The Mercedes-Benz built for the wilderness: Weekender returns to the ‘glory days’ of camper vans

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Mercedes-Benz revealed their first pop-up camper for sale in the United States during the 2020 Chicago Auto Show on Thursday. 

The car company is hoping to capitalize on the growing number of people turning to vans for road trips and nostalgia with its Weekender.

The Mercedes-Benz Weekender is ‘harkening back to the glory days of camper vans,’ the company said in a statement, USA Today reports. 

‘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,’ they said.  

Mercedes-Benz unveiled their brand new 2021 pop-up camper, the Mercedes-Benz Weekender, during the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday as the company is drawing up nostalgia for the vehicle model and ‘harkening back to the glory days of camper vans’ 

When explaining their reasoning behind releasing the Mercedes-Benz Weekender, the German automobile company said: ‘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 impressive van, which comes in 200 different exterior colors and has a standard tent mounted onto the roof that is accessible from the inside, is perfect for individuals or families who want to explore nation through back roads and off the beaten path

The vehicle was made in part by Driverge Vehicle Innovations and Peace Vans, who took the Metris and added new amenities like an elevating roof. 

The Weekender will be built in collaboration with Peace Vans in South Carolina, before Mercedes-Benz will ship the luxurious camper through its American dealer network and sell in several dealerships across the country 

Harley Sitner, president of Peace Vans, told Car Scoops that the uptick in interest for camper vans  is phenomenal.  

‘Small camper vans, like this exciting new Metris Weekender from Mercedes, hits a very large sweet spot in the market. The demand we see for these products is exceptional and the feedback from renters and early adopters is fantastic,’ he said. 

‘Being experts in pop up campers, we are confident Mercedes has a fantastic product that is going to delight an entire new generation of road trippers.’ 

Mercedes-Benz USA Vans exec, Robert Veit added similar sentiments. 

‘Pop up campers are iconic and highly functional vehicle,’ Veit said. 

‘We have known for a long time that this market need was unmet as evidenced by the high demand for aging existing camper vans still on the road. With the help of our partners, Peace Vans and Driverge, we have utilized the Metris to create a product suited to those who seek adventure, but also need a versatile and comfortable vehicle for their day-to-day lives.’ 

While larger campers can be bulky and difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, the Mercedes-Benz Weekender van can still fit into urban areas like parking lots. 

The van has a tent mounted onto the roof that is accessed from inside the cabin and travelers can sleep on a two-inch memory foam mattress that fits two. 

Unlike old camper vans, the Mercedes-Benz Weekender has USB charging ports for lights, accessories and phones. 

Atop the tent is a solid, protective cover with roof racks so adventurers can bring along items like skis, surfboards and other equipment.  

The Mercedes-Benz Weekender will easily wow consumers with its a many standard and optional amenities that are available, including  a two-inch memory foam mattress that fits two and front seats that swivel 180 degrees to foster a lounge-like environment

Mercedes-Benz took care to update their first – and only -version of the nostalgic camper van by adding in modern touches like USB charging ports for lights, accessories and phones. It is also more agile than traditional camper vans can still fit into urban areas like parking lots

Passengers hoping to truly emulate the camping experience can add a tent feature atop the vehicle and appreciate the beauty of nature from the comfort of their own Mercedes-Benz Weekender by unfurling a window or unzipping the the half-moon  section 

The second-row seats also convert into a sleeping area for two or can be repositioned to allow extra cargo space for larger bags. 

The Mercedes-Benz Weekender is also aiming for comfort by allowing the front two seats to swivel 180 degrees to foster a lounge-like environment.

There is also a second battery to power the camper.

Apart from the car’s standard amenities, Mercedes-Benz has rolled out several bonus features that will up the driver’s experience to a whole other level. 

