First-timers !

The Gooburgs

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Hi everyone,

After a hectic weekend of looking around and umming and ahing, my partner and I have taken the plunge and purchased this old passenger ambulance as the basis for our first attempt at self-build ! We got it home and then thought 'What the hell have we done !' (in a good way !)

We hope to steal as many ideas and inspiration as we can from you all :) and have fun learning along the way.

First question is this :-
- We would really like to keep the interior ambulance look, but the donor van only has a couple of overhead lockers. We've searched the net to find anyone breaking ambulances so we can buy some more white lockers/cupboards, but without success. Does anyone know where we can find some ?

Looking forward to conversing with you all.

Side view as collected.jpg
 

BigStevie

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Location
Highlands
Hi and welcome to the forum. Well done on buying your van, no option now other than to build! Lots of help here from top end to cheapo conversions.
Plan, plan, plan some more and then do a bit more planning. Decide what is non negotiable, it’s about needs and wants.
A member here has recently converted a passenger ambulance, have a rake through some old threads. As I mentioned above, it comes down to what you need and of course how much budget you’ve got.

Finding a scrap caravan can be useful to some self builders, full of appliances and light weight materials.
There’s a guy on eBay that breaks ambulances, he advertises the mechanical and electrical parts rather than the body fittings. If you search sprinter ambulance parts you’ll maybe find some breakers.

It’s a fun process, but do make sure you have your plan before you start. Things like insulation and wiring need to be in place before you start fitting furniture.
Consider where you’ll get power from, batteries, solar, split charge, inverter etc etc.

Main thing is to enjoy the build. You can build something that looks like a professional van, something that’s purely from your imagination or anything in between, that’s the beauty of self building.

Lastly. Lots of good how to videos on YouTube. Get planning and work out what you want from your conversion. Good luck and don’t be afraid to ask any questions, however daft. We’re good at daft here (well, I am!).

Stevie
 

roadliner

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Location
Peak District, Derbyshire
Welcome from me I am good at daft as well but I like to think I have some sound knowledge as well so any questions we are here to help. Looks like a good base vehicle so enjoy the build. Regards Dave.
 

Sandbagsid

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2019
And a welcome from me as well, it’s fun to do a self built also frustrating at times and if you get everything right first time then you can join Menca as your iq will be well up the 180 . The fun part is think how did I forget to put that cable in or why did we put that there. Vans are never really finished that’s what I find ya keep adding bits you didn’t know you needed at the time. Good luck with it and hopefully you will Ha
 

The Gooburgs

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Thanks for your replies everyone - gives me enouragement already ! I am now worried I have 'build' on the brain as I go to sleep planning how this or that will work, wake up at 4am with an idea, and spend all day researching everything else !

The van is an ex-passenger ambulance, Renault Master 120 DCi LWB. She is from 2008 and done 195000 miles. She drives nicely and even has a fairly powerful engine and good brakes ! (Two things I didn't have in my 1992 Fiat Hymer 6 berth ). Oh, and she is registered as a Private Light Goods vehicle, so we can drive it straight away and not wait to do all the work and get DVLA to change the details).

My partner and I are loving the planning stage and working out what we want and why. It's a great thing to have a hobby that you can both be involved with.
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Oh, and she is registered as a Private Light Goods vehicle, so we can drive it straight away and not wait to do all the work and get DVLA to change the details).

But you wont be driving it or using it as PLGV? you will be using it as a campervan? There is another person on the forum trying to re-register an ex welfare bus (maybe it was a PLGV) if this is different from 'goods' or 'light goods' and not an ambulance - DVLA say don't even bother to send an application in? and there are differences in speed limits for vans (goods vehicle) to campers? confusing isn't it. I did one years ago and it was significantly harder than today to get classified as change of use - had to have mine inspected by Vosa. and was very restrictive. But it seems DVLA has lost its tiny mind more middle managers - me thinks.
 

tacr2man

Active Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Location
Near J10 M40
Your plg ex ambulance can be driven as you say , it wont be classed as a motorcaravan until it can comply with the interior fit out as a DVLA specified Mo Caravan . It is now irrelevant from what is recorded on the V5 as body type . You now self declare for MOT purposes , and for your ins co . There is a slight possibility that if you get the exterior appearance to comply with DVLA requirements that it might be changed to body type motorcaravan , but even if you get body type van with windows DVLA say that you can still self declare for MOT and other purposes. Up until such time that interior is compliant you will be a class 7 mot , after its compliant even without DVLA body change on V5 you can have class 4 mot .
 

The Gooburgs

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Yes, tacr2man, that was my understanding. As it is, I have insured it with Adrian Flux as a PLG van undergoing conversion to a motorhome, so it's all above board.
 

the thinker

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
just had an motorcaravan Mercedes mot'd class 4 as it is classified as hgv motorcaravan, but had to go back home and produce the v5C before the tester carried it out. Just last month. I have never trusted insurance companies so get them to acknowledge on the policy that you are using it as a motorcaravan. not simply put modifications. remember there are different speed laws (or so is my inderstanding) of commercial vehicles and motorcaravans. and if you are over you will get a stiffer fine and treatment as a PLG/commercial vehicle.
 
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