Thursday, July 26, 2012

LandRover Ambulance as campervan?

Purpose built ambulance is a natural candidate for campervan conversion. It has the interior space designed to carry people on stretcher. Most have standing room for paramedics to perform their duty. Most come with dual alternators to power the emergency equipments. Military spec ambulance are even more interesting due to their need to have some sort of off-road capabilities. In one of previous post, I have written about another Landrover conversion which is based on a Luton van body, however a factory built body is always better because it is properly designed engineered to match the chassis.

Recently a Landrover based ambulance is spotted at It was previously operated by the Malaysian Red Crescent as an civilian ambulance, from the look of the photo posted on the site,  it looks like the Defender 127 ambulance type. Which means it is is factory built ambulance body. While the photo is sketchy, I managed to find other photos of the same body type. This would be an ideal candidate for an overlander expedition camper with minimal modification! While it may not offer standing room in it's interior, it is sufficiently roomy to accommodate living space for two person.

This is the posted picture of the Defender 127 on sale on

This is a sample picture of the same type.

The rear gate.

The interior has room for four on stretchers, but it will very cramped. There is really no proper standing room, except for people with compact frame.

For those of us who own a Land Rover with standard wagon body type, it is still possible to build a cosy camper without any modification to the original body structure.  Below is another example of how a standard Landy can transformed into a very livable campervan.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Malaysian campervan/motorhome builder

Despite growing interest in campervan lifestyle in Malaysia, there isn't any local manufacturers who specialized in building campervan or motorhome for the retail market. Of the few campervans in Malaysia, most are fully imported units, Malaysia Motorhome used to have a fleet which was custom built for their rental business, unfortunately the company has since winded up years ago. There are also a few one-off and some DIY campers here and there. If you want to buy a new campervan that is built and fully supported locally, you are out of luck.

However this is about to change, a local company called Wing Motorhome has recently embarked on an effort to build and sell a locally designed series production campervan model. The company is a brainchild of a gentlemen who preferred to be simply addressed as Ah Wing. I made a visit to his workshop where he is building his campervan model based on Chana light pickup truck chassis. In his workshop the very first unit is already in an advanced stage of construction. The body frame, panels, interior fittings are all fabricated in-house. The windows, air vent and doors are imported and they are specially made for cameprvan application. The end result is a very professional product. It is worth noting that Wing Motorhome can customize their basic design as per customer's requirement.The unit in construction is already booked by a customer who want to use it as a mobile office. According to Wing Motorhome, this is their entry level model which is designed to sleep 4 persons, with a kitchenette, shower/toilet, washing basin, water tank with pressure sensitive electric pump, AC and DC electric power circuit, an AC powered aircon. The base Chana pickup has a 1.5 litre petrol engine, manual transmission. A completed unit is expected to cost RM 60-70K depending on the level of interior fittings.

Wing Motorhome is blazing a trail, they have plan to launch middle size and large size models in the future. For Malaysians who want to get into the motorhome life style, this has to be one of the most exciting development in local campervan industry. You can contact Wing Motorhome at +60102266456.

The JPJ approved engineering plan of Wing Motorhome entry level campervan model

The campervan started life as a bare ladder chassis

The perimeter frame takes shape

Installation of floor board

The frame is fleshed out with aluminum panels

Interior fittings begin to take shape. This is going to be the kitchenette

Cabinets and stowage compartments

The window has built in, retractable netting and blind combination. With the plexiglass panel opened, you can choose between a blind or a netting, or a combination half blind and half netting.

The door actually consist of and outer and inner doors. The outer frame is a panel door with window. The inner door is actually a grill door with netting for maximum ventilation. This is very important in the tropical climate of Malaysia

The external lockable stowage compartment, ideal for a small generator

The window from inside

Besides the over-cab version shown above, there is also a van body camper based on a Jin Bei van in prototype stage. According to Wing Motorhome, the interior layout of this prototype is not optimum and there will be a revised design to be released in the future.
The base vehicle is Jin Bei van, the body remain standard

The prototype's kitchenette and washing basin is located behind the driver's seat.

A close up of the the kitchenette

A disadvantage of this location is that it make access from driver's cab to the rear cabin diffcult

The seats are standard seats repositioned, however the final design will feature a custom made seats which can be converted into bed.