Automotive

Swiss Army Sprinter camper van packs five people, solar power and plenty of gear

The Swiss Army Sprinter definitely looks ready to venture way off the beaten path
The Swiss Army Sprinter definitely looks ready to venture way off the beaten path
View 22 Images
A different sytle of camper van, the Benchmark Swiss Army Sprinter features a lot of exterior upgrading with a simple sleeper interior that seats five
1/22
A different sytle of camper van, the Benchmark Swiss Army Sprinter features a lot of exterior upgrading with a simple sleeper interior that seats five
No dining table, but the front seats still spin around
2/22
No dining table, but the front seats still spin around
Benchmark mounts the Scheel-Mann rear seats onto floor rails integrated with the bamboo flooring
3/22
Benchmark mounts the Scheel-Mann rear seats onto floor rails integrated with the bamboo flooring
This van is ready for an owner with lots of gear to load it up
4/22
This van is ready for an owner with lots of gear to load it up
The Swiss Army Sprinter also includes an upgraded sound system with Alpine touchscreen
5/22
The Swiss Army Sprinter also includes an upgraded sound system with Alpine touchscreen
The ARB fridge is the only thing helping to fill out the large 48-in (122-cm) storage slides, which are sized to fit popular Front Runner storage boxes
6/22
The ARB fridge is the only thing helping to fill out the large 48-in (122-cm) storage slides, which are sized to fit popular Front Runner storage boxes
Bamboo storage compartments engulf the wheel wells for extra organization
7/22
Bamboo storage compartments engulf the wheel wells for extra organization
A Ram mount in the upstairs bedroom
8/22
A Ram mount in the upstairs bedroom
Benchmark's Swiss Army Sprinter is a $160K build-out based on a 2018 Sprinter 4x4 with Sportsmobile Penthouse pop-up roof and loads of other add-ons
9/22
Benchmark's Swiss Army Sprinter is a $160K build-out based on a 2018 Sprinter 4x4 with Sportsmobile Penthouse pop-up roof and loads of other add-ons
Tie down track around the van makes for versatile loading
10/22
Tie down track around the van makes for versatile loading
Inside the Benchmark Swiss Army Sprinter 
11/22
Inside the Benchmark Swiss Army Sprinter 
A mean first impression
12/22
A mean first impression
The Swiss Army Sprinter has upper and lower beds
13/22
The Swiss Army Sprinter has upper and lower beds
Benchmark Vehicles Swiss Army Sprinter
14/22
Benchmark Vehicles Swiss Army Sprinter
The Swiss Army Sprinter definitely looks ready to venture way off the beaten path
15/22
The Swiss Army Sprinter definitely looks ready to venture way off the beaten path
A look at the sleeper roof
16/22
A look at the sleeper roof
The Swiss Army Sprinter rides on popular BFGoodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain tires
17/22
The Swiss Army Sprinter rides on popular BFGoodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain tires
Benchmark clears space for the water tank by moving the spare tire from the underside to the rear door
18/22
Benchmark clears space for the water tank by moving the spare tire from the underside to the rear door
A look at Benchmark's rear bed
19/22
A look at Benchmark's rear bed
Benchmark's effective branding makes it easy to spot its vehicles in a crowd
20/22
Benchmark's effective branding makes it easy to spot its vehicles in a crowd
A full electrical system with dual batteries, an inverter, solar charging and plenty of outlets is included in the Swiss Army build
21/22
A full electrical system with dual batteries, an inverter, solar charging and plenty of outlets is included in the Swiss Army build
A holder for extra fuel or water
22/22
A holder for extra fuel or water

Benchmark Vehicles has caught our eye in the past with bold, bright-orange branding and vicious-looking off-road adventure vans. So we decided to dig a little deeper into its portfolio and see what the Portland, Oregon shop has been up to of late. One van that pops out immediately is the black-and-white (with strategic bright orange) "Swiss Army Sprinter," an aggressive adventure rig that's nearly as versatile as its namesake thanks to floor rails, five-person seating, a pop-up roof and large cargo-cradling slides in back.

While major American Class B motorhome manufacturers like Winnebago are already working with the third-generation Sprinter, custom conversion shops are still knee-deep in the gen-2 business. Thus is the case with the Swiss Army Sprinter, a 2018 Sprinter 4x4 with some serious upgrading to the powertrain and running gear, including an Agile Off Road RIP suspension upgrade with tuned Fox Racing shocks, a stage one diesel tune, and Roambuilt beadlock wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich T/A KO2 265/75/17 all-terrain tires.

Moving upward, Benchmark doesn't hold back with performance and protective accoutrements around the body. A snorkel, fender flares, bull bar, roof rack ringing the Sportsmobile pop-top, ladder and off-road light bar help the van find and force its way around road and trail, looking the part the entire time.

A mean first impression
A mean first impression

Inside, Benchmark blends the inviting warmth of a camper van with the all-out utility of a cargo-ready adventure van. The bamboo floor and raised bed provide some homey comfort, while the tie-downs and slide-outs make for more practical loading. The van is insulated for full comfort and includes swivel driver cab seats and a second bed in the pop-up roof, but it lacks more complete camper standards like a full kitchen, bathroom or dining area.

The large slide-outs below the bed include an ARB fridge/freezer, but the owner will have to pack in the rest of the kitchen equipment if he or she intends to cook meals. Benchmark also swaps out the underbody spare tire for a 95-liter water tank with high-pressure pump, moving a full-size spare onto a carrier on the driver-side rear door. A set of bamboo boxes inside the load area swallow up the wheel wells, holding electrical and plumbing equipment, with some space left over for general storage. Outside, a jerry can holder on the flank carries an extra 20 liters of fuel or water.

The ARB fridge is the only thing helping to fill out the large 48-in (122-cm) storage slides, which are sized to fit popular Front Runner storage boxes
The ARB fridge is the only thing helping to fill out the large 48-in (122-cm) storage slides, which are sized to fit popular Front Runner storage boxes

The Swiss Army Sprinter keeps fridge, smartphones and action cams fired up with an electrical system that includes dual AGM batteries, 300 watts of flexible ZAMP solar panels on the pop-top, a Victron solar controller, a ZAMP 1,000-watt sine inverter, and plenty of outlets.

Beyond that, what Benchmark really creates with this build is a blank notebook, its pages waiting to be filled with tales of exploration, trial and triumph. It'll shuttle up to five people and their gear deep into the wild, provide shelter at night and deliver some entertainment during après with the upgraded Alpine audio system with 10-in subwoofer. From there, it's up to the crew inside.

The Swiss Army Sprinter has upper and lower beds
The Swiss Army Sprinter has upper and lower beds

The Swiss Army Sprinter went up for sale a few months ago for a price of US$160,000, but we're thinking the type of customer throwing that kind of cash around will want to have a hand in customizing his or her own van from the ground up, which happens to be Benchmark's speciality. The company works closely with each client, starting from a bullet-point list of wants and needs, moving through concept development, and finishing off with van construction. The customer purchases the van separately, but Benchmark can assist in sourcing the right vehicle.

Source: Benchmark Vehicles

1 comment
WB
Swiss Army is a protected trademark and since these guys are neither Swiss army nor do they seem they have licensed it.. I'd say they and the client have opened themselves up to massive legal risk! Probably time to change that name
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.