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    Mercedes 1124af
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Betti John Burt

We are Betti and John

For 4 years we travelled throughout North, Central and South America and then to Dakar and West Africa.
Our truck, called Burt, wasn't only the trustworthy transport overland travellers need but our sanctuary and protection, our worldwide office, a creative space for culinary wonders and a sun deck on wheels. It has taken us on an unforgettable journey keeping us safe, warm, watered and well-fed, allowing us incredible access to places, experiences and people we otherwise may never have met.
We are not travellers, just two people who decided to change the channel for a few years.
Betti left her job in animation and heading to Canada with me to start what turned out to be far more than the planned 1.5 years travel.
I worked in building before selling everything to convert a 17 year old Police truck into a camper van. We set off in November 2012.

This Overland Camper is sold

Mercedes Benz 1124af - 1995 - Right Hand Drive - 110,000 miles




I wrote this web site as much to advertise our camper but also
to pay homage to the incredible journey Burt, our truck has taken us.
Burt is the perfect vintage; one of the last before electronics crept into the engine. It is a fully mechanical, strong and well-built vehicle with a powerful motor and simple structure.

With this vehicle coupled with an adventurous spirit we have expanded our lives beyond our imagination.

Truck Specification

Mercedes 1124af camper van specification


Mercedes Benz 1124af - 1995
5958cc intercooled turbo diesel – OM356 (OM366).
240hp / 177kw
Length 7.20m, Width 2.40m, Height 3.60m
GVM: 12.2 tons (registered 12,000kg)
Actual weight: 8000kg
Right Hand Drive / 3 seat cab
Registered UK Private HGV (Tax £165) – Motor Caravan.
MOT: 20 September 2017 5 speeds
High range 4x2 and 4x4
Low range 4x2 and 4x4
Diff lock rear axle
Transfer case 4x4 lock
Air breaks
2000w alternator. - I know!
Anti-hijack immobiliser/fuel cut off

Supplier Links

Expedition camper build specification


Tyres 385/65R 22.5 XZY3
2 spares (need replacing)
Overall fuel capacity: 500l
4 x Jerry can holder
Diesel filter/water separator: Racor 1000fh
PSU tyre air filler with gauge
Hadley Air Horn - Bell (the traffic mover)
HID spot lights
Sand Ladders 2 x side mounted.
- modified for traction with expanded aluminium
Four point Torsion free mount
Cabin sandwich panels 75mm ply/insulation
No pass through
Smart aluminium windows – secure 3 point latch
Roof Hatches 2 x Lewmar 60 lockable marine hatches
Door and cargo hatch with secure 3 point latches

Supplier Links

Hadley Smart
Overland camper electrical specification

Cabin Electrics

4 Odyssey Extreme batteries PC2250 = 500ah(1 yr old)
400w solar panels
Blue Sky MPPT solar controller with remote panel
Antares Virtual Alternator – split charger
Antares Universal charger, input 50/60hz 90 - 250v AC)
Antares 24v to 12v two channel converter
Nominal 24v to 24v converter
24v DC circuit breaker switch panel
12v DC circuit breaker switch panel
12 and 24v DC outlets throughout cabin
Inverter – 230v, 3000w AC
Inverter – 110v, 550w AC
AC distributed via RCD/MCB to 110v and 230v sockets
Inverter / shore power switch
Panel mounted battery monitor main/aux batteries
Interior LED lighting

Supplier Links

Odyssey Antares
Overland camper water systems

Wet Systems

500 liter water tank capacity
Filler prefilter
Grit filter
Sediment filter
Seagull drinking water filter
Water Pump Johnson 40psi
Webasto Thermotop 5 kw diesel water heater
2 x fan heat exchangers
22 litres hot water tank
230v 800w Immersion heater
Waste tank 60 litres with 3” slide drain valve

Supplier Links

Filter Webasto
Expedition camper interior equiptment

Interior Equipment

Smev 4 burner gas stove with grill and oven
- fixed 85 litre gas tank for cooking
Waeco 110 litre tropical compressor fridge / freezer
Microwave/grill 230v stainless steel – low power controls
Babynova soba washing machine
Thetford 400 toilet with SOG (new cassette/seat)
Bathroom sink
Alfa wifi booster
Caframo Sirocco fans x2 - 24v - very quiet
Hella Turbo fan - 12v

Supplier Links

Washing SOG
Overland camper fit out

Interior Fitout

Bench seating for 4 people
Main bed, 200cm x 140cm
Hydraulic height adjustable table provide for;
- additional 110cm x 200cm comfortable bed
Storage inc; coat cupboard, shoe cupboard, kitchen cupboard - vast under bed storage
Stainless steel shower tray with rigid shower door
Kitchen sink
Access to under bed storage
Oceanair fly screen/black out blind (modified)
All LED lighting

