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Tiny House Built on a 1954 Goddess Firetruck: Self-Sufficient Wooden House-Truck

What would you do with a self-sufficient wooden house truck like the one featured here today?

Ivan Morison built a tiny house on the back of this decommissioned 1954 Goddess firetruck.

1970s House-Truck Movement

During the 1970s Roger Beck was one of the first pioneers of the house truck movement on the west coast of America.

He used them as a home during travels throughout the United States, according to his interview on Ivan Morison’s article Tales of Space and Time, where he interviews Roger.

According to Ivan’s article, “A Tale of Space and Time” he held a workshop in Eugene, Oregon, in January of 2007.

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1954 Goddess Firetruck Tiny House

Wooden House-truck from 1954 Army Firetruck
Photos Courtesy of Wig Worland

This house truck movement happened during the 70s because of folks’ discontentment with politics, war, and the economy, and today, the situation sounds awfully familiar…

Wooden House-truck from 1954 Army Firetruck Wooden House-truck from 1954 Army Firetruck Wooden House-truck from 1954 Army Firetruck: Interior Kitchen Area Wooden House-truck from 1954 Army Firetruck

These wonderful photos were taken by Wig Worland whose work you can find here and here.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like: Rob Scott’s House-Trucks and The Lovestruck in Essex and even more in our housetrucks section.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Susan
    December 3, 2011, 8:48 am

    Love that truck-home…TOO COOL!

    • December 3, 2011, 9:26 am

      I know, isn’t it awesome? Thanks Susan!

  • John Mauldin
    December 3, 2011, 8:53 am

    I thought your readers might like to know that they can buy surplus trucks that are heavy duty like the one in this story at the following two sites. I bought a 6×6 for almost nothing that was army surplus with low hours and miles. A steal. Check it out! No cost to look or buy.

    • December 3, 2011, 9:26 am

      Thanks, John, I’ll take a peak at that later..

  • Michele
    December 3, 2011, 9:55 am

    Terrific! Not only does it appeal based on my admiration for all things small, it embraces my wanderlust and is aesthetically pleasing as well. Well done!

    • December 3, 2011, 11:49 am

      Thanks Michele glad that you liked it!

  • naser
    December 3, 2011, 10:03 am

    hi alex

    this is very nice truke home looks like asmul abartment

    thank you

  • Emily
    December 3, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Hi Alex, I have been following the tiny house “movement” since the 70’s. Glad that there are so many forums out there to peruse. I have built one tiny trailer 6×16 and several sheds one which is 9×16 and I call camp. My first love was inspired by the book Rolling Homes by Jane Lidz,1979. Beautiful pictures and descriptions of west coast mobile dwellings.

    • December 3, 2011, 2:33 pm

      Thanks Emily, would love to see your tiny trailer and sheds. Rolling Homes book looks amazing, wish I could get my hands on a copy.

      • breid1903
        November 15, 2013, 11:15 am

        tried google and amazon alone has 37 copies for sale.

        peaceup billy

        • Alex Pino
          November 15, 2013, 1:02 pm

          Thanks for checking Billy!

  • alan
    December 3, 2011, 2:17 pm

    roger beck wrote one of my favorite books “some turtles have nice shells” highly recommended…

    • December 3, 2011, 2:34 pm

      Glad you mentioned that Alan I added a link to his book on Amazon below the post so anyone can go check it out. Thanks!

  • December 3, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this story and thankyou Wig for the photos. Another character build on wheels…

  • December 3, 2011, 9:11 pm

    Reminds me of one of my very favorite books from my impressionable teen years in the early seventies which was Rolling Homes: Handmade Houses on Wheels, by Jane Lidz.

    I don’t know why these things capture me so completely, but they do. I’m a fairly handy woman and I’m beginning to wonder if I should build one of these. I can’t live in one- my husband and I have put way too much money into a very static 1400 sq ft house installing a new metal roof (rain harvesting), solar water heater and 4.5Kw solar PV system, but I’m trying to convince a very outdoorsy buddy of mine who’s recently been laid off and planning on moving to expensive California that something like this would be affordable and right up her alley (she just doesn’t know it yet).

    I can’t help wanting one for my own though…

    • December 4, 2011, 11:43 am

      I feel you, Paula. I’m really happy in my 600 square foot apartment but I can’t help but want a tiny house on a trailer sometimes… I love where I live though! Thanks for stopping by, Paula! Glad you liked the house-truck. I think it’s awesome too. Hope your friend goes for it!

  • mtnme
    December 3, 2011, 10:02 pm

    It seems more spacious in the interior than it looks from the exterior.

    It says it’s self sufficient. Is there a bathroom somewhere in the scenario?

