Retro small camper vans are something that outdoor enthusiasts have been lacking in recent years. Especially coming as a new, complete package from a major manufacturer. Last time we saw a pop-top camper was from Volkswagen in the 1990s. We were teased with the German Market Marco Polo when Mercedes-Benz brought out the Metris five years ago. Even to the point where we got to spend a few nights in one out in the Colorado Mountains.
At the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz previewed the Metris Weekender with an expected price of around $70K and delivery in time for the summer camping season. These are customized here in the USA at the Charleston Metris facility by Peace Vans and Driverge Vehicle Innovations, a Mercedes- Benz MasterSOLUTIONS™ partner.
Using a standard Metris Passenger van it is factory built and carries a full Mercedes-Benz warranty. The Weekender comes standard with the following features:
- An elevating roof with a sleeping area for two. Including an integrated spring system, 2” memory foam mattress, 3 windows, and added USB ports for lights, charging and more.
- A multipurpose rear bench seat that opens up into a bed for two. Additionally, when folded into the seat configuration, the seat moves along a rail position into four locations, allowing additional room for varying cargo needs.
- Swiveling front seats that rotate 180 degrees allow your van to quickly turn into the perfect multipurpose lounge. Whether doing work after getting off the trail, sharing a meal or playing cards– the reconfigured space with seats fully swiveled adds a whole new dimension to the experience.
- Standard on every Weekender package is a second battery to power your devices, light up your nights or suit any of your other campsite needs.
Optional features include:
- Off-Grid Power and Integrated Solar Panels, preparing you for extended trips with built-in solar charging capacity.
- Upgraded audio and navigation features to improve your road trip experience.
- Various personalization options with 3M auto body wrap materials. Great for a business or marketing program.
- The Weekender can be wrapped in any one of 200 available colors.
- Camping upgrades:
- 8’ awning for shade and rain protection
- Mosquito/bug screens for the rear hatch, and sliding doors
- A tent that quickly attaches to the rear liftgate for added space and privacy
- Roof Racks for hauling surfboards, extra storage or skis for the slopes.
- A pullout rear kitchen.
In the past, if you wanted a camper van you had to use an up-fitter or customizer who would take a van from dealer inventory, but in this case, Mercedes-Benz uses stock Metris passenger vans and customizes them through their MASTERSOLUTIONS™ program. You can now order one from your authorized Mercedes-Benz Vans dealer nationwide starting this spring.
Note: Not all Mercedes-Benz dealers also have a Sprinter Van dealership.
Mercedes-Benz Metris a smaller van option, offers sophisticated safety features, exemplary fuel economy, up to 15,000-mile service intervals and a tow rating of 5,000 pounds. Standard feature highlights for the Metris include ATTENTION ASSIST®, a rearview camera, and ECO start/stop. The standard Crosswind Assist helps stabilize the van and boosts safety in strong, gusting crosswinds, while the dynamic handling system load adaptive ESP actively intervenes to help keep the van firmly under control and safe by automatically braking individual wheels and reducing engine power to help stabilize the vehicle if wheelspin, understeer or oversteer is detected.
The Weekender integrates the latest sophisticated safety, reliability, and convenience features to create a new modern pop-top van. The pop-up camper offers unique flexibility, while the Metris is perfectly suited as a versatile daily driver designed to thrive in major metropolitan areas with a spacious interior and practical dimensions that fit in parking spots, garages, and driveways.
In addition to all the standard camper features, these vans will ship to the first 100 customers with a free National Parks Pass to help kick start their pop up van adventures. These all-access passes are a small way to thank loyal customers and encourage exploration in the extensive National Park System.
Words and Images by William West Hopper.
Mr. Hopper is a well-known automotive enthusiast who has found excitement in new as well as classic vehicles. Reporting from the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.