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    OFF-GRID AMBULANCE CONVERSION PROJECT

    orthodoxymoron
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    Post  orthodoxymoron on Fri May 10, 2019 4:30 pm

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    Sanicle
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    Post  Sanicle on Sat May 11, 2019 2:50 am

    Oxy, seriously, isn't there anyone you've come across in all your years of research whom you would trust enough to help you deal with these attacks you are undergoing? Maybe even an exorcism. There must be someone out there that can help you. Just trying to puddle along on your own really doesn't seem to be working! I'm really worried about you. None of us are alone unless we choose to be. Please.

    Hugs JT Hugs
    orthodoxymoron
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    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat May 11, 2019 3:08 am

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    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Sat May 11, 2019 10:57 am

    "Who Are YOU Gonna Call??"


    Great Question! And if you don't trust anybody, why would you even entertain calling someone? You'd be better off calling on Jonnie Walker and an Acid cigar. Go out on the back deck and even cook up a thick ribeye, enjoy the scenery. At least you would be able to "DETACH" for brief moment so that you can realize you are still breathing. Stop time and along with it, your rational mind. You will not get the answers that you seek, as long as you keep putting up so much energy to find those answers, that you end up blocking them from coming in. That's the real paradox here. You are being your own worst enemy. Must be a reason for it. The blame game doesn't work anymore. You are not being your own best friend. If you were, you would be on that back deck with a drink and a cigar with a steak on the grill.  Very Happy



    Always remember OXY, that someone out there has it way worse than you! Change your focus to what you have. What you have learned and what you have accomplished, instead of the lack you perseverate about. Playing the role of a victim, isn't going to solve anything you are conflicted with. You might discover that things aren't as bad as you have described them to be and that you are your own best friend. Your own savior.  Naughty The answer to your question, is to call upon yourself.







    Purchasing my ambulance, was an act of expressing my freedom. It was the right thing to do because the signs were there to validate my intentions. The clock being stuck on 11:11, the Clearfield and the 53, were so obvious to me as to what blessing I was about to receive.


    It also meant that I could detach from all that has transpired in my life. All the spiritual undertakings, all the known characters and agendas, etc. A fresh start and a new journey unfolding as it were. I'm no longer stuck, OXY. If I can do it, so can you! Double Thumbs Up


    I think my ambulance is looking better without the decals.


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    orthodoxymoron
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    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sat May 11, 2019 11:39 am

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    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sat May 11, 2019 3:33 pm

    orthodoxymoron wrote:
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    Hey Oxy, for someone not posting, and in incognito mode you sure do get around Wink   Not that you are not most welcome...

    I almost bought one of those beasts, a LandRover Forward Control 101 . All the body panels are removable, can be a flat bed truck with a cab. Or anything in between..

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    or added to..

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    BUT.... there is a huge and noisy V8 engine inside the cab! Between the 2 front seats. Its ridiculously noisy.... and thirsty for fuel.. but what fun eh? a huge go anywhere meccano set...

    Ancient One
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sat May 11, 2019 3:43 pm

    Morpheus wrote:I think my ambulance is looking better without the decals.


    I painted my entire ambulance with a quality agricultural enamel paint. The stuff they put on tractors, and all UK farmers are so tight with their money, you know the stuff has to be good Wink.
    I used a 4" paint roller, lots of thin coats. You cant tell its been rollered.. Cost me about $30 plus the paint...

    if you are so inclined..

    nice that its got few windows, even though you may cut another another one at some point.. I love my 360 degree view but the insulation / condensation factor can be a pain.
    Carol
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    Post  Carol on Sat May 11, 2019 5:47 pm

    This is a great thread. Right now I'm watching the front yard burn (dead grass) as hubby is into the burn mode before fire season sets in. We've been cutting down dead trees along with hundreds of dead branches and decided to toss them all into the 50 year old outdoor latrine hole and use it as a fire pit. Will be moving the skeletal 12"x18" cabin onto the property as soon as we have the site next to the creek area is cleared out. There is something about working on the land caring for the trees that is so satisfying. Daffodils are finally coming into bloom. Still have a couple patches of snow but it's 76 out now. Awesome. The front yard will be a wild meadow. The raspberry berry bushes are just beginning to sprout leaves. Love this time of year.


    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol
    orthodoxymoron
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    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun May 12, 2019 10:44 pm

    Thank-you Vidya. Those pictures were great! I'll probably stay where I am and drive my caddy. I'm in a rut. Carol has the right idea! Now I go incognito (again).
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Fri May 17, 2019 3:26 am

    Just a quick note, to say I am still here.. but quite busy these days....

