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Book on how to build a campervan, motorhome, RV or overland truck or optimise any travel vehicle. Including digital planning tools.
Book on how to build a campervan, motorhome, RV or overland truck or optimise any travel vehicle. Including digital planning tools.
207 backers pledged €26,109 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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NOTE:

Dear supporters, please don´t be confused about the high number of perks. I just reduced all the prices of my perks and partly of the shipping costs and stopped the original perks. So right now we have double the amount of perks in. But as soon als all backers have switched to the cheaper perks I can delete the old ones and we get more clearness in that. I appologise for that, but you will benefit from the lower prices as well as from the reduced shipping costs. Thanks for your understanding and for supporting my campaign!


I had a dream.

For more than 20 years I dreamt of travelling the world far off the beaten track in my own offroad truck. As a windsurfer und kiteboarder I yearned for all the windy spots around the world to try them out. I thought I would never be able to afford it until I had the idea of building a truck on my own.

At the age of 44 I did it. I quit my job, took the money I saved for my pension and bought an old army truck. I had no experience ... but I had a dream, a strong will and guidance from friends who were pros. Together with my wife Edith, we built an expedition vehicle with our own hands.

 

 

 

After the build our first trip lasted eight months taking us to Morocco, Western Sahara and on our way back home through Spain, Portugal and France. After that trip I wrote this book in German on how to build a campervan, a motorhome or even an overland truck. This was in the year 2010. My book first came out on a CD-ROM, but my customers asked for "a real book". So after 2 years I produced a hardcover-book. The first issue started in 2012 and had 350 pages. I did not only describe my build but also the reasons why I did things in a specific way and what alternatives would have been possible. So my readers can retrace my decisions and take other ones if they consider them more beneficial to their project.

German edition, 39 chapters, 512 pages 1200+ pictures
German edition, 39 chapters, 512 pages 1200+ pictures

Due to the great success of the book I had to publish a second edition in 2014 with 450 pages and the third one just came out a couple of weeks ago in April 2016, now with 512 pages, 39 chapters and more than 1200 pictures.

 In the motorhome and overland community this book is known as the motorhome builder’s bible. We´ve got well over 100 fivestar testimonials of reader satisfaction and it has inspired hundreds of motorhome selfbuilders to do it on their own.

Here are some of the testimonials: 

 

  

furniture and interior

 

Production: The good thing: Concept and the design of the book have already been done for the German edition. Part of the translation is also done, so there is only the need to do the final part of the translation, the editing, the layout of the English copy text and finally the printing. The latter is the most expensive, but if jointly we manage to raise just € 20.000,-, production costs will be covered.

Where will the money go?

Timing: Once the campaign has been successful we will need approx. two months for the translation, one month for editing and desktop-publishing and another month for the printing. So we can expect delivery of the hardcover book in October, and even a few weeks earlier of the e-book.

Other support: I´m pretty sure that there are enough people out there who are dreaming of a campervan, an RV or even an expedition vehicle. If you cannot or don´t want to back this campaign please support us by spreading the word among your friends, share it on facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram or any other social media platform so that we reach all those people dreaming of different travels or even an extraordinary life.

Our vision - could be yours as well: We experienced that the truck in front of our door changed our whole lives. I quit my job as a consultant for advertising agencies and concentrated fully on my work as an author which I can do from anywhere in the world. I also have written and published a business-book in German with the title "Wirtschaft und Liebe" - which translates as "Economy and Love".

This life-changing process took me aproximately five years. And now we are almost within grasp of our goal - to travel and work from anywhere in the world. This is our vision spurring us on to ever greater achievement. To build an overland truck will definately change your holidays and your travels, and it might change your whole life as well.

Therefore we need your support to make the English version of the book become a reality too. If you help us produce the English edition, we will help you with all the information needed to build you own campervan, motorhome or overland truck. Ultimately, to help you save up to 100.000 Euros by doing it yourself. That’s more money in your pocket to fulfil your travel dreams.

Thanks for your support!

Ulrich, Edith and the whole team

 

With the followingpictures I want to guide you through the whole build process:   

Mercedes 914 AK from the Dutch army
Mercedes 914 AK from the Dutch army

 

Our new home. Zeppelin FM 2 shelter from the German army.
Our new home. Zeppelin FM 2 shelter from the German army.

