A total of around 111 000 camper vans were registered in Europe in 2017. This represents a growth of 15 percent compared to the previous year. Around 41 000 vehicles were newly registered in Germany, an increase of 16 percent. The strongly growing market for camper vans is dominated by large vans. To benefit even more from this trend, the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has been tailored more than ever before to meet the needs of the camper van segment.
The new Sprinter as a platform for camper vans
The highlights of the new Sprinter for campers and camper van manufacturers include the new front-wheel drive with an up to 50 kilograms higher payload (for the panel van) and the availability of a tractor head. In the tractor head variant, the powertrain, tank and all other major components are located in front of the B-pillar, i.e. in the area of the front cab. This provides Mercedes-Benz bodybuilders with a new degree of freedom when designing the living area. A four-cylinder diesel engine with 130 kW (177 hp), which is reserved exclusively for camper van customers, makes for pleasant cruising speeds with minimum noise and maximum driving comfort (combined fuel consumption): 8.5-7.7 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 222 – 201 g/km). There is a choice between the new 6-speed manual transmission and the new 9G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. Numerous assistance systems, such as Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Active Brake Assist and a 360-degree camera, ensure a high level of safety on a par with a car. Added to this are ground-breaking connectivity and telematics solutions. The new MBUX multimedia system offers an up to 10.25-inch HD display, touch (screen) control and intuitive voice control. After the A-Class, the Sprinter is the second Mercedes to feature MBUX.
HYMER launches its first camper vans based on the new Sprinter tractor head
In close collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Vans, Hymer GmbH & Co. KG is the first bodybuilder to seize on this potential and has developed a new model series, the B-Class ModernComfort with integrated and semi-integrated variants.
The integrated and semi-integrated models of the new B-Class ModernComfort are characterised by their especially light and sturdy body. This is thanks in particular not just to the lightweight GRP floor and HYMER's familiar PUAL technology, but also to the use – unique in the industry to date – of the innovative and award-winning HYMER SLC chassis in combination with the new Sprinter tractor head. Another highlight of the B-Class ModernComfort is the new interior design with strict lines in a gently sloping room arrangement of six degrees. The clean look is underscored by the continuous single-level living room floor, which can be accentuated throughout the vehicle with indirect lighting from above as well as at floor level.
In addition to the new B-Class ModernComfort, the well-known semi-integrated HYMER ML-T camper van and the HYMERCAR Grand Canyon S camper van, both based on the new Sprinter, will be available from autumn 2018.
Close collaboration between Mercedes-Benz Vans and camper van manufacturer HYMER, comprehensive supply relationship agreed
Mercedes-Benz and Hymer GmbH & Co KG are continuing their long-standing collaboration with the B-Class ModernComfort based on the new Sprinter tractor head. The collaboration began 47 years ago with the first Hymermobil, which was based on the Mercedes-Benz L 508 D.
With its headquarters in Bad Waldsee in Baden-Württemberg, the manufacturer of caravans and camper vans is set to be the largest customer for the new Sprinter. To this end, Mercedes‑Benz Vans and HYMER signed an agreement in 2018 for the supply of a four-digit number of vehicles of the tractor head variant. From 2019, an annual high four-digit sales volume is planned.