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|Mercedes 814 plus MKP Grandesse caravan|
|Truck is 1996. 150,00 miles on this engine.|
|Standard. Twin wheel. 2 spares carried.|
|Leaf Springs. Body sprung separately.|
|100 litres. 400 Miles range.|
|40 gallons in main tank.|
|None. Separate drinking water in can.|
|Loads of internal lockers, plus very big box on rear.|
|2 double beds. 1 can be left permanently in place.|
|Tom Tom Go|
|Gas cooker, oven, grill, extractor fan.|
|New Internal Electrical system. (see Gallery)|
|That's a secret.....|
|Bike rack on top of rear cargo box.|
|3 Way Fridge, plus customised beer locker.|
|Separate Washroom, plus Kitchen sink.|
|24 Volt Solar Array + small generator in back box.|
|12 v LED|
Solar Panels, plus ALDE Verical gas boiler and radiators.
Big box on the back. Can tow a trailer with complete Mongolian Yurt, including 2 sofas, sideboard, stove, chimney, carpets, dining table, and cooking-oil powered 10 light chandelier! (for festivals, of course!)
The luxuries - CD player and separate wash room.
Ireland (again) and maybe St Marie de la Mer.
This is it...
This is a one-off. The 18 foot caravan is an MPK Grandesse, manufactured in Denmark in the 1970s. It has been mounted on a Mercedes 814 7.5 tonne chassis cab, with added storage box and towbar.
The caravan body is fibreglass, with Scandinavian insulation. The body has fixed mountings at the front and sprung mountings at the rear to avoid stresses due to the flexing of the truck chassis. Rocks a little, but less than a boat!
Propane Gas central heating (oh yes!) separate washroom, sleeps 4, (plus room for a short one in the truck cab.)
The conversion on to a truck body was done by its orginal owner, but the current vehicle (and paint job) was a restoration done by Pete of the famous Mad Monks Music Shop, Kendal, who will tell you all about it.
I work as a touring musician, and the truck has been at music festivals from Lossiemouth to Glastonbury, the Secret Garden Party, and even appeared at the Royal College of Art in May 2009 when I was performing for the MERZ cabaret.
Just returned from a 3 week tour of Ireland from Belfast to Limerick, via the festivals at Feakle, Tullamore and Cavan.
What made you choose this one?
I had to have it as soon as I saw it - at 10.30 pm on a wet February night in a yard in Rossendale, Lancs, after hunting for camper vans suitable for my music touring - (capable of accommodating a 4 piece band and full PA.)
Main criteria for this project?
Spacious, economical, and flash!
Solar panels, with high capacity gel leisure batteries. 240 volt Inverter. (see circuit diagram in Gallery. External socket to run 250 watt PA system. CD Changer in Cab. MP3/CD/Radio in body. Portable Generator in cargo box. Satellite Phone (old 2nd hand Inmarsat Worldphone). Waste Water tank
Modifications yet to do?
Possibly a powered winch to get me off muddy festival fields or out of accidental ditches....
How does it perform?
I cruise at 60 mph on motorways. Gives 20 mpg on steady run at 55 mph. This comes down to about 16 mpg at 70 mph. Non Turbo, so accelaration is not rapid, but well good enough. Comfortable to drive - have done 10 hour trip and then played a gig! 8 metres long, so parking in cities can be tedious. Tilt Cab handy for maintenance.
What would you do differently?
Maybe a heat exchanger to run the heating system from the truck cooling system while on the move in winter - body is then snug straight away. (ALDE make the necessarry bits.) Current heating system is good, but takes half an hour to warm up and burns about 12 kilos of gas per week in sub-zero.
You can now share your thoughts about this vehicle in the My Wheels section of the forum