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If you are wanting to purchase a Sprinter van, then there are a variety of things that you need to consider before you make your decision.
If you are not planning to live in your camper van for the majority of the time or are only traveling at certain times of the year then it’s important to make sure that you have a place where you can keep the camper van safe and protected from harsh weather conditions.
The best way to do this is to make sure that it can fit in your garage as it will prevent you from having to spend extra money on maintenance. There are different styles of Sprinter vans that you can choose from so knowing the measurements of your garage and the Sprinter that you are considering will help you to make the best choice.
However, there are plenty of alterations you can make to your garage so it can accommodate the camper van properly. In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about whether Sprinter vans can fit into a garage and the steps you can take to ensure that it does.
Can Sprinter Vans Fit Into The Average Garage?
Unfortunately, Sprinter vans are too large to fit into the average-sized garage as the garage door is 7 feet tall whereas the inside of the garage should be big enough to fit in with no problem. The Sprinter vans can vary between 96 to 121 inches tall depending on how big the model you choose is.
The most popular Sprinter models that are available are the Cargo Van which is between 96 to 111 inches, the Passenger Van which is between 96 to 114 inches and the Extended Cargo Van which is 107 to 111 inches.
Factors to Consider
Measuring your van height is not actually as simple as measuring the vehicle from top to bottom as there are a variety of factors that have to be considered when it comes to collecting the correct measurements.
It’s important to bear this in mind as ignoring these factors can result in you wasting your money and time as you may not be able to fit your van in comfortably which can result in more money being spent on repairing damages. Always think about the following before you measure your van:
- Aftermarket suspension and tired
- Air conditioners or vents
- Luggage racks
- Roof-mounted storage
- Other things mounted on your roof
Measuring The Height Of Your Van
Before deciding how you want to adapt your garage to accommodate your van properly, it’s important to make sure that you measure the van correctly so you can make your alterations appropriately.
The best way to measure your van is to place a ruler horizontally along the top of the roof while extending it out by a few inches and draw the ruler to the ground. Once you have done this, make sure that you measure anything that is mounted to the van roof and add the two results together which will give you the camper van’s total height.
On average, garage doors tend to be around seven feet which means that your Sprinter van is most likely not going to fit inside. The majority of garages on the inside are between nine to ten feet meaning that it may be able to sit comfortably once inside but getting it through the door is most likely going to be a challenge for you.
Naturally, this is dependent on what kind of Sprinter van you have as there are different heights and widths. Make sure that you have appropriately measured your garage’s height and width against the van’s before making any purchase so you can make your choice accordingly.
If you know that you want a large camper van then you may want to be prepared to budget for an extension which we will be discussing below.
Altering The Garage Door
As mentioned previously, it is most likely to be the garage door only that is going to pose a challenge for you as the interior of the average garage is much larger than the door.
Therefore, you may want to consider having your garage door altered to accommodate the larger height so you can comfortably leave your van in the garage without causing any damage to the vehicle or garage.
However, if you are wanting to go down this avenue, be prepared to pay a lot of money as it can cost between $5,000 to $7,000 to have a larger garage door installed. You can choose to hire a contractor for an extra cost who can get the job done and deal with all the paperwork as there are permits and safety regulations that have to be adhered to depending on your state.
If you do choose to save yourself some money and do it all yourself then you’ll have to make sure that you file the proper paperwork correctly to prevent any delays or mistakes which can result in extra cost and lots of time wasted trying to get everything sorted.
Raising The Garage
If you have the space then you may want to raise your whole garage as well as the door. Naturally, getting the van through your garage door is important but ensuring that the van fits into the main body of the garage as well without damaging the interior of the garage as well as the van’s exterior.
Make sure that if you are wanting to raise the interior of your garage then you will have to apply for the appropriate permits and may be subject to a variety of different inspections to ensure that all the health and safety needs are being met.
This is one of the most costly choices as it is an additional extension and making sure that you sort out the electricity, door frames, and plumbing if needed.
It may be easier to raise the entire garage than raise the door height. The gentleman in the video below raised his entire garage 21 inches to be able to accommodate his vehicles. Keep in mind that if you reside in an incorporated area, you are still going to have to deal with permits and inspections.
This is a construction project, and as such, it also runs the risk of unexpected expenses. Electrical lines, door frame heights, and in some cases, even plumbing lines may be involved.
There are plenty of other options along the same lines as raising the entire garage that incorporates construction such as bringing in a steel enforced extension but this can be extremely expensive.
A cheaper alternative is using concrete slabs but for those who want to work on the construction of their garage but don’t have the funds to do so with steel or concrete, having a simple dirt floor will allow you to get your van into the garage but bear in mind that the dirt floor can cause the bottom of your van to become dirty also so there will be a bit of extra maintenance.
Alternative For Those On A Budget
The previous suggestions have been for those who may have the money to spend; however, for those working with a stricter budget, there are plenty of options that you can consider to protect your camper van from being exposed to harsh weather conditions. Here are two of the best budget-friendly alternatives that you can invest in without breaking your bank account:
The first option is to use a portable carport. You can buy different sizes depending on what vehicle you have and it is no different when it comes to larger vehicles in particular. To protect a vehicle as large as a camper van, you want to make sure that you look into the variety of different options as some provide different levels of quality and protection.
Cheaper models may consist of strong fabric with an exposed frame but some include zips and become an additional garage just for your van.
Bear in mind, however, that carports are not the most reliable option as they are made from fabrics rather than metals so they are not going to provide the same level of resilience and protection that more expensive options will bring. However, it is better than leaving your camper van completely exposed.
The second option that you can consider is using a van cover which is ideal for those who don’t live in their camper van all the time. Van covers provide protection for the main body of the vehicle and help to keep it protected from the weather.
It is the cheapest option that you can go for so don’t expect the same level of performance that the more reliable choices given previously in this guide are going to deliver but it is great for those who have a strict budget and want to provide minimum protection for their vehicle.
Overall, fitting a sprinter van into a garage can be a challenge, especially if you haven’t made any alterations to your garage. As you can see from the suggestions in this guide, there are many ways in which you can adapt your garage to fit your van or use alternatives to protect your van when you are not using it.
This will mean that your van doesn’t have to be exposed to all kinds of weather conditions even if you don’t have the money to spend.