The box truck RV

by Guy V.
(havelock, NC)

My wife and I started off in Indianapolis, losing the home, the business, etc. Brian's site proved an inspiration when we decided to chuck it all and hit the road. Problem was, we didn't have a lot of money. So we started looking on ebay for a used bus. Long story short, the bus we bought crapped out before we even left.

So we started the search again. This time we purchased a 1987 Chevy, g-30, box truck. In with cabinets that I custom built (I am a custom carpenter by trade), in with a couple of golf cart batteries, an inverter and all hook ups and fuses, and off we went to Bloomington, IN. There I built the beds and a bunch of shelving and such, and bought a trailer to haul my Moto Guzzi Jackal and my tools of the trade.

We left Bloomington in April, and broke down in Tazewell, TN. Transmission crapped out on us. We had it replaced with a used transmission (bad idea) because it was cheaper. Off we go to NC, and transmission went again. This time, we had it entirely rebuilt (700R4 tranny).

It's been great since then, and we are just waiting to leave Havelock, NC. Should be leaving for North Dakota in a couple of weeks.

The money we spent on repairs was our traveling money, so it has held us up while we wait for the stipend from my wife's disability check. We want to begin our adventures again with "no worries, and shining times" as Brian would say.

Sometimes it takes a catalyst to make you do something, and I am no exception. My wife had a brain aneurysm in Indianapolis 5 yrs. ago and has been disabled ever since.

We had decided that life was much to short to try to maintain the house and business. And after the economy swoop last year, life seemed even shorter.

I'm probably way off subject with all of this, just wanted to share that I am now a 12 volt semi "specialist" that I learned the hard way. I did all the hook ups and wire runs myself, and learned a lot in the process.

If you are gonna boondock, this is stuff ya need to know, and you can probably do it all yourself no matter your electrical experience. And ya won't have to spend a bunch of money at the RV repair center.

***ed. note*** I was his inspiration?... Folks like this are Mine! ... the way you "Get there"... is to refuse to quit... humbles a fella to see folks taking life by the tail and shakin' that sucker! :o)

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Jan 29, 2013
I converted a Uhaul
by: Les

In Dec 2011, I converted a 26' Uhaul to use as a camper. After a month of working on it, the wife and our 5 kids set out on a 10K mile journey. We had a GREAT time even though everything wasn't finished just like I wanted it. Now in 2013 after having stored the camper for the past 8 months, I look forward to finishing all the little stuff. Kudos to you for conversion as well, it's nice to have a vehicle and know how everything works!

Jan 12, 2013
Box truck conversion
by: Anonymous

My son is also doing a box truck conversion. Do you have a blog with your instructions on how to and conversion materials list and possibly the best places to get your parts for a conversion. You will make moneys with the linkys and provide education for people who are wanting to convert a box truck.

Jan 11, 2013
The box truck RV
by: Anonymous

Yeah, box truck conversion is a dream...but it can be done. You need to start with a mechanically sound vehicle with enough power to get you where you're going! If the truck is old enough, tires at 16.5 wheels will be a hassle. Not readily available.
They are usually not insulated either, so you'll have to figure out how much of that you are going to put in and how you want to do it.
Then there is the pass-through to the cab, unless it already has one, you gotta figure that one out.
Many more miscellaneous items .

Jan 07, 2013
I have many questions!
by: ali

Hi! I too am making a box truck conversion in Indiana! I would love to talk to you about this, even though you posted this so many years ago. Here is my conversion blog:

I hope that there is a way to talk!


Jul 22, 2010
RV box truck
by: Anonymous

Thanks, Bob, Brian, and Alpenlifter, for your kind encouragement. It goes without saying the doubts that invade at 3:00 a.m. I suspect the "dream" is more prevalent than many would admit in our current society.

Jul 15, 2010
Stealth boondocking
by: Bob Difley

In one of my ebooks I wrote that RVing and especially boondocking does not require a lot of money. You are certainly a testament to that. The more one learns about the RV lifestyle and how to handle many of their own repairs and, as in your case, installing cabinets and other interior features, the more RVing becomes feasible. Following up on what Alpinliter referred to as stealth camping, I recently wrote an article for called Urban Boondocking. You can read it at:

***editor comment***Thanks for the info Bob!... the more folks share this stuff... the better off we're all gonna be... Awesome!

Jul 13, 2010
Great story!
by: Alpenliter

No, Guy V. you are the inspiration! Life is too short, and it takes guts to do what you did, but you are living the dream that so many people have. Another advantage of your box truck, is that it is the perfect "stealth" boondocking RV for urban areas. There is no mistaking most RVs, but you can blend in with delivery trucks, and service vehicles. You could probably sneak into a "No Parking" WalMart and get away with it. Good luck on all your adventures and keep us posted as to your lives!

***editor comment***Yup! I am inspired by all the folks who have the guts to take what they have... and make it work! Alpenliter is absolutely right Guy! YOU inspire us as well!

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