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Their DIY Expedition Truck From Former Firetruck!


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If you’ve been reading Tiny House Talk for a while, you might remember Heather and Dana, a couple who renovated an RV to live as nomads. Well, when a tree later fell on the RV, their plans shifted, and they went back to “normal” life for a while—until the call of the road pulled them back!

Below, we’ll show you their new rig, a fantastic off-grid, off-roading house truck built on a wildland firetruck chassis. Keep scrolling to hear Heather and Dana share their story and the great features their expedition truck offers…..

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Couple’s Incredible Off-Roading House Truck

Their DIY Expedition Truck From Former Firetruck!

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We first got into tiny living nearly a decade ago, we were enamoured by the simplicity of the lifestyle. It’s amazing how happy a person can be with fewer things than they think they need.

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We first bought a camper trailer and converted it into a tiny house. It was actually featured on this site in 2015!

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Fast-forward 9 years, we got married, got a dog, and moved around a bunch. A tree fell on that first tiny house trailer, so we ended up back in apartments for a number of years.

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We felt the urge to downsize and be more mobile, but with the ability to live and work long term AND go off road. That’s when we built our current truck.

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We bought the chassis — an old wildland firetruck from a private firefighting company in the pacific northwest. With huge assistance from Allan at Overlander Global, we build a subframe and composite box on the back of the truck in Gunnison, CO.

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Then we brought the truck and box back to our apartment complex in Durango, CO, and built out the interior of the box.

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We had the chassis for a year before doing the build, but we started the build in July 2023, and moved into it at the end of August. It was a tight timeline to move in before our lease ended!

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While the truck is huge, it is still pretty maneuverable. It can do a tighter u-turn than my old F-150, and fit down many fire roads.

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We love our GIANT garage that fits two mountain bikes, 2 paddle boards, 4 pairs of skis, and numerous other gear inside.

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I (Dana) worked remote for a while, but now we’re taking a break.

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We were saving to buy a house, but decided to move into the truck instead, so for the time being we are living off the money we had saved for a down payment.

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We were saving to buy a house, but decided to move into the truck instead, so for the time being we are living off the money we had saved for a down payment.

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And then on each subsequent trip back to our small storage unit, we remove more things from the truck, to simplify further.

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We are able to make more decisions spontaneously, which for us is amazing. We can bring our house wherever, which means we can say YES to doing more things.

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The poop. Dealing with poop is not our favorite activity.

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We have a composting toilet, which is so much better in our opinion than a black water tank, but emptying it is not fun.

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Meeting new people is the most rewarding part of our new life.

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We get to interact with so many unique individuals and families living on the road.

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They all have something to teach us, and we really enjoy seeing how other people make full-time living in tiny houses/campers/etc work.

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If you’re thinking about going tiny, map out a plan. Tell people about it. Break the plan down into smaller sub-plans that are actually achievable.

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Make sure it’s what you actually want. Living tiny can be hard, and the understanding that you need to part ways with many of your possessions is tough to swallow.

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But if you want it, and you make a plan and stick to it, your likelihood of success will increase. Don’t overcomplicate it, your first tiny house, truck, bus, etc, will likely not be the one you spend years in.

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Be OK with that, and move in. Then figure out upgrades/additions later once you actually know what you want.

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VIDEO: DIY Expedition Truck TOUR | 4×4 Self-Built Mitsubishi Fuso Tiny House

Details:

  • Heather and Dana renovated an RV to live nomadically back in 2015!
  • When a tree crushed their RV, they returned to apartment life and saved for a down payment on a house.
  • Instead of buying the house, they decided to return to nomadic life! So they purchased a former fire truck and then turned it into their home on wheels.
  • The rig has an awesome garage with a pull-out that lets them store their bikes, paddleboards, and more.
  • They have a fixed queen-sized bed, a bathroom, and a dinette in their house.

Learn More:

Related Stories:

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
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