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Artist Builds Custom ’99 Sterling House Truck Now For Sale

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Michael Ostaski is an artist who started his career by traveling in his original house truck while going to events and sharing his art with people.

Today I’m showing you Michael’s 1999 Sterling House Truck because it’s still available (for sale) and he’s lowering the price to $70,000 (USD).

I’m also here to bring up another idea… Have you ever thought of building your tiny house right onto the frame of a diesel truck like this one? Why would you or why wouldn’t you? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

Artist Builds Custom ’99 Sterling House Truck Now For Sale


Images © Michael Ostaski

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Images © Michael Ostaski

You might remember this house truck from this post and you can also see Ostaski’s other (older) truck home. If you haven’t, or you just want to re-visit them, check out the links below:

How to Buy This Custom House Truck from Michael Ostaski

Call Michael at 5zero5-45nine-2two72 or Wayne at 50five-7three0-52six0.
* (the confusing formatting is to prevent spam texts and phone calls to Michael and Wayne’s phone numbers)

Would You Build Your Tiny Home onto a Truck?

Why or why not? Let’s talk about it in the comments below. 🙂

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You can share this ’99 Sterling House Truck for sale with your friends and family for free using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks.

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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!
{ 72 comments… add one }
  • May 11, 2015, 11:56 am

    Thanks you Alex, you guys ROCK-!! I have seen so many beautiful tiny homes because of your news letters.. lots of great people and great ideas, Thanks again Michael “O”

    • Alex
      May 12, 2015, 8:16 am

      You’re welcome Michael! 🙂

  • Vanessa Berryman
    May 11, 2015, 12:03 pm

    How much are you selling your truck for. Where are based out of.

    • Heather
      May 15, 2015, 8:51 pm

      The asking price is 70,000$ so I’m guessing the truck itself is about half that, probably around 40,000. It’s a big truck. Hopefully that helps.

  • Dean
    May 11, 2015, 12:06 pm

    Beautiful home! If I were doing a national tour with a rock band, I’d want to rent that one!
    Back in the early 90’s I worked as a mechanic for a large moving truck company.
    The biggest truck we had featured a 26′ box on an International frame with a 7.3L diesel engine and an Eaton 5-speed.
    I always thought that would be a nice platform for a custom motor coach…Michael shows us just how nice the reality of that notion can be.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful home with us!

  • Ms.Stacey
    May 11, 2015, 12:20 pm

    That is beautiful. I mean really beautiful. I pray that God will find a way to to get me into a beautiful home like this.

  • Marsha Cowan
    May 11, 2015, 1:09 pm

    This house is amazing…didn’t see enough of it, though. Beautiful exterior and interior finishes. Love the sky window down the middle (I think that is what it was). Very pretty and spacious. I thought it would cost more…very good price.

  • May 11, 2015, 1:13 pm

    Beautiful home, I purchased a 3/4 ton pick up and 5th wheel. A very nice combination, but your 32′ home on wheels is stunning. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Diane
    May 11, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Just beautiful! Love it all – exterior and interior!!

  • Elle
    May 11, 2015, 1:36 pm

    Wow, “artist” is an understatement! This is exquisite! We didn’t get to see the living/sitting area but at 32′ I’m sure there’s plenty of it. I think building onto a working truck is a great idea. I would do it only if I was certain I could afford the ongoing maintenance on the truck.

    I hope this little mansion on wheels rolls through a town near me! I’d pay to see the interior of this masterpiece up close and in person. What an awesome piece of eye candy. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for posting this.

  • Cahow
    May 11, 2015, 1:38 pm

    Sheer perfection. I am humbled before such genius. 😀

  • Andrea
    May 11, 2015, 1:41 pm

    Thank you for the creativity! We see so much wood in tiny homes. Its cool when other elements are added. My cars break down a lot so i would want my tiny home seperate from the vehicle.

  • Gary Moeller
    May 11, 2015, 2:04 pm

    I like it a lot. However, I can’t do it since I have to park my trailers and such remotely, which means I am renting space.

