Living on the road is a dream many people have, even if you only live vicariously through YouTube. It’s great to see how people manage everyday life, living in small spaces while exploring the countryside. Adding kids to the mix creates a whole new set of challenges, but in the case of this family of five, they seem to have adjusted pretty well.
Starting with the right vehicle makes all the difference. In this case, the military surplus 1998 Stewart and Stevenson M1088 semi-truck tractor. Originally configured as a dump truck, it has a tire inflation system and is more than a challenge to haul 26,000 pounds of living space over any type of terrain. This isn’t the first Stewart and Stevenson conversion we’ve seen recently. This diesel-powered truck is practically unstoppable. In this respect, the M1088 is limited only by its 55 gallon fuel tank and 50 mph top speed.
The interior is great, with two slideout sections to double the living space. It features a pass-through to the cabin. Windows and skylights make the interior feel airy and light, aided by the whitewashed plywood walls. The kitchen includes a sink, small fridge and four burner stove. Both the sofa and the dining area convert into beds. At the back there are two bunk beds and a storage area for books, clothes and school supplies.
Fully supplied with food and 65 gallons of water, families can live for over a week without electricity. The diesel heater warms the inside of the truck cab, living area and outdoor shower. The battery provides 600 amp hours of electricity, recharged from a 2,600 watt solar panel.
Instead of packing everything into the living space, families use trailers to store food, tools, bicycles and other equipment. Like living spaces, families build trailers, saving money by doing it themselves. Where possible, they use free, reclaimed, or recycled materials, including barn wood, to save money.
Altogether, it cost $80,000 to purchase the truck, trailer, equipment and building materials. The family sold their house and used the proceeds to pay for everything. For the five of them, this is not a vacation. It’s real life, including doing laundry, cooking, and being homeschooled. They have no regrets however, seeing this opportunity as an investment in their family.