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Hi all and Happy New Year! I am a van dweller who has a 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan camper. I am curious about upgrading to a Metris!

I have a small budget so I’m trying to figure out if it’s a worthy swap for the money. My main reasons for wanting to upgrade are: swivel seats, bigger interior space, and the seat/beds available like the Travois - i love the idea of having seats and a bed at the same time! ( and somewhere safe for my dog to travel 😸 and occasional humans haha)

So....

Pros and Cons of the van?
Are they costly to repair?
How do they drive? (Easy driving is a must as I have hand/joint disabilities)
Any other info you think it’s valuable!

FYI - I would not be doing a big electrical system or plumbing, I would mostly be interested in insulation - I live in coastal humid area in California so battling condensation and cold is important!!

Thanks SO much for any help!!! I hope you all stay safe and well ✌
 

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I live in SoCal. Didnt do much insulation in my van, but ?I did get the Cold Weather pkg.
Mine is a Worker Cargo with lotsa options.
Love the ass-warmers that came with the seat option.
Super easy to drive. Mine is a 2017 and I miss only the distronic cruise.
 

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The Metris is a Mercedes-Benz. It is an absolutely excellent product in almost every way- it is effortless to drive and handles the road with a competence only a Mercedes can manage. If you can put up with the two drawbacks, you will be in heaven.

the two drawbacks are: 1) it is not a minivan and does not have the kinds of folding seat flexibility one anticipates with one, and 2) as a Mercedes it is a complicated and over-engineered German vehicle that will last until the end of time presuming you are willing to spend a rather large amount of money on maintenance- numbers that would be unimaginable to the average Toyota owner.
 

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In 2016 I upgraded from a Ford Econoline Sportsmobile van conversion to a Metris GTRV conversion and have had two other van-campers in the past. The Metris is the best, hands-down. Comfortable, fun to drive, turns on a dime and leaves 3 cents change, has better performance from its 2-liter than I got from the Ford V-8 more than twice that size. The Metris is not perfect, as GML points out, reliability is good but maintenance is high. I bought maintenance agreements from the dealer and that keeps me from unexpected surprises in that department. It likely won't be as quiet as your Toy, especially until you get the insulation in.
 

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Metris Cargo 135 2020
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The Metris is a great van, as it is easy to drive, it still fits in a standard residential garage and it is not much longer than a traditional minivan.

Interior space wise, the extra volume between a metris and traditional minivan is very noticeable, especially with a foot of extra interior height and the extra length ( I have a 135 ).

Generally speaking - and this is not that I want to talk you out of one, on the contrary, I think anybody using a minivan other than as a strict to and from family mover for a few hours, should consider a Metris. Just objectively.

It is a Mercedes. Maintenance will cost more. MB likes to see vehicles come in around 10-12-15k miles (depending) or 365 days calendar based annually for some alphabet labeled service A, B, C ... Oil change + tire rotation + diagnostic + inspection + what MB deems the vehicle needs based on factory recommendations. So, visits will be $125 and up towards $250-500. Once one is off the initial set of tires, and gets them replaced at a place of their choice, one can of course take advantage of free lifetime rotation and balancing packages. Good dealers will bill accordingly. The last few services on my MB SUV, I just said oil change + computer reset ... and I think that was $120-125. With tire rotation an extra 50 or so, $175.

In contrast with my Dodge ... a basic oil change is (was) $50, and tire rotation $25. I paid $75 every year with about 10k miles. That's just the cost of the oil in my MB SUV.

Repairs and parts can be more expensive, as something may be custom made for MB or even the vehicle and there may not be an aftermarket equivalent. I have learned to accept for instance that I need the special flat mount Bosch wipers for our vehicles. Parts may be slower and need to be re-supplied through the country or from Germany. But I live in a rural state with just 1,5 dealerships really. Relative to mainstream American or Asian brands. Though with the USPS adopting the Metris in their fleet, I expect that to improve.

They also demand premium fuel. If you are used to regular unleaded. Figure accordingly.

