Buying & Building a Medium Ambulance into an RV – The FAM-BULANCE

Hmmm that's strange. It just ripped through both the red trucks and didn't leave any residue. When I used a heat gun it left a heap of crap behind that was a pain to remove even with gasoline, thinners, 3M label remover, brake cleaner etc.
Sometimes you luck out, and the vinyl lettering is all that you have to fight with. On my ambulance, Medic Master had clear coated over the lettering, so a heat gun with a dull scraper worked well - a wheel-type remover would have probably not done very much.
 
Been a great week! I bought CowPig's take-off Hoseline evaporator for my buggy.

Instead of trying to stuff another evaporator into the same already-crowded space my existing evaporator was in, I had decided to build a totally separate 120 volt AC system for my module. I had already bought a Hoseline 120 volt R134a compressor, and a CM3000 digital thermostat, and now his take-off evaporator. I still need a condenser, but considering the beating these things get in use, I may just go with a new condenser (Ouch!).

Packing it was a challenge - it needed a box that didn't exist (except maybe at Hoseline), but Jim (AKA CowPig) succeeded 100%. It arrived in A-1 condition. Unpacking it filled a trash can completely, but the unit is in excellent condition.

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My plan is to remove the hot water heating coil that won't be needed since I have a wall-mounted Broan heater, then I'll move the blower and end plate in about 6". This will both shorten up the unit, and give me a plenum so I can add an end plate with four 3" diameter ports that I can connect to wall mounted diffusers.

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Cowpig

new guy + questions
glad it made it ... and more glad it ain't here anymore! you have no idea how close i was to smashing that thing - boxing it up was a pain, but i'd already agreed to sell it so .... there ya go! at least i didn't lose money on this one, i sold the attendant seat and after shipping I lost about $15 on the sale + lost time boxing that stupid thing up. enjoy
 
Everyone who uses one agrees that the Hondas are the quietest generators that are out there. Except, I have an Onan 4 kW RV generator. This unit is completely packaged in a fiberglass enclosure and has internal sound baffles. It also is internally mounted on vibration isolators. It will be installed in one of my side compartments (see photo).

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(Note - the small gas tank on the generator will not be used)

In order to minimize noise as much as possible, I'm planning on air intake louvers on the compartment doors so it can be run with the doors closed. Cooling air will be exhausted down through the aluminum compartment floor. I'm also going to add some 3M noise damping strips on the compartment interior panels.

The exhaust is designed to discharge down through the floor - I'm going to add a resonator and route the exhaust adjacent to the vehicle exhaust pipe.

I'm debating mounting the entire generator on another set of soft rubber vibration isolators as well.

Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions, or thoughts?
At Tractor Supply, they sell a one-inch thick by six feet by four feet rubber mat for $39.00. You could cut to fit a piece under the generator and maybe use whats left along with another piece and cut to size and line the walls and ceiling of the cabinet. That's what I'm planning on doing to mine.
 
At Tractor Supply, they sell a one-inch thick by six feet by four feet rubber mat for $39.00. You could cut to fit a piece under the generator and maybe use whats left along with another piece and cut to size and line the walls and ceiling of the cabinet. That's what I'm planning on doing to mine.
just be aware that since these are made for horse stalls.. they may not hold up to oil and fuel ... as well as heat. For oil resistant vibration dampening mounts..... you can get them from McMaster Carr.
 
Since my generator will be installed on slides so it can be easily accessed for service, a rubber mat won't work. I have a case of 3M noise damping material that will be applied to the compartment walls and ceiling - it's designed for this kind of an application (self adhesive, and aluminum faced).
 
question is how to you keep the "slider" from rattling to death. that is a shiat load of vibration it has got to deal with. And the latch better be dammmn good to hold it in so you don't loose it on a side hill or god forbid an accident.
 
Not a problem - I'm using the same trick we used on the railroad for slide-out equipment service racks. The rear of the equipment has a tapered pin on each side that slides into a tapered socket that is part of the support structure, and the front is bolted to the support on each side. The front bolts push the rear pins into the sockets, and hold them in compression so there's no room to move. The generator is also installed in a compartment with top and bottom rotary door latches.
 
OK - back to my buggy.

I've been tossing ideas for a new countertop around - Corian, granite, Formica, butcher block, stainless steel. They all would work, but which would do the best job for me?

