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Travelling in a classic motorhome: Family holidays in Scandinavia – Part 1.

A motorhome descending a hill

For the Nehrmanns, vacation means getting into their old vintage van. This year's trip to Scandinavia shows what makes the family real vanlifers.

Calm in the eye of the storm.

Heavy rain hammers down on the windows of the Mercedes-Benz Hymer 540. The engine fights with high revs, the tires are sinking deeper and deeper into the ground. However, when the next attempt to free the large motorhome from the Norwegian coastal mud fails, the Nehrmann family from Hamburg does not panic but instead laughs out loud. Michael, Nadine and the two children are looking forward to another adventure as travelers in the old camper van.

View of a road through the windscreen of a motorhome

Even if there is a thunderstorm in the sky, the Nehrmanns feel safe in their camper.

Sometimes problems solve themselves.

Michael Nehrmann and his family have already experienced a lot. This is probably the reason for their steadfastness. “As long as Nadine and I remain calm, such events turn into an adventure for the little ones,” says the family father. The parents stay calm because they know these situations. “So far we have always been able to rely on the van, the engine and heating are simply indestructible,” explains the 37-year-old. In an emergency this means: Wait for the rain to stop, sleep the night in a warm camper and the next morning the world looks different again. But that will not happen this evening. By chance, two Norwegians with off-road vehicles help the family. The heavy Mercedes-Benz Hymer 540 is pulled up the enormously steep slope. So the Scandinavia trip can finally continue. In good weather, there will be a night’s rest on the beach again.

Our old Mercedes is a faithful friend, it brings us safely to our destination, we just have to be a little patient.

Big and small get their money’s worth.

An overnight place at the Hardangervidda plateau is definitely the better place to sleep. The darkness makes it hard to imagine what the next morning will have in store. The panorama is incredible. The view sweeps over a wide flat mountain landscape. Breathtaking. When the children wake up, the meditative silence even makes them speechless for a moment. Not long after that, however, the concentration is back on the essentials. “I’m hungry mummy,” the five-year-old Johan makes clear. Father and mother promptly pull out the camping table. Breakfast is ready in record time. “The children love to travel. However, driving around and sleeping in the camper seems to be even more fun for them at the moment than our destinations themselves,” explains the father. For this reason, the parents usually plan their trips in such a way that the holiday starts at home.

  • A motorhome parked at a lake
  • A woman carrying a child, a boy and a dog walking on a plateau
  • A small child sits on a rock by a lake
  • The sun sets on the horizon of the sea

Good to go: The Hymer 540.

The starting point of the great Scandinavian expedition is therefore the tranquil Rosengarten, a district south of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. This is the home of the adventurous quartet. At the roadside stands the beautiful, 38 year old classic vehicle. “We found it on the Internet seven years ago,” Michael says. For his stately age, the camper is said to have been in a surprisingly good condition even then. “Only the carpet, shower and toilet had to be replaced,” he says. Of course, the family father took over the conversion himself. A certain preference for older vehicles gives him the expertise, but above all the will to make the van what it means today to the family: Vacation.

The Nehrmann family's 5 Scandinavian highlights:

  1. The Scandinavian attitude to life.
  2. Scandinavian capitals.
  3. The beautiful coastlines.
  4. Infinite fjord landscapes.
  5. Bathing in glacial lakes.

Vacation means vanlife.

“For us, traveling means getting into the huge beige vintage van,” explains Nadine. And this is also the case at the beginning of July 2018. The rough direction has been set. Sweden has been targeted. A visit to the relatives there is the ambitious goal of the trip. “Our old Mercedes is a faithful friend, it brings us safely to our destination, we just have to be a little patient,” says the mother. More than 90 kilometers per hour are simply not possible. In the afternoon it is time. Parents and children have fastened their seat belts. Michael pulls the start button, now the engine has to glow. When a small red light appears on the speedometer, Michael pulls the start button further out: Shortly afterwards the calming hum of the 2.4 liter naturally aspirated diesel engine is heard – the holiday has begun.

A little boy runs towards a motorhome on the beach

The van makes it possible for the Nehrmanns to also have a home on the beach.

A Hymer motorhome crosses a bridge

Michael Nehrmann and his family have already experienced numerous journeys in their Hymer motorhome.

A little child looks out of the door of a camper van

Little Karla is at home in the Hymer Camper.

A mother sits at a table with her two children, behind her there is a camper van

Breakfast together in the morning is an important ritual for the family.

Several large hills in succession

The picturesque panorama is a constant companion of the Scandinavian trip.

A road that runs towards the horizon, grey clouds form in the sky

The grey sky is a harbinger of the heavy rain.


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