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Discussion Starter #1
I started a thread asking for feedback from members who have purchased vehicles from two particular sellers. Maybe I didn't word it clearly enough, because most of the responses I've received were members that instead wanted to discuss what kind of Unimog I wanted or to advise me that Unimogs are slow. So I'm starting this thread to keep the other thread from getting cluttered up.

I'm looking for a long-wheelbase square-cab, over 25 years old, with a GVW rating closer to 26,000 pounds. We plan a fairly heavy, fairly large overland camper box to put on it.
 

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1973 416 Doka, 1978 416 Doka, 1980 416 Doka..... Help me, I can't stop buying them!!!
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Well I have a 1987 U1250 coming in with the heavy duty 8 lug two piece axles on it, with 3 piece split rims, 24 speed transmission with PTO's. Has a long dump box, but I don't think there is a dump cyl. on it. Should have it here next week. Needs some work, but only has 14k miles on it with 2200 hours on the motor. Let me know if your interested and I can send some photos when I get it here.
 

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Well I have a 1987 U1250 coming in with the heavy duty 8 lug two piece axles on it, with 3 piece split rims, 24 speed transmission with PTO's. Has a long dump box, but I don't think there is a dump cyl. on it. Should have it here next week. Needs some work, but only has 14k miles on it with 2200 hours on the motor. Let me know if your interested and I can send some photos when I get it here.
Thanks, Von. I'm not familiar with the U1250.

Large or small portals?

Wheelbase?

GVW rating?

Horsepower?
 

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U1450L DOKA
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The U1550L is often considered to be a good choice for a Camper / Touring UNIMOG. If you are lucky enough to find one in the 1993-94 year model, you'll have larger portals, Two piece axles, and a wheelbase of at least 3250mm. They do appear with the 3700mm wheelbase as well, and this wheelbase is the target size for many camper builds.

I probably did not save the ads, but I have seen U1550L's with a camper box already installed and broken in, within the last year, certainly.

Finding such a truck in the US is not likely, but you never know.

Aside from the Dealers mentioned in Europe, I would definitely consider private sellers, with one wrinkle. If you do locate a truck, but it is in the hands of a private seller, I'd suggest working out a deal with one of the reputable dealers to get involved with the purchase, once you have done enough initial scouting to know that the truck is really a contender.

With an agreeable dealership, the language barrier disappears, they can do a technical inspection, and depending who the dealer is, they can handle the shipping.

MEREX has shipped a number of trucks, and it is not a mystery to them in the least. I have to admit that Neil and Rene are friends, especially Neil and his family, but I am recommending them based on my business dealings, not on my personal relationships.

The fee for the dealership to become involved would have to be negotiated and adjusted if necessary, of course. If you find a great truck, and decide that it is the one, then having a technical inspection at an authorized dealership is a plus. They will be equipped better than anybody to assess the condition of a UNIMOG, and if it is lacking in some regard, they would be able to repair it to specs.

If I was to bring a UNIMOG from Europe and it needed a repair, I'd be inclined to have the work done there. This is not a slight on anybody in the US at all, it is just that I'd want the truck in A-1 shape before it went onto the boat. I would not want to pick it up with an un-repared flaw, only to have to hunt down parts and a good repair shop before I could jump into it and drive it.

If I were to fly to Europe, Inspect a truck, and purchase it, I'd then be inclined to drive it straight to MEREX for an inspection, any subsequent repairs, and the addition of any options that I desired. It is just easier to get it all done in one place, with experienced staff, and in a country full of new and used UNIMOG parts. One could substitute another dealership's name for MEREX - I'm just telling the story of what I would personally do.

The Location of the mythical desired truck in relation to the preferred dealership (if you go that way) is important, because I doubt you will find a dealership that will send a mechanic on a road trip for you. It is a small UNIMOG world in some ways, and some dealerships have good working relationships with others, and in a like manner, there are dealerships that have a reputation that leads to them being avoided by the good dealerships.

Also, I if I were in the market, I would not ignore France. They have a lot of UNIMOGs in France, and they have auctions of their retired firetrucks. One Body style that the French often have used for their Fire Trucks is the 'Short DOKA'. This cab type has been used for a number of campers, because it offers up extra room, but does not eat up as much frame length as the Factory DOKA cab. Just a Thought.

Here are some photos. Aside from the Short DOKA Fire truck, they are all U1550L's....unless I slipped up. I always thought that 'POCO LOCO' was a great looking truck, and just the right size.

Best of luck with your search.
 

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1981 Unimog U1300L - ex German Military
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AC Price in the UK have a U1550 for sale.
It has been there for a while and I know the price is negotiable.
They could also undertake all necessary work on it and I’d recommend them.
They’re also only 10 mins drive from AV if you prefer them.

