12 Must-See Ambulance Camper Conversions

Want to turn an ambulance into a camper? DIYers are doing interesting things with old ambulances. Check out these examples.

Ambulance camper

More and more van lifers are choosing to convert a used ambulance, rather than a consumer or work van, into a camper. It’s not so common yet, but it’s a growing trend. 

Used ambulances make for fantastic van conversions. They offer plenty of living space inside the box and feature lots of storage space. Any full-time van dweller should consider them a solid option for a mobile tiny house. 

Just like any big vehicle, they aren’t very stealthy or easy to park in a big city, but if you spend much of your time in and near nature, you will love having such a roomy home on wheels. You can always pull up to a Walmart car park when you’re traveling between cities.

1. Tom’s Overland Ambulance Camper

Ambulance camper
Photo courtesy of @the_lost_box

Tom bought a 4WD drive Chevy Duramax 4 GMC, which used to belong to Yellowstone National Park. It had less than 14,000 miles on it when he got it – it didn’t come cheap, but it felt brand new.

Tom installed new, thicker tires to drive easily in the sand. He wanted a camper that could take him anywhere and he knew exactly what he wanted from this rig, as he had converted multiple vehicles before.

Inside, he built a double bed, a bench with a swivel table, a wet bath, and a kitchen with an electrical stove and a 7-cubic-feet fridge-freezer. 

Ambulance camper
Photo courtesy of @the_lost_box

Tom chose to install all his windows up high, so he can always look outside while standing. The box is incredibly light during the day, also thanks to the big skylight he added in the middle of the roof. On this, he fitted four big solar panels to generate power.

Want to find out more? Check out Tom’s Instagram account and YouTube channel.

2. Flower and Lorenzo’s Hippie Ambulance Camper

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @hippiehospital

Flower and Lorenzo self-converted a 1987 Ford Econoline 350 ambulance to travel around the U.S., making their dreadlock service business mobile.

The vehicle already had in-built storage and shelving inside and out, which they thought was pretty handy, so they didn’t change it.

The interior is super colorful – Flower painted all the walls, creating some vibrant art, and added a lot of lovely soft furnishing.

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @hippiehospital

The floor plan includes an L-shaped couch which turns into a bed and a coffee table. Inside it, the guys keep a portable toilet and manual washing machine. On the other side of the vehicle, there’s storage and a kitchen with a sink, single burner, an electric kettle, and full-size fridge-freezer.

For energy, the couple uses solar panels all the time and a wind turbine when they’re parked. This setup allows them to use the AC when they want.

3. Karen and Tristan’s 4×4 Ambulance Camper

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @the.endless.bummer

Karen and Tristan bought a 2003 Ford E-450 4×4 Ambulance at an auction and have since traveled through North America, Europe, and Morocco.

The vehicle came with a Quigley conversion pre-installed, but the couple turned it into the ultimate off-road rig by raising the roof, adding custom racking, doing a full gut renovation, upgrading the HD Moog coils, and updating both insulation and sound deadening. These changes helped the vehicle handle rough terrain a lot better.

Inside, there’s a platform bed in the back, storage on both sides of the vehicle, and a full kitchen. Under the bed, there’s a garage gear that’s accessible from the rear of the vehicle.

On the roof, they installed a powerful solar system, but there’s still plenty of space to store large gear up there. They also added a large side awning and a handy outdoor shower.

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @the.endless.bummer

Want more info on this rig? Check out Karen and Tristan’s Instagram account – The Endless Bummer.

4. Dillon and Katie’s Offroad Ambulance Camper

Ambulance camper
Photo courtesy of @vananahammock

Dillon and Katie bought a 1998 E350 4×4 ambulance and converted it into a modern, luxurious camper to tour the U.S. on and off-road with their pooches, Sadie and Carl.

The interior is sleek but cozy. It features an L-shaped dinette in the back, which turns into a bed, and an L-shaped kitchen with a double burner, a front-opening fridge, and a huge sink.

Next to the burner, the couple installed a super cute mini wood-burning stove. It makes the interior of their camper super warm in the winter.

