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Renovated 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso Off Grid Cruiser

This 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso off grid cruiser is a guest post by Paul Jensen

I just finished the renovation of a 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso off grid cruiser. The vehicle has been around the world more than once and the country count is in the forties. 

From Antarctica to the Arctic and around Australia this off grid cruiser has been lived in full time for a couple years. Heavily used, is an understatement. When I got it it was cramped and outdated. I stripped it down and made it into a refreshing, fully self contained, off grid cruiser.

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Renovated 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso Off-Grid Cruiser

2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-001

Images © Paul Jensen

2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-002

Before renovation

2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-003 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-004 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-005 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-006 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-007 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-008 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-009

After renovation

2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-010 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-011 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-012 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-013 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-014 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-015 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-016 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-017 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-018 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-019 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso-020

Images © Paul Jensen

Thank you, Paul Jensen, for sharing this Renovated 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso Off Grid Cruiser with us!

Learn more here: http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/137838-2003-Mitsubushi-FG-Overland-Camper-Renovation/

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Andrea is a contributor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the Tiny House Newsletter! She has a passion for sharing tiny and small house stories and introducing you to new people, ideas, and homes.
{ 54 comments… add one }
  • Alex
    July 8, 2015, 12:18 pm

    This is too cool!! Thanks for sharing Paul (and Andrea)!!

  • Rue
    July 8, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I’m a sucker for these things, so this is awesome to see. 🙂

    Really nice job on the remodel…the wood finish is soothing, and take away that cheap RV look that it had. The Tiffany style lamp above the table is a nice touch (or maybe it is Tiffany).

    I wouldn’t mind knocking around all seven continents in this.

    • April Asbahr
      October 14, 2015, 10:18 pm

      So am I. I have become fixated on Little/Tiny Houses and cottages. I absolutely adore them.

  • Lynnette
    July 8, 2015, 3:03 pm

    This is awesome! What a sense of true freedom and wow the reno!!!! ☆☆☆☆☆

  • TXTbone
    July 8, 2015, 5:09 pm

    love the redo. Not crazy about the stripes in bathroom, but nice craftsmanship

  • Nicole
    July 8, 2015, 5:13 pm

    Amazing job with the space given, love the wood in the bathroom. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Mary Henss
    July 8, 2015, 5:45 pm

    Love the use of space..I see storage and drawers everywhere!

  • Danielle
    July 8, 2015, 7:49 pm

    Very nicely done! It looks so roomy and modern, yet such a cozy feeling. Love it!

  • Janet
    July 8, 2015, 8:30 pm

    I love this! What beautiful workmanship!

  • SusieM
    July 8, 2015, 9:52 pm

    Absolutely stunning!!
    Such craftsmanship – amazing job – attention to detail is extraordinary.
    Thank you so much for sharing this inspired renovation.

  • Trish
    July 9, 2015, 12:06 pm


  • Roger
    July 9, 2015, 5:12 pm

    Beautifully done woodwork. Teak?

    • PaulJensen
      July 10, 2015, 8:52 am

      The primary wood is vertical grain fir, the accent wood is western red cedar and the windows have walnut trim…

  • Comet
    July 9, 2015, 11:56 pm

    Where. Did. You. Get. Those. STEPS.

    Seriously—-as a handicapped person the usual RV steps are either completely out of the question or they are scary as heck. My husband has been going NUTS trying to get me inside some that we have seen that I just can’t manage—one “Toy Hauler” was only accessible via the rear ramp—way too steep for me (ramps are bargains with the devil for some handicapped people) and surely—we would NOT be stopping and dropping the ramp EVERY stop we make—and then I would have to get past whatever is IN the TOY part–think::: extra large motorcycle etc.

    Must. Have. Those. STEPS.

    • PaulJensen
      July 10, 2015, 9:04 am

      Those steps are pretty cool… The accordion sides are made of 1/4″ x 1″ aluminum… Rivets are the pivot points… The top hooks into a lip at the doorway… The treads alternate carpet and grip tape…

      The steps are stored in the propane locker next to the door… To set them up you simple stretch them out, lift them to the doorway and drop them in place… The length of the stairs is variable, compact or stretched out…

      Most visitors comment that a handrail would be nice… I get that, but you get used to them…

      At the electric panel compartment, to the left of the door, there is another lip to hook the stairs… I could envision an expanding deck hanging from that lip and the one at the door… It wouldn’t be hard to built one…

    • M
      July 10, 2015, 9:52 pm


      You can find similar style steps through some RV places that do include a handrail. I’ll see if can post links for you. Not sure how pricey but I’d be willing to chip in a bit and bet some others on here would as well.

