What a 1964 MercedesBenz Unimog can teach us about adventure…

16 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Practical tips for renovating, and owning a unique road-trip

David Roth and “Barf,” his Unimog; photo courtesy of

If you spend enough time in Los you’re bound to spot it: Roth’s 1964 Mercedes-Benz piled high with gear and lovingly dubbed (it’s a reference to John character in “Spaceballs”). The Craigslist started out as an ambulance for the German in 1964 before it migrated to the in 2000, where it was adopted by and his then-girlfriend, Kathryn West, who he is now to. The duo gutted her and rebuilt her to serve as a vehicle that’s taken from the dirt trails of the desert to football games at the of Southern California—since buying in 2009, Roth has put approximately miles on her. “I’ve a journal outlining the date and of every single oil change, tire replacement,” says So who better to fill us in on the intricacies of the Here, Roth offers for first-time owners.

Roth’s has taken him and his fiancé, Kathryn from the Mojave desert to games at the University of Southern Photo by Roth


Have somewhere to park it

lives in Los Angeles, where is tight and tickets happen often than he’d “In previous years, I’ve had to her on the street and been forced to her every Wednesday or Thursday for cleaning,” says Roth. actually gotten two citations for to move her on street-cleaning days, but managed to fight them off successfully. I’m sure at some the city of Los Angeles will win … but not yet.”

Have a plan on you’ll park your car to the added costs of a ticket, and in mind that many may have restrictions on the size of a they’ll allow in their Make sure you know the and height of your vehicle so it get scalped on an overpass, and it’s important to know if you’ll a commercial license to drive an vehicle, like you would a renovated school bus.

Roth wishes he had built a in his Unimog during his renovations; by Roth

Make a plan you build

Roth enlisted a to help with the initial and cutting required to construct the new of the Unimog, but the hardest part for him was “Each piece of wood in the of the truck had to be coated with layers of stain and water he remembers. “Cutting all of the pieces a day. Protecting the wood the polyurethane coats took of sanding, painting, drying, and

When revamping a vehicle to fit needs, plan ahead and about what amenities are to you. Roth made to install a roof rack so he transport extra gear and on the roof, freeing up space the Unimog. “I’ve also myself a nice little for relaxing or finding a better point for my photography, too,” he An amenity he wishes he’d “A sink. There’s no built-in storage system, so washing or showering on the road consists of a and some soap. Ideally, I’d to install a small water-system It’s too small for a toilet, but running water would be a amenity.”

Knowing how to make small on the road will cut down on costs of owning a road-trip like Roth’s Unimog. by Roth

Learn how to change a anywhere

If you keep up with repairs and maintenance to your most roadside breakdowns can be You won’t likely be doing an oil in the field, but Roth does knowing how to do one simple repair: a tire. “You have to be to change your own tire the tools you have on your says Roth. “It’s to change a tire when sitting in your driveway and a floor jack, but what if you a tire on a sharp rock out of a sandy wash?” Since AAA not service the remote places you practice changing your ahead of time a little to home and then plan tool kit accordingly.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Learn how to avoid getting off

Budgeting for a road trip—whether for food and gas or an emergency repair crucial, but you can quickly go over limit thanks to sly mechanics who advantage of stranded motorists. no guarantee to avoid being off, but if you understand how each on your vehicle functions, you’ll be one step ahead,” Roth. “While it’s to know the ‘how,’ you should focus on understanding the ‘why.’” At the shop, ask questions, like why the bearing would be harder to than the water pump. how long the repair will since most of the time the you need are cheaper than the costs. “Once you have a understanding of the vehicle, you should be to understand when you start hearing, or smelling something and then at least you have an as to the time it will take to it,” Roth says.

vehicles like the Unimog, your toolbox stocked extra parts and specialty is crucial. Photo by Roth

Keep your toolbox

“The Unimog is a unique and keeping her properly lubricated to be my most frequent maintenance,” Roth, who stocks his wagon a quart of motor oil and gear as well as the necessary sockets and to remove plugs. Once you your vehicle’s maintenance build a toolbox with you’ll need to perform yourself: jack stands, a jack, a breaker pipe, of wood, a mallet, hammer, bolts, spark plugs, hoses, fuses, and lights are all of Roth’s kit. “Duct always works in a pinch,” he In addition, Roth keeps a kit, a sleeping bag, wipes, and a small air compressor as well as four sets of for the winter.

Roth is always to answer questions from bystanders interested in his Unimog; courtesy of Roth

One side of traveling in a vehicle as unique as Questions from bystanders—and of them. “I tend to answer the set of questions so much to the point my good friends and fiancé can answer a lot of the information about her from listening to my answers and over,” says Roth. “I that there’s something approachable, and unpretentious about She’s got her credentials as a true take-you-anywhere-in-the-outdoors kind of force, so enthusiasts, outdoorsmen and women, etc. enjoy her company. not too common around Los Angeles and as an vehicle, when I take her to shows, a lot of people show appreciation, too. I even get a amount of attention at places football tailgates at USC.” Be to answering questions about renovations, and price points your own attention-getting vehicle.

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