Why would you choose a 44-year-old former Mercedes-Benz postal van for your camper instead of a recent Sprinter? Well, according to Anni, the German woman who seems to have turned her life into an adventure using the machine, her decision involved the retro looks of the L407D van, as well as the reliability and simpler mechanical side of the vehicle.
Anni picked up Elsa, as she named the 1978 diesel van, back in 2019, with a bit of help from a friend. The vehicle already came with a camper conversion, but the thing had seen better days.
Overhauling the camper was a task she decided to handle herself (e.g. woodwork and interior decoration), while her father took care of the technical stuff, such as the plumbing and electrical connections.
The job was completed in 2020 and Anni appears to have put Elsa to serious work ever since—it seems like she goes on extended camping trips from spring to fall.
After all, with the Mercedes-Benz L407D packing a myriad of amenities and the enthusiast working remotely (she does graphic design and web development), traveling across Europe seemed like the natural thing to do. And, judging by her Instagram posts, this adventurous gal just celebrated her machine’s 44th birthday a few days ago, while in Croatia.
Full amenities and tech data
The van is fitted with a kitchen (there’s a fixed gas stove inside and a portable gas cooker for outdoor stuff), a gas heater, a fridge, a toiler, and a shower.
Then there’s the roof rack, a layer that not only adds solar panels to the electrical side of the project, but also seems to make for a proper reading spot. After all, getting comfortable at about 3 meters above ground while out in nature does sound like something to write home about… or document on the Internet.
With over 235,000 km (145,000 miles) on the clock and a 65 hp diesel engine, the 3,000 kg (6,600 lbs) Mercedes van has a top speed of 85 km/h (52 mph). However, as her driver tells us, the machine is happier to cruise at 65 km/h (40 mph), which seems like the kind of speed that allows people to wave at you…