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!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 28 Oct 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 366
Ideal Overland Truck Dimensions?

Hi people!

We have a mog camper, 6.5m long and, since it has a double bed in the luton, 4.0m high. This is a bit higher than I would like in retrospect, but as an as built second hand truck camper it was a good buy at the time. This seems a typical height for an artic sized lorry, but too high for an overland camper ideally? Most of the weight is low inside, and the chassis itself is a large chunk of its mass, I'd like to think its sideslope stability wouldn't be as bad as it appears! Long travel springs and a flexy chassis certainly make it feel quite wobbly though!
We could have a smaller box for the camper obviously. There is a load of storage which makes the most of the seperate bed area, but much more than is essential.
If we had a longer truck we could have the equivilent space in a lower box.
This would probably be heavier again since plywood to go up is lighter than a heavier chassis to go longer. More length means shipping costs go up, and a bigger turning circle makes driving around things less possible off road.

Many Hubbers have a wide variety of trucks, so;

What do you want from your truck- comfort/carrying capacity/off road ability? Whats its priority for you, and does acheive that?!
How high/long/heavy/wide is yours? (truck thankyou, nothing else!)
How close to the GVW are you?
Where have you taken it?
Is any particular aspect more of a pain than any other?
Have you reached your dream destination or piste to discover a huge detour to continue due to your size? So where havn't you taken it!?
What would you change, apart from more power?!

Any replies greatly appreciated!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30 Oct 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 366
Someone invent a reply!?

Siiting in a corner feeling ignored
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30 Oct 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 244
How do you access your engine with the luton overhang?

Charlie
__________________
Unimog U500 w/Unicat
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 30 Oct 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 366
Bearing in mind you don't need to tilt it for anything routine, the front panel unscrews from inside and the bed base lifts out. Designed to do that when built by a company who have built several similar boxes.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 1 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Putney, UK
Posts: 161
IMHO...

Quote:
What do you want from your truck- comfort/carrying capacity/off road ability? Whats its priority for you, and does acheive that?!
All 3 really. Off-road ability I suppose it the most important, but you want comfort and storage space too don't you. Of course there will always have to be compromises, but I do think all 3 are achievable.

Quote:
How high/long/heavy/wide is yours? (truck thankyou, nothing else!)
H: 3.6m, L: 7m, W:2.5m 9 tonnes unladen, closer to 10 tonnes with full expedition kit, full fuel and water tanks.

Quote:
How close to the GVW are you?
GVW: 11 tonnes, so a full tonne to spare.

Quote:
Where have you taken it?
All around the coast of Africa (overAfrica - our route)

Quote:
Is any particular aspect more of a pain than any other?
Sometimes height can be an issue in 3rd world cities where electricity and telephone lines are strung haphazardly across streets and hang fairly low. That said, our height of 3.6m is the bare minimum, as after attaching the box to the chassis with a torsion-free mounting system, and then making the box head-height, we've hit 3.5m - I doubt you'll be able to make it any lower than this unless you have one of those fancy Unicat raising-roof things. Certainly I would say 4m high is WAY to high, you will have problems with low-hanging tree-branches, some bridges etc. Also, with the portal-axles Unimogs have you'll find that excessive height and the sway caused by the axles, your swing-distance at the top of the camper may become a problem.

Quote:
Have you reached your dream destination or piste to discover a huge detour to continue due to your size? So where havn't you taken it!?
Coming down through Mauritania we weren't able to follow the railway tracks through the desert because our tyres were too small for the weight of the truck. In South Africa we fixed that by fitting larger rims and larger tyres. Now we can go into the desert with no problems - happy daze!

Quote:
What would you change, apart from more power?!
In an ideal world, if cost was no issue, I'd put 500000W worth of solar panels on the roof and have a nice big air conditioner for when it's just TOOOO hot to sleep inside!!! Other than that I'm super happy with out setup.

If you want to have a look at our camper - check out Overland camper for sale

Cheers
Steve

www.overafrica.org
www.overlandcamperforsale.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 2 Nov 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ambleside, Cumbria
Posts: 65
Hi, Just finished building my MAN truck and your questions were sort of our brief for the build !?

