Bellatazza Coffee Truck

Bellatazza Coffee Truck

French Coffee Truck

Hi Everyone, I just wanted to touch bases with the Tiny House Blog readers. I have been publishing rather infrequently because of some changes in our lives. Our family has recently moved to Central Oregon from Northern California and this has been a big change and challenge for us. We are just starting to get settled and I hope to regain the daily post schedule in the next couple of weeks.

Currently I am waiting for full time internet access and that will not happen till the first of August. So in the meantime I am dependent on Coffee Shops and my Verizon hub on my iPhone. I am sitting right now at the Sister’s Oregon Coffee shop and working on this post and also trying to complete Issue 19 of the Tiny House Magazine. Away from the distractions of unpacking and getting settled.

French Coffee Truck 2

Last weekend early on Saturday morning I got up to see the Balloons Over Bend morning take off. While there I saw this unique coffee truck which was selling Bellatazza Coffee to the early risers. I talked to the owner and he said the truck was made in France. It is a CITROEN and he says he can still get new parts for it though it is no longer in production.

I thought it would make a great tiny house if converted into one. It worked perfect as a mobile coffee truck but I can imagine living in it and exploring the country. What do you think?

Balloons Over Bend

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John in Brisbane - July 22, 2014 Reply

That’s pretty cute. And I hope “early risers” wasn’t a bad pun 🙂

Dewy - July 22, 2014 Reply

That vehicle should go on cross-country travel. Imagine getting parts in Kansas with no fixed address. It is amazing tho & should stay close to home.

Kamin lambertson - July 22, 2014 Reply

Bend is a great place to live! Looking fwd to more info once you’re set up there. Go see the Pacific Yurt Co in Cottage Grove. We bought the reforestation model in 1980 (a kit) and lived in it in New Orleans and New Mexico. The coffee truck is brilliant! Just change the sign to say “Tiny House Movement” Strawberry Hot Springs near Steamboat Springs CO has a great old truck camper as one of its overnite lodgings.

Marion - July 22, 2014 Reply

Yes, I live in France and just found a place selling a whole collection of these vehicles. anyone interested in getting one (i can arrange for shipment but you would have to pay for it) please get in touch here.
i am thinking of getting one for myself here.

    James Mark - July 22, 2014 Reply

    Dear Marion, I am very interested in buying a truck like this. Could you tell me how much they are selling for? Are they in pretty good shape? I hope to hear from you soon!

      Marion - September 28, 2014 Reply

      Hi I am sorry it took a little time, I went to the place to find they are the super specialists for those trucks. they are restoring them. talked to the owner, he says he recommends to have the body work and mechanical work done there, so that you buy a van that is running. finishing can be done on your end. prices for restorable vans are between euros 7.000 and 8.000 for one that is worth restoration. when done they stand at 15.000 to 20.000 euros. I found that in Great Britain they are selling them at much higher prices. all plus shipping of course. if you are seriously interested let me know and i will find the one you want. btw these guys are pretty busy, so if you want one to be done before export count in min. 4 to 6 months.

    Laurie Metter - July 22, 2014 Reply

    I would love to know more about these!!! Always loved Citroens & am an unabashed Francophile (the country, not James so much, though he is brilliant)

    Thank you! I am Laurie Metter,

    Thanks again!

    Sharon - July 22, 2014 Reply

    I would be interested in one of those Citroen trucks also! I would even get to Oregon to pick it up, from Canada.

    Thanks Marion!

    dianna - July 25, 2014 Reply

    Hi. Great networking Marion! Can you send me the info on this vehicle. I am looking for a Plan B since Plan A didn’t work out!!! I live in Ontario Canada and need to think outside of the box and this might be the direction to go in.

Chris - July 22, 2014 Reply

Oh MG, someone give that PUG a cup of coffee.

phil - July 22, 2014 Reply

Them french do think different don’t they? I love it. It’s like a work of art.

katee - July 22, 2014 Reply

I would love to keep as coffee shop and use it for a retirement job!

Jason Sterling - July 22, 2014 Reply

I love that idea! That’s exactly the size RV I need and would ever want to drive. I bet it gets good gas mileage too.

