If you’re looking for a Mercedes camper but think the sprinter van life isn’t for you, then you’re in luck as Mercedes has just announced their first factory-built pop top camper, since 2003, the Mercedes Metris Weekender. Pop up campers are a great way to travel in a van as you have plenty of internal space for living the van life while the exterior remains nice and compact, perfect for easy driving.
Small campers, such as the Mercedes Metris Weekender, are perfect for outdoorsy people as they allow you to get adventuring without all the fuss a huge RV can bring. A compact camper van can also be a more affordable camper but will still come with all of the van life essentials needed for a great weekend away. So, read on and find out if Mercedes’ new pop top camper is perfect for your next van life travel trip.
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Although the Mercedes Metris Weekender is the new kid on the block for Mercedes Benz retailers, this pop up camper has actually been in production by Seattle based company, Peace Vans for the past three years. Peace Vans are a conversion company that offers post factory conversions of the Mercedes Metris Van, both the cargo and passenger version. You supply them with the van, and they will fit it out with a pop-top and all campervan amenities.
However, Mercedes have now partnered with Peace Vans to mass-produce their tried and tested camper conversion and to be able to sell it straight from their dealerships. To do this, Mercedes have also partnered with Driverge Vehicle Innovations to be the official Mercedes Metris Weekender builder. A benefit to buying the Weekender from Mercedes is that the warranty for the vehicle remains intact, and the interior also has a warranty.
Who Is The Mercedes Metris Weekender For?
The Mercedes Metris Weekender can, of course, be used by anyone if they feel its right for them. However, due to its size, this probably isn’t the ideal camper if you plan on living in a van or are embarking on a long road trip in your tiny home. Having said that, I have seen people travelling full time in vans even smaller than this. This van is perfect for those who want to get outside more on the weekends and use it to get away for short breaks.
The Mercedes Metris Weekender comes with all the amenities needed for living off the grid, so can be used for boondocking or wild camping, if you feel like taking your chances off the beaten track. Although this is a camper van, the Metris can still be used as a daily commuter. This is excellent news for people who don’t want the responsibility and cost of running two vehicles. The conversion inside is practical but minimal, allowing for plenty of space for carrying your weekly shop, and there are a total of five seat-belted seats meaning there’s plenty of room for the kids to climb on board for the school run. The Mercedes Metris is a compact vehicle and won’t feel too bulky to drive, making it convenient for daily usage and parking.
So, what do you get?
The main additional feature to the exterior of the Mercedes Metris Weekender is the fibreglass pop top roof. The elevated roof is spring-loaded, so opening it up is nice and easy and can be done with a light push, meaning minimal time and effort is needed to get your camper ready after a long drive. The pop-top roof is covered in a high-quality vinyl wrap of a colour of your choice. With one hundred different colours to choose from, you can make this camper your own and stand out from the crowd.
Once the roof is popped up, you gain an extra 38inches of height at the highest point, and 18inches at the lowest point. This extra space gives you enough room to sleep with your head at either end of the bed that can be found in the camper’s roof. This comfortable 2inch memory foam mattress can easily sleep two and provides a great extra space inside the camper. By having the main bed in the roof, the whole downstairs space can be left for chilling in the day time and doesn’t need to convert into the bedroom. When not in use, the bed is spring-loaded, like the pop-top, and can be raised upwards to provide plenty of headroom below.
The upstairs sleeping area is also equipped with USB charging points for your phone, which is handy if you want to check your route for the next day while lounging in bed. If you’re camping in the heat, then you’ll be pleased to know that the weatherproof heavy-duty tent provides two windows that can be zipped down to provide plenty of airflow, through the mesh bug screen. A third window zips down to reveal a clear plastic covering, great for peering outside and taking in the view of your camping spot.
Main Living Space
As the Mercedes Metris Weekender seats five, it would make sense for there to be a second bed on board. You guessed it; the downstairs seating area converts to sleep a further two people. This is great news if you’re travelling as a family of four. However, if you’ve used all five seats, it might be a bit of a squeeze come bedtime. The seats also provide storage space below for road trip essentials and a swing-out leg for mounting a table. The whole bench seat can also slide forward, on rails, to free up the back of the van, meaning it can still be used as cargo space. This feature is convenient if you’re carrying bulkier items of outdoor gear.
The front two seats can also rotate to provide more space to chill in the central interior space of the van. Paired with the backbench and table, you can create a great dining space to enjoy meals at while on the road. The Mercedes Metris Weekender also comes equipped with an extra battery to power all lights and charging, so you are not draining the starter battery’s power by using the electricity inside the camper.
While this camper comes with plenty of space to sleep and seat four, that is essentially it for the interior of this camper. Apart from the under-seat storage, there is no more cabinetry to store clothes and gear. While there is a mention of an optional pull out kitchen at the rear of the campervan, no details have been confirmed, and it would come at an additional cost.
This campervan is lacking a kitchen area, sink, storage and toilet, which are all things that will either have to be outsourced by staying at a campsite, by buying and fitting extras or going without altogether. Sure, it’s nice to cook over a campfire and wash in the great outdoors, but if you’re looking to travel long term, or even go away for just a few weeks, then this isn’t really a great solution. Peace Vans do offer a complete conversion of the Mercedes Metris cargo van that comes with an interior kitchen- fridge, burner, sink and storage space- so maybe we’ll see Mercedes teaming up with them to offer the full package in the future.
Much needed extras can be added to give this camper van more amenities. Solar panels can provide off-grid electrics, and 1.5″ suspension lift can give you greater off-road capabilities for cruising down those dirt roads. If you need to carry more gear, then you can add a roof rack to your camper and if you’re looking or more space then it’s possible to upgrade with an 8′ awning and rear lift tent, sheltering the pull out kitchen.
There is no doubt that the Mercedes Metris is an excellent base for a camper van with all the gadgets you would expect in a brand new vehicle, including a rearview camera, eco start-stop and an excellent safety and fuel economy. However, we feel the interior conversion is missing some key features, especially considering the rumoured starting price is around $70,000. However, we do love a pop-top camper and are happy to see that Mercedes is filling a gap in the current American market.
With the added extra of the outdoor kitchen, the Mercedes Metris Weekender would make a great first Camper Van for couples and families alike. At the end of the day, this vehicle does what a camper should do: it allows you to get outside and experience new adventures. What do you think of the Mercedes Metris Weekender, do you think it is enough or do you look for more features in a Camper Van? Let us know by joining the Van Clan over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
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