Behind the front seats and in front of the kitchen there are two big full-size wardrobes with lots of storage space.

Ambulance camper
Photo courtesy of @vananahammock

The guys have now sold the ambulance camper, but they keep living their nomadic dreams aboard their new-to-them 1976 International Scout.

If you’d like to follow along Dillon and Katie’s adventures, check out their Instagram account – Van An A Hammock.

5. Amanda’s Off-Grid Ambulance Camper

Amanda bought a 2006 Ford E-350 cutaway, which was used as an emergency response vehicle for the US Navy. She and her dad converted it into a home on wheels over seven months.

This conversion is one of the coziest out there. Amanda built a full kitchen with an oven and cooker, created a platform bed, installed a small bench, and added a super cute tiny wood stove.

Inside the bed platform, she fitted a slide-out table in front of the bench. Amanda didn’t install a bathroom, but she keeps a composting head in a closet. On the roof are solar panels and a wooden deck on which the van lifer does yoga.

6. Carl and Maddie’s Old School Campulance

Carl and Maddie travel full-time on a retired 1997 Chevrolet K-3500.

Their floor plan is very simple: they have a flip-out bed on one side of the box and a big kitchen with lots of storage space on the other. The couple didn’t install any windows, so the cab is rather dark and very private.

Carl and Maddie left much of the ambulance as it was originally to save some cash.

7. Neil and Jessicas’s $4K Ambulance Conversion

Neil and Jessica tour Europe with their four chihuahuas in their eccentric and affordable ambulance conversion. They called it Burro Ambulante – traveling donkey – because Jessica grew up in Spain.

Inside it, there’s a pink and purple world, with an armchair and couch, a small removable table, a kitchen with an oven, and a platform bed.

There’s no bathroom, but the guys use what they call a “piss pipe”, which they installed under their sink. 

8. Chris and Michelle’s 4×4 Ambulance Camper With Collapsible Hot Tub

Chris and Michelle bought a 2003 E-450 – an ex-fire department ambulance – which they called Tanya and turned into an overland camper to tour the States.

They initially left much of the interior as it originally was and traveled for two years. Once they had fully tested the vehicle out, they went all out and did a second, more radical refit. 

Tanya features a permanent bed, a full kitchen with a propane oven, many cabinets and cupboards, a wet bathroom, and lots of outside storage.

As the couple loves traveling during the winter months, they decided to build a portable hot tub out of plywood, which they mount on top of a rug. They use a tarp to line the wooden box and an immersion heater to warm up the water. This has to be the ultimate glamping piece of kit.

9. Ben’s $13K Ambulance Camper Conversion

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @adventure_ambo

Ben chose to convert a 1995 F-350 4WD drive ambulance to travel around Mexico and the USA. He calls her “The Big Girl”.

There’s only one spot in which he can stand up fully in the van, at the entrance, so he created a shower there.

The kitchen features a small sink and a two-burner stove. Ben repurposed a lot of the furniture that came with the ambulance to save on costs.

At the back, he built a platform bed, which contains a slide-out table. He also installed a motorcycle carrier at the rear of the vehicle, so he can easily get to (and park near) trailheads. Clever!

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @adventure_ambo

If you’d like to find out more about Ben and his travels, check out his Instagram account.

10. James’ Ambulance Camper

4x4 ambulance camper
Photo credit: @brewdiak

In 2018, James bought a 2008 Chevrolet C4500 4×4 diesel ambulance with less than 20,000 miles to turn it into a comfy home-on-wheels. It’s a Wheeled Coach built for a GSA customer that has operated in northern Virginia for over 10 years.

James had the idea of converting an ambulance into a camper while out on a tent camping trip. He realized a 4×4 vehicle would allow him to explore the wilderness while taking all the comforts of home with him. He now travels part-time on the ambulance camper with his trusty dog Brew.

Before building the furniture, he updated the vehicle to prepare it for his upcoming off-road adventures. He replaced all breaks, added more insulation, reconfigured the existing high-quality electrical system, replaced the rubber flooring with carpet, gutted the cab – except for the dashboard – and added a roof console.

