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Family Fun in a Mercedes Fire Truck Overland RV

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Are you brave enough to go fulltime RVing in a country where you don’t speak the language? This French family sure is. The Rigos transported their Mercedes fire truck overland RV from France to North America without knowing a word of English.

A family of four lives in this Mercedes fire truck overland RV.

Mercedes fire truck overland RV
Rene Agredano

In 2012, Anthony Rigo and his wife Benedicte decided they’d had enough of living an ordinary life. They also wanted to show their young children the world before they got too big. Anthony purchased this old Mercedes fire truck and turned it into a family-friendly overlander RV that could go anywhere in the world.

Can you see this as your next RV?

Mercedes fire truck overland RV
Anthony Rigo

As an auto mechanic by trade, Anthony knew that he had the know-how to tackle renovating this Mercedes Benz 1113 4×4. This L-series truck is ideal for global expeditions.

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Known for its ability to handle the craziest road conditions, it’s a popular find in the Middle East, South America and Africa. Today, global travelers consider the Mercedes fire truck overland RV as one of the best for world expeditions.

The Mercedes Benz 1113 4×4 can go anywhere.

Mercedes fire truck overland RV
Anthony Rigo

Anthony had the self-contained, solar-powered home on wheels painted green because it reflects the couple’s love of nature and the outdoors.

And as a hair stylist with a knack for good taste, Benedicte crafted a contemporary interior that’s as stylish as an Ikea floor display. It features a full kitchen, dining area, wet bath, two bunks on the main level for the kids’ beds, and a loft over the living area where the couple sleeps.

You’d never guess it’s so stylish inside!

Mercedes fire truck overland RV
Anthony Rigo

After arriving in Halifax, Anthony, Benedicte and their two daughters Lou, 8 and Chiara 5, set out to explore America. Without knowing one word of English, the adventurous family immersed themselves in the language while traveling down the East Coast.

When we started in August, our English was Zero. The start was very difficult.

Benedicte agrees,

In France, we talk slow. Here you have a different accent everywhere!

The family found Texas accents to be among the most challenging to understand.

When asked why they chose America over other countries on their wish list, Benedicte explains that the nation’s national parks were high on their list of “must see” places in the world.

After visiting many, she can’t pick a favorite.

The Grand Canyon. The Everglades. Yosemite. It’s very difficult to choose. The USA is very big. Lots of place to discover.

“Tao” is harmony with the natural order of the universe.

Mercedes fire truck overland RV
Rene Agredano

Another way they got to know America is by stopping at mechanic’s shops throughout their journey. The truck has broken down three times. Each instance has delayed their travels because of the difficulty in locating parts for the rig.

Anthony explained that it’s far easier to get service and parts in other countries where the truck is widely used. In the U.S. a Mercedes fire truck overland RV is an oddity, which makes it difficult to get help when it breaks down.

As a consequence of the truck’s engine troubles, the couple has decided to wait on the rest of their global expedition, at least for a little while. They are headed back to France with the Mercedes fire truck overlander but hope to be back some day.

“Americans are so friendly,” says Benedicte. “We have American friends now, it’s obligatory that we return,” says Anthony.

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