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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to forum and potential Metris buyer. Interested in using Metris as Marco Polo (w/ or w/o the pop-up top). My understanding is that V-class Marco Polo will not be available in USA. The quality I see on U.S. based camper conversion companies (GTRV or Sportsmobile) is not that great. Do you know if it is possible to purchase/order the interior units of the Marco Polo?
 

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I don't believe you can get the interior components from either MB or Westfalia. MB won't sell you the parts if you don't own the camper, while Westfalia cannot sell you the parts since they're exclusively for MB.

The alternatives that you can get are 1) Reimo parts for Vito, or 2) potentially Westfalia parts for Jules Verne (though I doubt about it). Buying and shipping can be tricky.

IMO, Westfalia pop-top roof is way better than any other vendor's (including the new versions from Reimo and SCA)

You can do the swap if you can find a totaled v-class marco polo with the integral cabin from Europe or somewhere else. Again, it's not easy.

I'm hoping MB to bring in the Marco Polo Activity/Horizon model to NA, or else I will buy the passenger version and use it as the "steel tent"
 

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Hi kllcbosmetris,
I bought a Metris with the same intention.
When I was back home in Germany this summer I checked out the Marco Polo and Horizon campers . The Marco Polo is super nice and I doubt you will be able to match the finishes and fit with any 3rd party /aftermarket conversion elements. But there are other options out there that don't require a complete custom carpentry conversion. I researched for quite some time now the German and UK market on flat pack conversion kits.
You can find some that produce the Mercedes Vito kits for left hand drive and ship to the US on eBay . I am looking into some that are Pods made from aluminum composting material and very much in line with the VW California interior, which is also very nice! They are currently checking if shipping to US is even possible because they usually shipping their units assembled on palettes in UK. Might be super expensive and I have to go the flat pack route with another manufacture.
I want to go with pods so I can remove the furniture and add back some seats on the track system when needed Pop up roof and a folding rear bench will be installed by a shop. The rest of the conversion I will do myself.

Check out The Carpenter's Daughter video blog. She has done a great job using flat back kit from the UK.
(FYI The manufacturer she mentions in her video doe snot ship to us)
 

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About a year ago, I reached out to MB, Airstream and Winnebago to ask if they will convert a camper based on MB Metris. Answers are soft/hard NOs from them:

MB: "We are exploring any considerations. Please contact your local dealers for information" (So, it's a soft NO)
Airstream: Didn't answer my question but I got their marketing emails later (So, I assumed it's another soft NO)
Winnebago: Clearly said NO

The reasons that I contacted them are:

For MB: in TFL truck's YouTube review video two years ago, they did get Macro Polo Activity to shoot with (This was why I assumed that MB might bring in Marco Polo Activity in the near future)
- I don't believe MB will bring in the full camper since they (MB & Westfalia) have to modify it to comply with our regulations (items that I can imagine are propane tank and parking heater etc besides those EU items (220v stuff etc))
- Activity or the new Horizon (partial camper) should be trouble free for MB USA to import and VW had done that with EuroVan Weekender on their T4

For Airstream: they had imported hundreds of T1N based James Cook from Westfalia years back. (I hoped they can repeat that with Vito though they cannot bring in Marco Polo, but other Westfalia models should be fine)

For Winnebago: I just hoped they can do their EuroVan camper on Metris

As I said above, I might wait another MY for Marco Polo Activity/Horizon, or else I will buy the passenger version instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm hoping MB to bring in the Marco Polo Activity/Horizon model to NA, or else I will buy the passenger version and use it as the "steel tent"
It does not look like MB is going to bring Marco Polo or any other camper van to NA. There is a "chicken tax" that levies a 25% tariff on imported light trucks. The only way to get around it if MB makes the car overseas, transport it in pieces, and reassemble it here. It seems to have made sense for the sprinter market but MB's new SC U.S. plant won't be able to carry an additional load for another 3-4 years, even if there was a market for the camper van (and according an MB executive, there isn't).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't believe you can get the interior components from either MB or Westfalia. MB won't sell you the parts if you don't own the camper, while Westfalia cannot sell you the parts since they're exclusively for MB.
As a back up plan (to buying a set) I'm researching the parts they used in the Marco Polo set up. For example, one MB article mentions "10.6-gal (40-L) top-loading refrigerator, all with impact-resistant glass tops" so I am researching all portable 40-L, starting from Dometic. If I can find the parts (or the 3rd party manufacturers they used) , maybe I can find a cabinet finisher to deliver a similar quality work to wrap everything. From what I can tell the camper van conversion companies are good at functionality but lack at finish and luxury. Just see what they have on their website (for $$$) to what you see on EU models and you'll see the difference. Hence, my search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi kllcbosmetris,
I bought a Metris with the same intention.
When I was back home in Germany this summer I checked out the Marco Polo and Horizon campers . The Marco Polo is super nice and I doubt you will be able to match the finishes and fit with any 3rd party /aftermarket conversion elements. But there are other options out there that don't require a complete custom carpentry conversion. I researched for quite some time now the German and UK market on flat pack conversion kits.
You can find some that produce the Mercedes Vito kits for left hand drive and ship to the US on eBay . I am looking into some that are Pods made from aluminum composting material and very much in line with the VW California interior, which is also very nice! They are currently checking if shipping to US is even possible because they usually shipping their units assembled on palettes in UK. Might be super expensive and I have to go the flat pack route with another manufacture.
I want to go with pods so I can remove the furniture and add back some seats on the track system when needed Pop up roof and a folding rear bench will be installed by a shop. The rest of the conversion I will do myself.

