- Lou and I have been living in this incredible
2017 Mercedes G Wagon for the last two weeks,
traveling through Iceland and today,
we thought we'd give you a full van tour.
Starting with the kitchen and the bedroom,
the bathroom and then we will show you
what this car is really made for and that is
driving through rivers.
Hi, I'm Dana and my husband, Lou,
is behind the camera filming right now
and today we wanted to show you
the 2017 Mercedes G Wagon that we've been living in
for the last two weeks while we've toured Iceland,
and you might be thinking,
"This doesn't look like a G Wagon,"
and that's because this G Wagon has been
transformed into an incredible off-roading machine.
- [Lou] So the story begins with a Mercedes Benz G350d
professional G Wagon that
my cousin Tim and his wife, Rika, bought,
and then they hired the experts
at Off Road Center in Germany
to cut their brand new car in half, remove the back
and extend the chassis to a wheel based length
not available in Germany.
Next, they upgraded the suspension
and attached a carbon cabin on the back
with modular aluminum frame shelving.
- And they also moved all the electronics up,
added a snorkel and did so many crazy things
that this vehicle can go through rivers, snow, blizzards,
survive hurricanes, it really is a machine
built for adventure and so I thought we would show you
the interior first.
So the kitchen here is really different than other vans,
at least the ones I've ever experienced,
and that is because there is
no gas, no propane, nothing like that, it's all electric,
and that's because we have
a two burner induction stove top over here
and then we have a 180 amp hour battery
and a 3000 Watt inverter plus two solar panels
on the top of the car,
but the battery can be charged when the van is driving.
So that's really helpful and we haven't actually
had any power issues, which has been incredible
because we like to cook a lot.
So this is the stove top I was telling you about.
It's an induction stove top with two burners.
We opened all the windows
so it won't get too oniony in here.
And to turn it on, you actually have to turn on the inverter
because we don't keep that on all the time
because it sucks a lot of power.
So then you come up here.
To turn on the inverter, you go to the AC energy,
then you go here and then you click here.
So in here we have induction pan
and you actually have the house special pans
when you have an induction stove top.
So we've made a lot of yummy meals here,
which has been really fun,
but induction does take a little bit of getting used to,
I'm not sure if the power is like completely even,
but when you're making rice,
make sure it doesn't burn on the bottom
because it's very tricky,
but otherwise, it's really fun and it's nice
that you don't have to worry about getting gas anywhere,
you can always have power just by driving or the sun,
and I feel like that's really nice when you are
taking a car like this in all sorts of different places,
you don't have to worry about ever finding gas.
No matter where Lou and I are where in the world,
whether in a house or in a van,
we spend a lot of time in the kitchen
and that's what was so fun about this
because we had a tea kettle
so we can make tea every morning,
we made oatmeal, we made pasta.
- Thank you for dinner.
- You're welcome.
Basically it's just been really fun to be here
because the set up in the kitchen is really nice.
We have a couch that you can sit on,
a table that comes out so we can enjoy meals together,
not like crouched over in bed or anything like that,
so I feel like that's one of the biggest perks of this van
is that when you're actually living in it,
it's really comfortable to cook in,
the induction works great,
there is all the resources we need
and there's also a lot of storage
so you could go to the grocery store and really stock up.
Here we have all of your spices and small little glasses
for fancy drinks, plus normal glasses,
the van is kitted out with everything you could need,
plus plates, bowls, cutting board, knives, everything,
and then the part that I like the most,
because Lou and I do like to cook a lot,
is that there's so much storage for your actual food
so you can get like rice, dried oats,
all the things like the staples that we eat,
we stock the van and I think
we only went to the grocery store twice
in our whole time in Iceland, which is incredible
because we cook all of our own meals,
but we could really just pack the van full of canned beans,
rice, oats and we are set,
which is really really nice treat because
when you're going off-roading,
you're going to the middle of nowhere basically
and there's not grocery stores there,
kind of you can really get yourself in a predicament
if you were going super out into the middle of nowhere
and didn't have any groceries,
so this car you can really stock up.
Not only in groceries though,
you have a 80 Liter water tank as well,
plus it also has storage for a lot of tools.
Like this has everything you need.
If you got tuck like wrench and ropes and metal chains,
it has air compressors so you can actually
inflate and deflate your tires completely on your own
just using the power of the engine in this little machine.
(car engine ignites)
(car engine running)
It has a satellite phone and it has
all the first aid things that you would need as well.
It has a fire extinguisher, like I'm trying to think,
it just has so many things.
Every time we open up different drawers in the van,
we were shocked at how prepared this van is for adventure.
There's also incredible outdoor storage,
which has been really helpful.
Here you can clean the car.
The other thing is that all of this outdoor things
have locks on them in case you're in a place
where you felt like you need to lock your stuff.
