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Two People and 5 Rescued Animals (Including Two Bunnies) Travelling in a Renovated Bus!


Meet Adam and Rachel. This amazing couple gave up their $1800/month mortgage to downsize into their renovated bus. The couple DIYed the entire thing!

Perhaps the most unique thing about their life on the road? They’re traveling with 5 animals! One dog, two bunnies and two cats — all of whom they rescued. How do they afford to travel? Each of them has a remote job: Rachel is an anti-captivity activist for marine mammals, and Adam has a referral and consultant business in the AV world.

During quarantine, they’ve moved their bus back “home” to Washington and are staying on family land, but there are more adventures ahead for them. Read our Q&A with Rachel and Adam (@soulfulbuslife) at the end of the post, and enjoy the video tour of their bus too!

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From Mortgage to Motoring: Life in Bus Conversion

I’ve seen a lot of tiny houses, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen two bunnies living inside one until now!

While most tiny homes have storage under the counters, this one has rabbit cages!

Here’s Rachel working from home at their table. Their master bed is behind, with a special book nook.

More books here in the front of the bus, and I love the shelf they built for their plants.

Behind those two curtains you’ll find their shower and DIY composting toilet.

Adam and his trusty sidekick getting ready for a new adventure.

I love the color of this bus! And the view, of course.

This couple is doing great things. Look at the portraits of their pets on the wall.

Now that’s a view! Check out their video tour below and then stay around for our Q&A with the couple at the bottom of the post.

Interview

What are your name(s)? Adam & Rachel

How many people (and animals) will are living in your bus? Two humans, 4 (soon to be 5) animals. 1 dog, 1 cat (2nd cat coming soon), 2 rabbits. All rescues.

Where do you live? Currently we are living with our bus in Washington State.

Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? We decided to build a tiny home for ourselves as a way to get out of the typical “American Dream” rat race. Adam owns his own business but was no longer enjoying the work involved. It was time to make a radical change in our lives, to get out of our comfort zones and to create a life we loved. This lifestyle isn’t forever though, and we never intended it to be. This change just allowed us to re-evaluate our lives and decide what we really wanted.

How did you first learn about tiny life? We first learned about tiny houses and this alternative lifestyle from a show we saw on TV many years ago. That planted the seed for us I think.

How long did it take to finish your bus? We did our full bus conversion in about 11 months.

How did you build your bus? Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves? We did our full conversion ourselves, including the demo work, electrical, plumping, solar, and build. We did have some help and guidance from a family member that works within the construction industry.

Are you comfortable sharing how much you spent on your bus? What are utilities/costs like month to month in comparison to your former life?  Our entire cost, which includes the purchase of the bus from a well known and reputable bus dealership, the solar panels and components, a couple of new tires, and appliances was about $30,000. Our cost of living has greatly decreased. Prior to moving into the bus we owned our home which had an $1800/month mortgage, electricity, water, and garbage bills. Those costs along with car payments, insurance, etc added up quickly every single month. Now we have considerably less monthly expenses since there is no mortgage, car payments, or utilities.

How did you find a place to park and live in your bus? We use various camping and boondocking apps on our phone to find places to park. We will also sometimes pay to stay at a State Park or campground. When we are home in Washington, we can park the bus at our families’ houses, which they all love.

Before going tiny, what was life like? Before moving into a tiny house, life was more stressful. That is really the main difference. Sitting in traffic to go to a job you don’t love, just to pay an expensive mortgage and other bills. We were living to keep up with a lifestyle that we didn’t really love anymore. Now we choose how to spend each day.

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?  This answer is probably similar to the one above. Being able to find our passions in life and no longer being tied to bills and other expenses.

What about some challenges? Tiny life isn’t perfect – no matter what you see on TV or Instagram. There are sometimes issues finding a place to park, somewhere to dump your grey water, fill up with fresh water, or to toss trash. There are also days where you miss being close to family and friends. No lifestyle is perfect. You just have to decide which challenges are worth it, and which aren’t.

What makes your tiny house special? Probably all our furkids 🙂

What is your favorite part of your bus? Our open floor plan and king sized bed. We have such a cozy space to hang out in, and we are surrounded by windows and beautiful views.

What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny? The best advice is to not be scared. Do your research, make a plan, and go for it. Change can be scary, but like they say, magic happens outside the comfort zone. It is also good to figure out how you will fund your lifestyle. Will you save money and live off of that while on the road? Can you find a job that allows you to work remotely? Anything is possible.

Video: A School Bus Skoolie Conversion Tour

Video 2: Jenna’s Tour of the Soullife Bus Conversion… The Bunny Bus!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife and mama of two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Cyn Adams
    April 13, 2020, 4:25 pm

    Cutest couple ever. At end of video, gave me my good chuckle for the day. The bus is great. Love the wood & layout. Animals awesome; good places for all. Best wishes. Be well, Stay safe, Happy travels.

    • Avatar Claude Philippe Pariseault
      April 13, 2020, 9:07 pm

      Completely agree, there are still some good people around!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      April 14, 2020, 3:16 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Avatar James Morgan
    April 14, 2020, 12:19 am

    Bless you all And more power to you Here’s wishing you all love happiness peace prosperity and good health till we meet again stay safe

  • Avatar Janet
    April 14, 2020, 4:16 am

    I love these people, thank you for saving the bunnies and doggies tool. Your home is more than special, bigger than a mansion and so full with love. 🙏🏼❤️😍🌸. Blessings to you and your whole beautiful family…..

  • Avatar Laurie Straw
    April 14, 2020, 7:37 am

    I love the schoolie with all the fur babies. THe design is very pleasing to my eye. Love all the little details. Wish you guys happiness and health in your bus! Laurie

  • Avatar Kim Johnson
    April 14, 2020, 1:32 pm

    Oh my GOD you guys are so amazing I love this yall are so gifted and skilled.

  • Avatar Victoria Dolton
    April 14, 2020, 1:42 pm

    I think the two of you are doing the best thing ever!!! You will have many great memories forever! I like how you took your fur family with you. I have had dogs, cats and bunnies all at once, and they were big buddies! Much happiness to both of you!!!

  • Avatar sheebe
    April 14, 2020, 3:55 pm

    Very appealing to the eye. Kitchen is beautiful. Love the Rabbits, the dog. The colors are perfect and it looks comfortable, inviting. Loved reading how they had a idea and it stuck. They went for it. Love you bus and is great that you both rescue animals. Hope to read and see a recap. Enjoyed this very much.

  • Avatar Suzanne Gartz
    April 15, 2020, 12:06 pm

    I love the color. This is a wonderful way to see the country. You both are very talented.

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