The chassis waiting for the box
The chassis waiting for the box

 

UCS: United Components of "Starlet" - that´s the name of our truck
UCS: United Components of "Starlet" - that´s the name of our truck

 

Designing your individual floor plan is very easy with the planning tool coming with the book / e-book for free. There are more than 10 layouts you can choose and modify them to your needs.
Designing your individual floor plan is very easy with the planning tool coming with the book / e-book for free. There are more than 10 layouts you can choose and modify them to your needs.

 

Aprox. 2000 rivets have to be drilled out to remove the rails from the walls and ceiling.
Aprox. 2000 rivets have to be drilled out to remove the rails from the walls and ceiling.

 

Coating the walls and ceiling with an adhesive designed for glass fibre wall paper.
Coating the walls and ceiling with an adhesive designed for glass fibre wall paper.

 

Make the first cutout from the inside using a long saw blade and remove the section.
Make the first cutout from the inside using a long saw blade and remove the section.

 

Shorten the saw blade according to the Z-profile. Execute the exterior cut.
Shorten the saw blade according to the Z-profile. Execute the exterior cut.

 

Using a universal cutter and a steel rule, make two vertical cuts in the PU foam.
Using a universal cutter and a steel rule, make two vertical cuts in the PU foam.

 

Carefully remove the outer section of the wall to leave a profiled cutout tailored to house the Z-profile frame.
Carefully remove the outer section of the wall to leave a profiled cutout tailored to house the Z-profile frame.

 

Coat the contact surface of the Dometic- Seitz S4 window frame with Dekaseal and fit into the Z-profile frame, screw them together.
Coat the contact surface of the Dometic- Seitz S4 window frame with Dekaseal and fit into the Z-profile frame, screw them together.

 

Ouch! Shit happens! The hatch was planned to be installed horizontally. So imagine the gut-wrenching feeling I experienced when the jigsaw ground to a halt after hitting a structural member in the wall.
Ouch! Shit happens! The hatch was planned to be installed horizontally. So imagine the gut-wrenching feeling I experienced when the jigsaw ground to a halt after hitting a structural member in the wall.

 

The hatch will just have to be installed vertically.
The hatch will just have to be installed vertically.

 

When preparing the electrical installation, you should have a pretty good idea as to where you intend to install what appliance, so that you can lay the cables to the correct places in advance.
When preparing the electrical installation, you should have a pretty good idea as to where you intend to install what appliance, so that you can lay the cables to the correct places in advance.

 

All the cable ends conglomerate next to the connecting tunnel to make an apparent chaos. Labelling is imperative.
All the cable ends conglomerate next to the connecting tunnel to make an apparent chaos. Labelling is imperative.

 

Cable ducts are even laid around the container locks.
Cable ducts are even laid around the container locks.

 

Preparing the cockpit wall for the connecting tunnel.
Preparing the cockpit wall for the connecting tunnel.

 

This is what the bellows look like when the cockpit is tilted.
This is what the bellows look like when the cockpit is tilted.

 

The metal frame is bonded to the cockpit using PU adhesive and positioned with C-clamps.
The metal frame is bonded to the cockpit using PU adhesive and positioned with C-clamps.

 

Now you can see who really does all the work. Edith is making space for the rollers in the sliding door.
Now you can see who really does all the work. Edith is making space for the rollers in the sliding door.

 

Installation of the WEBASTO Dual Top RHA 1000 diesel heating with 11l water boiler.
Installation of the WEBASTO Dual Top RHA 1000 diesel heating with 11l water boiler.

 

Final installation of the heating with the water filtration system.
Final installation of the heating with the water filtration system.

 

 

 

 

 

Three separate watertanks are in place.
Three separate watertanks are in place.

 

In my water system a Shurflo pump pumps the water from one the watertanks through a waterfilter system from Famous Water into the pipes.
In my water system a Shurflo pump pumps the water from one the watertanks through a waterfilter system from Famous Water into the pipes.

 

Building a shelf underneath the bed. It is divided into four to make it easier to take out again.
Building a shelf underneath the bed. It is divided into four to make it easier to take out again.

