Home » Someone Turned A Lawn Care Spray Truck Into A Weird Camper You Won’t See Anywhere Else

Someone Turned A Lawn Care Spray Truck Into A Weird Camper You Won’t See Anywhere Else

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Americans love lush, green lawns and there are services to help fertilize lawns and trees. One of them is TruGreen and for years, the company’s employees could be seen driving around white trucks with weird-looking fiberglass boxes on the back. Have you ever wondered what you could do with a TruGreen truck after its retirement? One person gutted out a TruGreen 2004 Isuzu NPR “Rhino” and turned it into one of the weirdest custom campers you’ll see anywhere. Bet you never thought about sleeping in a lawn care truck.

This oddball ride comes to us from friend and reader Austin Little. I’m so used to seeing buses and box trucks turned into RVs that this build stood out. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again. If you think factory-built RVs are boring, you don’t need to look any further than vintage or custom-built campers. The conversion of this NPR looks good enough that, if I didn’t know any better, you could probably fool me into thinking it was meant to be an RV.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I’ve seen these trucks for years, yet I’ve never thought of one of them as a possible future camper. I’m glad someone did.

From A Humble Spray Truck

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Facebook Seller

If you’re not well-versed in your lawn care company knowledge, don’t worry because I’m right there with you. I don’t currently have a lawn of any kind!

The TruGreen part of this story isn’t that important, but the company was formed in 1973 in David Tracy’s old stomping ground in Troy, Michigan. The company is technically two companies, ChemLawn and ChemGreen, combined into one giant lawn-spraying empire. TruGreen’s whole premise is sending someone out to take care of your lawn, trees, and bushes. Those people arrive in sprayer trucks filled with insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

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TruGreen

Today’s trucks (above) have service bodies on the back that look somewhat what you might see with your power company. But before them, TruGreen’s trucks were a bit different.

From what I’ve been able to find, the old TruGreen fiberglass spray trucks started their lives as Isuzu NPRs before getting sent to Supreme Corporation for a custom service body that was exclusive to ChemLawn/TruGreen. These bodies were built with a large rear hatch, a side hatch, and a tall side door that you could stand in. The interior would be filled up with what a worker needed to treat a lawn, including pumps, lines, and the chemicals.

Trugreen
TruGreen

When these trucks reach the end of their service lives with TruGreen, they often get auctioned off, where they end up in the hands of smaller lawn care operations. Some of them also get turned into trucks for other businesses, like one that used an old TruGreen truck as a powerwashing truck.

What I haven’t seen is a TruGreen truck getting turned into a camper.

The Lawn Care Camper

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Facebook Seller

This camper started life as a 2004 Isuzu NPR cab chassis. Power comes from a 4.8-liter four-cylinder diesel rated at 175 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque. Those relatively few ponies rear the rear wheels through an automatic transmission and the seller says the truck currently has 191,000 miles on it.

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The box on the back was built by Supreme and those in the lawn care world call it the Rhino. These boxes are made from roof to floor with thick insulated fiberglass. Of course, the intention here was to create a service body that lasts a long time, but that has the side benefit of being a nice base for a camper, too.

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Facebook Seller

Now, my original headline made a joke about how this is an article that you can smell, but the seller swears that’s not the case. The seller says they spent three days cleaning the interior with a power washer, bleach, acid wash, Simple Green, and sealer paint. So, you shouldn’t pass out from chemical fumes when you close the doors.

The seller then added a roof fan, a side window, and more:

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Facebook Seller

Fully new build 3-2024
Diesel heat
600w 12v to 110v inverter
Water pump with 6 gallon tank
Convertible couch/bed
Full fiberglass box, insulated, and even a fiberglass floor
Carpet and waterproof wood flooring
Led pod lights in ceiling
200w of roof solar, controller, 2 110V outlets with shore power
Kitchen area, sink, water pump, full standup shower at entry
Flushing camping toilet
32” Roku TV
A lot of storage and extra seating throughout
Large hidden under floor cooler with drain for all your ice and adult beverages

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Facebook Seller

Since this truck started life as a work truck, the dimensions are a tad funky. The truck is 18-feet long. Of that, 11.5 feet is the floor of the box. The box is also 80 inches wide and has 54 inches of height from floor to ceiling. The exception to that is the entry door, which doubles as a stand-up shower, and it gives you 6 feet, 2 inches of room.

Personally, my favorite part about the conversion is how all of those hatches and the door can be opened up to make an airy camper. Too many RVs make you feel like you’re sleeping in a dungeon. This one shouldn’t feel like that. I also like how this NPR has most of what you need and not too much extra fluff. A toilet and shower are present, as are the basic bones you need to cook yourself a decent meal. Given the RV’s size, it’s best for no more than two people, which is just fine!

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Hold Up

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Facebook Seller

Normally, I’d be quick to shower praise all over this build. I love so much of what’s going on here, from just the idea itself to the execution. However, there are some things you should know before giving $22,500 to the seller.

The first is that the NPR isn’t exactly a fun truck to drive. Yes, someone like me will have a ball behind the wheel. However, these weren’t made to be RVs. You’re sitting right on top of that steer axle and you can expect a ride and handling more comparable to a buggy than something like a van. If you can live with the fact that the truck will handle rough like, well, a work truck, it’ll probably be just fine.