    • M
      July 10, 2015, 10:11 pm
      • Comet
        July 11, 2015, 8:17 pm

        THANK YOU—going there right now! I know there are handrails that attach to the RV –I could not do steps at ALL if it were not for handrails!—But attached ones would probably be better.

        You do have to wonder–the RV market is NOT people in their teens. They don’t have the money or the time! Us soon-to-be-seniors ARE the target market–and yet–the RV makers REFUSE to actually THINK this thru and BUILD decent steps for people with aging knees; hips; spines—we should not have to spend what they charge and THEN spend MORE to be able to get IN or OUT! I can’t tell you how many “hacks” I have seen people do. From a mounting block from Tractor Supply–two steps in molded “plastic” — to custom built ones that then take up most of the storage—to every kind of step stool and wooden chunks.

        Even at my house with custom built shallow steps I needed to add a 2×12 to the bottom one when we had some subsidence in the pavement–and now we carry a few slabs like this to get me in and out of some hotels and even my kids house! Not going to STOP doing what I WANT to do just because of some stoopid old legs!

        I have to use a step stool to get ON that large motorcycle!

      • Comet
        July 11, 2015, 8:30 pm

        Looks like there are a few models-=-=one called the GLOWSTEP is interesting; helps you find the things in the dark and be safer going in and out; solar charge. Runs around $400 which I don’t think is bad at all (this is for the longer set). They also sell a handle for around $200.

        I looked into a handicapped access seat “lift” for getting into and out of a truck that could pull a 5th wheel–they wanted something like $6000.000 for it! AND you can only use it on SOME models of trucks—which cost something like $50,000 and UP. (There are now some different models of purpose-built cars for the handicapped–have not checked them in person)

        With something like these steps we might be able to build what we want in an existing shell–or from scratch–or adapt something.

        THANK YOU!!!!!

      • Deb
        September 30, 2015, 10:39 am

        what a cool idea. Keep up the great work

    July 10, 2015, 3:21 pm

    BRILLIANT !!!!!!

  • Elizabeth Rubio
    July 10, 2015, 4:36 pm


  • LB
    July 11, 2015, 1:38 pm

    Beautiful transformation! Of course we all want to know about the cost breakdown and my main interest is your experience finding places to park. Thanks for sharing. I’m inspired.

    • Ken
      October 14, 2015, 5:30 pm

      Parking is not a problem. The vehicle 20 feet long which is the length of a full size dual cab pickup. It is 8 feet wide, which makes it a little tight, but we fit into any normal parking sport and the local grocery.

    • Ken
      October 14, 2015, 5:51 pm

      You can park most anywhere. It is roughly the length of a dual cap pickup (20 feet). It is wide. The box is the width of the pickup mirrors at 8 feet. We do look for the most remote places possible. But it is nice to park in the street in town as well.

  • Liz
    July 14, 2015, 11:49 am

    I love before and after pictures and the person or persons who renovated this is awesomely classy. I actually didn’t think it looked so bad in the before pictures but the after is simply beautiful. Gorgeous everything.

    • Ken
      October 14, 2015, 5:31 pm

      It is a wonderful spot to spend time in.

  • Zackem
    July 14, 2015, 5:50 pm

    At first I looked at this and said to my self here goes a lost sole… Then I come down the page and I am just flabbergasted by the craftsmanship that has gone into this portable go any where non commando home in a truck… I think these should be sold every where…!

  • Patricia
    July 19, 2015, 4:08 pm

    Please let me know how many miles on your truck. Also what have you done on the truck.

    • Ken
      October 14, 2015, 5:33 pm

      There are now about 155,000 miles on the truck. Unlike regular ‘trucks’, one can expect a few hundred thousand miles out of this.

  • Denise
    July 23, 2015, 8:45 am

    This is beautifully done – I love the wood interior and attention to detail. One question though – how do you shower in that wet bath without getting the flushing mechanism on the wall wet and water in the mechanical part of the machine, and also keep from getting the sink wet? I can see removing the toilet paper would be no problem but wouldn’t that wood rot being exposed to a shower, especially on a repeated basis and also damage the machine?

    • Ken
      October 14, 2015, 5:37 pm

      Great questions. This is knows as a ‘wet’ shower so it is designed to have a lot of useful stuff in a small place. Nothing cares if it gets wet. First off Pual’s main business is in making world class surf and paddle boards, but his craftsmanship extends beyond. I asked Paul to pay tribute to his boards by making the bathroom as he makes his surf boards. Long story short, the shower will see much less exposure water than a paddleboard. The wood strips are glued and fiber glassed to form a waterproof wall.

