Unimog into Campervan.
On the 8th of May 2000 I purchased an ex-army Unimog U1300L from Frank Atkinson. With a ground clearance of 435mm, an approach angle of 51° and a departure angle of 46° this is a formidable off-road vehicle. The 5.6 litre 96kW diesel engine drives the wheels through an eight speed box and portal axles.
My Mog was first registered in April 1980 and has about 25,000km on the clock. Originally painted in camouflage it was serviced, cleaned and sprayed silver by Frank Atkinson.
In order to gain the maximum space the body has been extend to the maximum allowed by the UK Construction and Use rules. To retain the departure angle the rear part of the body is cut away, this space is used to carry a demountable Jerry can rack and/or sand mats.
The campervan body design (loosely based on the one in John Speed's excellent book Travel Vans) incorporates a permanent bed across the rear of the vehicle with externally accessible storage underneath.
May 2000 the chassis cab was transported to
Willingham's (near Hull in England) who have done
an excellent job in building a GRP/Plywood body on the metalwork of the
original flat bed. Because the body of a Unimog is designed to twist on the
chassis the tunnel between the cab and the body has
to be very flexible!
The small front widow (above left) is for the shower room, the central window is for the dining area and the rear hole is a hatch giving access to the under bed storage area. The windows are all Seitz Polyurethan-Technik GmbH double glazed units incorporating blinds and fly screens. The roof (which is slightly curved) houses a large Seitz hatch to the rear and four Kyocera 60 watt solar panels at the front. A 100mm upstand provides some protection for the solar panels from low branches. (None of the roof fittings were in place for the above photograph.)
I may add some art work to the body in order to give it a more professional appearance.
The rear hatch (right) provides access to the two 6Kg propane cylinders used (only) for cooking. The combined four burner hob and sink will be just below the central window.
The main door is split in two with a retractable ladder fitted between the underside of the body and the fuel tank (the floor is 1300mm above ground level!)
A wind deflector has been fitted to the front of the body, more
for aesthetic than aerodynamic reasons, with a top speed of 90kph (55mph) wind
resistance is not likely to be a major cause of fuel consumption!
The metal frame provides rigidity and supports the external demountable Jerry can rack as well as providing the base of the bed.
The left section houses the two propane cylinders. The center section will be divided into a lower part containing the two 58Kg batteries and an upper storage area accessible from inside. The right hand section (only accessible from the outside) will be used to house general camping equipment, chairs, tables and fire wood.
The floor and walls will be insulated with 30mm of X-trem (a non combustible waterproof closed cell polyethylene foam - 0.02 W/M x K) most of the roof will be insulated with 45mm of X-trem.
Last updated 2003-10-19.