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Monday, July 30, 2012

Rigged for living



I’ve been puttering around with my van lately -the ambulance to motor home conversion. It’s been set up for camping for some weeks now, but there’s always refinements. I bolted a microwave into place so it doesn’t move around on rough roads. Just built a nice little step for getting in. The side door sits 22 inches off the ground, so a step is handy and a lot safer.

Driving it all the time has been the best way to discover what’s missing. Keeping a lot of water of water and disposable cups has been wonder on our hot days. The 12 volt cooler works well. It’s been really handy for when I discover a good food deal when we are a ways from home. Keeps those water bottles nice and cool too.

There are some canned foods, dry goods, and energy bars stored away. That’s proven really handy and saved me money that would have gone to restaurants. Every time I do a big grocery order, I look out for good storable, easily prepared travel foods. Slowly building up the supplies.
Yesterday I stocked it with some books and a spare pair of reading glasses. You never know when you’ll be stuck waiting around for something. One day while killing time, it occurred to me that having my little pack guitar, a Washburn Rover, would have been nice. That’s definitely coming along next time I go anywhere.

There’s a fishing pole on board, but I need more tackle. Last winter someone liberated most of my fishing tackle out of my shed by the lake. The shed is hard to get to by land, except in the winter when the lake is frozen. All someone has to do is walk across it. Fishing tackle is too expensive to replace all at once.

Since it was an ambulance, it comes with its very own locking drug locker. That’s where my wife keeps the rum because . . . you know . . . rum!

Of course it has our sleeping bags and all that stuff. I should get into the habit of keeping a change of clothes in the rig.

This is a great rig for camping, but it’s a pretty fine bug out vehicle. There something nice about a bug out vehicle where you just hop in and go. Better yet, if for some reason we can’t make it home, we won’t be homeless.

-Sixbears

27 comments:

  1. Always make sure to do your daily checklist:

    Rum, fishing pole, reading material...

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  2. Considering my geographical location - I am in the heart of what a couple hundred years ago was Bourbon County - I say, "Yo ho ho and a bottle of Bourbon".

    Your fishing tackle reminded me of an incident when I was 5. My father was a tool maker. He kept a fifth of good whiskey in the bottom rag drawer of a rather large tool box.

    One day I saw him relocating a 'possum he'd caught into a grass sack. When asked, he said he was taking it to work. It wasn't till years later I thought to ask him why in hell he was taking a 'possum to work.

    Seems someone was stealing his whiskey so he temporarily added the 'possum. The next day his rag drawer was open, rags were scattered about, the possum was gone, and the whiskey was there, never to be touched again.

    Perhaps you need the northern equivalent of a 'possum?

    BriarPatch

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    Replies
    1. I've a bottle of Knob Creek heading for my kit later today.

      Your dad's a clever man. Loved the story.

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  3. I agree with the reading material - when stuck in place for whatever reason, something to pass the time is far more enjoyable. Would maybe a book reader like a Kindle or Nook make more sense ? Although you are tied to electricity, you could store more materials on it and save space at the same time. Just a thought.

    A question to pose to you. If you could choose only one mode of transportation you already own, which would you choose - the sailboat or ambulance ? Or maybe another ? I'm just curious, I've been keeping up on your blog about progress on the work for their build and it sounds like you are having a blast !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've a Sony book reader and I use it, but I also like the feel of paper. It's also nice to have some books to share with people.

      Sailboat or ambulance? Tough one. The ambulance is more practical. However, sailing is more elegant. I just love the feeling of moving under sail. Glad I don't have to choose.

      I am having a blast, thanks!

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    2. Henry David Thoreau wrote in the book (titled after that pond he lived by) that he could outdistance any traveler with his legs. Simply put, someone traveling around the world by train would need to work many hours of labor to pay for their train ticket. And that would require more work to pay for their clothes. And that would require..

      By the time that fella was done, Henry D showed how he would have to abandon his monied travel companion so that he (Henry) could get where he was going.

      So I vote legs when it comes right down to it!

      BriarPatch

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    3. Legs are good. HDT had a point and was an inspiration to mee. However, I do like having a few creature comforts.

      Delete
  4. Sounds like you are ready to travel some. I bet you can't wait until Fall so you can head for Florida.

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    Replies
    1. I'm heading to the Maine Coast tomorrow.

      Delete
  5. Sailing is wonderful, I'm sure, but I'd vote for the ambulance. Carries more which means you could stay put in it longer. Would love to see some interior pictures of your ambulance. There's one for sale not far from us and I've suggested we look at it!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe I'll take some photos of the interior when we are on a camping trip.

      One of the toughest jobs is taking all the old medical decals off. Those things were a bear to remove.

      Delete
  6. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)July 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Don't forget to get one of those solar powered staked patio lights - a day in the sun and you get light all night long!

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  7. I was wondering what you'd do with our former Narc box cabinet. A fine place for Rum and other fine adult beverages

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    Replies
    1. Maybe I should put my coffee in there too. Keep all the drugs together.

      Delete
  8. You know me...a sack with a firearm and ammo. Nice rig.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. We don't have to list everything we are taking along, now do we?

      Delete
  9. Why is the rum gone? Well you got that covered. For me that would be Jim Beam and my cigars that need to be locked up. The little 12 volt cooler is good to go too. Sounds like a sweet ride.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, got it covered. This is the funnest vehicle I've ever owned.

      Delete
  10. I'm looking a ford ambulance with a 7.3. Its on a truck F-450 instead of a van. The amount of work to do converting it to something useful looks right intimidating. The electronics alone could drive me crazy. Its clean, runs with decent tires. They are asking 4k and I can't decide if I want to put that much into something I'll probably never "finish". I could see me spending another 2k on it not including any mechanical trouble that comes up. How hard was it to get the "box" converted to something you can camp in?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paid $1600 for the ambulance. Another $500 to get it road legal, mostly tires and wheel alignment. $250 to convert it to run on waste veggie oil.

      I have less than $100 on the interior. Used scrap plywood and other lumber to build a table that converts into a bed. Had a futon matress not doing anything.

      Kept the captain's chair and the jump seats.

      Installed a microwave in one of the existing shelves. Added a 12 v cooler.

      Kept all the cool shelves and compartments. Pretty low budget, but comfortable. I'll take some photos on our camping trip.

      Delete
  11. Yep, nothing like a packed and ready to go BOV, especially one that can run on WVO. Kinda makes me miss my "escape pod". But I can load up the truck and be at the farmstead in an hour and a half. "Wonderdawg" makes for a good cargo hauler and auxiliary fuel supply...

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    Replies
    1. I plan on leaving it stocked up when we get back from camping.

      Wonderdawg should give you a fair bit of capacity. Like the backup fuel supply too. As long as the trailer springs can take it.

      Delete
  12. Worked on ambulances during my time as a radio tech. Concur that they would make an excellent mobile dweling.

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