Tiny House Truck: 1948 Ford F4

The tiny house movement has been popular over the past decade or so. It has even spawned many television shows where people downsize their dwellings in an attempt to live a more simple life. Most tiny houses that are mobile are built on trailers and require a good-sized truck to move. Some people would call this 1948 Ford F4 a camper or RV, but it is truly a tiny house on wheels. It can be found here on Craigslist, with an asking price of $5,000. Located in Columbia, Tennessee, the house needs a little bit of finish work, but overall it has a great look. Let’s take a peek inside and many thanks to Ikey H. for the tip on this…er…truck?

The cab interior is pretty typical of a truck of this era. Bare-bones door panels, dash, and upholstery make for a utilitarian feeling. As you’ll see with the current powerplant, if the new owner plans on making this a mobile home, an upgraded interior may be needed.

The engine is a 239 cubic inch Flathead V8 backed by a manual transmission. The ad doesn’t say much about the condition of the drive train other than it can be driven. The new owner will have to decide if the current combination is sufficient for their needs. As with the interior, if they decide this will be a traveling tiny house, perhaps an upgrade will be in order?

The house interior needs finishing but it looks like it has been started well. The cabinet work is Cedar and the floors are hardwood. It also has a bathroom and shower area. The metal frame underneath is all-new metal that has been epoxy coated. I wish there was a floor plan drawing included because it’s a little hard to tell where everything is situated based on the photos in the ad.

The seller says the roof is good quality “high-grade roofing metal” and should be built to last. Did you notice the rear awning? It looks like a 1959 Chevy truck hood! Overall, this is a neat build and it leaves just enough left to do that the new owner can put their own twist on it. How would you finish it?


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  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Finish the camper-the. take it off the truck!!! Afterwards fix the truck and drive it as a truck, not a mobile condo..

    Like 16
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      My sentiments exactly! The F4 is a good usable sized truck that can do a lot of hauling yet isn’t big and clumsy. It could also haul that small antique tractor to the farm show. Bone stock is the way I would do it. The camper would be put to good use on something else…

      Like 9
      • Howard A Member

        Yeah, but just think, your neighbors upset you, roll in the cords, pump the gas pedal 12 times, and adios. I tend to agree, kind of does neither job. These “tiny” home are real popular here, only because real homes are so out of reach. Many are on gooseneck trailers, as once you get somewhere, chances are you’re not going to drive around, which makes this extremely impractical, the truck part is going to waste away. The F4 was kind of the beginning to the heavy duty trucks, F3 still being rather light duty.

        Like 6
    • Bob

      I like your Matchless!

      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Thanks, Bob!

  2. Big_Fun Member

    Alright…everyone put your hand on your head. That’s roughly the center of gravity for this one.
    Perception is reality. Call this one a camper, and no one cares. Call is a tiny home, and people rise to occasion and are all in.
    That Ford isn’t the most environmentally friendly, either.

    Like 13
    • Tony T

      Imagine, if you will, a harsh cross-wind on a curvy Cascades road … with that high C.G. Picture the lumber all over the highway.

      Like 24
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        It wouldn’t last out west at all. Those Chinook blasters have destroyed a lot of RVs and semis over the years. I’ve been out west all my life and time finally caught up with me. Pulling the empty cargo trailer when the wind came up with gusts to 105 mph. Contemplating turning back when a gust hit blowing the trailer over. I can only imagine what it would have done to something like this…

        Like 10
      • Pete Phillips

        Wow, it’s about as aerodynamic as a brick! (laughing)

        Like 8
      • CCFisher

        Your comment puts me in mind of the Top Gear episode where Jeremy Clarkson drives a Citroen converted to a 3-story RV. It was as entertaining as you would expect.

        Like 9
    • Thomas Parker

      4 wheel anti stop brakes do wonders. The power assist option would be using the Fred Flintstone style stopping by putting your feet thru the floor panels. And having non synchro gears to double pump the clutch for downshifting.

      Like 5
      • John

        Anti stop brakes is an oxymoron.

        Like 7
      • glen

        The brakes on my pickup are becoming anti-stop!

        Like 5
    • Thomas Parker

      And think about the 100 ft turning radius. Not sure when 4 wheel brakes came out. Some trucks only had rear brakes. I call them 4 wheel anti stop brakes. See comment below

  3. NedChambliss

    If you drive this, hope you like parking about a mile and a half away from every stoplight. That overhang is gonna require a bumper-mounted spotter.

    Like 5
  4. Jay E.

    Someone made an epic documented journey using an old truck camper combo and this is a similar idea. It is tough to even start a real tiny house on 5K, so buying this and separating it to put on a good trailer would be a good start. That is assuming it is a decent build with good insulated walls, plumbing and electrical. Or sell the project and restore the truck. I wouldn’t consider this a tiny house at all. I doubt its ever been on the road since I think the front overhang of the roof would tear off as soon as it got to speed.

