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We decided to go with a Sprinter RV, but noticed the new Sportsmobile Metris Camper video. Different layout than I had expected but at least it looks they are starting to build them.

 

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US Metris camper and parts

Just got off the phone with TERRACAMPER US in Fresno CA. They are working with SPORTSMOBILE and trying to get US DOT approval to bring over the rest of the companies parts including the 2WD Metris Suspension Lift kit. They will post the updates and info on their FACEBOOK (TerraCamper North America) page and WEBSITE when it's up and running.
 

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Is that 70K conversion INCLUDING the Metris? I wonder how much with BYOM price?
 

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I received a message from Sportsmobile West yesterday. They are working on finalizing their penthouse/pop top price sheet. When it's done, they will contact the folks that have called and shown interest. It will be a little while before the website is updated. You will be able to do just the pop top without their full conversion. That is our plan. It's the closest thing to our aging 2002 VW Eurovan weekender that we can come up with.
 

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I was under the impression that VW Eurovans are pretty durable beasts. Expensive to repair and prone expensive repairs as they age, but indestructible if you don't let the tin worm get them.

Just wondering why you are looking to replace it. I mean the Metris is a better truck, being two generations older, but still.
 

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We have had 15 years and 160,000 trouble free miles. It's never broken down. It's great in the snow. It's great to camp in and I'd buy a new one today, if VW would bring them into the states. 2003 was the last year that they did. It's just showing it's age. We average about $3000 on misc repairs and preventive maintenance a year. A new/ rebuilt tranny is about double that. I'd rather be putting that money towards a new van that is going to be reliable for the next 15 years.
 

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I am with you in regards to the T4's ( Eurovan ), worked at VW during the T3-T4 era, here in Canada in 1997 we were promised the 2.5 TDI for 98 and then VW Canada lost control and became a sad little step child of VW - USA, so we lost our Transporter series ( no chicken tax here ) and ended up with cars like the W8, etc, that just did not sell well here. Luckily I still have my 98 2.5 Tdi Mulitvan !, best darn van I ever had until we started to work on the Metris and I purchased several for myself.

But I will admit that my personal 8 pass Metris sold me on the idea to add the Metris to Sprinter 4 X 4 conversions, its a bit longer then my T4, a little lower ( tad bit ), but in reality a huge leap forward. And don't let RWD worry you, we now have studded winters on ours, and its like a tank through the snow, actually we prefer it to the T4 with the same tires.

Insider info is that there are many companies now working on Metris conversions that should fill the void for all those VW fans out there, we should have many excellent options to choose from soon.
 

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It's just my experience that fixing is Always better than replacing unless there is something wrong with the vehicle structurally- or you don't like it. I personally love my Metris, but I can't stand the new Command Online system or the new climate control interface- which will likely eventually make its way to the commercial vans.

Then again, maybe buying a Metris now is a great idea. It might just be the last car with a user interface that makes sense. Barring the nutty door mounted window and mirror switches.
 

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I am with you in regards to the T4's ( Eurovan ), worked at VW during the T3-T4 era, here in Canada in 1997 we were promised the 2.5 TDI for 98 and then VW Canada lost control and became a sad little step child of VW - USA, so we lost our Transporter series ( no chicken tax here ) and ended up with cars like the W8, etc, that just did not sell well here. Luckily I still have my 98 2.5 Tdi Mulitvan !, best darn van I ever had until we started to work on the Metris and I purchased several for myself.

But I will admit that my personal 8 pass Metris sold me on the idea to add the Metris to Sprinter 4 X 4 conversions, its a bit longer then my T4, a little lower ( tad bit ), but in reality a huge leap forward. And don't let RWD worry you, we now have studded winters on ours, and its like a tank through the snow, actually we prefer it to the T4 with the same tires.

Insider info is that there are many companies now working on Metris conversions that should fill the void for all those VW fans out there, we should have many excellent options to choose from soon.
Can you tell us more please about how your Metris goes on studded winter tires? I'm hesitating between a passenger Metris and a 4x4 Sprinter. I don't like the price or bulk of the Sprinter, but I'm leaning toward the 4x4 because I'm concerned about winter performance. Living in north coastal BC where we get serious snow & icy road conditions. Thanks in advance for any insight you may provide.
 

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We actually have a Sprinter 4 X 4 144', and 2 Metris' as personal vehicles. Without a doubt when compared to serious road conditions, the Sprinter is a better vehicle, but with our Gislaved Studded winters, our Metris has been unstoppable, even in Northern Quebec !, where we get ice rain, followed by tremendous amounts of snow, our Metris took the team up to Alma with no issues, where the road I would say is in my ways is worse then the Connector to Kelowna.