Dan.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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1973 416 Doka, 1978 416 Doka, 1980 416 Doka..... Help me, I can't stop buying them!!!
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ADF 1700s are being auctioned off. Though I’m not sure how long those will last. They are long of the appropriate age and very heavy duty. Only negative is the right hand drive thing which I’ve heard is not that hard to convert to left. Apparently the wheel is connected by a chain and sprocket to the left side. Maybe Atkinson would supply trade you the parts for the conversion stuff as they probably want it for conversion to right drive. Price is right too. Pretty good deal when you consider what you’re getting.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ADF 1700s are being auctioned off. Though I’m not sure how long those will last. They are long of the appropriate age and very heavy duty. Only negative is the right hand drive thing which I’ve heard is not that hard to convert to left. Apparently the wheel is connected by a chain and sprocket to the left side. Maybe Atkinson would supply trade you the parts for the conversion stuff as they probably want it for conversion to right drive. Price is right too. Pretty good deal when you consider what you’re getting.
Yes, the spec of the ADF U1700L trucks would work for us, assuming we can find one that hasn't been beaten into junk by armed teenagers recently liberated for the first time from parental supervision (soldiers). The only downsides I can see, as compared to something like a U2150L, would be the 170-horsepower OM352A engine instead of the 214-horsepower OM366LA engine, no intercooler, no factory body lift, and narrower fenders.

The RHD steering uses a 90-degree gearbox on each end of a crossover shaft that runs across the bottom of the dash under a plastic cover. AV wants almost $6,000 USD just for the parts to convert to LHD. That's just not gonna happen.
 

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TRUKTOR, thank you for weighing in. I've been reading your posts for some time, and I appreciate your input. You've given me a lot of information to consider.

We do intend to have the vehicle put in decent running order before shipping from Europe. It needs to run well enough to do Ro-Ro, and then I need to be able to drive it 150 miles home after picking it up at the port.
 

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1991 U1550L37, 2019 G550
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If you are 6’ or taller I highly recommend going for one with a higher roof cab.
A large part of the 1550 were built that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
https://www.expedition-trucks.com/expedition-trucks-for-sale

This site specializes in expedition trucks.

Some photos of a a nice U2450 Camper, located in Austria.

I don't have the price.

The one parked in the sand is a ringer - obviously a different rig.
Thanks, brother. We would prefer, as a life project for our marriage, to build it ourselves, to fit our specific goals, including at least one full-sized motorcycle inside.

I've been looking at U2150L models with the 10,600kg (23,369 pound) GVWR. I'm not sure if the U2450 would work for us, as any GVWR over 26,000 pounds would require a commercial driver's license.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The U1550L is often considered to be a good choice for a Camper / Touring UNIMOG. If you are lucky enough to find one in the 1993-94 year model, you'll have larger portals, Two piece axles, and a wheelbase of at least 3250mm. They do appear with the 3700mm wheelbase as well, and this wheelbase is the target size for many camper builds.

MEREX has shipped a number of trucks, and it is not a mystery to them in the least. I have to admit that Neil and Rene are friends, especially Neil and his family, but I am recommending them based on my business dealings, not on my personal relationships.

Also, I if I were in the market, I would not ignore France. They have a lot of UNIMOGs in France, and they have auctions of their retired firetrucks. One Body style that the French often have used for their Fire Trucks is the 'Short DOKA'. This cab type has been used for a number of campers, because it offers up extra room, but does not eat up as much frame length as the Factory DOKA cab. Just a Thought.
TRUKTOR, maybe you could help bring me up to speed. I realize that there are always the exceptions to the rule when it comes to Unimogs, but I'm seeing U1550L vehicles that appear to be configured differently than the first U1550L vehicles that I was looking at.

I'm now seeing U1550L vehicles with factory cab lifts, low-mounted front turn signals, wide front fenders, and intercoolers, much like the U2150 models that I have been looking at. The U1550L/37 that I'm looking at on my screen right now is a '95 (which would make it 25 years old and thus eligible to import, on January 1st).

I guess my question is, did the U1550 go from being one thing, to being another at some point in time? Is that why you were directing me to the '93-'94 models? Do the '93 and later ones have large portals, more lug nuts, etc.?
 