"What do you want from your truck- comfort/carrying capacity/off road ability? Whats its priority for you, and does acheive that?!"

Yes all three, living space being our highest priority whilst retaining the 3 above. We managed it with a lot of head scratching getting the layout to work.

"How high/long/heavy/wide is yours? (truck thankyou, nothing else!)"

The whole vehicle is 7m(incl spare wheels) long, 2.5w and 3.6 high, the living box is 4m Lx 2.2H . We worked out this was the minimum to get everything in we wanted.

"How close to the GVW are you?"

Before we loaded it up we stood at 6.25T so i think we will be at our GVW of 7.5 now with everything in it. We chose a heavy construction method but hopefully a strong one..and we have too much stuff!

"Where have you taken it?"

We have just set off...

"Is any particular aspect more of a pain than any other?"

Not sure yet, having a few teething problems but nothing serious.

"What would you change, apart from more power?!"

Lighter build construction probably


I think the key to truck builds is layout as there are so many variations and individual requirements. I am very pleased with ours, its liveable and has everything we need, i hope..

Cheers
Stan

Details of the truck build here;Home and go to the blog or my wheels..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 3 Nov 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 366
Stan thats really smart!!

We have a similarly sized water tank which we thought would be loads. A few months ago we had a small mechanical problem which immobilised us in a layby, en route to refilling our tank, on a thursday before a bank holiday in France. We'd previously decided running with full tanks while in "civilisation" was a waste of diesel. Despite being careful we didn't have much water to be careful with, nearby streams had dead rats in, beautiful rolling countyrside but no houses!; we needed water! We used every container we had to fill up via taxi at a towns fountain 6km away, which kept us resonably clean and hydrated in 38deg heat till a part arrived poste restante. We now have 2*20l water jeries, with Micropur Forte in the water to keep it long term clean, so don't have to worry how full the main tank is, or if by some freak it holed itself. They would also be easier to transport by taxi etc than every saucepan, water bottle, zip-lock bag etc etc! Very friendly taxi-man
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 3 Nov 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ambleside, Cumbria
Posts: 65
Yep not a good sketch !

I am carrying one 20L can just in case something like that happens. Had to fill up recently with cans, borrowed some others, not so funny standing up on the roof trying to pour into a pipe to get it into the tank... maybe a pump might be in order.

Sent you a pm Grizzly

Cheers

Stan
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 3 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 244
My U500 based Unicat is ~7.5m long including spare tire, 2.36m wide and 3.43m high + items on camper roof which make it 3,81m high. GVW is 15 tonnes, it maxes out at ~12.8 absolutely fully loaded, usually <12. I carry way too many tools and spare parts and recovery gear, running on 395/85R20 XZLs. It carries 610-850L fuel and 440L water.
It's been to western Europe and Morocco, Baja, SW US, western Canada and resides in Alaska; going to Australia next year.
If I were to order the chassis again I'd get the VarioPilot switchable steering wheel. The camper is basically perfect - maybe a remotely switchable electropneumatic black water drain valve?

Charlie
__________________
Unimog U500 w/Unicat
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 3 Nov 2009
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 366
Thankyou Steve and Charlie

Since you're both running pretty much the same size tyres, any steering lock reduction? Either of you had to take one off a rim?

I may swap my 14.50 r20's for those, but then can't carry two abreast on the back without them poking out the sides, so I can carry only one spare.
Bigger tyres, or two spares? XZL's are supposed to clog up easily with mud, any comment?

MPG tarmac/soft stuff??

Any chance of pics Charlie? Electricly opening black tank is a nice idea, but you'd still need to put a pipe on? Or high speed remote opening?!?
Does the truck live under a dust cover?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 244
Does it live under a dust cover? I don't think so, I drove it to work today. I have changed tires twice in the field. Lots of fun. It does well steering, I can make U-turns on city streets. It has a 3.9m wheelbase.

Charlie
__________________
Unimog U500 w/Unicat
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 4 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Putney, UK
Posts: 161
Steering on mine is fine - never was brilliant though, can't turn on a coin, but it's fine.