Yes, ideally it would be all wheel drive, but having both, we have not driven the Sprinter at all this winter, and never really had a need for it, the Sprinters bulk will at a certain point get to you, parking around Vancouver is not easy, getting in and out is not easy.

As a all around activity vehicle, we prefer the Mertris, we now live in Quebec, and spend weekends in the mountains, we have never been stuck or felt the needs for the Sprinter.
 

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Nice photies and excellent information thank you Genisis.

Would those be Gislaved - Nord Frost 100 Studded ? What size?

Your input has really helped me to decide. Are there any options you would insist on for extreme winter conditions?
 

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They are 255/55 R17, Order heated seats, etc, as I miss my heated windscreen that we have on the Sprinter, and I find that it takes long to heated up, then our diesels. I can check to see what options I missed on my personal van and report back.
 

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I received a message from Sportsmobile West yesterday. They are working on finalizing their penthouse/pop top price sheet. When it's done, they will contact the folks that have called and shown interest. It will be a little while before the website is updated. You will be able to do just the pop top without their full conversion. That is our plan. It's the closest thing to our aging 2002 VW Eurovan weekender that we can come up with.
Hi, did you ever get the price for just the penthouse/pop top?

Thanks
 

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Sportsmobile added the info to their website.

[it won't let me paste the link, but search sportsmobile metris]

$9,500 for the top conversion.
 

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I went there/SM about a month ago. Pretty amazing facility. They were just finishing up their first x30 Metris penthouse/pop tops. The install and quality of the SCA tops looked real good. At that time they were a month out for conversions. Their SCA bench seat and interiors looked real cheap. The sales guy said their hands were tied on what they were allowed to do for interiors. I would go with someone else's interior conversion.
 

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I went there/SM about a month ago. Pretty amazing facility.
I was at Sportsmobile West recently too, on July 13th. I was in CA for work so took an extra day, rented a car and drove down to Fresno. Brian Furrow showed me around and we had a very nice conversation. From comments on the Sportsmobile forum, Brian appears to be well respected by customers who are ordering Sprinter custom campers, SMB’s main business. He said so far customers had taken delivery of four Terracamper conversions and an unspecified number of pop-top installs. Several more of each were in process when I was there plus other Metris work. It sounds like their Metris strategy is still evolving as they learn more about the Metris and customer demand.

I went specifically to see their Terracamper conversion with SGA top. I agree that some of the other Metris stuff Brian showed me wasn't as exciting. Brian explained that they partnered with Terracamper because their conversions are already approved by Mercedes in Germany, so easier to get approved here. I was impressed with the apparent quality of the SMB Terracamper conversion and the solidness of the Teracamper components. However it’s much different from the standard SMB wooden cabinetry aesthetic - more like the German equivalent of 80/20 boxes.

I’m 6’1” and with the top up I’m able to stand anywhere in the living area. There’s plenty of storage in the back, but not much usable storage forward. Otherwise the general layout fits the bill for me. They had to make a few necessary modifications from the European layout. Because of the side airbags, the lower bed is suspended from the upper bed instead of the upper side wall, so can't be set up with the upper bed raised.

One disappointment was that at this point they don't offer any options at all, not even the sophisticated German electronics and lighting that were in the original Terracamper US demo build (not UL listed?) and not any of the options listed on the Terracamper US website. However I talked with Andreas Bruckner of Terracamper US (which is only a few miles from SMB) and he indicated that it might be possible to have SMB do the bulk of a conversion and then have him add Terracamper specific options and electronics. I am guessing that’s what he did with his original demo unit, which I believe was actually converted for Terracamper US by SMB. From my conversation with Brian it’s also possible that SMB might offer some options in the future.

SMB conversions, including their Metris conversions, are just basically expensive. Even so, I’m still considering SMB because as far as I am aware they are the only certified Mercedes Master Upfitter doing Metris campers and pop-tops. Also I think they’re the only RVIA member doing Metris conversions, but that’s neither here nor there since their Metris camper doesn't meet minimal RVIA requirements and so isn't eligible for the RVIA seal anyway.
 

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Hello all. I, too, have had conversations with Mr. Bruckner of Terracamper US. He indicated he had business agreements to build the Metris-based product with Sportsmobile in California and TouRig (mytourig.com) in the Denver area. I have spoken to Eric Miller at TouRig and have a visit planned later this month. At this time the TouRig website does not indicate the Terracamper product.
 

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Hello all. I, too, have had conversations with Mr. Bruckner of Terracamper US. He indicated he had business agreements to build the Metris-based product with Sportsmobile in California and TouRig (mytourig.com) in the Denver area. I have spoken to Eric Miller at TouRig and have a visit planned later this month. At this time the TouRig website does not indicate the Terracamper product.
That’s wonderful! BTW TouRig has pictures of a completed Terracamper Sprinter and partially completed Metris on their Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Please give share your thoughts after your visit!
 
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