ToetToetFood: the database of food trucks.

A food truck is parked on the beach with customers all around

ToetToetFood enables food truck operators to easily and effectively generate orders.

A business for all the senses.

The cheese of Neapolitan pizzas caramelized in a rustic wood oven. The meat of handmade beef patties barbecued next to juicy red wine shallots on a close-meshed steel grill. A massamam curry cooked for several hours radiates hearty “umami aromas” in the air. “Do you smell it too,” asks Arjan de Hoon. “That’s why I do it,” he explains with a laugh. The Dutchman’s concept also worked this time. The three food trucks in the yard of a large Dutch medium-sized company are about to turn the company festivities into a street food festival.

Arjan de Hoon smiling in front of a graffiti wall

Arjan de Hoon appreciates working with his business partners.

The perfect working environment.

Arjan De Hoon’s business is to make this transformation possible. He serves, so to speak, as an intermediary between customers and his business partners. With ToetToetFood he has created a platform on which interested parties can find suitable food trucks for their event. What sounds like unromantic business-to-business work is an achievement for him. Perhaps it is because of the 38-year-old’s great culinary enthusiasm, or alternatively, the nature of his business partners. Because food truck owners usually have a special character: they have successfully escaped a life full of professional stress and dependency. “For me, these people are artists. Therefore bureaucratic activities generally are not priority one,” the entrepreneur explains.

I wanted to offer food truck operators a platform where they could be presented and booked.

Starting signal for a business idea.

Based on this observation, Arjan de Hoons and a friend developed a website four years ago. “I wanted to offer food truck operators a platform where they could be presented and booked,” he explains. Over time, from a simple idea, a colorful pool of different food truck genres developed. He calls it ToetToetFood – simply because it is fun. What is “tut tut food” supposed to mean? “I want people to smile when they hear our name,” he says. The 38-year-old brings more and more customers and mobile restaurateurs together with his carefree business sense. The smile will never end.

A man leaning against a green food truck

Hieper De Pieper offers Dutch fries.

Mobile gastronomy as a fixed pillar.

The smile of Toine Rops is also part of the history of the platform. The mobile restaurateur’s concept has become a fixed pillar of ToetToetFood’s diversity of genres. A huge banner is emblazoned on the roof of his food truck: “Ecopizza” is written in wooden letters. The name speaks for itself. Toine Rops sells handmade, Neapolitan organic pizzas out of a big van. The independent entrepreneur is one of many prime examples. In 2011, he fulfilled his life’s dream by converting an old Mercedes-Benz 609 D into a food truck. “This old van combined everything I had imagined: a hip retro look, combined with classic lines and, of course, more than reliable engine,” he explains. Nevertheless, that alone is not enough; Rops could not make a living from his business in the early days.

  • A food truck is parked on a square with people are standing around the van
  • A man cuts pizza in a food truck
  • A ready-baked pizza
  • Two men standing smiling in a food truck

A dream comes true.

When Toine Rops discovered ToetToetFood, everything changed: the booking tool gave him access to an extremely lucrative network. The orders accumulated. Then he realized that the money he had earned was enough to make a living. “Thanks to the platform, I am now largely active at corporate events and festivals,” he says. Would it have been possible to become self-employed without ToetToetFood? “Maybe. But it made it a lot easier for me to get started in my new life,” replies the food truck owner. In the background, you hear the sound of an incoming mail. “That could be a request from Arjan,” says Toine Rops. But today he will not check it, as he says. After all, a day off is a day off.

A pizza food truck is ready to go

Many organizers use the special external effect of food trucks for their events.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Ecopizza; ToetToetfood; Loeren Bij De Boeren

More Links to explore: toettoetfood.nl@Instagram, @Facebook; Ecopizza

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Slider images

Lee and Max: Australia, Canada and then the whole world.

Max and Lee are real vanlifers: They travel the world with their dog Occy and their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – and share their experiences on YouTube.

Off to new adventures.

Max opens the rear door: The first warm rays of sunlight flood the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. He crawls back into bed to Lee, her dog Occy also lies down and picks up his first caresses. The small family stretches its legs into the sun and enjoys the warmth of the rays. Slowly Max and Lee let their eyes wander outside: Yesterday evening they settled on a lake somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Only now, in the first light of the day, can the two recognize their entire surroundings: The warm light of the sun makes the blue water and the green countryside shine all around. A new day begins – with new tasks, discoveries and people.

Max, Lee and dog Occy

Max, Lee and Occy were quickly convinced that they wanted to spend their lives traveling.

How it all began.

Max and Lee met in Australia. Max worked there as a paramedic, Lee had finally saved enough money between studies and work to travel Australia. It soon became clear that the two of them shared not only their passion for travelling. After Max moved to Canada for a year to spend time with Lee, the two decided to make this passion for travel their life. They planned to become van lifers, i.e. to live in a van. The only problem? The key element was still missing: The van.

Sought and found.

Four months and at least ten Sprinters later they finally found their van. The couple drove for five hours to check out the van – and buy it on the same day. “We really wanted a Sprinter. First, Max knew the vehicle very well because of his time as a paramedic. And secondly, we love that the Sprinter is so high and you can move freely in it,” Lee explains. The first hurdle was mastered: The Sprinter and the new owners found each other. But others followed: A five-month conversion with countless hours of research in YouTube tutorials and books, many purchases of spare parts and equipment and a never-ending chaos in the electrical wiring. But then it could finally start, the life in the van.

Our Sprinter in three words: Reliable, adventurous and home.
Max is working on the Sprinter

Max and Lee spent many hours working on the conversion of their Sprinter.

Interior view of an empty Sprinter

First, they took everything out of the Sprinter.

Max, Lee and Occy are sitting in the completely rebuilt Sprinter

And then, finally, the journey could begin.

Max and Lee's Mercedes-Benz Sprinter factsheet

Manufacturer

Mercedes-Benz

Production period

2006

Production site

Germany

Model

Sprinter 2500 (with high roof)

Engine

2.7 Litre Turbo Diesel

Length of

3.56 m

Width of

1.93 m

Wheel base

3.56 m

Gross vehicle weight

1,711 kg

Fold in
Fold out

Simply drift from day to day.

In the meantime a year has passed and the two have experienced a lot: Moose, bears and bison in Canada, unbelievable nature with beautiful waterfalls and the untamed jungle, impressive buildings such as the Mayan ruins or even stolen bicycles on the second night of van life, everything was there. “We are not planning into the future. When we travel in the van we love the possibility of simply letting ourselves drift,” says Max. And that goes for others as well: “We have the feeling that more and more people are striving for this modern, nomadic lifestyle because they can break out of social pressure and expectations,” says Lee. “And you’re simply happier when you can work and live wherever you want. And best of all, the monthly travel budget for both of us in Mexico was exactly the same as the price of renting an apartment in Toronto.”

