Flatbed/Camper Construction - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Flatbed/Camper Construction

Has anyone built a flatbed for a 1300 so that they could attach a ambulance/camper to it while retaining the 3 point attachment attributes? I have a 1300 ambulance that I'd like to dual purpose, being able to have a truck and a camper...I have seen that there are threads pertaining to building 3 pint attached campers, but I have not found any that are a flatbed, with a removable camper attached.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:45 AM
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Tandemloc to the rescue. A flat deck that ties into the 3-point mount with some of these fitted up to and a sub frame on the ambulance body with the plates should keep the height down. You could also use the same hardware to make a stand system utilizing the full corners, basically two side frames and you pull the truck in, insert the side locks disconnect the bed locks and pull out and the camper body is now secured at truck height but that's up to you and your on site logistics. I've seen field demountable campers where they just used some gnarly jack legs, the idea being you arrive, drop the legs and detatch to allow you to use the rig for day tripping etc.

https://www.tandemloc.com/806000n-u00
https://www.tandemloc.com/t10021a-100

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:53 AM
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My understanding of the Ambulance body is that it is connected to the chassis by the 3 point mounts - as the flat bed rear is.
You’d need to build a receiving frame with locking mounts (as Acad-Cowboy suggests) onto the chassis and then build a camper body or flat bed which would fit onto it.
Either that, or buy a flat bed with the 3 point mounts and remove the entire unit from the frame. However, swapping it over would be a major task and not something you’d manage in a couple of hours.
Diagram below shows the frame & mounting points on a U1300L.

Dan.




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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:59 AM
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Both the troop deck and the ambulance body share the three point mounting system. The most straight forward way I can see to do it would be to acquire a troop bed with the mounts and then strip the ambulance body and start the adaption process to allow the ambulance body, with a rigid mount, to connect to the troop bed.

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These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth's foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling, And took their wages, and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended; They stood, and earth's foundations stay; What God abandoned, these defended, And saved the sum of things for pay.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:03 AM
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Agreed


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:00 AM
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I should be doing a swap over from a 1300L ambulance to a cargo body in about 3 or 4 weeks if everything works out. It is represented as less than a days job as the person I am swapping with has the appropriate rigging equipment. I will be stripping all the various chain boxes and other stuff hung off the body before I head down and spraying all the fasteners on the mounts before hand.

That said, the trick with the ambulance body is the floor pan sits lower than the cargo body by a few inches which is one of the reasons the ambulance body is popular with coachbuilders. The cargo bodies have a flat bed while the ambulance bodies had bumps in the floor under the stretcher frames for tire clearance. I also think the ambulance body had different longer travel springs but one of the pros would need to confirm. I might speculate that since the ambulance shell is permanently attached to the floor that the structure can be less beefy than a flat cargo body but that's speculation my part.

He did mention at one point that he was at a trade show in Germany and there was fabricator that makes a camper base frame that is the same clearance as the Ambulance. I was interested in details but he elected not to pursue it as importing them would take a lot of space in a container.

Any slide in camper will sit higher then an ambulance body. Realistically a radio box version is a slide in potential base for a camper in the cargo box and was designed by the factory. The trade off is you lose some width as it slides in between the cargo body sides. If you look at any radio box picture the large beefy hold downs should be evidence that the structural attachment of the camper is very important as that's a lot of potential load that can shift. Its also designed with reinforced corners so if can be lifted with a crane.

There is 1300L down the road from me that has a radio box and its definitely a compromise due to extra height plus he runs the 14.5 tires versus the stock 12.5s I use. We both use the same place for getting yearly state inspection stickers and they only have one lift that has enough clearance for his. The mechanic commented that my ambulance has plenty of room on the adjoining lift. When I went by recently he had the radio box out and was using the cargo body and the radio box was sitting on some tall scaffolding. PM me and I can give you his email if you want to contact him directly.

Last edited by peakbagger; 05-16-2019 at 08:49 AM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:14 AM
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I agree with the above. Since both the bed and the ambulance box share the same structure underneath, the Ambulance box would have to be shaved of its mounting structure, so it would slide into the bed.

Or, sell or swap the ambulance box, and build a box that fits the bed, and could be lighter, have more headroom, and better insulation, etc.

Keeping the Ambulance box, acquiring a bed, and swapping back and forth is an option, but it would be a process, and one would probably get tired of the process pretty quickly.

So, some photos. I have many photos of Camper boxes built for, or plopped onto the U1300L bed. A few will show that it is often done. There isn't much to be seen, just a camper box, with the tell-tale set of 3 hinge pivots for the bedsides at the deck level.

I'll start with two more involved solutions. An Australian UNIMOG with a tilt bed that has been built to load and unload its camper by itself, and a solution from Jean-Luc in France. He has built both a camper and a bed system with forklift pockets, and he swaps them back and forth regularly, based on the photos he posts.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:22 AM
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P.2
Camper boxes on beds. More Jean-Luc, and then some Boxes mounted to beds.

I think that the subframe mentioned above is built by ATLAS. Photos in a bit.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:26 AM
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P.3.
More boxes on beds.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 07:34 AM
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P.4
More of the same.
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