A coachbuilder who transformed an old army lorry into a tiny mobile home is now living rent and bills free at the age of 24.
Tom Duckworth restores vintage cars for a living and decided he wanted to take it a step further and build his own home.
He chose the Bedford MJ and spent £15,000 and an entire year transforming the old military vehicle into a 72 square foot mobile home for himself.
Mr Duckworth, originally from Bath, says he wanted to live without paying any unnecessary bills – so decided to install solar panels and a rain collection system to be able to live ‘off grid’.
The truck’s military past is ever present with a gun hatch on the roof and army facets visible down the sides.
But he still has enough room to sleep, cook, wash and relax on the sofa.
Tom Duckworth, 24 (pictured on top of his converted army van) spent a year and £15,000 on making a new home for himself by transforming an old Bedford MJ van
Inisde the 72 square foot mobile home there is enough room for him to relax on the sofa
Mr Duckworth’s £15,000 home also boasts a kitchen space where there is room to cook
It took Mr Duckworth a year to transform the vehicle into somewhere he could live. Pictured: His workshop
He said: ‘It came from wanting to save money on rent as well as wanting to do something that I had not seen before.
‘Also living off grid was very important to me as well. The lorry has a full solar power system and rain water collection as well.
‘It is good but just a bit too small for two people. It gives me so much freedom from bills as well as the ability to travel.
‘When I was designing the lorry house, I wanted to have the possibility of having a stealth camper by putting the original canvas over the steel frame to make it look like an old army lorry again.
‘This is one of the reasons that I didn’t build the house over the cab.
‘As well as this, there is a gun turret/access hatch on the top of the cab. I loved this feature so much it changed the whole design of the house.’
Tom Duckworth, originally from Bath, Somerset, is pictured with his girlfriend
Mr Duckworth started out by installing a steel frame on the back end of the lorry (pictured at different stages, left and right)
The coachbuilder says he wanted to live without paying any unnecessary bills – so decided to install solar panels and a rain collection system to be able to live ‘off grid
Mr Duckworth started out by installing a steel frame on the back end of the lorry.
After scouring several building sites, he was able to salvage a number of reclaimed palletes to use as cladding on the exterior walls.
Although the experience of cutting and shaping the pallets was arduous, he says that it was one of the best decisions they made in the entire project.
By using reclaimed wood, he was able to save money, but also use the remaining scraps of wood on the home’s ceilings and walls.
The army van home is pictured by the seaside. Mr Duckworth does not have to pay council tax and is free to travel where he wants
Everything you need: Inside the army van there is an electric cooker (pictured left) and a monsoon shower (right)
He said of his creation (interior pictured): ‘It came from wanting to save money on rent as well as wanting to do something that I had not seen before.’
Once the cladding was in place, they added on a zintec steel roof, leaving enough space to install solar panels.
Mr Duckworth has clocked up 4,000 miles in his quirky home so far and hopes to help others achieve their dreams of tiny mobile travel.
He added: ‘The only problem I had was not having much of an idea of how to build a home on a lorry.
‘It was just make it up as I go along but I am hoping to build camper vans and motor homes for people to help them achieve their own off-grid dreams.
‘I would tell people to make sure you have some money to start as it takes more of your life than you could ever think.’
Mr Duckworth has clocked up 4,000 miles in his quirky home so far and hopes to help others achieve their dreams of tiny mobile travel