  • Anaesthetic
    August 4, 2015, 6:49 am

    Excellent level of craftmanship and design.

    A visible understanding of aesthetics and artistry.

  • Julie J.
    August 13, 2015, 11:35 am

    Just stunning:)

  • Paulita
    August 14, 2015, 10:13 pm

    My husband said this is one amazing machine. He is a pro-photographer. A roadhouse like this one could make his photo travels even more fun!! Beautiful craftsmanship on the interior, too!

  • Patty
    August 19, 2015, 1:30 am

    Very nicely done!

  • JEN
    August 29, 2015, 6:17 pm


  • Lisa E.
    September 2, 2015, 1:19 pm

    I’d love to know the cost(s) of something like this. I’ve been looking for something that I could travel in and this would fit the bill, but it has to be inside a budget. How much mpg does she get? Where did you find the basic vehicle? How much was the reno? How much personal work was put into it (hours, roughly)? Really a prize; looks phenomenal!

    • Ken
      October 14, 2015, 5:41 pm

      The 4×4 trucks themselves can be picked up used for 25-40k. You go up from there. This is a 2004. Everything prior to 2007 uses high sulfur diesel which is available worldwide. We get around 10-12 MPG and the newer ones exceed 17 mpg. Pretty amazing given their heft.

  • Cindy
    October 21, 2015, 6:42 pm

    Well done and you have room..Thank for sharing

  • Michael
    October 21, 2015, 10:22 pm

    I like it a lot.
    The wet bath isn’t very practical and an angle settee would be my preference.
    Beside that great job and a very versatile vehicle.

  • Liz
    October 22, 2015, 10:22 am

    AMAZING!! What an awesome job this home is. The wood work is beautiful and especially so in the bathroom. I would bet that sink isn’t very practical being so small but I would have to say that would be the only thing I find fault with. I am in awe of people who can take something less than desirable and turn it into a piece of art. Well done!!

  • Glema
    October 28, 2015, 10:26 am

    Just an idea for Comet and anyone else who needs it. Once might buy one long safety rail, like for the bathroom and two table legs of differing
    lengths one small one tall and screw the legs into the bath rail to make a
    railing that is portable for steps when you need it. That would only take the room of three legs sorta and could fit just inside the door when you are not using it. One could attach it to the vehicle with a bracket and wing nut screws? Hope this helps. God bless and happy trails.

  • Cindy
    February 5, 2016, 7:10 pm

    Luv it!!!

    • Alex
      February 6, 2016, 7:42 pm

      Me too! Thanks, Cindy!

  • February 6, 2016, 2:05 am

    Great looking unit. Everything you need plus extras.

  • Rick Merrick
    February 9, 2016, 1:01 pm

    Have a larger one with diesel. I know know what to use it for. Perfection. I have a lift gate to bring motorcycle in. So multi use.

  • Wayne
    February 16, 2016, 5:48 pm

    True–great job! Is this an FG with 109″ wheelbase and 4-banger diesel, 4wd?

    How much does it weigh? How much fully loaded?

    How much is it worth?

    Have you been to Expedition Expo with it?

    Where are you located?

  • keepyourpower
    September 1, 2017, 2:07 am

    I like it!

  • Jim E
    September 1, 2019, 8:17 pm

    What is the L x W x H of the Box ?

  • Wayne Tyson
    September 2, 2019, 4:59 pm

    I have a 1990 Fuso FG of a different design–far from as spacious or luxurious and not as tall (clearance, and a clean roof with no vents or other appendages) with the space under the upper bunk devoted to a huge storage space plus three smaller additional storage spaces wherever they could be fitted. I have met other owners with other designs but like mine because it fits my mission and needs–every design is personal. I would be interested in information on the original conformation.

    I bought it from the late builder/owner’s son, and added a custom bumpers front and rear (12k pound winch, roof rack supported by heavy steel supports attached to the heavy-duty bumper [Dave Chapelle design] the bumper) spare tire rack/bicycle rack, heavy-duty fuel-can secruing/locking bracket, and heavy-duty receiver for trailer, bike rack, or whatever.

    You are right about this truck’s durability, including the engine (which, though bullet-proof, can be found all over the world. Mine, fully-loaded, comes in at just under five tons (US).

    Happy traveling and living!

    • Wayne Tyson
      September 4, 2019, 11:47 pm

      Is it 4×4? (or should I say 2×4?)

      Loaded weight?

    • Wayne Tyson
      September 4, 2019, 11:49 pm

      Is it 4×4? (or should I say 2×4?)

      Loaded weight?

      I don’t know how or why the system reads this as a duplicate.

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