A tire carrier

'You'd think that a brand new covered wagon  would come with a full-size spare!'

A full-size spare isn’t the problem. Getting the spare stowed on a carrier has been the challenge. As we live in a somewhat remote area finding a welder with a shop and materials took some time.


Reinforcing steel plates are in place.


Hinges and latches were readily available on-line. So now Laddie is off to Trail BC where a welder with a great reputation has agreed to do the job.


After two days Laddie’s plan was executed with minor tweaks and we’ve got ourselves a swing-away tire carrier and crane. Thanks to Ronnie and the staff at XL Quality Industrial Services Inc in Trail, British Columbia for a job well done.


A method of raising and lowering the tire will be the next decision to make. Block & tackle? A come-along or manual hand winch? Chain hoist? Decisions, decisions ………….

Some tyre becomes tire-some

An additional diesel tank was fitted in the space where the spare tyre is typically stowed on the Unimog 1300. Where to put the massive R20 spare?

Since our mog cab roof was fitted with a hatch, we ruled out that space. Anything mounted to the front bumper would impede the view. A swing-away tyre carrier on the rear would be the only solution for us. It was to become a daunting project that was the source of many sleepless nights for Laddie.

The construction of the ambulance side wall had to be uncovered so that attachment points could be determined. Then a plan could be devised.

Once a welder was located the initial task to affix 3/8″ steel plates was completed.

Now that interior wall could be closed in and work on the galley could proceed. Yahoo.


Safe Passage

The morning we first saw Tulák parked beside the Atkinson Vos workshop was memorable. We were no longer dreaming.

The week in Britain was most satisfying as we enjoyed the pleasant aspects of its rural landscape and country life.

Following a week of getting to know Tulák we had to leave, trusting a safe passage would be had for our mog.



Tulák was loaded for transport to the Port of Liverpool where it boarded the Atlantic Star, a unique kind of ship in that it carries both containers and roll-on, roll-off cargo.



As we enjoyed the sun and sights of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands we monitored the ship’s progress across the Atlantic Ocean through on-line marine traffic tracking intelligence.

Upon our return to Canada we immediately introduced ourselves to the Customs Brokerage firm Cole International in Halifax, Nova Scotia who was handling our vehicle’s entry into Canada. Incredibly Tulák cleared Canadian Customs within an hour of its arrival and was available for pickup. A 24-hour permit to drive Tulák from the port to a licensed inspection facility was secured. Now we had to be patient and await the news. Did our mog comply with Canadian regulations?

The folks at Nova Truck Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia undertook the inspection and gave Tulák the all clear signal. Now a 30-day permit to drive Tulák across Canada had to be obtained. The bureaucracy was daunting and we were most relieved when the document was in-hand.  Our adventure with Tulák in Canada was about to begin.

After 5,855 kilometers we can report that Tulák  has exceeded our expectations. The ride is comfortable and it handles the road very well.

Understand that this entire project, from the purchase of the vehicle to every reservation and appointment, was secured over the Internet. Only then can you appreciate the wonderful people who helped make this happen. Our grateful thanks to:

Simon, Emma, Paul, Mark, Shaun, Frank and the team at Atkinson Vos

            Glenn, Ken and Debbi-Jo at Cole International

Laurie, Paul and the folks at Nova Truck Centre



A trip across the pond


Take a detour. Discover small towns and friendly faces that don’t grow along the highway.”                                                                        ― Khang Kijarro Nguyen

We’re off to check out Tulák and bring him home. Tulák – that’s what we’ve named the mog. It’s Czech for “wanderer” or “vagabond”.

We fly to London, England and then it’s a 5-hour train trip to the small village of Bentham and the Atkinson Vos workshop.

Atkinson Vos    Bentham





Laddie has been studying the Unimog Owner’s Handbook and is taking shop coveralls. He plans on getting dirty.


Following a week of getting to know the mog, Tulák is scheduled to be shipped RORO (roll on roll off) to the port of Halifax. After a fling in the Canary Islands we’ll fly from London to Halifax.

Hopefully Tulák will clear Canadian Customs without any hiccups so we can begin the long, slow journey home – a distance of 5,230 kilometers. With luck Mother Nature cooperates and the last of winter won’t be too brutal for crossing the Canadian Shield.

“n’allez pas trop vite”

 “An advantage of not going by too fast is that the world has a chance of becoming more interesting in the process.”

―  Alain de Botton, How Proust can change your life

P.S. Another Czech mate – Ondřej Sekora the artist who created “Ferda Mravenec”  – Fred the Ant and “Beruška” – Betsy graces our blog.


RAL 1015 Light Ivory works wonders

Tulák is back from the paint shop and is looking great. The body has been cleaned up from all military attachments and we’re happy with our color choice.

IMG_9242    IMG_0577

Atkinson Vos has made progress with the retrofits. The second diesel tank is installed on the driver’s side.

IMG_9237    IMG_0571

Given the install of a heavy duty radiator for better cooling a new hood and grill had to be fitted.

IMG_9236    IMG_0574

It’s coming together.