1978 Dodge B300 Ex Swiss Fire Engine - available Colombia Feb 2018

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#1 Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:47

1978 Dodge B300 Ex Swiss Fire Engine - available Colombia Feb 2018

La Mowagon

1978 Dodge MOWAG B300 Tradesman Van
Ex Swiss Fire Engine
5.2ltr 318 V8
South Dakota (US) registration



Available late February 2018 in Cartagena, Colombia - perfect timing for someone to make their way down to Patagonia for Summer 2018 / 2019, or ship it across the Gap and head North.

Asking: $6200 USD

Email: [email protected]

*we don’t always have wifi, but we will reply to every enquiry!

Originally from Canada, La Mowagon was shipped to Switzerland and converted to a fire engine by the Swiss company Mowag. She then spent 30+ years in the relative comfort of a heated garage, meticulously maintained and rarely venturing out on duty in her small town. She was purchased by a Swiss carpenter who fitted her out as a camper for European summers. She was then brought to South America, and has travelled all over the continent since. We have had her for almost 2 years and travelled through Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. She has been our home for a long time and we have made sure she is well looked after.

Being a Mowag she is a real classic and highly sought after back in Switzerland. She has tons of character and is pretty unique - beautiful wood cabinetry, leopard print trim throughout, checkerboard floors, cactus / succulent garden, textile headboard, blackboards, fairylights and even the old fire engine light turrets with functioning blue lights on top... #vanlife

La Mowagon has South Dakota (US) plates - this is one of those ‘magic states’ you hear about where you can buy / sell the vehicle legally without being in the US. We own her in the US so ownership can be transferred legally using our agent, or we can do it semi-legally using a poder / power, which basically means the new owner has ‘permission’ to drive her but doesn’t actually own her back in the US... How you want to do it is up to you and we can discuss all this and the costs.

The Good
Just look at her - she’s beautiful. She comes with everything you need (and a bunch of stuff you probably don’t), is well thought out and functional, and a pretty special ‘Home on Wheels’.

She has a strong and reliable engine (200,000km at time of sale), and has never broken down on our watch. Because of her age she is fairly basic (no electronics) and easy to diagnose yourself (with the help of her maintenance ‘Bible’ and Google). We’ve replaced and refurbished all the important stuff (solar system, tyres, suspension, brakes, steering etc) so she’s good to go and ready for another trip around the Americas.

She’s not 4WD like some of her Mowag counterparts, but she is RWD and has really high clearance, so we have been able to get to (and out of) every where we wanted to go.

The Bad
There are three small chips / cracks in the windscreen. They’ve been there for well over a year and haven’t gotten any bigger. We didn’t bother having them looked at, but maybe at least one could be fixed by a proper windscreen place. The glass in the passenger side wing mirror is half broken, doesn’t affect vision. She currently has a small leak in the back (during heavy rain), which we are addressing.

Mowagon has 16.5” rims - this means it’s hard to find tyres in South America. We shipped her new tyres from the US, which wasn’t as expensive as you’d think, but of course, not ideal. The Firestone tyres she currently has are really good quality, and the old set only ever had one flat in over 50,000km of rough South American roads - the current ones should last a long long time (approx 15,000km on them at time of sale). We also managed to find 2 second hand spares off an old Dodge that have plenty of tread. If you want to you can swap the current wheels out for 16” rims.

Given her age she will continue to need TLC. This is just part of the package, and the plus side of this is you get to meet mechanics (and their dogs), practice your Spanish and have impromptu workshop asado and cervezas.

The Ugly
Cosmetically she looks pretty good for an old lady, as long as you don't look too closely - she has rust and some battle scars as all vehicles in South America have. We have tried to deal with both, but she will likely need a little more attention down the line. A previous owner has treated the rust along the bottom, hence the black paint line. We also removed the black spray painted designs she came with, to bring her back to her former glory.

More of the good stuff....


2nd Battery (AGM 75aph) for the ‘house’ - charged by both alternator and solar panels
2x Solar panels - 130w (1x 50w & 1x 80w Mono Crystal - new, and charges when cloudy)
Digital solar controller (new) + re-wired system
Inverter 600w (new)

The second ‘house’ battery runs the fridge, stereo, LEDs, inverter and the USB / 12V sockets. Parked up in the sun this battery constantly tops up. Since getting the new panel and controller in April ‘17 we have never run out of battery or had to start the engine - we’ve parked in one spot for over week no problems.

5x USB ports / 12V sockets throughout the van
10m of LED strips throughout, with seperate switches for cab, kitchen, dining, bedroom x2, and out the back doors
1x Powerful outdoor LED light (great for cooking or hanging outside)
3x Extension cords (got you covered for all of South, Central and North America)
Power plug adapters
Garmin GPS (12V)
Walkie Talkies
2x D-Light solar lanterns
2x Small battery LED lanterns / torches
2x 12V Fans
Fairy lights
Alpine stereo - runs off second battery so you don’t drain the vehicle battery

50L Waeco Coolfreeze CF50 fridge  (12/24V and 100-220V mains)
Blender (500w - runs off the inverter)
Electric jug (mains only)
Everything you need for up to 4 people - cutlery, plates and bowls, glasses, mugs and plastic cups
Italian espresso maker (moka pot)
2x pots
2x pans
1x large wok
Large mixing / salad bowl
Containers and jars (storage + leftovers)
Hand juicer
Trays (for serving and asado)
3x chopping boards
Herb and spice collection (very important)
Fruit bowl
Plastic sink
2x plastic buckets
3x Tea towels
Cleaning - dish brush, cloths etc etc

