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Thread: Norwegian Unimog U1700L camper build

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140

    Default Norwegian Unimog U1700L camper build

    So, time has finally come to our own build thread for the Unimog camper that propably will take shape over the next 2-3 years

    Thngs are still on an early stage and nothing is written in stone yet, so plans may (and most propably will) change along the way. But the basic idea is ready; we (I and my wife) want to build a expedition camper / overland camper, based on a Mercedes Unimog. The main purpose for vehicle will be to take us on a journey from Norway to the eastern parts of Asia for a 6-12 months trip. But again, things are on an early stage and only time will tell what plans the future brings!

    The idea is that the camper should be an upgrade from the Mercedes Geländewagen with the Maggiolina roof tent which we use on our travels around Europe today. A short list of some key features which the new camper should try to fullfill would be:

    - Seating for minimum 3 persons (but 4 will be preferable if it is possible)
    - Fixed bed for 2 persons, bed(s) for additional passengers can be a foldable solution based on the sofa+table or simmilar. Passenger seats in camper should be faced in driving direction.
    - Bathroom with shower inside the camper
    - Kitchen with oven and hotplate, sink, storage sollutions +++
    - Seating around a table in the camper for minimum 4 persons.
    - Lots of storage compartsment for both inside and outside access.
    - Heating sollution for camping in cold climate (live in Norway...)
    - Water and food supplies for 10-14 days without refill.
    - Diesel for min. 1500km range.
    - No fancy electronics, just pure mechanic which in theory should be easier to maintain and repair in remote locations.
    - 4x4 and sufficient ground clearance.
    - Walk/crawl-through from camper to cabin.


    We soon decided on the Unimog, the next step was just to find a good candidate for our project. Since the Unimog is quite rare and extremly expensive in Norway the solution was to import a truck from Germany. After testing a couple of old U1300L ex. German Army trucks we discovered a 1981 u1700L for sale in the southern parts of Germany. It had low mileage, although many hours on the clock, but the mechanical parts seemed to be in good shape and the prize was right. So after a testride and an overall inspection we decided to go for it!

    After a couple of weeks with planning and various paperwork it was time to pick it up and drive it home to Norway (1650km).
    My father joined me for the trip and we decided to use his 1972 Hanomag Henchel F55 home made camper (Mercedes 508) as a back up vehicle for the journey!
    Hanomag.jpg

    Everything went alright an the next 3 days we spendt "flying" along the German Autobahn's
    Shellstasjon.jpg
    Vegard

    Norway

    Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1700L, 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 300GD STT turbo + intercooler, 1981
    Mercedes-Benz 280S, 1966

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140
    More pictures will come soon!
    Vegard

    Norway

    Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1700L, 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 300GD STT turbo + intercooler, 1981
    Mercedes-Benz 280S, 1966

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    PNW USA
    Posts
    1,571
    Seems odd that Mercedes used the old name "hanomag" for that model in the early 70s - its definitely more of a Mercedes truck then a Hanomag. Looks like a nice rig either way.

    Is that the Unimog with the crane on it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    101
    Low mileage but many ours on the clock: no problem, the engine always ran on 1000 rpm whitout heavy duty to make the crane work. Ideal to keep the engine in good condition while the vehicle didn't move much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    SJ, Utah
    Posts
    149
    Nice!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140
    Quote Originally Posted by Ullie View Post
    Low mileage but many ours on the clock: no problem, the engine always ran on 1000 rpm whitout heavy duty to make the crane work. Ideal to keep the engine in good condition while the vehicle didn't move much.
    This was my thought also! Hopefully it will be ok, but I got a good prize, so even if I need to do an overhaul, I think it will be worth the prize.
    Vegard

    Norway

    Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1700L, 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 300GD STT turbo + intercooler, 1981
    Mercedes-Benz 280S, 1966

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140
    Quote Originally Posted by Haf-E View Post
    Seems odd that Mercedes used the old name "hanomag" for that model in the early 70s - its definitely more of a Mercedes truck then a Hanomag. Looks like a nice rig either way.

