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Old 08-19-2013, 04:53 PM   #1
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What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter looks?

Modifying the appearance of your Sportsmobile Sprinter van, both interior and exterior

I thought that I would try to see if some of you could share what many of you have been doing for a while.

I have read little bits and pieces over the forum’s pages but maybe we can make a single thread that can provide helpful ideas and the information used to get them done. Tell us how you did it or where you got it. Tell us why you did it and get some polite feedback (what else would you expect on this forum?).

So to start it out we did a little bit of work specifying the van the way we wanted it to look before purchase. We wanted it to have a rugged look so we selected a basic color that would go well with black, you might want to pick chrome or? We made sure that the wheels were black and dark tinted windows. We chose the black painted wheel. The dual rear wheels helped the appearance and carry the load of the final build (sure added to the appearance though).

After selecting our color for the van itself (“Pebble Grey” – I still see no grey) then everything that went on it was black. The ac cover was black and the awning was black as well as the spare tire carrier and cover. But there was more we needed to do to get it down to basics.

The front of the van comes with the chrome plated plastic license plate holder and the Mercedes three pointed star badge and hood ornament. I did not want chrome.



I took some rough sandpaper (could use the 3M pads like a red one or purple ones I think) and really scuffed up the chromed plastic. I was going to use a heavy textured paint over the surface so did not hit it with a finer grit but you may want to if you are going to a gloss paint finish. I was told to use an “adhesive promoter” so got some “Duplicolor Adhesive Promoter”. I followed the directions on the can and then painted it with a heavy textured black paint. I was not convinced that it would give me long term results so then painted over it with spray on truck bed liner, also from Duplicolor, that gave me a nice texture and looked like it would last. I painted the three pointed star and the license plate holder several thousand miles ago and there is no sign of chipping or flaking and the license plate holder takes a lot of hits from road gravel.



Forum member Spenard got me going on the minimalist approach to badging. I went and removed the front Mercedes cloisonné and then everything else except the black Sportsmobile badging (well, I left on the Mercedes star on the rear doors since there is a little place for it that would be obvious if removed). I think I picked up a couple MPG and people have a hard time guessing what it is now too.

I learned the hard way that you can rip your fingernails off removing the adhesive backed badging around the van. I also learned that you need to make sure the area around the applied badging is very clean otherwise you can get some little scratches if you pry at all, ask me how I know. I have also since learned that you can use dental floss to gut the adhesive foam free and then use some adhesive remover to get the residue off (check to make sure it is safe for your paint – I use 3M adhesive cleaner most of the time).




So that’s what I have done to make the van look a little more personal and unique. It works for us.

What have you done and how did you get it that way?

Thanks.

Chumley
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:54 PM   #2
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

Looks good Chumley. I may do the black wheels.

Vanessa has no windows in the back. I made it look like windows by applying black prints on a thin cloth and took the opportunity to display the van's name and home town (our land yacht).



This is the same fabric that we use on inside walls:



I would have put a photo on the back but my wife said no. The fabric seems to hold up well on the outside. It got covered with mud in Jackson Hole in June and has been washed several times.

If anyone is interested in inexpensive graphics for your SMB, inside or out, send me a PM.

David
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:54 PM   #3
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamadave

If anyone is interested in inexpensive graphics for your SMB, inside or out, send me a PM.

David
I'm wanting to do a full wrap on my Sprinter and E350 - is that something you do?
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:41 AM   #4
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
I'm wanting to do a full wrap on my Sprinter and E350 - is that something you do?
No, wrapping vehicles is not my specialty. My business redipix.com prints on Photo Tex. This material is not made for vehicle exteriors. Although it works pretty well, I could not guarantee that it would last more than a year. Professional car graphics will last several years but will set you back many thousands per whole vehicle wrap. If I did some Photo Tex prints for you, you could apply yourself and this would be much more economical. But I would not recommend this for a whole vehicle.

David
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

A little Google search showed that to be a pretty cool product. What size can you print to?
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Old 08-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

We can print 42 inches wide by any length. I recommend a gloss coating and for this it needs to be under 96 inches long. Max sizes and prices are on Redipix.com. I can give forum members a 20% discount. I can also give you tips on mounting. Again I do not recommend Photo Tex for whole vehicle wraps.

David
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

Fred Flintstone's SMB?:Saw this Van at Joshua Tree NP. I am not sure if it is a wrap, but theme covers the roof too! And Chumley, the grille was painted a real "pebble gray"
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:19 PM   #8
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

Just added some Oakland A's pinstripes.

http://www.ourexcellentadventures.com/2 ... d-stripes/
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:13 PM   #9
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Re: What have you done to personalize how your Sprinter look

My next exterior appearance project will be to figure out how to paint the exposed surfaces of the sliding door track. I think the dull silver metal track looks cheap and odd below the side dark tinted windows, the black end cap on the track and the dull black door handles and dull black lower body band. Since it appears that the door guide rollers use the concealed track I don't think painting the visible parts of the track it will interfere with the door operation. Anyone have a suggestion a type of flat black paint to use? Prepping the surface has me worried about getting metal or grit in the door track.
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