MB 1120 Coming to America!

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
Regarding the impact wrench for changing tires. I would forgo the air one and get a Milwaukee high or medium torque M18 Fuel. I bought the best Ingersol Rand 1/2 wrench I could get and with air supplied from the truck system it would not break loose the lug nuts which were torqued to 500 ft lb.

The M18 Fuel impact breaks them loose without a problem.

If you come off the aux air tank you may want to consider having 2 regulators for airing your tires back up. 1 set for the front tire pressure and another for the rear. Outlets near the wheels and short hoses that screw onto the valve stems. (Clamp on ones are problematic).

With this setup and some method of quickly airing down you are more likely to air down when you should rather than when you have to.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Regarding the impact wrench for changing tires. I would forgo the air one and get a Milwaukee high or medium torque M18 Fuel. I bought the best Ingersol Rand 1/2 wrench I could get and with air supplied from the truck system it would not break loose the lug nuts which were torqued to 500 ft lb.

The M18 Fuel impact breaks them loose without a problem.

If you come off the aux air tank you may want to consider having 2 regulators for airing your tires back up. 1 set for the front tire pressure and another for the rear. Outlets near the wheels and short hoses that screw onto the valve stems. (Clamp on ones are problematic).

With this setup and some method of quickly airing down you are more likely to air down when you should rather than when you have to.

Agreed! M18 Milwaukee kit is the way to go!
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Please tell me you are carrying at least 2 couplings for each diameter of air line and at least a couple of feet of each air line size. I guess you have the bike to get out on though.
We still have on our TODO list all the spares we need to carry. I do carry a bit of air related stuff but I am sure not all that we need. And yes, the bike has always been part of the plan if we can not get to where we need to with the truck. We did learn on the boat that there are some things you can plan, others not so much so. One thing about the US is getting stuff is relatively painless, not true once we ship to South America and beyond.

When I say understand the air system, I mean all the components in it. I have a basic understanding but not what each bit does. Slowly figuring that out using the EPC and following the hoses. Having built the truck from a bare chassis gave me a pretty good look at how the hoses are run and the number of components there are in the system, now just need to figure them all out. Things like I think there is a 2 stage system, one side for critical bits like the brakes, another for lesser stuff like maybe the lockers. Also, how the ABS works with the air system. Tricky thing for me is the EPC uses generic terms for the parts, not specifically what each is for.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
I have to say the Valley of the Gods really is a special place. Ended up staying a couple of nights and biking the 17 mile dirt road and hiking up a wash. Weather was a bit off on the first evening we arrived as a couple of guys on adventure bikes a couple sites down from has had their campsite literally blown away. Ended up chasing their gear thru the desert trying to recover it. They ended up heading out and finding a motel, nice thing they came back the next day and tried again.
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After that we headed to Muley Point for vistas of the entire valley, then off to BLM lands where you can hike to American Indian cliff dwellings.
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Then we finally got the chance to actually see another MB truck! This one was in the BLM parking lot and is owned by a German couple who have been traveling in North America for 5 years. They were only supposed to be here for 1 year but after they got here realized how incredible the hiking is and I have to say I completely agree with them. If you can squint you can see that I liked the design of the Bimobil trucks and used some of their design ideas in our build. A quick peak under their truck showed they have parabolic front leaf springs, now I am even more curious how they might improve the ride. Really a nice well thought out truck.
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Off today to Natural Bridges National Monument, it just reopened today so will do a bit of hiking.
 

Joe917

Explorer
5 years, I wonder how they handle the vehicle, they must go down to central America regularly. That truck looks like it has the correct single wheel rear axle, nice.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hi Jon!

Beautiful pics in a stunning location!! There's a few of those Bimobil Atego's getting around. There's 'Live and Give 4x4' somewhere over there, and there's one over here in Oz.
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
5 years, I wonder how they handle the vehicle, they must go down to central America regularly. That truck looks like it has the correct single wheel rear axle, nice.
They were supposed to go into Canada but with the current restrictions they are not sure what they will be able to do. Might have to fly back to Germany. They also originally entered North/Central America in Panama so started there 5 years ago. A couple of their larger customizations on the Bimobil was the torsion free subframe and motorcycle/tire lift. There were more changes and hopefully we meet up again and share a campsite so I can get a closer look.

Beautiful pics in a stunning location!! There's a few of those Bimobil Atego's getting around. There's 'Live and Give 4x4' somewhere over there, and there's one over here in Oz.
We occasionally watch Live and Give in the evenings though our favorite overlanding YouTubers are Grizzly and Bear (Aussie guy, French woman). I have to say getting nice pics is easy around here, this area is incredible. Short drives from one spot to the next.

Natural Bridges National Monument was very nice, there was a 10 mile hiking loop that brought you to the bottom of the gorge so you could get to see the 3 bridges from underneath. Plus there we more Indian cliff dwellings.
IMG_20200514_124314.jpg

To get to the cliff dwellings there was a bit of a scramble up the side of the gorge. There is a driving loop on the plateau with a lookout, which I think is the way the majority of the people visit the park.
IMG_20200514_095318.jpg

We are now in Moab Utah visiting a sailing friend we met in Panama in 2008. She works for the Forest Service so knows all the area public lands. We did a bushwhack hike looking for Indian petroglyphs (she showed us some the previous night near our campsite) but came upon these hoodoos. Pretty cool given that this is just National Forest.
IMG_20200515_125634.jpg
 

Joe917

Explorer
All the Germans we have encountered in North America have expressed frustration at the time limits on their vehicle imports. They can fly home but the clock keeps ticking on the vehicle. They have to be gone in 1 year . I just wondered how these guys have done 5 years. What happens if you overstay? Just musing.
Natural bridges is a nice spot, we loved Valley of the Gods. There are worst places to self isolate!
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
There are worst places to self isolate!
We feel pretty fortunate given what is happening globally. And although we never intended this build to be a "prepper" truck, it is actually well setup for extended stays away from civilization. Actually starting to worry a bit that we may be devolving and becoming socially stunted :rolleyes:.

