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Discussion Starter #1
I plan to buy the passenger version (for a Marco Polo type of conversion) due to:

- Stealth camping = Minivan look would help with the street parking
- Dual use (driving in the city) = Windows would give me better visibility and safety
- Rear side airbags = In case someone hits you while you are sleeping in the back
- Air vents for the rear A/C = May have a use during the conversion
- Floor rails = May come in handy as I want to get foldable/reclining MB seats


For stealth alone, I'd have to go with the passenger version. Okay. Now that's settled, the question is: What do you do with the 2nd/3rd row seats (after the purchase)? [I don't want to get a storage just to keep them + I won't be running a shuttle business + I don't have a large family to ever need that set up]

- Is there a way to convert them to foldable reclining seats? If not ...
- Do you sell them? If so, how? Do you offer it to the dealer selling the vehicle? Put it on eBay? It is a relatively new vehicle so I doubt that'd be useful.

I'm curious to see what you did with yours and what can be done with it.
 

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You can't really "convert" them but Mercedes offers folding bed seats as an option on the Vito. The thing is there are lots of people who change put or get rid of the back seats of Metris vans, and there are a lot on eBay.

I have made a quick and dirty crash pad in my van. I have the third row three place bench in the second row slot. I have three brown genuine Naugahyde cushions from a vintage convertible sofa my parents bought when they moved into their first house in '76. I put two of the cushions into the step on the passengers side sliding door, and the third placed on top of them and the seat creating a pillow. I spend much time back there.

My wife is a house cleaner and I drive her to work, find a parking lot or park nearby (unless it's less than 5 miles from home) and lay back there. I'm 5'9 and 350ish. I can lay on my back with my feat on the driver side sliding door window sill, or dangling out the door, or on my side slightly curled up (like one normally is sleeping). I have a cheap sleeping bag for when it gets really cold.

My wife and I, when working on a book writing project, actually used the set up over night. We bought a chunk of upholstery foam, cut it so it would fit in the footwell of the second row, and she slept in that space (she is small) and I slept on the seat.

And there you have it, a cheap Metris camper with no structural modifications at all. You could remove the third row position entirely and carry a potable water source, cartridge toilet, and simple camp stove back there, if you really wanted. I didn't. I know too many good cheap choke and pukes, diners and luncheonettes across the northeast.
 

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Clarification

Hello Greenmanedlion, I got a question about your adjustments to your Metris. Do I understand correctly that you shifted the 3rd row bench to the second row (foldable)? If so, did you move the 2nd row to the third? In other words did you simply switch them? Im looking to purchase the passenger van but would prefer the third row seats to be foldable, and I've learned that only the 2nd row folds.

Thanks in advance for your response.


Jorge in Miami
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello Greenmanedlion, I got a question about your adjustments to your Metris. Do I understand correctly that you shifted the 3rd row bench to the second row (foldable)? If so, did you move the 2nd row to the third? In other words did you simply switch them? Im looking to purchase the passenger van but would prefer the third row seats to be foldable, and I've learned that only the 2nd row folds.
Where do you buy a van with foldable seats? My understanding is none of the seats folds either way (front or back).
 

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Anyone looked into fabricating a mod for the bench seats to make them fold?

As I am picking up my passenger van next month and am thinking on exactly the same lines as you two Gentlemen, but have not yet been able to take a close look at how the seat benches are put together.

We used to have a VW Eurovan Weekender - never used the pop top much, but the seating / table set up was ideal for the kinds of applications you fellows describe.
 

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I’m farly certain you can’t create such a modification safely. I would guess you could order a folding version of the seat from Europe.
 

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Anyone looked into fabricating a mod for the bench seats to make them fold?

As I am picking up my passenger van next month and am thinking on exactly the same lines as you two Gentlemen, but have not yet been able to take a close look at how the seat benches are put together.

We used to have a VW Eurovan Weekender - never used the pop top much, but the seating / table set up was ideal for the kinds of applications you fellows describe.
I took a look at mine, you probably could separate the backs from the seat base but finding the correct (safe) locking hinge would be the challenge. Non folding seats are a huge miss for MB.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took a look at mine, you probably could separate the backs from the seat base but finding the correct (safe) locking hinge would be the challenge. Non folding seats are a huge miss for MB.
You guys probably mention safety as in IIHS crash testing standards. Understandable. But I don't have kids personally and I won't have people sitting on those seats while I am driving. Finding a " fodable - sleep mode" mod to use those seat cushions is better than what I'm seeing on YouTube (i.e., manual conversions/makes with Ikea/HomeDepot pieces). Ordering seats from EU would probably better, albeit costly, but then the question lingers: What to do with 5-6 Metris seats? If you know or can think of any mods please share.
 

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Nope, I mean the job is garbage. That leather looks like the sort of thing airlines put on seats to make them easier to clean while being able to claim “leather for all”.

If I was going to upholster my car in leather, I am going with something full grain, chromium tanned, and not heavily processed. Also in either oxblood or dark green. Black leather looks like vinyl even when it isn’t.

Otherwise I am sticking with my MBTex.

BTW: I used to be in the work glove business and know more than I ever wanted to about leather. The differences between a $3 topgrain cow driver and a $40 full grain doeskin driver are not apparent to most people (both visually and value for money), a constant source of personal frustration.
 