From Eastern Canada to Guatemala:

“We started in Barrie (Canada). First we drove to the westernmost point of Canada, Vancouver Island. From there we drove further south, along the west coast of the USA – with one or the other detour into the national parks in the interior of the country. Then we drove down to Mexico in the direction of Baja California, from where we crossed after 16 hours ferry to Mazatlán. Mexico totally inspired us: We took over four and a half months to discover the country and slowly work our way south. From there we drove across the country to Belize and then on to Guatemala.”

A YouTube channel with great vision.

“What makes travelling so special for us is that you can learn and grow as an individual,” Lee explains. And that’s what the couple wants to share with others: After six months on the road, they launched their YouTube channel, where they share their travel experiences. The first building block for the channel was laid with the help of friends who advised and supported the couple in their first productions. Instagram also followed, here the two share photos of special moments. And what do they want to achieve? “Our vision is to share even more content and make it possible to contribute to society through our channel – for example, by making non-profit organizations heard,” Lee dreams as she scrolls through her Instagram account.

  • Dog Occy looks outside the Sprinter at a snowy mountain
  • Lee stands in the door of her Sprinter
  • The Sprinter in the wild
  • Max BBQs in front of his Sprinter in the middle of nowhere

Just as it should be.

As Lee’s thumb slides over the surface of her cell phone, snapshots of many happy hours light up. And one thing is clearly visible: Max and Lee are exactly where they want to be. Even if it’s somewhere else every day, it’s just the right thing for them. Because for Max, Lee and Occy there’s nothing better than waking up in the morning, opening the Sprinter’s back door and starting a new day eagerly awaiting the unknown.

View from the bed out of the Sprinter to the sea

This is how Max and Lee like to start their day.

Max, Lee and their dog Occy

Sought and found: The three are happy with their decision.

Max, Lee and Occy sit in the back of their Sprinter

Since early 2018, Max and Lee have been sharing their experiences on their YouTube channel.

Max, Lee and Occy are sitting in the back of their Sprinter

Max and Lee lead the ultimate vanlife.

Max, Lee and Occy in their Sprinter

One thing is certain: The two of them made exactly the right decision – despite all the highs and lows.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Lee and Max

More Links to explore: Lee and Max – @Instagram, @Facebook, @YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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A look into the future of mobility with the Vision URBANETIC.

The Vision URBANETIC is driving over a bridge

The Vision URBANETIC is a shapeshifter: The mobility concept of the future combines revolutionary design with intelligence and sustainability.

The Vision URBANETIC brings passenger and freight traffic together.

In its visual features, the mobility concept “Vision URBANETIC” is highly reminiscent of a mobility device from a science fiction movie. Both the aesthetics and the mobility concept can be described as revolutionary: The streamlined body of the vehicle can be switched depending on the intended use. With this flexible concept, the Vision URBANETIC eliminates the separation between the transportation of people and goods. The electrically driven chassis – the skateboard chassis – supplies the basis for switching between the cargo module for goods and the people-mover module for passenger trips. Depending on the respective requirements, the desired module will be mounted on the self-driving chassis. With its needs-based functionality, the vehicle is a perfect match for the resource-saving city of the future.

The two switchable bodies of the URBANETIC and the skateboard chassis

Modules for the movement of people and goods are mounted on the autonomous skateboard chassis.

Autonomous driving in the big cities of the future.

The skateboard chassis accommodates the driving functions as well as state-of-the-art technologies, such as the LED displays at the front and rear of the vehicle. The displays communicate with the outside world and take over the function of indicators and brake lights. If the vehicle is driving autonomously, extended sensors serve the purpose of route recognition. Autonomous driving results in both lower operating costs and increased flexibility. The IT infrastructure is capable of carrying out real-time analyses and planning flexible routes. Apart from charging times and maintenance shutdowns, the vehicle can be used around the clock. The big cities of the future offer their residents unprecedented mobility, and companies are able to solve a pressing problem: On those routes where the use of a driver would not be economically viable, the chassis now takes passengers and goods safely to their destination.

  • Two Vision URBANETIC people-movers are driving along a road
  • The cargo module of the Vision URBANETIC
  • Two individuals standing next to the Vision URBANETIC whose LED display lights up in the front area
  • A shuttle stop of the future in front of a glass building and the people-mover URBANETIC

Economical and resource-saving: goods transport in its most versatile version.

In addition to the economic advantages of driverless driving, dispensing with the driver’s seat makes additional storage space available, as well as space for interior design solutions. If you attach the cargo module to the chassis, the URBANETIC can be used as a classic goods transporter. Technological refinements increase the efficiency of delivery trips: The intelligent chassis is able to flexibly adapt routes to customers’ wishes. The loading floor inside the module is designed for flexible use and with its ten cubic metres of storage space offers space for up to ten EPAL pallets. Out of the total vehicle length of 5.14 metres, 3.70 metres can be used as storage space. Depending on the industry, individual upgrading is possible in order to allow optimum use of the functionality and intelligence of the URBANETIC in each area of application.

The URBANETIC offers a solution to the problems at hand.

The Vision URBANETIC has been designed to tackle today’s urgent urban problems: growing mobility requirements, challenging customer demands and serious environmental problems. The vehicle can move in an almost unchanged road network and infrastructure, but is still able to transport more people and goods than today’s modules. This leads to a relief of urban congestion as well as a considerable reduction in the emission of harmful substances and noise. A more efficient way of moving around is made possible by the sophisticated place concept: the people-mover module, for example, offers space for up to twelve passengers.

Four Vision URBANETICs with cargo in a warehouse

The cargo module of the URBANETIC offers ten cubic metres of storage space for freight goods.

Animation of the interior: the Vision URBANETIC and its people-mover module

View of the interior: Approaching objects are projected onto the cabin wall in animated form.

The skateboard chassis of the Vision URBANETIC in animated form

The chassis of the URBANETIC is called skateboard chassis.

Photos: Daimler

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Slider images

A passion for ecological housing and the Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in front of the framework of an ecological wooden house built by Zimmerei Lutz Müller

Sustainable housing from the carpentry Müller: wood is not simply a renewable resource that combines tradition, craftsmanship and sustainability.

Nature provides the materials.

