Bob the Campulance. E350 Crestline Ambulance Build with Roof Raise.

iggi

Ian
Been focused on getting stuff done and not so much on taking pics or posting. So here's a quick update.

Just about have all the walls installed. Will be whitewashing them as a bunch of the panels are recycled and the whitewash will conceal some of the flaws. Few big jobs left to do. Ceiling stuff. (lights, vent fan, etc) Kitchen stuff (counter, sink, plumbing, fridge, storage, etc). Have to reinstall my solar system and lithium pack, DC to DC charger, etc. Due to both parents having some serious health issues I've had a lot less time than planned. Trying to get it road trip ready by mid July. The bathroom, shower, heat and such will all have to wait until the fall when I've got more time again.

One part of the project that took a lot longer than planned. Relocating the combo rear AC/Heater. It was located on top of the closet before I gutted it and it's been bouncing around on the floor like some sort of robotic octopus. My first attempt at brackets was a big fail. Teach me to rush and not plan things carefully on paper. Version 2 is what you see in the pics. I only learned to weld this year so I'm sloooooow. My welds might be ugly but man am I getting good at grinding. lol

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Abitibi

Explorer
Now we're talking, that's quite the progress! Not planning any side windows?

I did whitewash (stain) all my cedar walls inside and love it, it helps a lot with not feeling like a cave! But so do my windows...

And indeed, great grinding skills, hahaha!

Hope your folks get better and you get a chance for a few roadies!

Cheers
David

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iggi

Ian
Thanks @Abitibi No extra windows for this phase. Hopefully have time this fall. I did order a small boat window that will fit inside the frame extension for the roof raise. If it works then I'll likely add 5 more. Thinking that VW microbus look with the high windows.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Top windows are the way to go! No one can see inside but for you they'll be at eye level :)

Windows aren't as stealth but they bring life inside a dark shell, love all of mines!

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iggi

Ian
Well.. it's been awhile since I've updated. Due to small time window between my mother's cancer treatments I pretty much had to get super focused on just getting it road trip worthy.
Just got back from a 13 day and 2400 km road trip. Surprisingly my 6.0 PSD didn't blow up nor did I get blown over by the wind due to my extra height (as predicted by the Facebook experts). All kidding aside it was a good shakedown cruise for the roof raise, new layout, bar fridge and other changes.
A few quick notes:
1) Roof raise. Totally worth it. Being able to stand up inside is awesome. Usually due to hunching I'd be dealing with a massive neck and backache after that long of a trip but no more.
2) Rear bed layout. I spent two years with my fast/minimal conversion and centre bed/bench before I gutted it all and redid it. No regrets as I had a ton of great adventures with the fast build but despite the HUGE amount of work in gutting and rebuilding the extra space is again (for me) totally worth it. Before, once the bed was flipped down there really was no room inside to do anything. Now there's tons of room to hang out, cook, stretch, whatever.
3) 110V Bar Fridge. Maybe it'll die on me tomorrow due to all the abuse of bumpy roads but from a performance standpoint it was great. With temps up to 100F inside and only 200 watts of solar the fridge stayed cold and kept frozen things frozen the entire time. I actually had to turn it down a bit as it was starting to freeze things in the top shelf. (Insignia 2.6 Cu. Ft. Free-Standing Bar Fridge (NS-CF26BL7-C) Paid $130 Canadian for it on sale) No issues in my factory inverter running 24/7.
4) Fuel economy. Averaged 15MPG US over a wide range of driving conditions ranging from some of British Columbia's steepest mountain passes, high speed highways, logging roads, etc. This is a slight decrease from before the roof raise where I would have expected to average 16MPG
5) Need a cabinet in a hurry? I installed one from Ikea in a couple hours. The spring loaded hinges are pretty much useless at keeping the door closed though.

Usually I'd camp almost entirely on free rough sites but due to the forest fires many backcountry and logging roads were closed.
Still have a ton of work to do before it's all finished but was good to get out. test the functionality and be confident in the layout before I do all the finishing work.

A few pics.

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Abitibi

Explorer
Great way to test the machine! I'm doing a similar 3-4weeks trip on Vancouver Island, awesome!

