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Vintage Housetruck with Glass Bathhouse

Long before Jay Shafer built his first iconic tiny house in 1997, there were the famous housetrucks of the 1970s. These were popular in the United States, but also in New Zealand! When James came across one, he had to have it — even if it no longer ran.

Because the truck is stationary, he and his partner Lucy have created a lovely outdoor area to extend their living space. It includes a shower attached to the truck, a separate glass “bathhouse” with a large bathtub that waters plants, and a patio area around a wood stove where they can entertain. Enjoy a tour of this unique piece of history below!

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Vintage New Zealand Housetruck Given New Life

Original Tiny House on Wheels & Glass Bathhouse

Images via Tiny Home Tours

The cabinetry to the left was original.

Original Tiny House on Wheels & Glass Bathhouse 2

Images via Tiny Home Tours

There’s a woodstove that really heats up the place!

Original Tiny House on Wheels & Glass Bathhouse 4

Images via Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Ultimate House Truck Renovation & Homestead Tour


  • Believe it or not, James bought this truck house for only $500. It doesn’t run, but he was working for a trucking company at the time and was able to get it moved in place.
  • He added a shower stall to the outside of the house so he didn’t have to do any major structural changes to the interior of the rig.
  • Outside, they have a beautiful garden that’s watered from both the shower and a large bathtub they have situated in a reclaimed-glass greenhouse area.
  • Their future plans are building a much larger truck house (with two bedrooms!) that will give them some breathing room.
  • The garden area also houses a lovely patio spot with some furniture and another woodstove to keep things cozy.

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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.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan
    February 10, 2024, 10:20 pm

    Once again, an example of saving and restoring a bit of history for the rest of us to enjoy. I appreciate you for that. All the design and work you’ve done is wonderful!

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