Well-travelled: the green Oberaigner Sprinter 4×4

Laura and Heiri Kunz have travelled more than 300,000 km in their green Sprinter 4x4 from Oberaigner. At an interview in Bern the two adventurers share stories of their experiences.

Infected with wanderlust

"Two years after we got married we travelled along the hippie highway to India and Nepal, like so many young backpackers and overland drivers did back then", remembers Laura Kunz. "In those days we were driving an old VW van which we had converted ourselves and which was also green." But in the following years the two settled down for a while: Heiri and Laura raised their daughter and saved money for an apartment in Bern's scenic Steffisburg. They were not infected with wanderlust again until just before their retirement.

Their route on their journey through South America clearly shows that Heiri and Laura Kunz rarely drive the direct way to their destination.

An optimum partner for long-term journeys

Laura was born in Scotland and spent her childhood in Zimbabwe and that is why they absolutely wanted to travel to Africa together. "We were looking for the right vehicle that would serve our purposes. We spent years looking at various brands and models before we finally chose our green Sprinter in 2002", explains Heiri Kunz. "In addition to all-wheel drive and the optimum length, the worldwide service network from Mercedes-Benz also convinced us and we have repeatedly profited from that on our travels". Because they focus on long-term journeys, the van was converted accordingly over the course of three years – and includes a shower, toilet and solar panels.

Laura Kunz with the Sprinter 4x4 in the Jordanian desert.

Laura Kunz with the Sprinter 4x4 in the Jordanian desert.

Completely independent for up to three weeks

The first long trip took them from Baltimore to the south through Central America to Panama and back again. A short time later, Heiri and Laura followed the Silk Road to Tibet together with friends. Their longest journey so far through Africa and South America took four and a half years. "When we are on the road the Sprinter provides us with everything we need", says Heiri Kunz. "With a full tank and enough water supplies we can travel and camp independently for up to three weeks. This is exactly the freedom that we value so much when travelling in the green Sprinter."

The green Oberaigner Sprinter 4x4

Engine

2,700 ccm CDI Diesel, 5 cylinders, 156 hp

Chassis

High-roof panel van, 3.55 m wheelbase

4x4 drive system

Activatable all-wheel drive with reduction gearing and differential lock from Oberaigner

Tires

245/75/16 with aluminum rims

Roof carrier

Corrugated aluminum roof cover (sun protection)

Tank

100 liters

Water separator

standard diesel filter retrofitted with an electrically monitored water separator

Fold in
Fold out

Travelling keeps them young

The next big trip is already planned and will begin in summer: Laura and Heiri want to spend two years travelling through North America in their green Sprinter. "This will probably be our last major van adventure outside Europe", says Laura. Although the two do not feel at all old on their travels. "We feel much older when we are here at home in Switzerland", says Laura and laughs.

The green Mercedes-Benz Sprinter standing on a ferry.

Stranded in Khartoum. "The Swiss embassy advised us to just wait in northern Sudan." Three days later they were able to continue.

The green Sprinter in Egypt's white desert.

The green Sprinter 4x4 from Oberaigner at the edge of the world's largest salt flat, the Solar de Uyuni in Bolivia.

If fortune smiles: roadworks diversion in Tibet.

When on the road the equipment in the Sprinter 4x4 offers the married couple everything they need to live.

Photos: Laura & Heinrich Kunz

More Links to explore: www.thegreensprinter.ch

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.

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