DIY 4x4 Ambulance Overland Camper

  • Published on:  4/3/2021
  • 0:10 About Autarkey EV
    2:10 The Ford F-450 Chassis
    3:22 The Ford 6.0 Diesel
    4:37 Bumper, winch and lighting
    5:20 Suspension
    6:31 Custom roof rack
    6:53 Roof vent, Solar, Skylight
    7:39 Continentalk MPT Tires
    8:45 Exterior Storage
    14:34 Interior
    14:48 Kitchen
    17:40 Interior Height
    18:09 Dinette
    21:12 Shower
    22:12 Toilet
    22:40 Cab Passthrough
    23:50 Fridge
    24:22 Bed
    27:38 Outdoor Ethics
    29:37 Outro

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    For this project Zach started with a Ford F450 Single Cab Ambulance chassis running the Ford 6.0 Diesel. The first set of upgrades necessary were a full "bulletproffing." If you're not familiar with these diesels, the 6.0 is notorious for some critical failures. Once corrected through a process called bulletproofing, the engine is quite powerful and reliable. They installed performance heads and a new turbo and did an EGR delete. The work was performed by McDiesel Repair in Reno, NV ( and Desert Diesel Repair in Phoenix, AZ ( With these repairs and tuning completed they have had no issues with the engine. Zach says it has no shortage of power and can pull up to 14 MPG curising, and 9 when towing their samurai.

    In the front the Ford has am ARM Winch bumper holding a Smittybilt 17,500# winch. For lighting the truck has Hella Rallye lights, Baja Designs s2 Pros and a Ridig 40 " Light bar.


    The former ambulance body has a number of sturdy compartment doors built in. Zach has repurposed the compartments to cart accessories, gear and equipment. Unlike a regular RV, the doors are reinforced and insulated and provide access to the water tanks, power systems and batteries of the house. To keep the ground clearance high, Zach has mounted the grey water and fresh water tanks above the frame inside these compartments. This not only keeps them out of the rocks and grime, but ensures that they won't freeze in cold weather.

    The water is heated by an Isotemp water heater that heats with engine coolant or an electric coil. The air is heated with an Espar D2 diesel heater. This is a tiny little unit that runs off it's own diesel tank and provides ample heat to the interior. The heater, as well as the ambient heat in the house keeps the Battle Born Lithium batteries warm.

    For suspension, the truck has upgraded Atlas leaf springs in the front to effect a lift to fir the 41 inch Continental MPT tires. The fenders are cut out and fitted with Bushwacker flares to make room. In the read, the ambulance air suspension was replaced with custom Atlas springs as well Damping is by custom valved Icon 2 inch shocks. To stabilize this 12,500 truck, he has Hellwig swaybars front and rear.

    To run the Continental tires in a single wheel configuration, Zach got custom wheels from First Attack Engineering.


    Inside is a surprisingly spaceous room with baltic birch cabinetry with marine latches, a stainless steel sink, an induction cook top in the kitchen. An Isotemp fridge keeps the food cold. The dinette is upholstered in green vinyl as is the mattress of the king size bed. The dinette has a marine table top that hides two clothes drawers under the bed. The dinette seats hide storage in the backs and bottoms for additional clothing or gear.

    The bathroom is a really smart design. The house as a fairly big pass through into the cab of the truck and Zach made great use of that space for the shower. A stainless steel pan lines for floor here and sliding vinyl doors from Stoett Industries hold in the water from the stainless shower fixture. Off to the side is a Thetford toilet below an exhaust fan with integrated LED lighting.

    Ford F450 Chassis with 6.0 Diesel
    ARB Winch bumper [PAID LINK]
    HELLA H12560061 Rallye 4000 [PAID LINK]
    Baja Designs S2 Pro lights [PAID LINK]
    Smittybilt 17,500 Winch: [PAID LINK]
    Bushwacker Flares: [PAID LINK]
    Contintental MPT 355/80 R20:
    custom wheel by First Attack Engineering [PAID LINK]
    Icon 2.0 shocks with custom valving [PAID LINK]
    custom hellwig sway bars [PAID LINK]
    Rigid 40"light bar: [PAID LINK]
    MaxTrax Recovery boards: [PAID LINK]
    4.5 Gallon Rotopax: [PAID LINK]

    McDiesel Repair, Reno, NV:
    Desert Diesel Repair:
    Atlas Suspension: