Ian Dow/Caters News
Cailey Rizzo
October 05, 2017

Ian Dow was not having good luck.

After his fiancé broke off their engagement, Dow tried to buy a Sprinter van to travel around. The sale fell through.

And then Dow crashed his motorcycle.

That night, laying on his couch, Dow searched eBay for an ambulance vehicle. He located one, contacted the seller, flew to Missouri, and paid $2,800 for it. The 33-year-old then spent four months turning the ambulance van into one of the world’s coolest mobile homes.

"I built a rack over the cab to hold my spare tires and my dingy,” Dow told the Daily Mail. “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.”

There’s also room for a bed, a kitchenette, a pantry, a refrigerator, and several ukuleles.

But the pièce de résistance is a rooftop hangout, complete with Astroturf and an extendable umbrella.

From California to El Salvador, been really loving this ambulance! Tomorrow we'll cross two borders in one day on a quick hop through Honduras to Nicaragua. Back in 2009 I traveled with a backpack north from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Nicaragua by land and sea, and was hopping to make it all the way back to California by land. I ran out of time (and money) in Nica after my 18 month 50 country trip was forced to end. Lucky for me I was with a great travel buddy who spotted me money for a plane ticket home to surprise my family at Christmas. I arrived with $17 and bought a burger at the airport with the last of my money. I've always wanted to complete that land route and I new the ambulance was my vehicle to do it in. I bought this rig back in December from a charity called @wingsofhope.ngo then drove it cross country from St.Louis to California. I started to build her out and 5 months later she was done! I was joined by my friend Dylan @vagrantravel to drive her south on an epic trip to Central America where I'd finally complete the land route I intended to experience years ago. I'm happy to say the ambulance has been the perfect rig to make that day come. It's been a long beautiful journey and I appreciate all your interest and inquiries along the way 😁🚑 Nicaragua is finally in my sights once again. But the road doesn't end here! Wherever my southern end destination may be, it will only make a half way point to this journey as I will drive the rig back north with a more Caribbean theme. This six month trip is looking more like a years endeavor and I couldn't be happier about it 😁 Love and thanks to all the great friends we've met along the way @panamericanbus @wild__open__spaces @south_by_syncro Just to name a few. You guys is the shit! . . . #panamerican #overland #adventuremachine #elslavador #nicaragua #honduras #vantravel #vanlifetravels #overlander #wingsofhope #overlandtravel#homeohwheels#vanlifediaries #vanlifeideas #vanlifemovement#vanlifers#vanlifeexplorers#overlanding #overlandlife #campervan #camperlife #campers #traveler#travelstory#traveldream#tinyhome#adventurethatislife #keeponkeepinon

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Since completing the ambulance overhaul, Dow has traveled to seven countries in the van with his friend, Dylan, and his dog, Dino. They drove south through Baja and took the ferry to mainland Mexico.

Related: This Photogenic Ex-Marine Is Traveling the World in a Campervan

They then worked their way down the Pacific coastline, surfing and fishing. They’ve driven through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and are currently in Costa Rica.

Dow also travels with his motorcycle, and can drive off from the campsite to explore more whenever he wants. Dow insists that he is able to survive on very little and can work odd jobs to support himself.

“I have been on the move for 10 years now, and haven't had a steady job the whole time,” Dow told ABC News. “I once was an art director on a film, a set designer and fabricator, an artist manager, music producer, graphic designer, painter. Life on the road is surprisingly cheap and I manage to survive with very little funds.”

Dow plans to travel around in the van for at least another six months.

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