Ambulance Camper/ Expedition Rig Conversion FAQ

patoz

Expedition Leader
I like those but my issue is having 2 different axles the e-series rear and the f-series front .

I see your problem now! What you need is the set of wheels that you buy with two different bolt patterns. I would contact U-Joint Offroad and ask them because they do it all the time. Chris might even have a set of wheels for sale that a customer took off when they bought a new set they liked better.
 

ujoint

Supporting Sponsor
We always do a front hub conversion to keep the bolt pattern the same front/rear. This gives you the option to run a standard front wheel or dually style up front with an adapter. I always push guys to do this so we keep the stock wheels in the rear (no adapters or spacers, no need to cut the body for clearance, etc)

Standard front wheel, stock rears



Dually front wheel, stock rears

 

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Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
I bought these, but then I'm an old school kind of guy! https://buytruckwheels.com/16x6-hub-piloted-alcoa-8-hole-polished-in-drive.html





Give them a call, I did and the call went directly to a guy who could help me with no hassle at all. Shipping was fast, and they were well packed so no damage upon arrival.

They also carry all the accessories, like lug nuts, center hubs, etc.
You've got good tastes. I'd buy a set if I had a couple grand to spare... till then I'll keep repainting the steelies I've got.

I'd have them blasted and powder coated at Les Schwabe for the prices I've seen members getting, but we don't have those prices here. Next summer I hope to touch up the rims one at a time that I previously rushed through to have all six matching.


BTW, stock steelies look decent with a good coat of paint. A can of paint and a can of primer did all six. The tire shop said they are never straight though. To compensate, they offset the rim and tire runout by 180 degrees to minimize wheel runout.
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
You've got good tastes. I'd buy a set if I had a couple grand to spare... till then I'll keep repainting the steelies I've got.

I'd have them blasted and powder coated at Les Schwabe for the prices I've seen members getting, but we don't have those prices here. Next summer I hope to touch up the rims one at a time that I previously rushed through to have all six matching.

Why bother buying a nice set of polished Alcoa Aluminum rims if you're just going to ruin them by blasting and painting them flat black? And what is the obsession with flat black rims anyway? Once you put a tire on them they just disappear, so you might as well just go to the junk yard, buy a set of old stock rims, then stop by Home Depot and buy a can of flat black spray paint and have at it.

If I'm going to spend a thousand dollars on a set of rims, I want them to stand out and be seen, or what's the point!
 

katyq02

New member
Greetings! I may be one of the first women to post on this thread, but I have been lurking for quite awhile. I just bought my ambulance (1995 Ford E350 Miller McCoy) and am already started on the initial parts of the conversion. I am not going to be doing an off-road conversion, but will eventually be living in it full time. I have about 15.25 months until early retirement (but whose counting?) and can make the final leap. Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know that I have already learned a LOT from this thread - months before my ambulance was purchased. Thanks! Oh, BTW, my ambulance was originally in service in Mobile, then sold to Fire Rescue in Picayune, MS then auctioned to a baker who sold it to me only weeks later -- and now resides in my driveway in New Orleans. I consider myself the third owner. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of current/retired firefighters and police officers. They are all very intrigued!
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
welcome.gif katyq02, or is it just Katy?

The best thing you could have done is exactly what you did, and that is read, read, read, before ever buying anything when it come to ambulances. Even though I was a Fire Chief/EMT for 35 years, and worked for EMS on the side for 10 years which gave me a certain familiarity with ambulances, I learned so much more by reading on this forum when it came to converting it to an RV.

The best advice I can give you at this point is to get you a good digital camera and start shooting pictures of everything, including the outside as a whole, then the compartments with doors open, the cab, engine compartment, and then move to the inside. Get pictures of the complete inside and then anything in any of the compartments. And most important of all, get very good close up detailed pictures of anything electrical. What you're doing is creating a 'baseline' to refer back to after you start making modifications or changing things around. These will be very handy when you do your write-up for the before and after shots aslo. You are going to do a build thread, right? ;)

Good luck with it, and let us see some pics of it as soon as you get some!
 

katyq02

New member
View attachment 440058 katyq02, or is it just Katy?

The best thing you could have done is exactly what you did, and that is read, read, read, before ever buying anything when it come to ambulances. Even though I was a Fire Chief/EMT for 35 years, and worked for EMS on the side for 10 years which gave me a certain familiarity with ambulances, I learned so much more by reading on this forum when it came to converting it to an RV.

