≡ Menu

Three Years in their DIY $37k Military Truck Tiny House

This post contains affiliate links.

Trevor and Rae wanted to travel full-time for a year, so they saved up to buy an awesome military truck at auction. They didn’t start right away, but when Trevor decided to get sober he put all his time and energy into building out their first truck home for just $37,000.

They lived in the rig for three years, with a 6-month stint at home due to a family illness, and have been working to finish their new home built on the back of a retired snow plow truck. This second home they’ve been taking their time with, and I can’t wait to see what it looks like! The couple did a great Q&A with us, which you can enjoy reading below the pictures.

Don’t miss other interesting tiny homes – join our FREE Tiny House Newsletter for more!

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 6

Images via KSmithson Photography

They chose an awesome accent wall color.

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 3

Images via KSmithson Photography

When the elevator bed is up, they have a great u-shaped couch.

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 8

Images via KSmithson Photography

Their kitchen has a little stove/oven.

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 7

Images via KSmithson Photography

And yes, there’s a bathroom!

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 ]

Images via KSmithson Photography

See the door? That’s a pass-through to the cab.

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 10

Images via KSmithson Photography

The bathroom even has a little tub.

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 2

Images via KSmithson Photography

Here’s a little glimpse at construction.

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 9

Images via KSmithson Photography

And as you can see, this rig was up for anything!

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 4

Images via KSmithson Photography

This couple is truly in love!

He Got Sober Building This Military Overlander Tiny House For $37,000 1

Images via KSmithson Photography

VIDEO: Couple Transform Military Truck Into Dream Tiny House

What are your name(s)?

Trevor & Rae

Where are you from?

Richmond, VA (originally)

How did you first become seriously interested in tiny homes?

In 2017 we started saving up with the intention to travel full-time for a year. But quickly realized we wanted it to be more of a lifestyle, rather than a temporary goal. We were already pretty minimalist in our choices at home, so the idea of living tiny really spoke to us as far as the financial freedom it would give us and the overall ability to be on the go as needed. So we shifted our focus on saving to build a tiny mobile home that could go anywhere & “do anything”. We purchased our first vehicle (an LMTV M1078 Troop carrier) in the fall of 2018 at a military auction and when Trevor decided to choose a life of sobriety, he channeled all that withdrawal energy on the house build and completed the whole thing in just under 7 weeks.

What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?

Our first build was an M1078 retired troop carrier (127sqft house we built and lifted onto the back)
Our current build is on the back of a GMC C7500 retired snowplow truck.

Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?

We chose a minimalist/tiny home lifestyle for financial freedom, the ability to go anywhere at any time. Live debt-free, meet new people, be a part of new communities, expand our perspective and challenge ourselves. We didn’t want a life that limited our way of thinking or lifestyle.

We love change & new experiences and there’s no better way to get that every day!

How long did it take you to finish your tiny house?

Our first build took just under 7 weeks. But that was a pretty rare and ridiculous timeline. At the time, trev and I were really in the thick of some pretty messy life challenges and we both knew we needed to get healthy. So Trevor decided to stop drinking, cold turkey, on January 1st after a rough, eye-opening night. That same day he began the first build on our truck (which we named “Wazimu” (means “crazy” or “madness” in Swahili. Trev & I spent some time in Uganda that previous fall and the kids in the area we were working called Trevor “Wazimu”. The day we were leaving Uganda is when we got the email saying we had “won the bid” for the truck on an online auction. So we decided to name the truck after Trevor’s new nickname).

This current build we are really taking our time. We learned. a lot on our first build and after being on the road for 3 years. So this one is taking just a little bit longer. We started the build the last week of September 2021 and we are scheduled to finish the last week of January 2022.

Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it?

Our first build, truck included, was $37,000
Trevor built the entire thing himself but we could not have done it without the generosity of Gepetto Millworks Richmond, VA which gave us a free place to build and use of tools.

This build: we are about $80,000 in (which is the amount we sold our last build for) but we are not quite finished, so I would guess the overall cost will be about $90,000.

Trevor is again, doing the entire build on his own, but as always, it takes a village and this build will also not be possible without our friends/family letting us couch surf while we build and Robert Ashby of Ashby’s Inc/Crenshaw Crop who is very generously donating his space and tools.

How did you figure out where to put it? Do you keep it in one place or do you move around?

We move ALLLL over.

What’s been the most challenging part about your tiny house so far?

I think the most unexpected thing for us was how we underestimated how much work you are either putting into your vehicle or your home simultaneously (which are now one) so it feels like things are constantly in need of fixing or fine-tuning. But it’s a lot to ask of the vehicle to transport your home 24/7 and it’s a lot to ask of a home to be constantly moving. So we’ve just learned that it comes with the lifestyle. But it was definitely an adjustment and you have to learn quick to be a mechanic and handyman.

What benefits are you experiencing from it so far?

Our circle of friends and family has tripled in the last few years of living on the road. We are so grateful that the entire TinyHouse/road life community is so open and welcoming. Other than the financial freedom and all the new experiences, I would say the community is our favorite.

What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny?

We’re not one to hand out advice. You really have to experience it for yourself. I think everyone’s challenges will be different based on a whole host of personality traits & life experiences. So I always tell people who are interested in the lifestyle to “expect to be patient with yourself” and make sure that every day’s tasks (such as brushing your teeth or getting dressed) are located/stored in easy/convenient places; The first thing you’ll get annoyed with is when storage is complicated.

Learn More:

Related Stories:

Our big thanks to Rae for sharing! 🙏

You can share this using the e-mail and social media re-share buttons below. Thanks!

If you enjoyed this you’ll LOVE our Free Daily Tiny House Newsletter with even more!

You can also join our Small House Newsletter!

Also, try our Tiny Houses For Sale Newsletter! Thank you!

More Like This:  Tiny Houses | Housetrucks | Video Tours | Vehicles

See The Latest: Go Back Home to See Our Latest Tiny Houses

This post contains affiliate links.

The following two tabs change content below.

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.
{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Dawn
    January 25, 2022, 11:17 pm

    Love it! It has just the right amount of everything built into it. The interior is lovely and well thought out. I especially like the exterior mountain scenery on it.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.