    • December 4, 2011, 7:00 am

      Not sure about bathroom, I wondered myself but haven’t found out yet

  • Athena
    December 3, 2011, 11:49 pm

    Hmmm….methinks this is like a Dr. Who’s Tardis; larger inside than the outside…*heh*^^

    • December 4, 2011, 7:00 am

      I had to look that up, hahaha

  • Mr. Sharkey
    December 9, 2011, 9:15 pm

    I think you have your wires crossed, Roger Beck did not build the housetruck pictured above, it was built by Ivan Morison, who interviewed Roger and posted such on his web site:

    http://www.morison.info(Original Link Expired: morison.info/talesofspaceandt.html)

    It’s a bit confusing because there is no introduction to the interview.

    As far as I know (and I know Roger well), he’s never been to NZ (although we would both like to visit), and never built a firetruck housetruck, either here in Oregon, USA or in NZ.

    • December 10, 2011, 6:37 am

      Thanks, Mr. Sharkey. Embarrassing but I’m glad you pointed it out, haha. I’ll fix up the article right now. Thanks again, very much!

    • December 10, 2011, 6:42 am

      I’m enjoying site right now, too, by the way 🙂

    • December 10, 2011, 6:42 am

      *your site

      • January 26, 2014, 6:49 pm

        Anyone know what’s happened to Sharkey and his site?

  • Tang
    January 16, 2012, 6:47 pm

    There is a Park Model RV Housing Trailer in Canada made out of shipping containers that can be a form of tiny home.


    • January 17, 2012, 2:08 pm

      Awesome! Tang- thanks so much for sharing. I’ll see about featuring this on a blog post soon so more people can learn about it.

  • Nate
    November 8, 2012, 5:09 pm

    Here’s a piece by Eugene Daily News on housetrucker Roger Beck’s life on the road:


  • Carl in SC
    December 30, 2012, 6:32 pm

    I love Roger Beck’s home built on a Goddes firetruck. The size seems perfect and the interior is so well done. Love the books storage shelving. Would love to see more like this here in southeastern U.S.

  • cyndi ann
    January 30, 2014, 11:49 am

    I really admired the fire truck home and the artistic lay-out, also the stained glass window , and it seems so spacious too, nice job you guys, thanks for sharing,,, sometimes I feel that I want to call them ‘Tiny Homes’, because they are to many a ‘Real’ home, 🙂

  • Janie Matthews
    April 30, 2014, 10:54 pm

    Dear Alex,
    I am Janie, I’m 12 years old, and I have a big dream. Being homeschooled, my mother tells me to find our true passion, and we both fantasize and daydream about if we could have our own tiny houses. But i’ve dreamed about a tiny house before it became popular. Seeing tiny sheds made me extremely excited and curious, and that’s when I asked for a tiny house of my own. Of course, mom could not help me, since I was very young, and she didn’t have time, which is understandable. But now, at the age that it’s close to highschool, turning 13, becoming a young woman, this is my dream. Seeing Mom and Dad struggle with bills and such makes me feel like growing up will be terrible, but knowing there’s a way to grow up and have a peaceful adulthood, is one of the most best feelings in the world. A discovery so perfect, it can’t be real!
    So, what I’m asking, is about some guidance. I would love to know how to succeed building my own tiny home on wheels, so I can live the dream I’ve wanted since I was small.
    Thank you for your time,

    • Alex
      May 1, 2014, 10:09 am

      Hi Janie,
      Sounds like you have great parents and you seem very smart for your age. I know what it’s like seeing Mom and Dad struggle with money. It sucks. But it’s okay. And it doesn’t mean you have to live that way. And it doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. Lucky for you you’re young so you can start designing and building your dream right now. The first way to start is by reading, designing, exploring, and reaching out to even more people who can help you with your dream. Have you sketched your designs on graph paper yet? By what age would you like to have our tiny home completed by? What will it look and feel like inside and out? Start, right now, by defining all of the details you can imagine about your dream tiny home. Then it’s time to break the entire project down into steps so you can make it real.

  • Filiberto Arteaga
    May 19, 2014, 5:01 am

    Hi alex. my name is Filiberto Arteaga you inspired me to build my own. tiny office becouse i rent a shop for my work’s . and I don’t have office for my customer’s
    Im sorry if I don’t tell you more. becouse I don’t speak to mach inglish
    thank you

    • Alex
      May 19, 2014, 11:26 am

      Hi Filiberto. Thank you I appreciate you sharing that! Would love to see photos (pictures) of your tiny office building that you built. You can send it to me at alex (at) tinyhousetalk (dot) com.

    • Marsha Cowan
      April 23, 2016, 11:22 am

      We would love to see pictures of your work…quiremos mucho a verlos pintas de su trabajado, por favor. Come es mi Espanol?

