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Astounding overlander RV army truck conversion

Jenna from Tiny Home, Giant Journey brings us a video tour of an astounding overlander RV. In it, she interviews Mike, who has roamed the earth in overlander RVs including spending 13 months in Africa.

You can learn more about Mike and his incredible journeys here. If you are interested in emulating his adventurous lifestyle, he teaches others how to live this globetrotting nomadic lifestyle.

Mike says now is an exciting time for nomads with overlanding merging with van life and with RVers. The results are a lot of like-minded people with common goals to get out there and explore together.

With all that diverse travel experience under his belt, Mike has learned a few things about these unique rugged off-road RVs. He’s also built three of them. The video below features his latest, an army truck RV conversion.

The vehicle might have started life as a military vehicle, but you can barely recognize it as such now!

Impressive as it is, Mike says his background is not in building trucks. He credits watching YouTube videos to help him with his many army truck RV conversion accomplishments.

How much did the army truck overlander RV conversion cost?

Mike bought the used 1994 Stewart and Stevenson military truck for about $18,000.

While not quite complete, he was able to move into it in about two months. He considered the custom RV build complete at about four months into the build.

He estimates his building costs to be between $90,000—$100,000. That’s within his budget of keeping the project under $100,000.

Mike says there are some big advantages to buying a military vehicle for an RV conversion:

  • They’re well maintained.
  • They are built rugged.
  • They usually have low mileage—Mike’s truck had only 5000 miles on it when he bought it.
  • Trucks like this one have an automatic tire inflation system, controlled from the cab, that increase and decrease tire inflation depending on the terrain.

Mike modified very little from the original vehicle part of his truck. He says anything you modify mechanically tends to create future problems.

He did change to LED lighting and he added a roof rack for sports gear and under-body storage boxes.

The box itself was already mounted to the truck when he purchased the truck. It already included screened windows too.

Mike added the rear “bump-out” section that houses his bedroom.

It was important to Mike to have lots of outside storage for all his gear so that inside his tiny home it always looks neat and uncluttered.

Inside, the RV is decorated in a bright white with black accents farmhouse-style. The RV appears much bigger inside than it does from the outside.

Mike had four requirements for the interior of his RV conversion:

  • A kitchen
  • A place to work
  • A bed that did not need to fold out
  • A full-size shower just like in a sticks and bricks home

He used all IKEA cabinets. Despite friends warning him they wouldn’t hold up with all the bouncing around the overlander RV does, Mike reports no issues whatsoever after a year’s worth of rugged travel.

Other features and amenities of this custom-built RV include:

  • 85 gallons of fresh water
  • 25-gallon gray water tank
  • 7 1/2 gallon cassette toilet
  • 1200 watts solar
  • Bike mounts for transporting 4 bikes and a motorcycle as well as mounts for repairing bikes
  • UV light water filtration system
  • Large double ceramic kitchen sink
  • On-board sound system

And much more.

Watch the video and take a tour!

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Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

I absolutely LOVE this rig! Nice work.

DW/ND
1 month ago

Excellent workmanship and planning. Thanks for sharing. The Rv industry would do well to implement some of your ideas. Interesting to know the travel speeds and mileage too.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

I wonder how many old VW buses went round the world. Just the same, this is cool,