North by Northwest Expedition's Mercedes Unimog
North by Northwest 'Mogs Short Cuts

By: Randy Burleson - 7/2002

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Photo by Charlie Graham Hog's Back is one of the narrowest, most off-camber, difficult trails in the Tillamook State Forest OHV area -- a perfect shakedown cruise for the North by Northwest Expedition.

The North by Northwest Expedition is about to make the leap from more than a year of planning to two months of actual travel -- mid-July will capture their departure from Portland, Oregon and follow them as they travel up through Washington, into Canada, and all the way up to Alaska. As the crow flies, that's over two thousand miles.... but the North by Northwest Expedition will travel twice as far, testing gear and their vehicle during family adventure.

The North by Northwest Expedition vehicles are a pair of Mercedes Unimogs... loaded for bear. Both started life in Germany as double-cab diesel trucks... until George Reiswig and Fredric Fitzgearld imported them in October of 2000. The Americanization and expedition preparation started soon after the trucks were shipped to Oregon.

Photo by George & Angela Reiswig Photo by George & Angela Reiswig
Next to the other family four-wheeler, the Unimog towers tall. No pulling into this garage! This may be as aerodynamic as a Unimog can get... check how the roofline merges with the camper.

Grog -- transportation for the Family Reiswig

Specifics will follow, but modifications include 46" tires, fully sound-proofed cab, dual diesel tanks, heavy-duty winch, and pop-up camper... and oh, so much more. The 'Mog is loaded for bear with enough gear to allow self-sufficiency in just about any situation encountered during the expedition.

Photo by Fredric Fitzgearld Photo by Fredric Fitzgearld
Mogs are pretty tall, but tires this big required a body lift. The tent camper commands quite a view from this altitude!

Stubig -- transportation for the Family Fitzgearld

Specifics will follow on this truck, too, but modifications include 48" tires and a pop-up camper. This Unimog explores a lower-budget approach to making an expedition, but stows a load of gear nonetheless.


The North by Northwest expedition crew will be checking back in with the 4x4Wire staff and readers as the expedition progresses, and sharing their knowledge and experiences along the way, with more detailed articles available after they return. This two-month trip through some of North America's most remote areas provides a perfect opportunity to test the vehicles, their modifications, and the gear onboard.

4x4Wire will bring you the coverage as we can -- stay tuned to see what challenges this expedition encounters as they travel to Alaska by land, from Oregon...