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Old 03-05-2020, 05:37 AM   #1
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Is the B-Van market about to get interesting?

I have posted a few times about the availability of camper vans direct from the dealers in UK/EU. But this year things could get interesting.

Again previously, I have posted about the VW ID Buzz (https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/electri...amily/id-buzz) - the modern interpretation of the original T2 microbus, but now VW have pitched something with is causing a stir in EU.

To position this story, van conversions are common in EU - heck I co-own a company upfitting vans, so know we can take any panel van + $20K and turn it into a luxury camper. These are equivalent to the mass market upfitters for around 20% of the price (mainly because we start with a 2/3 year old van). However the mainstream car/van manufacturers are also trying to get in on the market and VW have launched the Grand California (https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/volksw...eview-pictures).

Oh yes and it is around half the price of an Interstate......

How do you think it will be taken in the US, especially with the fairly steady increase 'cargo vans' on the streets (5 years ago you would not have seen a Ford Transit, how they seem to be everywhere).

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Old 03-05-2020, 05:49 AM   #2
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I see while traveling many more other brands of Class Bs than I do Interstates, and that has been the case for years, so I think that any additional competition will just dilute the herd more.

Class Bs are very popular, including vans that have been built out by individuals rather than entities.

More on the road and in campgrounds across the country.

Maggie
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Old 03-05-2020, 07:00 AM   #3
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I think so...

Funny, I stumbled across the Unity line from Leisure Travel based in Canada. They have B and B+ lines based on the new Mercedes Sprinter chassis and lots of options. Started out in the '60's, family owned with many long-time employees.

A Murphy Bed version starts in the $140K area compared to the Airstream Atlas well over $200K. I love our Airstream but would have to consider other options if looking for a motorhome.

Check them out here: https://leisurevans.com/unity/floorplans/
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Old 03-05-2020, 08:02 AM   #4
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If I were looking for a small motor home it would be the Coach House...family owned in Naples Florida. Molded fiberglass and first class marine grade hardware. Similar to Oliver trailers in quality and finish.
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post
Funny, I stumbled across the Unity line from Leisure Travel based in Canada. They have B and B+ lines based on the new Mercedes Sprinter chassis and lots of options. Started out in the '60's, family owned with many long-time employees.

A Murphy Bed version starts in the $140K area compared to the Airstream Atlas well over $200K. I love our Airstream but would have to consider other options if looking for a motorhome.

Check them out here: https://leisurevans.com/unity/floorplans/


That is still 50% more than the new VW unit, that lists a $89k in U.K. which is more expensive than mainland EU.
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Old 03-05-2020, 11:09 AM   #6
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. . .
How do you think it will be taken in the US, especially with the fairly steady increase 'cargo vans' on the streets (5 years ago you would not have seen a Ford Transit, how they seem to be everywhere).
Thanks for a great thread. Have you seen the new Transit Van EV thread?

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...-a-206062.html

Our first RV was a DIY 1970 Ford Econoline E-100, which was home on and off for about 10 years all over the country.

If memory serves . . . . . . the cost was under $3,000 new, plus DIY mods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_E-Series

Cheers,

Peter
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Old 03-05-2020, 11:35 AM   #7
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I think the VW Camper redux would be well-received.

Had one, a mid-80s model.

It had drawbacks, such as no AC (and no toilet, which was not an issue when I was 39-something but is now).

And the driving-down-the-road AC was well-equipped ... for a Bavarian summer!

Nevertheless, a well-designed camper that got us far from home.

New model, with all the advances of modern vehicles, would be a winner. Especially if it retained the simplicity that set the Westfalia apart from other RVs.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:17 PM   #8
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Could you build this van for me on a MB Metris platform?

http://www.harbourcreek.co.uk/listin...lue-motorhome/

And...did you hear about MB building a US Mteris camper van in partnership with I think ModVans..not for sure.
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:58 PM   #9
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In addition to the Leisure Travel Van product, another very highly rated brand is Pleasureway built in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. To the best of my knowledge, they are one of the last manufacturers stall building their units, as opposed to assembly line production. Although I have received my info from talking to owners, I believe there may be YouTube videos available on both Canadian manufacturers.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rsementi View Post
Could you build this van for me on a MB Metris platform?

http://www.harbourcreek.co.uk/listin...lue-motorhome/

And...did you hear about MB building a US Mteris camper van in partnership with I think ModVans..not for sure.
Unfortunately vehicles less than 25 years old cannot be imported/registered in the US, so you would be better of sourcing a US spec V class and having the work done there. The pop-up roof is a complete module and costs $4000 in EU, so it is pretty straightforward to convert.
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Old 03-05-2020, 03:51 PM   #11
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. . .
And...did you hear about MB building a US Mteris camper van in partnership with I think ModVans..not for sure.
You got me wondering.

https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=MB+...ModVans&ia=web
https://www.metrivan.com/mercedes-metris-camper-van/
https://sportsmobile.com/mercedes-metris/
[video below]
https://keystonecoachworks.net/mercedes-camper-van/
ModVans Transit [no Metris?]: https://www.modvans.com/

Did Mercedes ever import the high roof Metris which they made in Germany, during the first few model years? That would make a nice small camper van, without the pop-up roof.



