These days, imagination and skills can turn just about anything into a comfortable tiny home. This couple, however, just made the most whimsical home transformation yet.
Paul Battenally and Clara Tindal renovated an iconic Coca-cola truck into a tiny home on wheels so they could travel and explore Australia.
Battenally and Trindall, who live in Wollongong, Australia, were brought together by a love of adventure, having met while traveling and working in Japan.
The two have always wanted to explore Australia. Battenally said, “We started looking into getting a motorhome and saw a few vans, but a lot of them were quite small, and I’m very tall, so the ceiling height wasn’t great. Then we came across the Coca-Cola truck, purchased it in 2021 and started converting it.”
The couple bought the Coca-cola truck for $17,500 and the 32-year-old Battenally spent 11 months renovating the 2005 Isuzu truck.
He shared, “When I bought the truck, I was living in a shared house with a bunch of friends in a coastal city in New South Wales, and so I was working on it in my free time after work. I’m a carpenter, so I had all the skills necessary to build it, and it wasn’t too challenging for me.”
The couple did a lot of the work on the truck themselves and got some tutorials from YouTube. They used leftover supplies, sourced secondhand items, and sometimes got material from Battenally’s job sites.
In November 2021, the couple moved into their renovated Coca-cola truck and lived in it for a year to save up for their dream trip.
During that time, they also spent more to ensure that their tiny home would be travel-ready. Battenally and Trindall spent about A$8,220 on appliances, A$6,285 on electrical maintenance, $1,100 on plumbing, $2,550 on windows, and A$8,189 on building materials to outfit the truck.
The Coca-cola truck now has a queen-sized bed, kitchen, compost toilet, and shower. The living area has a table and brown cushioned seating, and their kitchen has a sink, oven, and gas stove top.
Outside, pine cladding was added to the side of the truck alongside custom built windows. There’s a storage area for surfboards, dirt bikes, and sports equipment.
Despite all the renovations, the tiny home was clearly a Coca-cola truck since Battenally and Trindall kept the truck’s tautliner with the Coca-Cola logo, which serves as a curtain to keep bugs out.
Trindall said, “We were going to get rid of the Coke curtains altogether but once we started building, we fell in love with the idea of keeping them.”
In January 2023, the couple began their journey with A$40,000 to fund their adventure. The happy couple is now living rent-free in their beautiful Coca-cola truck and spending about A$500 a week on fuel and food.
Trindall, 27, is a registered nurse and sells art to bring in some cash. On the other hand, Battenally does some carpentry work when it’s available.
The couple is into a few months of their dream life and the Coca-cola truck draws a lot of attention. At campsites, a lot of people often come over to have a look.
It runs on solar and deep cycle batteries so there is no need to plug into any power. Gutters collect rainwater.
Battenally and Trindall cook for themselves most nights and spend their free time surfing, riding, swimming, hiking, and paddle boarding during the day.
They intend to live in their tiny home and travel around Australia for a year and are roughly aiming to finish their trip in Tasmania by the end of the 2023. After that they intend to continue to live in the Coca-cola truck while they renovate a house in 2024.
The pair have been documenting their travels to places such as Double Island, the Great Barrier Reef, and Tully Falls in the far north of Queensland on Instagram at @colas_truckingadventures.
Their home is fittingly named Cola and the couple gets to have an adventure, live rent-free, and escape the high cost of living in their Coca-cola truck.
Battenally said, “It feels amazing being rent-free and not having to deal with the difficult task of trying to find and apply for overpriced rentals. We were drawn to the idea of being on the open road with nowhere to be and no one to answer to – rent-free and work-free. It’s a great sense of freedom.”
And for anyone thinking of going on a similar adventure, he added, “Leap and just do it. We love being able to move around every few days and waking up to nature and the freedom the lifestyle gives us!”