The show is an annual event with the 2017 event scheduled for the 15th -18th of June. The 2016 show attracted a whopping 55,000 4WD enthusiasts from all over the world making it the biggest show of its kind in the world. The show itself is held in a small town called Bad Kissingen located just a couple of hundred miles southeast of Frankfurt in Germany. With numerous nationalities including British, Italian, Swiss, French, Swedish, German, Norwegian, Irish and a few Australian, South African, American, Brazilian and Mexican flags flying, this was a multinational 4WD gathering. If you are planning on attending and camping at the 2017 show best advice is to get there early.when I arrived at the 2016 show the campsite was pretty much full the day before the show, with late arrivers having to set up camp pretty much wherever they could find a clearing. The show focuses on all things 4WD with cross country vehicles of all shapes and sizes on display in the generous 110.000 qm exhibition space. With over 250 exhibitors showcasing and selling 4WD accessories and camping products you will need a couple of days to take it all in and see everything that’s on display. Similar to other 4WD shows around the world, this one also incorporates custom made off road tracks where visitors can drive a number of off road vehicles including trucks, quads and the latest 4WD vehicles, the kids will have plenty to do with numerous activities on offer to suit all ages. ‘‘The Abenteuer & Allrad Overland and 4WD expo is now the biggest show of its kind in the world’’ You can also attend the organised travel talks from Europe’s well known globetrotters. If you are thinking about going on a big trip in the future but not quite sure where to go well you will be able to get plenty of advice from the various off road travel companies showcasing their most popular off road expeditions, this event has something for everyone. You really will need 3 days to take in all that’s on offer at this show, with the exhibitors offering every product and gadget that would be of interest to the vast majority of us who love nothing more than packing up our 4WD vehicles and heading off grid for some remote camping. Don’t bring your all your savings with you because you will probably could spend it all here with so much on offer. This show is also about the coming together of 4WD enthusiasts from all over the world where travellers share their travel stories to newcomers to the overlanding family. In the campsite I was pitched up beside some very friendly people who included a young couple from Belgium who were keen campers and Helmut from Germany who was attending the show with his family in his impressive looking 1300L Unimog type 435. This was one of many vehicles in the campsite that oozed adventure. His 6 litre Unimog was built in 1990, he proudly told me that he recently changed the injection pump and now has an impressive 200 HP. He also proudly explained that he split the overdrive and now has 16 forward gears and 8 back gears allowing him to reach a respectable 115km on the autobahn. Now I don’t claim to be a mechanic but these sounds impressive and very much representative of many a similar story being told in the campsite by the many 4WD enthusiasts.
In all, the show was very well organised,considering you have to get a shuttle bus daily from the campsite to the expo it all seemed to run very smoothly. ‘‘If you choose to stay at the shows campsite you will be rewarded with a great atmosphere resonating from the campground as people settle in for 3 days of Overland and 4WD mania’’ Thomas Schmidt, the shows organiser told me that this year’s show increased in both the number of companies exhibiting and the visitors attending and it’s easy see why. He was very pleased to report that the show attracted over 55,000 visitors in total and that he was very excited about the growth of what is now the largest 4WD expo in the world. So, if you are in Europe next summer the ABENTEUER & ALLRAD 2017 4WD expo will take place between the 15th to 18th of June 2017 and if you do visit you will not be disappointed in what is now probably the largest 4WD and camping gathering in the world.