  • William Charlebois
    May 11, 2015, 2:26 pm

    Stunningly beautiful! Wish I had the money to buy it!

  • Sandra Turley
    May 11, 2015, 3:35 pm

    I would love to build my home on a truck like this. I think it would be more stable than a trailer, however, how would the fuel comparison add up? Is this cheaper than a truck pulling a trailer, more expensive, or about the same?

    • Grey Wolf
      May 12, 2015, 1:52 am

      The fuel cost is always a bit higher on a built on than a towed trailer, however the difference is not that big. I would tow my everyday vehicle behind the truck and park the diesel in a rv park or camp ground and use the everyday vehicle for general running around.

  • Gayle
    May 11, 2015, 4:09 pm

    How much is the cost?

    • Heather
      May 15, 2015, 8:53 pm

      The article says he lowered the price to 70,000$

  • Michael
    May 11, 2015, 5:01 pm

    For me its too much cluttered although I have to admit that the interior woodwork is beautiful but tastes varying.

  • deb
    May 11, 2015, 5:40 pm

    Now this is what I call design , and one of a kind ,beautiful workmanship!!!I hope mine will come out somewhere like this . have to figure out how to incorporate a leather sewing business into a third of the 32′ trailer that I will have and also been thinking how come no one has come up with a dropped axle /s so that the loft can have standing room??? ty deb

  • Lera
    May 11, 2015, 8:41 pm

    wow, this is amazingly beautiful. I would love to build on a truck like that and travel around. But I wonder about the expense of gas to move that amount of weight.
    I noticed he used tile in the shower and I had been wondering if that was possible in a home that is “on wheels”. I’ve never seen tile used in other thow’s. I had assumed that it was because the movement and vibration might cause them to crack or something. Does anyone know if that is an issue?

    • Cate
      October 30, 2015, 4:26 pm

      Tile? No problem! Had tile shower floor in my housetruck for 30 yrs. with NO problem.

  • Comet
    May 11, 2015, 9:09 pm

    Can’t comment on the mileage etc BUT if you were to go try and buy a bog standard 5th wheel or a bumper pull or even a SMALL Class A RV (drive it yourself) or a Class C (cab over bunk like this) they would cost MUCH more than this; for a basic 5th wheel and the vehicle to TOW it with would be probably DOUBLE this cost. And you would be looking at something made from multiple plastics and panels of sheet aluminum etc. I don’t know how often you would move this–but it looks like you COULD if you wanted to–but it looks SOOOO much nicer than an RV made in some factory. And as if you could REPAIR the structure easily with basic wood working tools and knowledge–something you cannot do with a tin can RV! The trucks alone that CAN haul the large 5th wheels go for $50,000- and up==WAY UP. And you would be looking at anywheres from $50,000 to $100,000 and UP for the RV part. That is of course new. You are also very limited to finishes and colors and materials; lay outs; (altho you can get them custom built) appliances etc and the reports I keep reading seem to leave a LOT to be desired from a LOT of different makers and their quality fit and finish. Those small “van” looking drive it yourself ones that are fairly new to the market? With the Mercedes engine and chassis? Those run $123,000—for something not much bigger than I hauled my kids around in for sports etc!

    This is a beautiful job!!!!

    • October 29, 2015, 9:55 pm

      You are correct in your observations about the relative cost of this truck. People who say it’s too expensive might be right about it being out of *their* price range, but it certainly isn’t overpriced when compared to other live-aboard vehicles. In fact, it’s a little on the low side.
      I think it’s beautiful. I’m building my own house-truck, and it’s still very much in the rough stage, but I hope it will be at least cute. No way will it compare to this….no way.


      • tinybetsi
        October 30, 2015, 12:22 am

        Had to giggle, I read your name as coffee without liver…

        I’m only in dream stage, but if I were in the market to buy such a thow, this would be it. Absolutely. I even want the kitchen in just a tiny house.

      • Eric
        January 30, 2016, 6:39 pm

        But… the truck itself is 17 years old (’99 model and date is 2016). So, what would the depreciated value of it be? Then, with the house added to the frame… is it overpriced?