A nutty, resinous and slightly oily aroma permeates Lutz Müller’s workplace. The scent of freshly milled beams and boards around the carpentry workshop in Haselbachtal near Dresden mixes with the forest smells. Here, the master carpenter Lutz Müller and his team of 15 create everything they need to build houses – completely ecologically.

Lutz Müller already knew that his future lay in carpentry during the course of his apprenticeship. The reason was obvious to him: “Because wood is the oldest and best material. I love wood.” He enjoys reminiscing about his first wooden house – an experience that continues to shape his enthusiasm for the craft even today. He works exclusively with materials from sustainable forestry in Germany and Austria. He also utilizes other natural materials such as clay or thermo-hemp as part of his ecological approach.

Wood is nature, would is life – in my eyes it is warm and healthy.
  • An unfinished wooden house seen from the front at an angle
  • The person dusts off their hands
  • A plane on a piece of wood
  • A wooden playhouse made of black locust on a field – built by Zimmerei Lutz Müller

Individuality and diversity to the craft.

Lutz Müller and his team truly enjoy constructing solid wooden houses to match their customers’ own personal wishes. These customized constructions create challenges that make their work interesting and varied. When the customer is satisfied then so is the master carpenter. In addition to modern, customized wooden houses, there is also a rising trend toward Swedish houses and a rustic style.

When Müller is not sawing and building things in his workshop, then he is at the customer’s building site. These jobs demand logistical planning and skill and can only be done with the best equipment. That is why Müller relies on four Mercedes Benz Sprinter and one V-Class as the ideal solution for transporting bulky and heavy equipment. These are the best vehicles for transporting tools such as saws, drills, routers and measuring equipment.

Four Mercedes-Benz Vans parked outside Zimmerei Lutz Müller

Four Mercedes-Benz Vans support Lutz Müller and his carpenters with their daily work.

A smartphone in the toolbox.

The trade sector is changing rapidly. Craftsmen will become scarce in future due to retirement and the lack of young experts. However, Lutz Müller also sees a lot of opportunities for his profession because digitalization offers craftsmen a unique chance. “The smartphone belongs in your toolbox,” says Müller. This is the only way for him to keep in constant communication with his employees, customers and suppliers. Communication with customers plays a major role for him because he can obtain new jobs and strengthen his contact with customers through his online presence. The use of CAD programs helps him to design projects and provide 3D views. Today, carpentry is more than just work, pencils and saws.

Why a wooden house makes sense:

  • Ecological: natural and renewable material, low pollution from the manufacturing.
  • Healthy: ideal for people with allergies as no chemicals are used.
  • Comfortable: living atmosphere with the natural factor.

The master carpenter, Lutz Müller, standing in front of his Mercedes Benz Sprinter

The master carpenter, Lutz Müller, has a passion for working with wood.

A stack of oak boards with the forest in the background

Lutz Müller relies on high-quality materials.

A circular saw is operated by hand

Classic handwork in the carpentry.

Photos: Carpentry Lutz Müller, Matthew Henry, Pixaby

More Links to explore: Carpentry Lutz Müller

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Slider images

Creative studio on four wheels.

On their YouTube channel “Dynamo Ultima” Lexi and Cody provide insights into the ups and downs of their lives in the van, which serves them as a mobile studio.

The ups and downs of Vanlife.

Living to work or working to live? For Lexi and Cody, the latter is true. With their laptops open, the couple sits opposite each other in their converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the open rear doors reveal the lush green forests of Oregon. Originally, Lexi and Cody wanted to create an entertaining reality TV show with their YouTube channel “Dynamo Ultima” that realistically depicts life in a van while keeping their friends and family up to date. They describe their style as bizarre and humorous: “We take nothing too seriously and enjoy life to the fullest.”

Cody sits in front of his laptop at the Sprinter's workstation

With their four-wheeled office, Lexi and Cody take the term “open office” to a new level.

Get rid of ballast: Less is more.

MYVAN: You have been travelling full-time through North America in your Mercedes-Benz Sprinter since 2016. How did this come about?
Lexi: Before that, we drove through the States in a sedan. We had a great time and enjoyed every minute, even if sleeping on the reclining seats was not very comfortable. After we finished college, we decided to live in a van. We sold all the stuff from our studio apartment and our cars. Until then we were not even aware of how much stuff we had and downsizing was a very relieving feeling. Then we started with the van conversion and have not looked back since. Since then we live completely in our van and use our parental homes only for our mail and for a few sentimental objects that we couldn’t part with.

Our van is our mobile office.

Life is too short to spend it at the office.

MYVAN: What was the idea for your YouTube channel?
Lexi: We wanted to share with others how we decided to live. People are often stuck in a rather conservative view. By exemplifying our unique lifestyle, we can inspire others to break out of their everyday lives or even embark on their own lives as digital nomads. According to the motto “There are no rules how you should live your life.”

MYVAN: How do you earn your living?
Cody: Dynamo Ultima has two faces. On one hand, we focus on creative customer work. This means we support companies in the areas of branding, product design, web design and video production. On the other, we help individuals to go their own way as “digital nomads”. We create e-courses, workshops and templates for people who want to start their own business and make travel a part of their work.

  • The workplace in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter by Lexi and Cody
  • Lexis and Cody's dog is sitting in front of a laptop in the back seat of the van
  • Lexi sits on the back seat of her Sprinter and looks out the windows of the rear doors
  • The comfortable bed of Lexi and Cody in the Sprinter

Full-time nomads – at home on the road.

Why has Vanlife become more and more popular in recent years? “Most standard jobs are not worth the pay for the time,” the unconventional thinkers find. The opportunity to experience so many different places through life in a van: Priceless for Lexi and Cody. They have also taken a liking to the minimalist lifestyle. They use their travels to go on a discovery tour through the USA. “We like to stay in the western states because they are much less populated. There are also many more public parking areas on the west coast.” Almost more important for the two vagabonds than the destinations are the people they meet on the way. “We often went to van conventions and we met many astonishing people. Most of them have a similar motivation for living in the van – so we’re a big community.”

Living in the Sprinter – undoubtedly a good decision.

MYVAN: Have you ever had any doubts about your plan of shifting your life to the Sprinter?
Cody: We never had any doubts about our lifestyle, quite the contrary. However, there are times when we miss life in a house. If we need a fixed place to stay in between times, we simply visit friends or family. But there were also setbacks now and then. For example, we got stuck in the sand a few times. But that was 90 percent user error and the remaining ten percent was due to bad tires. After initial despair, we finally found out that our doormats could serve us as tangible underlay. That was learning on the job!

