1120AF/1124AF Chassis Suitability

iac27

New member
In the very early stages of planning a build. After seeing Jon Turgeon's build in person and reading his thread this seems like a good vehicle for a small family with globe trotting aspirations (South America, Asia, Australia, Africa). We are a family of three (our daughter is 3 years old right now) and I'm wondering if anyone else has travelled with three people in the front? I am 5'11" and my wife is 5'0" so none of us are particularly big. I don't plan to do a pass through as it adds noise, complication and no one wants to sit in the back. A doka would eat up too much space as I think a 5m habitat would be a good compromise for size (open to suggestions). I also see (rarely) a slightly extended cab. Does anyone have one of these and do they like the extra space and think it's worth pushing the box back. One other question, is there a preference to the 1120 or the 1124? And is the automatic worth considering or stick to manual? I am based in Canada so we can import a vehicle that's 15 years old. Whether I can afford that 'new' of a vehicle is another question. Thanks for your input.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hi fella. Our 1222A had that middle seat in it, and occasionally I've had an adult in it, but you wouldn't want to go far sat in it as you have to duck to see out and have very little leg room. It would be fine for a child (if allowed) up to 10 or 12. There is a fella on here who iported 2 trucks like the one pictured. He is selling one of them....
 

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VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Hindsight being 20/20 the extra 1/4 cab would be nice to allow the seat backs to recline a bit more. In the LN2 models (like ours) the 1 1/4 cabs seem to be pretty rare and I am not sure, but the chassis might be the same length (so smaller habitat, which I would probably not want). One of the trade offs with these trucks is overall length, and since North American forest roads are mainly traveled by Jeeps/Pickups turn arounds are harder if needed. If an 1120 and 1124 were side by side with identical specs I would choose the 1124 hands down. It is around $5k to upgrade our 1120 to 1124 engine specs and we may do it down the road.

The truck pictured looks to be an 1824. I don't think this is an LN2 (though that is not really important, but although a "24" might not be the OM366LA inline 6). The thing that drove us to an 1120 was the slightly uprated engine (which can be uprated to 240hp) over a 1017 (which is a great truck). Not sure if it is a big deal as I have never even seen a 1017, just read in some internet "research" prior to buying that some owners wished for more power. I can say that I also wish for more power as the standard 5 speed has rather long ratios so up shifting going uphill is tricky. One thing to think about is final weight and the chassis needed. The 1824 might ride a bit harsh with a relatively light load of a composite box on the back. We weigh in right around the 80% mark compared to the GVWR . Not sure how trucks with a lower GVWR end up.

Being that you are all not large people I think the middle seat would work for a number of years. I think the middle jumpseat was mainly for short duration trips, ours was a firetruck so adults rode there. One thing to also think about is the LN2 is actually a smaller cab than a 1017. Maybe a 1017 would give you a bit more space while still allowing the same sized cab.

One thing to also think about is fuel MPG and which engine. MB has heaps of different engines. I settled on the inline 6 variants do to the reported MPG over some of the larger displacement engines. Plus I wanted a turbo'd engine as I read they operate better at elevation than a NA engine (once again just book/internet reading, no practical experience).

Here is a picture of our cab with the middle seat before we did the cab refurb
02.jpg

Guess the moral of my story, try and get a truck as close to what your final specs require (engine power, MPG, size and 80% weight rating, ride quality and the need for cab AC, ) as changes after the fact, although possible, are costly and time consuming. Oh, one final thing. Being Canadian you might also be able to get an Atego, the slightly more modern replacement for our truck. If we had that option I would have looked into that closely. The one below might be a bit too new (fuel requirements) but is an example. The Bimobil we met up with was an Atego 1126 AF.