Well we are now in Boise and will be heading slightly north to spend some time with old cruising friends. I won't spill the beans on the what this week is planned to include, but we are looking forward to it and I will report back.

So, since we have headed north the temps have changed a bit and we have gotten a chance to fire up the Webasto again. Luckily the snow/fog all burned off soon. We were camped outside of Craters of the Moon, in preparation to do a bit of hiking. Unfortunately that plan was torpedoed by the key not coming out of the ignition, which leaves the headlights on. We ended up getting the truck running using the remote starter and drove to Boise. For now the lock cylinder seems to be working, hope it stays that way. And fortunately we are back wearing shorts.
IMG_20200523_081134.jpg

Before the Craters of the Moon we were at Antelope Island State Park in Salt Lake. Nice campground and good wildlife, hiking and biking. Here is a picture of Heather on our trusty Dahon Speed TRs. These are the bike we dragged around the world on the sailboat. We have biked on 6 continents with them, just need to figure out how to do the 7th. Might require studded snow tires.
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Trying to get a bit artsy
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View of the bison, we had one bull who would walk right by the camper at the campground in the mornings. Guess we were on his route. The sky here is crazy.
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And last but not least, here is a picture of me to prove I am on this trip ;-)
IMG_20200520_134505(1).jpg
 

eilatmar

New member
hi jon. nice to see and hear. about the key, I had the same problem once with a motorcycle and some wd40 and patient made the trick.
what is a remote starter ?
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
hi jon. nice to see and hear. about the key, I had the same problem once with a motorcycle and some wd40 and patient made the trick.
what is a remote starter ?
I hope the WD40 fixed things, we also had a weak starting battery so replaced both of those in Boise (they were 21 months old, with a 18 month warranty). Not sure if the battery had anything to do with it but I do know you can not restart the truck without returning the key to the lock position. So some sort of switch is in there. Really wish I knew more or had a spare to take apart and figure it out.

I think the remote starter button is pretty common on cab over trucks. In a vehicle with a hood it is pretty simple to start the engine with the hood up. With a cab over and the cab tilted it is not easy to get to the ignition. So, these trucks have a button on the engine that will start it. The ignition needs to be on for it to be energized. Makes bleeding the fuel lines easier if needed (I did when we first got the truck as the fuel tank had crud in it) to be able to bump the engine.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Typically MB has a lock that prevents turning the key to the "start" position until it has been returned to the lock, or off position. Although I can't imagine why you would not notice a big diesel was already running. I have not seen the ignition in the big trucks, but I assume its basically the same. There is a latch which retains the key except in the off (steering locked) position. If this happens again, confirm is the key will return to the off/locked position. If its hanging up, typically a bit of lube does the trick. If it returns to the off position, but wont extract, that could be a wear issue. In one situation I ended up removing the tumbler/barrel and swapping the key specific tabs to a new tumbler.
 
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RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
I just read all 35 pages of this in one sitting!

Amazing attention to detail and documentation! Thank you for doing this all. I book marked this build and snagged a few of your photos for my "build ideas" folder.

My TC box is coming soon! Woot!

A few things if you dont mind..

-Door trim issues? Care to elaborate? I have the same 50mm sidewalls and ordered the same door. I was under the impression it comes with interior trim and a screen. No?
-I might of missed it. What table base is that? I think it looks great and would like to add it to my build.
-Spare tire? Does that spare work on both the front and the back? Offset looks a lot different. Adapter? I ask because i battled with this also while looking for wheels!

If you end up yanking of the Renogy stuff, take a hard look at Victron. I had all Victron stuff on my last build and it is worth every cent! Had lots of Renogy issues in the truck before my last one. My current build out will be full Victron!

Great build and hope to cross paths someday.

Cheers
 

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joeblack5

New member
Valley of the Gods.. Nice, we were there during a 5 month trip out west, albeit with a different setup. Did you drive Moki Dugway towards the natural bridges national monument.? We probably broke every rule in the recommended book.. It was indeed a little tight going around the hairpins.IMG_20190428_194852_475.jpgIMG_20190428_075522_769.jpg
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
I just read all 35 pages of this in one sitting!

Amazing attention to detail and documentation! Thank you for doing this all. I book marked this build and snagged a few of your photos for my "build ideas" folder.

My TC box is coming soon! Woot!

A few things if you dont mind..

-Door trim issues? Care to elaborate? I have the same 50mm sidewalls and ordered the same door. I was under the impression it comes with interior trim and a screen. No?
-I might of missed it. What table base is that? I think it looks great and would like to add it to my build.
-Spare tire? Does that spare work on both the front and the back? Offset looks a lot different. Adapter? I ask because i battled with this also while looking for wheels!

If you end up yanking of the Renogy stuff, take a hard look at Victron. I had all Victron stuff on my last build and it is worth every cent! Had lots of Renogy issues in the truck before my last one. My current build out will be full Victron!

Great build and hope to cross paths someday.

Cheers
door trim: the arctic tern entry door comes with somewhat stiff rubber trim to cover the transition between door frame and wall. Warming the rubber up before you work it helps a lot but still requires some harsh wording... the other thing is that the door is designed for 45mm wall thickness. Our sidewalks are 50mm, so just a little bit thicker. This makes the rubber seal install just another bit more interesting...
Its all about compromises when we are designing the campers and select the suppliers... there is not a single one size fits all solution when it comes to this. But we are trying to improve and listen with each feedback we are getting. Hence us manufacturing our own composite entry door.
 
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