Lexi and Cody are standing in their Sprinter, surrounded by conifers on a forest parking lot

On their blog Lexi and Cody give valuable tips on how to earn money with life “on the road”.

The conversion: Practice makes perfect.

Since restoration was out of the question for the couple, they chose a new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. They found it at a dealer in Oregon. Nevertheless, they wanted to take the conversion into their own hands. Existing expertise in matters of craftsmanship? Not a chance. But that was no problem for the all-rounders: Thanks to a tried and tested problem-solving strategy and some research on the net, the project was completed in no time. “If we didn’t know how to do something, we’d research and ask around until we figured out how to do it.” They had to acquire a wide variety of skills, from carpentry and electrics to plumbing. The biggest difficulty: Exact dimensions. Because the body of the van is slightly curved in many places. They would describe their van as “clean, modern and quirky”.

Six ways to make money while travelling:

  1. Write an e-book and sell it: With the appropriate software, e-books can be created and offered online independently.
  2. Start blogging and create an Amazon affiliate account: You can blog flexibly from anywhere. The blog can be monetized with affiliate links.
  3. Create your own YouTube channel: YouTube is a good way to earn money; it just takes a little patience. From 10,000 followers you are eligible for monetization.
  4. Share your knowledge and offer online courses: You have mastered something particularly well? Then share your skills in the form of e-courses.
  5. Take on freelance jobs: Jobs such as writing, marketing, social media, graphic design and the like can often be done from a distance. And if it goes well, you may soon be able to start your own business.
  6. Sell digital products: Whether stock images, photo presets or templates of any kind – there are numerous online platforms for selling digital products and thus generating a passive income.

Freedom is the key to happiness.

MYVAN: And last but not least, what are your plans for the future?
Lexi: Plans are constantly changing in our lifestyle. We are considering selling our van to convert another one. At the moment we want to make contacts and build up a network. The beauty of our way of life is that we don’t have to carve plans in stone – that’s the ultimate freedom.

Lexi is lying on the bed of her Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with the rear doors open

Goodbye boredom: On rainy days Lexi and Cody often watch all the Lord of the Rings movies.

Lexi and Cody's Sprinter parked in the desert

Lexi and Cody travel through the USA in their Sprinter and work while on the road.

The interior of the extended van with plenty of space to sit and large storage compartments

The conversion of the van took Lexi and Cody five months and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Lexi lies on the bed of her converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and reads a book

From their Sprinter the pair have created a cozy work and living space.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Alexandria Smith & Cody Cheng

More Links to explore: dynamoultima.com – @Instagram, @YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Slider images

Hello Adventure – a Swiss couple set off on a world tour in a 310 D.

Debbi and Dominic are travelling in their Mercedes-Benz 310 D “Fredy” to wherever they want. They rarely have a plan, the name of their blog “Hallo Abenteuer” or “Hello Adventure” says it all.

Adventures are seldom scheduled.

A mountain range in Morocco at night. The rain is pattering loudly against the windscreen of the Mercedes-Benz 310 D. Debbi and Dominic have been on the road for hours now and are desperately looking for a road through the rough landscape. Suddenly a man appears in the dark. In Arabic, he tries to explain to the Swiss couple that this road does not go any further. A little later, they have dinner with his family at his home.

A completely normal day in the life of the two full-time travelers Debbi and Dominic, their dog Emy and the converted camper van named Fredy. Living off their savings, they travel wherever they want to go. They rarely have plans. They always jump right into the middle of the action. The name of their blog, on which they share all their experiences, is therefore fittingly called: “Hallo Abenteuer (Hello Adventure)”.

The Mercedes-Benz 310 D is driving through a desert landscape

Debbi and Dominic are travelling with the 310 D “Fredy” through the Moroccan desert.

Special situations call for special decisions.

It sounds like a daring attitude to life. In fact, the two hesitated for a long time with the decision to get rid of their flat and quit their jobs to live their vanlife dream. Then Debbi got a chronic bowel disease. The therapy seemed hopeless. They both realized that if they wanted to fulfill their dream, they should do it soon. No sooner said than done. They bought their van and left. Then Debbi’s therapy worked out after all.

However, the entry into the vanlife did not go quite that fast. It took them about a year to find the all-wheel drive Mercedes-Benz 310 D in the small Swiss market. But the waiting was to be rewarded. The van had already been used as a camper van in recent years and was therefore already outfitted. So the two had a good starting point to adapt it to their own needs.

  • Dominic seated at the table in the living area of the 310 D
  • The Mercedes-Benz 310 D is driving against the backdrop of a snow-covered mountain range
  • The Mercedes-Benz 310 D crosses a river
  • Debbi sits in the passenger seat in the cockpit of the 310 D

From Iceland to Morocco in the 310 D “Fredy”.

They’ve been on the road for a good six months now. But why in a van? “Because we would probably miss the flight, if we were to fly,” they say with a smile. Last autumn they started their adventure in Iceland. As the temperatures became colder and colder, the two finally drifted further and further south: From France, via Spain, to Morocco. Apart from the temperatures, three factors play an important role for their next location: Nature, food and above all people!

The Mercedes-Benz 310 D stands in front of high mountains in the desert

Debbi and Dominic share a lot of practical vanlife expertise on “Hallo Abenteuer”.

A blog by travelers for travelers.

Their blog also deals with people. In their series of articles called “Fredy’s Friends”, they tell the stories of other vanlifers they have met on their travels. Above all, they share a lot of practical vanlife expertise on “Hallo Abenteuer”, such as how best to choose a suitable travel health insurance or how to solve technical problems with the van.

But let’s face it: Vanlife blogs like these are now all over the net. So what do they want to achieve with it? Originally, they wanted to entertain their family and friends with “Hallo Abenteuer”. Then they went a little further with the idea: They want to reach out and encourage those who are enthusiastic about the vanlife idea but do not dare to take the first step. “The exchange with like-minded people is important and simplifies the start,” they say.

On our blog everyone can come along on our adventure.
Debbi and Dominic pose in front of their Mercedes-Benz 310 D

Debbi and Dominic are proud of their new home, the Mercedes-Benz 310 D called Fredy.

Ugly parking places are also part of vanlife.

As a result, the Swiss couple do not think that there are too many vanlife blogs on the net. Each one can be an enrichment. However, despite all their enthusiasm, they do not like the one-sided image that they believe is conveyed by camper life. “You don’t always stay overnight in wonderful places, but sometimes also in ugly parking lots,” they say honestly.

