From a Sprinter to a camper van in just 30 minutes. | Mercedes-Benz Vans

Camperworks: from a Sprinter to a camper van in just 30 minutes.

Quickly convert the works van into a camper van for a weekend away at the beach? In less than 30 minutes? Sounds like an interesting proposition! And that's also what the two handymen Raphael and David thought before launching their start-up Camperworks to make such conversions child's play.

Sprinter conversion with a modular principle.

Do you have a Sprinter at home that you use in your daily work and you can't imagine anything nicer than heading out for a weekend away in a camper van? Well that's precisely what Raphael and David thought. The pair are passionate handymen and part-time camper van enthusiasts. Today, the pair manufacture a camping system for the Sprinter under the "Camperworks Systems" name. This system can be installed and removed in less than 30 minutes. "Our systems are so easy – anyone can do it," they affirm. With the airline rails already installed in the Sprinter, the modules can even be installed and removed without using any tools. Modules such as hanging cupboards are simply inserted and tightened in place. Simplicity and functionality – that's the idea behind it. If for example, you need the van for a house move, the modules can be quickly removed in order to increase the space available in the vehicle. Practical and efficient.

Two joiners and a start-up – turning a passion into a career.

The two handymen Raphael and David aren't just connected by a passion for their job, but are both also avid camper van enthusiasts. Their idea of great freedom is going on holiday in the camper van and discovering new places. As often as they can, they take their holiday home on wheels for a spin – to France, Spain, Portugal or Scandinavia. Already at the age of 18, Raphael and David bought their first van and converted it into a camper van. But after completing their joinery apprenticeship together, their ways parted for the first time. Raphael initially spent a number of years working as a master joiner in Hamburg before returning to his native home and beginning working for himself. Five years later, he brought David on-board. In the meantime, he had completed a wood technology course and gained a good deal of experience as the head of the joinery shop at a major motorhome manufacturer – wholly complementary to Raphael's growing know-how. Today, Camperworks is a single source supplier which produces everything in-house. The two place great value on getting to know their customers and creating the product as a collaboration – from the first plans to the finished product.

Passionate camper van enthusiasts.

"We grew up in camper vans. We grew up with this level of freedom and so we can't escape our passion for them now."

Staying flexible thanks to the Sprinter.

6 reasons why Raphael and David think that the Sprinter is the perfect vehicle for combining work and camping.

  1.    Installation and removal of the Camperworks module can also be carried out on-the-go.


2.    The vehicle class doesn't change because the modules count as cargo.


3.    Due to the compact size, the Sprinter is practically suited for driving in towns and for finding parking spaces.
  4.    Perfect vehicle size for conversion into a camper van.
  5.    With a vehicle length of under 6 metres, drivers save money when it comes to ferries and toll charges.
  6.    Difficult road conditions on a camping trip are no problem thanks to the rear-wheel drive system.

Make the jump and fill the gap.

Development of a modular system was initially just an idea which Raphael continued turning in his head. Together with David he decided to turn Camperworks into a private limited company in order to drive forward the systems. And it was a resounding success. The two experienced camper van fans knew what they needed in order to equip a van as logically as possible. 

The market is booming and the competition isn't too big – great conditions then for founding a start-up. But every new company has its own unique challenges. German bureaucracy didn't make things easy for them, the pair recall with a grin. The founding of a private limited company in itself is easy, but things get more difficult after that. A range of aspects about which you've previously never thought suddenly take masses of your time, for example legal requirements and forms. And then there's the fact that it's not possible to take into account absolutely everything or to plan for every eventuality in advance. With that in mind, that's why David believes in trial and error.

The top tips from David about founding a start-up:

·      Having the right outlook and motivation to face each day.
·      Giving it your all and standing behind your decisions.
·      Being able to work hard or even better, enjoying working hard.
·      Having experience of the job and basic knowledge on legal and economic aspects.
·      Understanding the sector and your own work.

Where does the road lead?

The pair are looking forward to their business developing. They want to continue optimising their systems for the Sprinter, then launch them on the market and position themselves appropriately. "What's important for us is to ensure healthy growth. The demand is so big that we could hire a team of 20 employees." But their focus is on quality and not on quantity. They would prefer to remain small and focus on perfecting their initial idea. Being their own bosses also means striking a good balance between work and private life, they explain. But all of the hard work does pay dividends. The young entrepreneurs put their faith in their business and are proud of that which they have achieved in such a short space of time: fulfilling their dream and integrating their love of wood and camper vans into their daily life.


The pair of joiners produce everything themselves.

Ingenuity and courage.

"We love camper vans and handcrafting, and so it was an easy decision to set up our own business."

From camper van enthusiasts to entrepreneurs. 

On a camping holiday in France, the two came up with the idea of founding their own start-up.


Anna Lachmayer

More links to discover:

Camperworks-, @Facebook

The conversions shown were made by independent third-party providers. The providers and the conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. The photos in no way serve as an evaluation by Mercedes-Benz of the provider and/or conversions in question.