Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Berkeley Street Sighting - 1985 Mercedes-Benz 409D Trueblood RV
The 409D began as the Mercedes T1/TN, a long-lived ancestor to today's popular Sprinter, and a very versatile platform for passenger and cargo vans, pickups and numerous other uses. It was available in diesel or gasoline form, the former making up the vast majority of sales.
was to be marketed in the U.S. as a luxury camper for discerning American road trippers, but whether that actually happened remains a mystery to me. Apparently such conversions are very rare. An online forum I found discusses a European-spec 1985 Trueblood RV in California. That vehicle was equipped with a non-turbo 5-cylinder diesel engine, automatic transmission, and painted light ivory with Hayes Lemmerz wheels, suffering from a roof leak and needing a lot of work. Sounds legit to me given what I see here, particularly with the rust around the rain gutters up top. I photographed this one a month after the RV owner on the forum posted asking for advice on their new purchase (I took these pictures in June 2014).
This Mercedes is a pretty interesting camper that hopefully is getting the attention it deserves. It definitely isn't your uncle's Minnie Winnie.