In addition, unexpected problems can always occur when traveling in a camper van. Once Debbi and Dominic drove too fast over a sand dune in Mauritania, which bent their front axle. Back in Morocco, where Mercedes-Benz vans are part of everyday culture, they were fortunately able to have Fredy professionally repaired. Situations like these are also part of the vanlife experience, you should know. However, with sufficient patience, you will always find a solution; say the two experienced long-term travelers. If you are aware of this, you are ready to say: “Hello adventure!”

The 310 D Fredy.

Manufacturer

Mercedes-Benz with all-wheel drive conversion from Iglhaut

Production period

1977 – 1995 (Fredy was made in 1992)

Production plant

Bremen (until 1984) and Düsseldorf (from 1984)

Model

310 D 4×4

Engine

OM 602.940 – 2.9-liter diesel engine

Length

5.30 meters

Width

1.80 meters

Wheelbase

medium wheelbase

Gross vehicle weight

3.5 tons

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The Mercedes-Benz 310 D is driving on a dry desert road

The Moroccan desert offers breathtaking scenery.

Debbi and Dominic are sitting in the driver's cabin ready to drive off

With Fredy it's up and away to new destinations.

The 310 D drives through a rocky desert

Rough, but the Moroccan landscape is beautiful.

The Mercedes-Benz 310 D is driving in a snowy landscape

In the mountains, you are well advised to have an all-wheel-drive van.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Deborah Wanner and Dominic Egloff

More Links to explore: halloabenteuer.com, @Facebook, @Instagram, @YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Eat, Work, Love – all under one solar roof.

Hot pool photo

Wes and Savana have reinvented their work-life balance with the mobile energy start-up Tiny Watts Solar. Central focus: Their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Natural van lovers – for the good of the environment.

“One of the best things about running our business out of the van is that we can be as mobile and flexible as we need to be,” says Wes Watts about his start-up company Tiny Watts Solar. The 27-year-old renewable energy engineer from Santa Cruz, California, and his fiancé Savana, 25, have been living and working in their van for the last three years. With their 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cargo van, equipped with solar cells on the roof, they travel the American West Coast: “We go from project to project and work for customers who are looking for adventure and sustainable energy solutions.” The idea of specializing in smaller units with solar technology came to Wes during his first job in an energy consulting firm. “Customers who wanted their vans, trucks or motorhomes equipped with solar modules kept calling, but the company was simply not interested in the smaller more custom projects.”

The two young entrepreneurs in their converted van

Good team for sustainable energy solutions: Savana and Wes.

To build a sustainable and mobile business.

A visit to the “Tiny House Conference” in Portland in April 2017, an event around the topic “Mobile Life”, gave the decisive impulse for the step into self-employment. “We went to the Tiny House Conference in Portland last April and we saw that all these tiny houses were all running generators and we thought: This is so wrong! Tiny homes should be especially environmentally friendly and sustainable. That’s how Tiny Watts started,” Savana explains the beginnings of her mobile start-up. Ever since they discovered the market niche, they have specialized not only in vans, trucks and motor homes, but also in tiny houses, boats and trailers. Savana manages their social media accounts in addition to wiring batteries and uses her 3D modeling background to design new projects. She also manages customers and orders – “It’s a full time job, but it allows us to live and work remotely which is a lot of fun.”

We always want to wake up in a nice place.
  • The Sprinter in front of breathtaking mountain scenery
  • The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drives along a road in the woods
  • The two young entrepreneurs in their converted van

Waking up in a beautiful place every day.

In mobile outdoor life, the couple likes variety above all. One day they wake up in the forest, other times on-site working a new project. “Parking is one of the hardest parts about living in a van. You try to find a nice and comfortable place. But you have to check parking regulations and that you’re not bothering anyone. That you feel comfortable and safe.” Once a gang of burglars was arrested right behind their van, but fortunately, this remained the exception. They feel very safe in their Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: “Our van is not only very reliable, we can also take it anywhere – to the beach, into the woods or into the snow. There is no limitation on where we live and that is an amazing feeling.”

Savana in the kitchen of the converted Sprinter

Freshly brewed coffee with their own green electricity.

Generate electricity with solar cells on the roof.

They converted their Sprinter together with friends. Together they installed windows, insulated the van, wired it, installed cupboards and covered the ceiling and walls with cedar wood paneling. In addition, their Sprinter van has a recirculating shower and a specially developed, underfloor heating that uses diesel as a heat source and also supplies hot water. The efficient system consumes less than 100 watts of electricity. But the most important extra is on the roof: It’s a custom-made solar system, the linchpin of their start-up. It serves as an energy source for all kitchen appliances such as refrigerators or induction cookers. Wes is enthusiastic about the result: “The van is now the most luxurious place we’ve ever lived – we’ve never had underfloor heating, let alone solar power. We now want to make this comfort available to others as well.”

Wes and Savanas' five tips for van start-ups:

  1. Choose a reliable van.
    If you want to start a van business, it is important to have a reliable and high quality vehicle that will take you anywhere. In our case, it’s a 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – the best solution for us. Another tip: Find out if you can claim the purchase of the van for tax purposes.
  2. Select a suitable business partner.
    Work together with someone you like and who has strengths you don’t have – so you can complement each other well. We are very happy that we can be together every day. It makes the working day so much more pleasant when you are with someone with whom you get along well and you can realize exciting projects together.
  3. Find a gap in the market.
    The vanlife market is flooded with life coaches, bloggers and photographers – therefore our tip: Bring in your individual expertise and apply it to your van business. With us Wes has experience in renewable energy technology and the solar industry – myself in 3D modelling and design. So you can stand out from other van shops
  4. Good photos are the key.
    People want to see beautiful pictures that really stand out. Our photo skills are certainly improvable, but in the meantime we have learned from our professional photo friends Ourviewfinder & Litetravelers how to take professional pictures. We focus on pictures that not only depict our theme – solar energy – but also capture emotions and atmosphere.
  5. Just do it!
    Take risks and get started! If you have an idea, follow it and realize it. Your desk job will not run away, but the opportunity to start your own business could be right now. In the beginning it means a lot of work, but then you have the freedom to be anywhere you want. Life is an adventure, live it!

Out of the nine-to-five life and into the world.

