Mikey Pipes' Mostly HVAC Sprinter Van

The inventory van


MODEL 2019 Mercedes Benz Sprinter
BODY Full-Size Cargo Van, Extended, High Roof


Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Roof storage
Wired electric
Stand inside?

See more of Pipe Doctor Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning


Show up with booties. more »
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Pipe Doctor Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Pipe Doctor Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Valley Stream, NY USA

Mike runs a plumbing and HVAC business in Valley Valley, NY. His long wheelbase, high roof Mercedes Sprinter is set up mostly for HVAC work.

Watch carefully for all the parts!

Check out his Youtube channel for a massive amount of frequently updated content.

Massive Inventory

This truck is essentially divided in two spaces: the side cargo door has most of the tools. The shelves and rest of the truck hold mostly parts. This truck has a lot of inventory, and Mike says that with this amount of inventory:

99% of the time we can get it running.

There are a few strategies when doing inventory, this one is to carry as much as possible and avoid the supply house.

Most of the driver and passenger side shelves on this van (remember it's extended) are absolutely packed with parts and consumables.

Carrying a ton of inventory means that time isn't wasted driving for parts. Instead driving time and fuel are just spent getting to the next job. This can help fit in one more job per day and boost profit.

Some companies instead carry minimal inventory and run to the parts house as needed. Minimal inventory works better if niche down to do only a particular type of work (like residential) or you only work on certain brands.

Side Cargo Door Tool Shop

This is where the tools are.

At the side cargo door, a tall, double-drawer cabinet (shaped like a filing cabinet) holds some heavy cased power tools and refrigeration tools. Mike's setup is mostly oriented towards battery powered tools.

A couple of nitrogen tanks, a B tank, and an MC tank are all located by the door. It's nice to see a van with an MC tank!

Lots of techs only pack B tanks. B tanks last a lot longer, but they're also quite a bit heavier to lug on to a jobsite. If you're being creative with your organization, short MC tanks can fit a lot of places a B tank won't go.

A rack at the door holds a number of cases with press fittings. A hinged length of angle aluminum keeps the cases contained.

Behind the rack are the refrigeration tanks. They aren't accessible at the door like most HVAC trucks, but there are a few builds where the builder is experimenting with tanks in the middle of the van to keep very frequently accessed tools at the doors.

Mikey Pipes' Mostly HVAC Sprinter Van
Mikey Pipes' Mostly HVAC Sprinter Van Image from Pipe Doctor Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

Simple Power

Mike has a simple system for keeping things charged in the van:

A power inverter mounted in the cab of the van on the bulkhead provides 120V. Mounted to the inverter is an eight port USB charging hub that provides power to any USB-charged electronics.

A six port multivoltage Milwaukee charger keeps M12 and M18 batteries charged.

Some builders put chargers in the back of the truck. This is convenient and accessible, but there's a greater up-front cost of figuring out how to wire your inverters and chargers.

Ideally, you don't want to have to remember to turn off your inverter at the end of the day because an inverter that runs all night can drain your truck or van's battery. Keeping the electronics in the front means everything is together, and it's easier to remember to turn off the inverter.

An inverter that is switched on with a relay that's activated as the accessory circuit comes on in your van is even better, but it's more complicated to find and wire this circuit.

Ladder Management

There are three ladders on this truck. A step ladder is quickly accessible at the side cargo door. An extension ladder fits on the roof rack. On a high roof vehicle this is an awkward, high reach and will slow you down a little.

However, there is also a lightweight, collapsible extension ladder that hangs off the passenger rear door which takes up little space and can serve many of the duties of the larger extension ladder.

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