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Thread: Unimog 4x4 Expedition Camper / Motorhome - awd UK

  1. #1

    Default Unimog 4x4 Expedition Camper / Motorhome - awd UK

    This Unimog expedition camper is based on a Unimog U1000T, but with the OM352A turbo diesel engine option for extra power. The Unimog was made in 1983, but has been dry stored for the last 10 years for something like 11 months of the year. The OM352A is a 5.7lt straight six turbo diesel engine, which was widely used by Mercedes and is a well respected and reliable unit. The engine in my Unimog has done only approximately 900 hours, which for a commercial engine is barely run in. The Unimog has done less than 20,000 kilometers from new and so there is virtually no wear on the drivetrain. The gearbox is the standard 8 speed forward and reverse unit and is in perfect working order.

    In addition to the standard drive, a hydrostatic drive has been fitted. This allows you to set any speed with a joystick in the cab irrespective of engine revs and will allow you to go forwards or backwards without use of the clutch. This drive is really designed for working with machinery such as mowers, but is handy as it allows very precise speed control in tight spaces.
    The Unimog is fitted with a hydraulic system with pump, tank and two bi-directional spool valves in the cab with the hydraulic couplings piped to front and rear. This would be ideal for fitting a hydraulic winch. The Unimog also has a fast drive type PTO which may be used to drive a generator or similar, but only the PTO box itself is fitted, not the shafts to front and rear etc.

    The motor home box features four additional seats with belts for driving (seats seven in all), four burner hob, sink, compressor fridge (no gas needed), CD player, table, large house battery, Webasto airtop 2000 diesel heater and space to sleep five good friends. (We are a family of five.) The box is built on all sides, roof and floor of an alloy, marine ply, foam (2 inches), marine ply, GRP laminate and so is very well insulated and tough. The box is lined throughout with carpet. There is the option of a very heavy duty awning made from a military command frame tent fitted with the extra heavy duty poles (poles are two inch diameter alloy tube!) We found the awning excellent for setting up a base camp.
    The Unimog has never been on an expedition or off-road since I have had it, except across a sticky camp site. Reason for sale is that changes to my job mean that I am unable to take long enough holidays to make a driving expedition viable.

    I will also consider offers for the chassis cab only. In this case I will retain the motor home box, which I will convert into a caravan. Making the box was a huge effort and so I am reluctant to part with it.
    The U1000T is a traction head. That is Mercedes made everything up to a joint a little behind the cab. The back half of the chassis was made by Zweiweg, the respected road rail conversion company. The Unimog is still four wheel drive, but the back axle is a heavy duty truck axle, not the standard Unimog axle, and so lacks the cross axle difflock. The rear axle has air suspension, which would allow a degree of self levelling, though I have never got round to fitting the valve gear required.

    My Unimog camper is ready to go with road TAX, MOT, registration as a motorcaravan and has been used this year for a 600mile round trip. The road tax is PHGV, which is currently £165 per annum. The MOT is a class IV, the same as a car, and so can be done by any garage that is happy to take it on. I have the Unimog insured with the NFU with the value set at £18,000. It doesn’t cost that much more than a Landrover Discovery would.
    If you have any questions, please ask.

    More pictures and information at:http://www.bangor.ac.uk/~iss046/Unimog/Unimog.html

    Price £12,500 for the vehicle as it stands, or £10,000 for the chassis cab.

  2. #2
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    What's the top speed and cruising speed?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kerry View Post
    What's the top speed and cruising speed?
    The top speed is about 55mph, though can be increased if you alter the injection pump settings I understand.

    I cruise at 40mph, which is a balance of noise, fuel consumption and my relaxed approach to driving. As far as I understand the OM352A is a commercial engine and so can be expected to operate at max revs continuously, so you could cruise at 55mph if you wanted.

    There is an overdrive available for Unimogs, which would increase the cruise and maximum speeds.

