Is a Unimog for me?

8pack

New member
I am a first time poster long time watcher. I live in the states right now but have been looking into retiring in the next 5 years or so and moving to Russia to hunt, fish and explore. I have been thinking about buying/building a Unimog while I am still working so I have more income and time to sort everything out before I go overboard set off on a wild voyage.

My question is, are there models that I need to stay away from or look for? Options that are good/bad (Ag, PTOs, L model, 1300, 1500, 1700, ect). Also I am flying to Russia in the next couple weeks and are there any good must read books that I should buy for the flight over and back.

Thanks
 

8pack

New member
I don't need to one up anybody because I invision most of my planned travel will be my wife and I running solo. I don't plan on running on tons of pavement but there will be times that it will be required especially in the states. As far as winching goes, I don't plan on doing a lot of winching but if you are running solo I need something very reliable.

Budget. That's a good question that I don't have a very good answer for but right now I am thinking $30-$40k for the right rig plus a reasonable amount for the box/camper.

How much off-roadiness (new word) will I loose by going with a L? Will I be stuck with a fire roads only rig because of the added weight and length?
 
First of all, before moving to Russia I recommend a long visit. Second of all if you're going to live in Russia look into something like a Kamaz truck which is by far the most common large all-wheel-drive truck in Russia. You are not going to find any Unimog parts in this country. we are currently a bit northwest of Irkutsk on our way to Mongolia in our U500.
Charlie
 

8pack

New member
Thanks for the input Charlie. I defiantly agree, we are heading to Russia again in July for a 3 week stay and driving up to the artic circle. The Kamaz is/was on the list of trucks that I was looking at but I wasn't sure about the build quality/reliability? I was also afraid that most of the Kamaz trucks would be to big. Also do you have any input/opinion on Ural or Gaz trucks? I have only been looking at 4x4s, should I also be looking at 6x6s?

Do you have a travel thread? I would like to follow it.
 
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dlh62c

Explorer
Before you commit to a purchase, check with your insurance company first. Trying to source some may prove problematic.
 

8pack

New member
Before you commit to a purchase, check with your insurance company first. Trying to source some may prove problematic.
That's a good idea. Do most people use an agreed value policy? Any suggestion on the best company to use?
 

Coachgeo

Explorer
by the time you ship it overseas.... you might as well have bought one already overseas. In your visits start hunting for an existing rig to buy there.
 

pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
That's a good idea. Do most people use an agreed value policy? Any suggestion on the best company to use?
Unimogs are great and fun vehicles, and if they are the right vehicle for you then nothing else will suffice. I think you have to be realistic about the heritage and recognize that it is an over-the-road agricultural implement. I lust over U500s on a regular basis but still haven't bought one, even though I have come close a couple of times.

With respect to insurance, most Americans I know who overland outside the US end up having to self-insure for everything other than required liability insurance. If that's a problem for you, you need to either get a cheaper vehicle you are willing to total loss, or don't leave home (and I know people who have done both). If you are from somewhere else, YMMV.
 

erwin z

Member
If the insurance company asks what a UNIMOG is, keep trying until you find one.
North America would be a huge let down. There is no way to value one, and I highly doubt they would take your word fot its value, appraised or otherwise.
Pugslyyy is also correct. The title of the forum here is UNIMOG and MB truck. They aren't the same.
 

HINO SG

Adventurer
Do you have a personal mechanic, like confining yourself in a cramped noisy cabin, own shares in an oil company, and a thick wallet?

Then yes, UNIMOG is most definitely for you! :Wow1:
 

erwin z

Member
Actually, the u500. has an enormous well laid out cabin, rather quiet, and a personal mechanic is always a good thing unless you are a mechanic.
A thick wallet will apply only to implement purchases or expensive camper bodies.
After that, its a personal choice of the model you prefer. I came across a nice truck last year here where I live. A family from France in a MAN. I got to say, a really nice unit. Probably over kill, but very nice.
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Do you have a personal mechanic, like confining yourself in a cramped noisy cabin, own shares in an oil company, and a thick wallet?

Then yes, UNIMOG is most definitely for you! :Wow1:
Having spent many hours in a Hino cab and in Unimog and Merc truck cabs, I know where my money is! :)
 

8pack

New member
I consider myself pretty mechanically savvy (airplane mech & inspector and I built a couple vehicles that hold landspeed records). I don't consider myself rich but I don't have to eat mac and cheese everyday either.

I know portal axles have downfalls but putting rockwells and 48/52s under my dodge pickup doesn't really sound like the ticket to me either. I am heading to Russia/Finland next week for a 17 day trip that we will be driving around north of the artic circle. I am hope to have a better idea of what I need/want.

I have learned over the years that it's always cheaper buy something that somebody else already spent a ton of money on if it will work for you.
 

toylandcruiser

Expedition Leader
I consider myself pretty mechanically savvy (airplane mech & inspector and I built a couple vehicles that hold landspeed records). I don't consider myself rich but I don't have to eat mac and cheese everyday either.

I know portal axles have downfalls but putting rockwells and 48/52s under my dodge pickup doesn't really sound like the ticket to me either. I am heading to Russia/Finland next week for a 17 day trip that we will be driving around north of the artic circle. I am hope to have a better idea of what I need/want.

I have learned over the years that it's always cheaper buy something that somebody else already spent a ton of money on if it will work for you.
The only portal boxes that have some issue is the 404. Even that isn't a big deal and rarely fails.
 
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