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Old 11-21-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
stainlesscycle OP
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ambulance for hauling bikes?

i've been looking for a better vehicle to haul 4 bikes to races. my current setup is dirt cheap and efficient for 3 bikes. i also have a truck and trailer setup that will easily haul 7-8 bikes. i am looking for something in the middle, creature comfort (i.e. i can sleep in it), ease of use and reliability.

i've looked at box trucks and step vans, box vans, etc.

then i came across this locally:
1998 chevy 6.5 turbo diesel, 4wd, auto trans, 65k miles, type 1 ambulance. this is on a ck3500 frame. $3000.00

i checked it out and seems like a decent vehicle, and i've already figured out how to get most of the stuff out of the back to make it fit 4 bikes (i would assume?)..


anyone run one of these as a bike hauler?

any titling issues in ohio for gvwr of 12000lb?
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stainlesscycle screwed with this post 11-21-2014 at 01:24 PM
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:51 PM   #2
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I have a sense that you aren't a squeamish sort of guy, but I know a guy that found a solid sheen of dried "fluids" under the floor of the ambulance he bought
65k seems low, but you know they were all WFO.


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Old 11-22-2014, 02:03 AM   #3
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i don't have pics of the ambulance, but this is the exact same model.

http://us.browdermetals.com/cgi-bin/md/M10027/s3.pl


in the back i can take the interior out on the driver side up to the front edge of the jump seat. - on the passanger side all of it comes out to the front of the box. i will stilll have the 2 external boxes in the front driver side.

it should fit 4 bikes i would think. - interior it's approx 7'6 wide inside by 11' long.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:21 AM   #4
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Ambulances are great vehicles for camping and racing. It is gonna be tight to fit 4 bikes in there but then there will not be any room for gear, pop up tent, cooking equipment, etc...

A better way to go is to make it hold 2 bikes and keep a lot of the storage inside. Use a small 2 bike trailer for the other 2 bikes or make a really heavy duty rear rack that can hold 2 bikes (the suspension on the van will handle that).
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:30 AM   #5
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Ambulances are great vehicles for camping and racing. It is gonna be tight to fit 4 bikes in there but then there will not be any room for gear, pop up tent, cooking equipment, etc...
trying to avoid a trailer - i have considered 3 bikes inside, and 1 on a bumper rail.... i have sworn off pop up tents. i was considering an rv type awning...


any chance i will get better than 10 mpg on it?
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:36 AM   #6
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I love diesels, but check out some forums for that GM power train. I'm not saying it is or isn't problematic -- I know nothing about that particular vehicle. As you likely know, diesels are incredibly durable and torquey, but can be expensive to repair/maintain. If you're only using it a few weekends/year, it might not be worth the extra expense of owning a diesel.

Again, probably not telling you anything you don't know... just thought I'd mention it.

Look like an awesome vehicle.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stainlesscycle View Post
trying to avoid a trailer - i have considered 3 bikes inside, and 1 on a bumper rail.... i have sworn off pop up tents. i was considering an rv type awning...


any chance i will get better than 10 mpg on it?

I would plan on two on a bumper carrier just to free up space inside.

I don't blame you for not wanting to pull a trailer. A small trailer is a pain in the ass behind a big vehicle like that, you can't see it until it is doing something it should not be doing.

MPG will depend on you and your right foot. Keep it to the speed limit and don't get in a hurry, I bet you could get close to 20mpg on a road trip. In town driving will probably be in the 12mpg range.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvpierce View Post
I love diesels, but check out some forums for that GM power train. I'm not saying it is or isn't problematic -- I know nothing about that particular vehicle. As you likely know, diesels are incredibly durable and torquey, but can be expensive to repair/maintain. If you're only using it a few weekends/year, it might not be worth the extra expense of owning a diesel.

Again, probably not telling you anything you don't know... just thought I'd mention it.

Look like an awesome vehicle.
I feel the same way. Love/hate of diesel. I did not drive my last one enough (7.3L Excursion). If it is going to be a weekend/race vehicle, I would recommend having an indoor place to store it.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvpierce View Post
I love diesels, but check out some forums for that GM power train. I'm not saying it is or isn't problematic -- I know nothing about that particular vehicle. As you likely know, diesels are incredibly durable and torquey, but can be expensive to repair/maintain. If you're only using it a few weekends/year, it might not be worth the extra expense of owning a diesel.
i do 20-25+ weekends a year, average 300-800 miles round trip. so easily 10-20k miles a year..

i've checked out as much as i can about that motor - it appears the pmd is the biggest issue. don't know much else about it.
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stainlesscycle screwed with this post 11-22-2014 at 06:49 AM
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
I feel the same way. Love/hate of diesel. I did not drive my last one enough (7.3L Excursion). If it is going to be a weekend/race vehicle, I would recommend having an indoor place to store it.
no indoor storage for this one - i might be able to find indoor storage over the winter....
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:07 AM   #11
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Is this local to us? (Morgantown)

Check the frame very well, and the cab mounts for rust.
That engine isn't the best diesel ever built, but the chassis is good.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:12 AM   #12
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no indoor storage for this one - i might be able to find indoor storage over the winter....
That is where a box trailer is nice. Your daily driver gets driven, well, daily. It will be in good shape and the unknown issues will not pop up 200 miles from home. Sorry. I would love to have an ambulance also. It is another motor and electrical system to maintain.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:41 AM   #13
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Is this local to us? (Morgantown)

Check the frame very well, and the cab mounts for rust.
That engine isn't the best diesel ever built, but the chassis is good.
yes, local to us. vehicle sat on site at charles town race track for the last few years. a relative of a friend is a used/new ambulance dealer. came as a trade in on a newer one.... there's probably 30 of them at his lot... he showed me 3 in my price range, and steered me away from some others, that had issues apparently...... so i think he's just a clearing house for them, gets stuck with lots of trade ins. he did have an awesome early 70's/late 60's ? one, that was way bigger that was set up as a mobile operations vehicle - had a big onan generator in it. i was really all over that one, but realistically, that one would take more balls than brains to run...... i'll get pics if i go back over there..
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:44 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
That is where a box trailer is nice. Your daily driver gets driven, well, daily. It will be in good shape and the unknown issues will not pop up 200 miles from home. Sorry. I would love to have an ambulance also. It is another motor and electrical system to maintain.
yes, i agree, but i already have 2 trailers, and don't need another :)

just trying to be all in one self enclosed. i'll be selling an older truck off, and will have no problem driving this ambo around once in a while to see what issues it's got. i had considered step vans, but they suck for log distances. and box trucks will have mostly the same issues this ambulance will have.... 16" tires on ambulance is a big plus to me versus 19.5" tires most box trucks have. i know the box vans have 16" tires... plus 4wd ambulance is a big plus, i've seen so many stuck vehicles at the races, and am not interested in joining that club.

i have until late february to get this set up and reliable...
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:45 AM   #15
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There are several ambulance "RV" builds on this forum. Although most are aiming for an RV endproduct...the various builds offer quite a bit of info that may assist you.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/index.php
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