We gave up our moldy bungalow and headed out in a camper van… we cut our food bill and only spend £900 a month
A COUPLE have given up their moldy rental home to live full-time in an RV – and slashed their monthly bills in the process.
Kirsten Robertson and Lewis Cullen were tired of spending their dank bungalow and spending a fortune to stay there, so they packed it up for a life on the road.
The South Wales couple also swapped their 9-5 jobs for some freelance work that can be done almost anywhere.
They previously spent £625 a month on rent alone, with hundreds more on gas, electricity, water and grocery shopping.
But now artist manager Kirsten, 26, and music producer Lewis, 27, have a total monthly spend of £900.
That even includes all of their fuel and paying back the loan they took out to buy the van in the first place.
Kirsten said: “We have invested in a really great van by taking out a £24,500 loan which we pay at around £465 a month which is still a lot cheaper than the rent we were paying on a house.
“We also spent £15,000 on the conversion to turn the van into a real home on wheels.
“Our electricity is solar powered so we don’t have utility bills and a 50lb gas bottle lasts about six months.
“We spend around £50-60 a week on food as we try to eat fairly healthy food most of the time.
“Sometimes we get a campsite, but that’s usually once or twice a month, so it’s about £50-60 a month.
“Fuel varies each month as if we had quieter months with work then we could drive less to save fuel.”
The duo decided to take the plunge when the humidity in their 2021 rental became unbearable.
Rather than mortgage a house in Swansea, where a three-bedroom townhouse costs an average of £220,000, they bought a VW LWB Crafter camper and named it Cora.
Months later, they hit the road and have since covered 8,000 miles to countries like Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
“We wanted to create more memories together,” Lewis said.
“Before we bought Cora we lived in a dank rented expensive bungalow that made us sick and drained our bank accounts.
“We decided we needed to move out quickly but were having trouble getting a mortgage so we decided to look at other options.
“We have always loved to travel and hate staying in one place for too long and we decided that van life would be perfect for us.
“We took the plunge and bought Cora. We love them both and are so glad we made this decision.
“Being without moisture every day and instead having fresh air is one of the biggest advantages.”
Life in a van has really liberated us and we appreciate every bit of it.
Kirsten and Lewis
However, not everything is perfect. Kirsten and Lewis admit that without a permanent base, they face some minor issues.
In winter the UV levels are very low, so you have to watch your electricity consumption or pay for a few nights at campsites with electricity.
It also gets quite chilly in the van at night, down to -6C at times, but they put on a few extra layers and make hot water bottles to get through.
But overall, both Kirsten and Lewis, who have taken their jobs entirely remotely, agree that the benefits of van life outweigh its shortcomings.
“It forced us to really get outside more and see some really beautiful places during practice,” Kirsten said.
“It’s so invigorating to feel the freedom of the van and not being tied to one place.
“We have also felt a great relief from downsizing; living in small spaces means we have less storage space.
“And we’ve made some really great lifelong friends through the van community.
“Living in a van has really liberated us and we appreciate every part of it.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10139320/couple-bungalow-campervan-save-bills/ We gave up our moldy bungalow and headed out in a camper van… we cut our food bill and only spend £900 a month