Yasha and Juergen of Dare2Go prefer to travel the slower backroads, but they insist on doing it in style. The couple from Germany and Australia have been traveling around the Americas since 2006, but began driving their Mercedes-Benz 1019 fire engine (named Berta after her license plate) in 2014. Berta was made in a Mercedes-Benz factory in 1981 and served the fire department of Helmstedt, Germany.
Berta is a former fire engine from Germany.
After Berta languished for a few decades, Juergen and Yasha found her and began the restoration of the truck by adding an Army shelter container, built-in furniture, solar panels, a small kitchen with a sink and oven, a bathroom with a Thetford composting toilet, and a scissor ladder. The building process took about a year and the couple did everything themselves with basic tools. Berta weighs just over 17,000 lb. and can take on South American mountains with grace.
Berta’s fire equipment was replaced with an empty Army shelter.
Yasha and Juergen improved the interior with a stylish dinette, kitchen and a bed.
The Thetford portable toilet rolls out from its cabinet hiding spot.
Berta also has an impressive amount of storage for clothing, jerry cans of water and fuel, bicycles, tools, cables and connectors and even a wine rack area near the water tank.
Berta has plenty of storage, including a wine rack!
The couple have taken Berta through South America and currently live full-time in Chile. They have also visited places like the expat-friendly Salta, high-altitude Quito, artistic Oaxaca in Mexico, Bogota, Colombia, and one of my favorite cities, Valparaiso, Chile, with its fantastic street art.
Berta and her owners have traveled through the high mountains of South America.
Their website, Dare2Go, includes regular travel logs, great photos, reviews, recipes, budget tips, and an impressive chart of all the campsites they’ve stayed at. The chart includes each spot along with GPS coordinates, price, description and reviews.
The couple make money on the road by teaching English, freelance work, and through donations on their website. The couple also have a Dare2Go shop where they sell photos of their journeys, calendars and a book titled, “Arid Landscapes of South America.”
Photos courtesy of Dare2Go