22 January 2023 11:25
23 January 2023 16:34
As we announced in our last post, the time has come to leave Europe behind and turn the “World Tour” into an actual tour of the world. However, we still have lots to do before the Axor’s tyres touch the asphalt of another continent for the first time. After all, we need to prepare well for this new adventure.
First of all, we have to cover yet another immense stretch of motorway and travel quickly through a few countries. After a detour of several weeks to the British Isles, we catch the ferry to Dunkirk, France and drive non-stop to Brussels. Some friends offer to put us up and spend the weekend showing us the city. It’s a thumbs up all round for the Belgian capital, from the tiny Manneken Pis to the gigantic Atomium... and of course for authentic Belgian fries too!
Afterwards, we continue down the motorway. Next stop: Mannheim. Here, we have an appointment at the Mercedes‑Benz Commercial Vehicles Centre, where our Axor is put through its paces. We are delighted to see that the team running the tests is the same one that checked the camper at the start of our World Tour almost three years ago. We’ve now put more than 200,000 kilometres on the clock. The experts have to replace the steering tie rod, but apart from that, nothing major needs to be done – the Axor is truly an example of high-quality workmanship. Everything's done and dusted so quickly that we’re back on the road by the afternoon.
And then, for the first time in ages, we stop off in Switzerland. Of course, Switzerland is our home but the more we travel, the less we feel like this is the case. We've been feeling at home on the road for quite some time. Nevertheless, it's still great to visit our families and friends. We make the most of a sunny day by taking a trip to the Walensee, a lake which we enjoy visiting time and again. We don't go in our newly checked Axor, but by bike – the old stone tunnels on the lakeside road are far too tight for our lorry.
After just a few days’ break, it's time to move on again. We're still staying in Switzerland but travelling to Basel, where we can park the Axor in a hall to sort out the camper body and its contents. For the first time in what feels like forever, we sleep in an apartment above the hall instead of in the camper. The journey from bed to coffee machine suddenly seems unbelievably long.
We've been on the road with our Axor for four and a half years – including a break. This is the first time, we have completely cleared out the box body. Every piece of clothing, every spare part, every screw: we go through absolutely everything and decide what we need to keep with us on our journey and what we should leave behind. It’s amazing what you can accumulate in just ten square metres over time. It takes us a full two weeks to sort everything, clean the box, do an inventory and finally repack everything we are keeping.
From Basel, we head north towards Germany. Our first destination is the new Daimler Truck Campus in Leinfelden near Stuttgart. After more than three years, we meet the RoadStars team there again and have the opportunity to take a few souvenir photos with the Actros Edition 1 to 3 special models. Then we have another important appointment in Hanau near Frankfurt, where our Axor gets four new tyres.
We are now confident that our truck is fully equipped for its upcoming adventure. A few days later at the Port of Hamburg, we hand over full responsibility for our Axor for the first time ever. It’s a really strange feeling. After all, we no longer have a home for the time being and we have to put all our trust in the shipping company. By the time you read this post, we will be staying with relatives in Switzerland and our Axor will be sailing the high seas, safe and sound on board a ferry as it heads towards its destination. We will follow it via a long-haul flight and it’s summer there at the moment – and that's all we can tell you for now. All will be revealed in our next post.
An unparalleled journey.
Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the adventurous pair.
You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.