Granite is out - pricey, plus I don't know how well it would hold up. Formica works, but I just don't care for it. Butcher block is still a thought, plus it's easy for me to work with. The only GOTTCHA with butcher blockis that I have to mount a sink in the countertop, so I have to really seal the wood to prevent water problems, plus use a top-mount sink so the countertop edges are as protected as possible. Even so, I just don't really like butcher block (personal preference, though).

Which leaves me with stainless steel. I thought about a new custom-bent top, but these really get expensive. I was prowling through ebay looking for ideas, and I saw an ambulance with a stainless countertop that looks like it would be a lot more affordable. The top is simple - just one bend to form a backsplash, and I can reuse the raised drip edge and even shorten the height of the drip edge from the present 1" down to maybe 3/8" or so.

Right now, it looks a lot like stainless will win out (with butcher block as PLAN-B)

Here's what the Medic Master on ebay countertop looked like - note that the only bend is in the back to form a backsplash. The metal is reasonable - even including a $10 shearing charge, a 48x28" piece of 18 gauge brush finished stainless will only run about $55, plus I have a friend with access to a press brake (probably 1 case of beer bending fee).
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You might want to find a counter top that makes the project look like a friendly and homey camper. I might use butcher block or something in my project that tones doen the stainless, clinical look. I want to get away from the "sterile" look and make it feel warm and homey.
 
Well, the search for the optimal counter top still continues.

During this search, I have thought about using Corian (or equivalent), butcher block, granite, molded granite lookalikes (Silestone, etc), stainless steel, and Formica or equal.

Granite was only briefly considered - I wasn't sure how the vibration would affect it, plus it gets very heavy, very fast.

Corian and the molded granite lookalikes both have the same problem - they are WAY too expensive. After I was quoted $900 for a commercially fabricated Corian countertop, I thought about buying a remnant, and doing it myself. Unfortunately, the prices for a remnant are the same per square foot as the cost for a full sheet of Corian, plus the required adhesive would cost nearly $100 for 2 tubes, and shipping would run about a dollar per pound.

Butcher block is still possible since I can easily cut and modify it. Since this will have a sink installed, I'm concerned about water absorption. I'm also concerned about how it will do with expansion/contraction through the seasons.

Stainless steel is kind of the fall-back / default counter top material. I KNOW it will work, and that weather changes won't affect it - but - it's about as warm and "comfortable" as a slab of stainless steel. The posting I did a while ago showed a nice option that I could adapt: stainless for the countertop with a stainless backsplash, and Formica for the vertical surfaces. I would modify the photo's installation by trimming the 1" high edges to about 1/4". It would be very workable, plus fairly reasonable - the piece looks like it will cost $66, plus one case of beer for a friend to bend it. It will also be the fastest to fabricate and install.

Formica is also being considered. It's easy to fabricate, and "butcher block" can be achieved very easily. The cost would be about the same as for stainless. The big drawback (for me) with Formica is selecting the pattern - hundreds to choose from.

So, right now, the probable winner will be either stainless steel, or Formica.

The winner will be announced at a later date...
I am going to install a formica counter and a small stainless drop-in sink. When you cut the hole for the sink in the formica, take some lacquer or varnish and brush it on where you made the cut to seal the edge from moisture. Before you install the sink, put a bead of Dap white tub and tile caulk under the edge of the sink and bolt it down. You can clean up the caulk that oozes out immediately after bolting it down, with a damp rag.
 
You might want to find a counter top that makes the project look like a friendly and homey camper. I might use butcher block or something in my project that tones doen the stainless, clinical look. I want to get away from the "sterile" look and make it feel warm and homey.
I agree on the stainless - it would do the job just fine, but it would be sbout as cold snd clinical as it could be. Oddly enough, I've seen ambulances with Corian counter tops instead of stainless, probably for that reason. If I can financially justify it, I'm using Corian; otherwise Formica. If Formica, I'll probably use a wood front edge for sppearance.
 
My thanks to MNtal!

He "helped" me replace both my front brake calipers (he did virtually all the work, and I carried tools and handed him what he needed).

My old calipers had been sticking, and I finally admitted to myself that they weren't going to get any better, so I bit the bullet and picked up a pair of new calipers (Bendix 055717). Freightliner was the same price as NAPA, and they had them in stock for $114 each (oddly enough, there was no turn-in required for the old calipers). I had thought about replacing my front brake hoses ($58/each!), but the old ones looked perfect, so we left them.

The end result? It drives without any brake drag, and it stops great!