Off-Road Discovery Off-Road Discovery

Family of 4: Choosing a Sprinter Van for Our Adventures

Picking the Right Sprinter for Family Adventures



We bought a 2015 4WD Sprinter Van 144 in the spring of 2024!


The process was extensive; researching and looking at Vans that would fit our family of 4 and be able to be used in Canada year-round. We are sharing what we learned to help others on a similar journey, hopefully this info saves you time.

About us; we have two kids, currently 8 & 10, and we camp all spring, summer and fall. The roof-top tent we were using was a huge game changer for us from a regular tent. We still love roof-top tents as they are fast to set up and make life more comfortable. However, tenting is hard to manage in cold weather and especially in snow.

We ski all winter in British Columbia and Alberta. We are fortunate to be within an hour driving distance to many places. However, there are times we’d love to be closer and not always in a hotel. We’ve always wanted to be able to ‘camp’ in the winter so having an insulated van with a diseal heater was a requirement on our list.

When you start looking at used fully set up camper vans there are tons for sale. The biggest limiting factors for us was having a minimum of 4 seats (most small campers seem to be set up for 2 and are very hard to adjust to more people) and 4WD. 4x4 capability is very important to us in vehicles as we like to get off the beaten path and we drive in bad winter conditions. Vans that are 4WD are limited and are essentially Mercedes Sprinter Vans and Ford Transits. If you are not looking for 4x4 capability there is a much bigger selection of vehicles for sale even both in Spinter and Transits and they are cheaper.

Make a list of what you want and figure out the why. That can include “don’t wants”. Campers are set up so different and simple, practical with lots of gear storage was our priority. Things like a toliet, shower and bottom drawer storage seems like a waste of precious interior space for us.

Here’s a video of our van, it’s not perfect but it is move in ready and pretty darn close to perfect for us.

Video: We Bought a 4WD Sprinter Van

We’ve used it in sun, rain, hail and snow already this first season and it’s been a glamping dream in the crazy weather.


We wouldn’t consider a longer van as we keep it in front of our house and want to be able to drive it in the city as an extra vehicle. The 170 might be more spacious but the length is a lot more to deal with when parking in tight areas like small National Parks parking lots, grocery stores, etc.

Good luck in your van hunt! If you have the ability to be patient in your search you’ll likely find what you are looking for.