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Facebook Seller

The good news is that this truck isn’t exactly a gas guzzler. The seller says it gets 17 mpg or better with them behind the wheel. Combine that with the truck’s 50-gallon fuel tank and you’re looking at a driving range of 850 miles, which is great!

The other thing you’ll want to watch out for is just the fact that some campgrounds aren’t going to want to see a rig like this pull in. Thankfully, this isn’t as widespread as people think, but there are campgrounds out there with arguably snooty rules about who can camp in them. State parks will be cooler than those places, anyway.

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Facebook Seller

Finally, you’ll have to ask yourself if you’re looking at $22,500 of RV here. These trucks are worth well under $10,000 even when they’re being sold by dealerships. So, is the work done here worth over $10,000?

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I’m not sure of the answer to that question, but this is a camper I would try out in a heartbeat. It’s just a bit different than everything else you see out there. If you’re interested, you can contact the seller on Facebook and then head out to Stow, Ohio, to start your new adventure.

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Lardo
Lardo
2 days ago

For all the people saying over priced, what do you think it would cost to do this? Once you start looking, it will seem under priced. With the insulation it should be 4 season worthy. If I didn’t have my Transit I’d be looking real hard at this rig. I think it is a steal.

Tyler S
Tyler S
2 days ago

I’ve been watching videos on kei truck based rv’s for a while, honestly this doesn’t look to different put a pass through to the cab and it’s a pretty normal layout, just scaled up a bit.

Ben
Ben
2 days ago

The exception to that is the entry door, which doubles as a stand-up shower, and it gives you 6 feet, 2 inches of room.

Hmm, I like that idea. As a tall person, even larger campers often have unusably short showers.

Personally, my favorite part about the conversion is how all of those hatches and the door can be opened up to make an airy camper.

Don’t you live in the midwest? All I see are mosquito ingress points. 😉

Lardo
Lardo
2 days ago
Reply to  Ben

yep, but you can get roll up screens

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
2 days ago

If this had a hitch, it would make the perfect track-weekend race hauler for the average Joe.
As far as camping and enjoying the outdoors? There’s far better choices in this price range. Like a Rialta.

Grayvee280
Grayvee280
2 days ago

not bad, but 22,5k would get you a solid VW Bay or Vanagon Westfalia. you’d be ready for all kinds of adventures and you can stand up to make those eggs!

Swing_Axle
Swing_Axle
2 days ago
Reply to  Grayvee280

And all of the wonderful problems that come with 30+ year old cars.

I say this as someone who daily-drives (and genuinely loves) an aircooled Vanagon: Sometimes you want something that isn’t trying to make its internal combustion external, just for one freaking day.

Grayvee280
Grayvee280
1 day ago
Reply to  Swing_Axle

could not agree more! I am the proud/sadistic owner of a 74 westy with a type4 914 motor in it. I’m currently elbow deep in it trying to get both headlights to turn on at the same time. Its my weekender and my son loves it, but good grief

You are a champion, I could imagine trying to daily a type 4 engine.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
2 days ago

Looks kind of like a Scamp on the back of an NPR. Being able to open the windows is cool until the bugs arrive, but otherwise I don’t see much more camping utility over a simple Van. You can’t stand up (shower excepted) and you have to exit the cab to get in the camper.

StevenR
StevenR
2 days ago

Not to be off topic, but I’ll mention it here, since it’s the first article I’ve seen it on.

The auto-play video in the upper corner of the window that can only be paused and not closed, is not great. It was an unwelcome distraction while trying to read this piece.

Lardo
Lardo
2 days ago
Reply to  StevenR

yeah it is super annoying. why is it happening? who wants it?

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
2 days ago

Yeah, crawling around inside would get old fast. If I’m getting a camper or doing the van life thing, I better be able to stand when I use the sink.

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
2 days ago

I drive one of those trucks 5 days a week. It has a larger box and wheelbase, but the VW Vanagon/microbus driving sensation is still there because you sit above the front wheels. It’s loud and bouncy and tops out at 72mph (for my current truck). But other then that it’s fine to drive and has a suspension driver seat. I sometimes worry about crash protection since there is not much between me and the oncoming world besides glass and a plastic grille and headlights…

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
2 days ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

The suspension seat is key. A buddy has two NPRs for his business, one from 2014 with suspension seats and one from 1995 with normal seats. The trucks are shockingly similar, but by far the biggest difference is the ride quality of the suspension seats. If the camper conversion above has them, it likely isn’t too bad to drive and you get used to sitting over the steering axle. If the conversion doesn’t have suspension seats, I bet it becomes a popular topic of discussion at the local RV storage lot in short order.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
2 days ago

Dig it. I always wondered why Japanese diesel box trucks like the Isuzu are not more common as RV platforms – tough, nimble, easy to drive, very economical on fuel. Your description of the driving dynamics might be the reason why. I’ve driven one before, at a job way back in the 90s, and I thought they drove rather well for what they were. Plus, the ones I drove had a jake brake – why aren’t those more common on things that aren’t tractor trailers? Perfect for coming down from a lovely mountain vista a little faster than you were expecting.