The best advice I can give you at this point is to get you a good digital camera and start shooting pictures of everything, including the outside as a whole, then the compartments with doors open, the cab, engine compartment, and then move to the inside. Get pictures of the complete inside and then anything in any of the compartments. And most important of all, get very good close up detailed pictures of anything electrical. What you're doing is creating a 'baseline' to refer back to after you start making modifications or changing things around. These will be very handy when you do your write-up for the before and after shots aslo. You are going to do a build thread, right? ;)

Good luck with it, and let us see some pics of it as soon as you get some!
Thank you! Good advice on the pics allllll along the way. I am already behind on that, but will start as soon as i get a camera (or 'borrow' my son's). I will post pics, but mostly continue to lurk, read and learn. One other member sent me a PM with the link to ambulancerv.com as well. (thank you) It looks like there has not been a lot of activity recently, but there are some old posts that will come in handy. And, yes, Katy!
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
Good morning Katy,

The owner/admin of ambulancerv.com has been pretty ill for the last 6 months or so, and is having a hard time keeping it up. They also have a Facebook group which is starting to pick up some lately. You can see it here. You will find your most in-depth information on this forum, but you probably already know that.
 
Love my 94 McCoy Miller Ford, 7.3 diesel 4x4......just got my roof ac put on and a 8500 watt generator in a side compartment. Wiring and pluming is next (need to get the generator exhaust and intake fixed, running propane on it)....been a blast so far.
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
That is great news, but you know the rule here is... 'No pictures, it didn't happen!', so you better hurry up with that camera. ;)

Are you doing the work yourself, or hiring it out? Either way, when if comes time to install the propane, you might want to read over this excerpt from NFPA® 1192 Chapter 5 Fuel Systems and Equipment. Since you are an private vehicle and not for hire, you can pretty much do what you want, but if you are ever involved an accident with an injury or death, the closer you are to Code, the better off you will be.

NFPA 1192
Standard on Recreational Vehicles
2005 Edition

Chapter 5 Fuel Systems and Equipment


This instruction describes precisely where and how propane cylinders can be mounted. It also describes how and what size vents are need for the compartment itself.

Here are a few of the highlights:

5.2.3 Location of Propane Containers

5.2.3.3 Propane containers with their control valves shall be installed in compliance with one
of the following:

(1) Mounted in a recess or compartment other than on the roof that is vapor resistant to
the inside of the recreational vehicle.

5.2.6 Ventilation of Compartments Containing Propane Containers.

5.2.6.1 Compartments shall be ventilated at or near the top and at the extreme bottom to facilitate diffusion of vapors.


5.2.6.2 The compartment shall be ventilated with at least two vents, each having an aggregate free area equal to at least 0.5 in.2 for each 7 lb. (3.23 cm 2 per 500 g) of the total propane fuel capacity of the maximum number of the largest cylinders the compartment can hold.

5.2.6.3 If the lower vent is located in the access door or wall, the bottom edge of the vent shall be flush with the floor level of the compartment.

5.2.6.4 The top vent shall be located in the access door or wall, with the bottom of the vent within 12 in. (305 mm) of the ceiling of the compartment.

5.2.6.5 Vents shall have an unrestricted discharge to the outside atmosphere.

5.2.6.6 Doors or panels providing access to valves shall not be equipped with locks or require special tools to open.

5.2.9 Elimination of Ignition Sources. Propane containers shall not be installed in compartments or under hoods or housings that contain flame* or spark *producing equipment.

http://hamyarenergy.com/static/fckim...20-%202005.pdf


Also, it doesn't address it specifically, but if the compartment the propane cylinder is in is shared by other components or used for storage, then the area where the cylinder is mounted is to be completely isolated from the remaining space(s), and must have its own ventilation method. For instance, if the cylinder was sitting in the bottom of a 6' tall compartment under a shelf, and the rest of that upper space was used for something else, then that shelf would have to be sealed to the walls, and have a gasket that would form a seal between the front edge of the shelf and the door when it was closed. The lower space would require an upper and lower vent also, which would be separate from any vent for the upper space.

So there it is, be safe and have fun with the build!
 
Don’t worry all propane tanks are stored outside, only a feed line to the generator. All vents for it will be in place including fresh air with a fan blowing across it with the exhaust going out of it he compartment in to a big muffler underneath the ambulance and out the side near the engine exhaust.
 

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clarkh

Observer
Not really Ambo specific I don't think, but I have a question. At some point my passenger side front door was allowed to open too hard and caused a little damage to the leading edge and front fender. Should be easy to get a fender and have painted. It looks like when the door opened hard the outside skin of the door has loosened from the frame of the door where the hinges attach. I am assuming it will be easiest to get a door from another van and have painted. So, my question, my van is a 2000 cutaway, can I use a door from a non-cutaway (pretty sure I can) and what year doors will work? 99-14?

Any insight appreciated.
 

patoz

Expedition Leader
Not really Ambo specific I don't think, but I have a question. At some point my passenger side front door was allowed to open too hard and caused a little damage to the leading edge and front fender. Should be easy to get a fender and have painted. It looks like when the door opened hard the outside skin of the door has loosened from the frame of the door where the hinges attach. I am assuming it will be easiest to get a door from another van and have painted. So, my question, my van is a 2000 cutaway, can I use a door from a non-cutaway (pretty sure I can) and what year doors will work? 99-14?

Any insight appreciated.

Yes, the doors are compatible, but I'm not sure about the years. You might do better asking on one of the van specific threads for that information. Also, you did not specify what make of van you have.
 
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