    Is that the Unimog with the crane on it?
    Mercedes bought the Hanomag Henschel factory in the late 60's. For some time they had a parallel production of some trucks at both the Mercedes and Hanomag factory, both versions identical except from minor details like logo on the steering wheel and grill. My fathers truck is one of very few surviving Mercedes 508 which were produced at the Hanomag factory and sold as a "Hanomag Henschel F55" It's an old but quite well kept truck which my father converted to a camper in the early 80's, so I myself have practically grown up in this truck with camping trips around Europe every summer holiday :-)

    And yes, it's the one with the crane, the crane will have to go to make room for the camper but it's a well made crane so hopefully i cand fin a newhome for it at someone who can take use of it.
    Vegard

    Norway

    Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1700L, 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 300GD STT turbo + intercooler, 1981
    Mercedes-Benz 280S, 1966

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140
    Some more pictures from the trip back to Norway: testing on the Danish beaches:-)

    strand11.jpg

    strand 2.jpg

    strand 3.jpg

    The plan now is to do some minor repairs and get it registered on Norwegian license plates. After that i will strip the chassis from it's crane and supportframe, and I will do a complete repaint of both the cabin and main frame before the real fun begin with fabricating of the camper box. The basic concept for layout of the camper is finished, and I will try to post some pictures of the 3D-model for it in the next days.

    To be continued!
    Vegard

    Norway

    Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1700L, 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 300GD STT turbo + intercooler, 1981
    Mercedes-Benz 280S, 1966

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    725
    Great photos, the sand there looks really hard, must be all the ice
    Iain
    Brisbane, Australia
    Land Rover Defender 110
    Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6
    Unimog U1250
    videos

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    140
    Sorry for the long break since last update, seems that the last few months just flew away... But anyway, here is a status update:

    As I wrote earlier I managed to get the truck safely back from Germany to Norway without any problems! :-) After that I went straight to work and started the possible long and difficult process to get it licensed on Norwegian license plates.

    I talked to the authorities before I bought the truck and informed them about my plans about converting the Unimog from a crane truck and into a camper truck. They then informed me about that the best way of doing this would be if I bought and imported the truck, and then got it licensed in Norway the way it was originally in Germany (with crane and everything attached). After that it would be no problem to re-license it as a camper once the build was complete.

    I am happy to say that this process turned out to be much easier in reality than what I first feared it would become. Whit the help from two very friendly guys at the registration office + the correct German documentation for the truck the Unimog was registered on Norwegian license plates within three weeks after I bought it in Germany

    During the summer I didn't manage to do much with the Unimog. A very hectic period at my work, combined with a 3 weeks road trip with my wife to Balkan put a stopper to the progress. But one thing I managed to do was to sandblast, repaint, dismount and sell the complete sub frame with the big Atlas crane

    Before crane renovation and removal:
    DSC_2980.jpg

    After:
    20150728_132716.jpg 20150728_132627.jpg

    20150730_174735.jpg 20150730_175654.jpg

    20150730_175650.jpg 20150822_122918.jpg


    During this autumn I have spent most available time on corrosion work on the frame and axles. When I got it the truck was in overall quite good condition, but it had been neglected for quite some time, so the surface rust on both axles and the frame itself was quite bad. I then decided that it was needed to put an end to the misery, so I sandblasted all the rust away and went ahead and painted it with four layers of painting (Zink, and epoxy) according to the Norwegian offshore standards, so probably rust won't be any issue in the nearest future!

    Before sandblasting and painting:
    20150910_174010.jpg 20150910_174018.jpg

    20150420_175014.jpg
    Vegard

    Norway

    Mercedes-Benz Unimog 1700L, 1980
    Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 300GD STT turbo + intercooler, 1981
    Mercedes-Benz 280S, 1966

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