Also, re: snooty campgrounds that would not accept a rig like this – in my experience traveling with my 1986 Fireball camper, it’s typically private parks that have such restrictions. Those are rarely the kind of places I want to stay when I’m out in the camper anyway. Besides, the state park or the national park, the places I probably do want to go, often don’t give a damn what you roll up in, as long as it’s not an unsafe pile of crap.

Last edited 2 days ago by Joe The Drummer
Lardo
Lardo
2 days ago

they were used for earth cruisers which I think just went out of business. $300k+. I almost bought a Mitsu Fuso a guy had converted himself. It was ridiculously over built. even had a water softener.

Ron888
Ron888
3 days ago

I like it. More stylish than converting a typical box truck.And it comes with built in insulation.
Yes the price is kinda high.I’d be very curious what he gets for it

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
3 days ago

Ha ha this is hilarious and awesome at the same time. I never thought of this and I’ve been in lawn care/landscaping a long time. I was shocked it has a shower/toilet. It would be kind of neat although I don’t think I would ever actually get one like this. It looks like it’d be hard to stand up in and it’s still small. Yeah, this one is overpriced too

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 days ago

This is pure genius in my opinion. I’m not saying anything about the costs, just the idea.

Also, air ride seat mod. Truckers do it all day and night so it must be tolerable. How was your transit bus?

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 days ago

I LOVE this!! I have a weird desire to own one of those NPR trucks. No idea why…

Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
3 days ago

I don’t know about sleeping in this thing closed up. Wouldn’t the chemicals seep into the fiberglass and still be gassing out?

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
3 days ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

Think of it as natural mosquito repellent.

Millermatic
Millermatic
2 days ago
Reply to  Curtis Loew

Doubtful. Fiberglass is exceptionally chemical resistant. It’s used for containment in all sorts of harsh environments.

That said… I wouldn’t want to sleep in it.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
6 hours ago
Reply to  Millermatic

Fiberglass won’t react with the chemicals, but it will absorb some amount of water. It’ll probably absorb the various lawncare chemicals about as effectively, and just cleaning the surface won’t really get them out. So hopefully the inside surface is well-sealed.

Joe L
Joe L
3 days ago

Yeah, I’m not super handy, but I feel like my end result might be as good or better than this for $22,500. Then again, my time does have value. And my neighborhood has no HOA so no one could complain!

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 days ago

> Bet you never thought about sleeping in a lawn care truck.

I’d like to collect on this bet. One day towards the end of door to door season, they had us go out with the techs, starting at 5:30 in the morning. I was completely dead by 9:30, and we still had 5 hours to go.

The Mark
The Mark
3 days ago

Outside of the shower/doorway area, I feel like I would be crawling around this thing. It’s just a little too short. Kudos for the creativity though!

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
3 days ago

Well, I guess you are less likely to end up with (live) spiders or rodents in one of these.

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour
3 days ago

Oooh now someone do one of those Red Bull Minis!

Paul E
Paul E
3 days ago

Just add some stripes and the snobs at the campsite will think it’s a new build.

Rod Millington
Rod Millington
3 days ago

There’s no amount of money you could pay me to camp in a truck that was previously dedicated to insecticide and pesticide storage.

Steve Schriefer
Steve Schriefer
3 days ago
Reply to  Rod Millington

So you are saying you have a problem with sleeping in a box that held carcinogens and nerve agents? I mean, what could possible happen…

Jacob B
Jacob B
3 days ago

I mean it’s only a small amount of cancer so it’s probably fine.

Last edited 3 days ago by Jacob B
Brian Souhan
Brian Souhan
3 days ago
Reply to  Jacob B

And think, you will never have to worry about mosquitos and ticks in your camp site…the savings alone on citronella candles would be worth it!

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 days ago
Reply to  Rod Millington

Unless I missed something in the article, this was fertilizer and other lawn products, not pesticides. I don’t think TruGreen ever distributed pesticides out of their trucks.

Rod Millington
Rod Millington
2 days ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

TruGreen absolutely use both pesticides and herbicides as part of their service.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 days ago

Now I want to see someone turn one of those Verizon work site trailers into a camper

Last edited 3 days ago by Ranwhenparked
Bassracerx
Bassracerx
3 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

fiber tech here. these trailers should be incinerated after the splicers are done with them *shudders*

Aaron
Aaron
3 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

InTech – the company that builds a lot of those trailers – makes purpose built campers. It’s not a conversion, but they’re kissing cousins.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 days ago
Reply to  Aaron

Interesting – the ones I see around look more like 2-piece fiberglass molds, vs the aluminum ones? More similar to Casita or Scamp campers, but a bit smaller and boxier.

Dogpatch
Dogpatch
3 days ago
Reply to  Aaron

I have a Intech camper,it’s a solid build with a welded aluminum frame and cage that the fiberglass is attached to..It doesn’t stink…..yet.

Aaron
Aaron
3 days ago
Reply to  Dogpatch

I really wanted to get a Sol, but they were just a bit too spendy and hard to find.

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