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1980 U1300L
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 1980 U1300L with the bulky, heavy ambulance box. For livability and better power to weight ratio I plan to replace the ambulance box with a svelte, lower profile fiberglass camper box.

The ambulance box is mounted to the frame via a tubular steel "spine"(also very heavy), with tentacle-like "arms" of u-shaped steel support extending from the "spine" under the ambulance box floor, welded, where they terminate, at the underside edges of box. This "spine" appears to be bolted to the rear section of the frame at four points.

For those who have experience removing and/or replacing this type of ambulance/radio box mounting system, my question is: considering I need a platform for the fiberglass camper I plan to install, which will be demounted from its trailer frame, should I remove the ambulance box, leaving the "spine" and "arms" as a platform for the camper, or should I remove the whole ambulance box mounting system down to the frame, and mount the camper, utilizing the four mounting points where the "spine" was mounted?

The ambulance box mounting system works well with the heavy ambulance box, especially with all the twisting and flexing in off-road situations, but seems unnecessary over engineering (and weight) for a lightweight fiberglass camper shell. This question has also probably been addressed by those who have done this conversion to a flatbed or rock crawler. Perhaps a lighter weight aluminum subframe would suffice to provide a strong, yet flexible, base for the fiberglass pod. Thoughts?
 

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Unimog Moderator
250GD Wolf
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13,614 Posts
Greetings, Sorry nobody has been along to comment or answer your questions, I'm not a camper guy but I'll give it a shot until someone else more knowledgeable comes along :)

Do you plan on doing any offroading with your mog/camper? reason I ask, is even on a flat tray, the forces involved might shake apart a "regular" camper.

Here is an example of a user fab'd torque free subframe for example:



Others, as well as some very fine camper builds can be found via search. Posting will bump this back up so hopefully someone with more experience with campers can comment.
 

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2015 Rubicon Unlimited (Let the shame be upon me!)
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4,072 Posts

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1995 U1550L
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29 Posts
Grab a copy of the body builders handbook from MB. I think there's a link in one of these posts (but I can't find it right now). That has a lot of info in it on subframe mounting points, dimensions, etc.

I'm leaning towards something like Hilfsrahmen | atlas4x4 for my future camper build because it lowers the deck level. In fact, with this subframe you need to add wheel well cutouts to ensure proper clearances to the tires and suspension. You also need to make sure your frame attached tanks and equipment are mounted low enough to ensure proper clearances when the frame twists to maximum.

The benefit of the lower subframe is a potentially lower centre of gravity and a potentially greater inside height keeping the same overall vehicle height. I think the one I reference above is also quite lightweight (but well engineered).

Thoughts,
M
 

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Premium Member
U1550L 37 Half Doka with camper. Also own a U1300L that I paid for 7 years ago but have never seen!!
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75 Posts
To answer your question the simplest route is to adapt the Krankenwagon sub-frame to suit your needs. That way you know with absolute certainty that it will do the job.

If you are going to fabricate one I would be careful if using aluminum. I work with an industrial fabricating shop and they spend a lot of time repairing aluminum frames on work and service trucks. The aluminum welds are more susceptible to cracking. Saying that I am looking at using aluminum in the construction of the new sub-frame for my camper, but I am also looking at the sub-frame fabricated by Hilfsrahmen | atlas4x4. Ordering one of these frames would be great but the cost is prohibitive. I am going to try to make a similar style frame as the Atlas, but leave the platform height the same as original. This way you can put batteries, water heaters, pumps below the floor where they are easy to get to. Not sure if I will fabricate the frame out of aluminum or not.....
 
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