By on March 8, 2014

Photo courtesy of

Mongolia. The name evokes images of vast, sweeping plains, burning deserts, high mountains and deep, crystal clear lakes. Born to the horse and with restlessness is in their blood, the wanderlust of the Mongolian people fits the greatness of their land. History tells us that under the Khans, they once swept across the entirety of Asia conquering every kingdom that dared to stand in their way and stopping only when Kublai-Khan died and his empire fractured into four separate, competing kingdoms. Today, hemmed in by Russia and China, the country has become a cultural backwater, but the spirit of the people and their connection to the land remains as intense as ever. Given all that, what you are about to see makes perfect sense.

To those of us in the United States, Mercedes-Benz is the purveyor of high end luxury vehicles and the occasional delivery van but the rest of the world receives a much wider range of their product. In fact, their large trucks are famous throughout the developing world for their longevity, toughness and off-road ability and, given that reputation MB was the natural choice for two wealthy Mongolian businessmen who decided they needed to get back to nature and engage in traditional activities like hunting wolves with eagles.

Photo courtesy of

The men chose the Mercedes Zetros 2733, a 6X6 all wheel drive commercial truck chassis that puts its 7.2 liter inline 6 cylinder engine out front of the driver and added a custom made mobile home body, specially made to be able to deal with the climactic extremes of the Mongolian wilderness. As the photos on Daimler’s website show, the living quarters are well appointed units featuring all the comforts of home, including a full galley and bathrooms that feature heated marble flooring. The vehicles are also outfitted with large flat screen monitors, DVD/CD players, wireless LAN systems for computers and self aligning satellite dishes so the trucks’ occupants can be in constant contact with the outside world no matter how far they may choose to roam.

Truth be told, I am not much of an off-road guy and I have little interest in mobile homes, but I like exploring and the idea of a nicely appointed, large off-road truck that can take me further than the local KOA campground really fires my imagination. That said, I think I’ll leave the wolf hunting to the locals, I’m not so sure I have the heart for it.

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26 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz Lets You Enjoy The Outdoors, One Steppe At A Time...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Very manly. Sorta makes an F350 with a fifth wheel seem lame.

    Just wait until they bring it in to the dealer for an oil change – then they’ll be sorry.

  • avatar

    I have not been impressed with their past commercial truck diesel engines. But the new Detroit DD13/15 derived between Detroit and Mercedes has been pretty good. I wonder if “over there” it’s the same engine with a Mercedes name plate?

    7.2L is pretty small actually, so this one might be a purely Mercedes make.

    • 0 avatar

      The 16 Litre 700hp is pure Mercedes but they do have a vast range of Mercedes only Diesels as well as the DD versions of Mercedes diesls.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure if this one is related to the 6.4 inline 6 they built, but Ive driven a vehicle with one of those with a hole blown in the block. It didn’t run well, but I didn’t have to have to get towed out of Baghdad either so I’m an apostle for them! One day I am going to own something with a Mercedes diesel based on that drive alone.

  • avatar
    Johannes Dutch

    King-size Unimogs.

    Historically Mercedes belongs to the group of renowned and experienced off-road truck builders. Just like MAN, Magirus-Deutz, Steyr and Tatra.

  • avatar

    I tell you what, it sure would be easier to get my wife to go camping with that over my Jeep and ground tent. However I don’t think that beast would safely drive down Black Bear Pass (lol).

  • avatar

    Very cool for tomb raiders.

    Otherwise, like I say to everyone with an RV, if you are going to take your whole house with you, why not just stay home?

  • avatar

    Even if you’re rich, this is a stupid waste of money

  • avatar

    In the words of the great (?) Shania Twain.. “That don’t impress me much”.

    I once drove Europe-Mongolia in a 1,2 litre Nissan Micra Automatic. :D

  • avatar

    The Mongol Empire had already fractured into various khanates by the time of Kublai Khan’s enthronement. By the time of his death, the furthest expansion of the Mongol empire was decades since past. In fact, Kublai Khan’s death was one of the few that didn’t halt an ongoing – European – conquest.

