Norwegian Unimog U1700L camper build

#91
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Once the camper box was installed on the support frame, I drilled 18 Ø13 holes and fixed the box to the frame with M12x100 bolts. The holes through the floor plate was measured up and drilled so that the holes were drilled through the wood reinforcements, which are casted into the sandwich. This should assure that there is a very solid connection between the camper box and the support frame. The wood reinforcements inside the floor plate will also help to distribute the forces and tensions to the whole floor plate.
This was quite a milestone for us, and so far we are very happy with the result. It seems that I managed to get the lines correct so that we have more or less the same horizontal lines on the camper box as on the side doors of the Unimog (It’s not horizontal when the truck is parked level, but slightly tilted forward).


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After the installation of the camper box I took the truck for a 50 km test run, to see how the 3-point fixing of the support frame was behaving now when there was a bit more weight on top of it. Mainly I drove on tarmac roads, but also some kilometers on washed out gravel roads. The result was very satisfying. No drama what so ever, it didn’t feel top heavy at all, camper felt very solid without any noticeable flexing. The 3-piont fixing of the support frame also seemed to do its job.

Next up now will be fabricating the entrance door and fenders for rear wheels. -To be continued!
 

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#99
It’s been a while since the last update, so I figured I’d give you a heads up on what’s been happening to our project for the last months.
After the camper box was mounted to the support frame we have been working on various bits and pieces for the camper. Next on our list was to fabricate the entrance door with the frame, hinges and locking mechanism. But do to long delivery time for some of the alu-profiles we’re going to use for to fabricate the door frame, this project has been put on hold for a short while.

Instead we turned our intension to the inner wheel fenders, which we need to cover up the holes in the floor above each of the rear wheels. The fenders could have been made out of the same GRP sandwich plates as used on the camper box itself. But due to high material cost for the GRP plates we figured that it might be just as good if we fabricated them by ourselves from AISI316 stainless steel plates. In that way they would also be more durable and better protection from small rocks, and so on, which might be thrown up from the tires, when they rotate.
The rear inner fenders were fabricated from 3 mm thick AISI316 stainless steel plates which were bended and welded together to form the shape of the inner fender box for each of the rear wheels. First we tack-welded everything together directly on the truck, before we removed it once again to have it proper welded and grinded down before the final fitting.

Then we glued them in place from the bottom side using Sikaflex, which will act as a sealant to keep moisture from getting into the camper box. When the Sikaflex had dried, we added a stripe of plate to the front and rear of each inner fender box from above. These were welded on to the fender boxes, and the idea is that these will take the tension away from the Sikaflex and transfer the load from the fender boxes directly to the floor plate inside the camper box (not mounted yet on the pictures bellow) . Later on the fenders will be painted white, to match the GRP plates. The side of the fender boxes which faces into the camper box will then be covered with some sort of insulation, to prevent condensation from appearing.

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Then we went ahead and fabricated some corner protectors out of aluminum, these will be glued into place on the outer top and lower corners on the camper box, outside the GRP angle profiles which already are mounted. The idea is that they shall act as a “scratch protector” against overhanging trees or similar, and also help making a stiff and stable connection between the different GRP plates in the corner joints. The corner protectors are made out of 4mm alu-plates (AL-5052) and bended out of one plate to minimize the need for welding. Due to the cold weather thats been here lately, we haven’t actually glued them into place yet, but as soon at the opportunity comes, they will be installed and painted white to match the rest of the camper box.

Cutting a small grove into the plate wher the bending line will be so that the actuall bending process can be done by hand:
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Test fitting of corner protector on upper corner behind the exhaust stack (sorry for the poor pictures..):
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Next on the list were the rear storage boxes for both sides of the truck, with integrated fixing for rear lights

First off all we needed to decide what type of rear lights we would like to use for the truck, since this would affect how we designed the rear storage boxes. The original rear lights which were mounted to the truck when we bought it, were partially cracked in the plastic housing and damaged from corrosion inside on the electrical connections. After some searching around the choice fell on LED “hamburger” lights from Hella.

Rear hamburger LED lamp for flush/integrated mounting (Hella part# 2SD 344 100-001:
https://www.rexbo.eu/hella/combination-taillight-2sd344100001

Rear hamburger LED lamp for outside mounting (Hella part# 2SD 344 100-101):
https://www.onlinecarparts.co.uk/hella-934980.html#

Rear LED fog lamp which matches the hamburger lamp (Hella part# 2NE 357 026-031):
https://www.rexbo.nl/hella/mistachterlamp-2ne357026031

These have a outer diameter of 140mm and in the classic Halogen version they have more or less been the European standard for most trailers for the last 40 years. The LED version hasn’t been around for too long, but it looks to be quite sturdy made and it even comes integrated breathing membrane to allow for moisture to exit from the light housing. The layout and outer dimension for this new LED lights are identical to the old halogen lights, which means that if one the LED lamps should brake along the road, it can easily be replaced with the widely used halogen versions made by Hella and numerous other suppliers.
We decided to go for 2 hamburger lights on each side + one additional at each side mounted high up at the outer corners of the camper box. We will also mount one rear fog light lamp on each toolbox, these are also Hella LED, Ø=140mm, so they should match the hamburger lights quite nicely.

Now for the actual storage boxes we spent quite some time thinking about how to make them, what shape they should have, how the sealing and hinging of the doors should be made, what type of locking mechanism to be used, what items we would want them to be used for, how the compartments inside should be separated, and so on. – A lot of questions, and a lot of possible solutions! After some concept drawings and some hard thinking we came up with some ideas.

Right side storage box:
This will be separated into compartments for two toolboxes, 4x4L oil cans, towing chain, + general storage space for jumper cables, winching equipment ++.

Left side storage box:
This will act as electric compartment and will house 3 secondary batteries for the living unit, charging device, extension cable and plug-in connection for external power supply + some general storage space.
Both boxes have a steel frame made out of 30x30x3 RHS tubes, 30x30x3 angle bars and 30x3 flat bar. These where then cut and adjusted before welding together so that they form a frame for each of the storage boxes. 3 mm alu-cheeker plates where than cut and bended to fit each of the boxes. The plates will be fixed to the steel frame using M6 bolts in A4 quality. Sikaflex will be added to act both as a sealant to obtain watertightness, and as a membrane to help reduce the effect of galvanic corrosion (since we’ll be mixing different types of metals together in the same structure). When completed the storage boxes will be bolted directly on to the support frame, and if we’ve done things correctly, there will be enough clearance on the inside towards the chassis frame so that this can flex as much as it wants to without any interference with the storage boxes.

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