The current owner purchased this 1962 Mercedes Benz Unimog 404 in December 2018 with just over 12,000 miles on the clock. A gasoline-powered 2.2-liter inline-six pushes power through a 6-speed manual gearbox. Other equipment includes locking diffs, portal axles, and LED lighting. The Mog came equipped with a single-walled, steel radio-operators’ box which, while super-cool, is not adequate for the new owner’s overland campmobile aspirations.
First, we tackled the sub-frame. As the Unimog travels over uneven terrain, the frame twists, which will destroy a composite box. Without a sub-frame to work with, we turned our in-house engineer, Connor, loose on the project. He came up with a four-point frame that pivots on rubber bushings to keep the sub-frame flat, no matter the terrain.
With the sub-frame in place, it was time to set up the box. We sent our specs to the folks at Total Composites. A few months later, the box arrived, flat-packed and ready for assembly. The walls, floor, and ceiling are built from polyurethane foam sandwiched between two layers of high-gloss fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Total Composites specs the walls to about an inch-and-a-half thick and the floor and ceiling slightly thicker to provide adequate insulation. We assembled the box using the provided panel extrusions and adhesive. For the windows, we went with Arctic Tern windows that include screens and blinds cleverly integrated into the design.
The new box is much more spacious than the original radio box. Space still comes at a premium, so, we decided to install a bed lift to get the bed out of the way when not in use. The innovative HappiJac bed lift system lifts the bed vertically — completely out of the way of the lounge area during the day. It operates at the touch of the button, also. It’s one of the easiest space-saving products on the market.
We’ll be highlighting this unique camper on your Youtube channel as the build progresses.