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1988 U1300L RW1 Working gears Dual Tanks AC Rigged for Camping Plus: 91 F250 HD 4x4
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I've been looking at U2150L models with the 10,600kg (23,369 pound) GVWR. I'm not sure if the U2450 would work for us, as any GVWR over 26,000 pounds would require a commercial driver's license.
Have been observing this and related thread with some amusement, as the discussion has seemed to be about the qualifications of sellers who don't have the vehicle that is yet to be identified, but this last post gives me hope. Watching the cart drag the horse around, gotta love it. Seems to me the critical first step is identifying exactly what vehicle would best meet the desired usage, then searching diligently for the closest match, then figuring out what it needs, then figuring out who to do that. Then figuring out how to get it here. My bet is that shipping/ transportation will not be the make or break factor.

FWIW, so far as I know, one is not REQUIRED to register a vehicle for the full GVW, but you will get whacked if caught and weighed while operating at higher than registered GVW. And I am not sure how all this applies to RV's, although in Colorado, one must demonstrate permanently installed compliance with the required equipment (water, stove, toilet, more or less), and one can re-title a GVW vehicle as an RV, after making the conversion. There are other rules that come into play with regards to empty weight, at least for Colorado Light Truck and GVW registrations. No telling if any of this applies to your state.

On another note, if one is wiling to do the work of importing, it may not be that big of a stretch to do the work of arranging shipping. My RW1 came over from Zeebrugge to Galveston in March of 2018, at a cost of about $2800, courtesy of Wallenius-Wilhelmsen. WW also has ports of call in Port Hueneme CA and Tacoma WA. Hodakaguy got his RW1 from Zeebrugge to Tacoma for about $3300, roughly 3 years ago.

https://www.2wglobal.com/globalassets/4.-global-network/trade-maps/eu-na-updated-11.02.png

There have been a number of threads in the past year or so on shipping, insurance, importing, driving home, what should I buy, etc. etc. If you try a search and don't get much, let us know and we'll dig up some links. I'd be far more concerned about Customs compliance than actual transport.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow- Merex is located in Gaggenau. If I flew there to inspect a vehicle, we'd be able to do the Unimog museum too.
 

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I did the trip last year, it was awesome and it’s a beautiful place. I highly recommend it and if you get a chance to look at some trucks you might want to bring over that’s a plus too! Atlas 4X4 is also in that area.
 

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Have been observing this and related thread with some amusement, as the discussion has seemed to be about the qualifications of sellers who don't have the vehicle that is yet to be identified, but this last post gives me hope. Watching the cart drag the horse around, gotta love it. Seems to me the critical first step is identifying exactly what vehicle would best meet the desired usage, then searching diligently for the closest match, then figuring out what it needs, then figuring out who to do that. Then figuring out how to get it here. My bet is that shipping/ transportation will not be the make or break factor.
The process you're recommending, omits the quality of the seller.

And just because the subject of this thread is a question regarding the quality of the seller, does not mean that I am not ALSO carefully considering our intended usage, searching the globe for the closest match, figuring out what it needs, figuring out who to do that, or figuring out how to get it here. Those would be subjects for other threads.

FWIW, so far as I know, one is not REQUIRED to register a vehicle for the full GVW, but you will get whacked if caught and weighed while operating at higher than registered GVW. And I am not sure how all this applies to RV's, although in Colorado, one must demonstrate permanently installed compliance with the required equipment (water, stove, toilet, more or less), and one can re-title a GVW vehicle as an RV, after making the conversion. There are other rules that come into play with regards to empty weight, at least for Colorado Light Truck and GVW registrations. No telling if any of this applies to your state.
Registering a vehicle at less than it's actual GVWR does not change the vehicle's actual manufacturer's GVWR. Federal law requires a class-B Commercial Driver's license to operate vehicles with manufacturer's GVWR of over 26,000 pounds in all 50 states, and state laws follow the federal laws closely in this area. Registering it at a lighter weight would do nothing to change this.

On another note, if one is wiling to do the work of importing, it may not be that big of a stretch to do the work of arranging shipping. My RW1 came over from Zeebrugge to Galveston in March of 2018, at a cost of about $2800, courtesy of Wallenius-Wilhelmsen. WW also has ports of call in Port Hueneme CA and Tacoma WA. Hodakaguy got his RW1 from Zeebrugge to Tacoma for about $3300, roughly 3 years ago.

https://www.2wglobal.com/globalassets/4.-global-network/trade-maps/eu-na-updated-11.02.png
Edited- I just emailed WW. Thanks for the tip.

There have been a number of threads in the past year or so on shipping, insurance, importing, driving home, what should I buy, etc. etc.
Yes- I've been diligently reading them for some time.

I'd be far more concerned about Customs compliance than actual transport.
I called U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They said that as long as the vehicle is over 25 years old, that DOT and EPA regulations don't apply, and that the only inspection they do is simply to verify the VIN. What other Customs compliance are you concerned about?
 
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