Mid-Size Camper Van Conversions

Mid-size camper vans are more popular than ever. Agile and versatile, these compact campervans are the number one choice for families and couples alike who want a smaller weekend road trip vehicle that does not take up too much space at the house. 

Take the kids to the beach one weekend, and then the next, you are off to the mountains. 

Mid-Size campervans are so compact that they can be used as a daily driver around town, commuting to work, or a beach day with the entire family. Furthermore, with a mid-size campervan, you will have easy access to parking in any lot/garage, drive-thrus, and will be super stealthy when on the road. Remember this, convenience is the number one benefit to any mid-size camper van. 

Today, we are comparing the two most popular mid-size camper vans — the modern, ADF Metris Anacapa & the classic, VW Westfalia

comparing westfalia and anacapa campervanADF Metris Anacapa (What You Need To Know)

The Anacapa is a Mercedes Metris van conversion that was released in 2019 by ADF Sprinters. The Anacapa is a modern rendition of the VW Westfalia design. This means all the Anacapa’s features are up-to-date with the latest technology for comfort, safety, and functionality. 

The Mercedes Metris Anacapa is currently the newest mid-size campervan on the market. ADF took all their years of expertise from Sprinter Van conversions to construct a more compact van with the necessities an average person would need on a road trip. The Anacapa comes equipped with a custom kitchen, refrigerator, bed, pop-top, dinette, and more. 

The Main Benefits of the Anacapa:

  • Has all the features of a campervan (kitchen, bed, pop-top, dinette, refrigerator, storage, etc.)
  • Raising the bed inside the Pop-top allows you to stand inside the van 
  • Compact layout and design (it is the size of a minivan)
  • Travels and sleeps four people (perfect for the family)
  • Excellent gas mileage (20-24 mpg)
  • A slurry of modern safety/driving features
  • Mercedes is known to make reliable vehicles 

Metris anacapa campervanThe VW Westfalia (What You Need To Know)

The VW Westfalia or Vanagon is a sought-after, classic mid-size campervan. The first VW Westfalia came out in the ’50s and was made up until the early 90s. Traditionally known as an old-school surf van, the VW Westfalia doubles as a weekend campervan or daily driver. 

VW Westfalias have a similar floor plan and camping setup to the Anacapa despite their older age. They come equipped with a kitchen, bed, pop-top refrigerator, dinette, etc. 

The Main Benefits of the VW Westfalia:

  • Road trip in style with the old school design 
  • Classic collectors campervan
  • All the bells & whistles you need to enjoy camping
  • Compact layout & design 

vw westfalia campervanComparing The Two Mid-Size Campervans

The Mercedes Metris Anacapa & the VW Westfalia are both excellent campervans and share similar features, but they do have their differences. The Anacapa is a refreshed and modern take on the now-dated VW Westfalia. It pairs modern drivability with updated technology for power systems and appliances. Despite the retro vibe of the VW Westfalia, it will not be nearly as easy to drive, reliable, functional, and safe as the Anacapa. Remember that the older the mid-size campervan, the less reliable it will be on road trips. 

Key Differences Between The Anacapa And The VW Westfalia

Comparing the bed design:

Both vans integrate a fiberglass roof which has the ability to raise up and make space for a top bunk, or headspace for standing. The VW Westfalia’s top bed is made of movable cushions which need to be taken down in order to stand up. The multiple cushions are old foam and likely not nearly as comfortable as they were 20 years ago. The Mercedes-Benz Metris Anacapa campervan utilizes a one-piece top bed design with an integrated spring system for maximum comfort. The entire bed platform easily raises up with a push to make room to stand up. The entire process of converting the bed from standing mode to sleeping mode takes less than 5 seconds. 

The lower beds are also light-years apart in terms of usability and setup. The VW Westfalia takes advantage of a manual pull-out and pivot mechanism. After years of use, this bed likely has nice round divots which become your sleeping surface. Throw modern safety out the window with this classic seat/bed configuration as well since there aren’t proper three-point seatbelts and the frame itself would not stack up to modern Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Setting up the lower bunk of the Mercedes-Benz Metris Anacapa campervan is as easy as pressing two buttons. One to slide the seat forward and a second to recline it fully into the bed position.  

Comparing the pop-top:

When comparing both mid-size camper vans’ pop-tops, the Anacapa’s pop-top feels more spacious and open. The extra-thick insulation incorporated into the Mercedes-Benz Metris Anacapa pop-top works wonders for keeping the heat and cold out. The dual-hinge mechanism of the Anacapa top means there is more room up in the top area as well. The Anacapas’s pop-top is assisted by powerful gas struts, making the process of setting up camp an absolute breeze. 

comparing westfalia and anacapa campervans

Comparing the interior space:

Both mid-size camper vans have a similar size interior space. However, the Anacapa has more storage space than the VW Westfalia. Storage space is important because the more storage you have, the better you can stay organized on a road trip. Also, more storage space allows you to bring more essential gear on road trips with you. 

Comparing the safety features:

From a vehicle safety standpoint, the Anacapa is by far the safest option. The VW Westfalia is an older camper van which means its safety features are outdated. If you’re leaning towards the VW Westfalia,  90s VW Westfalias will be safer than older model years. 

With loads of state-of-the-art safety features, the Anacapa will give you peace of mind on the road. Below is a list of safety features. 

Anacapa safety features:

  • Complete side curtain airbag system
  • Attention assist
  • Cross-wind correction
  • Rearview camera
  • Optional collision prevention assist
  • Optional Lane Keep Assist
  • Optional Blind Spot Assist
  • Optional Distronic 

Wrapping Up: Mercedes Anacapa vs. VW Westfalia 

The Mercedes Metris Anacapa and the VW Westfalia are both fantastic mid-size campervan options. The Anacapa is a modern take on VW Westfalia which means everything from the van mechanics to the features is state-of-the-art and made by Mercedes Benz. The VW Westfalia is a classic mid-size campervan with a trendy, old-school aesthetic that is a sure head-turner on the road. The biggest difference boils down to the sheer development in technology that has been developed within the 20 plus year gap between these vehicles. The Mercedes-Benz Metris Anacapa will be your modern and more reliable take on a classic layout for you to enjoy when traveling with your family. 

comparing westfalia and anacapa campervans