We’ve showcased some stunning expedition trucks over the past few weeks, but today we’re featuring arguably the paragon of overlanding trucks, the Mercedes Unimog. There are many heavy-duty platforms on the market well-suited to long-term international travel, but the Unimog is arguably the pinnacle. Production of this legendary vehicle started in 1948, but back then, it was primarily designed to be a tractor (but with equal-size wheels for better highway speeds). It was a huge success and was soon adopted globally for a plethora of applications, such as military vehicles, emergency services, the commercial sector, forestry, and, indeed, expedition campers. The desirability of this platform is no fluke, with Mercedes working tirelessly to optimize it to perform whatever the application. Nevertheless, the basic formula has remained much the same and prioritizes all-terrain prowess and rugged backcountry performance above all else.
Subsequently, today’s 1985 Mercedes Unimog U1300L is in a league of its own when it comes to capability thanks to coil springs, portal axles, front and rear lockers, and much more. Today’s stunning U1300L expedition build is the work of Dubai-based Freedom Overland, which is a regular on Expedition Portal due to its truly exceptional overland projects. If you’re unfamiliar with the company’s exquisite work, I encourage you to check out the jaw-dropping vehicles profiled on their site. This no-expense-spared rig showcases a lightweight 100% aluminum camper body with amenities that include 350 amp-hours of lithium batteries, 400 watts of solar, 30 gallons of freshwater, a 100-liter fridge, a self-contained bathroom, and much more. A particularly unique feature is the rear balcony which drops down to provide a deck for the owners to enjoy at camp. Finally, this has to be one of the most beautiful and perfectly proportioned expedition trucks we’ve showcased, which is why it was previously featured by our 4WD Senior Editor Graeme Bell. If you’d like to deep dive into the interior build-out then check out his article: The Versatile Freedom Mog 2.0 Overland Camper Gives Us the Fizz. Crucially this vehicle is more than 25 years old and can be legally imported to both the US and Canada (shipping is offered at an additional cost).
From the Seller:
“This iconic 1985 Mercedes Unimog U1300L is ready for its next chapter. It’s a true legend, built for conquering the toughest terrain with legendary German engineering. With its high ground clearance, portal axles, and locking differentials, it can tackle mountains, mud bogs, and everything in between. We have designed the layout to optimize storage, whilst providing a space that is comfortable and versatile. It’s built for the love of adventures. Whether you are passionate about surfing, mountain biking, climbing, sailing, or the pure joy of travel, this vehicle will make you feel comfortable anywhere. We’re confident that this Unimog will be the ultimate adventure companion for its next owner.”
1985 Mercedes Unimog U1300L
The Unimog is fitted with a 5.7-liter diesel motor that, in stock form, produces 129 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque (you can expect approximately 12 mpg combined). A long-lived motor is matched with legendary capability thanks to 4WD, high and low range, coil springs, portal axles with 17 inches of ground clearance, front and rear locking differentials, a raised air intake, and much more. Inside, the Unimog is designed to be function first but does incorporate power steering, upgraded seats, air-conditioning, and navigation.
- Aluminum camper body with drop-down rear balcony
- Freshwater (30 gallons)
- Michelin XZL tires
- Lithium house batteries (350 amp-hours), 400 watts of solar, and a 3,000-watt inverter
- Isotherm 110-liter fridge
- Dometic RTX 2000 air-conditioning
- Air compressor
- Gravity toilet and shower
- Auxiliary front lighting
- 4×4 MaxTrax table
- Dual swing-aways with storage and spare wheel
The Freedom Mog 2.0 is listed for $160,000 and is currently located in Dubai. A shipping company has quoted approximately $14,000 for transport from Dubai to California (a door-to-door service is also possible). Check the full vehicle specifications via the original listing.