Marine & RVs

This Woman Lives Full-Time in a Converted U.S. Navy Ambulance Camper

These days, it seems just about anything on wheels can be converted into a camper van. More and more people are making the big decision to liquidate their property and belongings, take to the road, and start a new lifestyle. This woman lives full-time in a converted U.S. Navy Ford E-350 ambulance camper.

The window sticker on a new 2006 Ford E-350 Ford van | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Vans, pickups, school buses, and motorhomes are commonly seen as camper conversions. Ambulances aren’t seen as often, but the idea makes so much sense. It’s already on a truck or work van platform and designed to hold the weight. So why not turn it into a custom portable living space?

She bought the ambulance for under $10,000

The Exploring Alternatives YouTube channel gives us a quick tour of Amanda’s ambulance home. The camper conversion all started with a 2006 Ford E-350 ambulance. The former U.S. Navy emergency response vehicle sold for $10,000 CAD. That’s just a little over $8,000 according to Exchange-Rates.org.

When all was said and done in terms of the conversion, another $10,000 CAD for the materials and installation of the build. That means this complete home came in under $20,000 USD. It’s homey and tasteful. In fact, if I were to live in an old ambulance camper conversion I imagine I’d create something a lot like this one.

Amanda kept the build simple for her camper conversion

Although Amanda and her father paid close attention to detail, they kept things pretty simple. By keeping some of the electric components, cabinets, and storage space that already existed in the rear of the ambulance, the father-daughter duo managed to make it beautiful. They also maintained a functional arrangement for the Ford E-350 ambulance turned full-time house on wheels.

Consumption, waste, and sustainability are important to Amanda. By reusing cabinets, a fan, a reading light, and more from the old ambulance, she was able to remain mindful of the sustainability of her build and reduce waste. When you’re gutting something and starting over virtually from scratch, any sort of waste reduction is a big win.

the interior of the camper van with a view of the functional full kitchen
Amanda’s kitchen | Exploring Alternatives via YouTube

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Baking bread, living an active lifestyle, and working remotely

According to the YouTube video tour, Amanda says she had the idea to minimize her life so that she could take to van life and travel. The original plan was to delve into her newfound passion of baking. Amanda originally meant to travel from one bakery to another, learning from the pros and perfecting her craft.

Of course, the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns and regulations hindered that path. Not willing to give up on van life, however, Amanda took the road to pursue her love of the outdoors. Avid hiker, yogi, and lover of Mother Nature, she lives in her ambulance camper conversion solo and works remotely in order to keep up the lifestyle.

Amanda doing tree pose on the roof deck of her Ford E-350 ambulance camper van
Yoga on top of the Ford E-350 ambulance camper van | Exploring Alternatives via YouTube

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A former radio and marketing professional, Amanda now works doing voice-over recording for anything from instructional videos to audiobooks. Her ambulance isn’t just a home, it’s a recording booth as well. Between herself and her parents, Amanda made this ambulance a livable home and a workable office. And as soon as things are more open in Canada, she plans to begin her baking tour.