G ustav Cymontkowski is a person with perseverance. The engineer from Schleswig-Holstein tackles projects meticulously, and that applies even more to his self-built mobile home: It took almost two years from the first sketch to the maiden voyage. The first thing that needs to be specified at this point is the 'mobile home'. Usually, this term is used to imagine an off-the-shelf large camper who commutes between the beach space and the camping area and prefers to only view unpaved roads from a distance.
Mercedes Zetros 4x4 motorhome
In the case of Gustav Cymontkowski's motorhome, christened “Cytros”, the situation is somewhat different. Because the basis for his dream car is the Mercedes Zetros 1833 4x4, a vehicle whose range of action off-road is actually only limited by the tank capacity. Where this giant appears, there is always a way.
Connoisseurs of Mercedes Trucks can already read from the type designation what the Zetros 1833 is all about: 18 tons total weight, 330 hp. Well, to be precise, there are 326 horses that the OM 926 diesel draws from a comfortable 7.2 liter displacement, but the real pleasure comes above all in view of the torque: 1,300 Newton meters from 1,200 engine revolutions. That should be enough.
Cymontkowski discovered 'his' Zetros at a Mercedes branch in Kiel, but the second time he looked he was gone again, too late. Thanks to persistent demand, however, there was an extensive tour and test drive at the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth. The demonstration vehicle was meticulously measured and Cymontkowski began with the planning and construction plans.
Separately from each other a Zetros chassis was ordered and added commissioned the self-designed body case to a vehicle construction company. It took a full three months after delivery until the empty living box was mounted on the chassis with a specially designed three-point intermediate frame, from now on it was self-assembly.
Cymontkowski was together with friends for seven months busy building everything the way he imagined it: perfectly tailored to his own wishes. And this is where the “Cytros” expedition vehicle differs in many ways from conventional motorhomes. For safety reasons, gas has not been used, heating is with diesel and cooking is done with electricity. Three Li-Io batteries with 600 Ah each are installed; 230 volts with a continuous output of 5 kW can be provided via a converter. This not only supplies induction cookers and steamers, even the outside grill is electrically controlled.
A 9 kW diesel hot water heater provides heat and a 3 kW diesel generator provides the necessary self-sufficiency. The Cytros also offers enough reserves for a longer stay away from civilization: the waste water tank holds 400 liters and the fresh water tank holds 500 liters. Due to the ample capacity in terms of spaceand weight, Cymontkowski was able to draw on unlimited resources: the entire interior fittings were handcrafted from solid ash wood, in the wet room you don't have to do without any of the comfort you are used to in your own home. Even a heated towel rail is installed.
In the video: The Zetros expedition vehicle explained in detail
Even the first test drive in mid-February 2011 was supposed to be a test for Cytros, because it was in the middle of winter The Cymontkowski couple on a tour from Poland via Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to Finland. Already here everything had proven itself perfectly except for a small hairline crack in the fresh water tank, especially the frost-proof laying of all endangered components such as tanks or pumps. The technology is guaranteed to be frost-proof up to minus 30 degrees. Incidentally, the base vehicle is not inferior to this: With a heated fuel filter and diesel auxiliary heater, the Zetros also defies grim cold.