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Owl Vans Blog Archive 2019-2020 - Owl Vans

Owl Vans Blog Archive 2019-2020

Owl Vans | Blog

Owner of Owl Vans Interview with Storyteller Overland

May 08, 2020


Owl Ladder + Tire Carrier Walk-Through

December 12, 2020

The design goal with the Ladder + Tire Carrier was to create a simple, rugged yet elegant solution to solve the need for both a spare tire and a ladder to access the roof. By combining the two, Owl is able to save weight, cost and space.

Owl Quality:

The Ladder + Tire carrier constructed of mandrel bent 2” aluminum tube, all meticulously TIG welded together by Owl’s Master welders. The Ladder + Tire Carrier is one of the most time-consuming products we build with the main structure consisting of over 20’ of bent tubing and 10+ welds.

Aluminum is ideal for its lightweight and anti-corrosive properties. However, for strength and durability, steel is king. This is why Owl combines a main structure of TIG welded aluminum with a bottom support hoop made of MIG welded steel. The result is a super-strong, yet lightweight solution that will stand up to years of off-road abuse.


The Ladder + Tire carrier was designed for ease of use from the beginning. Footpegs extend low below the tire to make climbing easy. The tire is situated as low as possible (without blocking the license plate) so that one person can easily get the tire on/off without assistance. A steel support hoop adds strength and carrier the weight of the tire while being secured (tightening the spin-on handle). A spin-on tire handle allows access to the spare tire in seconds without tools.

Side Ladder vs Rear Ladder:

Many people ask why Owl doesn’t make a side ladder. Owl’s goal is to create the best possible solution to a need and not just “sell more” stuff to customers. Side ladders hang out in the wind causing both noise and drag (lowering MPG). Worst of all, side ladders can limit where you can take your van. Many trails, campsites, or even driveways are often too narrow to fit a van with a side-mounted ladder. We see many vans at Owl with bent side ladders. A bent side ladder not only damages the ladder but often causes extensive body damage to the rocker panels and pinch welds where the ladder connects to the vehicle.


We design all of our products to be easily installed by either the customer or professional. No professional tools or experience are needed to install Owl products. If you have a basic set of tools and are willing to try something new, you should be able to install most of our products in under an hour.

Departure angle:

Even if you don’t know what departure angle is, you have experienced it. Ever scrapped your trailer hitch while going in and out of a steep driveway? That’s because that trailer hitch limits your ability to climb a steep angle the same way a bumper-mounted swing out system does. Owl carriers keep all of your gear up high away from water, road debris, and most importantly, don’t limit your vans off-roading capabilities. 

How To Install Bigger Wheels/Tires on 2019 Mercedes Sprinter Van VS30 with Van Compass Kit

Owl Vans gives a step by step walkthrough of how to install larger tires on your new 2019 Mercedes Sprinter Van VS30. Video includes details on how to trim the sheet metal, install the Van Compass Fender Relocation Kit, as well as trimming the inner wheel wells.

Tires above a 245 will rub on a 2019 and newer Sprinter. This video shows the steps to install 275 70R 17s (33") tires. Tires up to 35" can be installed with this kit. Keep in mind tires over 275 can cause issues with the onboard electronic like adaptive cruise control.


Owl Bike Carriers for Sprinter Van Trail Tested for 5,000 Miles!

Gordon Writes: “Hello John, we’ve been on the road for almost 6 weeks and covered over 5,000 miles in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of road surfaces. We love the racks. The bikes are amazingly clean and the racks are solid. Just wanted to let you know how much we like them.”


Owl Sprinter Van Bike Carrier with Vertical 1up Bike Trays

Walk through of the vertical mounting of the 1up bike trays on the Owl Van’s Sherpa Cargo plate for Sprinter Vans.


Bike Carrier Walk-Through

An in-depth description of the Owl Bike Carrier for Sprinter Vans


Sprinter Ladder and Tire Carrier Walk-Through

An in-depth explanation of the function and design of the Owl Ladder Tire Carrier for Sprinter Vans. Materials, engineering, advantages and more.


Road Trip Buddy Loves Owl Vans Sprinter Tire Carrier

There is no better road trip buddy that’s a good hound or two, although you’ll probably agree that Owl’s Sprinter tire carrier is a good buddy when you go into the wild. We, at Owl, love it when customers send photo’s of our Sprinter products installed. We need to add, “Works as a bench” to our features. :-)



New Owl Van Engineering Diving Board!

Best use of a Sprinter Van tire carrier goes to @devinashburn. This is awesome 😎👏🏻

Even Owl engineers didn’t anticipate our tire carrier being used as a high-dive, it seem to work pretty well nonetheless . Thanks for the photo, wish we were there.


Owl Bike Carrier for Sprinter Van Install Video Posted

How to install the new Owl Bike + Box Carrier for Sprinter vans and Revel. The best way to carry bikes and car

Off-Roading a Sprinter 4x4 in Moab with Owl Tire Carrier

Robert Loeffler @tralehead on Instagram gets his rock crawling on with his Sprinter and Owl Tire Carrier. Ever wonder why we talk about departure angle so much and why a low hanging rear bumper is a bad idea.. Check out Robert’s rear step when he was done with this run:



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Owl Van Sprinter Gear Carrier in Blue

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Owl Van’s Sherpa gear carrier anodized in blue with the new sidecar for shovel or high-lift jack. I’m sorry, but that is dead sexy. Owl Van will be bringing out new Sherpa mounting accessories over the next few months. Ski mounts, bike mounts, generator, Rotopax and much more. We think the Sherpa is the best looking and most flexible gear carrier for Revel and Sprinter Vans.

Sprinter 3500 Build from @exclusive_outfitters with Owl Van Tire Carrier

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Super clean 3500 build from @exclusive_outfitters. Owl Sprinter Tire Carrier tucked in behind a swing out @1up bike carrier.


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