    David

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpround View Post
    The U1000T is a traction head. That is Mercedes made everything up to a joint a little behind the cab. The back half of the chassis was made by Zweiweg, the respected road rail conversion company. The Unimog is still four wheel drive, but the back axle is a heavy duty truck axle, not the standard Unimog axle.
    This is the way my Mog camper, also completed by Zweiweg, was done, and I consider it to be a superior setup for camper use. When carrying a lot of weight, a Mog's rear portals have a lot that can go wrong with them. When one considers that you probably weren't taking a truck this big into situations that require 18 inches of clearance (Camper Mog had 10.5 inches, which was plenty, especially given the pretty-much unbreakable axle/diff housing). Camper Mog did have an auto locking rear diff (think Detroit Locker) so it technically still had front and rear diff locks.

    Anyway, the point is that I'd view the fact that this truck doesn't have rear portals to be a feature for camper use.

    I'd also mention that, again just from my experience, Zweiweg's conversion work in those days was outstanding, German craftsmanship at it's best.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpround View Post
    The top speed is about 55mph, though can be increased if you alter the injection pump settings I understand.
    I forgot to mention that David is somewhat on the right track mentioning increasing speed with different injection pump settings, but there are two things to consider. First is that tweaking the pump settings gives a bit more horsepower, but the tweaking can cause failures, and even a ten percent increment in horsepower is considered borderline unless you rebuild the engines with different parts. (OM352s were built in everything from 90 to 300 hp versions, with each higher power increment getting redesigned components to match the power rating.)

    Second, I don't know nuthin' 'bout the hydrostatic drive, but if this were a conventional transmission, it'd be likely that the top speed isn't just limited by the overly-modest engine power but by the settings on the engine governor that keeps the rpms below redline (although "redline" seems overly dramatic for a truck that can safely rev to something less than 3000 rpms). So the truck can't go any faster than the gearing allows it to go with the engine turning maximum rpms. The governor can be adjusted slightly, folk wisdom contending maybe an extra 150 or 200 rpms is probably safe, but who really knows? An exhaust gas temperature gauge and careful attention to it are considered mandatory if you do these engine mods.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter

  6. #6
    Thanks Mike for clearing the matter up about increasing the speed. It seems that the maximum speed can be increased by fiddling with the governor, if you dare, or buying an overdrive. (The top speed is definitely limited by the gearing rather than power.) As I said, I have never driven it at maximum speed anyway as that is not my style.

    The hydrostatic drive is not in all the time, it is selected as an alternative to forward/reverse on the normal transfer box. (Put forward/reverse stick in neutral and the push a button on the dash with the clutch down. Lift the clutch. The speed in forward and reverse is now controlled by a joystick.) It is not designed for high speed cruising. The direct mechanical drive is still used for normal driving. There are some Unimogs out there with a torque converter transmission which were build as aircraft tugs. It is not one of those.

    David

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    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Here's a screen grab from one photo accessed through this link
    http://www.bangor.ac.uk/~iss046/Unimog/Unimog.html

    Good luck with the sale!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpround View Post
    Thanks Mike for clearing the matter up about increasing the speed. It seems that the maximum speed can be increased by fiddling with the governor, if you dare, or buying an overdrive. (The top speed is definitely limited by the gearing rather than power.)
    The overdrive is manufactured in Germany by Class, and it is a fairly straightforward addition if you don't have crawler gears and don't need your PTO takeoff. It raises the gear ratios by 22%, so if the truck had the power, it could theoretically do something over 65 mph. Whether driving a Mog that fast is a good idea has a lot to do with the weight, tires, etc. Perhaps a better reason for the overdrive is to be able to comfortably cruise in the mid-50s without the engine perpetually pegged at redline.

    Sean Philyew at EuroTruck Importers--http://www.eurotruck-importers.com--is probably the best place to get questions answered about the Class overdrive in the U.S. EuroTruck sells and installs them and it is considered a sweet addition to a Mog. The only drawback is a cost in the $5-10K region.

    Thanks, David, for explaining the use of the hydrostatic drive. Sounds like a cool feature.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter

  9. #9
    Thanks Mike for the information about the overdrive, though it is considerably more expensive than my worst estimate! I certainly will not be buying one! I now wonder if I should have bought the one offered to me for £2,000 (about $3,000)...

    Thanks for sorting out the picture Haven, I didn't know you could do that.

    David

  10. #10

    Default Price reduced £12,000

    Price reduced to £12,000, or £9,000 for the chassis cab.

    David

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