Flares are fiberglass panels that will extend the width of your van, increasing usable space and opening up new design options. The size of a bed will be flexible in width and up to 79" long. A bed can be installed 30-36" off the floor.
Answers to some of the most common questions about #sleepingsideways in your van.
Why do I need flares and what are they?
Which flare is right for me?
Do I want windows in my flares?
An integrated window can be a great addition to your flares, let in some extra light and fresh air. Please consider the following things when deciding if windows are right for you:
- The metal trim ring of the windows is 3/4”-1” deep, the window itself is inset 1/4” in order to be flush on the outside of the van. Therefore, at the height of the windows, your side to side bed length will be shortened by 1-1 1/2” per window, depending on the window.
- For 144” clients: If you know your bed will be raised to accommodate bikes and you really want both windows, consider opting for the extended driver side flare for a little extra toe room.
- There is a foot of Flarespace below the CR Laurence 10" x 33" window where the bed length is not affected. If the top of your mattress is at or around 34” off the floor, you will sleep below the window.
- Windows are noisier than insulated fiberglass and need privacy curtains.
- Half sliders do not move as much air as a 3-speed roof vent.
- Waking up to an amazing view right from your pillow is a great way to start the day!
What is the extended flare?
The Extended Flare option for the 144" Wheelbase Sprinter is available for the driver side only and is 2" deeper than our standard Flare. It is only available for the driver side because it would obstruct the slider door on the passenger side. Therefore it also doesn’t work on vans with dual slider doors or on right hand drive vehicles. The Extended Flare option does not cost more than the standard depth Flare and can be selected as a window or solid Flare.
Not able to decide?
No problem! We have lots of options and want to make sure we get the right product on your van. Please give us a call or send us an email and we would be more than happy to discuss your project with you!
Planning to build your own bed?
Your raised panel bed system can be installed at various heights between 30-36" off the floor. The bed itself is variable in width, allowing you to choose how much open floor space you want to gain.
Generally, 48" long bed rails along the wall (resulting in a 52" wide mattress) are ideal for a 144" Wheelbase Sprinter conversion. It will allow for a row of seat belt seating in the factory Mercedes Benz location and a compact 36" wide kitchen galley behind the driver's seat. Check out floor plan A.
Going solo? Remove one of the two panels for one person sleeping and gain even more space!
Who can install flares?
Any professional auto body shop can paint and install Flares. Our list of installers is growing steadily. If we do not have an installer in your area, please forward us the contact information of your trusted body shop and we can set them up.
*DISCLAIMER* Flarespace will void all warranty and liability for parts not installed by a professional installer/body shop/upfitter. Parts have to be test fit and painted prior to install.
Do van owners ever install flares themselves?
Flarespace encourages all clients to seek out one of our professional installers. While we do not doubt that you are capable of installing the flares yourself, it is a custom part that requires dry fitting, paint and careful install as well as specialty tools to cut out the metal. Flarespace voids the warranty on DIY installs simply because a private person does not carry business liability insurance as our installers do and sadly this is a major concern today.
Can I store flares for a future install?
We make all of our parts to order and are generally able to ship within five business days. We highly recommend waiting to place your order until you have a paint shop and installer lined up and are ready to put them on your van. Due to the size of the flares, there is a slight potential that if stored for several months a small amount of post curing could affect the shape and therefore the fit on your van. If you do need to store them for a few weeks, please do so after unpacking and placing each panel glue flange down on a flat surface.
How are flares installed?
Your flares arrive with a gel coat 300 grit finish. Your body shop will inspect the surface and check for pin holes then paint to match the paint code of your van. Once the paint cured, the install can begin: The rear quarter panel is cut out along the OEM stamped window lines. The cut line is treated with anti-rust primer. The part is glued onto the outside of the van using supplied adhesive. The adhesive expires 12 months from the date of manufacturing, so make sure to check the adhesive before use. The remaining adhesive is used on the inside to ensure a perfect seal. The adhesive will need to cure for a minimum of 36 hours before the van can be used/driven/exposed to elements. Installers have access to a detailed installation video, written instructions and we are always happy to answer questions. Installation time is approximately 4-6 hours plus 24 hours of curing and water testing the following day. Please allow additional time for window flares.
Are flares pre-painted by Flarespace?
We do not offer any paint services for two reasons.
- The paint code alone is not sufficient for an exact match. Each paint code has several shades and needs to be matched to the specific van.
- There is potential for the paint to rub against our packaging material and get a dull spot or other damage during shipping and handling.
Please contact your preferred body shop or our installerlist for a paint estimate.
Does the adhesive have a shelf life?
Yes. The supplied adhesive has a manufacture date printed on it and will be good for one year from this date. Please store at room temperature and avoid freezing.
How do I finish the flare interior?
There are two parts to finishing the interior of the Flare:
1 trim ring
2 foam and fabric to finish the interior of the flare.
If you have a 144 Sprinter with Flares, we have a turn key product for finishing the interior. Click HERE to be taken to the 144 Trim Ring Product Page. Click here to be taken to the Interior Finish Kit page.
For all other vans, we are constantly updating our product line and may have trim rings now for your vehicle. Check the shop by vehicle page.
