX (that’s Mercedes-Benz User Experience to you and me) touchscreen infotainment system. It starts without a key and its six-speed manual transmission and 3.0L diesel engine deliver 140bhp, or if you’d rather then Mercedes offer a 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic gearbox. But the available add-ons don’t stop there; you can go all out and throw in a parking package with 360º camera, Distronic active distance assist, a Satnav, wireless phone charging, rear-wheel drive and even all-wheel drive once the Sprinter 4×4 goes into production in the UK at the end of 2018. All this and we haven’t even gotten to the inside of the van yet.
The rear of the Rebel is dominated by a large and cozy wraparound seating area, made up of two bench seats, a table and a removable rear cushion which can be taken out to create a central aisle for stowing bikes or boards. The seating area transforms into a large double bed or two singles, depending on your preference.
The van comes with two optional packages: the Slide package, and the Sporthome. The Slide turns the bathroom into a slide-out module that allows enough room for two front swivel seats, which create a second lounge with the addition of a drop-in table. The Sporthome edition swaps the rear lounge for a fixed bed to create a spacious cargo area underneath, accessible via the rear doors with an “up and over” fibreglass lift-gate. Here you have the options of adding a jet rinse sprayer hook up for washing gear, and anchor points for tying down bikes, making it ideal for a couple of outdoor adventurers.
The aforementioned slide-out bathroom comes fully waterproofed and equipped with a cassette toilet, chrome mixer shower, corner sink and mirrored cabinet. Opposite this, you’ll find the kitchen, fully furnished with the Thetford kitchen range and decorated with DuPont Corian worktops and Blum soft close drawers. It’s got an oven, a grill, a three burner gas stove, a 90L compressor fridge, a stainless steel sink with mixer tap, and the option of adding in a microwave too.
It’s not clear how the Rebel’s 110Ah leisure battery would manage to power a microwave or whether additional capacity would be required, but the van does have an automatic 12V battery charger, a 240V RCD mini consumer unit, 12V charging and a UK mains hook up cable for on-grid camping. It’s heated by a Truma Combi LPG heater which provides hot water too, fed from a 30L underslung LPG tank with a Truma gas isolation valve for safety. The heat is kept in by insulated glass windows and 3” thermal grade insulated flooring, but if you’re heading into warmer climates a Truma habitation AC system can be installed too. Lighting comes from 12V warm white LEDs and a Mini Heki roof light, and everything can be controlled and monitored from a central LED control panel.
It’s truly amazing how RP Motorhomes have managed to fit all of this into their medium wheel base Rebel Sprinter, and all to the tune of $70,000 (£54,995), with an additional cost of $6,392 (£5000) for the Slide package and various other fees for its long list of optional extras. It’s cosy, it’s cutting edge, and it’s fully equipped for two people to set out on the ultimate road trip adventure.
Source: RP Motorhomes