Check out The Carpenter's Daughter video blog. She has done a great job using flat back kit from the UK. (FYI The manufacturer she mentions in her video doe snot ship to us)
  • Thank you. I didn't realize there was a Vito conversion crowd (considering they already have MP in EU). Great cabinet sets. Too bad they don't ship to US.
  • I was not able to find the eBay kits you mentioned. Care to give me a link or two? I'd be interested in checking WV California pods as well. Anything better than HomeDepot+ versions offered by the U.S. conversion companies.
  • Did you get the passenger version? Which one? I was thinking what I would do with the seats. What is your plan? Store it in a storage?
 

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I don't think campers qualify for the Chicken Tax. VW imported campers in the Marco Polo's mold until 2002, and its price difference vs the Standard Eurovan was not such as to believe there was an extra 25% tax. In fact iirc the price difference between the full camper and the basic van was less than 25%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I don't think campers qualify for the Chicken Tax. VW imported campers in the Marco Polo's mold until 2002, and its price difference vs the Standard Eurovan was not such as to believe there was an extra 25% tax. In fact iirc the price difference between the full camper and the basic van was less than 25%.
My understanding is that any vehicle built on a truck base is classified as a light truck (whether it is converted camper van or not) and accrue 25% chicken tax on importation. The only way to get around that tariff is if MB builds the vehicles in the States. So I checked MB-Vans USA productions. On July 2016, they broke ground on a $500m van plant in Ladson, SC but 1. that seems to be due to sprinter's growth in NA, so their focus will be sprinter, not metris (let alone metris-based campervans) -- supported by the adjacent Knapheide (commercial truck upfitter) production facility 2. plant is not even open/ready so any production changes will be a long time away. Conclusion = Import MP cabinets and parts or use 3rd party campervan conversion shops to turn Metris into a Marco Polo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Anyone has experience with a 'forward shipping' company? Found a site called Forward2me. Apparently you shop in the UK and then ship worldwide. Maybe I can import the MP parts that way.
 

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I've used Forward2Me. See my write up on my experience in the Camper Van Windows thread.
http://www.metrisforum.com/forum/409-metris-builds-conversions/4905-metris-camper-van-windows.html

Unfortunately I think the path of building your own camper by ordering Marco Polo parts is a dead end.
1. As u6006 said neither MB or Westfalia will sell you parts.
2. If you were able to order the parts, MB lists very few complete assemblies in their parts catalog. You would be forced to buy every hinge, knob screw etcetera individually. Just sorting through the parts list to figure out which parts you actually need will make your head spin.
 

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I've used Forward2Me. See my write up on my experience in the Camper Van Windows thread.
http://www.metrisforum.com/forum/409-metris-builds-conversions/4905-metris-camper-van-windows.html

Unfortunately I think the path of building your own camper by ordering Marco Polo parts is a dead end.
1. As u6006 said neither MB or Westfalia will sell you parts.
2. If you were able to order the parts, MB lists very few complete assemblies in their parts catalog. You would be forced to buy every hinge, knob screw etcetera individually. Just sorting through the parts list to figure out which parts you actually need will make your head spin.
What if one gets a marcopolo Vin, would that make it easier?
 

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Some things to remember, the Marco Polo is based on the v-class.
The Marco Polo has a different rear wring harness, flooring and interior panels than the v-class.

Still interested? I've attached the parts list for just the kitchen parts minus the gotchas listed above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some things to remember, the Marco Polo is based on the v-class.
The Marco Polo has a different rear wring harness, flooring and interior panels than the v-class.

Still interested? I've attached the parts list for just the kitchen parts minus the gotchas listed above.
Thank you. I thought Marco Polo is based on Vito and Metris = Vito. No?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some things to remember, the Marco Polo is based on the v-class.
The Marco Polo has a different rear wring harness, flooring and interior panels than the v-class.

Still interested? I've attached the parts list for just the kitchen parts minus the gotchas listed above.
I was trying to see if I could at least get the kitchen appliances (i.e. fridge, burner, faucet, etc.) separately and then worry about the nice cabinetry later (i.e. going to UK and bringing it or shipping via forwarding). Searched a bit. YouTube videos, etc. I thought "0.6-gal (40-L) top-loading refrigerator" was a Dometic but as it turns out it is Westfalia's own brand. This is gonna be harder than I thought.