There's a hose, there's so much stuff,
but at this level when you're driving through a river,
it could get wet,
but if it's just hoses and stuff to clean the car,
it's not a big deal.
So this van has two bed options
and we use both of them during our time in Iceland.
When it's really windy because in Iceland
we somehow got caught in multiple hurricane level winds,
we would sleep down here on the bottom,
but if it's nice out, we sleep in the top
because it's much more comfortable.
Option one, sleeping downstairs.
To do that, you have to move the pillows.
This is bed option number one.
It's very comfortable.
Watch your head.
Okay, so bed option number two,
it means the ceiling comes down and you crawl up here.
This is where spend about half of the nights
when we were traveling through Iceland.
When it wasn't a crazy storm, we would sleep up here
and it's really really nice.
There's good airflow, I feel like
it's like camping or something.
Like you're in this pop tent
and you really feel like you're part of nature.
Whereas when you're in the bottom,
it feels more like you're sleeping in a car.
One of the things that's really nice about this pop tent
is that it's not pitched.
I feel like with a lot of cars that have pop tents,
they come up like on an angle like that,
but this one comes straight up
so it means that there's a lot of room.
You can turn around like this
and it's worked out really nicely for us.
Now I'm a little dizzy.
So at first this van might seem like
it doesn't have a bathroom,
but it's actually hiding right in here.
This is a porter potty
that you can just bring with you,
and Lou and I actually have never used one of these
before this trip and our van that we live in full time,
we have a different kind of toilet,
so it was definitely an experience to use this,
but it turned out to be really really easy.
There's just these little blue tabs
that you put in the water and yeah.
We used it mainly just for peeing in the middle of the night
because in Iceland, you can't wild camp at all
so we were at campsites every night that had bathrooms,
but this is great in an emergency.
(car door opens)
(car roof opens)
One of the really cool things about this van
is that you can raise the roof.
♪ Dee dee ♪
I couldn't help it, it's so corny,
but you can raise the roof with these buttons.
So when we first arrive at any location,
the first thing we do is put the roof up.
That makes it much easier to live in here,
you're comfortable, you can stand up
and not have to crouch over,
and then before bed, you pull it down
and then you can climb up and the bed is right there
and it's already made.
So Gregor even has a shower and can get hot water,
you just have to turn on the hot water boiler
when you're driving so it has time to heat up.
I think it's about like half an hour,
and then you can put out the shower, take a shower
and enjoy even privacy because it has a shower curtain.
I should just take a shower right now.
I feel like if you're on a summer vacation trip
this would be incredible.
Okay so we just crawl to the front.
Since this car only has
the front two doors and the back door,
we do do a lot of crawling in this little section here,
which worked out fine.
So now that we're in the cockpit of the van,
I wanted to show you all the different controls
and systems that the van has to make it really capable
of extreme situations.
So let's pretend we're driving up to a river right now.
You're heart is racing but you're ready.
This car is capable.
All you have to do is put the car into neutral,
then put on the low range, go back into drive,
now you keep driving closer to the river,
you want to put the differential one on.
If it's a really really deep river,
maybe I would put the second one on as well.
You also need to remember to turn the auto off button off,
because you don't want the car just turning off
in the middle of the river.
That's actually the worst thing that could possibly happen
because if the engine gets turned off,
the exhaust doesn't have hot air coming out of it
and then water can get in through the exhaust,
break your whole car.
So definitely auto off button must be turned off.
Then, this is the other lesson I realized
as we were driving through these rivers,
I was so nervous the first time, I didn't realize
I was driving way too fast.
Luckily this car has the snorkel
so it didn't really matter because
the first river we went through wasn't so, so high,
but if you drive too fast you can actually
push the water, like it turns into a wall
and it can come up over the top of the car,
and that is the worst thing to do.
So when you drive in rivers, slow and steady wins the race.
It might seem scary to go slow,
but it actually is much safer for you and the car,
so that is one thing that we learned.
Oh I forgot the funniest part.
- [Lou] Yeah tell em.
- When you get to a river,
you send out your beautiful husband in weighters.
Weighters are going back on.
- Better safe than sorry.
- [Dana] And Lou would go out
and see how deep the water was.
- This is definitely our deepest water crossing so far,
but the ground is really nice, it's all like small rocks.
- [Dana] Okay cool.
- [Lou] So it should be okay.
- [Dana] Let's do it. - [Lou] Good luck.
- It's just been really fun
to have such a nice car to drive around.
I feel really luck, Lou.
- [Lou] Yeah that was good.
- It was a really really fun adventure
and I don't know, it's just so nice
to be in a car that you feel is so capable
of doing anything you need and also
that is really comfortable.
- [Lou] Yeah, thanks, Tim.
- Thanks, Tim. (bell dings)
Really appreciate it.
Sorry we were a little hard on it.