By Mark McConville
MEET THE man who transformed an old army lorry into his very own 72-square-foot tiny home on wheels so that he could have a life without bills.
Incredible images show the building process as coachbuilder Tom Duckworth (24), from Bath, UK, turned the old military vehicle into a cosy mobile home in just one year at a cost of £15k.
Other stunning shots show the exterior of the completed tiny house with the old army facets still visible alongside a newly built house on the back of the lorry.
Tom builds and restores vintage cars so it wasn’t much of a jump for him to find an old Bedford MJ and make it his perfect home.
“It came from wanting to save money on rent as well as wanting to do something that I had not seen before,” he said.
“Also living off grid was very important to me as well. The lorry has a full solar power system and rain water collection as well.
“It is good but just a bit too small for two people. It gives me so much freedom from bills as well as the ability to travel.
““When I was designing the lorry house, I wanted to have the possibility of having a stealth camper by putting the original canvas over the steel frame to make it look like an old army lorry again. This is one of the reasons that I didn’t build the house over the cab.
“As well as this, there is a gun turret/access hatch on the top of the cab. I loved this feature so much it changed the whole design of the house.”
Tom began the project by installing a steel frame on the back end of the lorry. After scouring several building sites, he was able to salvage a number of reclaimed palletes to use as cladding on the exterior walls.
Although the experience of cutting and shaping the pallets was arduous, Tom says that it was one of the best decisions they made in the entire project. By using reclaimed wood, they were able to save money, but were also able to use the remaining scraps of wood on the home’s ceilings and walls. Once the cladding was in place, they added on a zintec steel roof, leaving enough space to install solar panels.
Tom has clocked up 4000 miles in his quirky home so far and hopes to help others achieve their dreams of tiny mobile travel.
“The only problem I had was not having much of an idea of how to build a home on a lorry,” he said.
“It was just make it up as I go along but I am hoping to build camper vans and motor homes for people to help them achieve their own off-grid dreams.
“I would tell people to make sure you have some money to start as it takes more of your life than you could ever think.”