I was sick of renting so bought an old ambulance for £4K and now live in it – I've saved almost £30k in two years | The Sun
27th September 2022

WITH the cost-of-living crisis putting a huge strain on many people and their purses, it seems that after paying rent and bills, our people’s pockets are left feeling pretty empty.

But one couple have proved that there are alternative ways to live than paying rent or getting a mortgage. 



Known on TikTok as ‘notluxe’, Raychel and her husband Nick were fed up with the thought of paying rent or living out of rucksacks, so bought an old ambulance for just £4,163 and now live in it full-time.

Raychel shares her daily life and what it’s like living in an ambulance on TikTok and has a whopping 157k followers and 3.3million likes on the video sharing platform.

In one of her recent videos, Raychel gave details about how much it cost her and her husband to convert the ambulance into a home. 

She uploaded her video with the caption ‘How much does it cost to convert a van into a tiny home? Here's the cost breakdown of our budget DIY van build/ambulance conversion’. 

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She said: “We have lived in an ambulance for two years and have saved over $30,000 [£27,731] on rent.

“This is how we built our home for less than $10,000 [£9,243]. 

“We started our journey by buying a decommissioned ambulance for $4,500 [£4,163].

“Our building materials – from plywood to screws, shims, cedar, plumbing, hooks and other hardware was $835 [£771]. 

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“Everything in our kitchen, including the stove, roof vent, foot pump and everything to furnish it was $1,260 [£1,164]. 

“General costs including paint, stain, lights and our floor was $322 [£297].

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“Our power system, including 630 Watts of solar, our inverter and AGM batteries was $1,600 [£1,479]. 

“We didn’t have any sheets or furniture before van life because we were living out of backpacks.

“To furnish everything, including our bedroom and bathroom was $277 [£256], bringing us to a grand total of $8,794 [£8,129] to buy, build and furnish our van”. 

In another video, Raychel confirmed: “I’ve officially lived in this van for two years, I’ve saved $31,200 [£28,840] on rent.

“Van life has been the best way to save money while simultaneously travelling for me”. 

Raychel gave TikTok users a tour of the inside of her ambulance – there’s a kitchen space with an electric hob and a sink.

There’s also a bed area that looks super cosy – it’s furnished with a full-length Queen mattress. 

The savvy traveller confirmed that there is a toilet in the ambulance but there is no shower.

She stated: “We shower at the gym”. 

Raychel explained how she can afford to travel, as she said: “I’m certified to teach English and have taught English both remotely and overseas.

“I’ve travelled slow by living abroad and obtaining work visas in other countries.

2I now live in a van and work temporary/seasonal jobs on the road.

“I cut costs by living minimally and finding cheap travel deals”. 

TikTok users were impressed with the van and took to the comments to express this. 

One person said: “That is pretty amazing”. 

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Another added: “Omg, you’ve given me so much hope thank you”.

A third commented: “It's better than a regular van”. 



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