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Four Friends. Three Years. Two Conversions Avoiding San Fran Rent!


The highest-paying jobs are typically in the city, but so is the highest rent. For these four friends who wanted to enjoy life in San Francisco, that meant getting creative with their house arrangement! They started by renovating a stealth shuttle bus, which they later upgraded, and then they added a box truck to the mix.

These homes-in-disguise allowed them to park around the city for nearly three years! Unfortunately COVID made it tricky to keep living in their bathroom-less houses, so they’ve been temporarily renting the vehicles out to adventurers while “house-living.” But hey, it’s a great way to make a little side cash!

The murals on the ceilings of both homes are breathtaking — be sure to check out all the details in the video with Tiny House Giant Journey below.

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Tiny Living Let Them Live in One of the Most Expensive Cities!

Here are the vehicles, side by side.

This is their original build-out of the bus.

And this is what it looks like now!

Total cost (including an $8K engine repair) was about $21K

Inside of the box truck, their second build.

The deck folds out to create a fun indoor-outdoor space.

The exterior of both vehicles are super stealth.

What a fun way to live in the city!

VIDEO: 4 Friends Create Their Own Affordable Housing

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Our big thanks to Jenna for sharing! 🙏

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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 three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Theresa Perdue
    February 7, 2021, 12:23 pm

    These guys (and of course girl) are amazing! All the little touches that they’ve done that probably many would have never thought of are so clever. And SanFran has its own unique problems that need fixing that could be used in many other instances. I seriously think they should start a business together. I’d hire them in a heartbeat. Great job! And great find Jenna!

  • Husabergchamp
    February 7, 2021, 1:49 pm

    Two conversions and not even a composting toilet, or am I missing something. Otherwise, a great idea for living in those high rent cities. I wonder if anyone has thought of renting out a large warehouse and letting folks bring in their campers/busses/tiny homes inside and having a communal kitchen and bathrooms? Now that would be a well described stealth setup. Share the rental fee. Group parties inside but keep it quiet or you will be found out.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 8, 2021, 9:03 am

      That’s not a bad idea! They do have a dry toilet in both builds, but I don’t think they use them except in emergencies. Not my ideal but to each his own!

  • Linda Baker
    February 7, 2021, 2:53 pm

    Interesting way to get around high rents – wonder if they ever got into any trouble/scary situations boondocking/stealth living. Any sources of regular income/jobs? Well done interiors and love the leveling bed idea.

  • Michael
    February 8, 2021, 5:58 am

    Nice, stylish conversion but no bathroom is a no go for me.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 8, 2021, 8:57 am

      I understand that!

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