Having searched extensively on the net, visiting several expedition campers in Europe, and in order to meet mechanical, economical, aesthetic and comfort criteria of our own, we needed to acquire the truck and the living unit separately. We brought the truck back from Germany in March 2016 and ordered the living unit in Italy in April 2016.
Please, meet Antares, our expedition truck. A unique and well-thought-out vehicle for our own needs : big enough for comfort, but small enough to be able to get to most places.
It is a 2003 MAN, which started its career in the energy sector for RWE, one of the biggest electricity producers in Germany, and has therefore low mileage. Almost without electronics, it could in principle easily be repaired anywhere. Furthermore, MAN authorised dealerships and garages are in all parts of the world, which makes it a privileged brand to get access to services and the acquisition of spare parts. Antares is subject to the norm Euro 3, its engine is less delicate and will better tolerate inferior qualities of some fuels. All these aspects ensure that our truck has an undeniable advantage over more recent vehicles.
Renovated by Mike to meet changes in trends as well as placed in conformity with new regulations, Antares shows itself at its best : a conversion to a logical expedition vehicle, with simple technology, a strong and overhauled engine, increased fuel mileage (about 4'000 – 4'500 kilometres) and a totally rebuilt truck cab.
MAN L27 / LE 10.250 4x4
6-cylinder in-line 6'870 cm3 250 HP
900 litres diesel
L 6,80 m x W 2.40 m x H 3,45 m (with the living unit)
8'500 kg loaded
Designed completely by us, it provides a first bright space composed with a decent bed, a sitting area, as well as a kitchen. Toilet and shower are situated in a second closed space.
Its structure is made of steel and 6 cm insulation. The inside is composed of modern and high quality materials. Windows are all equipped with mosquito nets and sunscreens.
We go from the living unit to the truck cab through the emergency hatch or by outside stairs.
The body unit includes multiple storage cabinets. No space is wasted. Under the bed is a large garage, accessible from the outside with spares, tools, batteries and anything you could logically think of.
It has very few electrical needs: a fridge, a waterpump, some LED-lighting, and charging points for laptops, phones and cameras. We get our electricity from two batteries charged by solar panels on the one hand, and during transportation on the other. The equipment is rounded off with a generator, which will help in times of need and for air-conditioning on hot nights. Stove and oven are gas-powered.
Two spare tyres as well as a motorcycle are mounted on the rear of the truck, using a custom rack and winch. The latter will be used for short trips or to get to places, that the truck may not reach.
L 5.00m x W 2.40m x H 2.16 m
600 litres water
275 litres greywater
190 litres blackwater
90 litres gas
500 Watt solar panels
230 AM 24 Volts battery
Boiler 40 litres
Truma Saphir Compact 1800
convertible to bed for 1 adult
What more can we say except…