There is no shortage of overlanding camper ideas out there. We've seen trucks, pick-ups, and vans transformed into homes away from home. There are megabuck conversions but also cheap and creative builds floating around.
Today's overlander fits in the latter category. Nick and Reychel from Canada gave an ambulance a second lease in life by transforming it into a budget camper. The build time for turning the Chevy Express ambulance into a mobile home took about three months, says the couple. And if you include the purchase price of the van, the total cost of the conversion was about $12,000. If you consider the price of new campervans, a hair over $ 10,000 is a bargain.
So what are the living conditions like in the repurposed ambulance? Nick admits that it doesn't have the most headroom since the box at the back is less than six feet tall. It doesn't have a shower on board, and the potable water supply is limited. There are compromises, but it's a rather cozy place to stay.
For those who worked around ambulances before, you could say Nick and Reychel did a fine job renovating the interior. The limited space meant the couple meant to find space-saving storage inside. The couch doubles as a closet for clothes, and the shelves are slim to maximize the area. Keeping the van's living amenities going is a pair of solar panels.
About a year ago, the couple lived in the decommissioned ambulance for ten months. The ambulance also crossed into the US several times, reaching the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest within the last couple of years. They documented their journey on their Youtube channel and highlighted the highs and lows of budget van life. Not only that, but they also filmed their build, and you might find some inspiration for your budget bugout vehicle.