Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > 4 wheels > 4WD Overland Tech

4WD Overland Tech GENERIC 4WD / 4 wheel TECH discussions and info that is valid for ALL brands. See brand specific forums.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Visit Matt Savage for VIAIR compressors, Air Lift Helper Springs, Tyre Levers, Chris Scott's Books & DVDs, KC Daylighters, Allisport Intercoolers, Overland Preparation and lots more!

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Essex Uk
Posts: 35
Chassis Role Advice for a novice please

I am new to this part of the forum and need some advice.

Let me just mention I know very little on overland vehicles but intend to build one in the near future. I am in the thinking and planning stages at the moment.

My thinking was to buy an ex military truck ( 7.5 Mtrs ish ) and build a body onto it.

However, I have now discovered how naive i am.

My problem is one that i am sure has come up before .

Chassis role and distortion.

Obviously bolting a rigid box to a chassis that is designed to flex and twist will cause problems with stress being transferred into the box.

Q.1 What type of chassis / suspension. should i look for that is best able to cope with chassis twist

Q.2 What can be done to alleviate the stress ie are there and special mountings i can use to help the situation. ( if so who supplies them )

and lastly

Q. 3 I have yet to buy the vehicle . I hope to have a 4 wheel drive truck base with a 5 mtr body on the back . Can anyone suggests suitable models or more importantly ones to avoid. Although I intend to take this vehicle through Africa and Asia i do not intend to do any serious off roading as such if i can avoid it

I hope someone can offer suitable advice

Many thanks

Reply With Quote
Old 10 Mar 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Finland
Posts: 13
I'm by no means an expert but here are some thoughts:

You want to mount the cabin on a torsion free subframe. My english is not so good but I try to explain. This is sort of a hinged support for your cabin that allows the chassis to move independently from the cabin (or what ever bed you might have).

For example in my Unimog the bed / cabin is hinged from the front and rear and rigidly attached from the sides at the center. When the rigid attachment points move up and down with the suspension the bed tilts from side to side around the hinges. I hope you get the idea.

As for suitable trucks a few pop to my mind.

Fiat / Iveco ACL 75 and ACM 80 and 90
These, I believe, are equipped with portal axles which gives lots of ground clearance, but also usually makes the truck a bit slow.

Magirus Deutz 168M11 FAL and M 232 FAE and 110-16
Don't know anything about these, but they look good to me. Maybe a bit on the big side?

Steyr 12M18 4x4 looks capable. How easy it is to get parts for these around the world I don't know.

WV / MAN 8.136 FAE
Not sure if these are big enough for 5m cabin.

Long wheelbase Unimogs. 1300/L37 or something similar if you want to have a 5m long cabin.

MAN makes good ones aswell. Can't remember the models though. Very popular for OEM overland camper companies.

Personally I would choose something from a manufacturer who has well stocked service agents in those parts of the globe that you plan to visit. My choice is Mercedes in the form of an Unimog.

Now that I look at the list above they all seem to be quite off-road oriented so there might be better choices for you. I hope this gets you started anyway.

Edit: Choosing an Overland Campervan. this is a good read about the subject.
Reply With Quote
Old 11 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 46
Check out this blog, they did exactly what you are thinking about:

OverAfrica - Torsion-free mounting

Converted a Leyland DAF GS 4-tonner
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Mar 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: london
Posts: 175
lots of info on the hubb, for some pics for a bedford build check out this site
Our first problem (twisting chassis) | Travelling 4x4

has some good pics especially one of chassis twist

Stephen Stewart from unimog.org mounted his box with springs with no probs you can get them from

Service Metals Commercial Vehicle Fittings Catalogue

I went for a smaller truck 40.10 w 4 ton and still wonder if I made the right choice won't know until next sept when I have been on the road for couple of months. Is it to small!

Size of living accomadation versus fuel economy, shipping weight and and the ability to towed out by smaller vehicles

good luck Mark
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Mar 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 38
same issues

I'm going through the same issues, and seam to round and round them. I've found some ex-army communication boxes which I plan to convert. Here are some of these going at the Witham Tender this week. I'm going down on Saturday if you want to meet and share thoughts.

Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Defender replacement chassis Andrew Baker Land Rover Overland Tech 7 12 Aug 2009 11:01
Total Novice Needs Advice On USA Trip 7strings Which Bike? 16 17 Dec 2007 15:39
novice wants to set up garmin + PocketPC 3000 brettsyoung Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS 0 7 Sep 2005 00:54
Patching a LR chassis? ManxScamp 4WD Overland Tech 4 1 Apr 2004 19:35
klr fixins for south america? HELP a novice! tomrsewell Kawasaki 5 23 May 2002 07:49


Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:48.