Man converts retired military truck into stylish, spacious tiny home and lives on the road full time

A man converted a 1994 Stewart & Stevenson M1079 military truck into a tiny home, and the result is unbelievable.

Michael Ladden bought a military truck for $18,000 and spent $80,000 to turn it into a gorgeous tiny home overlander that he can take anywhere.

It is remarkable because it looks like a rugged truck outside, and you won’t believe it is a truck once you get inside.

Outside view of Mike's orange military truck.

Mike is one of the founders of Drive Globe Overland Adventures, a travel company, and he’s always on the road to exploring everything that Earth has to offer.

He set off on a trip that would cover 220,000 miles a few years ago, planning it to be the most epic venture in the company’s 25-year history.

He did it with a 41-year-old Mercedes Unimog with a custom overland expedition trailer until 2021.

Mike's orange Mercedes Unimog with a custom overland expedition trailer.

However, he found an overland rig that used to be a military truck and converted it into a gorgeous tiny home with a comfy bedroom, bathroom, shower room, and full kitchen.

According to Mike, some advantages of choosing a military truck are that they are well-maintained and built highly rugged.

He picked up his military truck with 5,000 miles on it.

Mike said that his background isn’t really in building trucks, and it is not really in any of the things he does.

So, he watched many YouTube videos to see other people’s builds and built his truck in various places like friends’ backyards and campgrounds.

It took Mike four months to fully finish his tiny home.

Military truck's 48-inch tires with a central inflation system.

While the total cost of his house is not budget-friendly, he said that he wanted the inside to feel like home since he would live in his truck full-time on the road. But he kept it under a hundred-thousand-dollar mark.

Outside the truck, Mike replaced all the military lighting with LED.

The truck has 48-inch tires with a central inflation system; it can travel easily on terrains like mud, sand, and off-road as they automatically inflate and deflate with a push of a button.

It also has an 85-gallon tank for fresh water and a 25-gallon tank for gray water.

At the back of the truck, Mike has custom-made racks for his bikes and boxes where he keeps his motorcycle and kayaking gears, so he doesn’t have to put those things inside the house, which he called the “Habitat.”

Mike's bike mounted on the back of his military truck.

He replaced the entrance with a regular RV door he bought from eBay.

The entrance also has Torklift steps connected to a retractable platform.

Military truck's retractable platform and steps.

The truck has 1,200-watt solar panels and a mount for his kayak on the roof.

Solar panels and kayak on the roof of the military truck.

Going inside the tiny home, you will see a full kitchen that will make you forget you’re inside a military truck.

Mike entering his the military truck via Torklift steps.

“The kitchen is what I did not have in my last built,” said Mike.

Mike standing in the kitching inside the his tiny home.

His kitchen has a burner top with a working oven.

“Believe it or not, you can bake in it,” he said, adding that it works pretty good, especially with frozen pizza.

Burner top and oven in Mike's kitchen.

It also has cabinets he bought from Ikea.

“A couple of people gave me some negative feedback they’re not going to hold up, and I can tell you over the past year, I’ve been bouncing around, and the cabinets are holding just fine,” he said.

Mike showing his cabinets from Ikea.

Mike magnetized the cabinet doors and installed bungee cords to ensure that his stuff inside the cabinet won’t fall off.

The kitchen also has a double ceramic sink with an Acuva UV light water filtration system.

Tiny home's mini fridge and freezer under double ceramic sink

Under the sink are a freezer and a fridge where he stores a lot of food.

“No drinks in here because I have a whole other refrigerator inside the cab,” he said.

He also has an espresso machine, and toaster screwed down so they won’t move.

Mike's epsresso machine and toaster.

The tiny home has a regular window-type air conditioner for a house instead of a split-type one as it is cheaper and works great in his 135-square-foot place. It runs for about eight hours on the battery through an inverter.

Mike, showing the window-type inverter inside his tiny home.

The ceiling of the house is made of faux tin vinyl, which he used in his first builds, and everything inside the house is plastic-based or non-wood as it usually changes environments and doesn’t want things to shrink, contract, or wrap.

He maximizes all the space in his house by installing storage everywhere possible. For instance, he has two small stools that have storage, and his folding table in the kitchen has drawers on the side.

Storage inside the stool and drawer at the folding table.

The bathroom, a separate shower room, and the bedroom are on the other side of his tiny home.

His bathroom has a cassette toilet, a vanity with a sink, and a mirror.

Mike's vanity, sink, and toilet.

Meanwhile, the full-size house shower has a glass door and rain head shower that releases roughly a gallon to a gallon and a half per minute.

Huge, square rain head shower at the shower room.

“One of my big priorities was to have a nice shower on board,” Mike said.

In front of the bathroom and shower is his wardrobe, and a little further inside the house is his bedroom.

Mike, showing the overhead vent and bedroom in his tiny home.

His bed has a home mattress, making it very comfortable. The bedroom has two windows on either side and an overhead air vent fan.

The cab of the truck is spacious.

Inside the spacious cab of the military truck.

“When I got this truck, it was just a barren loud metal space,” said Mike, adding that he did some upgrades by installing an air conditioning unit, GPS, tracking, and SOS recovery. The cab also has a fridge where he stores his drinks.

“The biggest expense on this truck and upgrade I made was the Scheel-Mann seats from Germany. They are just incredibly comfortable and have dual armrests. They’re heated. They’re amazing!”

Mike enjoying a cup of coffee outside his military truck.

Mike also did all the paneling inside the cab. He used fabrics on the doors and insulated the seats underneath for heat and sound, so he could drive along the road comfortably, listening to the radio.

“To me, being out on the road, the best thing about it is that I get up in my bed with my stuff every morning. I’m always at home. I look out the window and get a different view every morning.”

Take a tour in this amazing tiny home in a military truck by watching the video below:

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