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 Hi from Derby

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Ron Bones
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PostSubject: Hi from Derby   Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:02 pm

Hey all,

Just thought I'd introduce myself and my vehicle.

Well it's not a 4x4 so I've possibly fallen at the first hurdle but it is big and reasonably capable.

Its a 1986 Mercedes 407D, ex Red Cross ambulance that I'm in the process of building into a full timer and overlander/travel van for myself, my partner Georgie and our dog Ralph.

I bought it last September from Hoff in Germany and drove it back via holland, taking the hook of holland -harwich ferry. It performed faultlessly, a pleasure to drive and was great on fuel.

We've sold everything we own, moved in to my mums and are itching to start living in the van and travelling. We're going totally off grid and trying to be as environmentally conscious (low tech) as possible.

We're nearing completion now and are planning a test trip to Southern Spain at the end of September with our proposed return coinciding with the adventure travel and overland show. Everything crossed!

Look forward to seeing everyone's builds and adventures!

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sundowners
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:23 pm

Ron Bones wrote:
Hey all,

Just thought I'd introduce myself and my vehicle.

Well it's not a 4x4 so I've possibly fallen at the first hurdle but it is big and reasonably capable.

Its a 1986 Mercedes 407D, ex Red Cross ambulance that I'm in the process of building into a full timer and overlander/travel van for myself, my partner Georgie and our dog Ralph.

I bought it last September from Hoff in Germany and drove it back via holland, taking the hook of holland -harwich ferry. It performed faultlessly, a pleasure to drive and was great on fuel.

We've sold everything we own, moved in to my mums and are itching to start living in the van and travelling. We're going totally off grid and trying to be as environmentally conscious (low tech) as possible.

We're nearing completion now and are planning a test trip to Southern Spain at the end of September with our proposed return coinciding with the adventure travel and overland show. Everything crossed!

Look forward to seeing everyone's builds and adventures!





Hi
Welcome to the site-----------there is nothing here that says you must have 4X4 Smile Smile -----the clue is in the name ---Adventure Overland-----whether that is on foot/push-bike/motor-bike or whatever----it's all about TRAVEL---ANYWHERE---ANYHOW-- Smile  Smile  Smile  Smile  Smile 

If you intend to fulltime in Europe for a while it might be worth taking a look at  www.motorhome365.com       you will find lots of useful info there and it's free Very Happy  Very Happy 
Nigel & Pamala
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roamingman
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:17 pm

Hi and welcome,  clinking teacups 

This is forum for overland traveling, by wich ever means of transport you have,
it just happens that most do have 4x4's, We used too but now have a 2 wheel drive motorhome, allthough we are building a Discovery 1 4x4 ready to go to Morocco next year,
once you have posted 10 times (i think) you can post pictures, and we love phots on this forum.

If you are thinking of full time in you motor have a look at http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/

Good luck wit your build.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:24 am

An official welcome from yours truly!  cheers 

Dying to know - why did you travel all the way to Germany to buy a Mercedes 407D? I'm assuming it's because it's LHD. Must be as you can buy 407D's over here, that and the fact you must have more of a choice over there plus better value for money. Do tell!!!

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Ron Bones
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:22 am

Hey all, and hi Tom.

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this forum. I can tell I'm going to be spending a lot of time here!

Thanks also for the other site recommendations, I'll be sure to check them out.

Reasons for going to Germany we're mainly the quality, abundance and price of what was available.

I decided I wanted a 407 T2 with the long wheel base and spent a year looking over here to little avail. What few I found were rotten and people were asking way too much. I also wanted a blank canvas, which was proving difficult.

Then I started looking in Germany and I was spoilt for choice! The Red Cross were selling all theirs and there were loads of fire engines for sale, standard panel vans, the lot!

I picked a low mileage one 17k, stumped for a 5 speed box, which I'm thankful for and that was that. Cash in hand we flew over, few nights in berlin then a train to Nuremberg, a few nights there, then a train to Hoff to pick up our new home!! It was love at first sight.

Drove back, 1200 miles in two days absolutely trouble free.

I'll be sure to get pictures up of the build as soon as I can.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:15 am

Nice one. The other question was ...

You decided not to go for the 4x4 version - cost or preference?

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Ron Bones
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:24 am

Well cost really, the only real 4x4 option similar to the 407 would have been a unimog, available cheap enough but the running costs would kill me. To my knowledge the only 'dusseldorfer' 4x4's, that's 406's, 407's, 608's etc. we're modifications based on unimog running gear. A few companies specialised in this in the past and one remains that I know of in holland. I did enquire but at over €20,000 ill be waiting for my numbers to come up I think!

I do love 4x4's but with a big vehicle like this I just couldn't run it, also I have a post 97 license so weight would be an issue.

I'm quite excited to test it out as it is, I'll be carrying waffle boards and a shovel anyway. It has masses of ground clearance. I am keeping an eye out for more tyre options too. I'm a big fan of taking things where they probably shouldn't go. My last van was a vw T4, FWD, jacked up and running general grabbers it was amazing where it got to, I just had to think a bit more about it.  Very Happy 
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:22 pm

Had a feeling you'd say cost, understandable. Clearly you're not green when it comes to 4WD, so when running a 4x2 you will at least have a fair idea of where it can and can't go. That being the case, 99 times out of 100 it really won't be a problem ... and if you do venture into some dodgy stuff, just make certain you have some back up in the form of an all-wheel-drive vehicle as company.

Sure you know all this anyway, but thought I'd state the obvious for those reading this who are still learning. We've all got to start somewhere.

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Ron Bones
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:13 pm

That's just it, however much I love the idea of getting totally lost in the wilderness, the amount of times it's even an option will be so few as not to warrant running a 4x4 the rest of the time. If I was building a smaller vehicle I would definitely have opted for a 4x4 no question. In all honesty, if I was going solo I'd be building a tiddler with a roof tent, a jimny, sx4 or panda 4x4 even modified to the hilt! That's a dream for another day.
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Assassin
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:18 am

You can convert the 407 to 4WD, and you can buy the bits as time and money dictate so never despair as this is a straight component swap.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:04 am

Didn't know that Ass, that's the answer then. Now you can have your cake Ron and eat it!  clapping 

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Ron Bones
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:25 am

I'd love to make it 4wd, am I right in saying it mog running gear? Portal axles and the works or would you just go om606 from a G wagon? Maybe even just a g wagon box mated to the existing prop? It's something I would certainly consider for the future.
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Jas
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PostSubject: Re: Hi from Derby   Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:28 am

Hi and welcome to the forum!

You'll fit right in!

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