  • Carla
    June 13, 2014, 12:22 am

    Very interesting firetruck tiny house!
    FYI : For someone rarin’-to-go there are two old firetrucks at Pacific Salvage, Route 29, American Canyon, CA now (between Napa and Vallejo).
    One is painted yellow and may be able to be restored and added onto.
    The other one is pretty rusty but may be usable for a tiny house frame or towed to a permanent site for some other heavy duty purpose.

  • Lisa E.
    August 13, 2014, 12:32 pm

    I love a good house-truck and this one is very well done. (Just wonder about a bathroom facility.) Love all the books, wood and stained glass. Interesting vehicle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cab enclosed this way before. Is it stock or custom?

  • Debra VS
    April 22, 2015, 5:32 pm

    Love it! It had my vote with all of the books and wood!

  • Karen R
    April 22, 2015, 11:16 pm

    If it has a bathroom and is in New Zealand (gorgeous country – plan to go there if you haven’t already), I am ready to hit the road! I don’t mind driving on the left side . . . This is gasp-out-loud, drive-off-the-road-staring beautiful.

  • Susanne
    April 26, 2015, 6:51 pm

    Surprised I have not seen the woman’s name previously that wrote about rolling houses??? 🙂

  • David
    March 14, 2016, 1:44 pm

    Wow! Show me a nicer housetruck than this! Can you?

  • Marsha Cowan
    April 23, 2016, 11:19 am

    This has always been my “mostest” favorite “tiny house” of all, even though it is not a tiny house. It is sooooo beautiful, yet accommodating. I just love it. It is a work of art…

  • Erin P.
    April 23, 2016, 11:38 am

    I’m personally not diggin the blue, but that’s totally not important. Fantastic job! That inside completely rocks, I love it so much! Very inspiring for those of us planning to build soon……

  • Tari
    April 24, 2016, 9:18 pm

    Hi Janie
    You sound so much like me when I was your age! I had a simular deep desire to build my own home and since you ask for suggestions I’m going to share what I did and although the world isn’t as safe for young ladies now as it was when I did this (about 25 years ago) when I was 11 maybe you can find a safe way WITH YOUR PARENTS SUPERVISION to make this work for you as well as it has for me. PLEASE SAFETY FIRST!!!
    When I was 11 my town was having a huge building boom and near my home a new housing development was being built. With my parents permission, I introduced myself to all the on site contractors & sub-contractors. I explained how much I wanted to learn construction, exactly like you did in your message and asked if promised to stay out of their way I could stay and watch them work. I know they thought I’d be a pest & might not come back again but true to my word I was very quiet and as promised stayed out of their way. Eventually, they began letting me ‘fetch’ tools or water & I even volunteered to help them clean-up. They liked that a lot! It was NOT glamorous & I worked hard the entire summer.
    It didnt take long for all those men to kind of adopt me as the project mascot (there was no swearing or bad behavior by the men) because they saw how much I wanted to learn and they were actually teaching me as if I was an apprentice of sorts.
    I learned so much from those skilled craftsmen (at the time there were zero women) and have used those skills on remodeling and renovating my homes. Framing, plumbing, electrical, tile work, finish work, roofing painting… every aspect of construction!
    FYI… I worked, saved and bought my 1st home when I was 20, I got it dirt cheap because it was a real fixer-upper. Thanks to those craftsmen I did the work myself & when I ultimately sold the house I made a very, very nice profit.
    I know this is a very different time with dangers & liability and a whole plethora of reasons why 13 years old girls should NOT hang out with stereotypically rough contractors BUT IF WITH YOUR PARENTS HELP maybe you can find a way to spend supervised time with skilled craftsmen & women. The Internet is great but it can’t touch learning get first hand from the professionals. Good luck!!!


  • Patty
    April 2, 2017, 1:50 am

    I love how this is built out, with all the beautiful woodwork, and the books are a welcome addition. Curious, too, about the bathroom. I like the idea of a truck house.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 3, 2017, 8:15 am

      Yea I’m not sure about the bathroom. Not uncommon in these to just “go” wherever you are haha.

    April 2, 2017, 6:15 pm

    Because it was a fire truck they used, does this me it is fire proof…? Lmao…!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      April 3, 2017, 7:53 am


  • Tom Osterdock
    March 24, 2018, 11:53 am

    This house really has a great curb appeal. It presents itself fantastically. I really like this one where I have liked other trucks but not like this one. Firetruck hmmm, that has a great possibility. I will have to look into that.

  • Yvonne Bright
    September 6, 2022, 1:31 pm

    I’m in love with this mobile tiny house. The interior is awesome.

  • Tiny
    September 6, 2022, 3:58 pm

    I LUV that 1954 firetruck tiny house!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is absolutely gorgeous. My son & I would definitely live in it. I luv the window in the kitchen with it’s different colors. I just luv the entire interior, especially if there was a bathroom. I would also put up a TV on the wall. I really cry, because I don’t have 1 2 live in. Perfect craftmanship!!!!!!!!!!!!🙂! 🙂

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