By Giacomo Brunelli @GiacomoBrunelli
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / director: Lauren Knapp
Producer: Frazer Randalls, Ruby Coote
Editor: Thom Johnson
Kourtney and Trevor Smithson of Virginia, USA built their very own home on wheels using an original Stewart and Stevenson M1078 LMTV troop carrier, which they picked up at a military auction.
Measuring 21 feet in length and 12 feet in height, this monster’s main feat isn’t its speed, as it can only reach a maximum of 60mph.
“It’s a slow truck but a fast house,” Trevor told BTV.
Its owners named the ex-combat vehicle turned cosy mobile home, ‘Wazimu’, which translates as ‘crazy’.
For the couple, who also live with two dogs, this was a dream come true.
Kourtney said: “We’ve always talked about living full time on the road or just travelling a lot”.
The conversion took just six weeks to complete and cost the couple around $37,000, including the purchase of the truck.
Trevor explained: “Instead of taking our time to make the absolute perfect vehicle from the very beginning, we just did it and got on the road”.
With its huge 4x4 wheels, no location is out of reach or inaccessible for this beast.
Trevor said: “The truck is designed to be able to handle up to four feet of water, so far we’ve done three feet of water and had no problems.”
They are especially proud of the central tire inflation system, as the tire pressure can be adjusted to as low as 15psi and as high as 95psi, depending on which terrain they’re driving on.
Trevor said: “It’s pretty rad to show up and everybody else has to stop, switch to 4 wheel drive, air down their tires and we just drive right on past them.”
Since finalising the project, Kourtney and Trevor added some upgrades to the vehicle, including updating their entire solar energy system with lithium batteries.
The driving seats and living areas are separate but joined by a hatch to cross through one space to the other.
Trevor said: “While I’m driving Kourtney and the boys can jump on through, no big deal.”
The living area “is my domain” says Kourtney - they’ve had to think about using space effectively, so their U-shaped sofa doubles up as clothing storage.
Their bed is raised above the sofa and can be lowered when needed: “It’s on a crank system that usually people use in their garages,” explained Kourtney.
But living in a truck inevitably means making some compromises.
Kourtney said: “Originally we had an actual refrigerator but after one trip off-roading it detached, laid itself on our couch and all the groceries went everywhere.”
One thing Kourtney didn’t want to scale back on though was the toilet.
She said: “Living like hippies doesn’t mean we need to smell like hippies, so I really wanted a nice bathroom situation”.
This outrageous vehicle is this young couple’s pride and joy, but they realise it’s not for everyone
Kourtney said: “It’s a very privileged lifestyle, we are super aware of that. We feel very lucky to choose to be able to do this. But it’s not for the faint of heart - it’s not always that easy.”