Once we started thinking about buying a truck and building an Expedition Camper again,we knew that we had to go to Bad Kissingen. Nowhere in the world you can find that many exhibitors together on the Overlanding subject.
We ordered our wristbands (four day entrance) and spot on the campsite in advance, and hoped for the best. These days it is always the question if an evenent this big can continue due to Covid-outbreaks.
As it is a 600 km drive we decided to travel on Wednesday so we would be there early Thursday, the first day of the fair. In the evening we found a nice and quiet motorhome parking in Melsungen.
Melsungen has a very well preserved old village centre with beautiful half-timbered houses. We went to have dinner and ended up in the ‘Ratskeller’. It looked like a typical German restaurant, in the cellar of the old city hall, but it turned out to be a mix of Indian and traditional German food. So Amy had an Indian dish and RP went for the Mixed Grill. After dinner we went for a walk with Scotty and turned in for the night.
During the night our Freerider was shaking every now and then as the winds had picked up: a real storm! The next morning, we drove off to Bad Kissingen and we were swept back and forth on the highway.
We reached Camp 1 around 10 o’clock and the formalities were swiftly done by the crew of Abenteuer & Allrad. We were told to find a spot of our own liking. It already looked extremely crowded and we drove onto a field behind the Aldi. The wet grass had already turned into slippery mud, so we engaged 4×4 and low gear. Luckily we found a perfect spot in the far corner of the field and prepared our camp.
Unfortunately it was still storming so the organisation had to call off the first day of the exhibition. At first we were disappointed but soon found out that this could be a blessing in disguise. It gave us all day to walk around Camp 1 at look at alle the fantastic vehicles. From Land Rovers with a rooftop tent to a MAN KAT 8×8, they were all present. It took us several hours to just walk around Camp 1.
In the afternoon Niels came by. We knew each other from the MAN HX60 group on Facebook, but never met ‘in the flesh’. It turned out that he was born in a village just next to ours, and that we had common friends. Niels is also looking for a HX60 that will be the base for his build. So, we had a lot to talk about. Later that afternoon we walked to the centre of Bad Kissingen. Lots of Spa’s and old traditional hotels but clearly aimed at the Boomer generation, and older.
As it was still very windy and raining, we had a raclette dinner in our Sprinter, did some reading, had another muddy walk with Scotty and turned in. We had a good night sleep and after breakfast we wanted to head for the exhibition. I received a WhatsApp from Niels that he was already standing in line for the buses for over an hour. And had not moved an inch!
There was clearly a problem getting all the people to the exhibition grounds. Niels had already started walking and I called him to say that we would join him on the way up. After an hour of walking we reached the Abenteuer & Allrad exhibition grounds. It was a stiff walk, especially some steep hills in the forest, but we liked it much better then waiting in an endless line for a bus. Scotty definitely enjoyed the forest.
Again there were big queues at the entrance, but luckily an extra gate opened and we could slip by. We collected our wristbands after being checked for our Corona-passport. We were in! And what a sight it was. It was fantastic to see so many exhibitors with all kinds of products. From lithium batteries via rooftop tents to finished Expedition trucks!
We spent the rest of the day on the fair and met up with RP’s best friend Remco & wife Willemijn who were looking for ideas & accessories for their new Sprinter 4×4.
We mainly focused on box builders and saw some very nice units. We were particularly impressed by the all wooden Zirbenbox from Austria. They showed off very cosy interiors, wood burners and a retractable terrace on the side of the box.
Next, we came across a brand new Mercedes-Benz Arocs. The box itself was ready, but empty for self-developing-build. RP was really tempted because this Arocs ticked a lot of boxes: brand new, automatic, differential lockers on all axles, winch and the ‘monster-look’.
After a good night sleep we decided that we just like the MAN HX60 too much and want full direction over the (box)build. And yes, the Arocs was also a little too big and pricy for our goal, the Mountain Yacht.
We really like the idea of a real wood-stove in our Mountain Yacht. We are looking at a lot of options and are very charmed by the Tiny-Stove from Switzerland. Luckily they were also present at the Abenteuer & Allrad. We got a good look at the tiny stove classic and the retractable chimney that they are working on. Cannot wait to see that in production, it would solve a lot of problems!
We were among the last to leave the premises on Friday and luckily this time a bus was waiting for us! The weather had been fairly good, rather cold but no rain so we decided to have a BBQ next to our Freerider. We built a small fire and ‘started’ the Cobb. Amy went to Aldi to get some fresh bread and rolls for the Angus hamburgers.
We fully enjoyed the BBQ and stayed up with our Irish coffees talking until late about all the impressions of the day.
The next morning (Saturday) we walked up to the front of the camp only to see the enormous waiting line for the busses again. We immediately decided to walk up again. We spent the day talking to several Box builders. Even before the Abenteuer & Allrad we were very charmed by the Boxes from Motorcraft Adventure Developments. We liked the possibility of an alcove on the box on the HX60 a lot.
On Friday we talked to Tina, Gary and Ian and were impressed by the design and build quality. The (roof)hatches, windows and especially the Safari hatch look awesome and sturdy. So we went back on Saturday and talked some more in detail and decided to visit Motorcraft Adventure Developments in the next couple of weeks to ‘talk box’.
In the afternoon we went back to Camp 1 by bus, packed our things as we were leaving for Bad Neustadt. We planned to have dinner with Willemijn & Remco who stayed there in a hotel.
We found a nice spot for our Freerider and went for a long walk with Scotty. We had dinner at restaurant Haus am Park and had a fantastic evening with serious abdominal pain of laughing!
Before we left for the trip back home the next morning, we had a quick breakfast and a nice walk again with Scotty. The fields were still frozen, it was beautiful weather!
For us the Abenteuer & Allrad 2021 was a fantastic event. We found lots of inspiration for our build and saw lots of boxes and materials that we are going to use. We made the right contacts that will help us decide on our build.
There was a lot of critic on the organisation (Facebook) for the long waiting lines for the buses and the entrance of the exhibition itself. Those critics have a point and hopefully the organisation will sort it out for next year.
We did not mind this much, we liked the walk, the incredible exhibition line-up and all the vehicles in the camps.
We hope to be back in 2022 with our Mountain Yacht!