The smallest Mercedes-Benz Sprinter you can get is the short 144-inch wheelbase model. That's the starting point for this impressive camper conversion from California-based Big Bear Vans. It ends with a compact mini-motorhome called the Santa Monica that has all the amenities of a much larger motorhome, and somehow, it doesn't look cramped inside.
The dual full-size beds at the back captured our attention. Instead of a raised bed with a small garage/storage area beneath, there's one permanent bed that can be lowered or raised electrically. When up, the space beneath serves as a dining area with two benches and a table. That converts to the second full-size bed, slightly shorter than the one above but still large enough for two adults.
Should anyone desire a snack with both beds set up, there's a second mini-dining area at the front of the Mercedes. A small table on a swivel arm is positioned between the front seats, and it can swivel rearward for use in the second row of travel seats. As such, this 144 Sprinter can easily accommodate four people for safe travels in belted seats, dining when stopped, and sleeping after a long day of fun.
In between the front and rear dining areas you'll find a sizeable kitchen with a deep sink, a single-burner induction stove, and plenty of counter space. There are two deployable shelves that can extend counter space further, one for the exterior when the door is open and another running parallel to the door. A 3.3 cubic-foot (93 litre) refrigerator/freezer is next to the stove, and across from all that is a full bathroom with a toilet and tiled shower.
The van carries a 30-gallon (114 litre) tank for fresh water, with 40 gallons (150 litres) optional. Gray water is held in a 25-gallon (95 litre) tank. Batteries provide 600 amp hours of power with up to 1,000 amp hours optional; solar panels are on the roof but you won't find air conditioning gear up top. It's installed below, freeing up space for a rooftop terrace complete with a hammock. A diesel heater draws fuel straight from the van's fuel tank to heat both the van, and water for hot showers.
Big Bear Vans doesn't mention a price for the Santa Monica floorplan featured in the video. We've reached out to the company asking for a cost on this specific build, but in the meantime, a quick look at the company website shows a rear-wheel-drive model with a petrol engine starting at $147,200 (approx. £120,000).