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Mercedes-Benz Metris Weekender: A modern twist on the pop-up camper

It'll sleep four and even offers solar panels if a trip goes off the grid.

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Working for the weekend, this Metris Weekender is.

Steven Pham/Roadshow

If traditional camping is too rugged, and a full-blown RV is over the top, allow Mercedes-Benz to provide a solution in the Metris Weekender pop-up camper, which debuted on Thursday at the Chicago Auto Show.

Pop-up campers certainly aren't new, but the German automaker believes its new Weekender mixes just the right amount of nostalgia and modern amenities to make it the perfect choice for road trips and quick getaways.

When it's time to park the Weekender, which boasts the standard amenities found in the Metris, you'll find enough room to sleep four people. Standard is a sleeping area for two people complete with a 2-inch foam mattress. It's accessible after elevating the roof. There are three windows to let the light in and USB ports to charge your phone. A second battery is standard on all Weekenders to provide power.

The rear bench seat, meanwhile, opens up to reveal a second bed to sleep two. When it's not needed as a place to sleep, it makes up part of the recreation room, since the front seats swivel 180 degrees.

Plenty of features fill out the options list, too. Notably, you can opt for solar panels to provide power when trips go off the grid. An 8-foot awning can provide shelter from the rain, while optional bug screens will cover the rear hatch and sliding doors to let the fresh air in. There's even a tent that will attach to the Weekender to make even more space. Breakfast in the morning? Check the box for the optional pullout kitchen.

Mercedes-Benz will even wrap the pop-up camper van in one of 200 3M auto body wraps to personalize the vehicle to a buyer's tastes.

The first to jump into these vans will get an extra bonus. Mercedes-Benz plans to give the first 100 buyers a free National Parks Pass for total access to US national parks. That should give a jumpstart to those who plan to take the Weekender on road trips.

Driverge Vehicle Innovations, a Mercedes-Benz partner, will be responsible for building the Weekender with all of its standard equipment, and orders will open this spring. So grab the family and toss the dog in, too -- there's adventuring to do.

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