Coleman Dual Fuel 424 Double Burner (runs on white fuel and gasoline) - recently refurbished / cleaned and runs like new
Doite gas cooker
BBQ grill (+ pan and pizza tray)
Extra grills for asado

2x 22L Bidons
20L Water cooler bottle (easy to swap anywhere)
Water siphon
5L Bidon (for fridge)

Large (1.6m x .5m) heavy duty pull out table at back of van (for cooking / workshop)
Clip on tables for side doors
2x table tops for inside / outside use
Fold down table at back (for workshop / cooking)

New mattress (July 2017)
Duvet + 4x pillows
Complete sheet and duvet set
Thermal blackout curtains around the 'bedroom'
Mosquito net for the bed (large box type double)
Extra mosquito netting for the doors
Hot water bottle
2x Bathroom towels

Large wooden kitchen cabinets (5 total)
Water storage tower (holds 2x 22L, small draw and top storage)
Large pull out drawer under bed (for backpacks, sleeping bags, wetsuit etc)
Old Fireman's bench seat (long storage over the the wheel arch at base of bed)
3x blackboard  cupboards (clothing, linen etc)
'Library' / large storage seat
Inside the 'barn doors' side and back
Large storage net (can be used above the bed - clothes, surf board, guitar)
Secret storage compartments (valuables)
Secure lockable drawer under the bed
Stash pockets by bed head
Storage shelf above bed end - for hats, clothes etc
Strong hook magnets, hanging hooks and bungy cords
Box / shelf on side door - currently used as a cactus / succulent garden

Guidebooks - surf and travel in South, Central and North America
Road maps - Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia
Copec guides and maps (Chile and Southern Argentina)
Games - UNO, checkers, dice etc
Maintenance and General Repair 'Bible' for vehicle
Few fiction novels in bookcase
Pencil case and tons of random stationary
Fancy dress stuff and festive decorations

Oztrail awning (2.5m x 2m attaches to side of van)
2x Yoga mats
Beach umbrella
2x Rain umbrellas
Picnic / beach blanket
2x Masks and snorkels
2x Inflatable lilo
Fishing hand line
Fake grass door mat
Rubber door mat
2x Retro Coca Cola chairs
3x Table options, including large pull out table

Tent (2 person - brand new)
2x Sleeping bags
2x Sleeping mats
20L Solar shower
Small camp chair
2x Rain ponchos (good quality)
2m x 3m Tarpaulin (can double as awning off back of van)

2x 20L Gasoline bidons
5L Gasoline bidon (for Coleman cooker)
5L Oil bidon
2x shovels
Tow rope (4T)
Tow points (front and back)
2x Reflective vests
3x Safety triangles
2x Fire extinguishers
2x First Aid Kits
Siphon hose for gasoline
Jack + wheel brace
Air compressor 12V
Air compressor - hand pump
Extra strops for roof
2x spare tyres (1 complete spare wheel + 1 extra tyre)
Bead seat covers - ideal in hot weather

Kill switch
4x combination padlocks for all doors
Heavy duty lockable drawer with large metal bar and padlock (for laptops, hard drives etc - would need a crowbar to get in)
Secret storage compartments
Steering wheel lock
Curtains for all windows and front of vehicle
Dark tints on all back windows
4x sun shades for windows
Mosquito nets for front windows

Complete tool box (sockets, spanners, screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, etc)
Bosch drill w/ 2x batteries + numerous drill bits and accessories
Rivet gun
Soldering iron + solder
Tons of other tools, nuts, bolts and everything in between

Thule roof racks (adjustable with keys)
Aluminium sheet covering half the van - can stand on it, and it also protects from sun and rain (space for short surfboard)
Ladder to access roof
Storage inside spare tyres
Solar panels (130W)

MAINTENANCE AND ADDITIONS (on our watch - see attachment in Google Drive for full list of dates etc)
4x NEW Firestone Trans Force HT tyres (will have about 15,000km on them at time of sale)
2x second hand tyres for spares (approx 70% tread)
New tow points front and rear)
2x extra auxillary fans installed in front of radiator (switchable)
New 2x 20L fuel jerrycans + 2x 5L oil / gasoline jerrycans
New suspension ball joints - upper and lower
Machined back brake drums
New rear brake hoses
New brake pads - front and rear (disc / drum)
New wheel bearings - front and rear
New wheel seals
New axel lock nuts + lock nut socket
New set of spark plugs
New set of ignition leads
New brake booster
New rear gas struts for suspension
New control arm bushings
New accessory belts
New steering idler arms
Refurbished power steering unit
Refurbished steering rack
Dark tints (whole van except front)
15mm insulation (polystyrene) roof and walls (no condensation on roof!)

Spare filters, fluids and parts - oil, air and fuel filters, oil, grease, antifreeze, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid etc. You name it - she has it.

Regular oil, oil filer, air filter & fuel filter changes
Regular wheel balance, rotation and alignments
Regular carburator clean and tuning
Several radiator flushes and new antifreeze