Pulled the trigger

I went for an angle on the back of my mog. For a few reasons. Departure angle for the odd steep climb. It allows me to park closer to other vehicles when parallel parking or ferry crossings. I have my (short) awning out the back and the cutaway allows you to sit closer to the truck.
It’s not so good for the spare tire location and limits your ability to put a bike or moto rack or even access ladder at a decent height.
The reduced storage space means that I won’t try to squirrel away stuff at one of the worst places to load weight.
I have seen people having an angle cut away and then fill the lower space with big square boxes that defeat the whole thing (kind of like my spare tire).
On the mog there is so much clearance it would be rare that you need such departure angle. The only thing that seems to bump into the back part of my camper is my neighbours garbage and recycling bins...


I like the pop top. I considered it in order to reduce the driving height but chose against because of build complexity, particularly to get decent seals. How have you found it?

Is your chassis a 3.25m wheelbase? I think with the doublecab your rear overhang is much longer than mine will be which I guess increases the benefit of the cutaway. Thanks for the input.
Pop top makes a huge difference in interior space especially in the top bunk. You can sit up and still have headspace. I had a hard time figuring out the lift mechanism but it works well with the 4 electric screw jacks.
When it’s closed it is well sealed but I am not happy with the seals when open. Mosquitos can’t get in but that is about it. I have some ideas to improve the scraper and insulate the seal better, but with the heater on it did well winter camping to -10.
I prefer the shorter wheelbase as opposed to the bigger, longer Mogs. It has a better turning radius than some cars.
So first few questions around the build, I'll post them here but more generally too. These are questions that I think are fundamental to the box/chassis integration and component mount location options hence covering them at the start.

1) Lithium Ion or Lead acid for leisure batteries? I'm leaning towards Li. Reasons - weight and longevity. In general I'm hoping to keep the weight of the overall package reasonably low without incurring ridiculous cost or compromising on durability. I know that the Li-ion set us is going to be a chunk of change but feel it's probably worthwhile. Views?

2) Heating. I'm inclined towards an eberspacher hydronic system with underfloor heating matrix. Reasons: single fuel, integration into engine allows water heating from engine, preheat ability for cold climate engine starts, draft free whole box heating. Thoughts?

3) Cooking. Electric with induction and combined microwave/oven. Reasons reduce multifuel complexity, diesel has poor reputation (although I've never used it).

4) Toilet. No idea yet between chemical, tank or compost. In the early years the use case is likely to be Europe and Morocco for 1 month trips. Longer term Australia, remote USA/Canada as a certainty with possibly trans Asia connecting the two in a 1-2 year trip. It may be we need to change because of geography and timeframes as we gain freedom and time to travel. I'd love thoughts on this one.

5) aircon. Yes/No and if yes, cab, box or both. I'm also unsure on this. I'd like to think that we will travel based on seasons and avoid discomfort by being somewhere else! However not sure how realistic this will be. Whaddya think?

All the best

Batteries: 6v gc are still impossible to beat in ah per$. Li only if you are desperate to cut weight(should be a non issue for your chassis).
Heating: Webasto hydronic. Connect the engine system with the camper. Ours has run for 25 years without issue (replaced Webaso with new unit 4 yrs ago).
Cooking, we have friends that love their induction unit, but seem to live off peanut butter so who knows. We have a 3 burner propane and love cooking with it but it is one more fuel.
Toilet: Composting. I cannot stress this enough, our Natures Head composting toilet is the best improvement we have made.
Aircon: engine driven compressor for cab, 230volt generator powered cabin. The new 12v sydtems look promising, there is a thread dedicated to them.
Our truck was built in 1993(as a camper on a new chassis) and has been lived in full time since then. This is what works for us(the last 4 years).
Nice layout Nathan,

We are going with a composting toilet as well. We are trying to keep things simple, so we are planning to try out an marine alcohol stove, but we will see how we like it. We can always switch to a 3 burner propane later if we don't like the alcohol stove.

We opted to put the spare tire on the back of our truck with a small removable chain hoist to raise and lower the wheel/tire assembly (our wheel/tires weigh about 224 lb each). I will be making the mount for it in the next few weeks. We have steel hard-points in the back wall of our habitat specifically for the tire mount. We considered storing the tire on the roof rack, but we wanted to keep the center of gravity as low as we could.

I'm not too concerned about departure angle. Mogs have really good departure angle from the start. For the type of travel that we will be doing, I think departure angle will be fine. I liked the chamfered look, but in the end, we wanted a nice simple layout with a lot of storage, so having a square cornered habitat box won out.

This is our layout:
Mog side view_edited 050118 (1).jpg

Again, thanks for the input everyone. Michael, I'd love to know what your subframe design is, it looks like you have got the box floor really low.

I discounted the idea of a composting toilet because our trips are likely to be short in the early days. I hadn't thought trips would be long enough to get the composting going properly. Should this worry me?

All the best

Short trips are even better. The composter does not need to be emptied after a few uses, its fine to leave without emptying, in fact its better as the contents will have time to compost.
Emptying a full time composting toilet means some of the contents will be "fresh" and far from compost. Pit toilets or municipal landfill is the solution for that.
For our sub-frame, we just modified the stock MB sub-frame that was on our U1300L military troop bed. We cut is down a little to make it about 10 inches narrower, we trimmed off about 8 inches from the front, we removed as much unneeded weight as we could, we added a new perimeter frame (the stock frame also had a perimeter frame), and then we added supports for the fenders and under bed storage (we are using the stock U1300L fenders still). We are running the larger 365/80-R20 tires, but other than that, we will have basically the same axle-to-fender clearance as the stock mog. I like that it's the original sub-frame, so I have some confidence that frame flex will be similar to what MB originally designed and tested.

We had Total Composites put steel hard-points directly over the original MB sub-frame rails, so the loading should be nicely distributed. There are 52 bolts that hold the habitat to the sub-frame.



Habitat floor hardpoints (note that the floor is upside down in this photo):



So, I've been watching this with interest, and last night I thought, I'll draw my take on it.... so I printed off the pic of your box with the corner cut off (which I assumed was roughly to scale...), and overlaid it with a sketch... Tidied up this morn and here's what I see... The box size is as you had it, but I added to the box/living space over the cab rather than add to the original cab, and with the space/storage gained up there for light stuff it allows you to leave the taper, but also recess the twin spare wheels.... It also puts a bit of weight forward instead of it all hanging off the back, gives you a place to mount 4 front facing roof spot lights... Add side skirts which then ties it in with the rear taper, and also gives you a face/frame to add underslung lockers too (they also hide the batterys and fuel tanks, making them harder to access for would be thieves). Skirts and rear lower taper section/locker would be fixed to chassis... I can send this to you in PDF if you want to print it off, white bits out and play more... There's a lot to be said for tracing the scale drawing and then chopping and adding bits... Just my take on it tho and I won't be offended if you don't like it at all! :)

Mog draft.jpg
That's awesome sitec, thanks. Looks great! Sadly the reason for the cab roof extension is that I am too tall to fit comfortably for long distances with the standard height which reduces the potential for the cabover design. The frame flex thing has also made me lean towards not having the risk of the cabover clashing.

I think we therefore probably stick with the non cabover, with rack mounted storage up top (maybe my banjo in its Peli case!) but I do love this look!