4x4 Truck Motorhome Outback Adventure

Franz and Margrit’s 4×4 Adventure Truck Motorhome

Franz and Margrit are on a five year lap of the world in a global expedition 4x4 truck that has taken them down through Europe, into Spain, across oceans and right around Australia (30,000klm in eight months).

Global Expedition vehicles are rare. Most people wanting to travel off the beaten track in Australia tow a camping trailer or caravan with a 4x4. The advantage is you can always unhitch the caravan when the going gets tough or when you want to explore the area around your 'home base'.

For people who simply can not leave their boat at home, a slide-on is a great option. An off the shelf Ranger 4x4 ute with a Lance 650 (to name just two brands and models of many available) is pretty affordable. Bigger slide-ons or more passenger seats require either a lazy axel or a bigger 4x4. For light off road duty, some kind of American imported 'truck' could do the trick. For more hardcore terrain, get something like an Isuzu NPS300 4x4 and the world is your oyster. Well, perhaps not the world. For that, you might want something even bigger. 

Enter Margrit and Franz who belong to a small group of RV enthusiasts who don't want to park anywhere for any length of time - they like it best when they are moving. For people like Margrit and Franz, the idea of driving vast distances so appealing, they plan journeys around the globe with a timeline spanning years.

The truck that these young grey nomads chose for their global expedition adventure is a 4x4 truck motorhome based on a 2005 Iveco Eurocargo Tector. This model of truck is highly capable in all kinds of jobs where a high payload and true 4x4 capability are required. Equally, at home in the military to ploughing snow and salting streets to running in the Dakar Rally, this truck is a proven performer.

Franz also pointed out that on a world tour, you do not want to be driving a brand new truck in a third world country if you get an engine fault and your engine management system decides to shut down the engine. Flying in a technician with a computer to fix the issue will take a toll on both your schedule and your budget.

The 'house' fit-out was completed in 2007 and was built for full time living and global touring. The exceedingly high-quality build is evident with the cabinetry 'home' is still in excellent condition after ten years.

Just some of the features of the motorhome include:

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    Gas or electric house heating
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    2 x compressor fridges (one can serve as a freezer)
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    700l fresh water storage
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    Ceran flameless gas cooktop220v power via an inverter
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    Eight solar panels
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    4 x 200ah deep cycle batteries
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    2 x 14ltr LPG bottles
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    Telair Diesel Generator

The central living area is capricious and serves as lounge, dining room, kitchen and a second sleeping area. A smart feature is a pedestal table that drops down in situ to form a double bed. Not having to remove this is rather smart and the table top can also move across to allow easy access to seating.

The kitchen is compact but highly functional. Counter space is often limited in RVs however in this case, the additional worktop offered by both the dining table and the cabinet just inside the entrance door ensures food prep is never an issue.

Access to the queen bed and sleeping space at the rear of the motorhome is via a short corridor containing a shower on one side of the vehicle and a toilet, vanity and sink on the other.

The toilet is a vacuum type with storage externally for two cassettes (one on duty with one in reserve). These toilets have a reputation for cycling on and off due to air leaks however if the seals are accessible and are serviced annually with quality silicone grease, they offer chemical free odourless operation and are hugely convenient.

Abundant hot air inlets fed by a gas/electric furnace turn the shower into a drying room during the snow season. A large vented wardrobe alongside the shower offers convenient access to clothes and linen.

Franz and Margrit could not agree who got the wall position in the East-West orientated rear bed so rather than have one person climb over the other during the night; they make use of the front sleeping area too.

One advantage offered by the raised platform bed is abundant storage space below accessible via twin barn doors on either side of the motorhome. A step ladder is required to access the 'garage' due to colossal clearance offered by the Iveco so big heavy things (like the spare wheel or a motorbike), reside on a custom rear mounted rack that can be raised and lowered electronically.

There is no question that this is a motorhome built in Europe. The heating system runs two 14ltr tanks of LPG which can be filled at low cost via the LPG fuel bowser just like a car LPG fuel tank. On the flip side, the fancy satellite dish on the roof does not work in Australia (Netflix anyone?).

Franz also had to spend money on a rather large yellow sticker for his spare wheel cover to let everyone in Australia know the vehicle is left-hand drive but he does not hold it against us. Bureaucracy is a global tradition. If a vast yellow sticker and lousy TV reception is the price of entry to BYO global adventure motorhome to Australia don't worry because you will have the time of your life down under. Plan your big lap of Australia now!

Thank you Franz and Margrit!

Special thanks to Franz and Margrit for stopping by and allow me to film a tour of their fabulous 4x4 world expedition adventure motorhome. 

Safe journey and happy travels!

About the author

Paddy McCann

Over the years, I’ve owned six motorhomes, two Caravans and three campervans so you could say I am a bit of an RV enthusiast. Chat with you soon in the comments area below. PaddyMac