U1700L in a shipping container?

dan85

Observer
Hi everyone.

My partner and I are throwing up between trucks as a base for our expedition camper. I want an ex Australian army U1700 unimog cause well unimog but there is some concern about shipping the vehicle RORO and not being able to have our stuff in the vehicle. Does anyone know if i aired down the tires nearly flat would a unimog fit in a high cube container? I have taken an exert from the defence manual for the U1700 and laden it shows the height at 2600 without the canopy. If this is the case i would have thought dropping the pressure right down would get the truck into a container. The camper we are looking at doing a poptop level with the cabin of the mog so this wont be protruding up. thanks everyone


Detail
4. Dimensions:
a. Height:
(1) Unladen.......................................................................................................................... 3 140 mm
(2) Laden ............................................................................................................................. 3 040 mm
b. Height Reduced (with Canopy, Canopy Frame and Hatch Cover Removed):
(1) Unladen.......................................................................................................................... 2 700 mm
(2) Laden ............................................................................................................................. 2 600 mm
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Although I'm by no means an expert when it comes to shipping a truck around the globe... but I was just going through that process and learned a couple things. My finding was that it wont be you driving your truck into the container. It's done by specialy trained drivers at the port. Those drivers are not allowed to modify your vehicle in any way to make them fit, other than folding in the mirrors. The chances that they will air down till it fits is pretty slim. Our shipper told me, that the truck will be refused and and not processed if it doesn't fit.

On the other hand, back in the days when I was working for an expo truck builder we fitted mogs with forklift wheels and drove them to the port on a flatbed.
 

Iain_U1250

Explorer
I would not worry too much about RORO, speak to a shipping agent about what can be carried inside, alot of it is hearsay. I know of at least 5 trucks who have been shipped into Australia on RORO with all the fittings, clothes, spares etc in locked compartments or crates inside the truck. There is always a risk that something might get stolen, but there is still a risk in a container and make sure you secure the truck properly, as they are not gentle when moving containers around. Customs will want to inspect everything anyway, and if you are shipping back to Australia, it will be taken out of the container for Quarantine inspections and cleaning, when everything gets pulled out by the cleaners and inspectors.
 

dan85

Observer
so shipping it ro-ro you can lock the camper section up? it would only need to be the truck cabin open to allow moving it around? I feel bad contacting businesses and asking them questions when im realistically years away from engaging them. thanks for the replies.
 

nick disjunkt

Adventurer
so shipping it ro-ro you can lock the camper section up? it would only need to be the truck cabin open to allow moving it around? I feel bad contacting businesses and asking them questions when im realistically years away from engaging them. thanks for the replies.
That's correct. I followed steven Stewart's advice when shipping between Europe and the US, I locked the camper and hid a key for it in the cab. I told the shipping agent where I'd hidden it so that if customs needed access they could retrieve the key themselves. Between Southampton and Brunswick nobody opened the back up. On the way back the back was opened but there were no complaints that all cabinets we full of clothes cookware, etc
 

Sitec

Adventurer
I would not worry too much about RORO, speak to a shipping agent about what can be carried inside, alot of it is hearsay. I know of at least 5 trucks who have been shipped into Australia on RORO with all the fittings, clothes, spares etc in locked compartments or crates inside the truck. There is always a risk that something might get stolen, but there is still a risk in a container and make sure you secure the truck properly, as they are not gentle when moving containers around. Customs will want to inspect everything anyway, and if you are shipping back to Australia, it will be taken out of the container for Quarantine inspections and cleaning, when everything gets pulled out by the cleaners and inspectors.
Same with shipping into Africa. I've been the receiver for several Dragoman Mercedes trucks at the dock in Durban SA. They come in with all the kitchen stuff, tents, fridges, and books/maps, along with 4 spare wheels and a myriad of parts bolted to the chassis rails. Just make sure all the lockers are locked, and anything that would usually be out is also stowed. Shipping containers really limit the size of your Overlander, which is why I am going down the truck route, with the intention of it going on RoRo. The other option is you go bigger.. and build your home into a 20' chiller shipping container. Lined and insulated.. Find a 4x4 truck on each continent you go too and just collect your box.... :)
 

unirover

Observer
I've stuffed a lot of Unimogs into containers and shipped them to and from Europe, North America and South Africa. I stuff them in containers all the time. Some ports will allow you to drive them in the container on site but most ports require they are loaded off site. One thing to consider is if you do it off site, a truck will show up with a container on the back. You have to either lower the container or raise the Unimog. I use ramps but that is not for the faint of heart. Better is to find a loading facility of which there are many in port towns. They will let you load it yourself but charge you for the use of their facility. Height is not your only problem, width is an issue as well.

A U1300L with a standard cab will fit in a HiCube container with the tires aired down assuming you don't have anything taller on the back. It is a very tight fit - think millimeters on the sides, centimeters on the roof. Also containers can be off dimensionally by about a centimeter or so and if placed on uneven ground, they warp. All of this can actually be make or break. I once had to order another container because I got one too narrow. Also you will need ingress and egress through the front or rear. I cut out the front or rear windshield depending on the loading. They are not to hard to put back in place but you will need a new seal.

A U1700L has wider axles and is taller so it will literally depend on the tires and rims. Usually the heavy duty SBU's need the wheels taken off or custom wheels and rims fabricated as per the pictures. It is not as straight forward as letting some air out of the tires but it can be done, it just takes more prep, as you can see from the fancy origami Unicat. It is very close because of the axles though.

