After selling their previous build, the couple got their hands on this 4x4 2003 Mitsubishi Fuso FG. The name "Percy" was inspired by the "perseverance" they had to build this thing out, as they encountered many challenges. For instance, they had to rebuild the vehicle's transmission a staggering four times until they made it work properly.
Before we go into further detail, let's talk about costs since you're probably interested in that. The couple bought the box truck at an auction in Denver, United States, and they were the only ones to bid, purchasing it for a mere $7,500 (€6,924). However, the low price meant the vehicle had some issues, including the transmission.
Mark and Marina invested around $30,000 (€27,695) to convert it, including the cost of the box and all the interior features. They say the total price of this build was $37,000 (€34,157), which is overall not that bad. It's up to you to decide if it was worth it once you see what's inside.
Its shape and size weren't the only reasons why Mark chose this exact vehicle. He says he went for a 2003 model because it sports a mechanical 3.9-liter turbo diesel engine, so repairing it is easier as it doesn't come with many sensors and electronics. He can pop the front cab forward whenever a repair is needed to reveal the engine.
Mark says they get about 14 MPG (16.8 L/100km) with this rig. One of the modifications the couple made, which also improves the gas mileage, is an aerodynamic cover for what they describe as "one of their greatest assets," a Mr. Cool mini-split.
If you look around the rig and you're even remotely familiar with campers, you'll probably figure out this is a tiny home on wheels. What gives it away are the side windows, the solar panels on the roof, and the various small exterior compartments.
Mark and Marina installed a 14-inch fan, a Maxxair fan, and 990 W solar panels on the roof. My favorite part regarding this rig's exterior is the rear - the couple devised a 60/40-split opening top and lowering deck. The entire rear part of the rig opens up, drastically increasing air circulation, the amount of light they get inside, and the feel of space.
Another clever detail is that in order not to affect the vehicle's departure angle, the couple didn't fit a fixed deck at the rear to support the weight of the lower part of the door. Instead, they used two heavy-duty swinging metal supports locked in place using metal pins.
If you're already impressed with this mobile home, just know you haven't even seen the best part yet: the interior. You'll discover a homey space with many wooden elements as soon as you enter.
You'll find the kitchen on your right as you step inside - the most striking element is undoubtedly the enormous butcher block countertop, which comes with an epoxy finish, giving it a beautiful shine. Here's where you'll see the first curved design inside this rig: the countertop that integrates the sink.
You'll notice the kitchen is very well equipped, featuring a 21-inch (53-centimeter) oven with a three-burner stove, a massive apartment-size fridge, and a large pantry. It's safe to say that food storage won't ever be an issue on this rig. Moreover, as I mentioned, the couple raised the kitchen to make room for extra storage, which is also accessible by lifting the kitchen floor.
Mark and Marina have come up with some clever ideas for the kitchen. For instance, they fitted a magnetic backsplash wall behind the oven, where they attached some small shelves - the cool thing is that they can be easily rearranged, and the magnets are strong enough to hold them even when the road gets bumpier. Another ingenious touch is a laundry and garbage chute in the countertop's back corner.
Next, we have the bathroom tucked away in the front corner of the vehicle's box. You'll have to step down to get into it. It's surprisingly spacious and tall and features a teak mat, a misting shower head, and a 12 V composting toilet with a vent that directs the smell underneath the vehicle.
I love that Mark and Marina have thought of every single design detail – for instance, because the fridge is kind of in the way when entering the bathroom, Mark devised a cut-out with, yet again, a curved design, allowing them to step into the shower without having to hit their shoulders on the fridge or on the kitchen side wall.
Underneath the fridge, there's a large drawer where the duo stores clothes, as well as the battery pack system with a total of 900 Ah – that's a lot of power. The rest of the electrical system consists of a 3,000 W inverter, a DC/DC converter, a solar charge controller, and more. It's housed underneath one of the most creative parts of this van: a modular closet.
And lastly, we have the lounge area/bedroom. A large bed is mounted on a HappiJac system, which maximizes the available space. Underneath, the couple came up with an eye-catching bed frame. Moreover, they can attach tiny brackets to this frame, which connect to a swing. Just imagine you open up the entire rear area, install a swing, and enjoy the sunlight while reading a book.
Another distinctive feature is that the lounge area benches and tables can be rearranged however they like, although the standard layout seems to be L-shaped.
Overall, it's incredible how many creature comforts and storage spaces the couple managed to fit inside this vehicle. The cherry on top is that it all looks stunning – it's definitely one of the best box truck builds I've ever seen. Considering this rig's utilities and off-road and off-grid capabilities, it's not even that expensive.