Ambulance as a Bug Out Vehicle?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Motomom34, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I saw an old ambulance in traffic and it looked like the folks were living in it. After much thought, I am wondering if it an old retired ambulance may be a good bug out vehicle.


    Runs on diesel
    Roomy- can accommodate a few people sleeping
    Cabinets plus a counter
    Outside locking storage areas
    Lights- if in a traffic jam; turn on the lights and the sheep will get out of the way
    Looks easy to keep clean
    Add a trailer hitch and put on a cargo basket to carry extra stuff.
    Good lighting inside- plus outlets

    I do not know much about ambulances because I haven’t been in one in years but I am curious about the electrical part. Are there separate batteries for power used inside? Can it be converted to solar? Or hooked to a generator?

    From what I have read on the internet but not sure if all is true
    Though well maintained, has been abused (not driven like you would your car)
    Electrical could be an issue
    Read 12 mpg but also read 40 mpg

    A used ambulance is much cheaper than a used camper/RV. Seems less luxury but more functional. I like the thought of a smaller vehicle that will fit our needs and be easy to drive.

  2. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Trust me they are not getting any where near 20mpg.
  3. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    There is a strong aftermarket for "dark coaches" so an inexpensive ambulance might be hard to find.

    Ambulances are usually well-maintained because one that breaks down on a run opens the ambulance company to the risk of a major lawsuit for negligence.

    Typically, when a civilian buys an ambulance, all the cop-like lights have to come off, whether working or not. Putting orange lenses on them might get you by, but the siren has to go, too.

    There's no law against having outside speakers, though, and you could always get a CD of siren sounds.

    Most ambulances have a relatively low ground clearance, except the larger truck or van-based types.

    The biggest problem, I think, with an ambulance is that after the SHTF, anything that looks like it has, might have, or ever had drugs in it will suddenly become a major focus of interest.

    My thoughts along the BOV line would be a plain white van with magnetic signs like "Daddy-Doo Home Diaper Service --
    We'll Get the Poop Out So You Don't Have To! -- Mobile Laundry & Delivery Service- We Never Close -- Low Rates -- Call 1-800-593-BABY Day or Nite". If you pull a trailer, have it loaded with tricked-out washing machines, all of which are just locking shells over quality storage containers,

    Another good one might be Ajax Protective Services -- Guard Dogs -- Security Cameras -- Custom Fences -- Call 1-800-359-BARK.

    Anything creative. The Apocalypse should be fun.
    tacmotusn, Alf60, Ganado and 6 others like this.
  4. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    A better set up are the Sprinter Vans, those actuall vet food fuel economy, and are very well built! Plenty of room, and you will be able to set it up the way you want it. Generic white paint, and like posted above zones that people might not want any thing to do with. I would have a set made up along the lines of Bio hazard gitter ridder of'er! Or moble hazmat mitigation services! Then something saying asbestos containment unit!
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Biological disposal service... upload_2018-3-29_18-29-47.
  6. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I guess it depends on where you are Bugging out to.... One of the BEST, I ever saw was a Korean War Vintage Army Ambulance, converted over into a Commune Hauler.... Its was built on a Weapons Carrier Chassis, had 6 Wheel Drive, All Enclosed Box & Cab, and a Nice Six Cyl Diesel Engine.... 5000# PTO Winch on the Front, and Locking Hubs on the Front Wheels, and the Rear Set of the Rear Wheels, so it could Go, Two Wheel, Four Wheel, or Six Wheel Drive, as Needed., And with 20" Wheels, had enough Ground Clearance to go just about ANYWHERE...Oh how I wish I owned that Rig... It was used for an mobil Operational Base, at the Satsop Rock Festival in Washington State in the mid 60'...
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Pros, often replaced in excellent condition due to need to be certified or such. Cons, parts are expensive, specialized and often fairly difficult to get even now. Local garage maintains them for our volunteer ambulance service and they are electrical nightmares even without an EMP and their weight and being built as a large van for mobility and access creates some interesting suspension problems, especially with potholes in New Hampshire and they are total hogs on icy roads. That and their 2 wheel drive limit them to fairly good roads. Think a good 4 wheel drive pickup with a camper or a 4 wheel drive box truck would be much more practical. Anyone that has ever used a two wheel drive tractor with a bucket loader finds out very quickly that you do not need 4 wheel drive to move the tractor, the drive to the front wheels just has to let you climb out of the ruts created in soft ground. If they push the dirt in front of them instead, they bog down at once. There is a reason Jerry always talks about his survival vehicles, he has figured out the difference between talk and act. Liked his Rufus PAWV and it made me think. That and loading logs, manure, and dirt on the farm with a tractor and plowing snow with a four wheel drive pickup will very quickly make you reorganize your priorities for dependable off road transportation. Now 4 wheeler's and Rokon, etc are a whole different story.
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    My choice too.
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  9. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I do not think a used ambulance is any better or worse than any other type of truck. You do get a lot of storage space and easy access, but you can get that anywhere.