Here is what most conversion companies do:
Build the "ring" or window sill and header, the part that connects the flare to the finished wall of your van. This is best done by using bendable plywood also known as flexiboard. Cut 6" wide strips, 48" long and staple two together to build a ring that will sit inside the OEM window cut out. From here, scribe the wood to follow the tapered contour of the flare, sand it down and wrap it in the same foam and fabric as the flare. Use silicone to attach two wood blocks between the OEM opening and the flare which will give you two attachment points to screw the ring to. Here is are professional flare interior install videos by Freedom Vango.
Professional installation by Outside Van.
Sprinter 144" Trim Ring
Does the slider door need to be modified?
No. The slider door will open fully without modification. Regular depth flares will work on vans with dual slider doors.
What if my slider door contacts the flare?
There are Sprinter Vans that come from the factory with a shallower door clearance for the slider. We have only seen this on vans purchased outside of the US. This rare occurrence will cause the slider to contact the passenger side flare. This is remedied by installing the more common slider mechanism for the door that pulls it further away from the van exterior. Please use the part numbers below as a reference and contact your local Mercedes OEM parts dealer with your vin number to confirm the part needed for your van.
Sprinter Van with Left hand slider door: A9067601247
Sprinter Van with Right hand slider door: A9067600947
Will my doors still open 270 degrees?
Will my doors still open 270 degrees? For 270-degree door opening installation of an “extended door stopper” on the rear door is required*. This part is available at your local MB of Freightliner dealership (part no. 9067600728).
*Please note this will not work if you opt for a rear door ladder, the ladder will touch the flare regardless of rear door stopper.
Can I install flares on a passenger van?
Yes! Once the glass is removed from the rear quarter panel, any of our Sprinter flares can be installed. Please be sure to obtain a quote for the glass and adhesive removal from your local shop. It takes more time than just cutting an opening in the sheet metal of the van.
On the driver side, the factory window fills the entire rear quarter panel and does not stop at the slider door indentation. Our flares will not cover the bottom 3 inches on the driver side as they are made to work on vans with dual slider doors. You will need to touch up the paint or apply a strip of vinyl.
Do flares work with a side ladder?
Regular depth flares will extend between 3- 3.25" off the sheet metal, same depth top to bottom. Not an issue with the ladder as far as clearance is concerned. Just remember, the further back the ladder, the less space your toes have to go past the ladder tread. The extended driver side flare will also work with a ladder. Your mounting point at the bottom is forward of the wheel arch.
What are flares made of?
Flarespace flares are made of poly ester resin, also known as fiberglass. Our flares are manufactured in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado.
What are the dimensions of the flares, how much do they stick off the van?
Our flares are designed to fit directly into the rear quarter panel of a van and will extend up to the window in the mid or front panel respectively. Flare dimensions vary for each type of van. For Flare dimensions specific to each van, please refer to the table below to find the flare that fits your van.
144 Sprinter Regular depth flares will extend 3.25” off the rear quarter panel on each side, the extended driver side flare will extend 5". This sleek design does not significantly impact the view in the side view mirrors and allows for full use of the slider door(s). Rear doors can still be opened 270 degrees with the use of an extended door stopper except when rear door ladder is installed.
Are flares noisy?
While Flarespace can't match the noise reduction of a finished wall with 4" depth, Flares with 1/4" to 3/8" of closed cell foam insulation do much better than any window or roof vent in your van.
Can I purchase a single flare?
Can I purchase a single Flare?
No. Flares are only sold as a driver side and passenger side set.
Where can I purchase flares and what is included?
Flares are available directly from our website; ground shipping within the continental US is free! Your purchase will include a set of flares (driver and passenger side), approved adhesive and written installation instructions. Flares are also available from our preferred installers.
What about a warranty?
Can I return my purchase?
All of our parts are made to order and we therefore do not accept returns. Flares are shipped in custom packaging to ensure safe delivery. In the event the Flares are damaged during shipping, the customer is required to wait for inspection from the shipping company as well as to take specific pictures of the damage to the part and packaging. Flarespace, LLC will not be responsible for repair or replacement of damaged Flares if an inspection doesn’t occur. Please let us know immediately if Flares sustain damage during their time with the shipping company. Do not have parts repaired or dispose of packaging until the claim resolution process is finished.
Sales delivered or sourced to Washington:
Sales or use tax is due on certain purchases delivered or sourced to Washington. Washington requires you to file a use tax return when sales tax is not paid at the time of purchase. This message is required under the Revised Code of Washington 82.13.020(2)(a)(i).
Once I purchase flares, when will I receive them?
Once I purchase Flares, when will I receive them? Flares are made to order and typically ship within 5 to 7 business days of placing your order. The adhesive that is shipped with your Flares has a 12-month shelf life from the date of manufacture on the adhesive. Please plan ahead and make sure to install your Flares within 12 months of that date. Additionally, Flares are also not meant to be stored for a long time. If you do need to store them for a few weeks, please do so after unpacking and placing each panel glue flange down on a flat surface.
Does Flarespace ship to Canada, Alaska or Europe?
Ground shipping within the continental US is included in the cost of a set of Flares. International customers have successfully used freight forwarding companies to ship their Flare orders outside of the US. Carlile and Vanguard both have export logistics centers in the US and will assist with account set up and customs requirements. Flarespace will ship to one of these centers.