DANIEL - July 22, 2014 Reply

the truck manufacurer is CITROEN

crowDogWidow - July 22, 2014 Reply

It has such character…I want one for my tow vehicle.
It would be the perfect augmentation for the Airstream I am renovating to be my tiny home !

    Leigh - July 22, 2014 Reply

    You would have to be very conscious of the towing capacity of the vehicle. We tried telling our 22 foot airstream with our sprinter van and we blew a transmission in Mobile, Alabama. While this is a very interesting looking vehicle I would be very cautious of it’s towing capability

jonnie hammon - July 22, 2014 Reply

I agree with you. It would make a great tiny house, and traveling in it would be more enjoyable at any time, but especially in the heat, rain,or cold. You wouldn’t have to get out and walk back to it, to go I enter it. That was always the upside of R.V.’s.

Ted Fort - July 22, 2014 Reply

Just so you know, it’s “Citroen”. This specific model is known as the H Van. I think there was one in 101 Dalmations, of all places. Neat stuff. I think they had around a 45MPH top speed, so any cross-country exploring would certainly be decidedly leisurely.

Natalie - July 22, 2014 Reply

I LOVE the truck and think it would be a wonderful home to travel in cross-country! Awesomeness! Do it!!

Joyce - July 22, 2014 Reply

What a cool and unique idea. Parts as you travel may cause inconvenience but what a way to go 🙂

Norm - July 22, 2014 Reply

These were called the H-Van. Citroen developed them utilizing parts from the ‘Traction Avant’ sedan of the thirties. Like the Traction Avant, they are also front wheel drive. Produced from 1947 to 1981.

According to a writeup by Paul Neidemeyer on Curbside Classic, March 29, 2013, “In the seventies, the H-van was the hippie van/camper of choice. Not surprisingly, the H-Van still has an enthusiastic cult following, especially as food carts. Its body is perfectly suited for that, never mind its Gallic charms!”

Daniel - July 22, 2014 Reply

Welcome to Oregon! It’s a great place to live.

That is an awesome truck, and a fine example of alternative use.

I hope to be adding posts next year with the first of my tiny homes I have planned as rentals on my farm on beautiful Puget Island, Washington (it’s in the Columbia River, not up in the Puget Sound…only 90 minutes from Portland). In the meantime, check out my friends little weekend getaway (available for nightly rentals) at

Nena Close - July 22, 2014 Reply

Hey welcome to Central Oregon. I live in Bend, actually Tumalo, but still…. I had not seen this little truck but can only imagine the possibilities. I have been following your Tiny house blog for about a year. Have a daughter who is remodeling a 1956 Shasta trailer. A big first time project.

    Kelly - July 30, 2014 Reply

    Nena, I love Shasta trailers on the outside, but have never seen one inside.
    Would love for you to send some pictures!
    I would be happy to swap emails about that.

    Kelly - July 30, 2014 Reply

    Nena, would love to see some pics inside her Shasta!
    Care to post them?

Wendy - July 22, 2014 Reply

Thanks for the update- I was wondering why the posts had dropped off for a while. Moving…not my favorite thing to do! Hope you settle in quickly and enjoy your new home.

Norm - July 22, 2014 Reply

These were called the H-Van. Citroen developed them utilizing parts from the ‘Traction Avant’ sedan of the thirties. Like the Traction Avant, they are also front wheel drive. Produced from 1947 to 1981.

According to a writeup by Paul Neidemeyer on Curbside Classic, March 29, 2013, “In the seventies, the H-van was the hippie van/camper of choice. Not surprisingly, the H-Van still has an enthusiastic cult following, especially as food carts. Its body is perfectly suited for that, never mind its Gallic charms!”

Pam Bennett - July 22, 2014 Reply

I would love to see more vehicles made in this country which are tiny motorhomes—-smaller than the current ones you see. Something like this truck would be great—enough room for touring but not so big that it would be a hassle driving around in it.

Rebecca - July 22, 2014 Reply

This is cute, I think it would be fun to live in and turn into a doll house. This is my idea of a mobile tiny house.

