ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

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NathanDigital
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ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby NathanDigital » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:39 pm

What ready made ex-army truck boxes might be available second hand through the eastern block etc? At the moment I have no idea what names or models to search for.


Story is.... I was talking with a friend today about his liking for foam core GRP panels for expedition truck bodies. But I wasn't satisfied with their strength, as he related several instances where he has damaged his truck on trees. This got me thinking more about the British army standard issue aluminium "comms" boxes that go straight on a truck. They have a reputation for being very strong indeed. However, I'm currently in Greece and will soon be returning to the UK via Bulgaria, Romania, cech republic, Germany etc. This might give me more options!

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Tom_DAF
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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby Tom_DAF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:51 am

If you are looking for ex military shelters I think you''ll find what you want by searching for "KUNG shelters" (russian КУНГ), these are the kind found on ZIL-131 and ZIL-157 vehicles.

Watch the weight though, they are probably 2 tonnes empty. Czech republic is a common country to source these things.

PeteB
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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby PeteB » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:07 am

The German equivalent is the Zepplin FM2 - these are also heavy and not so many around from what I can tell. Have a look at www.terratrotter.eu to see one being converted.

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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby crinklystarfish » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:16 am

Or Dornier:

https://www.hommeles.com/miscellaneous/ ... rnier-fm2/

Just a thought, but the smaller the vehicle, the easier it is to avoid landscape features. If you're prepared to go Russian, things like the ZIL 66 are pretty compact.

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Brian-reynolds
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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby Brian-reynolds » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:11 am

GRP is the only way to go for a proper insulated box, no question.
It was me that Nathan was talking to, and it is me that needs to learn that when reversing into small bushes, they often turn out to be not so small trees!

It is those that damage the rear of my truck, but never the sides...

Steve and myself did some highly technical hammer and screwdriver tests on various materials here in the barn..... My Omnia panels were by far the best at brushing off hammer blows and screwdriver hits, and aluminium was the worst!

I have a piece of material here which has a thin layer of rubber sandwiched in between 2 thin sheets of aluminium, and that was bad, very bad.....

I love driving through forests, and have many video's of driving through forests where only small 4x4's should go, and despite having my mirrors flattened onto the side of the doors, I have never damaged my side GRP panels... it is only my reversing "technique" that has produced damage..... so once again, go GRP....

I also recently cut a hole in the side of a comms box.... it was very thin ali, and had a thin ali channel fixed between the inner and outer wall for cables to go through, so that would make an excellent cold-bridge... another reason for going GRP, no cold bridges, and doors/windows/hatches exactly where you want them.....

PS. Glad to see you made it over here Nathan, good and knowledgeable people on here! No crap or bad attitudes, just good opinions and experiences on all types of vehicles.

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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby Ivan C » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:34 pm

NathanDigital wrote:What ready made ex-army truck boxes might be available second hand through the eastern block etc? At the moment I have no idea what names or models to search for.

However, I'm currently in Greece and will soon be returning to the UK via Bulgaria, Romania, cech republic, Germany etc. This might give me more options!

Welcome Nathan, that, in the current circumstances could be an interesting journey!
Regarding boxes my choice was grp / foam from CVR.
I considered all the options available and found it to be the least compromised in terms of weight, strength, layout flexibility insulation and budget.
I agree with Steve and Brian, scenery is generally static and best avoided.
Ivan C

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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby PeteB » Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:41 pm

Just to reinforce Brian's point about the strength of GRP, have a look at this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n-Nz6H3Ks0
Is Brian the bloke with the hammer?

In addition this stuff weighs from 4kg/m2, so a full habitation box would be 250kg+ compared to around 1t for a comms box. Biggest challenge I think comes in constructing the GRP box to be robust enough to cope with some torsional stress but Steve & Brian have bags of experience here (I'll be in touch once I find a decent truck and make a start!).

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Brian-reynolds
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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby Brian-reynolds » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:13 pm

PeteB wrote:Just to reinforce Brian's point about the strength of GRP, have a look at this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n-Nz6H3Ks0
Is Brian the bloke with the hammer?


Not sure on the blokes... but if I was the lady at the beginning, I would be in love with myself!!!!

Interesting material though..... still would not stop me being a reversing prat!

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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby crinklystarfish » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:03 am

Just to elaborate a bit:

If you're brushing against light to moderate vegetation (as is usually the case when driving down small tracks), then even the flimsiest grp-skinned professionally-made composite panel (grp-insulation-grp) will most probably survive largely undaunted and only gather a little cosmetic patina.

Aluminium as an outer skin (unless very thick) is less resilient and will dent more readily.

Professionally-made composite panels that comprise grp-ply-insulation-ply-grp are immensely strong and will take years of 'brushing'-type abuse without gouging or denting.

Anything with a skeletal structure that's then typically skinned-insulated-skinned is always going to gouge / dent easier than a professionally-made composite. The individual layers only gain very limited support from each other whereas a professionally-bonded composite panel is exponentially stronger than its individual layers.

Professionally made composites can be specified with different thicknesses of material and / or the composition of the materials themselves. Weight is hugely variable. grp-insulation-grp is very light but if you start to add ply, crossbearers and peripheral frames then the weight significantly increases.

On to direct impacts: if you're on narrow mountain roads and whack into an overhanging rock with the top corner of your box then whatever you're box is made of - you're going to damage it. The ultimate strength of a composite-panel box in circumstances like this will depend to a large degree on things like peripheral frames, how the frames are bonded together, and the amount of care taken in the construction process.

The best strategy is (as before) to avoid the landscape. Building or buying as small as you can helps in this regard. If landscape can't be avoided, then at least try to avoid direct impacts.

Bottom line: unless you're into the realm of super-specialised construction; for 'brushing' encounters then professionally-made composites that include an external skin of grp bonded first to a substrate like ply (and then the other layers) is probably about as good as it gets.

For direct impacts - you're on your own...

Worth remembering that Bri's box isn't a 'conventional' composite - it's a NidaCore structural poly* / grp honeycomb fully welded box (welded by Omnia) that's then further insulated / covered with a combination of other materials (including some professional composites). In Bri's case, the NidaCore box is the structural element - not the various lining materials.

If you're determined to tip one of these on to its side - well that's a wholly different can of worms.

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Tom_DAF
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Re: ex army or ready made body options in the eastern block?

Postby Tom_DAF » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:06 pm

FRP composite boards are a great option and offer much more impact resistance than aluminium cladding (I know from experience), let alone their superior thermal performance. For more severe impacts of course a metal frame is going to fare better but as Steve said above, you want to avoid impacts and rollovers anyway.

Cost has to be a factor though. What is a typical cost of a FRP-Ply-Foam-Ply-FRP board per square meter? £50-100? Is anyone here willing to share?

A czech shelter off a ZIL is 1000 EUR which is pretty affordable.


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