 

iac27

New member
Very nice truck and I appreciate the the thoughtful replies. I like the inline 6 turbo because of the fuel economy you were getting Jon. I know the size is pretty good as well and I'd be a little hesistant of getting anything that was physically much bigger because of forest roads and I know my wife already thinks Vermonster is big but she sees the appeal. Are there any other vehicles I should be looking at? I looked at some MAN trucks but I'm not sure about worldwide support. It looks like it's difficult to get a cab for three across in the 12000kg weight class. Am I right?
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Talk to this guy.... Finding a truck may be easier than you think.....

 

iac27

New member
Thanks for the heads up. I think I’m searching for a non doka as I think it will eat too much into habitat space. Our daughter and my wife are small and we only spend 3 hours max in the cab.
 

iac27

New member
Sites, how does the 1222 compare to the 1124. What are the pros and cons of both for an expedition vehicle?
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Sites, how does the 1222 compare to the 1124. What are the pros and cons of both for an expedition vehicle?

Small differences.. 12 tonne rating instead of 11 tonnes, but in theory only 220 hp instead of 240hp... Our 1222 (12 tonne, 220hp) has the later V6 and hub reduction rear axle. It's also the longer 4.2m wheelbase which suits our 6m box. Realistically I'd think the differences are very little. The 11 series trucks like Jon's have a slightly smaller cab, and the lighter rear axle whereas the 12 series like mine and Neil's (Cloud 9) have the bigger cab. Mine happens to have the heavy hub reduction rear axle which is better for clearance. I'm guessing the plus point on the 1124 would be the straight 6 engine, as I'm told they are better on fuel than the bigger V6's. I prefer the 1222 as it has a wider cab and see that as a plus point. Just a matter of choice and availability. Hope that helps.
 

Joe917

Explorer
It is not quite as simple as looking at model number. Mercedes allowed almost any combination of options when ordering trucks. Also the straight 6 OM366 can be brought up to 240 hp with a turbo change and fuel boost (at the cost of fuel economy).
You will have to decode the VIN of the trucks you are considering to find out exactly what you are buying.
Our truck for example is a 917AF, but it was ordered with a 9400 kg single wheel rear axle
I would consider any of the 9 to 18 series trucks with the OM366 engine, leaning to the 9-12's.
 

Joe917

Explorer
Wy wife is 5'-7" and she often sits in the middle seat just for a change, no comfort issues and she can see out. I think you will be fine with a three seat cab.
 

iac27

New member
Wy wife is 5'-7" and she often sits in the middle seat just for a change, no comfort issues and she can see out. I think you will be fine with a three seat cab.
Thanks for the feedback joe. I’m guessing the cab would be similar to Jon’s.
 

iac27

New member
Small differences.. 12 tonne rating instead of 11 tonnes, but in theory only 220 hp instead of 240hp... Our 1222 (12 tonne, 220hp) has the later V6 and hub reduction rear axle. It's also the longer 4.2m wheelbase which suits our 6m box. Realistically I'd think the differences are very little. The 11 series trucks like Jon's have a slightly smaller cab, and the lighter rear axle whereas the 12 series like mine and Neil's (Cloud 9) have the bigger cab. Mine happens to have the heavy hub reduction rear axle which is better for clearance. I'm guessing the plus point on the 1124 would be the straight 6 engine, as I'm told they are better on fuel than the bigger V6's. I prefer the 1222 as it has a wider cab and see that as a plus point. Just a matter of choice and availability. Hope that helps.
Thanks for the reply, sitec. It does come down to availability. That hub reduction axle seems nifty to have. I’ll have to keep my eye out.
 

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VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Thanks for the feedback joe. I’m guessing the cab would be similar to Jon’s.
I think almost. I am not sure but have heard the 917 might have a smaller center hump than our 1120 (both are LN2 trucks). I follow a German LN2 forum and someone there is installing a OM366LA in a 917 and is grafting in the hump from an 1120 to get it to fit. Might make a difference in the center seat, but I really don't know how much.

As far as the engine preferences I would think Sitec would be our local expert. He has likely driven more differt MB trucks than most. I do also know he had a friend drop by that had an 1120, so he might know the om366la as well.
 
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