Hartmann slides simple camper kit into Mercedes V-Class van
The Mercedes Marco Polo is a great, little camper van that gets even better this year, but it may be a little posher (and pricier) than some outdoor enthusiasts and travelers need. Germany's Hartmann Tuning presents a simpler, more affordable option that encourages campers to spend their waking hours in the great outdoors, not inside a cushy van. Hartmann fills Mercedes' midsize van with slides, boxes and compartments, sleeping two people and providing cooking and cleaning capabilities without any heavy permanent equipment.
Part of Hartmann's Vansports line, the Work & Weekend kit is more a camper-in-a-box solution than a full camper van conversion package like some of Hartmann's past work. It's an effective stepping stone between tent camping and full-blown motorhome touring.
Unlike the average camper box kit, the Work & Weekend isn't meant to be at all universal, designed quite specifically for five-seat Mercedes V-Class/Vito vans. As its name implies, it can drop in on a Friday afternoon, minutes before the owner pushes off on a weekend trip in his or her Mercedes camper van, removing on Sunday evening to get the van back into workweek condition.
Offered as an a la carte system, the Work & Weekend relies on a full-width frame with left and right slide-outs as its foundation. The frame mounts inside the van tailgate and serves as the backbone of the greater camper system. The top of the frame works in conjunction with the folding rear bench to support the fold-out two-person mattress.
Instead of filling out the frame with shelves and camping equipment, the way camper box makers like Ququq and Egoé Nest do, Hartmann leaves the slides empty and offers several aluminum boxes and crates with which buyers can fill the space.
Hartmann's most purpose-driven module is the sink box, which has a slim sink basin and faucet on top and a 12-V water pump and dual 12-L water canisters inside to add hand/dishwashing capabilities to the base van. That box fits neatly on a single slide with Hartmann's tall, slim storage crate and flat crate.
Hartmann plans the other slide-out around a 24.4 x 18.5 x 6.3-in (62 x 47 x 16-cm) storage box. This box could presumably hold any type of camping supplies but is envisioned as the camp cooking box for holding a small canister stove, pans, cooking tools and other related items. It includes a lid that doubles as a worktop and fits on a slide along with a single flat crate.
The split-component design of the Work & Weekend kit means it can be installed and removed in pieces, rather than as one large, heavy box. The boxes can also be pulled out at camp, and Hartmann shows the cooking box doubling as a small table.
Buyers can purchase the entire Work & Weekend kit – frame with slide-outs, mattress, and full box and crate array pictured above – for under €4,000 (approx. US$4,500), with VAT. Individual components range between €178.50 for the flat crate and €1,844.50 for the frame with slide-outs. The a la carte pricing means that owners of the Marco Polo Activity or Horizon, Mercedes sleeper vans with beds but no kitchens, can add in a simple rear kitchen should they want to upgrade to a more complete, capable camper.
Source: Hartmann Tuning