Fantastic 4 x 4 Survival Adventure Van / Home On Wheels

This van is a wonderful example of great small space design! It’s a comfortable space for long-term living, but still can be taken to the most adventurous of locations!

4x4 ADVENTURE VAN (2 of 6)

John McElhiney is no stranger to adventure having lived and traveled throughout some of the harshest regions of the planet. Currently living in Wellington, New Zealand, he set about building an expedition van that would allow him to visit the most remote regions of the country (and perhaps even overseas).


Despite being fully kitted out for possible long-term living, the van doesn’t loose any functionality as an off-road, 4×4 vehicle. The van is even equipped with a snorkel allowing John to traverse through water almost as high as the van itself.

4x4 ADVENTURE VAN (3 of 6)

Inside, the van is set up for comfortable stays, including beds, a table, and fully functional kitchenette. The van has a good amount of on-board water storage and even has a built-in toilet. John likes the idea that in an emergency, his van encapsulates everything that he needs to survive.

4x4 ADVENTURE VAN (1 of 6)

There’s no question about it, even though this expedition van is designed to rough it on the road, the occupant is able to live in style when the van is parked up. An over-specked solar system ensures that there is always enough power to run lap-tops and devices while also keeping some drinks in the fridge nice and chilled.

4x4 ADVENTURE VAN (4 of 6)

For those of you would like to know more about this amazing project, John has fully documented the entire build process of his van. John’s Van Blog contains all the details of it’s construction and the vans numerous impressive features. He’s also working on a book that details the entire project. We’ll be sure to let you know when this hits the market!


Posted on by Bryce Posted in Tiny House Tours

About Bryce

Bryce Langston is a New Zealand based actor, musician, filmmaker and environmentalist who has spent the past five years travelling the globe exploring the Tiny House movement as the creator and host of the popular online web series Living Big in a Tiny House

4 Responses to Fantastic 4 x 4 Survival Adventure Van / Home On Wheels

  1. Seona

    My late hubbie first saw the Delica in Aberdeenshire, where we are from. There were only two, I’d pass one on my daily commute to work. He decided on a Deli for when we arrived here in 09. We picked one up in Timaru when we were living in Chch. Whilst we were waiting for his tools to arrive from Scotland he made a model of the intended design. He loved model making. He then made up a cardboard cut out full size for the interior, just to test it. And we were pretty much finished it when he was killed in a motorcycle accident (16 weeks after arriving here). Our good friend in Chch helped me finish off the deisgn (he was a carpenter), and I toured round the South Island with it a couple of times. I have some pics of it. I sold it on as, at the time, I felt that if my hubby wasn’t here to share the adventure, then there was no point in keeping it. I kinda wish I had kept it… awesome wee van! But the young lad that bought it had two young kids, and he bought it sight unseen. When he came to pick it up, his face reminded me of how excited my Ewan was when he acquired it. I am sure he has had some epic adventures in it anyway…… Lovely to see how well thought out this one was too. Regards.. PS> I am just about to start building my 7.5×2.5m tiny house in two weeks. Soooooo excited!

  2. John

    I spend well over $28K NZD on modifications of all types..


  3. Forget Your Feet

    Hi Bryce
    Another awesome episode!!
    I was hoping you were going to ask how much it cost to build the 4×4 mobile home van. By any chance do you know?
    Thanks again for your videos I am inspired every time!

  4. Gary Stoneley


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