The Housetruck: Traveling With The Kitchen Sink

The Housetruck: Traveling With The Kitchen Sink

Trent Johnson
Jul 15, 2010

Inspired by long tradition of gypsy caravans and British 'living wagons,' one man has taken the values of simplicity, durability, sustainability, and mobility (which combine to liveability) and applied them to create a housetruck, or a home on wheels.

The Housetruck, as described by its builder John Labovitz, serves the following purposes:

  • A compact and mobile home in which I can hang out and socialize, cook and eat, and retreat and sleep.
  • A workspace for my photography and programming projects.
  • A vehicle that will transport me & my belongings to points beyond.
  • A laboratory for research into alternative and mobile technology.
  • An expression of art & creativity.

John is an enthusiast of tiny houses and unique vehicles. His housetruck was recently finished and he spends time enjoying it and showing it around. He recently presented at the Open Source Bridge software conference, a talk titled: Housetruck: Building a Victorian RV.

The house component of the housetruck is 14' long and 8' wide. It fits under most overpasses and can accommodate someone as tall as seven feet five inches tall. The main frame is made from 2" square-tube steel. The frame is covered with exterior-grade plywood, insulated with sheep's wool, and faced with Hamosote (a recycled newsprint product) and faced with fabric wallpaper. The flooring is cork.

The truck on which the home lives is an diesel powered Issue NPR, a medium weight commercial truck that's often used as a delivery truck. The electrical system for the home is powered by batteries, strong enough to run a computer or phone and is powered by the truck's alternator or an exterior solar panel. The truck has also been equipped with two large storage tanks that provide 80 gallons of fresh water. While there is no kitchen, there is a generous counter and small absorption refrigerator

(Images by John Labovitz)

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