So, I think the ongoing cost and annual maintenance is probably double, but, I personally justified that because I needed and wanted something :
  • more practical than a car, suv, minivan (no pickups, needs to be self contained, enclosed & alarmed storage)
  • I also usually drive solo, and don't need to seat 4, 5 or 7 people ... so cargo will be fine.
  • ideally bigger, 8+ feet cargo interior length (eliminates all compact vans)
  • ideally taller, 48+ inches cargo interior height
  • that still fits in standard garage and parking space (eliminates all taller vans)
  • I am familiar with MB
  • I sold my older MB SUV and still young Dodge Grand Caravan, which offset about half the cost of the new van

I now have had my Metris 135 for a few months. Driving is super easy and very comfortable, with the typical upright minivan driving position. It is quite zippy ( zippier than my Dodge Grand Caravan ) and turns & parks very easily.

Mirrors aren't as wide as I'd like and don't have extra built-in blind spot mirrors of commercial vehicles. The passenger side is not too bad with the euro-curved outer lip, but the driver side doesn't have it ... and the blind spot for me is huge on the left (6 ft tall person, seat in rear most position).

Sound insulation was a must for me. I have the cargo partition and between the metal cargo pass through seat bases and partition I was shocked how much noise transmitted. Even without the special seat bases & partition, I would recommend to anybody getting a cargo model to put sound deadening all flat cargo surfaces.

Fuel economy. Less than I'd hoped for. I drive conservatively (25mpg with the Dodge Grand Caravan), but on my usual route of hopping on the interstate for 20+ miles at 75-ish mph, then some local roads, I'm not getting my daily 25 mpg I hoped for. Hopefully that will improve over time. I only have 2500 miles yet. The computer (it lies by about 1.5 mpg higher) usually tells me 21-22-23. On rural routes in the foothills with a light foot and up to 55 mph, I have managed 30 mpg on a three hour trip. It would probably average to 25+ with a bit less hyper-smiling, but I saw the big numbers and wanted to see if I could get 30 to the cabin and back.

Pound for pound. I think the extra interior space and versatility is / should be totally worth it, especially when using it as living quarters. The space difference is undeniable. As a weekender / even full time travel van, #vanlife ... I don't know that I could go smaller than a Metris, personally. I know the Sprinters are seemingly the de-facto choice, but they're big and expensive. The Dodge / Fiat ... is a big pass due to past ongoing mechanical issues with Fiat vehicles in the family and at work in EU.

Anyway. Some food for thought, since you mentioned minivans, budget, ...
 

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Hi all and Happy New Year! I am a van dweller who has a 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan camper. I am curious about upgrading to a Metris!

I have a small budget so I’m trying to figure out if it’s a worthy swap for the money. My main reasons for wanting to upgrade are: swivel seats, bigger interior space, and the seat/beds available like the Travois - i love the idea of having seats and a bed at the same time! ( and somewhere safe for my dog to travel 😸 and occasional humans haha)

So....

Pros and Cons of the van?
Are they costly to repair?
How do they drive? (Easy driving is a must as I have hand/joint disabilities)
Any other info you think it’s valuable!

FYI - I would not be doing a big electrical system or plumbing, I would mostly be interested in insulation - I live in coastal humid area in California so battling condensation and cold is important!!

Thanks SO much for any help!!! I hope you all stay safe and well ✌
Hi all and Happy New Year! I am a van dweller who has a 2018 Toyota Sienna minivan camper. I am curious about upgrading to a Metris!

I have a small budget so I’m trying to figure out if it’s a worthy swap for the money. My main reasons for wanting to upgrade are: swivel seats, bigger interior space, and the seat/beds available like the Travois - i love the idea of having seats and a bed at the same time! ( and somewhere safe for my dog to travel 😸 and occasional humans haha)

So....

Pros and Cons of the van?
Are they costly to repair?
How do they drive? (Easy driving is a must as I have hand/joint disabilities)
Any other info you think it’s valuable!

FYI - I would not be doing a big electrical system or plumbing, I would mostly be interested in insulation - I live in coastal humid area in California so battling condensation and cold is important!!

Thanks SO much for any help!!! I hope you all stay safe and well ✌
HI Dragonvan from Prairievan, I bought the Metris so I could make morning coffee out of the rain and so now I can. I love it for camping but even the dog is a squeeze. I set up a cot sized bed on the driver's side with a head that lifts to make a couch. Shelves, small dry sink and cooking area on the opposite side so there's a center aisle. I cook outside if it will be much steam. Under the cot fits all the supplies I need. Handles beautifully. I've not added a maxfan yet but no problems with ventilation with windows a bit open unless it is very cold outside. Parts and service are GAH! There are both Reddit and FB forums that have been really helpful. I think you would really enjoy camping in it.
 
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