Savana remembers the unconventional lifestyle from her own childhood. Her parents took their two children on a 13-year exploration of the world in a sailing boat. An extraordinary and beautiful time that she recalls fondly: “We were constantly experiencing other countries and cultures and never had a typical everyday life.” When her parents decided to send the two girls to a public school after all, family life in absolute freedom came to an end for the time being. “All the better that Wes and I are now continuing the non-tradition adventure filled lifestyle,” Savana says happily. In the future, the two van entrepreneurs would also like to see a life far away from the classic nine-to-five: “We still want to travel a lot and perhaps buy a sailing boat as well. Discovering the world and never standing still is our goal – this is the only way life feels real to us.”

Savana and Wes sit in their converted Sprinter

The entrepreneur couple has decided to live in a van.

Savana installing the shelves

Savana and Wes did the interior work themselves.

Interior view of the converted Sprinter

The result is impressive: the converted van.

The Sprinter with a solar trailer by a forest

“With my name, the energy business is close at hand,” says Wes Watts.

Savana with her parents Jim and Shannon

Adventurer Family: Savana's parents sailed around the world with their boat “Reefer”.

With the side door open, the couple sits in the converted Sprinter

Waking up in the most beautiful places – for this quest the couple gladly covers a few extra kilometers.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Not always a dream: Why the hard times of a vanlife are actually good.

Camper in the desert

The Wagners had a stable and solid life together in Canada. Then Kristyn and Joe sold their house, all their stuff and quit their jobs. They found a home for their dog and left their family behind – first to go travel the world, and then to live in a van in Australia. They love the vanlife, but they stay realistic about it.

The Wandering Wagners.

Within 30 days Kristyn and Joe converted a 2002 sprinter van into their tiny home on wheels. Traveling around Australia they now are “The Wandering Wagners”. In this interview they talk about how small steps make big changes. And how important it is to stop seeing the vanlife through Social Media glasses.

MYVAN: You had quite a nice and solid life back in Canada, what was the reason you decided to leave and live in a van?
Kristyn: Joe and I were pretty settled in our mundane lives of work and preparing for the future. I was a dental hygienist and Joe was a project manager for a construction company. What we soon realized is that the more we planned for the future the more we were missing the present. We started to realize that life is now, not later. After a bit of soul searching we decided that the best thing for us and our future would be to explore. So began the mission to leave Canada behind.

A couple sitting in their Sprinter

Kristyn and Joe feel at home in their converted Sprinter.

MYVAN: Did you know you’d move into a van right away?
Joe: Our initial plan was to go travel and then live in New Zealand. After spending eight months in total in South East Asia we lived in a place in New Zealand and actually went back to living our same Canadian lives, just on a smaller scale: from a two bedroom townhouse in Canada to a one bedroom flat in New Zealand. When our working holiday visa expired we decided to go to Australia. But we didn’t want to stay in just one place neither did we want to be dependent on too many things again. So we bought a van.

MYVAN: Where did you find your van and how long did it take to convert it?
Joe: We arrived in mid November and right away started looking for a van in Melbourne. Within a couple of weeks, we found our van. After that, we pretty much spent 30 days converting it into the camper that it is now.

Some skills are needed.

MYVAN: Why exactly in 30 days?
Kristyn: We had pre-organized a housesit where we could stay while building the camper. It was only available for 30 days though. Luckily we’d met this couple during a prior trip to Australia four years ago that lived very close to the house we took care of. Our friend was a carpenter and had all the extra tools that he lent us. So convenient! We knew if we didn’t finish in time we would have to buy all the tools and materials somewhere else.
Joe: We didn’t have any family we could’ve crushed, so we just had to make it in 30 days. And we did. We probably wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise.

MYVAN: Did you do all by yourself?
Kristyn: Yes. It was just the two of us. Joe did most of the work though. I say I did 17%, Joe did 83%. His carpentry background turned out to be absolutely crucial. He knows how to measure and has a sense for building something. If it was me and my sister trying to remodel the van no way we would’ve made it in 30 days. If you’re in a foreign country and you have neither help nor any carpentry skills it gets really tricky.
Joe: Of course, Youtube is a great source of information. But then you have to put that information into action. Without any experience it definitely is a big challenge.

  • Kristyn in camper
  • Joe with drilling machines
  • A dining area in a van
  • Wagners kissing
Kristyn is standing infront of the Sprinter

Kristyn hasn’t felt homesick a single time since leaving home.

Some hard adjustments.

MYVAN: Ever since you’re done remodeling you’ve been traveling around Australia and live the vanlife to its fullest. What is the best thing about the vanlife?
Kristyn: You literally have everything you need – wherever you go. You’re by the beach and you go: Oh I want to go swimming. No problem, here’s the bathing suit, the umbrella and the beach bag. Off you go.
Joe: You don’t pack and unpack a suitcase, it’s just with you all the time. The general freedom is the best thing about it, I guess. You spontaneously decide if you want to stay longer in a place, or leave right away. No problem.

Joe sitting on the driver's seat

Kristyn and Joe say the most beautiful moments cannot be planned ahead.

MYVAN: Speaking of big adjustments. How hard was it to say goodbye to your family and loved ones?
Kristyn: The family: No for me. I’m very close to my family and have quite some friends but I’m also good at maintaining long distance relationships (except for romantic ones). It definitely is harder for everyone at home but in two years since leaving Canada I haven’t been homesick a single time. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my home and my family, but Joe is kind of my family. I have him with me all the time.
Joe: I’ts harder with the little ones cause they’re growing up and you miss out on more. I have some nieces and nephews where I feel that way. But I don’t get homesick at all. And because we’ve had this life change we realize the lifestyle our people back home have isn’t the one we want – work 9 to 5 almost every day for example. We’ve done that, we’re done. Even though we love them we don’t relate to that kind of lifestyle. We stepped out of the bubble.

The illusion of never being able to go back.

MYVAN: Do you have any tips for people that wanna move into a van? To ease up hard adjustments?
Kristyn: First of all and most importantly, think about: Why do you want to do this? Do you want to do it because it’s cool on instagram right now? If you value it for the right reasons, just try it. People worry so much. What if I hate it? Yes, you might hate it. But that’s okay. One time at night, I had to pee really bad. We parked at McDonalds at 11pm and spent the night parked on the side of the street in front of it. The next morning we needed to get up super early and get out of there. Not very picture perfect. But okay, if you stay realistic about it.
Joe: Yes, people think everything is permanent and there’s no going back. Even if you decide to live in a van, you can always go back. There’s no shame in trying it. Maybe you hate it. You could just sell the van and go live your old life. Just make sure you plan ahead thoroughly.

