Being on the road away from home for long periods of time can really suck. Fortunately for me I have a pretty nice home on wheels that I live in throughout my travels. It is a 2012 Volvo 780. It’s an eighteen wheeler, in case you were wondering. So while I’m hauling freight all over this beautiful nation, my home away from home, and my bed, is with me on every mile I cover. At any time I want, everything I need is with me – except a shower. Yes, I have a toilet in the truck, and it’s a lifesaver at times!
This truck makes all the difference in the world while staying out for weeks at a time. When I started trucking 30 years ago, trucks such as this didn’t exist. Only trucks with custom sleepers, and they were so expensive that very few of us had them. So most of us have the standard sleepers that trucks are built with, and today they are not too bad.
My truck has one of those bunks that is often referred to as a condo. Technically I think it is a 78” bunk, hence the designator of 780 as the truck’s model number. As far as factory sleepers go with any truck builder, it is my favorite. With the openness to the cab area, and having booth seats and a table, it offers the most roomy feeling that any truck has.
It has the table and booth seats, one of which I converted to hold my fridge (I’ll explain what I did there in a bit). The table and booth seats can convert into a good size bed. Above the table is a drop down bunk bed. That is where I sleep every night. I don’t ever make my bed. I just flip it up against the back wall every morning. Poof, my bed disappears! Love it!
Oh. I also have added many aftermarket LED lights in the sleeper area that I love better than the factory lights that come built in the truck. These are what you see in the pics.
On the passenger side of the truck is a closet for clothes. It came with a hanger bar, but I inserted a four drawer thing so I can store more clothes. I really don’t need to hang my clothes. Under that at floor level is a shoe closet, but that has become my toilet closet. I can just slide it out when needed. I use one of those porta pottys. It fits perfectly.
On the drivers side is a place for my microwave. Below it are two drawers. Well, one drawer now, I took one out to make more room below it. I keep my bananas and a few cans of beans and soups in the one drawer that’s left. Under the drawers is where a fridge was, but it was hardly working when I bought the truck in 2015. I bought this truck without any warranty, and didn’t check to see if it was working properly, and it wasn’t. But that’s ok, because the factory fridge wouldn’t even hold half of what my current setup holds. So the area where it had been is now where I store my guitar and keyboard, and other stuff.
I took out the factory fridge, and I’m using that space to store all my gear (guitar, keyboard, amp, backpacks and bags of GoPros and all the electronics and cables I carry with me). I bought a 36 quart Whynter fridge on Amazon that is awesome.
I have it sitting on the drivers side booth seat, without the cushion, and held in place with of all things – door stoppers. They work!
I admit, it’s a strange solution. But, I was in a hurry to find a way to keep it from moving around. So, I found these left over door stoppers from our home and mounted them into the board under where the cushion was. They work! This fridge has twice the storage of the factory one. Plus, it’s like a cooler with the door on top. So the door is not going to open and letting stuff out. I know the factory fridge had a pin to keep the door from opening, but remembering to put that bugger back in it’s place 100% of the time was impossible. With this set up I don’t have to worry about anything spilling out.
This is a view of the driver area from the bunk. It was taken when I was parked for the night and had the curtains drawn. It is very private in here when the curtains are closed.
There is even a sunroof, but I keep it covered up. I hate sunlight coming in, or parking lot lights when I’m trying to sleep.
The closet above the microwave keeps all my plastic ware, cups, and protein shake powder. Above the drivers seat is all my K-cups for my Keurig, Cliff bars, and protein boosts.
In the space above the closet on the passenger side I have a plastic 3 drawer to keep HBA and personal items handy. The closet above holds all my towels and wash cloths. Above the passenger area is toilet paper, Windex, hand warmers, Lysol wipes, manuals, and a code reader for the truck.
Sorry that my home on the road is a little messy. It happens to get that way much quicker on the road than it does in our home back in Tennessee.
Under my table I have mounted to the floor an electronic safe. It’s perfect for keeping my money, tablets, laptop, and my gun locked up when I can’t carry in certain states. Although, I haven’t been carrying while trucking for some time because I will sometimes take loads into Canada. Carrying a handgun into Canada is a BIG No No!
I also keep my printer there for when the need arises. You never know when you’ll have to print out border crossing documents and permits.
I have owned many different trucks, and all in all, this truck has had the most room to live, eat, work on editing photos and video, record podcast, and watch games and movies, or TV shows on my iPad that I’ve ever had.
Someday though, there is another truck in my future. One where I will have a custom sleeper that’ll have a shower, a stovetop, a generator, and a place to store my Harley. That way I can really live independently, and ride whenever I have some time to do so, and see more of this beautiful county we call America.