2005 Unimog U500 mirror question

HydrusMog

New member
Hi members,

I have been reading your posts for months and have just registered. I recently purchased a U500 and have put 5000 miles on it since December. I am having a camper built by Rob and Cari at Phoenix Custom Pop Ups and should be picking it up in May or June.

My question is about these mirrors and rain or snow. They seem to get totally wet and clouded to the point that I need to reach out and wipe them with my hand. As I have traveled through Washington and Utah, this has been a frequent issue. Has anyone experienced this and/or come up with a solution?

When my 14 year old IT daughter gets home, I will attempt to post photos as it sits now and will keep[ you updated as the build goes along.

Thanks for your help,

Mike
 

Healeyjet

Explorer
Mike, welcome aboard, You will need to have 20 posts on the forum before your IT specialist will be able to post the photos.:Wow1:
Ward
 

nick disjunkt

Adventurer
A lot of newer Mercedes trucks come with heated mirrors. The mirrors from a Mercedes Axor seem to be pretty similar and might bolt straight up?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mercedes-Atego-II-Axor-II-10-2004on-Main-Mirror-Heated-RH-OS-/181636789100?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368

You'd have to run a cable out to them unless the U500 has a suitable feed for motorised adjustment that you can piggyback.

My truck doesn't have the heated mirrors and I run into the same problems as you. It's worst when the rain is fine and misty rather than heavy. The problems are compounded on my truck as it's ex Brinks and the windows don't open.
 

mogwildRW1

Adventurer
You could retrofit mirrors from the NEW Unimog, the U523 and the likes, they are powered and heated.heated.jpg

Or, simply use an off the shelf solution such as rain-x anti fog, though it's rated for indoor use it works pretty good on side mirrors. I use plain old rain-x on the mirrors, side windows and windshield and that even works pretty good for at least a month or so.
 

HydrusMog

New member
Hi all,

My Unimog has the heated and powered mirrors. It does not seem to make a difference in the rain. It helps for cold mornings, but that is about it. I need to take it back to Rob Pickering to add a 100 gallon tank and an Auxiliary cab A/C. i will ask him about retrofitting the new style? In the mean time I will try the rain-x. Thanks.
 

rblackwell

Adventurer
Like HydrusMog I have found that the heated mirrors don't help much in the rain.
Also the wipers don't do a great job either, particularly in light or intermittent - the blades don't wipe evenly.
In both cases my solution is Rainex - causes the water t bead-up so that one can see even when the mirrors/screen is wet.

I would also second HydrusMog's suggestion about Rob Pickering. He is my preferred choice for maintenance and repairs for my U500 in NorthAmerica.

HydrusMog - what A/C are you going to install ? I have a Reddot unit (R-6100 I think) and have had a number of issues with the installation (not done by Rob P)
plus it does not really cope with hot summer conditions. The U500 simply has to much glass and not enough insulation for really hot weather.
 

HydrusMog

New member
Hi Rob. I am not sure what the A/C model is. Rob Pickering said that it goes on the roof of the cab on the inside middle. I am having window tint put in today on the side windows and front windshield top and bottom in hopes of cutting down the green house effect. I have heard that the stock A/C keeps you comfortable to the mid 90's. I was in Las Vegas a week ago and the A/C could not keep up at 75 degrees. I think I need a recharge. Rob P. did extra sound deadening material in the cab so I am hoping with that as extra insulation, the tinted windows and two A/C units cranked, we will survive the Summer. I guess I will know in June? Which GXV model do you have? My camper is being built by Phoenix Custom Pop up Campers. They are making a hard side lifting roof for us. We are just finalizing all of the details with construction starting in a few weeks. I also have trouble with the wipers. I just replaced them and drove to Seattle then so now storms in Utah. There seems to be a 4 inch band of lousy windshield right at my eye level. I am buying Rain-x today.
 

rblackwell

Adventurer
Window tinting is illegal in Kazakstan - if you ever happen to get there - we got stopped at least once for that.

We lost the tinting across the bottom of the windshield when we replaced glass in 2014 - VERY expensive even in Europe

Sound proofing is a good idea - we get 100 decibels in the cab when driving - too noisy to listen to a radio

Our AC is roof mounted, installed by ThermoKing in Springfield - they did a really terrible job. Twice we lost the coolant due
to hoses rubbing and rupturing and then (in 2014) we got a massive water leak around where the AC until comes through the cab roof.
I fixed it in a camping ground in Copenhagen.

What is the height of your vehicle likely to be when in driving mode. We are 4 meters and thats about 0.5 meters too high.

Details (exhaustive or maybe exhausting) of our vehicle can be found here http://whiteacorn.com/vehicle/rtw

Are u likely to be at Overland Expo? Be interested to discuss your travel plans
 

HydrusMog

New member
No current plans to hit Kazakstan, but will keep that in mind :) I think our drive height will be about the same as yours. 12 feet maybe a tad more as we plan to put racks on the roof for paddle boards. What have you "run" into as problems with the height? I read through your website before responding. Hence the 24 hour delay. You have had a ton of experience with this truck and incredible travels. Does your truck not have the uphill start assist brake? It is right where your pass through modifications to place on my truck. Maybe it is the 2005 difference? I have not measured the decibels at 70 mph, but I am hoping at 60 mph it is much less than 100? I know my phone will not respond to voice commands. I took to wearing headphones when I travel alone to be able to hear the maps and music. The new GPS and radio installed yesterday should fix that? I am not sure about Expo yet. Would love to be there, just not sure it is going to fit in the schedule.
 

mogwildRW1

Adventurer
Like HydrusMog I have found that the heated mirrors don't help much in the rain.
Also the wipers don't do a great job either, particularly in light or intermittent - the blades don't wipe evenly.
In both cases my solution is Rainex - causes the water t bead-up so that one can see even when the mirrors/screen is wet.

