Pulled the trigger


The std subframe is a good piece of engineering, I was planing to build by myself one but , how the make the std is a way to follow ....so if is in a good shape , no mining to expend time and money....I Bolt the cabine stright on the subframe



No worries. :). There's a thread somewhere in this section of a light blue Mog that the builder extended the cab. Lots of good pics too. I think now is one of the key but fun times... Getting what you want into reality. Following with interest! :)
No worries. :). There's a thread somewhere in this section of a light blue Mog that the builder extended the cab. Lots of good pics too. I think now is one of the key but fun times... Getting what you want into reality. Following with interest! :)
Sitec; I believe you are refering to my build thread (that by the way need a new update soon..), page 2 and further on shows the roof extension I made:



Yup, that's it! I remembered it because of the nice work! I have just got back from a works trip. One of the places we stayed was Stavanger in Norway. Wish Id had time to look you up! Beautiful country!! 😊
Yup, that's it! I remembered it because of the nice work! I have just got back from a works trip. One of the places we stayed was Stavanger in Norway. Wish Id had time to look you up! Beautiful country!! 😊
Ah, thats a bummer! I live 2 hours drive to the south from Stavanger.. Let me know next time you're in the area!
The beginning stages...what a fun point in the build process. Don't get too hung up trying to get everything perfect right away...you're gonna change things as you go. Good luck and I am excited to see your process.
Thanks rover. Last few weeks have been about learning. I have got initial specs together for a bunch of elements, electrical system, heating and water, toilet and basic design finalised on my internal layout.

I hope to fit a number of things externally - Propane tank, grey water tank, clarified and generator - and I've just got a cad rendering of the chassis and subframe done to be able to work out the best solution.

Big challenges at the moment:
Working out the structural design of the box to allow it to be demounted by forklift for container transport.

Finding insurance in the UK - this is proving almost impossible as none of the carriers have the vehicle on their list and insurance nowadays is a computer box ticking exercise rather than a question about understanding risk. I've been driving 30 years and never claimed, it seems crazy that there is nobody who will offer cover. Any ideas give me a shout!


Hi Nathane.

Just some thoughts... First re the propane tank, have you considered using a forklift gas cylinder... They have a fill point, vent point for self filling, a liquid outlet for LPG forklifts which if the cylinder is rotated 180 deg when on its side will provide vapour instead of liquid... (and if you find the right cylinder also a blanked outlet for vapour outlet). I know the laws are totally different here (and I'm not advocating undertaking anything dodgy or dangerous with cylinders), but I'm sure the logistics of portable forklift LPG cylinders are the same... If you are thinking of fitting a 'fixed' cylinder like under a car, I've been told some shippers won't ship with them. If you use a forklift cylinder, it can be removed, filled, swapped, left out if required etc etc. I have found 2 18kg aluminium cylinders here in Oz, and will be mounting them externally under the body. They can be removed, filled from a servo, filled at a fill station, and if you are in third world country's filled by hand using an array of adaptors....

Secondly... Re a detachable box, container twist locks and the actual container blocks are available to be purchased if required which gives you your secure legal base locks... Re lifting with a forklift, two pieces of 200 x 100 RHS on their side built into the box would work well and suit most forklifts..


Lastly re insurance, when we used to live in the UK, I ran all sorts of daft vehicles, including Land Rover 101's with 6 litre Nissan diesels shoe horned into them and also a few 'modified' tractors.. I always found the NFU Mutual to be very helpful. This was over 10 yrs ago tho and things may have changed, but I'm tipping your Unimog is on the system as lots of farmers use them for high speed road work.

Following your thread with interest as I'm in a similar planning phase.. Have truck, have a body, just need to make them look like they were always together! Re toilets, after a lot of research, and talking to several who have used them 'long term', it came down to the Natures Head or Air Head. I've settled on the Natures Head as it seems to win on feedback here. Good luck! :)
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Hello Nathane

Sounds like your at the really exciting part of the project.

We have now left the UK and are in South America but for 5 years we were insured with the caravan club under their RV policy. I hear nothing good about Adrian Flux.

Ref Multi fuel.

I would have multi fuel in the habitation. Believe me there are times when solar just isn't available . We have had what appears to be the sunniest of days but the the solar input is minimal. Its sounds wrong but there are many places where the sun doesn't really get over 40 degrees and solar panels don't really kick in with a good charge until about 35 degrees.

For the last 2 months we have struggled despite spending the day with shorts and sunglasses on.