        • Marsha Cowan
          January 31, 2016, 8:48 pm

          My tiny bus is a 1996, but is as good as new. It had just got a new transmission when I got it, so that was a major thing. I have had to get some things fixed and updated on it, but nothing too costly. Diesels, with the right mechanic, can live forever. My school bus is a 1986, and it outruns all the newer buses in the lot which all seem to always be in the shop for one thing after another, so don’t let age put you off. It is a diesel, and diesels are just different animals. My daddy was a diesel mechanic, so all my life I heard about diesels and how good and long lasting they were, and now that I have owned and driven one for a year and a half, and driven a 45′ one for about 3 years now, I can tell you that this truck house is a steal.

    • Cate
      October 30, 2015, 4:29 pm

      Don’t forget RV’s are made with toxic materials that need months to gas

      • Eric
        May 11, 2016, 6:01 pm

        So does that mean that RV stands for rank volatiles?

        • Cate
          May 14, 2016, 5:33 pm


  • Gary
    May 11, 2015, 9:27 pm

    Nice truck house! How did you manage to get insurance for it? My brother made a living space in his truck, then couldn’t insure it because he had altered the vehicle from its original purpose.

  • Lera
    May 11, 2015, 9:40 pm

    I completely agree Comet, this is worth way more than any of those factory built laminate and plastic rvs that sell up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is a work of art! A true masterpiece.

  • May 11, 2015, 11:48 pm

    Why would anyone want to sell this wonderful home? Love!!!

    • Alex
      May 12, 2015, 8:10 am

      Hi Jean! I love your blog and tiny home! would love to share here if you’d like sometime 🙂

      • May 12, 2015, 9:56 pm

        Thanks Alex! I might do that this summer. 🙂

    • Colleen
      May 22, 2015, 6:21 pm

      He is an artist and has built at least 2.
      Can’t live in both.

    • Cate
      October 30, 2015, 4:30 pm

      Because he is not living in it!

  • Shirley
    May 12, 2015, 8:43 am

    I love this tiny house on your truck! If I could afford it, I would be in touch right now. However, it is worth every dime! You own a beautiful home!

  • Harry O. Walker
    May 12, 2015, 9:03 am

    I have some cool ideas. You are a visionary. Thank you for the money and time you spent to show the potential to this kind of lifestyle. Harry O.

  • Jane
    May 12, 2015, 11:46 am

    It’s amazing what people with creative imaginations can accomplish. If I
    were younger I would be so tempted to try living or traveling in the tiny
    houses that capture my mind.

  • Kathy
    May 12, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Yes, seriously considering this. Why couldn’t you special order a motor home truck n base. Than build your tiny home on it. It would be complete with holding tanks n generator. Fully self contained.

    • Dean
      May 13, 2015, 1:42 pm

      Kathy – the “motor home truck n base” is known as a Cab-Chassis, in the industry.
      Yes, you can order one, but its pretty pricey.
      I’d check the net for a good used commercial truck and modify it to fit your needs.

      • Dean
        May 13, 2015, 2:07 pm

        Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, Kathy…
        A new version of this size truck would easily be 3-4 times more expensive.
        I used work on this particular model. It’s a good solid chassis that is easy to drive.
        The hardest thing about driving a vehicle like this is getting used to the length. Parking can seem quite daunting at first, but drive one around for a while and pretty soon, you won’t notice the difference between a 26′ box and a Honda Civic.
        This one is especially appealing because it doesn’t require a special license to drive it.

        • Amelia
          January 30, 2016, 6:48 pm

          Thanks for the information, Dean. I have spent a lot of time looking at truck chassis foundations – with NO IDEA how to assess them. So, your contribution and knowledge are most appreciated.

          Uh, might I suggest a blog on your part discussing the various models you have worked with as a mechanic? It would be most helpful for a lot of us wanting to go this way . . .

        • Amelia
          January 30, 2016, 6:53 pm

          2nd comment. I would, indeed, be most grateful for a blog on your part around these different truck chassis forms of building a THOW this way.

