Rhino Camper – a Sprinter on an animal protection mission

The sprinter of the Rhino camper family on the beach

The twin sons of Ian and Marit from Switzerland lovingly christened their parents van “Rhino”. Now the family with the Sprinter 4×4 is traveling around the world to promote the protection of endangered rhinos.

A big, gray sprinter named Rhino

It is large and gray. For Victor and Bowen, six years old, it quite is clear: the Sprinter that their parents bought looks like a rhinoceros. And so the twin brothers started calling the van “Rhino”.

But back to the beginning of the story: Their parents, Ian and Marit, have long dreamed of going on longer trips, and they jumped at the opportunity when they discovered a Sprinter 519 CL 4×4 for sale in the winter of 2014. The van was exactly what the couple wanted: comfortable but compact enough to handle long distances. The conversion made the Sprinter a reliable mobile home for the whole family. The twins sleep in the bunk beds at the back of the van, Ian and Marit in the fold-out bed under the roof. For more mobility, there is even a carrier for two motorcycles and five bicycles mounted on the rear. “Space is limited, but when you follow the sun, everything else is secondary,” laughs Ian.

Many people stop and admire the van, so we come in contact with locals and other travelers.

The Rhino camper family in front of their signed Sprinter

With the Rhino Camper across Europe

In 2016 the family went on their first big trip. Ian, Marit and the twins have been crossing Europe and Morocco in the Rhino camper since June. They have been on the road now for almost eleven months. During this time, Ian and Marit grew more interested in the animal species which gave their Sprinter its name. They read about the threat to the rhinos and about ways to protect them. “We decided to do something and started putting stickers of rhinoceroses on the van,” Ian recalls. Shortly thereafter the family met the Belgian artist Beli Tobback and was enthusiastic about his work. That is how the drawing of the two rhinoceroses on the Rhino camper came to be. “Since then, we have got even more attention,” says Marit. “Many people stop and admire the van, so we come in contact with locals and other travelers.”

Ian and Marit’s Sprinter with the drawing of the rhinoceros

Mobile petition board for the protection of rhinoceroses

The family wanted to do more for the protection of the rhinoceros. After all, the Sprinter is not called Rhino for nothing. Shortly before Christmas, Ian and Marit joined the organization “Save the Rhino International” to find out how they could get even more involved. “‘Save the Rhino’ was enthusiastic about the idea of using the van as a mobile petition center,” explains Ian. And since the beginning of the year you can sign the van either in person or online for a donation for the protection of the rhinoceros. The name is then written on the Sprinter by the Rhino camper family. Since that time they have collected almost 1,000 euro. In the near future the family would like to see rhinoceroses in the wild and to draw the attention of even more people of the threat to the animals.

Vehicle characteristics
Model Sprinter 4×4 long wheelbase
Payload 1000 kg
Gross vehicle weight 5 t
Year of construction 2010
Diesel Capacity 3 tanks, in total 280 l
Range fully fueled: 1800 km – 2000 km
Water Capacity 160 l


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Photos: Ian (Rhino Camper)

Contact Rhino Camper | rhinocamper@gmail.com
Help protect the rhinoceroses | www.justgiving.com/rhinocamper

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you'll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.