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Couple Turn Old Shuttle Bus into their Rolling Tiny Home

This is the story of Riley Slayden and Cece Monroe of LivingTiny.co.

When they wanted a way to own a house without debt, they decided they wanted to go tiny. And they did it by buying a 1982 shuttle bus and converting it into their own rolling tiny home! Please enjoy our exclusive interview with them to learn more. Thanks!

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Couple’s Shuttle Bus Turned Tiny Home

Couples Shuttle Bus Turned Tiny Home

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Video: Couple’s Shuttle Bus Conversion

What are your name(s)?

Riley Slayden & Cece Monroe

Where are you from?

Portland, OR

How did you first become seriously interested in tiny houses?

We first started gaining an interest in tiny living in 2016. We dreamt of a way to own a house together without accumulating debt. Plus, tiny living was appealing to us as we were already practicing minimalism and reducing our environmental footprint through a vegan diet.

What type of tiny house do you have or are you working on?

Last summer, we purchased a 1982 shuttle bus and converted it into our tiny home on wheels, which we now live in full-time.

Why did you go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of it for yourself?

The first reason to go tiny was to save money. Cece is still in university and I am paying off student loans. We had a tight budget and knew we needed to downsize to save! Originally, we were going to live in a van. But “fate” brought us to this cute old shuttle bus. A week after considering living in a bus, we were ripping out seats and beginning our conversion. Converting our bus and living tiny has led to so many new opportunities to improve our lifestyle, reduce our footprint, learn new skills, and grow our relationship.

How long did it take you to finish your tiny house?

We converted our shuttle bus in about 4 months.

Did you do it yourself? Who helped? How much did it end up costing you to build it?

We did the entire thing ourselves! With the help of my father and his tools, we completely renovated and rebuilt the bus. In total (including the purchase of the bus), we spent around $6000.

How did you figure out where to put it?

We used a Craigslist posting to find a backyard to rent in Portland, OR. We ended up finding an amazing couple looking to rent out some space. We now share a yard with them, complete with a garden and ducks. Our bus hardly moves, and we treat it as a tiny home rather than a vehicle. There is another RVer renting the space too. We have formed quite the community and group of friends here!

What’s been the most challenging part about going tiny so far?

The most challenging part about going tiny for us has been guests. We simply don’t have enough space to accommodate more than 1 extra person! Luckily, now that the weather is nice, we can entertain outside. Since the weather has changed, our living space has quadrupled!

What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny?

We have experienced so many benefits! First, we have saved money on rent. Second, we are forced to have less stuff, meaning we buy less in the first place. Third, we are more aware of what we want vs. what we need. It is incredible how we used to live, in apartments and houses! There have been so many things in our lives that have been taken for granted. We can truly grow as human beings now that we have stripped out domestic distractions.

What helpful piece of advice would you give to others who are interested in going tiny?

Just go for it! At a certain point, you have to stop dreaming and start doing. It is completely possible for anyone to live tiny. As broke college students, we found a way to make it happen. You also don’t need any experience to convert a bus. All you need are some tools, some friends, the internet, and used building materials!

Do you have a website, blog, or social media pages where we can connect with you and follow along?

Yes! Our blog is https://livingtiny.co.

Our Instagram is instagram.com/livingtiny.co.

Our Pinterest is pinterest.com/livingtinyblog

Our big thanks to Riley Slayden & Cece Monroe for sharing!🙏

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Sheila Plourde
    November 20, 2018, 3:14 pm

    Clever home. Looks comfortable. The food looks yummy. When I see food. I get hungry and eat. Cello and Guitar. Would love to be their neighbor. Love the Cello. :p

  • November 21, 2018, 9:33 am

    Art in Freedom…., perfect idyll 🦋

  • Theresa Perdue
    April 13, 2020, 5:18 pm

    what was the point of the video. It looked like the same pictures as the article or did I miss something?
    Also I didn’t see any reference to a bathroom?

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