International 4700 4X4 Rescue Conversion


I followed that auction (twice). Love that truck and I'm super jelly of that trip out of Durango (I haven't been back there in 20 years and I tried to get several friends interested in that truck so I could do the recovery).



I followed that auction (twice). Love that truck and I'm super jelly of that trip out of Durango (I haven't been back there in 20 years and I tried to get several friends interested in that truck so I could do the recovery).

the city of durango had 3 of these units for sale!
the first one had almost 100k on the clock and non working generator, i bid and let it go
when i saw the 2nd and 3rd i was resolved
they had under 60k and i bought the one with the working genny
to my knowledge the other 2 units were purchased by re-sellers in northern CA to be freshened up and re-sold to the fire service units

it was the trip of a lifetime with my daughter. we had a great time and are planning the return


Love your truck.
Thanks for the comparison.
I agree most light duty ambos are close to their weight limits before much gets added. Definitely a good reason to consider a med-duty.
I see something like yours in my future.
Being that I put a mini-mid box on mine and travel light (short duration) mine is working, but I aspire to do more serious longer term trips in the future so thanks fo sharing your setup. I’m excited to see how it progresses.
I just want to make sure that whatever I ultimately choose as my next project is comfortable enough for the inevitable long highway runs.
thanks for the props
your unit was / is an inspiration to myself and many others

specifically, the long highway runs are really limited to about 60 mph
it is not the same as bombing along on the hwy at 70+
can it go faster and hold the speed? . . . without question but the tension builds
i drove 18 hours strait with stops for fuel and walking around and could still walk afterwards, try that in your taco!
new air ride is in the cards


Hello fellow journeymen

Well it happens as expected

We went to start taking apart the cab during thanksgiving to begin the sound reduction and discovered that there are some buss bars / power distribution in the console. Sooo full stop, back up, regroup and write a new play for the playbook! We opted to remove some of the ancillary brackets and other equipment that we do not require to the tune of 300 lbs. Then we replaced the aging headlights with some LED’s ordered off Amazon.

Wow what a difference. Much brighter and the high beams are great. I should have purchases these and brought them for the pickup and drive home. Would have made the nigh driving so much easier.

The 2 group 31 batteries have been dying the slow death as they spent the past 3 years plugged in and on the constant trickle charge. I moved on to remove the batteries and clean & lube the battery tray.

I know I should have already performed this step but I then sent an e-mail to E-One in an effort to obtain any of the build / electrical data. I received a phone call within 3 hours! How is that for customer service?

During our phone conversation I received 3 PDF files with the schematics, for the win!!!

Im now trying to figure out how to relocate item nr. 10 which was in the console and not behind the seat



So my anniversary was then coming up and my child bride of 23 years said we are going camping!!!

The plan was to travel from metro ATL to Joyce Kilmer memorial forest in the Nantahala National Forest. This is the last remaining virgin timber east of the Mississippi. The trees are indeed huge. This is probably as remote as you can be in the SE US and still have access to a road. Maybe someplace in Maine or the Monogahela in WV would compare but Joyce Kilmer is under 4 hours away.

Away we went. Our time was great and we ended up driving the Cherohala Skyway. This climbs from 2000 to over 5000 feet and we were treated to some nice views of hoar frost as we drove the ridge.

we have a farm in N GA and returned there to load some calves but took the opportunity to truly evaluate the 4x4 capabilities

it rained cats and dogs Friday evening and we have springs all over that run from October until May. The pastures were wet and saturated and I believed would be a good evaluation of the driveline. This hill is approximately 350 feet long and around 80-85 feet of elevation gain. Shifted into 4 wheel low, rpm up to 1400 and away we went. Stopped midway on the hill to see about how it puts the power to the ground. Zero wheel spin and just lumbered up the hill. Short video is attached.

There is another hill that is longer with a section that approaches 35% slope for about 50 feet. No problem here either. Stopped dead center and it just resumed its elephant walk patiently plodding along.



On the way home we picked up 2 steers from the processor, fueled up and then hit the scales. Included in the weight is 45 gal of fuel, 10 gal of water, our camping gear, including 50+ lbs of cast iron cookware, another full sized man in my 20 year old son + ≈ 650lbs of beef!

She is a big monstah! Tipped the scales at 19,580 with a close distribution of 45/55 front to rear. We still have about 500lbs of hydraulic generator & fluid reservoir to shed but this is probably an even trade-off for batteries, solar panels and related electrical components.


One of the evaluations was we left with a full tank and pumped 38.3 gallons.
We traveled 394 miles and was only in 4th gear (lockup 1:1) for less than 50 miles
10.28 is pretty decent considering what we accomplished with only 3 gears.


All in all it was a terribly successful maiden voyage. This was the first time my wife was in the ambulance for more than around the block. We spent some time in the back really evaluating what we want from our layout . . . livability!

We intend for our buildout to not compromise regarding sleeping being the first priority. The close second is the ability to use the bathroom. We used a potty chair for the weekend without any problems but will move to a wet bath with composting toilet as a design mandate.

A short queen bed will be targeted as I am over 6’ but sleep with feet over the bottom of the mattress.

Sketchup / 3D layout to follow.

We are evaluating the possibility to raise the roof 2’ with the intention of having a ‘loft’ at 5’ for the bed in the rear and a full size dinette under the bed that could be utilized as another bed when we would have other travelers with us. The cost could be prohibitive but I still want to investigate the possibility. The alternative is a loft bed in the back at 3’, storage underneath and the dinette at the front by the pass through. Using the ‘work triangle’ approach that is used many times in home kitchens but using kitchen, fridge & dinette as the corners.

Maybe one of the most interesting developments was we are considering traveling to Expo West in May. Noise reduction, radio & new air ride seats will be a deciding factor. Go out the week before and explore some more in Colorado, maybe north rim, kaibab then down to the expo. The boss said that seats are the limiting factor.






New member
Great progress so far! I read through all the posts here and as my intentions for a build are similar to yours...but so far no luck in finding the right rig. Would you mind sharing which site you found yours on? Many thanks!


does anyone have any experience with a 'drop down' bed using lineal actuators?
i have only been able to find data regarding dismounting truck campers
Bliss mobil has what they call 'high bed' but limited detail

i have come to the conclusion that cutting the top off the monster to raise the roof defeats much of the advantage (of being short & nimble) and it would be better to then remove the box and by a kit from total composites!

having a big booth with a bed up above could be an advantage allowing for a larger kitchen area

just exploring more options




I will look through my notes and see if I can find it, but I do remember reading a build thread that used linear actuator motors and a bit of software to raise a camper top evenly. Avoiding binding or an out of balance lift would be much more crucial on a top than with a bed. If you are not inclined to go that route, look into the Toyhauler world, as many of them have beds or tables in the garage that lower from the ceiling for temporary use.

These guys makes great products and almost certainly could devise a solution for you:


Motorman, I just found and followed your thread! I'm so glad you found such a great rig! I can't wait to see where the build goes!


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