In early 2020 MBUSA introduced the Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper Van, a 5 passenger Mercedes Metris van with a pop-top conversion that sleeps four. Mercedes touts the new introduction as a daily driver and the perfect vehicle for a weekend get away. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a fan of Volkswagen Westfalia campers (I lived in one while traveling around the United States over a 6 month period in Spring and Summer of 2000), it warms my heart to see Mercedes embracing the camper van concept with this new introduction.
While this is new introduction launches the Metris Weekender as an official vehicle distributed by MBUSA through its dealer network, these Metris Weekenders have been available, as regular Metris conversions from a company in Seattle called ‘Peace Vans’ for several years. Peace vans is a company that, for many years, has repaired and restored Volkswagen Westfalia camper vans, Vanagon models specifically. They eventually developed a pop-top conversion for the Mercedes Metris.
The MBUSA press release introducing the Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper Van explains, “Mercedes-Benz drew inspiration from illustrious models of the past while integrating the latest sophisticated safety, reliability and convenience features to create a new modern pop top van.”
The press release goes on to explain how it all works… each Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper Van will be “built by Driverge Vehicle Innovations, in partnership with Peace Vans, one of the largest classic camper van repair and restoration shops in the United States.” Peace Vans, based in Seattle, WA has been offering been offering custom built pop-top conversions for Mercedes Metris vans since the end of 2017, according to their website.
A major auto manufacturer hasn’t offered a camper van through regular dealerships since 2002 when Volkswagen discontinued the Eurovan Westfalia. The ‘Van-Life’ craze that has taken off in recent years was yearning for something like the Mercedes Metris Camper Van. It’s great to see Mercedes taking the concept and bringing it mainstream again. I also like the fact that they’ve partnered with the small business that seems to have perfected the conversion long before Mercedes even thought of capitalizing on such a market segment, Peace Vans.
It seems as though Mercedes has officially brought them into the fold as a vendor to help handle the conversions of the Metris vans that will be sold through Mercedes dealerships nationwide. The Metris Weekender will be built in partnership with Driverge Vehicle Innovations, a Mercedes-Benz MasterSOLUTIONS™ partner. From their location in North Charleston, SC, near the new Mercedes factory – Driverge, in partnership with Peace Vans, will build each Mercedes Metris Weekender camper van and ship them to dealers around the country.
The Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper Van boasts 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 the world class 3M auto body wrap materials. 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 lift gate for added space and privacy
- Roof Racks for hauling surfboards, extra storage or skis for the slopes.
- A pullout rear kitchen.
Mercedes doesn’t offer pricing information for the new Metris based Weekender, but we can get some idea based on the information on the Peace Vans website. Apparently Peace vans offers three different Metris conversions. You can drop your Metris off at their Seattle location and they will transform it into a camper.
- Full camper model – Pop-top, sleeps 4, includes a kitchenette, interior cabinetry, etc. starting at $39,995
- The Weekender – Pop-top, sleeps 4, essentially the model Mercedes has signed on for, starting at $24,995.
- Just a Pop-Top – Adds just the pop top to a cargo or 7 passenger Metris, starting at $10,995.
Wherever you get your Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper van, through your local Mercedes dealership or through a conversion set up directly with Peace Vans, there is little doubt it will be a great vehicle. Modern in every way with plenty of horsepower (unlike my Vanagon which had 67 horsepower from it’s 2.0 liter air cooled engine, no joke, 67!) and all the utility and safety of a modern Mercedes-Benz. Visit MBUSA’s Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper Van website to see specs, build your van or start the ordering process.
If you’re interested in learning about the adventures I had in my Volkswagen Westfalia during 6 months in 2000, you can visit this link to an article I wrote on my ‘Dave Knows Cars’ website. That ‘adVANture’ 20 years ago remains one of the best experiences of my life.
Featured image at top of this article, courtesy Peace Vans, Seattle, WA (I just love the ‘Wes Anderson’ style going on in that photo!)