This box truck conversion story is a guest submission.
Hello, My name is Bill Cogar II and I live in Sutton, West Virginia, USA.
I am a Boilermaker by trade and I have to travel for my work. Most of my work comes as an emergency outage when a power plant suddenly comes off line due to a break down of the steam generating boiler.
Those types of outages can last as little as one day or turn into several days or weeks. Lodging on short notice can be difficult to obtain and with the uncertainty of the job length, one never really knows how long they are going to need a bed and a place to shower.
Some I’ve worked with, move in and out of a room every day until the job is done. I’ve kept track of the cost of the build and by using what some of my co-workers pay for lodging, I estimate this vehicle has paid me back over three times now, not to mention the convenience of having it on “ready stand-by” when a job comes along.
I keep track of the number of days away from home and right now I’m at about 600 nights of habitation in my truck. My cost of living this way usually runs around 5-10% of my take home pay on a given job. Boilermakers rarely get a per-diem so your lodging, food and travel come right off the top of your take-home. I try and keep as much as possible.
What you will see in the following pictures is what I built to live in to make these outages a lot more bearable.
Living in my Converted Box Truck
It’s a 2005 ex-Penske truck. I didn’t change the outside appearance so it would attract attention
Built a deer/bumper guard to keep the deer off me.
Beginning the build…
Below is the “equipment room” in the rear which includes cameras for surveillance, water storage, electrical/power systems, generator, deep cycle battery compartment, and storage.
Here is the finished interior. The bed can be made bigger to sleep two comfortably.
This is a remodeled TV/DVD/Satellite shelf.
Below is an overhead console I built to make the cab less cluttered.
On longer jobs where I setup the truck in a campground, etc. I bring another vehicle to run back and forth to my work or home.
Here is the list of amenities I have incorporated into my truck,
It has: Direct TV satellite TV with a roof mounted Winegard satellite dish
Flat screen TV w/DVD
32″ shower stall
10,000 btu. propane wall mount heater (for heat when I’m “off the grid”)
1800/3600 watt Xantrex inverter/charger to make 110 VAC from a battery bank and charge the batteries when I am hooked up to line power.
Honda generator, 3000 watt
NOCO brand battery isolator to charge my inverter batteries while driving
13,500 btu roof mount A/C
6 gal., 110 VAC water heater
60 gal. fresh water storage
23 gal. aux. fuel tank for generator
Smoke & CO alarm
4 camera surveillance system for looking around outside while in the truck.
Walls and ceiling are insulated as a house would be, it is very easy to heat and cool.
Also I have a small induction cooktop a crock pot and toaster but mostly use a microwave to cook with. The bed has two sections of mattress, I use the widest section when I’m by myself and a smaller section is added when my wife, Octavia, is staying with me, that section stays at home when not being used. The living area is roughly 8′ x 12′ and the “equipment room” is the 3′ just inside the rear door. The ceiling closer to the rear of the living area drops down to accommodate the roll-up door when it’s open.
It is a “work in progress”, I am always coming up with ideas to make it better and more user friendly.
Although my truck was built for the purpose of working away from home it has worked well for camping with my wife.
Hope you find this interesting, Best Regards,
Bill Cogar II
Our big thanks to Bill for sharing with us!
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