Ebay may be filled with trash that many turn into treasure, but one man has taken it a step further by converting an old ambulance into a gorgeous tiny home on wheels. Ian Dow purchased the ambulance in 2016 and promptly got to work customizing the space into a dream home built for adventure – one that even comes complete with a rooftop sundeck.
Unlike many bus and van conversions built on the owners’ dreams, Ian’s tiny home on wheels was built on pain. “I’d been searching for a van to convert and was blinded by the Sprinter fad,” Dow told ABC News. “After getting burned by a Craigslist seller — he backed out after I drove 12 hours to buy his Sprinter — I was depressed and I crashed my motorcycle. Then I had an epiphany. I was in pain and needed some emergency help. Sitting on the couch that night with a busted shoulder, I searched eBay for ambulances, found a cheap one, and even Google Earthed the charity listed as the seller, finding the ambulance parked right outside.”
The Newport Beach native purchased the old ambulance for $2,800 and began the renovating process by gutting most of the interior and retrofitting the old life-saver into a customized tiny home on wheels. To make efficient use of the space, he installed some seriously flexible features.
For starters, Dow installed beautiful teak floors that run the length of the living space. The subway-tiled kitchen is a space-saver, with built-in shelves and plenty of storage areas to avoid clutter. A collapsible hardwood table, used for eating or working, can be stowed when not in use. There’s even a cedar-lined closet for Dow’s clothing. The sofa folds out into a bed, and an additional wooden plank – stored in a closet – extends to create extra sleeping or lounging space.
Unique to the design is the former equipment closet located on the exterior, which Ian converted into an outdoor shower – perfect for enjoying incredible views while cleaning up after a long day of hiking or surfing. And, as if the beautiful interior weren’t enough, he added a sundeck on the ambulance’s roof, complete with an extendable umbrella.
Dow, Dino the dog and their friend, Dylan, have been traveling for the last few years in the converted home on wheels. You can follow their adventures on Instagram.
Images via Ian Dow