The Weekender is 74.5 inches high, 202.4 inches long and has a wheelbase of 126 inches. The maximum payload caps at 1,896 pounds and it runs on a 2-liter, 4-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged gas engine that reaches 208 horsepower so drivers can get where they need to go as fast as they want to 

Harley Stiner: ‘Small camper vans, like this exciting new Metris Weekender from Mercedes, hits a very large sweet spot in the market. The demand we see for these products is exceptional and the feedback from renters and early adopters is fantastic. Being experts in pop up campers, we are confident Mercedes has a fantastic product that is going to delight an entire new generation of road trippers’ 

A look inside the Weekender’s rear sleeping section – which is accessed by converting a bench seat that opens into a cozy second bed that holds two people –  can easily be repositioned in a blink of an eye to an extra cargo carrier when passengers are in it for the long haul 

 The Mercedes-Benz Weekender can instantly turn into a open door, get together spot simply by attaching a eight-inch awning to give passengers shade during sunny days or protect them from natural downpours while driving towards their destination 

Consumers can invest in solar panels to provide power when they wander off the grid and cook meals in a ‘pullout rear kitchen.’

The German automobile company can also install mosquito screens to keep the bugs out of the space and an eight-inch awning to protect against bad weather. The Mercedes-Benz Weekender offers 200 exterior color options. 

The vehicle has a 5,000 pound towing capacity, as well as safety features like a rearview camera and crosswind stability system.

A price for the Mercedes-Benz Weekender has not been revealed by the company, but orders will begin in spring and the first 100 shoppers who purchase the state-of-the-art vehicle will get a one-year pass to the United States National Park System to kick start their road trip 

Drivers can rest assured that the Mercedes-Benz Weekender will let them travel long distances in proven safety, since the large camper has helpful amenities like a rearview camera, crosswind stability system and has 5,000 pound towing capacity for trips that take a bit more work 

Environmentalists will be ecstatic to utilize the Weekender’s integrated solar panels -an optional feature -to provide natural power when exciting ventures take them off road, as well as making delicious meals in the astounding pullout rear kitchen that can be added to the vehicle 

Robert Veit: ‘We have known for a long time that this market need was unmet as evidenced by the high demand for aging existing camper vans still on the road. With the help of our partners, Peace Vans and Driverge, we have utilized the Metris to create a product suited to those who seek adventure, but also need a versatile and comfortable vehicle for their day-to-day lives’  

The Weekender is 74.5 inches high, 202.4 inches long and has a wheelbase of 126 inches. The maximum payload caps at 1,896 pounds and it runs on a 2-liter, 4-cylinder, direct-injection turbocharged gas engine that reaches 208 horsepower.  

Although the Weekender is the first camper van Mercedes-Benz is selling in the United States, it has already begun selling the Mercedes Benz V-Class Marco Polo camper in Europe that was described as a ‘smart home on wheels’ and could be controlled by an app on smart phones.  

A price for the Weekender has not been announced, but passenger version of the Metris minivan starts at $35,000.  

The first 100 Weekenders sold will come with a one-year pass to the United States National Park System. 

Orders for the impressive vehicle will start being accepted in spring. 

The weekender model – made in part by Driverge Vehicle Innovations and Peace Vans – is inspired by Mercedes-Benz’s 2020 Metris minivan that released last year. The durable, yet stylish camper van is nearly identical to its predecessor in build and design 

Despite the larger build, Mercedes-Benz kept the sleek interior design they’re known for by covering the steering wheel in soft, black leather and adding in new amenities like accessible buttons to control the radio, make phone calls or other tasks so passengers can make the most of the drive 

When passengers aren’t using the remarkable roof-top tent atop the Weekender, the feature can be tightly folded down and covered by solid, protective cover with roof racks so adventurers can bring along items like skis, surfboards and other equipment

The brand new Weekender even protects against the pesky bugs and mosquitoes with a bug screen that can be purchased at an extra cost and is an optional feature for drivers, allowing them to travel at ease no matter the circumstances 

Although the Weekender is the first camper van Mercedes-Benz is selling in the United States, it has already begun selling the Mercedes Benz V-Class Marco Polo camper in Europe that was described as a ‘smart home on wheels’ and could be controlled by an app on smart phones

The Weekender will be built in collaboration with Peace Vans in South Carolina, before Mercedes-Benz will ship the luxurious camper through its American dealer network and sell in several dealerships across the country

Each Weekender is built to last, which is why Mercedes included a second battery to help keep electrical equipment and other devices powered while drivers travel off the grid

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