The reason I like Marco Polo's interior is because it looks like an executive commute van when it is not set up as a camper. Very stealth and professional, if you are going to make this a daily driver.
 

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A Vito and a V-class are both based on roughly the same body. Higher end V-class models have different tailgates and air suspension is an option.

V-class models have entirely different interiors and electrical systems. The Vito uses the basic concept of the Sprinters electrical system, which is modular and things like the radio are relatively easy to replace with updated equipment, reflecting the relatively long life and hard commercial use of commercial vehicles- it is also basically last generation.

The V-class uses a Passenger car electrical system, with more integration, a Command control system (the "Command" system in our vans is limited to the stereo, the system on the V-class is much more integral), a more complicated climate control system shared with current generation senior cars (C,E,S) and much plusher interior fittings.

They are built on the same assembly line, share a lot of similar engineering, use the same platform, but they are very distinctly different.

A Metris differs a bit from the Vito (gas engine is the main thing) but it is definitely a gas engined Vito, and not a V-class.
 

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Hi kllcbosmetris,
sorry just seE this now. For some reason I never get notified of any response of my posts. Might be setting issue I have to figure out.
I am still planning my conversion and as lots of others on this forum have researched the **** out of it. From the usual conversion companies her ein US such as GRTV, Sportsmobil, Autostadt West, KeystoneCoach conversions, Tourig - Which I had very good and in depth convo with, great guys. To Canadian outfitters like the Reimo American and Travois.ca (Daniel is awesome and super reponsive on all convo) I just haven't figured out the perfect fit yet for my conversions plus justifying the high cost in the US to do so.
I could cry every time I see what my buddies in Germany can do with 8-10K, a complete camper., for which you barely get a pop up roof installed here in the US.
But we are unfortunately on the other side of the pond. Parts are not that widely available as in the UK and Germany where you have a huge community of converters.

That said. Here a couple of links I digged up and also what I learned so far. Some of these sellers are willing to ship to the US and I might go that route for the interior portions.

Custom Shop UK sells furniture kits and I am having great convo with them. If I go the full furniture kit route I need to work wrround the rear air bag which is a problem. I think you cant simply disconnect that one...Also I always think resale and legality if you tamper with a airbag. Might be as easy to add a adendum to your sales contact but may be now. If its a problem I stay away with high cabinets and focus on pods .
I consider this one here which they can build also as left driver and would ship to US
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VW-SWB-T4...d=141316342173&_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850
Waiting on sample for Hacienda White and Gloss White


If I do only pods to have more flexibility I really like what Reimo and also Tonka does for the VW van with their swing out kitchen pods. I think I will need to modify any pods I will either purchase or build myself to do the same:
Spacecamper does a great job on theirs too, in generall these guys have it down for modularety and space efficiency in their conversions..but so far only on the VW vans :(


On the seating I consider a install in Canada by Daniel , of a either Schnierle bench with Tunja upholstery on new track system (to slide up and down) or a fixed Scopema which is almost half the price. I just cant yet justify the high cost for all of this and might end up shipping some folding seats and tracks from Germany to US when back home in spring.

I am talking to Jan a lot who is a re seller of used van seats in Europe, mainly Poland, Germany and UK. You can find his seats on ebay.uk and de sites. So far he is not really willing to ship single seats on Euro pallets to US but I might meet with him when in Germany and if its a higher quantity in sea container there is a chance..just need to find some more people that are interested in these;)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mercedes-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mercedes-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649

If there would be not such a big issue with crash test, safety in US VS europeean (legality again for possible resale) I would go for a Rockn Roll Bed. There are tons of supliers in the UK and I have spoken to some that would ship via Euro pallette to the US. I have attached some images of these in this post. They are great easy to use folding seats and you can match the upholstery of your van (or do some fun stuff as showsn) . They are pulltested - M1 tested in the UK for the european market but that doesnt do much over here. I like the once from Cambee.uk that can also be attache dto the tracks..have to do some more research if it could be mounte dto the riginal Metris tracks, so far they only provide for the VW track system
http://www.cambee.co.uk/rock-roll-bed.html


Nat, from http://www.vanbeds.co.uk/, produces them with gas springs or electrical. He can ship to US and also build custom left driver offset to clear over wheeel house.
There are also tonns on e bay uk if you research them, from frame only starting at £250 to fully upholstered matchimg van fabric arround £700
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rock-and-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rock-and-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/T5-T4-Cra...163020?hash=item25e126238c:g:ojcAAOxyc2pTXsec


On Pop up roof: well I guess I am stuck with the US converters that are allowed to install the SCA pop up roof which is also crash tested her in the US. The Reimo is I think still a grey area not crash tested yet.. might have changed by now not sure about it. But I don't really trust myself to cut that opening in a Passenger van with all the airbags and electrical and install this properly. So Will need to go to an outfitter that knows what to do and a big plus there is a 3 year warranty with for example Tourig if they do the SCA.

Hope this is some what help full. Happy to chat more via messenger on build ideas and process.

beesigner
 

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