          Better yet, how about a workshop with you and Michael (builder of this one featured) about how to do this way of THOW building. I think it would be a GREAT workshop putting the two of you together with your talents. I would definitely come . . . so
          keep my contact info and let me know . . . 🙂

  • Kelly Libert
    May 12, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Yes, please. The only THOW I have seen that I would consider. Just gorgeous and the price is very reasonable. I would lighten it up a bit by painting most of those dark brown surfaces white. Otherwise it is perfect.

  • Cate
    May 14, 2015, 3:16 pm

    I had tile in my housetruck bathroom for 30 years with no problem.

    • Lera
      May 15, 2015, 6:51 pm

      Thank you for answering my question. I appreciate the info. Now I’m definitely using tile in my bathroom. 🙂

  • Cat
    May 15, 2015, 1:37 am

    Very elegant.

  • Dean
    May 16, 2015, 5:09 pm

    Re: Lera’s rebuttle to WJ Chaput’s latest comments.

    Exactly Lera. Well put.
    One can state their opinion, whatever it may be, without having to stoop to defaming others.
    …and if a 60+ year old design is what you crave, WJ Chaput, you should check out Kanga Room Systems.
    Several of their designs would likely appeal to you.

  • Cookie Pieczonka
    May 18, 2015, 11:18 pm

    I could SOOOO see myself living in this!! If I only had the money for it!! Thanks for putting it up, maybe I could stretch my creativity enough to build me a small one to start…..

  • Christine
    July 1, 2015, 1:36 pm

    wow. Very nice. I love the detail and the uniqueness of this. Good job!

  • Kristina H Nadreau
    October 29, 2015, 9:11 pm

    Micheal Ostaski .. congratulations on a very FINE house on wheels. It is lovely as well as superbly functional. I personally like a minimalist style but your work is so gorgeous that I can admire it in spite of our different appreciations of style. Alex, thank you for these marvelous trucks. both appeal strongly to me. I would have to be 40 years younger to live in one, …. none the less, both Rob’s and Micheal’s trucks were so beautifully done, viewing created a longing to follow…..

  • Rolf
    October 29, 2015, 10:07 pm

    This truck is very reasonably priced when you compare it to a 5th wheel and needed tow vehicle.

    I love the woodwork, inside and out, but my concern is how well this holds up over time. It looks like it could be a maintenance nightmare unless you stay right on top of every little problem. I realize this vehicle is likely to be parked for long periods of time so it will be stable. Still, I’d like to see a long-term analysis of how all this artistic wood holds up, especially on the outside.

  • Helena
    October 30, 2015, 2:21 am

    How beautiful and so incredibly cheap! We are sourcing a truck and doing our plans, and the material cost + truck alone for going off grid is more than this!! A LOT MORE. An absolute bargain at that level of craftsmanship too. The work and man hours alone must have cost an absolute fortune. The people who say this is expensive must be able to get all their materials for free, and use bonded slavery for labor!!!

  • Porcsha S.
    October 31, 2015, 9:42 pm

    Are you kidding this is sick! I think I’m going the wrong direction with a towing a home. I really want one, just a few questions… Can it tow another car or catch rain water?

  • January 30, 2016, 2:33 pm

    I really want to thank all the people for there awesome comments, And yes it was not cheep to build, I had over 50K into this build, I did sell her for 65K.. so did not make much at all, maybe 10 dollars an hour if that-!! I just love building and using only the best materials. However what I have found out is that people who want to live like this are usually poor and just can not afford to have something like this? I get folks everyday wanting a tiny home but can not come up with any money? It’s really to bad I wanted to make a side business doing customs, but without financing or people to step up to the plate with some cash it just does not seem possible? OH WELL I gave it my best shot-!! LOL Thanks again-!

  • Gina
    January 30, 2016, 4:25 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for posting it. I have been seriously considering a truck conversion. The thing that scares me the most, especially with a used truck, is what to do if the truck breaks down. I am not a mechanic (not even an amateur one) and know almost nothing at all about diesel engines. Plus, I recently heard about someone in my area who is doing a tiny house truck conversion and had exactly the problem that I most fear. She was having serious difficulties as a result. If you are not truck savvy, how do you know you are getting a good vehicle?

