Thanks for allowing me to join the group. My vehicle and my intended use is a little different than those of you who are using your converted EMS vehicle as an RV.
I am an Amateur Radio operator, I have a callsign issued to me via the FCC. While Amateur Radio aka Ham Radio is a hobby for most of us, we do have a number of us who seek out the extra training with FEMA, Homeland Security, Amateur Radio Emergency Services, NOAA via a civilian program called SKYWARN.
There is much more to all the training available but I'll keep that brief and the overall synapses is that I intend on using my 1985 Ford Econoline XL F-350 that was originally configured for a Television Station KNOE in West Monroe Louisiana. I am also a 20 year Industrial Electrician/ Electronics technician so the Geek Squad stuff is my forte.
It has 4 racks mounted just past the midpoint of the rear box, that once held Audio Video equipment, most of which has been removed and will be replaced with various radio equipment. The rear of the box has i wide door and was primarily used for storage of cables and various broadcast television equipment. I plan on retrofitting this area with a fold up bed so that I can use it for storage and if I happen to be deployed for a long period of time, there will be a place to get some rest. It also has a 6.5KW Onan Genset, an onboard Air compressor, not sure of the brand. and a Willis Burrs 40' pneumatic tower that can be raised and lowed via the control panel located at the side door. There is also a rotor that is usually mounted on the mast, i have the original rotor, but the story is they hit a Rail Road crossing sign because they did not fully lower the tower when driving it to a location.
I will be adding an RV style fridge, and a Microwave, any cooking I may do would be via various camping gear I already own that would be stored or placed into the van upon needing to travel to the effected area to help with communications. At this point I am primarily focused on getting it radio ready, make sure the engine and electrical components are going to suit my needs and upgrade all the lighting to LED to reduce both heat and power consumption.
Even though it is a 1985 model it was stored when not in use in a parking garage, and only has 37k miles on it so I was fortunate for this old of a vehicle to be in as good of shape as this one is. There is a little rust on the rain rail on the passenger side, but from what I am told, Fords were notorious to rust in this location. I plan on grinding down the rust, priming the metal and putting a coat of paint in the bad area, then using caulk to seal it so this does not happen again, or at least for a few years.
I'll be focusing also on the Batteries used, it has a place for two batteries in the engine compartment and it looks like they were ran in parallel, only one of the two batteries is still installed. There are several solenoids and relays that I'll have to follow and see what their purpose is. I think I will go with one cranking battery, and let the other battery be for the rear box. Later I may even put some solar panels on top, and build a battery bank in the rear storage area.
I look forward to interacting with everyone, I'm sure I will have plenty of questions the farther I get into this. The Van itself was retrofitted and customized by Television Engineering Corporation which has since went out of business about 8 years ago. I wish I had a wiring schematic which would make much of this work much easier.
So that's my story, my project and my intended use for my old Broadcasting Van.