In addition to our regular truck refurbishment work, we have been working hard behind the scenes planning our future living space floor plan. When we got our truck, it had a custom built living habitat module designed and built for the previous owner.
Our original plan was to completely change the floor plan and re-work the interior. After we got the truck, we realized that although the box didn’t have the layout we wanted, it was actually pretty nice inside. Instead of gutting a perfectly good habitat box, we recently sold the box that came with the truck, and over the past few weeks, we designed a new habitat box that meets all of our specific needs.
A few days ago, we ordered the new habitat from Total Composites. It is similar to other boxes that they have made in the past, but this one is specific to our dimensions and floor plan. The habitat box will need assembling and does not come with any interior. Over the last two years, we have accumulated a lot of the items for the interior.
Interior Dimensions: 6’10.5″ wide with 6’4″ standing head height
Walls are 50mm thick composite sandwich panel
The ceiling, floor, forward, and and aft wall are 84mm thick composite sandwich panel
Steel / composite hardpoints embedded in floor and back wall for mounting
Habitat is mounted to a Mercedes torsion free subframe
Door, windows, cargo access hatches and roof hatch from Tern Overland
The windows are European style, double glazed acrylic, top hinge, with integrated blinds and screens. Two large roof vents and solar panels are on the roof. In total there are 7 screened openings for excellent cross flow and natural light.
Floor Plan Details
Our new layout incorporates a pass through from the cab into a combined bathroom entry. There is a raised permanent bed in the back of the habitat with a large storage area underneath the bed accessible from the outside. The center of the habitat is a large open area dedicated to a kitchen on the left side and a project/work/eating area on the right side. The spare tire and cargo are mounted to a custom frame on the back of the habitat.
We have been working over the last few weeks to get the old habitat ready to be transferred to the new owner. A crane came this morning and lifted the habitat from our truck to the new owner’s truck. Everything went smoothly. We’ll be ready to start subframe work soon.
We are really happy that our new habitat box is on its way from Total Composites. We received notification that the shipping process started last week. The box should get here around the end of the month / beginning of next month. Total Composites sent us a picture of our habitat ready to ship!
Now that our old habitat box is removed, it is time to get going on our subframe modifications. Our subframe is in great shape, and we are really happy with its layout. Our plan is to remove some unneeded material, make a new perimeter frame, create a habitat ladder mount, add understorage box and jerry can mounts, and add new fender mounts. Unrelated to the subframe but before our new habitat box goes on, we’d like to remove the old spare tire mount and possibly install a new fuel tank if time and availability permits.
To get our subframe work going, we went by a local steel supplier and picked up 138 pounds of steel for the subframe modifications.