Off Road Mercedes Is An Overland Castle On Wheels

Living in a van has never been so popular. Every day vandwellers of all ages are hitting the road and trying their hand at alternative living, finding the best van life travel spots all over the globe and documenting their travels on their Van Life Instagram accounts. But for some people, living the van life just isn’t enough. They want to go further than any vanlifer has gone before, living off the grid in remote places and cruising around in off road trucks that would make your grandmother faint! If the sound of an off grid adventure in a monster camper gets your pulse racing, then this Off Road Mercedes will make you feel like all of your Christmases have come at once!

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You might well have come across the Mercedes Unimog before while travelling through the internet, but if you haven’t had the pleasure off meeting this off grid Mercedes in the flesh before then you’re in for a real treat. Whether you’ve always been a truck life disciple or are a recent convert from your days of driving a Mini Camper, we’ve created an in-depth rundown of this goliath truck camper for you to feast upon. Ready, set, get chomping!

Meet The Off Road Mercedes That Doesn’t Take No For An Answer!

A side view of the Unimog Off Road Mercedes with a Four Wheel Campers Grandby camping pod mounted to the back.

Look…at…that! Doesn’t it just bring a tear to your eye? The Unimog Off Road Mercedes is one of the most powerful truck campers on the planet, especially when twinned with the Granby camping pod from Four Wheel Campers! We’re actually going to be testing the Grandby out on our next trip to California in a couple of weeks time, so make sure you keep an eye out for that dropping into our website when we return!

Let’s get back to the truck itself though, as it is without a doubt the real star of the show here. This Unimog Off Road Mercedes has all of the equipment that a true overland vehicle needs. We’re talking the kind of tyres that could flatten a mountain to reach the tropical glade on the other side, which in this case are a set of 43″ Continental mud tyres that can cope with any terrain imaginable (even mud on ice in a snowstorm while it’s raining!). If that’s not impressive enough, this Off Road Mercedes has a transmission that has eight forward gears and four reverse gears! I only have one reverse gear in my camper, but then again, I never really have to speed up when trying to back-up over fallen logs or bear caves.

The tyres on this Unimog Off Road Mercedes are massive!

This Off Road Mercedes Can Walk The Walk…But Can It ‘Talk The Torque’?

I’ll give you a minute to let that incredible heading title sink in before I carry on. If you’ve never driven over treacherous terrain before, then you might not be that familiar with the importance of ‘crawl speed’. It’s kind of like when you slow down to a roll when you’re looking for a parking space, except that the parking space has been filled with rough logs, massive stones, and otherwise immovable objects that your average saloon car could never get over. We did a bit of digging, and it turns out that this Off Road Mercedes has a crawl speed of less than 0.5MPH, which puts an insane amount of torque on these gargantuan wheels. In short; if something is in your way, then you can probably just crawl over it without even breaking a sweat!

The steering wheel is thin and simple in design, a no nonsense approach!

This 1984 Unimog has had some serious upgrades, and now it looks more like the inner workings of a transformer than an Off Road Mercedes. It’s certainly a far cry from the campers that you might get from Van DO It or Storyteller Overland and has very few bells or whistles in the cab area, but I like the sparse nature of the interior. It has a ‘no-nonsense’ feel about it, and that steering wheel looks so simple compared to the hand-held tablet-style wheels we’re being presented in the likes of the VW Buzz. It’s like a piece of metal that the Hulk has just hollowed out; it needs to be big if it’s going to fit in with the Overland lifestyle!

Tell Us More About This Off Road Mercedes

Any great overlander needs to have a good amount of clearance between the underside of your camper and the ground, and this Unimog is no exception. It probably couldn’t drive straight into the white house or trundle on into Area 51 (security clearance joke…), but in terms of height clearance, you could probably house a small village under this camper without anyone complaining about being crammed in or claustrophobic.

The Unimog Off Road Mercedes features a bunch of van life essentials that are crucial for off grid living. The air-inlet means that you can easily take a shortcut through the local river on your way to work, and the auxiliary off road lights are super useful for finding your way back home again once the sun goes down. This camper also boasts the all-important front and rear locking differentials which are essential if you like to take the hard route over the straight and flat one. They’re powered by air compressors and will give you traction on any kind of surface or scenario where you need a little helping hand. And if all else fails and you really find yourself up a certain creek without a paddle, you can ask a friend to help pull you out with the included winch attachment. This Off Road Mercedes is like a Swiss army knife on wheels!

Front view of the Unimog Off Road Mercedes cruising down a snowy road

Tell Us About The Camper Pod!

Some of you may well have seen the Grandby amongst the many Overland Expo Campers at this years Overland Expo West, but for those of you that haven’t I can only describe this slide on camper as a mini oval-office. It’s impressive enough when twinned with the likes of a Toyota Tundra Camper or a Toyota Tacoma Camper, but on the back of this Off Road Mercedes it looks like a mansion!

The Grandby has everything that any hardened overland enthusiast could possibly need after a long day on the trail. The 8′ flatbed model has an adjustable table with two bench-seat style sofas for the digital nomad who combines work with extreme adventure, and a fully-fitted kitchenette with two hob burner and sink. The base shell model only costs a measly $10’000, and there are various upgrade packages available to turn the Grandby into a comfortable tiny home from home! I’m not going to go much more into the Grandby now, so keep an eye out for our full length article on this luxury RV coming up soon!

Final Thoughts…

There’s no denying that this Off Road Mercedes is an impressive machine, and if mother nature did have an arch nemesis intent on crushing her precious rocks and fallen trees, then it would probably look like our Unimog here. While it can certainly cope with any type of challenge that you throw its way, it’s not exactly what I would call a practical camper. At a maximum speed of 60MPH you won’t be overtaking the family with the Off Grid Caravan on the motorway, which is probably a good thing because you might end up squashing them under one of your ginormous tyres.

Unimog Off Road Mercedes in the glare of the sun

If you’re looking for something that has a good fuel to miles ratio, then this isn’t it. It’s so big that it will drink your diesel like a stressed co-worker who has commandeered the office coffee pot. It’s not what you’d call a compact camper van either, with a height that makes it near impossible to store in your garage or fit underneath the height restriction barrier at your local supermarket. You’ll be left outside, away from the comforts of the garage or the companionship of the other cars, all alone with your thoughts.

But, does any of that even matter? If you’re into overlanding, then you probably get your food from nature or have trained a flock of animals to collect your shopping for you. So what that it only travels at 60MPH, it will force you to slow down and look at your surroundings instead of speeding down the motorway and shouting at those Sunday drivers. It gives you an excuse to take the scenic route (as long as there are no low bridges along the way), and this Off Road Mercedes is bound to turn heads whenever you pass by a local village, or someone turns on their telescope from the International Space Station. If I saw one of these coming down my street as a kid, I would stop and gape as though a celebrity were cruising past, and it’s sights like this that help to shape the off-grid loving off road bus fanatics of the future. Would I buy one? No, but they look damn fun to drive. Would I like one of my friends to buy one so I could take it for a spin? Absolutely!

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