After so much time deciding what kind of vehicle we were going to purchase we thought the Nissan NV would be the vehicle until… We drew out the space in the garage and stood inside it without anything built in. The first thing we noticed was, we barely had enough room to move around in it with just the two of us without our son or cabinetry/bed/kitchen space. I quickly decided it was not going to work for our intended purpose and nixed the idea.
So began our search for a new vehicle… After looking at box trucks, moving vans, military vehicles and such, we decided to look at ambulances. Sure, some of you might think it’s gross, unsanitary ot haunted, but the reality is, they’re not, it’s not. Speaking practically, the box is big. It has all the lights, pump functions, heat and air, full bench seat and rotating jumpseat. They also have mass amounts of “counter” space and the kicker??? Complete internal and external storage built to withstand any type of crash test you could put it through and built to run forever (taking the box and putting it on another chassis, that is).
We searched high and low to find one and managed to locate one that had originally been specked out to a volunteer fire department. Come to find out, that department had only used it as a support vehicle, so it never carried patients.
When we bought it, it came complete with lights, sirens, comms system and PA still working. It had all the EMS decals and some basic original equipment. We saw it online and 3 days later we flew to pick it up and drive it home.
e named her Ambu-licious. We retrofitted he interior invluding a new leather RV couch/bed, acacia wood floors, butcher block countertop and leather jumpseat complete with massage and heat.
We sent her to get the engine bullet proofed. By that I mean we sent her off to basically have everything in the engine re-done and beefed up and tuned for horsepower and oxygen efficiency at high altitudes. When she was done with those things, we sent her to get a 4wd system and a 6″ lift.
After all the work was done, we flew out to pick her up. 30 miles out of Salt Lake City, one of the inner cooler hose blew. Of course, it would be THE THINGS that weren’t replaced initially. We turned around and went back to the engine shop, got that replaced and headed back out heading home. Thirty miles out of Salt Lake City, we blew another one. Turned back around and got that one replaced. Now we have new everything under the hood. We made it home and took her out for her maiden voyage camping trip that night.
We drew lots of attention at the campground. We even “showcased” it. People we’re intrigued by it, but it also sparked ideas in many of them.
The next day, we took Ambu-licious to an engineer to work out Solar for her and figure out battery life to run everything without the engine. He’s also custom building a front bull bar with winch. That should be done in a few more weeks.