 

Building the seating area.
Building the seating area.

 

Hatch opened to reveal the shelf in the storage area under the bed.
Hatch opened to reveal the shelf in the storage area under the bed.

 

The lids of the seat chests are also fitted with stainless steel piano hinges.
The lids of the seat chests are also fitted with stainless steel piano hinges.

 

 

Installation of the eclectric compontents.
Installation of the eclectric compontents.

 

Electronics centre under the step in front of the tunnel. Solar controller, FI earth leakage circuit breaker, inverter 1.5 kW,  distribution panels with fuses, 12 V charger for cabin batteries, B-to-B charger 24:12 V.
Electronics centre under the step in front of the tunnel. Solar controller, FI earth leakage circuit breaker, inverter 1.5 kW, distribution panels with fuses, 12 V charger for cabin batteries, B-to-B charger 24:12 V.

 

One of the improvements oft he last years: Two Mastervolt Ultra 2500 lithium-ion batteries, each 180 Ah, power our system to meet our needs for electricity when working during our travels.
One of the improvements oft he last years: Two Mastervolt Ultra 2500 lithium-ion batteries, each 180 Ah, power our system to meet our needs for electricity when working during our travels.

 

A 50 A Mastervolt battery charger completes the ensemble.
A 50 A Mastervolt battery charger completes the ensemble.

 

 

 

 

 There is still plenty of work on the outside:

The new 300 liter tank needs to be installed.
The new 300 liter tank needs to be installed.

 

Covers for our skylights give us a little more reassurance should we leave Starlet unattended and provide good protection against low branches.
Covers for our skylights give us a little more reassurance should we leave Starlet unattended and provide good protection against low branches.

 

Installation of the electrics for the rear carrier.
Installation of the electrics for the rear carrier.

 

Retractable rear carrier, capable of carrying two complete spare wheels and a motorcycle or other equipment.
Retractable rear carrier, capable of carrying two complete spare wheels and a motorcycle or other equipment.

 

Starlet gets new eyes: Converting from Mercedes square lights to four round 7” LED headlamps is an enormously improved lighting power compared to their predecessors.
Starlet gets new eyes: Converting from Mercedes square lights to four round 7” LED headlamps is an enormously improved lighting power compared to their predecessors.


These and so much more improvementes are explained in the book as well, not only the build. So you also benefit from my book if you "only" want to modify and improve an existing travel vehicle.

 

 

 

 

 

 A truck like this gives you the opportunity to travel anywhere and to be inidependent from paved roads, water and energy supply. It´s a tool to discover real freedom.

With my book you will be able to build a truck like this and save a lot of money you´d better spend on travels.
Cheers

Ulrich

Risks and challenges

Risks:
Due to the fact that I have done the entire publishing process three times for the German book, I am really aware of the work behind and what is required to produce a book in high quality. It will be printed in Germany, but if there are many backers from the US we will do a separate printing in the USA.
Because of the fixed funding goal there is no risk for my backers. If we don´t reach the goal everybody will receive his or her money back. That´s the deal with Kickstarter.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    Donation to support the realisation of the English book.
    Thank you for your support and helping us bring our English version of the book to the market. Aside from our eternal gratitude you will receive all project updates and we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

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    Travel report
    A very personal travel report about our first trip with our overland truck through the south of Europe, Morocco and Western Sahara. Maybe the best thing to motivate yourself to do a build on your own.
    PDF-file with 136 pages - including pictures.

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    1 hour coaching via skype. You can ask all your questions concerning your project.

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    Reduced Price: 4 Hardcover Books Retailer Pack -
    be the first dealer for the book!
    4 books "Motorhome self-build and optimisation" including digital tools for planning and documentation of the electrics and to design the layout.

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    Industry support package

    If your company builds or sells campers, or if you are an equipment manufacturer or retailer and you see potential benefit by participating in the international distribution of my book, then please consider this offer:

    By supporting my campaign with € 500, you receive 1/8 of a page in landscape format for your logo, a brief company description and your internet URL. This does not include any product information as my book is free of any advertising. All industrial partners supporting my campaign will be listed alphabetically at the end of my book. This support package also includes two hardback copies.

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Funding period

- (44 days)