MYVAN: What is easier for you than everyone thinks?
Kristyn: People love to comment on the lack of a bathroom. I’m a female, but it doesn’t bother me really. You adjust with time and you figure it out. In Australia, there’s lots of leisure centers where you pay 1,50 dollars for a shower or you find public showers. We even have an app. People are so worried about the bathroom and the bed that might be too small.
Joe: Yeah, once you’re in it you just adjust and it becomes normal for you.

A couple kissing infront of a Sprinter

On of the best things about the van life: Having everything you need wherever you want.

Unexpected breathtaking moments.

MYVAN: Are there free camping areas in Australia?
Joe: Australia has lots of free camping because its so massive. Not as much on the east coast as it is touristy and populated. We personally preferred heading across South Australia. A lot of free camping there.

MYVAN: You wouldn’t recommend camping in cities?
Joe: In cities it’s the biggest struggle. You usually pay for a proper caravan park to stay in or you basically just park on the side of a street. We’ve done that a couple of times but then needed to be selective where and at what time we parked.

MYVAN: What was the most beautiful experience in your van?
Kristyn: One time we drove to the Nullarbor in Western Australia. Everyone had warned us that there was going to be nothing so we were prepared for red dirt desert and boredom. We pulled off on the side of the road and stopped for the night. It was really calm. We got out and tried to take a shower in a solar bag we’d recently gotten. The shower didn’t really work. It was dark and the cap came off. We started laughing, naked in the unknown wilderness. After the failed shower we just laid in bed with the back doors wide open and I swear, I never saw that many stars in the sky. Just having that moment with no one around was breathtaking. You can’t plan those moments. They just happen.

Van in desert

An unforgettable memory for the Wagners: a night in Nullarbor.

Bad times are among the best.

MYVAN: So you’re saying in total, the good times overweighed?
Kristyn: I have to say: we even loved when it was shit. Because every time we learned something from it and felt more appreciation. We did lost our sense of purpose after the vanlife novelty wore off a bit. But we learned most out of this phase. Don’t expect an instagram perfect world where you wake up by the beach every day.
Joe: People are so afraid to try because of the unknown. They question whether it’s gonna work out or not. Well maybe it won’t, but thats okay. Hopefully then you’ll have learned some great lessons along the way. And that’s the beauty of home. Your family will always gonna be there in case it doesn’t work out.

You have to look at it more logically and not through social media glasses.

MYVAN: Are you planning to stay in the van then?
Joe: Our first year visa expires in November. We’re thinking of extending it for another year. As long as we’re in Australia we definitely want to stay in the van. It suits us perfectly right now.

Wagners taking a selfie through the side mirror of the Sprinter

On their YouTube channel, Kristyn and Joe talk about the good as well as the bad things of Vanlife.

Couple kissing

Joe and Kristyn are their own little family.

The Wagners looking out of the back doors of their Sprinter

The Wagners appreciate the flexibility of the Vanlife.

Wagners kissing next to the Sprinter

“Foley” suits the Wagners perfectly – for now.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Joe and Kristyn

More Links to explore: wanderingwagners.com@Instagram, @Facebook, @YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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From the garage to a European tour: The story of a metal band in a 309 D.

The 309 D with the Garagedays logo is parked in front of an Alpine panorama

The Austrian metal band “Garagedays” prefers to play in their garage when they are not on a European tour with their Mercedes-Benz 309 D.

Metal at the scrap yard.

A scrap yard in Austria, in the darkness of the night, muted metal music can be heard, which seems to be slowly approaching. Suddenly we are blinded by the bright headlights of a parked 309 D and the music’s stops. Then four guys with long hair and leather jackets get out of the grey van. They walk straight towards a garage and disappear into it. Then the music returns. But now Marco, Rene, Dominik and Matthias play their own music. The name of their band is “Garagedays”.

The four-man band sits at the table in the 309 D

The band Garagedays from left to right: Dominik Eder, Matthias Mai, Marco Kern, Rene Auer.

Raised by music legends.

At the tender age of eight, hard rock and heavy metal were on the agenda for the four Tyroleans. Born in the eighties, front man Marco Kern grew up with Metallica and Judas Priest. On MTV he and his younger band mates also regularly watched music videos by older artists such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimi Hendrix and Motörhead. “Since I became fascinated with this music very early on, it was always clear to me that I wanted to play in a band,“ Marco tells us. No sooner said than done. In 2005 the guitarist and singer-songwriter founded the band “Garagedays” together with bassist Dominik Eder, with whom he spent his childhood. A little later, lead guitarist Rene Auer and drummer Matthias Mai joined the band.

Marco Kern plays guitar on a stage

Marco Kern is the founder, guitarist and the powerful, raw vocalist of Garagedays.

Song mechanics and 100% nasty crew.

Why the name Garagedays? In fact, they typically started rehearsing in a garage next to a scrap yard. But for them this place was and is more than just a means to an end. “We always associate a garage with creative work. Where others are tinkering with their cars, we’re tinkering with new songs,” the band explains to us vividly. In the meantime they have even built their own recording studio above the garage. On their 309 D their motto “100% nasty crew” can be read next to the band name. Here, too, we are curious to know what this is all about. “After a concert evening with a lot of head banging together with the audience we all stank terribly on the way back. Since then we associate this moment both with our cohesion in the band and the connection to our fans”.

Van profile

Model

Mercedes-Benz 309 D

Year of construction

1986

Mileage

277,000 km

Engine performance

65 kw

Gross vehicle weight

3,500 kg

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Songs from the inside.

In 2011 the band released their debut album “Dark and Cold”, followed by “Passion of Dirt” in 2014. The band recorded their third album “Here it Comes” with Metallica producer Flemming Rasmussen, which has been on the market since mid-September. And what are your songs about? “With our songs we want to encourage people never to lose faith in themselves and to never give up, even in rough times,” explains Marco. In doing so, they take up social problems with their lyrics or process their own experiences, as in Marco’s case the early death of his father.

The band from the front during a live performance

Garagedays creates a good atmosphere in Memmingen.

On tour with the 309 D.

In 2015 the band performed as support band for U.D.O on a three-month tour through 13 different European countries. They covered a total of 25,000 kilometers in their grey Mercedes-Benz 309 D, which was built in 1986 and had already been used as a motorhome. After they had bought the van from Marco’s cousin, they simply built a wooden bed frame into it so that two people could sleep next to each other on two levels. Living in hotel rooms for twelve weeks would have been simply too expensive. So the bus became their home for this trip and for all those to come.

  • The 309 D from behind with opened rear doors
  • View into the interior of the 309 D with seating area
  • View into the interior of the 309 D with bed construction
  • View of the 309 D from the side in the mountains

The history of the 309 D – a little excursion.

