Adapting Commercial Vehicles for Affordable Long-Term Living

Some of these options can allow you to stealth camp, as with a personal vehicle, but they’re typically more expensive to convert than a personal vehicle and they require a lot more skill to build out. While it’s possible to do all of the work yourself from recycled or discounted materials, saving a lot of money, the cost of the vehicle plus the build-out can rival the price of a similar-sized camper (especially if you already have a vehicle that can pull the camper, eliminating that as an additional expense). But the pro side is that all of these options have more living space and head room than personal vehicles, and the largest conversion of all, a school bus (affectionately known as a “skoolie” by the people who live in them), can provide living space for a small family.

When shopping for a used vehicle in this category, don’t be put off by high mileage. Do your research into the make and model you’re looking at, but most commercial-grade vehicles are made with more robust engines and transmissions, so what constitutes high mileage (i.e. expensive and major maintenance period) for a personal vehicle is not the same for a commercial vehicle. A semi-truck, for example, is made to rack up a million+ miles.

Regardless of which vehicle you choose to build out, this is a building system that combines insulation and wood to make the build easier and cheaper.

Also, check out this list of 25 places where you can sleep while you’re on the road.


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