I guess that if you are going to drive long distances every day or have a big genny running for hours its ok. We don't.

Our Eberspacher isn't very happy at over 4500 meters ( at minus 20 ) so being able to turn a gas jet on for 15 mins has been a saviour when it comes to heating. At this altitude at this time of year I doubt we get more than 25 amps per day off my 720 w solar array at 24v. I am not sure that a genny would like firing up either.

My view is that the more options you have the better chance you have of getting through lean periods

Ref the toilet. We have a Thetford Bravura that its on 80 litre tank. This tank is emptied via a standard cassette under the vehicle. So if it was full we would have to decant maybe 4 cassettes off. It has worked very well for us.

My view on composting toilets is different to Grizzly's. Very few people I have met with them use them correctly. Most are emptying them every few weeks. This is not a composting toilet this is shitting in a bucket and throwing it away. Natures Head state a minimum of 6 months to make safe useable compost. This could be a challenge.

In addition I think the border controls in some countries would require them emptied and clears on crossing. Here in South America that would be a maximum of 90 days if you stayed your full visa. And lastly I think I am just too lazy to separate liquids from solids.
In saying this I have met some folks who use them correctly and they work perfectly for them, just not for me.

Good luck with your project. Plenty of great advice and opinions to be had here.

Lastly make sure your interior construction is super robust if your planning to leave Europe. Some of the corrugated gravel roads will shake your vehicle to pieces. We have had it where you cannot hold the steering wheel as your hands are so bashed with the vibration and you only have another 300km ( 4 days ) of this road to go. Flimsy light weight construction will not survive this very well.


Thanks all for your continued input it's super helpful as always.

Easy stuff first - I'm going to use a natures head. I agree with the observations of the reality of composting and have read lots about ethical disposal. At the end of the day my conclusion is that disposing of a bucket of peated crap into a pit toilet, down a pan (multiple flushes!) or into landfill is doable, ethical and no more unpleasant than disposing of chemically saturated slops into similar holes.

Multi fuel, I'm there. Gas (LPG) for cooking, diesel for heating electric for occasional cooling and fridge. I'm planning 900W of solar on the roof, 400aH lifepo in the house and 3kw genny (dual fuel petrol/LPG) for top ups if ever needed. Webasto hydronic heater claims to work at altitude but will be slow to kick in so the domestic freshwell 3000 aircon heater element will be a great short term "kick" to get things started.

Good call on the container locks. I am not sure about the box structure yet but am exploring an aluminium frame with foam sandwich panels. If I can find alu cast lock blocks I could weld them into the structure.

LPG tanks, I'll look into the forklift options thanks.

Sorry I'm not sure what RHS refers to? I was planning on incorporating 2 2.5m long 200mx100mm rectangular section tubes into the base of the box - i suspect this is what you're thinking of? I was thinking I would fabricate these myself from vacuum cured wet layup carbon fibre/aramid wrapped around a think plywood former (to use as a mould and to "line" the tubes to give scratch protection. 7 layers of 600g carbon twill and 3 layers of 450g aramid twill should give plenty of strength.

Internal construction I am planning to build foam core carbon skin vacuum cured wet layup monocoque furniture units and bulkheads bonded to the internal surface of the box with continual adhesive joints. As monocoques these should be very strong in their own right, lightweight but also when bonded into the shell should provide significant additional strength to the box itself.

Thanks for the NFU pointer, they are the one carrier that covers the vehicle i have found but they require a pre existing relationship to do so. I'll keep trying with them!
I feel embarrassed not to have done a Google - Thanks for the pointer! ThyssenKrupp does 100x200 RHS in 6060 Al but I'm thinking that for insulation purposes I will be better to fabricate my own from Carbon/Kevlar as noted above.

I've been chatting to a friend who makes industrial HVAC systems that get put into boxes made from modular aluminium frames and composite panels. An Italian company called prolam makes the extrusions. These are looking pretty attractive to me at the moment as the way to build the box. End result will be a forklift or cranable aluminium frames foam composite box fixed to the sub-frame with iso container locks. This feels robust and practical. Hmmmm
First parts arrived! I guess this means that the build has started for real although as you can see it's probably not everybody's natural starting point 😊

These are some of the bits for the underfloor heating, and having never worked on a system like this before I wanted to see what the parts were like to help design work. I am Hoping that by making sure I understand sub-systems well up front I can do a better job on layout design and implementation rather than having to bodge systems into a compromised interior design.

Now I just need to build a box to put them in and put it on the back of the truck!