Fire Truck – Preparing For The Conversion To A Camper

Spent the last two days finishing the strip out of the fire truck in preparation of for the conversion into a camper.

Last week I cut most of the metalwork out from the rear section, this week I have cleaned up all of the exposed metalwork, welded a few joins here and there are generally prepared things to accept the timber and insulation.

Under the front passenger seat was a box on rails unit, previously used for some fireman kit or other, probably just sandwiches I would think, this has now been relocated to the rear of the truck, just under the bed and opening onto the ‘camping side’ of the truck. ‘Camping Side’, well yes, if you have a continental style camper the door to use for camping is on the right hand side of the vehicle, so is the awning, this makes it easier to park up and face the same way as everyone else on the camp sites, not much of a problem but if space is tight you might find yourself facing ‘awning to awning’ with someone and that is not always good.

The floor at the rear had all kinds of corrosion from machinery, glue and other sealants on it so I cleaned it with a wire brush attached to an angle grinder and then removed any residue with some synthetic thinners (don’t use the two at the same time (health and safety tip)), then some warm soapy water to finish off, all nice and clean now.

One of the big jobs was to cut the bumper irons that supported the pump off, this was quite straight forwards if a little time consuming. First the two sections of bumper had to be removed, then all of the lighting and tow eye U bolts, this eventually revealed enough space for the 9″ grinder to do it’s work. Before cutting I cleaned the area with some degreaser and washed it down, this meant it was wet, so no sparks causing issues there. With the irons cut down to size and a little cleanup they bumper was sprayed black, now it needs to go back together. As the bumper was off I decided to look at the motor, it’s 3.7L, 19000kms and looks almost new.

The main bed frame has also been installed, it’s just a little longer than a UK double bed but the same width, about 35cm of the bed of the truck to allow for storage. Now I need to cut and prepare the plywood bed base with integral insulation and fix it to the frame, this completes the main bed build.

Next is lining out the rear with insulation and plywood, installing the 12v lights and 240v sockets, waiting for the arrival of the Rock ‘n’ Roll bed and the construction of the kitchen.

Fire Truck – Removing the Furniture

Day Two – the day started with the fire truck containing two rows of seats, a partition wall and a thin checker plate covered plywood floor. Much drilling, cutting and grinding revealed the amount of space that there really is inside. A lot of the aluminium is scrap but there will be a good deal of it reused here and there to build the camping interior.

Watch the progress here…

Fire Truck – Removing the Pump – Video

Work started last weekend on the fire truck, after much discussion it was decided that the pump needed to be removed for the MOT. Quite simple to remove, a few bolts and a couple of hoses, then the throttle cable that joins the main linkage, then remove the extra ‘bumper’ for the pump. This all leaves two large box sections that need to be removed with a grinder.

Inside the rear of the truck I have removed all of the screws, bolts and other fixings to then take out the racks, mounts and other metalwork that was once used to support the equipment. The floor is now free from any screws or bolts, just some steel uprights to remove and rework.

Take a look…