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2005_05_28

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"Saverne- cabin connection canvas good-bye

On this his long and very beautiful weekend with high temperatures finally Big Foot received the real, appropriate treatment! But first something about the hectic of the last days: Thursday was public holiday and I picked up a trailer which I had bought through Ebay. It was one with air-brakes, from former German Federal Armed Forces with 1,5 t additional load. Since it had been used after the German Federal Armed Forces by THW (technical assistance group), it had the civilian towing eye, thus ideally for the use with Big Foot. Also the condition was very good. The problem was the electric connection, a 7-pin 12V-version, which did not fit at all to the socket of Big Foot. Nevertheless the transport worked out fine without problems!

However - when I arrived at home I found water of the cooling system under the motor of Big Foot. The following inspection showed unfortunately that the usual hose connectors were not leaky, but water leaked from the water pump! So only a workshop date at Mercedes could help Ė because of the planned Four-Wheel-Drive weekend in Saverne, France early in the morning of the next day.

In addition a full acceptance of the trailer was planned to take place at the next day. To get this done I only had two choices: modify either the plug or the socket. Normally no problem, but: Because of the bridge day the gentleman of the TUEV had already warned me, that it may be extremely busy on Friday. He however had planned to start from 7:30h. So I set the bell on Friday for 5:45h and arrived well in advance at the TUEV location. I wanted to be there before the examiner arrived, so that he could not make problems because of the missing lighting. When he came I had uncoupled the trailer and explained my problems to him: full TUEV check, but no lighting, water radiator leaking = workshop date.

An examination of the trailer was not possible without a suitable connection to the towing vehicle, since he could not examine the lighting. But he told me that adapters would be available!

So my next destination was Mercedes Benz. As the first customer they welcomed me with the words: "Hopefully it is nothing urgent, we are already fully booked!" So I described again my problems. The first date specified was "Saturday" but they had understanding for my situation checked again. They didnít had a water pump in stock. But it could be delivered till 12:30h from the central storage depot. Furthermore they gave me adapter for the electrical connection for my TUEV appointment. So I drove back to the TUEV station and waved proudly with the adapter. The examination now started, everything was almost perfect, until we recognized that the adapter is the 24V-version and does not fit to the 12V-connector of the trailer! But because everything else was correct, I got the documents with the strict notice to bring the electrical system into condition, which fits to the towing vehicle.

So I drove with the trailer to Mercedes and asked them to mount the right plug to the trailer. This shows the pretty much blue trailer on the yard of the Mercedes Benz workshop.

 

 

After this problem was solved, I returned the trailer to its new homeland in the garden, where he will accompany in the future Big Foot. Afterwards it went with Big Foot immediately back to Mercedes Benz for the disassembly of the water pump. Since I had now no more vehicle, I wanted to do some purchases for the trip to Saverne in a shop with the small Herkules motorcycle, but when opening the fuel-lock, fuel rinsed out. When wanted to check where is immerged I suddenly had the end of the L-shaped fuel-lock in my hands Ė everything seemed to go into the wrong direction! In the close by motorcycle workshop, which I visited by foot, they told me that they do not have those any more! But they told me that another workshop in the city centre normally should have them in stock Ė but how to get there without vehicle? So back again to Mercedes and after some trials I was able to push the fuel hose onto the remainder stub as a provisional solution. Now I was mobile again and settle the most necessary purchases. I met also two trucks, with which I had arranged a convoy to Saverne at the supermarket in Bad Kreuznach. Around 12:30h the water pump must have arrived in time, at my return the engineers already had started the re-assembling. After a further hour everything was finished, a 30 minutes test run at 30įC outside temperature with fully opened heating system Ė to allow the cooling water to get rid of air Ė showed no problems and finally at 14:45h I started!
Thanks again to the Mercedes team, which saved the weekend to me!

 

Thomas drove in front with his Mercedes 1113 and his wife made the scout. The parking situation was not an easy task, approx. 65 trucks were there. In the evening there were two seminars about travel medicine and about a trip to Lybia - both very interesting - thanks again to the speaks. And thatís how the camp looked on the next morning:

 

 

Saturday was the first day, on which we were allowed to drive. Here a Willy's got stuck in the mud.

 

 

The real terrain for Unimogs:

 

 

 

It was amazing what cross-country capability this Robur had.

 

 

Tino managed with his Hanomag heavy terrain and carried proudly mud up to the hood:

 

 

 

Matthias was not afraid at all of deep mud:

 

 

Here now some photos of Big Foot:

 

 

After Klaus got stuck with his Tatra 6x6, I had to push him with Big Foot reverse out of the mud:

As you can imagine, it was Big Foot which had got stuck - thanks Klaus for the assistance!

 

 

A large damage didnít take place, nevertheless Big Foot had some scrapes:

 

 

No, I donít want to show the mud-covered front but how auxiliary headlights had gone in an aerodynamic position themselves:

 

 

And at the rear protection bar a reflector had not been up to the forces:

 

 

And as mentioned in the title, the bellow was torn in pieces by the extreme twisting between the drivers cabin and the living cabin:

 

 

But after a break it started again:

 

 

Here in another water hole:

 

 

Some photos, to try are to show, what is possible with the vehicles. I would like to highlight that these photos donít show at all, which inclinations it is: at some of the hills you canít walk but must climb:

 

 

Even extremely cross-country vehicles can get themselves stuck - here Christian:

 

 

Dagmar with their Mog:

 

 

Many, many thanks to the organisation team, to all the nice visitors, which I had the pleasure to meet, and sorry to those from which I didnít took any photos. It was super fun with you all and I would be happy to meet again with you!

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Stand: 24. September 2010