Snowmads

A German fire truck that has been converted into a world-travelling skiing expedition vehicle!

snowmads small wood burning stove installed in a mercedes truck conversion

Fabian Lentsch is a professional skier, traveller and explorer. He’s the one with the crazy ideas who initiated Snowmads! Together with his friends, they travel the world skiing the slopes, paragliding, biking, surfing, and mountaineering! You can check out their website here.

It all started when his good friend Markus Ascher rolled up in an amazing 4×4 camping car, which inspired Fabi to built his very own tiny home on wheels! About a year later, they got together to plan the perfect skiing expedition vehicle! They needed a large, strong vehicle that could travel almost anywhere whilst accommodating several athletes and a media crew at the same time, and after two months of intense research, they bought a Mercedes 1113 LAF. The vehicle was built in 1985, and it was originally used in a German fire brigade.

They began the project by fixing as many things as possible, which involved demounting the flashing blue lights, removing any unnecessary cables, rebuilding the engine, and a lot more! Next, they took the truck to Lagermax, a company that provide a number of different automotive services, such as transport and logistics solutions, warehousing, and vehicle remodelling and processing. Fabi said that they were the real experts when it came to rebuilding the truck, and they played an invaluable role in the success of the project.

Fabi said he totally underestimated the scale of the project from the very beginning, and that the building of the truck was by far the craziest and most complex thing he had ever been through! Even just deciding on the size of the cabin and the positioning of the windows took several weeks! Nevertheless, they tried to move the project along as much as possible by polishing the raw cabin construction themselves, and by painting it, mounting the outer shell, adjusting the floor, and lots of other things. Fabi said they had to gain lots of knowledge in order to make it happen!

After this, they took the truck down to southern Austria, where they completed the interior design of the truck with the help of Infracom, and a company called Tschetschonig wood work. Even just insulating the metal construction of the van took over a week! They mounted a few wooden constructions on top of the Armaflex insulation, which they used to attach their furniture. This helped to eliminate any dew points inside the cabin, and they used Austrian sheep wool to insulate any gaps between the metal construction.

The truck was then driven back to Lagermax, where they finished the electronics and the priming of the cabin. They also mounted a skybox, put the reserve wheel on the front of the truck, installed a domestic generator underneath the cabin, and much more! When it came to the exterior design of the truck, their friend Julian Vogel spent a lot of hours painting it, which was done entirely with spray cans! Fabi says his work is unbelievable, so make sure you check out his website here.

Just before Christmas, they drove the truck back to Infracom, where they finished the entire interior design of the cabin in three very long days. All of the furniture was built with Austrian pine, and the truck has 8 official beds! There are 4 beds above the drivers cabin, 2 bunk draws, and a big fold-out bed in the back that sleeps 2 people.

At some points Fabi didn’t think it was worth finishing, as he had to spend months without going climbing, paragliding or going for a run, and they often worked several weeks straight, starting at 6am in the morning and finishing at 9pm in the evening, with just a quick lunch break in between. Over the course of the build he lost 7kg and went through a relationship crisis, but he said it was well worth it now that he can travel the world in a self-constructed truck and go skiing with his friends!

Our small wood burning stove has been used to keep the occupants of this incredible van warm and cosy during the colder seasons, and the truck has been altered and updated over time since these pictures were taken. Here, our tiny Salamander stove has been painted in a steampunk finish, and it’s been completed with a log store stand, a silver gallery rail and a direct air intake system, which helps to improve the draw of the stove if it’s going to be installed in quite a small airtight space.

Make sure you checkout the Snowmads Instagram page, and their YouTube channel too!

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Hobbit Stove Has Been Fitted!

"We had a Hobbit stove fitted this week by Alex Reay from Flues and Fires, and I just wanted to get in touch to say it is AMAZING and we love it! We have a lovely cast iron tiled fireplace which I was desperate not to lose when we installed a small wood burning stove, but until I found the Hobbit on Google, everyone told me it would be impossible to keep the fire surround. The Hobbit is perfect - not only does it fit very snugly, but it looks fantastic and the blue door complements the tiles very nicely. We are sitting enjoying a fire now and absolutely loving it! Thanks for creating such an amazing product."