    They are typically well maintained and probably have not been beat to death.

    Whether or not you can keep the lights and sirens depends on where you live. In my state, you can keep all the lights/sirens on the ambulance but cannot use them in traffic. The only rule hard here is any markings identifying the vehicle as an ambulance must be removed. Some contractors use them as service trucks.
  10. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    FWIW, had a Mil Friend who purchased a Weapons Carrier in SC, He Drove it to Cali. 45MPH All day long!
    Tully Mars, Seepalaces and sec_monkey like this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    How about a hearse? Gas eater, usually well kept, some space to sleep and store stuff. Not so big that parking it in the most remote area of the mall parking lot is required.

    Got any advice for moto?
    Seepalaces and sec_monkey like this.
  12. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    The very best rigs availavle right now are the Stewart & Stevenson LMTV
    2.5 ton trucks. The Gov. Is selling off a chit load of them cheap. These are super tough, and reliable as any thing you can find. And those CAT diesels are unstoppable. Off road performance is quite exceptional, and parts are availavle through quite a network. These do not require any thing special to drive on the road and are easy as a car to licence and insure! There are also a whole world is accessories to choose from, and many sources to check. The big concern is tires, tires go for under $400 a piece Brand new!!! I have tons of experience with these trucks, and have nothing but good to say about them! Best 5k I ever spend, just don' try and get the wife to ride to town with ya in it!
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I could get interested in one of those. Especially the 1089 version if the price was right and close enough to drive home. A 1078 would be OK, too. Had my eye on a 5T 6X6 last year, but the price was OUT OF SIGHT even tho' it was a fully restored cargo version. (Not to mention 6 hours at 45 mph max on the interstates.)
    Tully Mars, sec_monkey and Ura-Ki like this.
  14. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I had one, a 6x6 and it would cruise happily along at 75 on the freeways. Picked it up outside Salt Lake City and drove it home up the mountains, got 12 miles per gallon doing it, and even passed several R.V.s holding up traffic! Mine had the 3126 CAT engine and 6 speed auto, and ran like a top! I should prolly get another one with the standard cargo bed with sides and roof bows, and get the insulated canvass top! While your at it, pick up a full set of brand new tires and stash them. Better yet, do that and score one of the matching trailers as well. NOW you have a serious bug rig!
    sec_monkey likes this.
  15. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    And these Modern Day ExArmy Rigs will munch the PotMetal Cars made today, into scrap Metal, should you find the need to run over a few While Bugging out... ....
    Ura-Ki, Tully Mars and sec_monkey like this.
  16. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Actually I wouldn't mind picking up an MRAP with the heavier 9 ton axles and bigger CAT and 8 speed. I could always get the cab from U.D. truck and have a super duper rough and ready truck!
  17. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Some of you may have been around long enough to remember my old Hearse. It is a street-rod now.
    tacmotusn, Ganado, Motomom34 and 3 others like this.
  18. ochit

    ochit Monkey+

    an old short 1/2 size bus no computer just turn signals headlights dual tractor batteries solar panels up top keep it old school power plant standard shift. if you think you need traction have some snow chains a winch is always good.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  19. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

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  20. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

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