The Life Boat Station Project Ambulance, Neena.

The Life Boat Station Project was founded by Jack Lowe.  His passion for photography and his love of the RNLI lead Jack to embark on a mission to tour the country photographing the RNLI volunteers and the amazing boats they use to save so many lives.

The vehicle Jack uses to travel around is a decommissioned NHS ambulance called Neena.  At RV Installations we work closely with Dometic. They were keen to support The Life Boat Station Project, as a manufacturer of leisure products.  Dometic decided to give Neena an upgrade.

Dometic asked us to help with the project by deciding which of their products could be installed on an ambulance. 

It was agreed that an awning would be very useful to keep the weather off the side of the ambulance. Jack is often handling sensitive camera equipment therefore having an additional covered area outside the door would assist him greatly.  Motorhome awnings like the Dometic PW1500, that we were requested to install on Neena, are designed to be installed on a Motorhomes not an ambulance!  In order to install the awning we first had to design and build a bespoke bracket to which the awning could be mounted.  A design we quickly jotted down on a scrap piece of paper and a foam template was made. Then with the help of Coastal Engineering, based in Ilfracombe, a full length stainless steel bracket was manufactured.  The bracket was bonded and riveted to Neena and the awning was securely attached to the side.

The back of Neena is where Jack develops the films taken during the day.  It can get quite warm in there during the summer months so Dometic decided that a FreshJet 2200 air conditioner would bring welcome relief when the weather was hot.  In order to install this unit we had to cut a 400 x 400mm hole in Neena’s roof.  It turns out that Neena was a particularly well built ambulance and the aluminium supports in her roof were 300mm apart, so we had to remove a section of one of these.  We constructed a wooden frame to support the roof and installed the Dometic FJ2200 unit

When parked by the edge of a slipway a 240v shore power supply is rarely easy to find.  It would have been a bit mean to install a Dometic air conditioning unit that he would not be able to use unless he was plugged into a mains supply!  When this was pointed out, Dometic were more than happy to provide a DC-kit.  This kit consists of an inverter and a large split charge relay.  We designed all the cable runs and installed the system to allow the air conditioner to be used while the engine is running.

This was an interesting project and we were very happy to assist.  We wish Jack all the best as he still has a very large number of lifeboat stations to visit.