Elizabeth - July 22, 2014 Reply

What a great truck – I would definitely buy a coffee from there and I would be willing to bet it’s way better than any coffee I have bought in France. I don’t know what the deal is and I hate to complain but I just can’t get a good coffee in France. I may have to fly to Oregon 🙂

Dominic - July 22, 2014 Reply

Hey Kent! If you ever drive through Crescent City California witch is situated right on the Oregon border off the 101 hwy come swing by our shop. We love to do tours of our small cabins! Prices start at 35,000 for a 25′ long cabin with a 17′ foot loft.

Alta Vista - July 22, 2014 Reply

What a cool truck-van. I had to study the great photo to figure out how to get get into the vehicle. Suicide door configuration was the perfect answer for this cab-over axle design.

I agree, it would make a great start for a mobile “tiny house”.

I think you will enjoy Central Oregon and the joys of no sales tax.

Lawrie - July 22, 2014 Reply

There is a couple in the UK who have converted a similar van to use for selling French crepes. It featured on a great UK programme called Amazing Spaces – worth checking out as the programme itself features many conversions of tiny buildings, vehicles etc into living and business spaces.
Link to the van owners’ website with some more info on the van and the conversion process is here and includes a short 6 minute video:

Marsha Cowan - July 22, 2014 Reply

Totally adorable! Would love to see the inside of one made into a tiny home. I love buses! Btw, know what yiu mean about moving. I am in the middle of moving to AZ from NC. Lots to take care of! I will be living in my little red bus in an RV park while working for a school district there. Hope to make it to some tiny house events while in the west, and meet some of you tiny house advocates and bloggers in person!

David Remus - July 23, 2014 Reply

If you wanted to build an American version of something this size, some of the older stepvans and delivery vans would work. The real small ones like Metros are becoming collector items. A lot of them were made with 6 cylinder engines. None will get very good mileage, 12 would be good. Look for a bread van, they usually are lighter. Ttotally avoid anythng made to haul a lot of weight, like tools, because you are looking at 5 miles to the gallon. I drove a lot of different industrial vehicles on the job and good mileage is unheard of.

Industrial vehicles have been converted to campers almost since the first ones were built. Parts can be a problem, and International truck parts seem to be particularly expensive.

This van probably has a 2 liter oor so engine, so it is slow going, top speed maybe 45.

Here is a site for fans of these Citroens with a list of common problems, costs, specifications, etc.

Case - July 23, 2014 Reply

Welcome to Central Oregon Kent!

I’ve often thought that Bellatazza’s rig would make a cool conversion camper! Great for exploring all that Central Oregon has to offer!

Miriah O'Dair - July 23, 2014 Reply

Hello and wecome to Bend!

I am a designer in Bend, and an avid fan of the Tiny House blog and Tiny House Swoon! I would love to get together and talk tiny houses at a coffee shop anytime!
My website is www(dot)Collabrish(dot)com. I think Bend is the perfect place for a tiny house neighborhood!

    Kent Griswold - July 23, 2014 Reply

    Hi Miriah, that would be fun. Let’s do it soon. -Kent

      Miriah O'Dair - July 24, 2014 Reply

      You can reach me through my website or my name without the apostrophe at Name the day and time!

BigPaul - July 25, 2014 Reply

Absolutely, but I caution you about the origin of the truck. Judging by the size of the tires and the number of Lug Nuts. This truck is MAYBE a 2 ton capacity. So, if you build a Mobile Domicile, on a chassis like this one, think light weight EVERYTHING. The lighter the build, the better the fuel economy. Load a 2 ton truck with 2.5 tons and all you get is Bad Gas mileage and brakes that over heat rapidly!

Donatella - July 29, 2014 Reply

Welcome to Oregon! I’m over on the other side of the Cascades. As soon as you’re settled, make sure to get over to Crater Lake; there’s a two month window that just started where there *might* not be 5 foot of snow on the ground! 🙂 And don’t forget the Cob House people over near here, either.

Dave Danielson - July 29, 2014 Reply

The performance artist Marina Abramovic traveled in one of these all over Europe back in the ’70s. Her actual van was on display in the MoMA when they had an Abramovic show.

When I was a child my Dad fixed up an old International milk truck, where I slept on the engine cover.

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