Usually with Ro/Ro you can not ship personal belongings, everything has to come in as one customs classification. With motorhomes, RV's etc, it gets a little grey. If the customs agents are sympathetic, they will not start breaking down individual components. They will just classify the vehicle and the contents all as a motorhome. However there is no guarantee they will do that and more importantly there is no guarantee the shipping line will allow the motorhome on the ship unless it is totally empty. It is usually not customs that is the problem but the actual shipping lines which do not allow commingled goods to go Ro/Ro. Some lines have rates for things like loaded tractor trailers but this usually costs a lot more and they usually don't do it for individuals. I had a removable shelter on my Unimog and while the ro/ro line shipped it, they actually charged me for two separate shipments because the shelter was not permanently attached. If you have a motorcycle on the back, or something else separate and valuable (especially if it has a VIN) these can also create issues and usually have to be shipped separately. Basically once you do Ro/Ro with anything other than a bare vehicle, there is a greater risk of snafus although it is usually manageable at the end of the day.

With a container you can commingle and put whatever you want in it. Which leads to the other option which is a flat rack. You can put what every you want on a flat rack, just like a container, so belongings, extra stuff etc is not an issue. You also do not have to modify the vehicle or even air down the tires. I really do not understand why people are so set on fitting expedition vehicles in a container. All SBU Unimogs fit on flat racks, including taller camper bodies. The Unicat pictured would fit without all the origami. You show up to the port and drop off the vehicle. It will go on a 40ft flat rack which does have to be lashed professionally at the port but you can usually arrange to be there. They will then professionally lash it. Not quite as easy as ro/ro but much easier than stuffing a 40ft HiCube. The biggest drawback is security but even then it is about the same as Ro/Ro and post 9/11 ports have become much more secure. Obviously though you need a way to lock it pretty well. Flat racks also cost a bit more but overall they are always a plan b if your vehicle does not fit in a container or Ro/Ro is not an option.
 

dan85

Observer
Hey everyone thanks so much for the great replies. its a hard thing trying to find this sort of info out purely from googling. I honestly dont care how it gets shipped as long as it gets shipped safely. ill look a bit more into the flat racks and ro-ro options. if the vehicle is sitting up on a flat rack or ro-ro how have people gone about protecting it from the salt etc? lots of lanolin or the like sprayed all over it?
 

dwh

Tail-End Charlie
Hey everyone thanks so much for the great replies. its a hard thing trying to find this sort of info out purely from googling. I honestly dont care how it gets shipped as long as it gets shipped safely. ill look a bit more into the flat racks and ro-ro options. if the vehicle is sitting up on a flat rack or ro-ro how have people gone about protecting it from the salt etc? lots of lanolin or the like sprayed all over it?
Plastic wrap and strapping.

https://m.uline.com/h5/r/www.uline.com/Cls_09/Strapping
 

rblackwell

Adventurer
so shipping it ro-ro you can lock the camper section up? it would only need to be the truck cabin open to allow moving it around? I feel bad contacting businesses and asking them questions when im realistically years away from engaging them. thanks for the replies.
Just to add my 2 cents worth to this discussion. My wife and I have shipped motorhomes/expedition vehicles RORO a number of times,
  • Panama to and from Colombia
  • Seattle to Vladivostok
  • Antwerp to/from Halifax
  • and we plan on Antwerp to Halifax again later this year

No problems in regard to theft or damage. Though one must be able to lock the living compartment off from the driving position.
In theory most of the shipping agents will tell you that "you cannot leave personal belongings in the vehicle", but we have in all cases. In the Seattle-Vladivostok case we had to make work a bit to find a shipping agent that was prepared to allow us to leave our stuff in the vehicle.
 

unirover

Observer
Vehicles that go ro/ro are always almost always under deck. If you are going on a major Ro/Ro route, i.e. North America to from Europe or Asia and Europe to from Middle East / Asia, then the ships are dedicated Ro/Ro ships and everything is under deck. Imagine a huge floating covered parking garage. With flat racks if the shipment is in gauge, i.e. not wider or taller than a 40ft high cube then it will also go below deck. You can always request it goes below deck but depending on the size especially width) you may pay more.
 

thebigblue

Adventurer
Just to add my 2 cents worth to this discussion. My wife and I have shipped motorhomes/expedition vehicles RORO a number of times,
  • Panama to and from Colombia
  • Seattle to Vladivostok
  • Antwerp to/from Halifax
  • and we plan on Antwerp to Halifax again later this year

No problems in regard to theft or damage. Though one must be able to lock the living compartment off from the driving position.
In theory most of the shipping agents will tell you that "you cannot leave personal belongings in the vehicle", but we have in all cases. In the Seattle-Vladivostok case we had to make work a bit to find a shipping agent that was prepared to allow us to leave our stuff in the vehicle.
So any hints on a specifik handler from Antwerp to/from Halifax
 

rblackwell

Adventurer
So any hints on a specifik handler from Antwerp to/from Halifax
Yes, both ways across the Atlantic we used https://www.seabridge-tours.de/ (and we will use them again this year). They regularly ship European vehicles to/from Nth America and have people in each port to assist. For example in US ports you need someone with a TWIC card to drive the vehicle in/out of ports. You may be able to do a better price by handling the bits yourself but these guys make it easy.
 

grizzlyj

Adventurer
Hiya
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If I remember correctly, which is a possibility, the hubs fit in the doorway but wheels won't, so studs need tapping out, and driving in on the discs.
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This is supposed to be bad.
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Having totally flat tyres for a length of time will also be bad.
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It's possible there's a thread expanding on this on Benzworld Mog section that also mentioned that even if you do drive in on the discs and they end up ok, you will be overloading the container floor and may go through to some extent unless you strengthen it first.
:)
 
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