A Few Big Euro Military Campers

Posted by on April 27, 2012

I just want to post a few things that caught my eye on eBay lately. First though, I’d like to make an observation. While expedition motorhomes and off-road 4×4 campers are not common anywhere, it’s surprising how much more common they are in Europe than here in the United States. The US is far less dense than Europe, with vast swaths of open land that simply doesn’t exist in Europe. Why then does our motorhome industry specialize in churning out nothing but long, low highway cruisers?

To answer my own question, I have a few theories. First the size of our country does mean that one needs to travel at a more rapid pace to get anywhere, at least more rapid than something like a Unimog or Deuce-And-A-Half is comfortable with, and we do have a relatively well maintained highway system. Second, the really attractive destinations for the adventure motorhome set are places well off the beaten path, like Africa and Asia, and we simply don’t have easy ferry access to places like that. Of course, we do have Mexico and Central America, so that may not really be an accurate reason. Maybe it’s just that, as a people, we prefer to be plugged into the cable and internet at a comfortable motorhome campground.

I don’t know, but Its something I think about, and I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject… comments are always appreciated.

Praga V3S in Hademstorf, Germany

This Czechoslovakian beast has a 24 volt system, a 94hp air-cooled diesel 6 cylinder that uses 20l/100km (11.76 mpg). It seems to be in wonderful condition and appears to be on the newer end of the V3S production lifetime which ran from 1952 to 1989, although the listing doesn’t list the year of manufacture. The insulated aluminum camper has an ABC filter, and diesel heat. According to the seller it’s running and ready to drive anywhere. It’s currently listing at €1,121 ($1,480 USD), but the reserve (divulged by the seller) is around €4,000 ($5,283 USD).

1981 Ural 4320 in Devon, United Kingdom

The Ural 4320 is still in production in Russia. This one was purchased for £17,000 by the seller in 2010 to export to Tanzania, but that fell through and he’s looking to sell it for £10,000 ($16,183 USD). The camper interior is said to have “basic living accomodations,” although there are no photos of it in the listing (I’m guessing they’re, um… spartan).

After the break, the best of the lot. This 1989 Bedford MJ 4×4 with a rough, not luxurious, but comfortable-looking interior. Lots of photos with this one, and a bargain currently listed at only £2500 ($4,028.25 USD).

1989 Bedford MJ 4×4 in North Cornwall, United Kingdom

This ex-RAF truck, with less than 11,000 miles on it, has a turbo diesel and a 5 speed, with hi/lo and selectable 4WD. Electricals are 24v for the chassis and 12v for the camper with new batteries all around. The camper sleeps 4, in 2 single bunks and a convertible dinette. You’ve got the usual kitchen bits, a separate shower, hot and cold running water, reverse osmosis filtration, three way fridge, and two Eberspacher heaters so you’ll never get cold. The auction listing goes into a lot more detail and it’s well worth a read. The important takeaway thought is that this seems like a real bargain for someone willing to put in the work and finish up the work the seller has started. This could be a real winner and the price, currently at £2500 ($4,045), is a steal.

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