Supplier Links

Oceanair Interiors
Betti loves Mercedes 1124af camping truck There has definitely not been an occasion when we regretted having the higher power of a 240hp engine - sand, mud, snow or hills.
It has kept us going on long beach roads where a lower power engine would have ended with me doing more digging than usual!
John Brooks the skiver Well, someone has to take charge when Betti is digging and I feel I am the man for the job.
If only our truck to tell the story I love it when he greases my nipples, flushes my fluids and tightens my nuts.
Sometimes he even squeezes some air out of my tyres and lets me off the leash up something bumpy and fun.


Wifi Router

Truck fitted with a WiFi booster antenna and wireless router Great for borrowing wifi when parked some distance away

Side Hatch

Sitting warm inside on a chilly evening, eating dinner with the side hatch open is one of the greatest pleasures of the truck

Strong Roof

Many people have sat on the roof of the truck enjoying sunset and sipping a glass of Argentinas finest


The difference between a Landrover and a truck is comfort. We head off into the wilderness, bump up remote roads to a volcano then cook a lovely meal and take a hot shower inside our own home. We shelter from the Patagonia wind, the Amazon rain and +49C Mali heat in our house on wheels.

We travelled in the -40C of the Canadian winter, the engine always started and never complained - it is the legendary Mercedes OM366 with an inter-cooler! We would head off into the back country for over 2000km on a fill and three weeks of food and water, autonomy and self-reliance with a bit of luxury is what this truck gives you.

Betti, John, Burt overland journey map


Windscreen TV
Our Trip
Hatch View

Atkinson Vos

Throughout our trip, Atkinson Vos have been an enormous help.
Even although they have never seen our truck, they were there at the end of an email when technical advice was required. Furthermore, our truck is not even a Unimog!
I am very grateful to Frank and his team for all the support.

Electrical equipment

Electricity is key to comfortable travel. In hot climates the fridge will draw a lot of power but it is imperative the beer stays cold.
Other electrical equipment: universal shore power charger, input switched neutral 50/60hz, 90 to 250vAC.
Two pure sine wave inverters, 3000w 230vAC Cotec, modified to ensure plates do not touch due to vehicle vibration and a 600w 110vAC.
Two channel 24v to 12v DC 40 amp converter. Runs the Webasto and lights. Also a nominal 24v to 24.4v converter. Takes the strain off any equipment that prefers below acceptance charge voltages.
The battery monitor reads off a 500 amp shunt and gives information on the interior and starter batteries with high and low alarms. Being an AmpHr counter you know the condition of the batteries far beyond the usual vague voltage reading of many battery level gauges.
Virtual Alternator/Split Charger system, giving the ability to start the vehicle from the interior batteries if the starter batteries fail.
The excellent Blue Sky 3024i and IPN remote keep the batteries in good condition and manage the solar flawlessly.

We think our truck's new owner...

...may need some support

Before and during your trip, help and support will always be available,
we will provide technical and travel support indefinitely.

All manuals for the trucks electrical and interior systems are available.

Empresa Transporte Martinez Honduras mechanics

Read Betti's Blog!

Possibly still a little out of date...

Betti's Blog

Special mention

When we arrived back in the UK, we set about reconditioning the truck.
Tony Ruffles from Inter-UK completely overhauled our chassis and torsion free mounting system. It is a first class job done by the sort of quality engineering company rarely found in Britain today. Recomended!

Sand happens..

..as do mud, rocky roads and snow.
Our 385/65/22.5 Michelin XZY3 can run as low as 1.5 bar and stay on the rims. Floating over sand, traction on slippery mud roads and comfort when driving on rocky and uneven roads.
These tyres are perfect for travel; excellent durability – at least double mileage over mud tyre, strong and puncture resistant and far more available than 20inch fittings. There were almost no occasions when the superior mud competence of XZL tyres are required.
The tyres are inflated through a PSU inflator and gauge using the trucks own compressor.

Michelin XZY3 Specification


Days travelled


Engine Hours


KM travelled


Cups of PG tea!


+351 (0) 969 292 058


Please send John or Betti a message

We would love to speak to you about our truck however...

the truck is located in the UK, near Donington Park in middle England but we are currently in Portugal.

If you are sure the truck is of interest to you we will come to the UK to meet you for the full tour

In the mean time, please do call, email or Skype us for as much information as you require.