Monthly Archives: September 2013

Snakes and Ladders and the Making of an Overland Camper


Snakes and Ladders

I was walking behind the trucks yesterday, seeing the upraised cranes on both trucks and the ladder on the box. The image of the game snakes and ladders kept coming to mind, feeling like I was going up and down in  the game, and in retrospect, work has been like this for the last month, up and down the ladders and cranes.


Mercedes 814DA 4×4 Chassis Extension with Belly Winch at back

It started after we took the original electricity board body off Thor, the 4×4, or Thorx4  or, as the North Wind calls it – thawxthor. (Remember?). I bravely cut the crew cab in half, and welded the back up so it is now a single cab, so we could get more body on to it later on. We dropped the Ramsey winch into the chassis to create a belly winch.20130920_100951

We were now looking for a body to turn this truck into an overland camper truck.

We had the Scholar around for a while, and in order to get him trained in truck lore, we ended up going up North in the big truck, to get an 18 ft box we were going to cut down to create a luton (the bit that sits over the cab).  It seemed a good idea at the time.


18ft box body on the big truck

If you have been reading this regularly you may remember the white horse theme from the  Mari Lwyd yurt or from here .


Horsey presence

I guess a horsey presence was with us on that drive.

I always I keep my eyes open for omens,  so it was funny that after I agreed to buy the box and we went to another yard to load it on to the truck bed, that in the field behind the yard a perfectly white horse was walking about and I noticed that it had blinkers on. It seemed like it was telling me something.

I took it to be that the spirit of the white horse is telling me that I’m not looking very well and that the box was shot. I turned to the guy and said I dont want it anymore (it being up in the air at the moment). He said it is a good box, so I decided that, as we are there already, we might as well buy it even if we end up selling it…. and that we did, 2 days later.


The Blinkered White Horse

So the story goes, we ended up going South to deliver it with the big truck. It was pouring with rain but we had fun anyway.

I ended up getting another box that had a luton already, brought it back, and craned it on to the 814 4×4 chassis that had been extended.Mercedes camper

The box was overhanging by too much at the back, as one is only allowed 60% of the wheel base, so I was at a loss for a little white until the Angel suggested I should move the door back a bit (there was a side shutter door, at the front of the box, not in the picture). Being southerly, she is also attributed to being a door herself, I mean the Angel not the box.

After a little structuring and modelling with a little guy inside my head , (he does the work as I cant think), I realised that that is exactly the story: “move the door”. We spent a few days of extra intense work, where I moved both the Angel and the box door. At its height she ended up sleeping the night out and having communications from the ally.

Now the box was cut to size and has a bigger bed space above the cab, the door is moved and the game of snakes and ladders of taking boxes off and on, jumping from truck bed to truck bed, up the ladder and down the crane can cease.


814 4×4 overland camper in progress