This 4x4 Ford E-450 Chinook Overland RV Started Life As An Ambulance

Illustration for article titled This 4x4 Ford E-450 Chinook Overland RV Started Life As An Ambulance
Photo: eBay

The RV world is chock full of weird stuff like a milk tanker built into a yacht or an airplane converted into a camper. Today’s find served a volunteer fire department in the Midwest before being converted into the ultimate Class B RV.

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This custom 2005 Ford E-450 for sale on eBay for $149,900, which started life as a rugged 4x4 ambulance, is a bit more special than the cookie-cutter travel trailers that you see parked at campgrounds across America. Now converted into an RV, it allows you to plant stakes just about anywhere.

According to the eBay ad, this E-450 Chinook was originally sold as a cab and chassis cutaway with an ambulance box. It’s equipped with a 6.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel engine and was taken to Quigley Motor Company for a four-wheel-drive conversion.

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Photo: eBay

It was retired in 2016 with only 12,000 miles on its odometer. In 2017, the owner of a custom fabrication shop bought and decided to turn it into a unique Class B RV. Now it’s living large as a camper that can blaze its own trails.

Class B RVs take full-size vans like the Ford E-Series and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and pack them with a living space. You get a camper that’s more agile than a Class C and far less expensive than a Class A. Some Class Bs, like this E-450, get made into incredible overlanding rigs.

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So how does an ambulance become a sleek RV? According to the ad, the builder picked up a 2004 Chinook Concourse Class B RV that shared an identical wheelbase to the ambulance chassis. The ad says that the Chinook was chosen because its monocoque fiberglass construction makes it a good platform for an off-road build. According to Tin Can Tourists, High quality construction is one of the traits that made Chinook a desirable nameplate.

The E-450's mechanicals were mated with the Chinook’s body, but the fabricator didn’t stop there. The 6.0-L Power Stroke under the hood is known for issues like eating injectors and stretching head studs. So the builder went ahead and had those common failure points addressed with new head studs, head gasket and injectors. Inside, the interior got a modern overhaul and features a queen-size fold-out bed, a full bathroom and a full kitchen.

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Some additional magic happens on the outside, like a 700-watt array of solar panels charging “Tesla style” batteries.

The seller says that with this setup you don’t even need a generator.

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Other changes include updating the front facia to that of the 2018 model year E-Series and even custom fabricated taillights from a Raptor.

The finished project looks like something that could come from a factory. The ad says that the builder invested hundreds of hours of work into the build, and I think it shows. The original Chinook brand died in 2005, and the name was revived in 2013 to be slapped onto Class B Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit RVs. This E-450 looks like something that the original Chinook could have built today.

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Now for the part that’s harder to swallow. The Buy It Now price on eBay is $149,900. That’s a decent chunk of change, but it’s actually a fair price compared to what other off-road Class B campers cost. RVs also tend to be built like crap, so I’d probably take my chances with this than any new one.

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H/T - Austin!

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

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WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4

Hey, I got a good idea, let’s build a vehicle that’s meant to be out miles into the wilderness and let’s also make sure that that vehicle’s engine has had multiple class action lawsuits brought against it for it’s legendary unreliability.

Oh yeah, let’s also charge $150,000 for it.

CP