    Solid Fuel / woodburners.. here is a good safety guide for boat owners, applies to vans..

    https://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/stay-safe/solid-fuel-stoves/

    orthodoxymoron
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    Post  orthodoxymoron on Tue May 28, 2019 1:51 am

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    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Tue May 28, 2019 6:04 am

    Pretty cool pics, OXY. Cool It amazes me as to how folks create stuff. Takes money! No



    Made some good progress last couple of weeks. Removed the seat belts, cushions, and other unnecessary hardware. Then the weather turned hot. Low to mid 90s. No rain either. Which is weird. So I had to back off the project because of the heat.


    Made a few discoveries. This beast has a weird tire chain set up. All you have to do is flip on a switch and the back duallies have tire chains. Without having to go outside in bad weather to put tire chains on. I use to drive the big rigs and it was always a pain to put those heavy chains on in bad cold stormy weather.



    Another discovery happened the other day. The neighbor was using his pressure washer about 30' away. I was sitting in the back and decided to close the door because of the noise. Amazing as to how dampened the sound became when I closed the door. You could even talk without straining yourself to be heard. So I should be able to sleep good at nights.  Sleep



    After watching all these videos, I have concluded that folks just have to much stuff. The frills and extras that people put into their rigs makes me wonder how practical vs. the exotic. I'm going to do my best to keep it simple.








    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:42 am

    Starting Wednesday, we will have the rain pipe open up for the next week and a half. So I have been changing my sleep pattern to wake up early in the morning, when the weather is cooler. Been to hot to work on my ambulance project. However, I have been doing something every day as far as taking stuff off. Still in Phase 1. Plenty to do.



    But I'm loving it. The potential with this beast just keeps me excited. I guess I needed something to put the wind back in my sails. Looking around in my house, I have found stuff that I have saved through the years and will now be able to use it in this AMBULANCE. Got 2 CB radios, stereo equipment, propane tanks, etc.


    Hooked up the shore power yesterday and discovered that the A/C unit does not work off the shore power. Going to have to change that up. The systems are all integrated to be self-sufficient as long as the motor is running. Haven't tested that out yet as far as the A/C. So I am going to have to put another electrical system that will work on shore power. The current shore power rating is at 15 amps. So I was thinking of putting in a 30 amp system, so I can run some type of A?C. Also keep the 15 amp as most campgrounds have that option as well. 



    Got the perfect place for a wood stove. Looking at a Grizzly wood stove. Should be plenty. I just don't like the idea of cutting a hole in the roof. I also thought of making my own wood stove. Make it with thicker material. The prices on some of these wood stoves are outrageous. A Kimberly is like $4000.00.



    The solar is going in last. I want to be able to figure out the final load requirements before jumping on that wagon.



    Through the course of time and watching so many videos, I have found some good ones. Take a look. Taylor has a great channel IMO. 








    orthodoxymoron
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    Post  orthodoxymoron on Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:33 am

    Sounds exciting, Morpheus! Just out of curiosity, are there any companies which take a brand-new 'ambulance shell' and convert it into a 'turnkey camper'? The sticker-price would cause massive sticker-shock but that might be an attractive option for those with the dough. Here's a few conversion videos.
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    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:43 pm

    Morpheus wrote:

    Got the perfect place for a wood stove. Looking at a Grizzly wood stove. Should be plenty. I just don't like the idea of cutting a hole in the roof. I also thought of making my own wood stove.

    The solar is going in last. I want to be able to figure out the final load requirements before jumping on that wagon.

    .
    when its all stripped down is a good time to check / ehhance / install insulation.. and a plastic membrane on the floor ..

    also if you need additional lights etc from your solar, good time to run the cables / or just a tube with string in it, to pull cables through later.. all this is easier before the refit.. but not essential, i ran cables at the back of overhead lockers i built into the van..

    one thing i would do differently is use a double walled flue pipe from the wood burner. they are usually insulated and i thought i might want the pipe as an additional heat source /radiator..

    as it turns out the single wall flue pipe cools the smoke too much and creosote is formed, which runs out of the chimney and onto your roof, side of the van etc...

    took me a while to find a cowl.. and after 2 attempts I ended up going marine, expensive but worth it..

    https://www.ebcmarine.com/bulkhead-mounted-heaters/dickinson-stainless-roof-cowl-3-all-styles

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    if the van doesn't have a fan fitted its another job that's easier when the van is stripped down..

    need to think of ventilation with a wood burner.. carbon monoxide alarm is essential..

    http://www.flettner.co.uk/products/flettner-tcx-2/
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    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:31 pm

    Thanks OXY. You beat me to the punch as I was going to post the vids you posted, as that guy's set up is pretty nice. He knows his stuff too.



