Anything rectangular is fair game when it comes to building campers. The 90-degree angles maximise the available living space, making buses and box trucks compelling alternatives for DIYers. One Southwest Airlines pilot found the perfect home at work – an airline box truck with a scissor lift that was designed to load snacks into planes. He's turned it into his new home with a view.
He won the truck at an auction for just $3,300 (approx. £2,700), taking seven months to complete the $30,000 (£25,000) build. The 2000 Ford F-650 measures about 29 feet (8.84 metres) long and weighs 25,000 pounds (11,340 kilograms). Its most interesting feature is the 17-foot (5 metre) scissor lift that raises the box into the sky. He finished the beastly vehicle in fighter jet grey as he was once a fighter pilot, decorating his truck with other memorabilia from his time in the service.
Inside, Mark raised the roof by about two feet (600 mm) and made a number of other modifications to turn the box truck into a proper living space. There's a large shower, a two-burner cooktop, and a sizeable sink. The fridge and freezer he installed were built for a yacht, but the combo works for him.
The bed is in a loft accessible via a retractable ladder. A skylight with automatic blinds provides additional headroom and a perfect place to stargaze, especially from the comfort of the camper's queen-size bed. Magnets keep many of his processions in place, including the cups and plates in the kitchen.
Mark turned the external load floor into an outdoor deck, installing a grille, table, outdoor speakers, and a chair to enjoy the views made possible with the lift. He also has a bike rack and an outdoor shower that's still accessible when the lift is fully extended, along with other neat features.
People have more options than ever when deciding to live in a camper. Companies are making dedicated vehicles with the latest and greatest features, while people are taking it upon themselves to build a vehicle that suits their needs and budget. Access to information through YouTube and the internet is also helping turn people into DIYers.