Perfect Welsh back drop
BBQ in a Loaf Tin….classic
What van do we have?
A Mercedes Sprinter 4×4 316 Automatic , Year 2015 EURO 6
A La Strada Model Regent S 4×4, A German Manufacturer
La Strada Reisemobile Website
- Length 5.93M
- Height 2.83M
- Width 2.04M
- Wheelbase 3.66M
- Total Mass Weight 3.500KG
- Payload 550KG
The Layout and Specification
- Left hand drive with driver and passenger front swivel seats
- 2 forward facing passenger seats with factory fitted seatbelts and recliner seat option, cupboards & shelves above with reading lights and 12V sockets.
- Removable and rotating dining area table
- Bi-Fold doors into shower room, Chrome corner sink, fitted toilet with SOG system, shower tray and curtain. Opening Roof vent, Wall mounted cupboard and under sink cupboard.
- Full width Transverse fixed raised double bed with memory foam mattress and Froli springs bed system below. Enlarged custom made side panels by La Strada allow extra space to obtain the bed length.
- Various reading lights, wrap around storage cupboards, Large Heiki roof lights and rear door windows surround the bed area.
- Under bed chest of drawers accessed from habitation area.
- Compressor fridge over a half size wardrobe with Tambor sliding door.
- 3-burner gas hob and combi-sink with glass lid, 6 drawers below for storage and cupboards above with Tambor sliding cover, 12V sockets.
- Collapsable and extendable kitchen worktop.
- Large lift down overcab storage shelf.
- Internal Fresh water tank located under the seat.
- External insulated Waste Tank.
- Flyscreens and blinds including Cab blinds & side door flyscreen.
- Insulated wall, ceiling and door carpeting to eliminate condensation.
- Insulated floor and hardwearing commercial type easy wipe flooring.
- 4m Fiamma Awning.
Open the rear doors and there’s a large storage area and various cupboards
- 2x 11kg gas bottle locker.
- Small electrical cupboard featuring the trip switches and consumer panel.
- Large 150ah gel battery cupboards and impressive Truma 6KW diesel heater, water heater with additional electric option.
- 3000w inverter fitted to the side panel which runs a 240v power point located in the habitation area should we require it.
- 3 x additional cupboards of various sizes house incidentals leaving a large floor area for anything else.
- We carry two Brompton folding bikes and two storage boxes for extra food and toiletries, all fitting neatly in the remaining space.
Additional information on our Sprinter 4×4.
- Ordered at the Stuttgart German motorhome show in January 2015 after researching the show and studying the other 3 German camper manufacturers who built on the Sprinter 4×4 chassis and were exhibiting at the show.
- Flying out and spending a few days looking at the pro’s and con’s of each, we realised La Strada had the complete package for what we wanted, incidentally La Strada were the only company out of the 3 that had a UK dealer and certificate of conformity or COC.
- The price and specification were finalised in Germany at the show but we still had to buy through the UK dealer, which worked out better as they dealt with the import and DVLA side so all we had to do was collect it from the UK dealer 11 months later when it was finally built.
- We opted for left hand drive, this kept the price down but also as we drive mostly in Europe and plan on shipping over to North America and Canada it seemed the sensible option.
Our Colourful Bulb Fields tour of The Netherlands
- Exterior Colour – Kiesel Grau or Pebble Grey
- Tyers – Chunky BFG beasts and black steel rims finish off the rugged look.
- Interior finish – Silver line with burgundy red door and drawer fronts
- Seating – burgundy leather upholstery – easy to wipe clean on long trips
The 4×4 system is part time switchable and having watched youtube videos of the Sprinter in action, it is more than capable of tackling some serious terrain.
With the length of the the Sprinter being sub 6m not only is it sometimes less pricey on ferries but also it can be used around town and even fits into a normal car sized parking bay, ideal when you have just ventured into the middle of Monaco.
We wanted to make the most of the off road capabilities of the Sprinter so we could be totally off grid for long periods of time with no reliance on 3rd parties which is a big plus if we venture to the Middle East, Africa or South America and with the larger battery and upgrade charging system all topped up by a solar panel system on the roof, we don’t have to worry about charging up.
Why a panel van conversion?
This is our third private motorhome, we say private as we had up until recently, a motorhome hire business so have owned several other motorhome brands.
Our own first motorhome was a UK manufactured luxury overcab coachbuilt, this proved to be useless for skiing trips, just not coping with extreme temperatures, frozen internal water tanks even before you reach the Alps is no fun!
Our second motorhome was an A class luxury German Carthago which we had for 8 years, only parting company when our two sons stopped coming away with us, we felt something smaller would be better for accessing those out of the way places.
Why a 4×4?
Touring Austria a few years ago had us driving over a steep mountain pass with a serene valley and lake below, stopping at viewpoint for photo opportunity changed our outlook forever on what we wanted from a van for ourselves.
As we scanned the lake through the binoculars, two Land Rovers caught our attention, laden up with rooftop tents, canoes, fishing lines floating out into the clear blue mountain waters of the lake and the smokey remnants of last nights’ campfire smouldering amongst the pebbled beach alongside the ripples of the lake.
That day, that small chance sighting and that was it, we knew that a 4×4 was going to be our next camper so the long hunt began for that perfect camper. Back at home we researched and absorbed as much information about 4×4 camping and van options as we could digest and our love with the overland scene began.
We’d owned Fiat motorhomes and a few Ford Transits’ both privately and in the business and all were fine workhorses with only the odd occasional blip from both manufacturers.
However, no mainstream camper manufacturer used the 4×4 systems available from these base vehicle manufacturers, so that’s where the Mercedes came into the scene. With the Mercedes Sprinter longevity factor and renowned reliability, engines capable of 200,000 to 300,000 miles and also chain drive systems as opposed to a belt on the other commercial vehicles, the Mercedes became the one and only runner and the decision was made, a Sprinter it was.