TouRig brings German-designed modularity to US camper vans
Terracamper and related brands like Flowcamper and Dogscamper have long been turning regular, boxy vans into versatile modular campers over in Germany. We knew the brand had made its way to North America, and now we've had a better look at some of the campers it's bringing to market. Colorado conversion shop TouRig will be one of its partners, transforming Mercedes Sprinter and Metris vans into flexible, modular camper vans built to explore highways, byways and dirt tracks.
TouRig has been in the van conversion business since 2015, specializing in building out custom campers and activity vans. With the Terracamper partnership, it now offers a prepackaged floor plan for customers trying to keep it simple with an off-the-shelf solution. The flooring and camper modules are imported from Terracamper, and TouRig further dresses the interior and tacks on options.
We had the chance to check out both the TouRig Terracamper Sprinter and Metris at Overland Expo West back in May, and they look like they'll be very compelling new options on the hot US camper van market. Terracamper's modules mount to integrated rails on the special flooring, a design that lets van owners slide them in and out as needed. So Terracamper-based vans don't have to be dedicated motorhomes, but can also work for everyday commuting and open cargo hauling.
TouRig's Terracamper Sprinter has the same layout and modules as the Hartmann SP Vansports Camper, also built with Terracamper hardware, but, whereas the German Vansports Camper is a racy, high-performance tuner car-inspired van, TouRig's is more of a traditional open-road camper van.
The Sprinter's split-folding bed keeps things versatile in back, its dual sections folding up against the side walls to open up the load area. The camper can thereby transport cargo in the day and sleep two people at night.
The Sprinter's central cabin serves as home to the slim kitchen unit and can also house two rear seats. Terracamper's US package shares specs with the Vansports Camper, so that means an 18 L refrigerator that tilts out from the bottom of the kitchen block, a sink piped to a 12 L fresh water tank, and a portable stove that stores inside the kitchen cabinet and cooks up on top of the countertop. A removable table top attaches to the side of the kitchen block for dining.
We generally prefer a Sprinter camper because of its larger size and available 4x4, but TouRig's Terracamper Metris is the clear highlight in terms of camping equipment layout. Terracamper's Metris-based Tecamp setup includes a kitchen module next to the driver-side sliding door for indoor/outdoor cooking.
The fridge/freezer can slide either inside or out, and the removable two-burner stove is easily accessible from either side, as is the sink. The sink sprayer secures with a simple suction mount that can also be secured to the side of the van to create an outdoor shower. Hinged countertops drop over the stove and sink to turn the entire unit into one L-shaped worktop. All in all, it's a very versatile space.
The Metris conversion sleeps four adults on its combination of folding rear bed and pop-up roof bed.
As with the Sprinter package, the Metris camping modules are removable, making it easy to convert from camper van to regular Metris.
TouRig makes these Terracamper-equipped interiors its own by adding insulation, sound dampening and wall upholstery and building the electrical out to customer specification, including adding an optional 160 W (Sprinter) or 100 W (Metris) solar power system.
TouRig was a bit reluctant to quote base prices, understandable given the custom approach it takes with its vans and the wide variation of specs that entails. As a guide, though, TouRig's founder and president Eric Miller ballparks the Metris package base price around US$35,000 and the Sprinter around $39,000. Those prices are for the conversion alone and do not include the base vans. Miller says that TouRig also has a second "Weekender" package in the works for the Metris.
And just like that, there's a growing market of modular American camper vans. These two Mercedes vans join options like the ModVans Ford Transit and Wayfarer Vans RamProMaster kit. Sportsmobile, which already has an in-house Sprinter 4x4 camper, is also partnering up with Terracamper, offering its own version of the Metris Tecamp. It was sharing Terracamper's display Metris with TouRig at Overland Expo, but hopefully each converter will have its own version fully outfitted next show so that we can compare the two approaches.