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Author Topic: Ambulance conversions  (Read 1313 times)

lorraine

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Ambulance conversions
« on: May 10, 2018, 01:12:57 AM »
I'm looking for a good base vehicle for my first conversion and ambulances seem to be ideal since they appear to have a lot in place already. Also considering a Sprinter LWB high top. Any comments or feedback to inform my decision would be really appreciated. Thanks

Camper_Dan

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Re: Ambulance conversions
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 09:38:53 AM »
Greetings and Welcome!

I'd steer clear of ambulances, they've usually been used and abused, are terribly heavy, get horrible gas mileage, and not tall enough to stand up in.

DIY projects for newbies are usually a poor choice, and people wind up losing a lot of money.  I think a better choice for newbies is to get a CHEAP older camper van or RV, that is still stock from the factory.  Keep it stock, and use it as is.  Discover what you would do differently if anything.  Too many newbies go through multiple rigs and lose a ton of money on each of them before they get what they really want and need figured out. Any money used for the conversion process is usually lost,  and if the vehicle is new enough, depreciation can be steep as well.

My first motorhome was a Class C.  It looked like junk on the outside, had been sitting for years, but it ran annd drove good, and the interior was passable.  It had 75k miles on it, and I paid $600 for it.  With a serious bath, it became a beauty on the outside, and with a serious deep cleaning on the inside, it looked like a new rig. Total cost was $75, I took it to an RV detailer.  The tires were outdated, and it set me back $1200 for brand new ones.  I put new hoses and belts on it myself, for probably under $100.  After all was said and done, I had about $2k in a 30+ year old motorhome that was like new both inside and out.  I lived and traveled in that rig for 3 years, and about 40k miles.  When a friend and his family were about to become homeless, they wanted to buy it, so I wound up selling it to them for about $3k profit. (That was their doing, not me being greedy...  I offered it to them for the $2k I had in it, but they insisted on giving me $5k for it.)

That old motor home kept me comfy for 3 years, and taught me a lot.  It taught me what I really needed and wanted, and what was just a waste of space.  I replaced it with a camper van, which taught me even more.  Each rig taught me more.  If it wouldn't have been for a newer and very expensive cargo van that I lost a fortune on, I wouldn't have lost money on any of them.

Learn and gain experience as cheaply as possible.  You have plenty of time to get it right without it costing you a fortune.  The dream of full timing is usually far greater than the reality of it.  Only a very small percentage of those who try it stick with it for very long.  The reported money you'll save is smoke and mirrors if the amount you lose when you sell it is far greater than any amount you saved.

Cheers!
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lorraine

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Re: Ambulance conversions
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 11:41:42 AM »
Great advice thanks. I have been bouncing back and forth between should I buy a camper and try it out before building one. I think your feedback has just confirmed what in my heart I felt I should do.

obromis

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Re: Ambulance conversions
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 08:23:55 PM »
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