    Double wall is a must. You got to have a 400 degree temp for the smoke stack so that stuff doesn't build up. That cowl can be bought at Amazon for around $115.00. I also can't believe what they charge for pipe. You buy the stove, then all the extras and it ain't cheap!



    It does have two power vents with adjustable speeds. It also has that vinyl flooring and I was thinking of laying down a piece of boat carpet over the top of it. I could always roll it up and then use the vinyl flooring in the case I need to haul stuff like wood and supplies.



    Hey Vidya, are you familiar with Project Amber? He's out of the UK.





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    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:20 am

    just had a quick search for project amber...

    no, is the answer to your question.. i had no internet when i built my van, i built what 'felt' right... the only issue (which doesnt bother me) is the wood burner flue pipe.. rest is fine for me..

    i used 12mm plywood for all internal cupboards, overhead lockers etc as it is structurally sound, no need for an internal wooden frame as well..
    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:51 am

    So late last week I decided to go to Lowes to get some home supplies and on the way there I stopped at this place.



    https://bumgarnercamping.com/


    So a lady comes out and asks me what I am looking for. I told her I was looking for a 12" square stainless steel sink. She disappears and then comes out holding a white plastic oval sink. I said to her that it's not square. Well, she about went off on me. I quickly responded, I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to be rude. Don't waste your time going to that place.



    Another consideration with this ambulance is the air system that it uses for the air brakes and air ride suspension. I was thinking of setting up a leveling system using air rams. Also maybe using air rams for the solar so you can adjust the angles of the panels. This would also help the refrigerator operate correctly as they need to be level.



    For the price of a Grizzly wood stove, I could buy a small MIG welder, and buy the materials for the stove and weld one together. $600.00. As to the location, I found a hole that was sealed up at the base of where I want to put it. It was an access hole for the seat belts. So I thought about making a vent there so the stove would get all the cold air it needs, make so that you can close the vent when not in use. Easy. 

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    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:30 am

    Another discovery is that there is a flange that is actually like a small rain gutter that diverts the water out, just below the roof on the sides. The flange is about 3/4" and I could easily drill holes through it to mount brackets for the solar system. That would be better than drilling holes through the roof. I could then span all the way across the roof with aluminum to support the solar panels.



    Then there is a small 12"x14" window on the front of the box and I can run all the wiring through that window to where the solar system will be located in the box. Right now there is a rubber boot that connects to the cab, so that you can reach through or talk through from the back. That boot needs to be replaced because it has cracks in it that allows rainwater to come into both the box and the cab. Had to slice it on the bottom so the water could escape.





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    You can see the window I am talking about. That gray seat has to go. It is not comfortable at all. Non of the cushions in this thing are comfortable. Awful!


    Got the bed figured out too. Without compromising the storage under it. And still use the latch system they have. It will take some work though.
    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:12 am

    I stripped both my ambulances back to the shell. I prefer a blank canvas to refit.. I reused as much as possible but I took it all out, removed the inner aluminium shell and layered insulation...

    i also think so much metal will be a pain with condensation... i refitted with wood.

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    Post  Morpheus on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:53 am

    Couldn't agree with you more Vidya as far as starting off with a clean slate. After watching the Project Amber vids and what he has gone through, I can easily see why you would strip down a Sprinter Ambulance. Starting fresh. It's also a lot of work. So I can imagine what you have gone through. Do you have a finished photo of the inside of your rig? Insulating just sucks.



    I went out yesterday morning and did get the box a/c up and running. Apparently it is running off the alternator. I think the alternator is 150 amps. Not sure though. When you hit the master switch on for the box, the engine gets bumped up to a fast idle speed of 1500 rpms. The bad thing about that is, it creates a lot of diesel smoke. Literally, smoke you out. Most a/c units at best can only compensate for a 20 to 25 degree difference cooling variance. This thing is an animal. The thermostat goes down into the 50s and what I have researched, has a 40-degree variance. Plus it can cool down the box like within 12 minutes as compared to 40-60 minutes in most RVs. Impressive to say the least.


    The darn thing even has airbags in the box. That was a surprise. Plus it has a Medi-Cool box. Must have been for Meds. It has temperature contol too. I also found where there is an antenna access panel on the ceiling next to that front window. Might be able to route the solar cables through that instead of going through the window access.



