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A couple who bought, renovated and moved into a former police riot van say they've saved a whopping £15,000 in rent and other expenses in under two years.
Cameron Smith, 30, was paying £650 for a rented room in a bungalow, but became drawn to the idea of living in a van after seeing videos on YouTube.
After one of his housemates decided to move out, Cameron knew it was the perfect chance to give 'van life' a go and bought an ex-police riot van on eBay for £8,000.
He spent £3,000 doing it up, sorting out plumbing and electricals and making it look cosy inside.
Now the couple live in the van, which they named Kevlar, and have spent time travelling the UK in their van with dog Odin and reckon they've saved around £15,000 in rent, utilities and other unnecessary expenditures since moving into the van.
Cameron said: "I remember sitting in my six-hundred-and-fifty-pounds a month room in a shared bungalow watching YouTube and stumbling across van life videos.
"I was hooked and couldn't believe that it was a real lifestyle that people live.
"A few weeks later, a housemate told us that he would be moving out which left us all thinking what to do.
"With ten years of carpentry experience and one-hundred hours of van life videos behind me, I knew what my plan was. I was going to move into a van.
"After the initial investment, this would allow me to put my old rent money to one side and work towards building myself a future.
"I needed plenty of storage space to store my tools for work and I needed something I could easily stand up and move around in.
"When the riot van popped up on eBay, I knew it was perfect, with all the additional security that comes from its former life as well as the box shape which makes for an easy conversion."
While Rachel says the benefits of living in the van far outweigh the challenges.
"We love being so close to nature all the time. Since living in the van, we definitely look outdoors more for entertainment and we have so much more appreciation for the world we live in," said Rachel.
"Obviously the ability to cut out a lot of expenses is brilliant too, we get our electricity from the sun.
"There isn't rent to pay and because of having a smaller home, you don't spend as much money on material possessions.
"Small living also means we're able to be a lot more environmentally conscious. We know exactly how much water, gas, and power we use each week and despite living in a vehicle, our carbon footprint is so much lower.
"The beauty of living in a van is that Cameron can pretty much take work anywhere, without worrying about a commute - this means we also get to explore places that we wouldn't necessarily visit on a holiday.
"Having a home on wheels means we never have to pack or plan around our work commitments - we can be as spontaneous as we like."
The couple are hoping to take their van out to Europe once lockdown restrictions ease and say their long term dream involves buying some land and building their own 'tiny home' or to restore an older property.
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