Peter


PS -- How about this Ford/Quigley 4x4 camper van? Nice!

https://sportsmobile.com/transit-quigley-4x4/
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:56 AM   #12
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IMO, the market is wide open for innovation.

The problem is economies of scale. In order to achieve a lower price, the seller would have to realize higher volume, and that kind of marketing success has so far eluded all of the players.

A big part of the reason is peoples' taste being all in their mouths. Too many buy on superficial looks rather than build quality.

That being said, I think social media is profoundly under-utilized as a marketing medium. The right product spreading virally by #vanlife might break the economies of scale barrier.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
You got me wondering.

https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffnt&q=MB+...ModVans&ia=web
https://www.metrivan.com/mercedes-metris-camper-van/
https://sportsmobile.com/mercedes-metris/
[video below]
https://keystonecoachworks.net/mercedes-camper-van/
ModVans Transit [no Metris?]: https://www.modvans.com/

Did Mercedes ever import the high roof Metris which they made in Germany, during the first few model years? That would make a nice small camper van, without the pop-up roof.



Peter


PS -- How about this Ford/Quigley 4x4 camper van? Nice!

https://sportsmobile.com/transit-quigley-4x4/
In Europe Mercedes have actually (re-)launched their own (branded) camper on the V Class chassis called the Marco Polo Horizon.

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/veh...us-adventurer/

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Old 03-27-2020, 12:34 PM   #14
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You got me wondering. . . .

. . . Did Mercedes ever import the high roof Metris which they made in Germany, during the first few model years? That would make a nice small camper van, without the pop-up roof.

Peter
Mercedes never made a high roof version of the V-Class, Vitro or Metris.

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/veh...-cars/v-class/
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:42 PM   #15
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Correct you are Mike. . . guess I spaced on this earlier post about a high roof Vito Dualiner which could have morphed into a Metris IMO:

[click on orange arrow to go to the other thread]
Quote:
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Right you are . . . here is an old [2014] link for a Vito Dualiner which included a high roof version shown on PDF p. 6 and following:

http://tools.mercedes-benz.co.uk/cur...n-dualiner.pdf

Dimensions start on p. 32/44.

The high roof version looked like it might make a good tow vehicle for trailers like the Basecamp, especially with the taller interior headroom IMO. More fuel efficient than our Transit van by a long shot. Towing capacity 2000 kg, or ~4400 pounds.

Guess that high roof model did not catch on.
. . .
Martin, thanks for your post also.

Peter

PS -- That HR Vito Dualiner in the MB sales brochure is attached. Where should I send the check?
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:57 PM   #16
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Correct you are Mike. . . guess I spaced on this earlier post about a high roof Vito Dualiner which could have morphed into a Metris IMO:

[click on orange arrow to go to the other thread]


Martin, thanks for your post also.

Peter

PS -- That HR Vito Dualiner in the MB sales brochure is attached. Where should I send the check?
Great Info - Thanks for sharing! Can you imagine the Vito with the V-6 OM642 diesel - it would be a real hot rod and great for towing. That brochure says the 2014 OM642 in Vito has 225 HP and 440 NM (325 ft-lbf). That's more power than my 10,000 lb+ Sprinter.
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:12 AM   #17
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Great Info - Thanks for sharing! Can you imagine the Vito with the V-6 OM642 diesel - it would be a real hot rod and great for towing. That brochure says the 2014 OM642 in Vito has 225 HP and 440 NM (325 ft-lbf). That's more power than my 10,000 lb+ Sprinter.
2010 model for sale on Ebay in UK at the moment if you fancy building your own?

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Old 03-28-2020, 05:00 AM   #18
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Thanks . . . curious . . . what are they asking?

Peter
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Old 03-28-2020, 05:28 AM   #19
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Thanks . . . curious . . . what are they asking?

Peter
$5K plus 20% VAT (which can be claimed back if exporting)
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:19 AM   #20
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To be clear . . . UK pounds or US dollars ["$"]?

Thanks
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