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Old 03-29-2016, 12:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by wantahertzdonut View Post
That's pretty close to what I have in mind. Fold down beds, just essential food storage and prep equipment, and room for a bike or two. Don't want a pop top, but would like a slightly raised roof. Tall doors would be nice too but would that compromise the structural integrity? I should probably draw plans and put it in the Ground Up Build section.
Sounds like finding an old ambulance to convert would be right up your alley! They usually have a raised hard (fiberglass) roof, perhaps with door extensions at the top. Or maybe a hotel shuttle, which have similar mods.

Logic would dictate that any van with top door extensions had the internal roof beams cut out, which would reduce body rigidity. Maybe they put a replacement beam higher up under the extended top to make up for it. There's some homebuilds here from ambulances, they could tell you better than I ever could.

I'm betting that an ambulance would have been better maintained over its life than a hotel shuttle. Just saying...

Some ambulances, such as those from snowy or rugged states, might also have a 4WD conversion already done. Hotel shuttles are most likely all RWD only, I would think.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by photographix View Post
Sounds like finding an old ambulance to convert would be right up your alley! They usually have a raised hard (fiberglass) roof, perhaps with door extensions at the top. Or maybe a hotel shuttle, which have similar mods.

Logic would dictate that any van with top door extensions had the internal roof beams cut out, which would reduce body rigidity. Maybe they put a replacement beam higher up under the extended top to make up for it. There's some homebuilds here from ambulances, they could tell you better than I ever could.

I'm betting that an ambulance would have been better maintained over its life than a hotel shuttle. Just saying...

Some ambulances, such as those from snowy or rugged states, might also have a 4WD conversion already done. Hotel shuttles are most likely all RWD only, I would think.
I was thinking wheelchair van minus the lift but yougave me a good idea with looking for 4x4 ambulances. Will also look into the roof structure further. I thought a roll bar could be a good reinforcement (and may be a good idea anyway for a trail vehicle) but after reviewing the pics from that other van posted above, the high doors might not be necessary.
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