Most people use a truck to move to their new homes. For one New Zealand couple, the truck IS their home.
Alex and Hannah converted a 1986 Hino flatbed into their own two-bedroom house in the country. And while the project stemmed more from necessity than hobby, the result was anything but hardship-living.
"We came back to New Zealand from the UK in 2009," says Alex. "We knew we couldn’t afford to buy property at that point. We didn’t have money."
The couple gave a tour of their house-truck to The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah. Hannah made the truck-to-house conversion sound simple, saying they took a flat bed, “welded a frame, put the wood on and built this house.”
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Adds Hannah, “We needed something to live in so we thought, why not build a house-truck?”
Over the next year and a half, they cobbled together their house-truck using mostly recycled or second-hand items, favoring natural materials when they could. “I didn’t want to live inside a plastic box,” says Alex, “not because I’m a hippie but because it feels nicer and is just a nicer place to be.”
Their house-truck now sleeps them and their cat quite comfortably. It runs on solar power (generally at around 12 volts, says Alex, and has a gas-heated shower and stove. The whole set-up, they say, costs them around $20,000.
"It’s really, really nice," Hannah says. "We love it."
Alex and Hannah aren’t the first people to make DIY homes out of a vehicle. In a similar vein to their truck conversion:
This 1965 Boeing 727 is now…
…a hotel in Manuel Antonio National Park.
And this former caboose…
… became a 270 square-foot condo in South Carolina.
As for Alex and Hannah, there may be more truck-to-house conversion projects in their future. “We are going to build another one,” says Hannah. And maybe they’ll sell them to others. Says Alex: “If we could earn a little bit of money and just build these, that would be an awesome lifestyle.”
So sometime in a near future, if you see a large collection of trucks, it may not be a parking lot; it just might be a housing community.