    You might be thinking of the deaths of Genghis Khan, Ogedai Khan and Mongke Khan, predecessors of Kublai Khan whose deaths in the East all caused a complete stop and reversal in the momentum of conquest.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
      A stately pleasure-dome decree:

      • 0 avatar

        I’m familiar with the Coleridge poem.

        But that’s not the same Khan. If you’re going say “history tells us” in an article, you should get the names right. This is like referring to Julius crowning himself emperor. Wrong Caesar.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, well, that proves it, dunnit? A “pleasure-dome”… grandpa Temudjin certainly didn’t have any time for pansy-ass shit like that.

  • avatar

    The 12 year old in me says ” WOW ! COOL ! ” but I don’t think I’d ever use it .

    I get similar urges every time Major Surplus turns up yet another NATO surplus Diesel Powered Mercedes Unimog Radio Van , they have a nice double insulated body that’d make a terrific camper in 2/3 the size of this behemoth .

    This cool truck is the stuff dreams are made of .


  • avatar

    Hello Amblin – Jurassic Park IV?

    Luv the snorkel but a Rex snout could be kinder to that wide body than off roading.

    If Putin caught Merkel in one of those he’d send his big dog to scare her & bark KGB German at any eagle.

    I believe this platform is used for all terrain fire trucks in Europe.

  • avatar

    Genghis Khan got stopped cause he couldn’t open the doors of the TARDIS and he wanted that flying caravan bad for his army. Silly me too much 60’s tv. Showz my education.

  • avatar

    I rather enjoy watching a show called Doomsday Preppers (on National Geographic Channel).

    I’ve seen it all, from 1980’s Chevy Kodiak monstrosities, to armored Suburbans. But I’ve never seen anything like this featured.

    Well eat your hearts out, “preppers”, for this could very well be the ultimate “bug out vehicle”, no modifications needed (with the exception of a built in safe with a couple of AK’s); however, with such limited options such as “heated marble floors”, surely a built in safe would be no trouble at all for MB.

    And it goes to say, without question, I prefer the looks of the Zetros over that of- say… a Winnebago, or any of the other freshly retired senior’s recreational vehicles of choice.

    Changing gears here, my dad’s got acreage in the Missouri Ozarks which would be a walk in the park yet great stomping grounds for a Unimog; however, it’d likely scare the pants off the bible thumpin’ neighbors.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s a really cool camper. Probably not as luxurious with all of the connectivity.

    A Diamond Rio.

  • avatar

    I can imagine a few Hummer drivers out there masturbating over images and fantasies about vehicles like these.

    Looks like the perfect vehicle to get to the grocery store in, and feel safe doing so.

  • avatar

    Wolves? In Canuckistan, we call those things coyotes.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised you have to get out of the cab into the elements to enter the living quarters. There could at least be a little door for access.

    Also surprised the driving cabin isn’t nicer than it is. Pretty crap when considering the rest of the vehicle. With this sort of deep off road stuff, it’s not like you’ll have a driver.

    • 0 avatar

      While not as flexible as the Unimog, Zetros trucks are built on frames with quite a bit of axial flexibility necessary for sure footed cargo hauling on rough terrain. Google “Unimog flex/flexibility” to see how far off axis the cargo bed/box can get from the cabin box. I don’t know how the van/passenger type single box Unimogs are built, but most utility vehicles of this type retain enough flex that attaching the cabin to the cargo box would be much more work than it’s worth.

      Also, there are not only going to be drivers, but cooks, guides, etc.

  • avatar

    @rpn453 – Depends on where you live. If one doesn’t get too far out of town or off the farm – most likely coyotes or are you thinking foxes? ;)

    Cool trucks and most will be purchased by people who think off-roading is travelling the 200 metres of gravel road to that prime camp stall along the lake (next to the other 99 camp stalls).

    EarthRoamer has an F650 or smaller F450. A “Domestic” chassis might be easier to get serviced or repaired.
    I wouldn’t take one of these to the local Merc dealer. They’d tear the roof off getting it into a bay let alone know where to start.

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