Rambo - GMC Ambo Conversion (Roof Raise)

Abitibi

Explorer
What I do on mine is this:
I cut 3/4" thick strips of wood (plywood, cedar...), glue and screw them to my studs. Put insulation between my studs (now have 2.75" thickness), and cover it all with cedar planks. This way it's easy to mount the planks, eliminates heat/cold transfer and avoids condensation.
 

Buddha.

Lurker
I got this for $110 CDN at Uncle Weiners. It seems pretty OK so far. But for that price I figured it would be good to add while I'm doing the electrical. They say it's 800W but I'm sure that's an "equivalent watt" rating which I find quite dumb. I don't even know how many amps this thing pulls.
I bought a $30 one off amazon that claimed 350w. After I installed it I measured 50w, lol.
 

Deshet

Adventurer
Not sure how I missed this, but I have been wanting to do a Roof raise for some time.

Do you think gutting the interior is required to raise the roof? Would removing the top cabinets be ok?

I want to add 2 feet to my roof. Do you see any reason not to add that much height?

Who built your ambulance module originally!

Great work, I have a 4x4 F350 ambulance that you made me reconsider.

I went to an RV show last weekend and the quality of everything offered was extremely poor. I am not a carpenter but think I can tackle the roof raise but want to salvage some of the cabinets.

Thanks
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
I don't think removing the cabinets was required for the way my ambulance was built, but extra room to work is really is really nice. If you had to cut your studs and weld in new ones, most of the work could be done from outside the ambulance too. I haven't seen anyone else have a single piece bolt on roof like mine before.

I can't see why adding 2 feet would be a problem except that structurally you would be getting really far away from the design structure and that would also put you over 12' tall. I think for how it handles and everything I wouldn't want it that tall personally. I think I would more go for an RTT if wanted tons of room.

My ambulance was originally made by Malley. They normally do Type II ambulance but they made four of these one offs.

I wish mine was 4x4....maybe one day.
 

Deshet

Adventurer
Do you have any good close up pics of what you used to raise the roof?
I watched a lot of roof raises on buses but seeing what you did in detail would be great.

I also hate to pry but you listed prices for some stuff, any idea what you have into the roof raise in material costs.

I am a ford guy but really respect the Duramax. You got a great combo. With the def and dpf off my c4500 gets similar mileage to my 100 series Landcruiser.

Thanks
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Not sure how I missed this, but I have been wanting to do a Roof raise for some time.

Do you think gutting the interior is required to raise the roof? Would removing the top cabinets be ok?

I want to add 2 feet to my roof. Do you see any reason not to add that much height?

Who built your ambulance module originally!

Great work, I have a 4x4 F350 ambulance that you made me reconsider.

I went to an RV show last weekend and the quality of everything offered was extremely poor. I am not a carpenter but think I can tackle the roof raise but want to salvage some of the cabinets.

Thanks
A year or so back there was a member who raised the roof a couple feet and also did a cab over section. I’ll have a look to see if I can spot it. It was also listed in the Vans for sale thread. It was painted grey if that helps.
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
Do you have any good close up pics of what you used to raise the roof?
I watched a lot of roof raises on buses but seeing what you did in detail would be great.

I also hate to pry but you listed prices for some stuff, any idea what you have into the roof raise in material costs.

I am a ford guy but really respect the Duramax. You got a great combo. With the def and dpf off my c4500 gets similar mileage to my 100 series Landcruiser.

Thanks
The only pics I have are what I posted. I paid higher prices as I order from a low volume metal supply store who made all my cuts for me. I have $150 CDN into the 6" channel that gave the roof its height, $160 CDN for the 7" X 96" .063" aluminum. $10 in pop rivets and $40 on urethane adhesive. Call it $400CDN not including my time.
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
Not too much to report as this week has been pretty busy. Solar panels and gas struts are installed. Just need to run the wires to the solar charger.
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I moved the Espar heater to the opposite side and in the middle of the living space. I put the counter in and I think I might go a different direction and make something that lines up with the doors better . I’ve never made cabinets before but I’m thinking of giving it a shot.

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Abitibi

Explorer
Looks like you've got yourself a Delica L400 seat ;)
I know here in BC they are relatively easy to fine but if you're outside of BC then you really got lucky to fine one! I got 3 sitting in my shop, haven't decided if I'll use it for one of my older vans. In your case you'll likely need to build a base for them as the Econoline floor is anything but leveled :(

Good idea on the solar mounts.

Cheers
David
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
Looks like you've got yourself a Delica L400 seat ;)
I know here in BC they are relatively easy to fine but if you're outside of BC then you really got lucky to fine one! I got 3 sitting in my shop, haven't decided if I'll use it for one of my older vans. In your case you'll likely need to build a base for them as the Econoline floor is anything but leveled :(

Good idea on the solar mounts.

Cheers
David
Good eye! My wife is in Vancouver for work 2 weeks of the month so I figured I could find some your way. But when I put up the want-ad on a Facebook group I found them in Saskatoon and my buddy happened to be driving through there and grabbed them for me. I really don't know too much about them but I got the inspiration for them from your build. It seems to me that the there is a stop on the track after sliding about 2/3rds of the distance. Is this a permanent lock out? Or is it because I don't know a trick to get it past that point...

The holes don't line up and the seats are lower so I think Im going to build a mount anyway. I'm thinking of putting the drivers seat on a slight angle to clear the counter and put a new detent in the seat so it will point straight even though the seat is at a 15 deg angle. It might be a dumb idea so I'll have to think about it for a hot minute.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
The stop on the track is only a bolt so take it off.

As for seat height it all depends on how tall you are. My base was close to 3" tall which i think would work good for anyone around 5"10 or taller. There's quite a few ways to get it right, just make sure your seat lines up to your steering wheel so you don't end up driving with the wheel too far on your left! You may need to remove the left armrest (driver's side)

Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
I did some wiring today, got the heater plumbing hooked up from under the vehicle, and fixed up all the insulation deficiencies. After that I got a couple sheets of one inch on the walls and covered it with some 5.5mm. I think it will go pretty well but the sheets of plywood are awkward to cut on my small table saw.611D971E-0AD5-4E85-9E32-0CFD8F84A9B9.jpeg
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
Does anyone have any good recommendations for weather seal on the door that is one sided? And by that I mean that it doesn’t grip around the edge of the door sil? There are a few places where I want the wall to cover the outside cabinet doors and I need to get rid of the door seal that’s showing on the inside if that makes sense
 

TheRealPapaK

Active member
Well I keep putting more holes in Rambo. I installed a 6” vent for the future dry room and I cut a hole in my roof and installed a MaxxAir.

I turned on my heater today and realized I installed it backwards so that took me over an hour to rectify. 45BD6674-1BB4-4AA6-9357-FC79EFC1A4F0.jpeg
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