I would also second HydrusMog's suggestion about Rob Pickering. He is my preferred choice for maintenance and repairs for my U500 in NorthAmerica.

HydrusMog - what A/C are you going to install ? I have a Reddot unit (R-6100 I think) and have had a number of issues with the installation (not done by Rob P)
plus it does not really cope with hot summer conditions. The U500 simply has to much glass and not enough insulation for really hot weather.
Not sure it will help the wipers do any better of a job, but there was a wiper arm change for the U500's which helps clear a spot that would build up with rain and cause a blind spot, see attached for more info, a call to the dealer with your VIN should tell you if your U500 received the updated wiper arms or not (maybe...Freightliner or Mercedes, one of the two should be able to tell you)
View attachment Service information_ Wipe pattern enlargement.pdf
 

HydrusMog

New member
Thanks Trev. My Mog has had the updated wipers installed. It still can pile up on the sides, especially with real wet snow. The heated windshield does not always keep up. These rigs are amazing, they just missed a few things that would make them a bit easier to live with. The A/C is not great, no electric door locks and it is near impossible to reach across to unlock passenger door (my wife and I carry our own keys) the wipers and mirrors, poor window operation etc. Fairly minor things considering what the rig is capable of, but I have put 5000 miles on it since December and these things stick out. It was tough in Washington as it rained 4 inches the day we were stuck in traffic at dusk. Miata's with no headlights on in the rain?? No casualties but a few horns were blown on both sides.
 

rblackwell

Adventurer
No current plans to hit Kazakstan, but will keep that in mind :) I think our drive height will be about the same as yours. 12 feet maybe a tad more as we plan to put racks on the roof for paddle boards. What have you "run" into as problems with the height? I read through your website before responding. Hence the 24 hour delay. You have had a ton of experience with this truck and incredible travels. Does your truck not have the uphill start assist brake? It is right where your pass through modifications to place on my truck. Maybe it is the 2005 difference? I have not measured the decibels at 70 mph, but I am hoping at 60 mph it is much less than 100? I know my phone will not respond to voice commands. I took to wearing headphones when I travel alone to be able to hear the maps and music. The new GPS and radio installed yesterday should fix that? I am not sure about Expo yet. Would love to be there, just not sure it is going to fit in the schedule.
On "height" - we occasionally come across an underpass or some such that is rated less than 4.0m. We have found that most rated at 3.8m or higher
will allow us to pass as these signs tend to be conservative.

However more frequently we find entry gates( with a topping arch), trees and wires an impediment. Many places do not trim trees beside the road
and simply allow trucks and other high vehicles to brush the trees. Thats OK for a box truck but with AC, solar panels and other stuff on the roof our vehicle
is a bit too fragile up top to simply push brush out of the way. If I had it to do over again not only would I make the truck a little lower
but I would try and make the top 0.5 meters tough enough to push branches out-of-the-way.

I have already lost one "on-roof storage box" to trees in Peru - an that vehicle was considerably lower.

We don't have "up-hill brake assist" - our truck is a manual. Thats becoming a problem for my aging knees. In "off-road" or slow traffic conditions
where there is a lot of stopping-starting-gear changing my left knee is pretty much shot by the end of a days driving.
I enquired at at our friendly German UNIMOG expert about upgrading to automatic and was told "its not too difficult as its mostly electronic,
but don't do it as the autos are trouble". (thats a paraphrase).

Even with the manual we have has some shifting problems. In Kyrgyzstan I had to get Rob P to walk me through the U500 transmission "learning process"
as it was dropping out of gear while driving and occasionally giving a error code and refusing to change gear.

When I recently left the vehicle in the Netherlands I experienced a couple of instances where the transmission would not shift into a gear while stationary.
Had to resort to the emergency manual shift knob in the console.

Wish I could put an Allison in the thing.

We mostly drive at 55mph. In Europe this fits well as trucks are limited to 80/90 kmh and we just join the long train of trucks.
Its a bit more of a pain across the plains in USA but we rarely are trying to make any large distances in a days driving.

Nina and I are staying in Phoenix until late May so if you get this way drop me a message.
Then back in the Seattle area for a week before returning to Europe
 

rblackwell

Adventurer
Not sure it will help the wipers do any better of a job, but there was a wiper arm change for the U500's which helps clear a spot that would build up with rain and cause a blind spot, see attached for more info, a call to the dealer with your VIN should tell you if your U500 received the updated wiper arms or not (maybe...Freightliner or Mercedes, one of the two should be able to tell you)
View attachment 330484
Thanks I will followup on this - would be nice to have wipers that actually clean the wind screen. My truck is currently stored in the Nethlands so I can access
a "real" Mercedes dealer when I return.
 

mogwildRW1

Adventurer
From Wiki:

In 2002 DaimlerChrysler tried to re-enter the North American market and engaged in 4 years of aggressive marketing, such as truck and trade shows, exposure on the television show Modern Marvels, numerous magazine articles and extensive demonstrations (both touring and on an individual basis). North American retail models were officially limited to the U500 series (the North-America-specific member of the UGN series) sold through heavy-truck dealerships, generally Freightliner dealerships.[24] Freightliner is a Daimler AG subsidiary. The UGN series was specifically manufactured for the North American market and was significantly different mechanically from its European counterpart.[25] The UGN faced stiff competition in North America by manufacturers whose truck or equipment lines performed some of the same duties as the Unimog. Some of them are Caterpillar, John Deere, AM General, Sterling Trucks (also a Daimler AG subsidiary), and General Motors. After 5 years and selling only 184 Unimogs, Freightliner LLC has exited the market. Daimler AG has cited non-compliance with EPA07 emission requirements as the main reason for ceasing North American Sales
 
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