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Vagabond Journey

Moving Van Converted To An RV (Part 3)

Part 3 of an ever growing series on moving truck to RV conversions. This is probably the best live aboard overland travel vehicle there is.

In 2009, I published a post about meeting a guy in an Arizona parking lot who had converted a Uhaul moving truck into an RV, or a live aboard travel vehicle. A community of moving van converters and people looking to do such a conversion sprung up around that page, some of whom have been sending me updates and photos of their conversion projects. I just received a report from a reader from West Virginia named Bill who had very impressively transformed a Penske moving van into an RV. The following are photos and notes from his conversion:

Living in a converted box is not something new to me. I am a Boilermaker by trade and I have to travel for my work. Staying away from home for extended periods of time can be expensive, lodging is sometimes hard to find and one still ends up driving a distance even if lodging is found. Well I have built my own truck that I live in while I’m away at work and I thought I would share what I have built just because of the truck connection. I appreciate thinking outside the box (truck) anywhere I find it.

My wife and I have went camping a few times in this truck and have been quite pleased in the accommodations it provides not to mention the interest it creates. Several people have stopped by for the “nickel tour”.


2005 ex-Penske truck. I didn’t change the outside Built a Deer/Bumper guard to keep the deer off me.


The inside finished


The bed can be made bigger to sleep two comfortably.


Beginning the build….


Rear Layout with Calls[7]_DCE

Here is the list of amenities I have incorporated into my truck,
It has:

Direct TV satellite TV with a roof mounted Winegard satellite dish

Flat screen TV w/DVD

32″ shower stall

10,000 btu. propane wall mount heater (for heat when I’m “off the grid”)

1800/3600 watt Xantrex inverter/charger to make 110 VAC from a battery bank and charge the batteries when I am hooked up to line power.

Honda generator, 3000 watt

NOCO brand battery isolator to charge my inverter batteries while driving

13,500 btu roof mount A/C

6 gal., 110 VAC water heater

60 gal. fresh water storage

23 gal. aux. fuel tank for generator

Smoke & CO alarm



4 camera surveillance system for looking around outside while in the truck.

Walls and ceiling are insulated as a house would be, it is very easy to heat and cool.

Also I have a George Foreman grill, electric griddle and toaster but mostly use the microwave. The bed has two sections of mattress, I use the widest section when I’m by myself and a smaller section is added when my wife, Octavia, is staying with me, that section stays at home when not being used. The living area is roughly 8′ x 12′ and the “equipment room” is the 3′ just inside the rear door. The ceiling closer to the rear of the living area drops down to accommodate the roll-up door when it’s open. Sometimes I still wonder who built it because I’m am no carpenter by any means but it did turn out quite well. It is a “work in progress”, I am always coming up with ideas to make it better and more user friendly.

Although my truck was built for the purpose of working away from home it worked well for camping with my wife.

Hope you find this interesting.

Best Regards,


Find out more about converting moving trucks to live aboard travel vehicles at Homemade RV Converted From Moving Truck and Converting A Moving Truck Into An RV Style Travel Vehicle.

Filed under: Travel Vehicles

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 87 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3347 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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