  • Amelia
    January 30, 2016, 6:08 pm

    Yes, I would build like this and have thought about it seriously. Very in touch with the whole THOW idea (took a seminar last year). One of the
    primary reasons I would do it on a truck chassis is that I can get in and drive . . . I could never afford the truck to tow a THOW, so that makes me beholden to find someone who does and is willing to drive the THOW to where I want it to go.

    I owned and, at times, lived in, a ’77 Westy Van (perfect size/shape for being on the road) and loved the feeling of being able to hop out of bed, pull down the pop top, but the key in the ignition – and go, with no hassles.

    I haven’t built my THOW . . . yet, but this piece and particularly the question: “Would you live in this kind of THOW,” was an important contribution in deciding what I want to build. It clarified the fact that, for me, THOW living is about not just cozy/homey (a MUST), but also about freedom to move when and where I wish at any time and “move and adapt” fluidly with the rhythms of what’s going on in the world, which, as we all know, is in a state of great change and transition. The ability to do that with a THOW on a truck chassis is ideal for me. My favorite animal is a Turtle, who has her lovely home right there in her shell. All she has to do is stop and pull her appendages in to be safe and happy.

    My other thinking (as I live in a place of high fire danger and have lived under potential evacuation orders in the past) is that, should an emergency occur, I would want to be able to move my house right away, not stand around waiting for someone to lend me a tow.

    Great, clarifying question you posed, Alex. I really appreciate how it sparked that activity of discernment and choice in me. Perfect timing for me.

  • Eric
    January 30, 2016, 6:51 pm

    My issue with a truck as the complete home & vehicle is if anything goes wrong with it you could possibly be up for a motel room for x days, and it may be much more expensive to fix certain parts of the truck, especially the chassis, due to the construction on it. Unless there was a way to unbolt and lift with jacks or similar to make access for maintenance easier.

  • Eric
    January 30, 2016, 6:56 pm

    @Lisa M Blacker: my dad once had a 1958 (?) Ford Ranch Wagon that he bought off a caterer. The caterer had an extra tow ball fitted to the front bumper. Served 2 purposes. Much easier to maneuver his trailer especially going into narrow alleyways and especially if they were uphill so that would solve that problem for you. Plus, ever since the front tow ball was added the caterer never got another bent fender… gosh, wonder why? LOL

  • two crows
    January 30, 2016, 8:07 pm

    Oh my, oh my. This is gorgeous. Absolutely stunning. Thanks so much for sharing, Alex.
    As to your question – it would not be practical for me, no matter how much I love the finishes, the attention to detail and the amazing use of space.
    I live in hurricane country. I’ve found a pre-fab geodesic dome that can weather a level four – and that’s what I’m looking toward here. AND I would want the space to be able to build a safe-room with no windows along one fortified wall. The goal is to be able to weather the worst storm at home. I’m on high ground [in Florida, 28 feet above sea level is ‘high ground’] and far enough inland to be relatively safe from a surge – so it’s doable. A truck – even of this weight – might get thrown about. At least, I don’t think the risk is worth taking. And that’s not to mention the wall-to-wall windows – as lovely as they are.

  • Theo
    January 30, 2016, 8:19 pm

    Nice woodwork, but yet another loft, and way too artsy for my palate.

  • January 30, 2016, 9:12 pm

    Michael I’m happy for your sale, as I’m sure you are. Yes the price is lower than anticipated, however it’s exposure so it should help. Looking forward to seeing your next creation. I’ll be looking for those two book titles as they sound intriguing.

  • Lynnette
    January 31, 2016, 1:00 am

    The price is spot on. Now I just need some one to float me a cool $70k…

  • Floyd longwell
    May 21, 2020, 12:09 pm


    could you please talk about how to cantilever that cab-over? I thinking about doing this on a design-failure motor home.


    [email protected]

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