Nicola Williams

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Best Stove Ever!

"It’s the best stove ever! It’s easy to light, very efficient, burns anthracite and stays in overnight (ours has been in for three weeks now). It even keeps a kettle of water at the ready for a cuppa! What more can I say, we love it! Just the thing to make our Yorkshire home cosy, and the cat loves it too!"

Lynn and Andrew, West Yorkshire

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

First Small Stove Installation

Was looking for a small stove for my first self-install. Found Mark very helpful. Knowledgeable, friendly service. Stove burns well and generates lots more heat than the previous open fire. What is not to like?

Sam

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Huge Thank You!

"Dear Mark and Gill, a huge thank you for designing and making the Hobbit stove! We had two different London-based fireplace companies tell us that we simply had to knock out the old cast iron and tile fireplace to fit in a woodburning stove, and that there was no other option! Then we found you online. We are delighted with our little Hobbit, which swallows up logs and kicks out a good amount of heat. Perfect for the winter! I will also be writing to the London-based fireplace companies to put the Hobbit on their radar. Best wishes."

Nat

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Delighted With Our Hobbit Stove!

"Mark, Gill, thank you for your assistance, we are delighted with our Hobbit! I fired it up this evening after taking all afternoon making a register plate to fit the opening."

Alan

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

It's Brilliant!

"Hi Mark, here's a photo of the Hobbit installed in my Yorkist grate. It’s brilliant! It also throws out a lot more heat than the grate did."

Roger T

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Just to Say Thank You!

"I just had a chat with Gill saying how delighted we are with our little Hobbit stove, and to also thank you both for your attention to detail and excellent customer service!"

Derrick

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Little Hobbit Has Stepped Up To The Challenge!

"We just wanted to say how impressed and how much of a life saver our little Hobbit has been! It was fitted a few months ago in our holiday home in Rhu, Scotland, which is a large open plan conversion in a Victorian house. This weekend our boiler decided it was not going to play ball. The little Hobbit has stepped up to the challenge, providing heat to a very large area, about twenty eight foot by twenty four foot with a high ceiling of about eighteen foot, keeping the room reasonably warm, warm enough for us not to use cardigans!”

Alan W

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Very Pleased With Our Hobbit!

"We are very pleased with the stove and think it looks great! We restored our fireplace (it was hidden under plaster!) and the whole look is better than we hoped!"

Neil

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Absolutely Delighted!

"Just had our Hobbit SE installed in our Victorian fireplace and we are absolutely delighted with the end result. We felt passionate about preserving our lovely fireplace!"

Andy

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Pride And Joy!

"What a fantastic fireplace with the beautiful Hobbit stove. It fits perfectly into the small space and throws out a lot of heat. Here's a photo of our little stove, now our pride and joy and much admired by all who see and feel the warmth."

Chris and C

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Fantastic!

"Just to bid you all a Happy New Year and to say how much we’re enjoying having our Hobbit stove! It was easy to fit with the help of your excellent ‘how to’ videos and we’re just awaiting our inspection by building control for the certification. The Hobbit has fitted neatly into the hearth vacated by the old gas back boiler (with a little cosmetic rendering) and never ceases to surprise us how much heat it can deliver to the point that the new condenser boiler is having an easy life, thereby saving us on gas bills too! Everyone loves having a ‘real fire’ in the living room."

Philip Baird

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Brilliant Little Wood Burner!

"The stove we bought from you is really starting to come into its own as the weather cools down. Here is a photo showing how much one of our dogs is enjoying it!"

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Brilliant Product!

"Just wanted to share a picture of our newly installed Hobbit. Absolutely delighted with it, and so pleased we were able to retain our existing fireplace as well. Brilliant product, thank you!"

Marion

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