Living on the road is a dream many people share, even if you only live vicariously through YouTube. It's fun to see how people manage daily life, living out of small spaces while roaming the countryside. Adding children into the mix creates a whole new set of challenges, but in the case of this family of five, it seems they've adjusted just fine.
Starting with the right vehicle makes all the difference. In this case, a 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 up to the challenge of toting the 26,000-pound living space across all sorts of terrain. It's not the first Stewart and Stevenson conversion we've seen recently. These diesel-powered trucks are practically unstoppable. In this case, the M1088 is limited only by its 55-gallon fuel tank and 50 mph top speed.
The interior is a marvel, with two slideout sections to double the living space. It features a pass-through to the cab. Windows and skylights make the interior feel airy and light, aided by the whitewashed plywood walls. The kitchen includes a sink, a small refrigerator, and a four-burner stove. Both the couch and dining area convert into beds. In the back, there are two bunk beds and storage for books, clothes, and school supplies.
Fully provisioned with food and 65 gallons of water, the family can live for over a week off the grid. A diesel heater warms the inside of the truck cab, living space, and an outdoor shower. Batteries provide 600 amp hours of electricity, recharged from a 2,600-watt solar array.
Rather than squeeze everything into the living space, the family uses a trailer to store food, tools, bicycles, and other supplies. Like the living space, the family built the trailer, saving money by doing the work themselves. Where possible, they used free, reclaimed, or recycled materials, including barn wood, to save money.
All in all, it cost $80,000 to buy 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 living, including laundry, cooking, and home-schooling. But they have no regrets, seeing this opportunity as an investment in their family.