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Swiss Engineer Designs Ultra Functional Van w/ Indoor Shower to Travel the Americas


This is Desiree and Andres. We live in our
van since eight months now. In the past we traveled with the Toyota Land Cruiser and we want
to go on a bigger trip. I’m too old to stay two years in a Land Cruiser. We think
we like to travel slow and we like to see how the landscapes change and we
want to have our small home with us on four wheels. It’s the reason why we
are actually in a van. This is our van. We call it Papa Pitufo. It’s Papa Smurf in Spanish and yeah because it’s blue. It’s a 4×4 Sprinter in the age of 2004. We
imported that from Germany to Switzerland. That kind of van was never
sold in the US. 4×4 system it’s from Ober Eichner. I think that it’s
a joint venture between Daimler and Ober Eichner. Small engine inside. It’s just a 2.2 liter engine. Yeah we have done some small modifications because we like to
travel down to South America. For us it was important that we have an additional
diesel filter system. They clean the diesel additionally and it also it takes
out the water of the diesel if you have inside. It’s a Euro 3 engine. That means a really old engine. They have not a problem if
the diesel starts to build paraffin. We mounted an additional pump that if we
run out of diesel that could pump easily the diesel from from the tank back to
the engine. In Canada we saw that all the locals they drive with that additional
mosquito net and we mounted too just to see how many bugs we collect here. Have
done some modification in the lights, additional LED bulbs inside. To the
cockpit area we have done also here some modification to see the
temperature. We have here for the voltage we mounted some additional USB
ports. Safety things, we have here a bear lock system. If we pump, we do the back gear in and then we lock the complete part. That means if somebody steal our car you have to do that in the in the back, back gear. Is that correct in English? Reverse. Reverse gear. We put some additional lights here for one it’s a blue light. It’s if I’m driving
that the light doesn’t have an influence when I drive. In the back additional LED’s,
we have a camera system mounted here. Under the door are LED’s. If the door gets
opened they light up the complete area outside. Here on that side we have
external fuel station for propane that means we are able to refill
the bottles from outside. Propane for us was also important that we have our own
bottle because about safety reasons. We have a mini wood stove and we have a
propane heating system. The system to refill our water tanks. 160 liters, I think
that is about 42 gallons of water. We have three different water tanks. One
it’s directly here under the car. They’re specially built for the Sprinter. If
you’re in area where it’s minus ten or minus twenty degrees we are not
able to use that but we have hundred liter inside. BF Goodrich tires an
additional one here on the back and the pipe here for the stove. From the
backside here is our Swiss number plate. We are from Switzerland. For us was
important that we have a good solution to store all our things, what we have with
us. That system is called Roco box system, you have that in all different
dimensions and we have here a water filter system with three filter units.
Here you can see some some parts about the heating system. Those pipes they
are bringing the hot air here to that area and because if we fold the bed
out like in that direction, our head is directly here. We have 200 watt
solar panels. Generally we have an additional battery. It’s an AGM battery, it’s directly here. 230 amp per hour.
We have a/c tech control system, that battery management system. Load that
battery with the alternator of the engine if the car is running and if not
we have 200 watt solar panel on the top. One of that panel it’s able as I’m able
to dismount that we have here additional connectors. Normally if the sun is
shining I really like to park the van in the
shadow and bring the panel’s to the Sun. In Germany that’s a normal system. It’s called Kaiter Chevey. Yeah we have that additional Jerrycan. We have also
two more under the van. That means we have additionally 60 liter of diesel. We
have here major control system for propane. We say for us it’s important
that we have that directly here on the door because if it’s not directly on the
door I think we yeah you get lazy and you you you don’t use it. The same with
electricity we have here one major switch. Here an additional table. We have
here a fridge SnoMaster yeah they build very very good fridges.
They are built specially for off-roading. Actually we have three different sensors.
One of them looks for propane and other gases and the other tools are for Keo
gas. I think that’s not a big topic actually in US but in Europe it’s a big
problem. If you are asleep on a rest area on a highway that some bad people they
let gas in your van and then you get really hard to sleep and then they steal
everything in the van and you are laying in the back and sleep for 12
hours. Wow, Desiree! *laughter* Hi and welcome inside to the van.
Start with the kitchen that’s where we cook. We also have running water system which is very practical and Andres did a very good job he just cut out all this the
wood we don’t really need because we don’t have so much weight. Here’s the rest of our cooking stuff like all the pans and all the spices. Here we have our
trash, olive oil, all the big bottles because the drawers are not high enough here. That’s where the gas bottles are. That’s where our toilet is. You can slide it in or out. Here is a wardrobe. For everybody we have like one drawer and yes it’s full because it’s mine. *laughter* And Andre’s, yeah. Andres knows that I always have cold
feet and yeah we had to build all the pipes of the propane heating system in
the car and he thought it’s maybe a nice idea to have this it’s like it canal
where the hot air is going through and this copper plate gets very warm and so
you can warm your feet here and yeah which is perfect for every woman. Here we can switch out the free water and when one is empty you can go
to another. Talking about water, that’s how we shower because for us it was very important to have a shower because we love to make sports and we said if you
are on a two years trip maybe we won’t do so much sport as we want when we don’t have the option to shower afterwards. We don’t want to lose room
because of the shower and this is the best solution for us and it works so
well. Yeah first we thought we have to do like four walls that nothing gets wet, but we
realized that it works good enough with just three walls. So we also decide you
want to have a big bed because we will go to so many places where it’s so hot
and yeah you need space when you share the bed. We have that piece, additional
piece of mattress, we put it then in the front or in the end. If we are in warm
places we can leave it like this the whole day because we can sit outside we
don’t need the table and this area for for dining. When the propane heating
system works on this there comes also out warm air, which is very perfect on my
side so yeah. Andres just did that for me. What makes me very sad is when when I
talk to people and they say, “What? You’re travelling like this. That was always my
dream” and I think what why haven’t you done it? It’s like it’s possible and a
lot of people told me in my age you have to focus on your career and don’t
be scared of your career or also of countries. A lot of people told us, “Oh,
don’t go to Mexico – Mexico it’s so dangerous”, but if we asked them, “You
you went to Mexico that you have bad experience?”, they said, “No, we never been in Mexico, we saw that in the newspaper”, and then we talked with people they are
really ranting (about) Mexico and they said, “Yeah! Do it! Do it!”. We really want to say also
thank you to a lot of friends, they helped us to build the van. Especially to
Winston and Alex and Chrishi that’s three person they are yeah were really
involved in that project and guys, thank you so much for your time and everything. Yeah, we’ll never forget about that. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode.
If you did be sure to LIKE comment and subscribe. And follow our trip on PapaPitufo.com or on Instagram, also on Facebook. Have a great week…bye!

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