Mercedes L407D – windsurfing couple traveling Europe

By on 12. Dezember 2018

Sven and Catarina are traveling in a Mercedes L407D. Since they met each other they always traveled in their van to windsurfing locations.


Key Data Mercedes L407D


– Car Manufacturer: Mercedes

– Modell: L407D

– Year of construction: 1983

– how many Seat: 4

– complete weight of vehicle: 3.100kg

– how many kilometers: ca 76.000km

– cylinder carpacity: 2.400cc

– output of the motor: 72hp

– consumption at 100km: 11-13l

– driving license classify: B

– top speed: 95km/h

– motor fuel: Diesel



Can you tell me a bit about you and how did you end up living this lifestyle?


Hi, we are Sven and Catarina, a Belgian/Portuguese couple. Since we met each other we always traveled in our van to windsurfing locations.

We don’t live full-time vanlife but spend around 2 months per year in our van


Why exactly did you choose the Mercedes L407D and not a smaller or bigger one?


We used to travel in a opel vivaro which was way smaller than our merco and since we have our lovely dog, a bit more space was welcome…

On one of our trips to Portugal we met a german surfer who lives in a Mercedes L407D and we loved the ‚charme‘ of this old bus.

After spending 2 weeks traveling together with him we fell in love for this kind of van!




Where there any barriers while purchasing the vehicle?


In Belgium you don’t find these vans so much, so we started searching for it in Germany and Holland, after one year we found our van in the north of Holland so we took the 380km drive and bought it right away.

10 days and some paperwork later we had everything registered.


Did you do anything on your Mercedes L407D yourself or did you get a carpenter?


There was a basic layout but no electricity inside and no fridge, so we started working on this. Now we have 230Ah battery that gets charged while driving and lots of sockets and led-lights.

We also installed a compressor-fridge which was an absolute joy (finally cold beers…) Next up is to install a solar panel. The basic maintenance we also do ourselves.


Do you miss more space or are you happy as it is?


We are happy with the space we have at the moment, enough space for us and our dog, all our windsurf gear fits in the back and we still have lots of cabinet space.


Do you miss more space or are you happy as it is?


About 2 weeks to get the electricity all around the van and to make it a bit more cosy. Around the year we still do upgrades whenever we find that something needs to change.


Tell me like 2-3 Things that you really love about traveling with a camper.


We love the freedom of waking up to new landscapes every morning and whenever the surf drops in a place we can just move to wherever it’s better.


Which countries did you travel to with your vehicle? Which one was
your Favorite by now?


We travelled Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, Great-Brittany, Denmark and Norway. The favorite destination was definitely Norway because of the magnificent nature, no problems wildcamping if you follow the rules.

Being completely alone in some places also recharges our own batteries.




Where there any countries, where you had problems or where you didn’t get treated well because of your camper-lifestyle?


We never had big problems, we got send away once or twice by the police in Spain but luckily never had to pay any tickets.


Do you sometimes meet other vanlifers?


All the time when we go to surf spots because the surf community is quite nomadic. We also have some good friends we meet every year in Spain who live full time in their van.


Are there any things that really annoy you about traveling/living with/in a van?


The rising diesel-prices would be one of them. Also we don’t have a hot water shower in our van, in the colder areas of Europe it can be a ‚brutal‘ wake-up when you are standing outside to take a cold shower…


Not everything is perfect, what would you change about your Mercedes L407D?


A solar panel would be the next step in upgrading the van, a decent roof-rack is also high up on our list.


So, if not your vehicle-which one would you choose if you could and why?


It would be an older type 4×4 because sometimes we tend to be attracted to the little rocky roads… A Mercedes 911 or 814 would be a dream.


Do you work online while traveling?


We don’t work online, just once in a while upload some photo’s of our travels and maintenance of the car on Instagram. You can check it out on: notfast_buthappy


What will your next destinations be?


Portugal/Spain and next year we will probably go up to Sweden or Finland.


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