    Like 8
  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    I’m assuming this is a new build made to look old. It is a good start for a tiny house. I’d take it off the truck and mount it on trailer I’d then fill in the area that went over the cab for storage and utilities. As for the truck cumins diesel with five speed, upgrade the suspension steering and brakes. Then put a period correct truck box on it. Now you have a hauler to pull your tiny house. As for the over hang on the roof I’d trim that off and I’d get rid of that Chevy truck hood too. There is a great deal of potential here for a bargain basement startup price it just needs to be reconfigured.

    Like 5
    • Thomas Parker

      Not to mention roof clearance at the Flying A, Philip’s 66, or Richfield or Texaco gas stations. And don’t forget to add a quart of non detergent oil in them open glass containers with pour spouts. Oh wait. Service stations is what they were
      and had no cover over the gravity flow pumps

      Like 1
  6. IkeyHeyman

    I thought this rig would be useful if the old lady kicked me out, then I realized she would kick me out if I bought it. I guess that’s what they call a conundrum!

    Like 15
    • Howard A Member

      Dad’s pad when mom”s mad,,I saw that on a truck sleeper once.

      Like 2
  7. Had Two

    Had one like it….but this one WAY TOO BIG. Advice; Avoid the Fargo area
    in late November.

    Like 6
    • luke arnott Member

      I went to Fargo one September – remember it being cold.

      Like 4
    • Thomas Parker

      This is what was missing from the movie The Grapes of Wrath

      Like 7
  8. Arby

    It needs a porch – with a beat-up couch on it…

    Like 6
    • Thomas Parker

      And a couple of rocking chairs, a shot gun for trespassers, old corn stalks by the door and corn cob pipes for pa

      Like 5
  9. RNR

    This is literally an example of the “Tiny House Movement”……as long as the truck runs.

    Like 2
  10. Little_Cars

    Wow, this appears to be where I used to live in the photos, and right up the street from where I work now. Gotta go take a look. Wonder how much of a pothole or ridge in the pavement would make those two tiny toothpick holding the front up fold from the physics involved? The mass over the cab looks problematic.

    Like 1
  11. Gaspumpchas

    RNR…The “tiny house movement”- I’ve watched a few of these episodes of tiny home shows. Shows yuppies and tree huggers buying into this–shucking off all of your possesions for a unliveable small house. Even saw one where one family had a bunch of kids they crammed into one of these shoeboxes. What they don’t show you is the aftermath when they find out its no picnic and families wind up splitting up. Bigfun makes a great point- call it camper, nobody cares. Call it a tiny home, the yuppies come out of the woodwork. Perception and TV show hype. Sorry this is off topic.

    Like 11
    • Eric

      With kids, yes, it’s a complete joke. But, if you’re single or just a couple, why not? The insane costs of housing in a lot of areas is also pushing this movement. It’s a good alternative and also good if you don’t want to be sedentary and travel cheaply. Experiences over possessions. But yeah, some people do need a big house to fill with useless plastic crap that will eventually go in a landfill, 6 tv’s and an extra fridge in the garage.

      Like 5
      • Howard A Member


        Like 6
  12. Had Two

    In California I believe it can still be licensed as a “Housecar”.
    Exempt from smog due to its age.

    Like 3
  13. John Member

    Whata waste of time and a truck, if it hits the road doubt that little V-8 could get it up to 45 in a head wind, like to see what it weigh’s. An accident waiting to happen…..stupid!!!

    Like 1
  14. CParm

    I’d donate the “house” to the nearest homeless encampment and make this a flatbed

    Like 2
  15. Del

    Joke of the Month on Barn Finds 😁😊😃

    Like 2
  16. ace10

    Oh those poor hipsters and their never-ending pursuit of cool. Gravity, comfort, sanitation and aerodynamics be damned!

    Like 2
  17. Bob McK Member

    Park it in the woods and use it as a hunting camp, or on a lake as a summer get away. Driving it may be something you should really think about before you leave the driveway.

    Like 5
  18. sourpwr Member

    Leave it as is! Pull it out on the ice and use it as an ice fishing shanty. Don’t remove it in the spring.

    Like 3
  19. dogwater

    Hey honey lets buy it,get some weed and take a trip…….

    Like 2
  20. TimM

    I say drive as fast as you can till you find a bridge at about 10’6″ and just keep going!! Then bring it home and park the truc in the garage!!!

    Like 2
  21. Mark S.

    Take the house off and use it for a storage shed. Fix the truck.

    Like 1
  22. Eric

    Lotta questionable issues here, but I can’t deny that that’s the coolest awning I’ve ever seen.

    Like 5
  23. James Turner

    These old pick up trucks are a time bomb waiting to happen in an accident. Look where the gas filler cap is and just think about sitting right in front of the gas tank. Absolutely no chance of survival. You would turn into a carbon French fry.

    Like 3
  24. JohnS

    Undo the connecting bolts, cut away the front ‘toothpicks’, and back up to your local tip at speed. Jam the brakes on and you might be left with something worth restoring.
    Not for me.

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