This Overland RV Started Life As An Off-Road Fire Rescue Vehicle

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If you asked me to name the perfect motorhome, I’d tell you it’s the Chinook Concourse from the ’90s and early ’00s. This small RV built on a robust Ford E-Series chassis with a one-piece fiberglass shell and just enough room for two is the best combination of size and utility, in my humble opinion. A nice example from late in the model run can still go for over $50,000 on the used market, and they hold up remarkably well. But Chinook, the manufacturer, went belly up before the big financial crisis in 2008 and we never got to see how the Concourse would have evolved. 

We now have a pretty good idea thanks to this custom “Chinook” we found for sale on eBay. While it may look similar to a Concourse fresh from the factory, even bearing a striking resemblance to the rare 4×4 off-road Baja model the company sold for a short time, it’s completely custom from the ground up.

2005 Ford E-Series Van Chinook For Sale
2005 Ford E-Series Van Chinook For Sale

The seller explains this 2005 Ford E-450 with a 6.0-liter diesel started out life as an ambulance that received a 4×4 conversion from famed aftermarket outfitter Quigley and was used by a volunteer fire rescue company in the Midwest. It retired from fire fighting around 2016 with only 12,000 miles and was picked up by a gentleman who owned a custom fabrication shop and… you can see where this is going.

This guy purchased an example of my beloved Chinook Concourse and proceeded to marry its living quarters with the E-450’s off-road mechanicals. The seller, who appears not to be the same person who did the fabrication, claims that hundreds of hours of customization and over a year of work went into creating this amazing off-road “Chinook.” 

2005 Ford E-Series Van Chinook For Sale
2005 Ford E-Series Van Chinook For Sale
2005 Ford E-Series Van Chinook For Sale

The list of customizations and upgrades is too long to go over here, but we’ll share the highlights. The entire interior has been renovated with new appliances and a slick grey and white color palette. The flooring is now a durable and easy-to-clean rubber base mat instead of carpet. The generator was removed and replaced with 700 watts(!) of solar on the roof and 400ah of lithium-ion batteries.

As you may have noticed, the front end was replaced with the newer, blocky look of a modern 2018 Econoline, and hanging off the back is a custom aluminum ladder, spare tire holder, and rack for extra storage. The engine was also upgraded to bullet proof levels of power and durability, and the suspension now features modern FOX components and an air bag leveling system. Rounding out the features list is a complete LED exterior lighting set up and chunky Goodyear Wrangler tires. 

I’m inclined to put my house up for sale and move into this RV as soon as I type the last period here, but you can beat me to it if you’ve got $150,000 for the asking price. Actually, it’s $149,990, but who’s counting at that point? The price tag may seem steep, but compared to a brand new motorhome of similar size and capability, it’s not at all. The new Winnebago Ekko, for instance, has an MSRP over $160,000. And while you’re not going to get a factory warranty or the latest safety tech with this “Chinook,” but you will be the only one on Earth driving one like it. 

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