Light, skeletal Urban X RV is an ultra-flexible Mercedes V-camper
A new interpretation of Mercedes-Benz V-Class camper van, the Urban X debuts as a lighter, more flexible member of VanTourer's Urban family. With slim, skeletal camper equipment, lightweight storage bags in place of cabinetry, and a series of floor rails, the Urban X's ultra-versatile build readily carries bikes, boards, skis, climbing equipment and more before turning in for a comfortable night of sleep. The multipurpose van is also designed with the new generation of digital nomad in mind, specifically the type of nomad looking to limit time inside the vehicle and maximize time on the trail, slopes, river or crag.
We have to believe that someone high up VanTourer's food chain is a dedicated solo cyclist, perhaps a racer who frequently finds themselves traveling alone to races, or a long-mileage tourer who relies on a camper in place of a hotel or rental condo. The main innovation behind VanTourer's Ducato camper vans is a tilt-up rear bed that clears just enough load space for a single bicycle. Similarly, a driving force behind the new Urban X design appears to be loading a single bicycle inside a smaller urban-style pop-up camper van.
"X" often signifies an "(e)xtreme" or "X-country" off-road-focused build, but in the case of the Urban X it takes on a more literal, tangible meaning. In place of the solid-walled conversion furniture universal in camper vans of all sizes, including the original VanTourer Urban, the Urban X relies on lighter, more open furniture with X-shaped support legs.
Those front and rear X supports hold up the extra-long kitchen counter while keeping the space below emptier than a traditional cabinet array. This provides much more storage flexibility, including the option of storing a bicycle transversely in the rear load area or sliding a carryon-size roller bag below the kitchen top. The X supports can also be used to lash climbing rope and carabiners, hook on bicycle helmets, carry camping mugs or cups, or otherwise keep sports or camping gear immediately available inside the tailgate.
Unlike some other light midsize van camper packages that feature a single-burner stove or do away with kitchen equipment all together, the Urban X keeps things spacious and flexible without skimping on camping equipment. It has the usual dual-burner stove, sink and fridge box, with fresh and rear water canisters housed in the open area below the sink. The water system also supports outdoor showering.
Even at camp, though, the Urban X package shines brighter where the equipment isn't rather than where it is. The open space inside the rear X leg can be used in multiple ways after moving aside the bicycle, luggage or gear that might occupy it during the ride. VanTourer offers a tall laundry bag that can be hung from the frame and also a tray that can be used to store dishes or other items.
VanTourer's design eliminates the type of tall wardrobe or hard cabinets you'd find in other camper vans in this class, but that doesn't mean the Urban X is without some organized storage. Instead of hard structural cabinets, VanTourer relies on light, versatile hanging storage bags for organizing everything from clean clothing to cookware.
The Urban X lacks the cool pop-up computer screen trickery of the digital nomad-optimized Urban we saw earlier this year, but it is designed to be a functional work-from-anywhere van. The light, open kitchen creates more legroom and a greater sense of space to go along with the removable workstation/dining table. Plant a laptop down and you can comfortably punch away at the keyboard while enjoying a cross breeze from the open dual sliding side doors.
The Urban X combines a pop-up sleeper roof with individually flat-folding rear seats to sleep up to four people.
The Urban X camper module is mounted to its own floor panel. It looks like it might be easy enough to remove completely from the van, but since VanTourer doesn't discuss this possibility, we assume the camper package wasn't designed with quick removal or reinstall in mind. But with the Urban X's open framework, readily removable water canisters, removable hanging storage bags and floor rail-adjustable rear seating, the van still offers plenty of space and versatility for everyday driving and weekend errand running, if not quite as much as fully convertible camper MPVs like the Pössl Vanster.
Light, flexible camper vans usually cost less than their full-time camper van counterparts, but that's not the case here. As listed on the information sheet we picked up at the Urban X's 2022 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon world premiere, the new van starts at €79,900 (approx. US$80,875), a surprising premium over the €59,900 (US$60,625) 2023 Urban Base van. That's also €10K more than the €69,900 (US$70,750) Urban Comfort model, which includes upgrades over the Base like an indoor/outdoor kitchen module. The Urban X does ride on a V-Class passenger van rather than a Vito commercial van like the Urban, but that still seems like quite a leap in price for a simpler design.
The flexible, lightweight construction of the Urban X kit seems an excellent fit for an electric van like the Mercedes-Benz EQV. We're not sure if VanTourer has any plans for such a model, but we'll be keeping an eye out for a possible announcement.