High desert life: pro snowboarder’s ’50s fire truck home

Since he was a teen Smith has been paid to chase snow around the world, but after a decade on the road, he wanted to slow things down. His brother had bought a 1953 GMC fire truck on eBay for $5000 that his parents wanted out of their yard, so Smith converted it into a tiny home and drove it to his local mountain to live, and snowboard, for the winter (Mt Bachelor, like some other ski resorts, allow in their parking lot).

With 180 watts of photovoltaics and a mini -burning stove, Smith lived completely off grid for the season (The mountain allowed access to their bathrooms and showers) in his 90-something-square-meter “micro dojo” (he doesn’t like the trendiness of the term “tiny home”).

After a very snowy season at bottom of the mountain, Smith moved his truck to his parents’ home nearby where he began an experiment in summer living (when he’s not traveling for snowboarding). For his next move, he’s having the truck reworked with four wheel drive and a rooftop deck, perhaps with a tent as a guest or with more of a “dance party” vibe.


  1. That drone is the best unconfined view maker. What had me sold was the ’53 GMC platform.
    The daily driver for the past 15 years, for this child, has been a ’50 – 5 window Chevy 1/2 ton shortbed, nicknamed ”Epitaph” for 3 reasons… King Crimson’s song, The 7th chapter of a conduited book i’d whittled out back in 2012, & the truck of my 9 yr. old grandson’s inheritance.
    Keep Em’ Commin’ KD & Family! 51318

  2. You really don’t need brakes with a stick…?
    Love the build..very roomy for the size!
    I wonder if he still wants to sell and how much.

    “keep the faith people, and keep on keeping on”

  3. SUPER SIMPLE !!! Love it. So TRUE about what some people call SIMPLE !!! Hope to see the upgrades. Loving all the GOAL ZERO accessaries. Did you notice what size bank he was using ?

  4. That is an amazing transformation for a noble truck. I’m so glad it wasn’t sent to a junkyard- it has a new life.

  5. KD, Your videos always interesting. My personal takeaways: Cubic Mini stove if I ever do a trailer, NF Himalayan suit (nice) if I ever find a need. Austin’s Drink Water is a noble cause as RB and others have such a stranglehold.

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