In the beginning…
Ever wonder what an ambulance camper conversion would look like? Well, stick around & we’ll be glad to show you ours! In January 2018, we purchased a 1999 Ford E450 7.3l ex-ambulance from a local fire department. It only had 114,000 miles on it & the engine alone was worth the price we paid for the entire ambulance. It came with inside & outside cabinetry galore, lighting, an inverter, four batteries, insulated walls, enough wiring to wrap around our house several times, & a box on the back that will withstand a roll-over.
What the ambulance didn’t come with, hence the need for a build series:
- 4-wheel drive: we plan on boondocking on BLM land which in some cases can be difficult to maneuver with a 2-wheel drive
- 6″ lift: if we’re going off road, we need more clearance
- 35″ tires: because you can’t have 27″ tires on a lifted ambulance, that just wouldn’t look right
- Queen size sofa bed: we’re downsizing from a California King, but due to Jeremy’s height, a queen is as small as we can go
- Water tank: we’re thinking of putting it in an outside cabinet on the driver’s side, but we’ll need to relocate the inverter & lots of wiring
- Sink: must fit a pot from a 3 quart Instant Pot
- Water purification system: any suggestions?
Currently in progress
- Gearing: the ambulance came with 4.10 gears, which we’re keeping, so we’ll have to change the 4.88’s in the Dana 60 axle that we purchased to replace the front axle
- Serpentine belt: replaced
- Fuel bowl: rebuilt
- Turbo wheel: upgraded
- Beveled up-pipes: en route
- Sofa bed: temporary plywood folding bed set up to enjoy camping until an aluminum sliding frame is built- futon mattress coming soon
- Flooring: linoleum, wall covering, & adhesive removed- need to fill in holes, sand the floors, lay new flooring & put up new wall covering
We still have a long way to go, but we’re excited to be learning during this process! I’m thankful that we’re not on a time crunch to get this done. We’ve got several years to complete the ambulance, get everything sold, & hit the road!
The next post in the build thread is installing the six inch lift: Ambulance Camper Conversion Phase 2 Ujoint Offroad DIY Six Inch Lift.
If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d sincerely appreciate them! Any ideas on easier or more efficient ways to do things are more than welcome!