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The Mercedes-Benz Weekender Camper Van Is Your Modern-Day VW Westy

Mercedes wants to help you live the #Vanlife.

CHICAGO—Mercedes wants to fill a camper-van-sized hole in the U.S. marketplace with the 2020 Metris Weekender. As its name implies, this Mercedes-Benz camper-van conversion is ready for weekend getaways thanks to a pop-up roof that offers sleeping space for two on a 2.0-inch memory-foam mattress.

The Weekender is more than just a Metris that raises its roof, though, and Mercedes fits the model with a folding rear bench that also sleeps two (that means there's room for four people to bunk in the Weekender), swiveling front seats that can turn around to face the rear of the van, additional USB ports (although Mercedes didn't share how many more), and a second, auxiliary battery.

While the base Weekender offers plenty of kit for a couple of days of camping, the three-pointed star's camper is also available with a slew of additional items that bring the comforts of home to the road. This includes an eight-foot awning, bug screens for the van's hatch and sliding doors, a tent that attaches to the rear hatch, and a bonafide pullout kitchen. Meanwhile, available roof racks, integrated solar panels, and an in-dash navigation system ensure the Weekender is ready to take on any adventure.

Like its Metris kin, the Weekender includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline-fueled inline-four with 208 horsepower and a seven-speed automatic transmission, the combo of which allows the camper to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Unlike the V-Class-based Marco Polo that Mercedes sells in Europe, the Metris Weekender trades that model's high-quality hides and top-tier tech for more utilitarian wares. Still, this is a Mercedes-Benz and the Weekender is many steps up from roughing it in a tent with sleeping bags. Pricing for the Metris Weekender remains under wraps until it arrives this spring. That said, Mercedes announced that the first 100 Weekender customers will receive a free National Parks Pass. Now that's some way to spend a weekend.