Traveling across the country requires a vehicle, and for Toby Carleton, that vehicle is a repurposed ambulance built off of a 1998 Ford E-350.

The Modern Nomad’s Repurposed Ambulance

The original mileage was nearly 69,000, and he added more than 50,000 miles in two years alone, reaching a distance now upwards of 125,000 miles. That’s a lot of traveling, and with that comes a lot of breakdowns and numerous repairs.

Traveling two years, he’s needed to repair ball joints and the suspension, starter, alternator and, worst yet, the transmission.

But all is not doom and gloom. Carleton’s ambulance is a fully functional home away from home. It has served him well day in and day out.

Carleton “MacGyvered” the interior to fill all his daily and nighttime needs, from a folding bed and table to a running sink with a 5-gallon tank to a heater and stove when the weather turns cold. He also keeps a 2,000-watt inverter generator, has a 310mAh gel cell battery, 200-watt solar panels and, last but not least, laminate flooring for a touch of style under foot.

Carleton’s van may be an amalgamation of style, comfort and necessity, but for him, it’s home.

Watch the complete tour of Carleton’s nomad van in the video above.

Read our entire Q&A with Toby in the winter 2019 issue of Survivor’s Edge Magazine, on sale Oct. 2. Grab your copy at

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