In fact, the 309 D is a vehicle steeped in history. With its 90-horsepower OM-602 engine, it is the second of a total of three model series of the Mercedes-Benz T1, the first vans produced by Daimler in Bremen from 1977. Its sharp-edged design, short bonnet and large corner flashing lights made the T1 a true design icon of its time, which is still to be seen today. The van also had a lot to offer in terms of driving comfort in those days. The large windows of the spacious driver’s cab provide a good all-round view. The instrument panel with its characteristically large speedometer is limited to the essentials, while a wide steering wheel facilitates steering. It was not without reason that the van was sold under the then popular slogan “drives like a car”.

Dominik Eder, Marco Kern, Rene Auer and Matthias Mai walk along a path

Long hair and leather jackets – the band can be spotted from a distance.

The silence before the big performance.

During their tour, the band Garagedays often played in front of several thousand spectators. If they had stage fright? “We always have stage fright,” they start to say. “Shortly before the show it gets quiet backstage and you start to do strange things. I start singing, Matti goes to the bathroom a few times and Rene and Dominik run in circles”. So there doesn’t seem to be a real cure. As concert experience grows, stage fright often plays a role, as every venue and audience is different. However, certain rituals may help to cope with stress situations. But the most important thing is still to have a lot of fun. And the four Austrians definitely have that when they are spoken to in English after a show even in German-speaking countries!

The band on stage

With so many viewers, stage fright is a natural thing.

Rene Auer on guitar next to Marco Kern

Lead guitarist Rene Auer plays the lead.

Matthias Mai on drums

Matthias Mai sets the beat.

Dominik Eder and Marco Kern play guitar on stage

Bass guitarist Dominik Eder (left) and rhythm guitarist Marco Kern (right) are in their element.

The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.

Photos: Marco Kern; René Kößler; Udo Talmon; Garagedays

More Links to explore: garagedays.at@Facebook, @Instagram, @YouTube

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
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Weekend trips in the van: travelling through Canada with Le Loup Gris in the Sprinter.

Spending time together outdoor strengthens the bond between Yan Tremblay and his sons. Leaving their day-to-day lives behind, let the boys and their father concentrate on the essentials and their incredible experiences on Canada’s roads.

Vacation time means van time.

Yan Tremblay has a broad grin on his face as he sits at the campfire with his boys. The soft crackling of the burning wood blends in with the relaxing sound of waves. The father, his sons and this unique bond – it all comes together on this evening. The new month brings the beginning of the vacation season. This means van time for the Tremblays. Once again they enjoy getting together in the summer. Meanwhile a necessary ritual for the Canadian family: They escape from their day-to-day lives whenever the opportunity presents itself. With their Sprinter 2500, the three men can head out to all the places that represent free time for them.

Yan Tremblay and his two sons on a hammock

Shared road trips have brought the family even closer together.

They had to make the dream of a camper van come true.

In the past, this kind of close bond was not always possible. “I used to have two jobs and I was always on the road and busy,” says Yan Tremblay, referring to his time as a fireman with a second job. The good relationship with his children suffered. Talking with his son, Loan, provided the inspiration: the four-year-old complained to his father that he never spent time with the family. “I asked him what he would like to do,” says Yan Tremblay. His son wanted his father to make a long-standing dream come true: to build a camper van and then travel. Two weeks later, they owned a van and drove to Newfoundland.

This big step was the start of a new family ritual and the future nickname of the Tremblay Formation. By chance, Yan discovered the “Loup” (Wolf) on the rear of the camper van after he removed the van’s old sticker. “We thought it was funny and left it there. Since then, we have been known as ‘Le Loup Gris’ (the gray wolf) because our converted van was gray,” reminisces the leader of the travelling pack from Montreal.

My youngest son recently said the most incredible thing. He said we should sell the house and live in the camper van instead.
  • Two boys standing next to a campfire
  • A father, two sons and a dog run along the shore of a lake
  • Two Sprinter park in the nature in Canada
  • A father, his sons and a dog sitting on a stony beach. They look out over the vast ocean

Conversion on their own.

In 2015, the first van was followed by a second with all-wheel drive. “For the tough Canadian winter,” as the eternally young father explains. The new camper needed to meet all of the needs of the essential Tremblay trip. Yan Tremblay carried out the entire conversion himself – apart from the electricity. Vague dreams gave rise to the first drawings and then everything followed in a cascade. “Windows, fans, insulation, reinforced flooring, heating systems, interior fittings and roof carriers,” he says, describing the major steps of the conversion. I am proud of the fact that 90% of the wood in the camper van is recycled,” says Yan Tremblay, who was often reminded of his own father as he worked. From his father, he once learned what it means to make lasting things with his own hands.

Yan’s five most important insights into the vanlife:

  1. You discover what it means to live in the moment.
  2. You can escape from your daily grind.
  3. You will have to face your fears.
  4. You learn to develop your full potential.
  5. You spend a lot of personal and valuable time with the people who accompany you.

From father to son.

This enthusiasm for craftsmanship and sense of responsibility toward nature were major parts of the way Loan and Lenny Tremblay were raised. Without any further prompting, the boys grab bags and pick up the garbage on a beach before they start to chop up the wood for their campfire. Yan Tremblay is proud of his boys.

From father to son – Yan embodies this way of life with deep conviction. The van is the product of this philosophy. “My youngest son recently said the most incredible thing. He said we should sell the house and live in the camper van instead,” he says. Then he is still and suddenly Yan Tremblay’s special grin is back again.

A man sits on a steep slope. The slope leads down to the sea

Yan Tremblay is happy that he can share his passion with his two sons.

A boy chops wood on a stony beach

His sons learn to work with their hands the way Yan Tremblay once learned from his father.

A man sitting in his van talks with the father and son as they sit in their own van

On their road trips, the Tremblays meet other travelers with similar stories.

The image focuses on a man and two children seen from within a Sprinter

The Sprinter parked protectively near the Tremblays. It is more than a camper for the family.

Two men and two boys are sitting next to a camp fire at a stony beach

Canada’s picturesque panorama is the family’s constant companion.

Photos: Go-Van; JF Lefebvre

More Links to explore: go-van.com – @Instagram; @Facebook

Sprinter

Regardless of what job you have to tackle – the Sprinter will make your day-to-day tasks easier. And even if those tasks are weighty ones, together, you’ll move mountains. Thanks to a host of different variants and over 600 optional features, the Sprinter can meet a wide variety of requirements.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Slider images