Alice's Custom-Built House Truck

house truck

My ex-husband and I built our home in the ’70s on a 1956 White truck, which cost $250. We used many recycled materials. Shipping crates became siding, discarded oak pallets and tiles became the table, etc.

CB-05It had a circulating toilet, double-paned Plexiglas windows and skylights, and a 30-inch porch at the rear. It had a 125-gallon water tank and a 60-gallon propane tank — self-contained. It’s solidly built and runs great!

There were two full-size bunks for the four kids. The upper bunk had been removed when these photos were taken. The spinet piano can barely be seen.

Studs were linked at the bottom with ¼-inch steel angle. It prevented disaster when one time someone drove into the side of the house truck. The driver totaled his car; we only have to replace a bit of siding.

The window design was determined by the size of the discarded Plexiglas scraps, and inspired by bathroom windows in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

We bolted three metal baffles between the stove and walls, staggering the bolts so as not to transfer the heat. The stove could be fully fired up and the wall behind it would still be quite cool.

I learned all my carpentry and building skills working on this truck. One day while driving myself, the porch railing got caught in something, ripping it half off, and it was sitting on the ground. What to do? I pulled out some tools and reattached it on the spot before driving away.

–Alice

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