14.06.2024

California man converts ambulance into mobile bachelor pad

Ian Dow decided to use the medical vehicle to make his journey after first breaking his heart, then his shoulder, in a subsequent motorbike accident.

An adventurer left with nothing after splitting with his fiancé has now converted an old ambulance into a campervan to travel the world.

Determined to overcome his misfortune, he then spent four months converting the ambulance into a mobile bachelor pad.

What ex-fiancé? Rejected Ian Dow, from California, decided to love an old ambulance instead

Action shot: The ambulance parked up in Central America after another epic drive

Now, Ian – who’s become an Instagram star with his pictures from locations around the world – said he loves his new-found freedom after four months on the road.

The 33-year-old, who originally hails from Newport Beach, California, added water tanks to the roof, a heated shower and a sink.

‘My fiancé broke up with me. I was left with nothing and needed a place to live,’ he says. ‘Prices for rent in Newport Beach CA are high so I started thinking and looking for alternative options.

‘I had a nasty fall on my motorcycle and had an epiphany while laying in the mud. I had seen a few ambulances for sale on eBay.

Emergency solution to being single: The sexed-up vehicle was converted over four months

Dedicated: Ian pictured constructing the fitted kitchen in his mobile ambulance van

Back in the day: Ian busy constructing the ambulance to rise above his relationship woes

Chilling out: Ian’s pet dog can be seen enjoying the soft furnishings inside the vehicle

Man power: Despite being afflicted with a broken shoulder, Ian managed to do the DIY alone

‘I needed something to save me from the situation I’d found myself in.

‘That night while nursing a busted shoulder I searched eBay and found a low priced ’94 Ford ambulance. I made a bid and won. Then realised I’d have to fly to Missouri to get it. That’s where it all began.’

The ambulance now has an astroturf lawn on its roof and a spot for his tent.

Ian – who is single and travels with his pal Dylan – has been to seven countries in the vehicle so far, including Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

He added: ‘I built a rack over the cab to hold my spare tires and my dingy. Inside I’ve added a foldout table, a cedar lined closet with self-closing drawers and a swivel on the passenger seat so it can flip around.’

Cool dude! Handsome Ian and his canine companion waste no time on former flames

Travelog: Ian’s been to seven countries so far, including Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica

In good company: The California native is also joined by his best friend, Dylan, on the trips

‘The kitchen is lined with white subway tiles and a bamboo surface for cutting on. I also added a cast iron on black glass two-burner stove top. On the right side of the kitchen there is a closing trash porthole so my garbage is stored outside of my living space.

‘I’ve also added a multi bed system that allows for a narrow, twin or queen size bed setup, all with three-in memory foam topped on my cushions.’

He added: ‘There are also some large drawers, a pantry, cleaning materials and storage under the sink, my refrigerator, storage for fishing equipment, ukuleles and a longboard surf board on the ceiling.

‘The walls and ceiling in the ambulance have been insulated heavily and covered with foam wrapped in vinyl for a nice easy-to-clean finish.’

Life on the open road: Driving through Mexico has been a core part of his latest adventure

Too cool: The eligible traveller added water tanks to the roof, a heated shower and a sink

Life’s a beach: After a long drive, the guys and the dog relax on the sands of Mexico

‘The floors are solid teak and the moulding I made myself out of an exotic wood called Pauduk. Every surface in the ambulance has been cleaned then covered by exotic hardwoods or nice materials. I’ve also added a bar that holds bottles of tequila most of the time.

‘One of the most important adds is the pull down big screens I have on the side and rear doors. Without them the trip would be miserable.

‘I park up and find a good spot where I won’t be bothered or bothering anybody.

‘I was planning a six-month trip but it’s looking more like 10 now. If I had the funds I wouldn’t stop.’

The locals are certainly impressed! Children in rural Mexico climb atop the van’s lawn roof

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