I also converted from a12v to a bar fridge, been using it for 6 months and not going back!!! The house/bar fridge have a more efficient gas so at the end they are as if not more efficient than a 12v fridge, even factoring inverters loss. Put the price in the equation and I can't think of any reason to run a $1000 12v fridge!

Glad you don't have any regrets on your big mods, I knew it'd be totally worth it!

Cheers!

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Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Great way to test the machine! I'm doing a similar 3-4weeks trip on Vancouver Island, awesome!

I also converted from a12v to a bar fridge, been using it for 6 months and not going back!!! The house/bar fridge have a more efficient gas so at the end they are as if not more efficient than a 12v fridge, even factoring inverters loss. Put the price in the equation and I can't think of any reason to run a $1000 12v fridge!

Glad you don't have any regrets on your big mods, I knew it'd be totally worth it!

Cheers!

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We’ll have to connect if you are on the south end of the island.

Enjoy being here on the rock… so many things to see… and fewer fires than inland at this time. (Knock on wood)
 

iggi

Ian
Yeah, I'd love a trip to the island. It's been quite a few years since I was out there.

We’ll have to connect if you are on the south end of the island.

Enjoy being here on the rock… so many things to see… and fewer fires than inland at this time. (Knock on wood)
 

Abitibi

Explorer
We’ll have to connect if you are on the south end of the island.

Enjoy being here on the rock… so many things to see… and fewer fires than inland at this time. (Knock on wood)
I'm in Bamfield now, pretty awesome place! Some very nice rivers and lakes on the way as well. We took the low road from Youboo... Next we'll be going north so not likely in your civilized area ;)

So much to explore around here, if you don't like crowd this place is perfect!!!

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Raul

Adventurer
I also converted from a12v to a bar fridge, been using it for 6 months and not going back!!! The house/bar fridge have a more efficient gas so at the end they are as if not more efficient than a 12v fridge, even factoring inverters loss. Put the price in the equation and I can't think of any reason to run a $1000 12v fridge!
I've run a dorm fridge for three years with all kinds of abuse. Finally it gave up on a trip to Mexico going over a dry river bed. I've replace it with a mini freezer controlled with an external thermostat to run as fridge. It has better insulation and the compressor makes less clanking noises on broken roads. I've it running 24/7 out of 165W of solar while sitting on my driveway in Houston at 105F. If it last another 3 years I'll be happy.
 

iggi

Ian
Well, life got busy again but I've been able to start making progress the last couple weeks. With sub-zero temps only a couple days away I'm cranking hard to get some certain jobs done.

Got all the insulation back in (was all out for the roof raise) plus added more. Have two of the three new ceiling panels in place, new LED pot lights over the bed and just followed @Abitibi lead in cutting an access panel through the floor so I can access the top of the fuel tank and the accessory port. Diesel heater gets installed tomorrow.

My very rapid wiring chop job from back in the summer was just too ugly to live with so I've pulled the entire board and will be removing all the circuits I don't use and hopefully both simplifying and downsizing it all. That's likely a solid weeks worth of work so, the heater is the big priority. Trying to do wiring at -15C is just misery.

Some pics.

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Abitibi

Explorer
Pretty cool Ian!

Glad you cut your floor for your tank access. For your info, the auxiliary port works great for the diesel heater but as I quickly found out it cuts off around the 1/4 tank ;) (safety measure). I'm now using Afterburner with my diesel heater and that little marvel is a game changer! Allows so many custom settings, amazing little tool to have.

I also noticed you put a wood spacer between your aluminum ribs and your interior ceiling... good! What do you have in mind to finish the panel joints? And those lights looks great, plus it's funny to see the interior of a Crestline with so much headroom above the back doors!

Cheers!
 

iggi

Ian
Thanks David!

1/4 tank? Thanks, I was wondering about that.
That Afterburner seems very cool. I'll have to look into it again once I'm caught up on other stuff.

Yes, I put a thermal gap on all the ribs, for the walls and the ceiling..
Really not sure on the finishing touches to finish the joints. Leaving them rough for now as I'm in a rush to get it all together.
I'll likely pull all the panels next year, finish up them, adjust the fit (high/low points) and properly sand & seal everything.

Thanks again for all the advice and inspiration.
 
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