    Make no mistake folks, these type of projects require a lot of courage to even attempt. So many unknowns, especially without any wiring schematics. I didn't even get a manual for this thing.  Argh



    Here's a better shot of that front window & where I am going to put the wood stove. Where it says, do not tamper, is where one of the air bag sensors is located.



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    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:39 am

    Morpheus wrote:Couldn't agree with you more Vidya as far as starting off with a clean slate. After watching the Project Amber vids and what he has gone through, I can easily see why you would strip down a Sprinter Ambulance. Starting fresh. It's also a lot of work. So I can imagine what you have gone through. Do you have a finished photo of the inside of your rig? Insulating just sucks.


    Make no mistake folks, these type of projects require a lot of courage to even attempt. So many unknowns, especially without any wiring schematics. I didn't even get a manual for this thing.  Argh

    .
    Ambulance electronics eh? Crazy Happy  In my first ambulance I left all the wiring, sirens etc, had to remove the blue lamps, a legal requirement,, but that was all... never knew how it all worked or connected..
    In my current van I stripped all electronics and wiring out.. there was masses of it.. including a hugely powerful 12V motor to power the wheelchair lift (which I also removed.. the wheelchair lift became the shielding for my wood burner..)

    Time ! Mine was a tad complicated this time, i had to remove the wheelchair ramp, take out the van floor ( was ramped for wheelchair access) and replace with thinner strengthening bars.. I had to replace both wheel arches (the only steel bits on a 30 year old truck), and swap the engine..
    Me and my friend spent about 30 hours a week (each) for 6 months taking apart and then rebuilding the van. It then took me a further 3 months to refit inside, including all the soft furnishings etc.. Quite a bit of work !

    I only photographed the rebuild, i dont have photos of my van interior... it gives an idea towards the final rebuild..

    Wood burner was the first to fit.. and it turned out there was only 1 place it would easily go through the roof, so that set the floor plan, with my bed opposite..

    i designed my bed around a steel chest, which is my tool store..
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    the bed folds up to a double,
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    on the other side I have a table which lifts up to access a cupboard below, with my kitchen stuff.. and folds out to twice the size to give me a chart / map / work table..

    I needed the table in first as this was also my woodwork tool bench during the refit..
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    under the table is a small hanging wardrobe, (dont need my ball gown anymore Wink ) and shelves for books etc..

    rest of the space is taken with 12mm plywood lockers /cupboards..
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    i ran a strip of leather with a foam insert on the edge of the overhead lockers..

    there is full height cupboard opposite the wood burner..

    I installed a passenger seat behind the drivers seat and there a small folding table between the 2 chairs.. the driver's chair swivels 180 degrees, so both chairs have access to the table..
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    Post  Morpheus on Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:05 pm

    It has been raining for the last 3 weeks and I haven't even mowed the lawn because it is soaked. I go out about once a week and start the truck up. 242,000 miles and the motor sounds great. It runs smoothly. Sweet harmonic sound for a diesel. The weather forecast is more rain for the next week.

    I get a royal kick out of this guy.


    Morpheus
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    Post  Morpheus on Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:17 pm

    This couple is doing it right.





    I have to be patient. It is either too hot or it is raining buckets. The East Coast is just getting hammered with wacky weather. Get this, the high temperature for tomorrow will be 72 degrees. Didn't see that coming.

    The title for the truck ought to be here any day now. When it gets here I will get it registered and will be able to drive it legally. Of course, it has to be inspected.

    I'm not crazy about the mobile disconnect. It revs the engine up to 1500 RPMs and creates a lot of diesel smoke. I want to find a way to be able to adjust it to a lower RPM, like 1200 RPMs. Fewer fumes. Also, I wonder if you can run the mobile while your driving?

    So far, I have gathered up 2 CB radios, three 20 lbs. propane tanks, a cassette toilet, and speakers {Boston Acoustic}, to replace the low-quality current ones.

    I dismantled the two rear light bars but I want to keep the front one. However, the front one flashes and I was also wondering if I can stop that by removing the flasher unit so when I turn the front light bar on it will illuminate the front of the truck. The side floodlights are amazing. They light up my whole back yard.



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    Vidya Moksha
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    Post  Vidya Moksha on Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:42 pm

    well i lknow this isnt a buy and sell forum, and I wouldnt normally mention it,,, but.. I need to sell my ambulance.. exchange it for a small off road vehicle..

    interesting times eh?

      Current date/time is Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:02 am