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  • Writer's pictureTina Lambert

Road Travel in a DIY Converted Ambulance

Michelle and Chris have been living and traveling in a 2003 E450 Ambulance that they DIY renovated to meet their specific wants and needs and named Tanya. Originally, the ambulance was purchased for use as an electrical truck for work, but they decided, after watching tons of videos of the builds of others, that it would make a ‘cool camper!’ It’s a solid, heavy duty, strong camper that they have chosen to be their tiny home on wheels. After 2 renovations and a conversion to 4x4 for greater opportunities for off road camping, they are more than satisfied with Tanya. After all the expenses, purchases and conversions, they have invested around $40,000, a small price to pay to get exactly what you want and be able to bring it with you while traveling.

Tons of Toy Storage Makes Life on the Road More Fun

Specifics of their build include adding the queen-size bed with underbed storage, originally they had a bench seat that they had to manually put down every night. They pulled out some of the bulky cabinets and added a window to allow in more ambient light. The addition of a three burner propane stove and oven made the kitchen more homey! They DIY’d sealed pine countertops and put in two inch insulation throughout as they prefer cold weather camping and spend a lot of time in the snow. Their hot water system self-circulates and prevents freezing!

Road Travel Can Have All the Perks of Home

Tanya has rows of dimmable LED lights, a flip down RV TV that they can watch comfortably in bed, a pull down screen door to let in summer breezes and closets behind the swivel front seats. One of the most impressive and innovative items that they carry is their pop up hot tub. They have a plywood frame, a blue tarp, and an immersion heater that gives them a heavenly hot tub wherever they choose to set it up, even in the middle of a rolling stream!

Building Your Own Rig Increases Vanlife Satisfaction

In addition to their amazing interior renovations, Tanya has a smooth, sleek, gray exterior with tons of outside storage. They have plenty of power on board and an antennae for wifi reception.

According to Michelle, “My advice for building out an ambulance camper, if you have one, is to just pack up some camping stuff, hit the road for a week, see what you need!”

Chris adds, “take it slow, we did so much research on forums, online, just googling a lot….this is probably an amalgamation of like 50 other things that we saw that we kind of liked and tweaked and put in here!”

Overall, vanlife has been great for Chris and Michelle and they are so thankful that they have the opportunity to live life on the road! They are enjoying every second of it and know it will only get better!

Watch their Tiny Home Tour here:

Find them on instagram @ tanyatheambulance

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