Can you tell me a bit about you and how did you end up living this lifestyle?
We are Christie and Dom, aged 27 from South London. Back in 2011 we traveled Australia in a 1980’s Toyota Hiace and loved the freedom of being in a van.
We then had an idea to do it again in Europe a couple of years ago and so have been saving and searching the internet until we found our dream van, Magnus the Mercedes 612d.
Why exactly did you choose the Mercedes 612d and not a smaller or bigger one?
Dom is 6 foot 4 so a high van was important to us so that he could live comfortably inside. Having had a smaller van before, living space was more important for us this time round!
Where there any barriers while purchasing the Mercedes 612d ?
Not exactly a barrier, but we realized once we had fallen in love with the van that you need a HGV licence. Luckily Dom has one of those through his work and Christie plans on taking the test in the future.
The van is originally from Germany which means it’s left hand drive, this can make it difficult driving in the U.K but does mean it’s perfect for Europe.
Did you work anything on your vehicle yourself or did you get a carpenter?
The van had already been converted when we bought it but with the help of family and friends we made some changes to the interior to make it more our style.
Do you miss more space or are you happy as it is?
We are very happy with the space in the Mercedes 612d as it doesn’t feel cramped. The only thing we miss is a bath!
How long did you worked on your campervan before you started your trip?
We worked on the van for three months before we started our trip.
Tell me like 2-3 Things that you really love about traveling with a camper.
The things we love the most are always having our own bed everywhere we go, having the freedom to go wherever we want, whenever we want and not being restricted to go via organized tours or public transport.
Which countries did you travel to with your Mercedes 612d? Which one was your Favorite by now?
We have travelled to 17 countries so far (France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania) Norway has been our favorite, the scenery especially in the Lofoten Islands is like nothing we have seen before.
Where there any countries, where you had problems or where you didn’t get treated well because of your camper-lifestyle?
Luckily we haven’t encountered any problems with living in a van so far, everyone we have met on this trip has been really friendly, helpful and accommodating.
Travelling with a campervan in Eastern Europe isn’t as popular, so they don’t have as many amenities, but we have managed to get by!
What was the longest Road at one piece you drove with your vehicle?
Driving from the north to south of Finland felt like it was just 1 or 2 roads the whole way.
Do you sometimes meet other vanlifers?
Yes, we have met lots of lovely fellow vanlifers along the way.
People with all kinds of vehicles and from various countries, having a van in common is a great conversation starter, and we love having a look at other people’s vans.
Are there any things that really annoy you about traveling/living with/in a van?
Occasionally we do get stressed or annoyed if things don’t go to plan, for example, with breakdowns and repairs, however we always try to keep in mind that we are incredibly lucky to be travelling at all.
Not everything is perfect, what would you change about your Mercedes 612d?
We would like to add a water filter tap, now we are in less developed countries, drinking water is not as readily available so it would be great if we could drink the water from our tanks.
We’d also love to organise our garage, it’s quite a mess and impossible to find anything!
So, if not your vehicle-which one would you choose if you could and why?
We would love a 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter campervan so we could get to some amazing remote wild camp spots.