It's got split rims so I haven't changed tyres myself, don't want to rip my arm off! Always been able to find some helpful locals no matter where I am in Africa to get the tyres changed.

I get 4kpl, about half on really soft sand. It's about average for a truck.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 4 Nov 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Horncastle,Lincolnshire,UK
Posts: 222
What do you want from your truck- comfort/carrying capacity/off road ability? Whats its priority for you, and does acheive that?!
Bit of all three really. Mine's a Mercedes 917 AF

How high/long/heavy/wide is yours? (truck thankyou, nothing else!)
Overall height is 3.65 metres. Length 9 metres. 2.4 wide. Box is 7 metres long.

How close to the GVW are you?
GVW is 9 tonnes. We're close

Where have you taken it?
West Africa

Is any particular aspect more of a pain than any other?
It was just too big for sub-saharan Africa. The lenght meant that we didn't get to places we wanted to try simply because we (well I) was wary of having to back up miles. Also having such a large truck did tend to over-dominate it's environment. Next time I'd probably take a smaller vehicle. Also 9 tonnes is a sod to dig out!

Have you reached your dream destination or piste to discover a huge detour to continue due to your size? So where havn't you taken it!
See above!

What would you change, apart from more power?!
I changed a lot on the truck, extra fuel-450 litres, more water-300 L, axle ratios, tyres, electrical system, layout (a bit), gas system, cooking etc, etc which were all to the good. It was, and still is, ideal for our needs in many ways but with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight it was the wrong vehicle. Bit like Irish directions-'I wouldn't be starting from here'! I'd want a shorter, less imposing and lighter vehicle and I'd redesign the layout to make better use of the space. It's, how can I put it, 'quaint' inside (think IKEA and a shrine to the swedish sauna) which I much prefer to white, functional melamine but boy is it heavy. It also hasn't got a proper 3-point linkage body mounting but then (apart from the Dakar trucks) who wants to be taking a big truck over sand dunes etc. That hasn't proved a major disadvantage.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 5 Dec 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 36
What do you want from your truck- comfort/carrying capacity/off road ability?

Comport and off road/piste capabiliy



Whats its priority for you, and does acheive that?!


That it takes me where I steer it. You must be aware off what it can and can't do and built it with this in mind. Mine is also 3.95m high and i've had problems with it that involved a saw and an ax. But if it was 2.65 I would have had almost all of those problems.



How high/long/heavy/wide is yours? (truck thankyou, nothing else!)



high 3.95 long 9m wide 2.35 heavy all tanks filled 11tons



How close to the GVW are you?

close but in my case this is not a problem due to the heavy constuction of the truck (ex dutch army and they didn't leave anything to chance)




Where have you taken it?

Until now Mali, next month until Nigeria i think. No problems yet and until now we have been avoiding the main roads. The only thing is I would take an chainsaw next time and it is pretty scrached now

Is any particular aspect more of a pain than any other?

not really. The turning circle maybe in the bigger city's or bigger villages but nothing that can't be overcome.


Have you reached your dream destination or piste to discover a huge
detour to continue due to your size?

not yet. But I don't mind a few scraches.



What would you change, apart from more power?!

It is the first truck I have built so you discover wat is usefull and what not. I try ant write down all this including what I miss and what is useless so the next time (inshallah) I can built it really good.
I did not built the whole constuction. I bought a container and placed it on the back. If I do it again I will built the whole construction myself so you can use the spase more efficient.


hope this helpes

Henk Jan
Reply With Quote
Reply


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
Carnet options for long term storage of overland truck in southern Africa? micha sub-Saharan Africa 4 2 Mar 2010 16:15
4x4 Overland Truck For Sale mr.perplexed 4WD for Sale / Wanted 5 19 Jan 2008 23:00
Custom-built overland truck for sale jefff8 4WD for Sale / Wanted 0 13 Dec 2007 14:43
Finding an overland truck rick_meeuw 4WD Overland Tech 12 15 Mar 2007 09:58
wanted: experienced overland truck and driver for 100 day expediton. globalvagrant 4WD Overland TRAVEL 3 14 Sep 2006 22:53

 
 


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.


Renedian Adventures

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

amazon

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 12:26.