Sprinter Van 144 vs 170 Length

I am wondering if your sprinter van is a 144 or a 170 length model. I am at the beginning of my dream phase process thinking about buildouts and what I like and don’t like. wondering if you had a tough time making that choice or if there was a logical reasoning behind what length you got and what it may have been.
Cheers,
Ross

Hi Ross,
My Sprinter is a 170, and it was a tough decision on what length to go with…here are some quick stats to help you compare the space inside:

The Sprinter 144 wheelbase is 19.5 feet long bumper to bumper, with 10.5 feet of interior length from behind the driver’s seat to the back doors. Interior height for the low roof is 5’5″, and the high roof is 6’4″.

The Sprinter 170 wheelbase is 22 feet 10 inches bumper to bumper, with 14 feet of interior length, and it’s 6’4″ high inside because all the 170s are high roof.

My choice was hard because I’d rather drive a 144, but I’d rather live in a 170. Driving and parking are a lot easier with the 144, and you would definitely save on fuel economy if you went with the low roof–that would be the easiest and most economical van to drive. I decided to go with the 170 because almost all of my traveling is done with my boyfriend Ian and our dog Cajun. Ian is 6’3″ and Cajun somehow takes up more space in bed than both of us. That being said, I don’t have any issues driving the 170, but if you end up in a city, you will have to deal a little bit when parking it. You’ll also get away with a little less in rough road situations, but that’s why we got a dirtbike and a rack–honestly, this van is the most expensive vehicle I’ve ever owned and I’m really not inclined to bang around on really rough terrain with it. Also, I would hate to get it stuck somewhere. So even if we had a 144, I doubt I’d be getting too crazy on the offroading with the van.

My reasons for going with the 170 (although I really really wanted a 144!) were I wanted Ian to be able to stand up straight in the van (he just fits, even with the insulation and flooring), and also wanted to be able to have a queen size bed so we could get a small corner to sleep in once Cajun is all comfortably situated. Storage space was also a significant factor, because we travel with climbing gear (sport and traditional), BASE rigs, wingsuits, skydiving rigs, helmets, warm and cold weather clothes, a training tripod + hangboard and shoes/boots for all aforementioned activities. And then there’s extra food for Cajun, dog jackets and 15 tennis balls. So at a certain point in the decision process, I just threw my hands up and said “what the hell, let’s just go big or go home!” I’ve never had a van before, and I decided to go all the way and see how it would be.

If the van was just for me, or just for me and Cajun, or even for me, Cajun and someone a lot shorter than Ian, I most likely would have gone with the 144 with the high roof.

As it turns out, the 170 is great for the three of us, and it makes for a very comfortable living setup. I don’t regret it, though I often look at the van and think, “this thing is enormous!” Being a minimalist, it does kind of freak me out sometimes. But having the extra 3.5 feet allows us to have a large cooking/eating/living space and helps a lot for extended trips and rainy days when everyone’s inside. I’m used to small living spaces, and the interior layout is very roomy and spacious–I never feel crammed even with the 3 of us in there. In past vehicle situations, I’ve basically spent all my time sitting or lying in bed, and in this van it feels like being in a tiny European apartment where you can walk around and even be in different space zones.

Having the extra length also gives us a ton of storage space, which is important for multi-sport trips and makes it really easy to pack, rather than having to Tetris things in all the time.

Good luck with your decision!
Steph


  • Horatio Algeranon

    I’m kinda partial to the Winnebago Tour, which has a little more room than the 170 Sprinter (though just a little)

    You never know when you might want to play indoor volleyball.

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