Benchmark Vehicles has rolled out a rugged Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based camper named the AWOL, and it's no budget ride, costing a hefty $500,000. The process involved sending a Sprinter with a 170-inch wheelbase to Iglhaut Allrad in Germany, which then worked its magic.
They equipped the van with front, rear, and center locking differentials to maximize traction during off-road escapades. To conquer obstacles, an impressive 11-inch suspension lift was added, requiring tweaks to the wheel wells.
To complement the setup, the front and rear axle gearing were tweaked for optimal performance during overlanding adventures. Balancing the ride is a fusion of Bilstein Heavy Duty struts and Fox 2.5 rear shocks. The AWOL arrives with dual sets of wheels, each adorned with 37-inch tires. For on-road cruising, BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tires are paired, while BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires come into play when it's time to go off-road.
The van can handle a wheel 36 inches off the ground. Additionally, it can effortlessly traverse mud bogs as deep as 18 inches. Under the hood, the powertrain is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Stepping inside, the cabin boasts swiveling front seats that give access to a convenient table.
Towards the back, you'll find a comfy mattress and a kitchenette complete with an induction cooktop and sink. To beat the heat, a Dometic RTX 3000 AC unit ensures a cool interior. The van even comes fitted with a Guzzle H20 two-stage water filtration system. With a 35-gallon water tank and a 4-gallon boiler for hot water, you won't be running dry.
Powering all the gadgets are 640 amp-hour lithium batteries, supplemented by 245 watts of solar panels on the roof. So, whether you're cruising on the road or venturing off the beaten path, the AWOL seems poised to handle it all. What's your take on this formidable creation?