My partner and I have been working on our truck house project for three years, it’s been a journey full of highs and lows. I am only just starting to realise the profound impact this truck house journey has had on me. I have learned a great deal about Myself, my relationship and about the fulfilment that comes from completely immersing yourself in a passion project. To give you a full rundown on how to build a truck house, I have written an ebook containing all the info you will need to build a basic box truck house from the chassis up. I cover everything from buying the truck through to the build, going over all the little traps that I fell into during my journey.
You can download my ebook here
What’s the best truck to build a house on the back of? To answer this question you’ll need to determine what you want to do with your truck house. Where do you want to take it? Do you want to travel the world and go off-road? Or would you prefer to stick to the roads of your home country? If you’re planning to travel internationally with your truck house, or you’re planning on going off the beaten track, you’ll need at least a 4×4 truck house, some people use 6×6 trucks but I think they are a little too big for convenience. Next, you’ll need to decide on what size truck to buy, small, medium or large? The good news is that there are no shortage of options out there and if you’re willing to learn some new skills and put some time into restoring an older truck, you can buy something to suit your truck house needs with a very small budget.
We cover the choosing and purchasing of the truck in great detail in our Ebook –
Now that we’ve got the truck sorted, the next step is to start designing your house! This part is very important and something that we didn’t put enough time and effort into during our build. To begin this process we need to understand the legal size requirements of a truck house. Your house must be no wider than 2.5 meters, no higher than 4.5 meters and the rear overhang must not be more than 60% of the wheelbase.
Working within these parameters we can start to come up with a floor plan, we need to consider the location of water tanks, gas tanks, power system, where our amenities will be located, functional storage space, sleeping area, dining area, windows, doors and the list goes on. Many of these have regulations of their own surrounding them. For example, of all the windows that are installed in your truck house, at least 50% of them must be able to open, gas tanks must not be stored inside the house, the exhaust of the truck must not be located near ventilation points and must be more than 1.5 meters above the ground, just to name a few.
We cover all aspects of how to design a functional truck house within the regulations in our e-book.
When building a truck house, we want to find a balance between aesthetically pleasing, lightweight and strong materials. Whether it’s a truck house cruising down the highway and dirt roads, or a 4×4 truck house taking offroad tracks, there will be times when your truck house is put under extreme loads. This is why is it so important to choose the right materials for the build of your truck house.
I recommend using steel to build the sub-frame and frame of your truck house. It’s far stronger than timber and will last a lot longer. For our build, we built a steel frame that was clad in a thin layer of aluminium for complete waterproofing. To maintain a unique aesthetic, while keeping weight down, we have chosen aluminium weatherboards and copper for the external cladding of our truck house. The aluminium weatherboards are strong and light, while the copper cladding will give us a beautiful facade as it ages.
Whether you’re simply bolting a caravan or shipping container to your truck or you’re building your truck house from scratch, the subframe of your truck house is the first component you will need to build and it must be of solid construction. This is the base that will support your house and everything in it. If you’re planning on going off-road, a TORSION-FREE SUBFRAME is essential. This is a system of brackets that will allow your chassis to flex as much as it needs to, without transferring any stress to your house. You can purchase the plans for our torsion-free subframe by following the link below.
If you’re planning on using a more conventional rear-wheel drive truck for your truck house, you may be able to build straight on the existing tray. There is nothing wrong with this method, you just need to ensure that the tray on your truck is in good condition and doesn’t have any rust. To do this you’ll need to conduct a thorough inspection, get underneath it, clean it all out using a pressure washer, then use a wire brush or wheel on a drill to go over every inch of steel. I can’t stress this enough, you want to brush down every molecule underneath the tray. If there are no major rust problems to be found once you’ve given it a thorough clean, I recommend giving it a coat of chassis black paint – this can be found at any automotive paint store. Once you have resprayed the whole tray, you’re good to go.
We cover this style of truck house builds in-depth in our E-book.
These are just a few of the things you’ll have to take into consideration before beginning your truck house journey. It’s a challenging undertaking, but with a bit of guidance, you can achieve the goal of living a debt-free, adventure-filled life on the road! If you’re on the fence about starting this journey, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you might have. If you’re ready to take the plunge or you’ve already started your journey, please download our E-book, I can assure you that the information you will find there will be beneficial to you during your build.