Month: December 2020

It can finally go on…

We have been in Hossegor for over a month now and cannot drive any further because our gearbox has given up the ghost. After some back and forth, we had no other solution than to order a reconditioned gearbox from Germany. This finally arrived four days ago. Unfortunately, no workshop in the area wanted to help us to install the gearbox, so we had to dare again to do something ourselves, of which we actually did not have much knowledge. Fortunately, we had plenty of time to research how best to do it. Unfortunately, we also noticed that you need all kinds of special tools and definitely a transmission jack (never heard of it before) to get the 150 kilo transmission into the right position. Well, we couldn’t help with that, let alone find it anywhere. So we had to improvise.


The gearbox was brought into position with us with a lift truck borrowed from the surf store next door. Unfortunately, this was not quite enough height-wise, which is why we had to shore up the whole thing piece by piece with wood. As soon as the right height was reached, the 150 kilo heavy thing also had to be pushed somehow into the admission of the engine. With a lot of effort and grease, the gearbox slid in the direction of the engine. As always, Julian noticed a few things during installation that urgently needed to be replaced. After three days of nerve-wracking and exhausting work, we managed to get the bus running again. Today is already the 18th of December and our goal is to celebrate Christmas with friends in Portugal.

Actually, we wanted to drive the route there relaxed, make many breaks and shimmy along the Atlantic coast from beach to beach. Unfortunately, this will no longer be the case! We still have to bring 1300 kilometers behind us until Christmas and that with an average speed of 75 kmh. Accordingly, we decided to take the shortest route. This route leads through the Spanish interior and can be very desolate, as it is one of the largest agricultural deserts I have seen so far.

Hossegor – Lockdown, surfing and gearbox damage

Our next destination was Hossegor, a small town in the south of France, right on the Atlantic coast. Hossegor used to be a rather unknown seaside resort, but some time ago it has become the mecca of the surf industry. In summer, the small town is full of tourists, also the beaches are crowded, so that surfing is rather less fun. In autumn, after the ASP Worldtour, on which the surfers determine their world champion, it becomes abruptly quiet. This opportunity, also good waves and empty beaches, we did not want to miss.

Shortly before we reached Hossegor, however, our gearbox broke down! The gears no longer want to go in and with Ach, noise and 20 kmh we still arrived at night in Hossegor.

It was clear to us that we couldn’t drive 2 more kilometers with this transmission, let alone all the way to Portugal.

A kind of mechanic who removed the gearbox with us was quickly found and fortunately for us, one of the two contract workshops in France was in Bordeaux, so not so far away. So Julian drove with a rental car and the removed transmission, to Bordeaux, in the hope that it can be repaired there.


3 days later it turned out that the workshop in Bordeaux could not obtain spare parts for our gearbox. That was a problem!

We knew at that time that there is a reconditioned gearbox in Germany, but it costs 6000€ and that would plunder our travel budget quite a bit.

We thought back and forth. Either we stay the next 6 months in Hossegor and wait for spare parts, or we spend a lot of money for a new gearbox.

We decided to take the transmission from Germany and are now waiting for it to arrive here so we can install it.

We have been in Hossegor for more than two weeks now, but we could use the time to refresh our surfing skills and to do some work on the bus.