The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to

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.


11 Responses to Alice's Custom-Built House Truck

  1. Rick says:

    any inside photos?

  2. Rick Gordon says:

    I added an interior to the bottom of the article.

  3. That is lush,what a lovely vehicle,

  4. Anonymous says:

    If someone had this beautiful home, they would never have to worry about becoming homeless. Further, if they didn’t like their neighborhood, they could just drive away and find a new one.

  5. Mike W says:

    this truck is featured in the book, Rolling Homes.. if you can find a copy..check it out.. Is this rig still around?

    Mike W


  6. Oh how I wish I had design plans for something as lovely as this! I would start building yestersay!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just helped a friend move this truck!!! He is the proud new owner. Not quite in the condition seen here… But extremely complete and cool!!

  8. Mike W says:

    there is a video on the this at YT..–rg

    he has built another truck, on a new Sterling chassis..currently for sale @ around $77K I think..

  9. Shawn says:

    My grandfather and I towed this truck with a home made tow bar in 1998 or 99 with his new 98 3/4 ton Dodge diesel from San Francisco to Stockton California where I later sold the unit to a friend Randy he kept it at a yard known as Mr. B is behind Kmart where it disappeared a few years later when Mr. B passed away.

    It was donated to handicapped children services of America in which I bought it from them 1998 or 99.

    This vehicle is historical look into it on the Internet and you’ll find many things about it some good some bad I had been told that a young man had committed suicide inside of it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just saw this rig parked on a street in Palo Alto, CA. Looks basically the same but it’s in a serious state of despair. The cops have been rosuing the new owner so he’s towing it around to different spots with his small Toyota 4 runner. The roof is pretty much shot and the windows look loose and are flapping about. Certainly not road worthy in its present state.

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