Video of the Week: Truck House Life Takes on Old Dale Road

Few vehicles are as distinguishable as Tim Johnson’s Ford F-350 and DIY wood cabin combo. It’s a combination that simply shouldn’t work, but with a lot of thoughtful consideration and attention to detail, he’s not only made it possible but has also created a capable rolling home. Tim is a whitewater kayaker, snowboarder, filmmaker, and all-around outdoorsman based in Alaska. His Youtube channel, Truck House Life, documents his adventures across the US as he seeks out the road less traveled.

Before purchasing his F-350, Tim spent six years living in a motorhome, but when it came time to renovate, the cost was astronomical. Subsequently, he realized it would be better to cut ties and invest the money into building his dream rig. In a world where expedition builds often cost in excess of $100,000, Tim created a four-season, go-anywhere home on wheels for just $26,000. Despite building his rig on a budget, it comes well equipped with heating, a toilet, USB charging ports, 100 watts of solar, two sofas (with seating for six), a television, a wood stove, air conditioning, fridge, oven, ample storage, and a rear porch.

In these episodes, Tim puts his F-350 and DIY camper through its paces, leaving Highway 62 to navigate the 4×4 Old Dale Road into Joshua Tree National Park. The first episode culminates at a beautiful camp spot outside of the Joshua Tree National Park boundary. The second episode follows Tim as he continues to navigate the technical descent into the national park before finally leveling out. However, he’s then faced with deep sand requiring 4WD, airing down the tires, and maintaining momentum to avoid getting stuck. The journey culminates as he rejoins the tarmac and visits some beautiful rock formations before checking the iconic Joshua Trees (or Yucca Brevifolia) and finishing up at an idyllic campsite in the middle of the park.

Truck House Life is a fantastic channel, and while the rig and adventures are epic, the real star of the show is Tim. His down-to-earth and easy-going persona makes these videos a pleasant viewing experience, while his affordable approach to overlanding is a refreshing change from the ultra-expensive vehicles and accessories that make this form of travel feel so exclusive. I’m in love with his classic Ford F-350, which serves as a reminder that many older budget trucks are still a great option for this lifestyle (and who doesn’t love a 7.3-liter Power Stroke). If you’d like to know more about Tim and his adventures, follow along at or on Instagram: truckhouselife.

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.