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Can You Sleep Sideways In A Sprinter Van?

Girl laying in van looking out at trees

Are you interested in buying a Sprinter van but not sure if you can sleep sideways in it? Say, you’re a parent of multiple children; you know how important it is to have enough space for sleeping everyone. Sometimes that requires a little creativity.

Can you sleep sideways in a Sprinter van? Yes, you can sleep sideways in a Sprinter van. A tall person won’t be able to stretch out, as most Sprinter vans are 5 feet and 9 inches wide. Sprinter vans have more space than you may imagine, and you can do some unique things to the inside of your Sprinter van.

There are some ingenious ways to sleep inside a Sprinter van, including hanging a hammock in the van. We are going to look at some ways to have a good night’s sleep in your Sprinter.

Different Ways You Can Sleep Sideways In Your Sprinter Van

The most basic bed you can build inside your van is one that extends from one side of the Sprinter van to the other side. This type of bed will take up the entire back of your Sprinter van. It is usually a queen or king size. The great thing about this type of bed is if you build it up higher, you will still have a lot of storage space underneath.

Another great way to sleep sideways in a Sprinter van is by using a twin or full-size bed at the end of the van, right next to the back doors. These types of beds will give you more space for things like a small table or a tiny kitchen.

If you are planning to have guests along, you can simply hang a hammock or another great option is a hideaway bed. A hideaway bed can also be your main bed. Being able to save space is a huge plus for those who spend a lot of time in their Sprinter van.

In the event that you have a large family, you may want to think about having bunk beds. You can sleep sideways in the bunk beds and be able to fit more beds in the van for everyone else. Or you can have pull-out couches and be able to sleep more people and not take your floor space away.

Or if you do not want to have all those extra beds inside your Sprinter van, you could have a few pop-up tents handy for your guests.

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Tips To Maximize Your Space

After you have read all those nifty things you can have in your Sprinter van, you may be a little overwhelmed. Not to worry, making your Sprinter van perfect is not as complicated as it sounds, but it will take time. The best word of advice we can give you is to take your time planning your floor layout.

Your floor plan will make a huge difference with how much you can take with you on your adventures. You might even want to mock up some of the features you want to have in your van before committing to the final plan.

The more organized you are with all your belongings, the more space you will have. If you’re anticipating on spending a lot of time in your Sprinter van, then you will need tons of things.

Some of the things you may want in your Sprinter van are:

  • Solar panels – to help power everything while the van is off, check out this user-friendly solar kit.
  • Freshwater tank and pump
  • Electrical outlets
  • USB outlets
  • Showerhead with an on and off switch- to save water
  • Shade covers for all your windows – with magnetics is a bonus
  • Blackout curtain – to provide you with a little more privacy
  • Ventilation fans in the ceiling, like this MaxxFan Deluxe. It features ten speeds to quickly cool, it is thermostat controlled and comes with a handy remote
  • Thermostat controls in the front entrance and by your bed
  • Lots of lights throughout the van
  • Pull out tray in the garage part for your bike or other miscellaneous things
  • Storage for food
  • Security box – to hide your belongings
  • Tools

We know you wanted to sleep sideways in your Sprinter van, but have you considered sleeping lengthwise? It may not save much space, but it would give you more walking space from the front of your van to the back.

We also suggest you go to an event such as the Overland Expo. The Overland Expo is a series of events for do-it-yourself travel junkies. Check out the website for dates and locations for the Expo nearest to you. You will leave with helpful new ideas – so many you will have to decide where to begin. The vendors there will have some travel equipment and camping gear available for purchase.

After visiting an event like this, you will find out that some of your ideas are spot on and some you could do without.

Limitations To Your Sprinter Van

So, you may be wondering now, is there a limit to the things you can put into your Sprinter van. The answer is yes!

Weight. Sprinter vans can hold a lot of weight, but there is a cut off you need to be aware of. Most Sprinter van chassis can hold between 5,000 and 6,500 pounds.

Height. Another thing to consider is where your Sprinter van can fit. Some Sprinter vans are very tall and won’t fit into places where you would typically store vehicles – such as garages.

The height of most Sprinter vans ranges from 94 inches to 120 inches. Most places do accommodate these sizes, but it is always a great idea to check before entering.

We have another post, “Can a Sprinter Van Fit in a Garage?” that includes a lot of useful information on storing your Sprinter van.

Inside Height. The inside standing height of most Sprinter vans is between 64 inches and 88 inches. So, if you are taller than 5 feet 4 inches, you may want one of the taller options.

Planning ahead makes good sense, so you have an idea of what your sleeping arrangements will be and what you have to have inside your Sprinter van. Once you have done that, you will be able to narrow down the remaining capacity the chassis can hold. This way, you will have a better idea of which items you need to go smaller on or need to eliminate from your floor plan.

Extras You Can Add To Your Sprinter Van

Your Sprinter can become a miniature RV if you want it to be. People have added the following to them:

Kitchens. Many people have installed small refrigerators, a microwave, a sink, and a small food prep area.

Bathrooms. You could have a simple portable potty that is similar to a toddler potty, or you can install a regular toilet with a draining system underneath the van. This is a huge bonus for parents or those who cannot use public restrooms. Here are a couple great options for portable toilets the Thetford Porta Potti 365 and the Camco Portable Travel Toilet.

Showers. Some people opt to put in a small shower.

Entertainment area. A television, place for a laptop, charging ports for your devices – all of those are possibilities to keep you entertained and informed.

There are many amazing floorplans out there for you to maximize space in your Sprinter. The possibilities are endless, but for some of you, less is better. If you are single, you might be happy with a huge bed and lots of storage.

For the outside of your van, you may want to invest in an awning. Then you will be able to sit under the cover at any time of the day or night.

If you love to watch the stars at night, you could install a ladder on the side of the van. This way, you can take a sleeping bag or blanket and lay on your roof without being bothered.

Final Thoughts

Sleeping in your van while you travel across the county is a great way to cut down on travel costs since you won’t have to spend money on lodging. As you can see, there are many sleeping options available for your Sprinter van. Think through what will work best for you and your family to enjoy your next camping experience. Then you will be ready to hit the road.

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Ever since I was little I have been a traveler at heart. It all started when I was six years old and my family took a road trip to Alaska. I enjoy visiting new places and revisiting some of the great locations that I have been to already.