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @brewdiak

Then he started the build of his dream floor plan. He installed a large kitchen with an oven, stove, and fridge on the left-hand side of the vehicle. Behind it, there are light gray tiles. On the other side of the vehicle, he built a long bench that turns into a double bed. He also added a wet bath with a composting toilet. The shower has a retractable door, which works very well for James.

The result looks incredible.

You can learn more about James’ travels and his build on his Instagram account.

11. Ginger and Greg’s Super Sturdy Ambulance Camper

Ginger and Greg live out of their ambulance RV with their dog Millie.

It’s a pretty serious rig, which allows them to travel pretty much anywhere. The 4WD drive is turning out very useful in Mexico, where they like to reach lots of high, sandy places.

Their conversion is unique. There’s a slide-out double bed at the back, a dinette with two benches and a table, a full kitchen, and a wet bath.

The slide-out bed and drop-down table are electrical, so changing from day mode to night mode takes seconds. Genius.

Find out more on their Instagram profile.

12. Josh’s Abandoned, Self-Converted Ambulance Camper

Josh is a professional musician who loves to live on the road.

He travels full-time on Rosie The Jambo, an abandoned ambulance, which he found at the beginning of a trailhead. He converted it fully, making the interior look super rustic.

One side of the cab features a wooden kitchen, while on the other there’s a pull-out couch. Everything on his camper is DIY or economical, but it still looks stunning. 

Professional Ambulance Conversions

If you have a higher budget and are in a rush to set off, you could opt for a professional conversion.

There are companies that buy used ambulances and turn them into RV campers ready to hit the road. SIV Ambulances and AmbuNet are two of them. 

Their vehicles don’t come cheap, but you get to skip lots of boring and time-consuming steps: finding a good used ambulance for sale, demolishing and replacing the furniture, installing a new electrical system, and more.

If you choose one of the vehicles in stock at these companies, you can get on the road within weeks. The downside is that the floor plan will have already been established, so you will have to adapt to how it has been structured.

Where to Buy a Used Ambulance

Decommissioned ambulances are easy to find for sale.

Add these sites to your browser’s favorites, so you can keep an eye on what’s new:

  • craigslist.org
  • commercialtrucktrader.com
  • ebay.com
  • ambulancedepot.com
  • eliteambulancesales.com
  • arrowambulances.com
  • pilipambulances.com
  • sivambulances.com
  • vciambulances.com
  • ambulancetrader.com
  • firetruckmall.com
  • firetrucksunlimited.com
  • fentonfire.com
  • govdeals.us.
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How to Choose an Ambulance to Convert Into a Camper

Ambulance camper
Photo credit: @hippiehospital

Once you find a few good current listings, it’s a good idea to compare them to your list of requirements, so you can stay objective.

You’ll need to consider:

  • Your budget
  • Year of build – ambulances tend to be decommissioned 5-7 years after production
  • Engine model (research which ones are more reliable)
  • Mileage
  • Duty classification – medium is best, so you can add lots of gear
  • CARB emission regulations in your state and where you want to travel to
  • Location of the vehicle
  • Box dimensions – they vary wildly
  • Box cutaway (type 1) vs cargo van model (type 2) vs box on cutaway van chassis (type 3).

On top of these factors, there may be some extra must-haves that are personal to you. For example, you may need a four-wheel drive, so you can go boondocking in the wild.

Before you go ahead and agree to a sale, make sure to get the truck inspected by a certified mechanic, so they can check what needs fixing. It’s a small expense that can save you a lot of pain down the road.

So, Are You Going to Get an Ambulance Camper?

A converted ambulance can make for a fantastic, spacious, and functional camper to live on the road. It’s quite expensive, but certainly more economical than other more popular vans of a similar size.

If you’re going to get a big vehicle and fit it with solar panels, bike racks, and a deck, it will hardly ever look stealthy anyway. 

Do you need even more space? Check out these fabulous skoolie conversions and have a look at these shuttle bus DIY rigs

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One Comment

  1. Robert Mangano says:

    Pictures of these would have been nice

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