"... my house is very small, but its windows open
on a large and wonderful world ... "
We have relocated our entire life into a truck. For this reason, two essential factors for our long-term travel are important to us:
1. The Functionality
Off the paved roads and highways we need a reliable partner - after all, we will mainly drive over washboard and gravel roads, through the hot desert sand and over boulders - just off the road.
2. The Coziness
The atmosphere must be intimate, especially when it is not that cozy outside. Then we want to feel comfortable in our new home.
The Offroad Motorhome - Expedition Mobile
Soon it was very clear that we need an all-terrain and robust vehicle whose construction shall be our home for long, very long time.
The fact that we have found our four-wheel camper in January 2009, was a stroke of luck and a coincidence. We named it with the name "Shumba". At some point we have "snapped" this word on one of our trips in Africa and it became the synonym for our dream. Therefore, it was clear, our four-wheel motorhome would be called "Shumba". "Shumba" is a word from the language of Shona, an ethnic group in Zimbabwe, and means lion. Its strong points, such as courage, strength and endurance we interpret in our expedition vehicle. The fact that the logo of MAN depicts a lion is pure coincidence.
Since that time, we build and tinker with our expedition vehicle, improve, complete and equip it with further functionality. Everything with the goal that our offroad motorhome "Shumba" will be perfectly equipped for our adventure.
Since we moved into our four-wheel off-road truck, we therein feel very comfortable. Now, finally, we are three with our project!
Technical Data of our offroad motorhome
MAN TGM 13.280 4x4 BL
206 KW / 280 HP Euro 4
Fourwheel drive with 3 differential locks
6 x Michelin 365/80 R20 XZL All-terrain
ECAS - Air suspension system
Fully isolated ProCAB lifting roof
Torsion-free double 3-point mounting with reduced height
Self-supporting sandwich plate panels PROCAB, 60mm thick 55 mm PU foam and fiberglass laminate 2mm inside / outside 3 mm, 97 mm
Floor plate with laminated steel ladder frame, HD version for lifting roof construction, thermal bridge free adhesion with surrounding fiberglass profile angles and additional corner reinforcement profiles
Supply in our offroad motorhome
11 kg gas bottle and 40 kg of gas tank mounted in the frame
440 liters of drinking water on the inside with Seagull water filter system
100 liter waste water tank - isolated outside.
Vacuum Toilet - Sealand on the inside with 120ltr holding tank
20 liter hot water boiler, electrically heated
600 liter fuel tank
Solar system 520wp / 4 AGM batteries (105 Ah each)
Compressor fridge with freezer, plus Engel freezer
Since we both passionate about riding a motorcycle and a second mobile vehicle had to come as a "security package" added to the equipment, if "Shumba" should break down, it was clear that a motorcycle would accompany us on the trip. At the beginning and at the first test drives this was our BMW F800GS. Then we separated with a sorrowful heart, and with a crying eye from our "Liese", our BMW F800GS and have bought us in return for a Honda Innova. It was, as we say, a "rational decision".
Our Innova has accompanied us over the summer and served us well.
However, we quickly realized that it was a wrong decision for us. For the trip we are planning the Innova is not the appropriate vehicle. We have not really felt comfortable with it.
Long story short, we have a small Enduro discovered with 250cc, which has now come onto the market. With a few minor modifications (a stable rack mounted, extended and padded seat, the rear foot pegs offset so that the passenger "does not have the ears" knees) we are very happy.
We both have the feeling to sit on a "real" bike and also with two people you can sit comfortably thanks to the long suspension travel very well on gravel roads and sometimes over stick and stone. A compromise, but a very good one. The CFR is easy to handle with its 140kg and also of the design a "real" motorcycle, with decent brakes, a long travel suspension and a good frame made the difference for us.
On board there are also 2 folding bikes of the company "Dahoon". Although we might not be able to use them in any country, but wherever possible, we are at least somehow flexible.
And in case we can't continue neither with the truck, nor motorcycle or bicycle, or we just simply want a good fish on the plate, then the canoe will be used. Here we opted for a Gumotex Solar 410 C.
This canoe is considered stable and can be used in open waters near the coast, in lakes and rivers as well as limited use in easy whitewater. It is also important that you can use it as an individual only. With this kayak model the seats can easily be adjusted and doing soit can be converted to single-seater.
Our on-board tool is supplemented by a set gripping stud chains that the company RUD has sponsored. Although we hope that we never have to use them, it is good to know that we have them here.
In all decisions about our equipment one principle always is imperative: We both have must be able to use and handle everything.