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Hi klscbosmetris,
looking into similar option. We bought the passenger van but I don't have any needs for the 2 rear seat benches. Will need to see that I can sell them on e-bay as I doubt locally (Louisiana) I will find any buyers , not many Metris around here. I have to decide between two options I currently have researched and quotes for, either install of a new track system and getting the very expensive Vario Tech 300 (Mercedes Vito Reimo Triostyle) component , which converters such as GTRV (also they refuse to work on Passengers any longer) and Keystone Coach Conversion . But Keystone wants for a Schnierle 1140 mm seat with composite floor panels and 2-2500 mm seat track extrusions, adhesives and floor covering. $8,995 .
Another outfitter in CA will charge around $4000 for the static Scopema mounted to the original Metris tracks or $6500 for the Schneirle bench on floor system, sliding tracks. but it requires a trip from dwon South US to Montreal.

The other option is to order one of the original Mercedes w 447 2+1 Vito 639 Viano Sitzbank Bank TUNJA plus the Tracks from Germany. Talking to a importer back home in Hamburg who sells used once of these. The below bench configuration runs about $2400 and shipping for the two benches will cost around $800 . Waiting to hear back how much the tracks will be and of course tax/custom, needs to be figured out.

The tracks should fit and be changeable from the current US tracks to the European tracks.

It is also possible to only purchase one 3 or 2 seat rows from him and might be cheaper to order a bulk of multiple benches in one 20' container, if there is enough interest / buyers out here.

The original fordable seats - bench from Germany allows for similar sleeping systems like the Vanessa (which can easily be reproduced DIY) http://www.vanessa-mobilcamping.de/Mercedes/Vito/schlafsystem-vito/schlafsystem-vito.html

I think the Vanessa system is to heigh in the rear due to all the polsters and a system like the IBILKOM from works better:
http://www.ibilkom.com/es/camper-1

This one can be done if welding is not an issue but not liking the use of any tools when installing it:


I like the idea of having the cargo area and passenger transportation options available when needed.

Hope this gives some fruit for thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A] i) Install of a new track system and getting the very expensive Vario Tech 300 (Mercedes Vito Reimo Triostyle) component. But Keystone wants for a Schnierle 1140 mm seat with composite floor panels and 2-2500 mm seat track extrusions, adhesives and floor covering. $8,995. ii) Another outfitter in CA will charge around $4000 for the static Scopema mounted to the original Metris tracks or $6500 for the Schneirle bench on floor system, sliding tracks. but it requires a trip from dwon South US to Montreal.

B] Original Mercedes w 447 2+1 Vito 639 Viano Sitzbank Bank TUNJA plus the Tracks from Germany. Talking to a importer back home in Hamburg who sells used once of these. The below bench configuration runs about $2400 and shipping for the two benches will cost around $800. The tracks should fit and be changeable from the current US tracks to the European tracks.

The original fordable seats - bench from Germany allows for similar sleeping systems like the Vanessa (which can easily be reproduced DIY) http://www.vanessa-mobilcamping.de/Mercedes/Vito/schlafsystem-vito/schlafsystem-vito.html I think the Vanessa system is to heigh in the rear due to all the polsters and a system like the IBILKOM from works better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nKAmi9LoEU http://www.ibilkom.com/es/camper-1 This one can be done if welding is not an issue but not liking the use of any tools when installing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwhFgwrZJCo
Thanks for the research and the price points. $9,000 for a seat system is outrageous in my opinion. I mean you can get a used '16 for $20,000. At that price, I'd fly to Germany and look for used MP seats to take back with me. B options Vanessa and IBILKOM designs are not ideal because you end up using so much space to store the folded seats. I prefer to have a system where we use the seat cushions as a part of the bed (similar to Marco Polo) so there is more space efficiency overall. I am not sure how hard it is to engineer a Vario Tech 300 type of system with existing Metris seat set cushions (i.e. if you chop them up) but it does not look like super complicated (as long as we can find dimensions & the base set up diagrams). Maybe one of us will find a shop to do that.
 

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DerDichter, ja stimmmt.
You can get the SCA pop up roof with bunk bed from Tourig all comes shipped to them in one piece, for around 9K. The matching paint for your car is another $1500. (same price as Keystonecoach) Unfortunately Tourig (& sports mobile) only offer currently the Terra camper - two seats on track system option. I personally don't like the look and would also like a 3 seater like in the Reimo Triostyle conversion that was offered on the Passenger van by GRTV and is currently still an option with http://www.autostadtwest.com/ and https://keystonecoachworks.net/mercedes-camper-van/.

The schierle bench and the scopema both do the job of converting your rear bench into a bed. And if you don't need the bench to slide up and down in the rear space you can get the scopema installed for around 4K..

Its unfortunately still very pricey over here in the US to get these vans converted. Back home in Germany I can find a pop up roof with install between 4500- 5500 Euro. Seats same thing. there are tons of used folding seats & benches on the market for starting from 580 for a 2 seat to 890 to a single 3 seater and up...problem is to get these over the pond, which makes it expensive again.
Will be back home in Germany in spring again and will try to look at some of these Vito seating option in person and may be able to arrange shipping to US from there...
 
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