MB1019 Overland Camper

MB1019 Overland Camper

Some technical details about Berta, our Mercedes-Benz 1019 AF

Berta on the highway in Germany

Berta on the highway in Germany

If you know anything about the Mercedes model codes for trucks, you should recognise the 1019 model as a 10 ton truck with roughly 190 horse power; Mercedes still numbers their trucks like this. Why Berta has 12 tons instead remains Mercedes’ mystery to explain… AF stands for “Allrad Fahrgestell” = all-wheel-drive chassis (as opposed to AK, which would be a “Kipper” = a tipper truck).

inside: kitchen side

inside: kitchen side

inside: seating side

inside: seating side

Technical Details
Truck Details

  • Chassis: Mercedes-Benz 1019 AF
  • 6 Cylinder Diesel
  • Engine Power: 141 kW (192 HP) at 2.500 rpm
  • Engine Capacity: 9.506 cm3
  • max. Speed: 97 km/h
  • Gross Weight: 12,000 kg
  • Tires: Bridgestone M748 in 385/65 22.5 – common trailer size
We Installed

  • 5× 100W Solar
  • Morningstar 45 MPPT charger
  • 4× 100AH AGM Batteries
  • 200 liter Water Tank
  • 3× 13 liter Water in Jerry Cans, filtered through Ceramic & Carbon Filters on 2nd Pump
  • Truma Combi 6 Heater
Installations in the camper

Installations in the camper

The images on these two pages are mostly collages from our rather large collection, which we published previously on Facebook. If you would like to see more photos of the build please head over to our Facebook Albums (scroll down a bit).

23 Responses

  1. Blue Wings says:

    We saw in Itamambuca…. You’ ve been our neighbours!!! Aloha, Blue Wings.

  2. Elena says:

    Hi, Jurgen and Yasha. It’s all started with your comment on our Montevideo street art pic on Instagram that mentioned that you also have some Uruguayan street art photos. Out of curiosity I decided to check; found your blog and almost forgot what I was going to do. Wow, it is so cool what you are doing! Berta is awesome, and I can imagine how much fun she (and, of course, you ;) ) is having in South America. I wish that one day we could do something like this. Perhaps, when satellite internet finally becomes affordable reality… Meanwhile, we perpetually slow travel around the world but constrained by internet connection necessity. Meanwhile, I am looking forward reading about your adventures. Cheers!

    • Yasha says:

      Hi Elena. It all actually started when I read your post on ‘free for all Friday’ that you had just begun on Instagram! I’m so glad you got lost in our site – it’s why we do it. We want to inspire people by the way we travel. We would appreciate it if you shared some of our stuff around with other people who might enjoy it and don’t know about us yet. I do love the fact that the internet brings the travel community together in so many different ways. Your use of ‘slow travel’ has piqued my interest – I’m off to check out your blog now.

  3. Peter says:

    Truck looks perfect. As I´m looking at geting an MB firetruck could you give some info on the transformation from dual-rims to singles, type and cost of rims, and tires.


    • Juergen says:

      Hi, Peter. Whatever size you choose you will need tires which take the extra weight on a single wheel. Depending on your choice of vehicle (8 hole or 10 hole rims, size of wheel arches) you will have more (or less) sizes to choose from. Most commonly people, who want to go on real world wide travel, decide on standard trailer tires because they are more widely available in different countries than odd military sized tires. We have 385/65 22.5 on rims with ET120 (that’s the size of the lip which holds the rubber inside the metal rim). Expect to pay €350-600 per tire, plus just under €100 per rim.
      A German website, Pistenkuh , once published a comprehensive article on tire choice.

  4. Marcelo Tassara says:

    Hi there,

    Congratulations on your trips. I’ve seen Berta parked on Quintay beach in Central Chile, stop to say Hi and check on your truck but unfortunately you we not in. Amazing truck.

    Hope to see you again. Have a nice trip in Chile


    • Juergen says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I guess I was actually there – next time don’t be shy and knock on the door… I would have loved to meet you ;)

  5. Logan Orndorff says:

    VERY impressive! I’m looking forward to your planned detailed posts on how to build a travel vehicle. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Michelle says:

    I am so impressed with your hard work and creativity. I’m sure that you inspired many to build their own mobile hotel. Truly fascinating post!

    • Juergen says:

      Thank you – blush… I’m slowly realising that we should turn our knowledge into a more detailled series of posts on how to build a travel vehicle.

  7. What a totally unique and amazing way to travel~

  8. Wow; how fascinating to meet Berta!! I am sure she is going to enjoy her second career as a travel bloggers’ haven!

  9. Cute story. Oh, if my VW bus could talk!–the one I drove around the U.S. in the 1960s. :)

  10. Wow, very cool! Feels kind of like we cheated with our little camper.

  11. Donna Janke says:

    What a fascinating story – transformation from fire engine to home on wheels told from the vehicle’s point of view. It must have been a lot of work, but the end result looks very comfortable.

  12. Donna Janke says:

    It was fascinating to read about the conversion from fire engine to home on wheels, especially from the point of view of the vehicle. It must have been a lot of work, but the end result looks comfortable.

  13. noel says:

    What a wonderful transformation and so well thought out, enjoyed seeing all the changes to your mobile hotel!

  14. Wow! What an undertaking and Bertha got an ocean cruise out of the deal, too! Amazing. Hope you are finding that living with her is as comfortable and secure as it looks.

    • Juergen says:

      Definitely secure, comfortable: well, a bit more space would be nice, but the ex-army shelter was all we could afford. A custom build camper box is about 10× the price ticket.

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