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The Truck

The truck is a Mercedes Benz Unimog, Model 1300/L  This is somewhere between a tractor and a regular truck. It’s built for tough going, and for extreme conditions. While we don’t intend to be going over crazy on this trip, it’s nice to be able to go anywhere we want to without too much concern for getting stuck.

This page is in its infancy, and is to be the index of the other pages with more specific information about the truck itself.


Mercedes Unimog truck camper, suitable for overland expedition travel.

Parked in front of the Oxford Transport Museum, not long after we got the Mercedes Unimog truck.


rear view of the truck

Back of the truck.



Some Truck Statistics.

Engine size: 5.7 Litre (More on the engine here)

Main Diesel tank capacity: 140L

Secondary Diesel tank capacity: 110L

3 Jerry cans of 20L each.

Fresh water tank capacity: 330L

Grey water tank capacity: 40L.

Max Speed: 90kph, but it’s not recommended! That’s max revs, and it’s tough on the portal axles. We go up to about 75kph for overtaking, but not really any more.

Regular speed we travel at: 60kph to 65kph. Everything works better, it’s quieter and the fuel economy does not nosedive!

Fuel Economy: 11mpg, or 4.1KM per liter. This is based on the average over 18 months of driving, so includes mountains, flat, altitude, offroad, tarmac etc. However it depends on the terrain. Hilly roads use a lot more fuel. All of this gives a range of something over 1000KM. We have a theoretical range of about 1200km, but in practice you never get all the fuel out of a tank, and probably do not want to run them dry.

Mileage: We “Think” the truck has about 100,000km on it. The speedometer is broken, so we track the milage by GPS. We have very detailed speadsheets covering KM’s per day, and Fuel purchases, as well as our Overlanding GPS tracks being published on our site.

Truck Tyres:

The tyres are 365/80 R20, and 5 of them cost about £2,000 stg. Plus shipping. So you don’t want to be wearing them out, or damaging them too much!  More about the axles and hubs here.


3 people up front. 1 driver seat + a wide seat for 2 passengers. Stock seats for the Mercedes Unimog. We did get ours recovered though.


Truck Camper Body:

This started life as a bread truck we believe! It’s a plastic over timber body, then 50mm steel box section inside that to make a frame. The frame is also packed out with insulation, then a thinner sheet of plywood inside that.  This makes it a good insulator, and very strong. Also heavy I’m afraid. There is a specific page of information all about the heating and plumbing.

The camper body is built on the Unimog’s own truck body, and this is attached to the truck using 2 giant hinges, a third mount that allows the chassis to twist without putting any strain on the cabin body. These mounts are the standard Unimog mounts and have not been modified.



We have a permanent double bed made up in the back. There is an option to lower the table, and convert the seating area into a second double bed.

In theory, the area over the cab could contain a mattress and become another sleeping area, but the roof would be very close to you, and not great in our opinion. Probably fine for occasional use. We like it for storage instead.


The truck weights about 7 tons. The plate/registration is for 7.5 tons, so you need a 7.5 ton license to drive it. In practice, the weight goes up and down depending on how full all the tanks are of water and fuel, how much luggage you put on board, how much food and wine you carry….

For more information on Mercedes Unimogs, visit the benzword Unimog forum.


There are also some blog posts that are worth looking at, This is the external storage boxes being made.

And a bit about some of the woodwork





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