This is Mike’s take on how he came to be the proud owner of the truck that we all affectionately call the campulance. More work has taken place since this was written
(check out the most recent pictures) and the truck is steadily becoming a credit to both Mike and Linda. Personally I love the functionality of this truck but I was most amused when, during a green lane section of a tour,I got a worried sounding call from Linda asking me to stop, I asked if they had broken down and Linda replied,
“no my crockery has just bounced out of the cupboard!”
At the overland show in 2015 I was looking at campers, (we were “roughing” it in the caravan) as we seem to do mainly weekends away with the one or two longer trips away a camper made more sense, I made the suggestion to Linda, two weeks later she came up with the idea that a camper would be a good idea,
Within a week I had bought a demobbed ambulance from Witham’s, a 130 300TDi engine, the first date into service was 13/12/1997 KY 91 AA. I had it delivered by a mate (ME trailers) to a mate RD Landrover, with instructions to check it over fit a cambelt etc. Hmm its 24v where do I find a 24v starter in the wilds of god knows where?? Can you convert it back to 12v? Rob said no problem and off we went. This may seem odd to most people but I didn’t think just how much stuff needed swapping, not just the starter and alternator, but wiper motor, heater fan, screenwash pump, glow plugs and relays as well as all the lights just for starters.
Lots of parcels were delivered; I’m on first name terms with all the local couriers’ drivers now. Anyway finally all was done and it sailed through an MOT.
Lots of planning and sketches of layouts, I even ended up doing a CAD (cardboard aided description) to explain my plan to Linda, a scale box with scale bed, units etc. We spent 3 days stripping the stretchers and gear out of the back, to say its all ally there must be 300kg in there, when I weigh it all in I can confirm.
Looking at the prices of fittings to kit it out, I took the easy way out and bought a water damaged caravan on EBay, it was only 60 miles away, easy to tow back over the Pennines, hmm about 4 miles from home, I heard what I assumed was a wheel bearing on the van, ok it’s a twin axle whets the worst that can happen? As I pulled up on the drive Linda commented that both NS tyres were smoking and shredded, oops.
The van is now mostly stripped and bits are trial fitted in the rear of the camper, the CAD has gone out of the window and it’s a freestyle exercise. We now have a couple of walls carpeted and the seats in place, which will make a bed, the units for the hob & sink on one side and the other side will house the fridge (decided to buy a Waeco compressor fridge) together with a small cupboard and a set of drawers, and of course now the worktops don’t fit so replacements to be sourced.
Getting there slowly