Need inspiration for a second kart van - Ideas?

So, currently, I have a 1993 GMC Rally van that I call ‘Stan’, that I use for karting. (Pictured below) Stan has been great, and has been super reliable for over 8 years. It was a great starter way to transport my karts, especially because I live out an apartment, and I don’t always have the space for a trailer, etc.

Now, I’m married, and my wife wants me to get an upgrade for the karting van (which I have no problem with, because I’ve learned to pick my battles.)

We’re going to get a Mercedes cargo van, and I want to build something ergonomic that I can load the kart and tools into easily. Also, I wanted something where the cargo area is seperate from the passenger comparment, for safety. You can get used version of these things for under $20k, so it’s a no brainer for the vehicle.

Problem is, I have no imagination when it comes to these sorts of projects, so I’m hoping that folks on the forums can help me with pictures and ideas. FYI - I’m totally down for seeing other vehicles as inspiration, but we’re getting the Sprinter.

Also I don’t do trailers or RVs, so that’s not going to be a thing. We don’t live out of the vans, we just kart. Normally my wife will bring her car or we’ll bring a second car if we’re going to stay at hotel or something.


The coolest karting Sprinters I’ve been in have a flat screen on the wall and some bench seating along the side, so you can review data and watch GoPro videos easily. The seating is also nice for naps between sessions.

With the high-top version you’ll still have plenty of room for karts and easy-ups etc.

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That’s a good point on looking at the high-tops. Karina is also looking at making some smaller ergonomic updates to the cargo area of the bay, so that it’s easy for a kart, and a person to get in and out, without just climbing on a metal floor.

We’re thinking that getting a diesel version makes more sense because of the gas mileage and the torques.

I guess you could store the kart sideways…

Oh boy I love the idea of a sprinter :heart_eyes: id be making it a kart transport and camper.

Couldn’t really do it here, not without some form of AC unit that doesn’t require the motor to be running all night.

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Now this is a bit overkill, but you can see that you carry some pretty open space.
Finding good adventure vans for things to carry bikes or karts has been a bit challenging.

Lucky you!

I’ve been looking at medium-size vans, but I think the class of Sprinter/Renault Master/Ford Transit make a lot of sense if you have the space.

Things I’d do:

  • Fit a wooden floor to make it easier to slide equipment in and out the cargo
  • Select one with a bulkhead (as you’ve mentioned) to protect the cabin from cargo, reduce noise and seal it from petrol vapours
  • Personally if I was buying a van that size I’d make sure the width between the rear wells is 1380mm-plus so you can drop your kart (after adjusting the rear track width) into the rear cargo off the trolley and slide it in and strap it down.

Otherwise you’d have to create a platform that sits above the rear wells (that you could easily do with a couple planks), or you can buy one like this:


These are all great suggestions, @Cordz ! Especially the measurements of the interior. I did the same thing when I got Stan, and that’s an important thing to remember for this too.

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I’m looking into getting a van of some sort. I don’t really want a big van, but I just checked out a Ford Transit Connect XLT for a really good price today and interior width is only 50". Which means I’d have to take off the wheels (already do that to load in my truck), rear bumper, and side pods to get the kart in the back. So now I’m trying to decide if I want to just deal with doing that every time I load it or just wait and get something bigger (and more expensive).

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If you have the means, I think your future self will appreciate the extra room

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What Alan said @CourterZT My current van can hold two karts with minimal tools without the front bumpers, or one kart and the majority of my tools.

It’s just hard to keep them fully organized and I was concerned of them flying up if we had an accident in the van.

Space will make your future self happy.

Will someone help you load and unload the karts, or will you be tackling this pain-in-the-ass characteristic of our sport all by yourself?

Do you also have some images of what your new van’s cargo area is exactly going to look like? What wheelbase are you settling on?

I feel like these things will decide how to arrange your cargo

Traditionally, that hasn’t been too much of a problem. When I’m at the track, there’s always someone willing to help me take the kart out once, or I have a support person with me.

I haven’t decided yet on exactly which year I’ll use, but it’ll be the cargo version. Part of the challenge is figuring out the ergonomics, once we measure everything.

That’s cool. Pretty exciting stuff! Sad to say bye to Stan, I’m sure, but it’s always fun to upgrade.

Now, if I were you, I’d separate the functions of each access point in the Sprinter. As in, I’d save the rear door for loading karts and the side door for access into a space saved for tools/trolley/tent.

If the rear wheel wells can accomodate a kart on the floor, maybe you could try mock-up a platform above that kart so you could store the other one on top of it.

With them stacked, that would leave the space in front of them for the rest of stuff. Once they’re unpacked, then you can use that space for getting changed/analysing data/chilling out.

Does that help? Or is this pretty obvious already? I’m not speaking from experience but enthusiasm.


Just chuck it in the ute

Haha, we’re coming from the same place of enthusiasm, so every bit helps.

So, I’ve been looking through race car classified forums, looking for ideas from other Sprinter vans for sale. This one was for a vintage formula car, where the previous owner used a winch/pulley to pull the car onto these ramps.

In Stan, I can just place the kart at by the rear doors on a kart stand, enter the van through the passenger side, and then have a friend help me lift the kart into the van. The wheel wells keep the kart in place too.

I saw a Nissan work truck that looked like it might be good as a racing trip vehicle. Only seen 1 so far though.

do you have the dimensions of the cargo space? you could fit 2 karts in the back, and at the sliding door have an L shaped workstation and toolbox. you could have a kart stacker for storing 2 karts, and fit a kart stand folded up on the side of the wall. opposite wall could have another kart stand or a wall of tires. if the kart doesnt fit between the wheel wells, you could build a storage system to put the kart on top of the wheel wells, and have a toolbox/open space beneath it. I’ve never built a storage system for a van so only take this lightly as inspiration

If you dont mind fabrication, Ive seen a couple ambulance stretcher like contraptions where you can pull the kart onto a stand with ease by yourself

Well since we haven’t gotten the new van yet, I don’t know the dimensions, but I could probably look it up.

My wife had mentioned something like a stretcher, but I can’t find any images that I could use for inspiration.