A couple’s overnight decision to sell their house and live in a van has saved them more than £1,000 a month.
Pete Thomas and Brydee Hoad bought their first ever motorhome for £82,000 in September 2019 after taking the plunge and selling their two-bed terraced house in Ilminster, Somerset, for £195,000.
Pete, a health and safety consultant, and Brydee, a receptionist, had to sell all of their furniture and most of their belongings in order to move into the tiny, one-bed motorhome in search of a better work-life balance.
The pair set off on the road and have since done a European road trip and travelled up and down the UK.
The motorhome comes complete with a kitchen, shower, toilet, separate bedroom and living space that can also house an extra two guests.
Pete, 36, said: “Before Covid, I had my own business and specialised in health and safety and one of my clients was a holiday park.
“I met a couple who lived in a motorhome and spend all their time travelling and just decided that’s what I would love to do.
“The next day, we went to have a look around some van conversions before putting a deposit down on a motorhome – the decision was made overnight.
“The biggest challenge we faced was getting rid of all the stuff we owned.
“We had a two bed terraced house with a big garden and most of the furniture was sold, some was donated and some went to friends and family.
“A lot of people thought we were mad – I’m not entirely sure they don’t still think we’re mad!
“Working a job for hours and hours and having a huge mortgage to pay was just not appealing to us anymore and since doing it, we’ve realised it’s something a lot of people are interested in and would love to do.
“We both still work but it means we have more freedom to go travelling on the weekends and spend more time together”.
After buying the motorhome, Pete and Brydee, 24, had the huge challenge of shifting all of their belongings and switch to a more minimalistic lifestyle – something which they initially found difficult.
Pete added: “I now have a couple of shirts and a suit for work.
“Brydee had 52 pairs of shoes that she had to cut down to six – that was painful for her.
“We did it and I think we have the right balance now.
“It took us around three months to sell everything.
“We were living in the motorhome within a month of buying it and it was just a case of sorting the house out – we absolutely love it.
“It definitely has its challenges and you can always do with more space but it’s freeing”.
Pete and Brydee are able to save a huge amount of money after selling their home and moving into a motorhome.
Their two-bed terraced home was costing them £1,250 a month whereas the motorhome costs less than £100 a month to run.
Pete said: “We only have to pay £6 a month for gas – the water is free, we don’t pay anything for council tax and if we stay on a park, it’s around £10 – £20 a night.
“We prefer to be out and about rather than stay on a park – we look for car parks, rural areas, woodland and anywhere that looks safe for the night.
“When we went on our trip across Europe, we found the countries to be extremely accommodating for motorhomes but in the UK, it’s more difficult to find somewhere to fill up our water and dispose of waste.
“It means you have to stay on park to make sure you have those facilities.
“We have a solar panel as well and batteries so we have 12V power all the time.
“The cooker runs on gas so the only issue for us is making sure we have water and can dispose of waste.
“Whenever we go to a place, we always aim to leave it tidier than when we left”.
BREAKDOWN OF MONTHLY COSTS:
Electricity – free (solar)
Water – £0
Council tax – £0
Tv licence – £0
Tax – £13
Since starting their new lifestyle, the couple have started a dedicated Instagram account and podcast where they talk about their journey and travels.
Pete said: “We’ve had over 20,000 podcast downloads because it’s something people are interested in.
“A lot of people want to do it but aren’t sure where to start.
“My main advice would be that life is too short and just get on with it.
“I never want to encourage someone to make a rash decision but you have to make the most of the time you have”.