(One of) the biggest 4×4 and off-road expo’s in the world, Abenteuer & Allrad, takes place in Bad Kissingen, Germany. An event every overland traveler should go to at least once. It takes place for 5 days (end of May or beginning of June) and has 2 major highlights, the expo itself and the camp area.
The expo is located on top of a hill, where once the army was based. You can find here:
- 4×4 cars, pickups and builders, like Land Rover, Jeep, Buschtaxi, Toyota, Exkab, etc . Jeep and Land Rover have their own compact off-road park, where you can go along for a ride and experience their off-road capacities.
- vans/campers and builders, like VW, ka-mobile, etc.
- expedition truck builders, like bliss mobil, action mobil, ormocar, twiga, etc. Especially interesting if you want to buy a finished truck or when you are designing the lay-out of your future truck.
- off-road equipment, especially for the cars, pickups and vans. For example, roof tents, winches,light bars, cool boxes, etc.
You can’t go to the expo without a stop at the CAMP AREA. Everything on the expo (and more) is put into practice on the camp area. You can discover every kind of off-road vehicle here. Although not many, also regular cars, campers and caravans stay overnight to collect ideas for the future. Everybody is welcome. The camp area seems to get bigger and more popular each year. You can easily spend an entire day or even more just walking around and talking to people about their vehicles and their adventures. Thus, if you skip the camp area you will regret it!
What to expect if you want to stay overnight at the camp area? On arrival a fee is to be paid at the entrance (this year, 2015, it was 60€/vehicle for the entire 5 days). In return you receive an unforgettable experience. The busiest days are Wednesday until Friday. Which means that finding a spot then to park your vehicle between the about 1000 others can feel like a puzzle. It is for sure an intriguing spectacle. But no worries, once parked you don’t need to move it to drive to the fair or grocery store. A shuttle service, which runs all day, will bring you to the expo and back and there are grocery stores located right next to the camp area. On the camp area itself there is water and clean bathrooms (toilets & showers) available. If you don’t feel like cooking, a pizzeria and bar will keep you happy. And each morning, a baker sells fresh buns and sweets at the entrance. As such, after 10 years Elmer still looks forward to next one. Thus, in 2016 we will be present again.
How did we EXPERIENCE the camp area this year?: We met up with several old friends and made many new; all driving a different overland vehicles (e.g., Landrover Defenders, a Grand Cherokee and Freelander with roof tent, Nissan Pickup with camper, Daf Leyland with shelter). We arrived Wednesday in the early afternoon as the first one of our party. Luckily we did, because in no time we were surrounded by countless other overlanders. It was even so busy that tens of vehicles who arrived after sunset (around 10:30PM) had to temporarily park on the grocery parking lot until they could find their spot on the camp area the next morning.
We had only just parked our truck or the first people already came by asking us questions about the truck and our plans, and if they could look inside. How fantastic! This is what these days are all about, sharing information and inspiration. And overland travelers have more than enough to share! Each evening we opened our fridges or coolboxes to prepare food for the entire group and everyone who felt like joining us. Once the temperature dropped crates full of wood were unloaded to start a bonfire that kept us warm till late in the night. Of all the evenings Friday was probably the most memorable one. We sat with over 15 people – a mix of nationalities – around the row of tables enjoying our dinner and with a band playing music in the background adding to a truly relaxing summer evening.
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