Nfld. & Labrador

Converted ambulance to take couple to South America

A couple from the west coast of Newfoundland have quit their daily grind, and are getting ready to hit the road for a journey to South America.
A couple from the west coast will be heading to South American in an ambulance converted to a camper 3:19

A couple from the west coast of Newfoundland has quit the daily grind, and is getting ready to hit the road for a journey to South America.

Robbie and Kristen Hickey converted an old ambulance into a camper van, and will be spending the next eight months driving to the most southern point in the Americas.

Kristen Hickey says she and her husband were able to sell a lot of items to get ready for their trip, and says it's easier to get rid of unnecessary belongings than people think. (CBC)

Kristen Hickey said they've been steadily downsizing and selling items to get ready for their journey.

"There's a lot more storage than we initially thought we were going to have and it's pretty comfortable … it has everything that we need," she said.

"We've read a lot of blogs, travel blogs, from other people who say that it is doable and that kind of inspired us, and we did cut back on a lot, we did sell a lot of things that we realized, as we were going through the process, weren't really necessary."

The van is equipped with solar panels on the roof that provide power to three batteries, which power every-day gear like a refrigerator and other household items.

Rambo ready to roll

Robbie Hickey said they've nicknamed the van Rambo.

"It kind of started off with just tearing stuff out, things that we didn't need, we just tried to simplify it as much as possible so we took everything out of the van, brought it to the dump, and then we figured out what the plan was, figured out exactly what we needed for the trip."

Robbie Hickey says their converted ambulance, nicknamed Rambo, may be small, but it's been equipped with everything they need for an eight-month journey. (CBC)

Hickey said they spent a lot of time planning out how to fit everything they needed into the converted ambulance, including sleeping quarters and a water system.

"Once we had everything planned out we started buying things, and eventually when we got it we just started putting it all together, and here we are today," he said.

They'll be driving southwest through the U.S., crossing into Mexico through Texas and driving all the way to Panama.

From there, the van will be shipped to Colombia, where the Hickeys will fly to meet it and pick up their driving adventure to Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world, before heading back home.