The 411 On This Low-Budget Ambulance RV Conversion
From school buses to airplanes, you can convert almost any vehicle into an RV.
Ben Harris, a certified boat captain and carpenter, ventured outside the box with his ambulance RV conversion. The transformed 1995 F350 ambulance includes a kitchen, bed, shower, and lots of storage—all of this at a mere $13,000 expense.
Why use an ambulance for an RV conversion?
Selecting an ambulance over other vehicles like a bus or van was a no-brainer for Harris. He figured used ambulances would be more affordable. Also, paramedics need plenty of places to store their supplies, so ambulances would certainly have many compartments inside and out for storing his items.
A single feature helped narrow down his choices--easy cab access. His particular ambulance has a wide door connecting the cab to the rest of the vehicle. This means Harris can easily and quickly access the steering wheel without having to exit the vehicle. He considers this an important and necessary safety measure.
After completing the conversion, Harris calculated that $13,000 was spent on the build. About $9,000 went towards actually purchasing the all-wheel-drive ambulance. Harris cut down on expenses by doing several DIY projects on the unit. Family and friends helped out with metalwork and troubleshooting the electrical system.
What is the layout of this ambulance RV conversion?
The shower is located just inside the entrance. The stepwell can be used as the shower base with a metal kitchen sink sitting below a wooden slatted mat. A showerhead is located overhead, and a curtain can be magnetically set up using the ambulance’s metal frame.
The kitchen might appear small, but there’s quite a bit packed inside. The kitchen countertop includes a sink and a two-burner stove. Cabinets and cubbies hold everything from cookware to non-perishable goods. Plus, a sliding compartment holds a Dometic mini-fridge. A nifty garbage shoot alongside the counter keeps smells out of the tiny space and can be accessed outside via a locker door.
A tabletop slides out from under the bed, and two seats are situated on either side of it. Part of the kitchen counter flips up to reveal one of these seats. The other is a stand-alone bench/storage.
In the limited space, Harris installed a full-sized bed with just enough overhead room to sit up. The ambulance also includes a small closet and space under the bed and seating areas to store clothes, hats, and other apparel.
Outside storage and features
There wasn’t much Harris had to modify outside of his ambulance RV conversion. The vehicle came with a variety of built-in compartments. He stores greywater and freshwater tanks, an on-demand hot water heater, and propane tanks in these spaces.
There is also a compartment devoted to outdoor cooking where he keeps a camping stove and other kitchen essentials. A rack on the back holds his motorcycle, and on the roof, he installed 300-watt solar panels.
Check out Harris’s complete ambulance RV conversion in the video below.
Where can you get ideas for your RV conversion?
There are so many possibilities when it comes to DIY RV conversions. Sometimes it’s not enough to get ideas and suggestions from family and friends. Sometimes talking to other RV conversion enthusiasts and experts is the more practical route.
That’s why platforms like iRV2 forums offer many RVers the opportunity to ask questions, share DIY projects, swap ideas, and more. When you log into iRV2 forums, you can join in on conversations like truck, bus, and other RV conversions.
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