Family of 8 spend £500K converting bus to go on road trip round the US

Three images showing dad and two sons, the interior of the van and some of the family watching the projector screen on the rooftop of the bus

The Eyerly’s set off on their adventure today (Pictures: PA Real Life)

A family of eight have sold their £200k suburban house to start a ‘bottomless’ road trip, spending £500k converting a £100k double decker bus into a luxury mobile home.

Their luxury new pad is complete with six sleeping pods, a master bedroom, two bathrooms and a rooftop cinema. This is road-tripping in style.

Dane Eyerly, 35, and his wife Deena Eyerly, 32, were driving home with their children Colette (nine), Roman (eight), Abraham (seven), Evelyn (four) and twins Hyde and Wade (three), after 15 days on the road in July 2020 when they made the ‘mad’ decision to quit their conventional lives and relaunch as nomads.

Father Dane decided to quit his well-paid job as head of operations at an insurance technology start-up in August 2020. Then, together with his wife, Deena, a stay-at-home mum, the couple sourced a 2009 Van Hool TD925 bus.

They then spent spent 20 months converting it into a ‘dream home on wheels.’

In May 20201, the family decided to sell their home, in Dallas, Texas, having an ‘ongoing yard sale’ of all their possessions in advance of moving out.

The family are now gearing up to set off on an open-ended trip round the US – heading off today, June 1st.

The family on a previous holiday

The family road tripping (Picture: PA Real Life)

The family home, with a lawn out the front and blue sky behind

The £200K family home, now sold in favour of life on the road (Picture: PA Real Life)

‘In the next two years we are going to live more than we’ve ever lived and see so much more than we’ve ever seen,’ Dane said.

‘We’re so excited that we’re going to wake up in different scenery every day.

‘We want to spend at least two weeks in each state of the USA, which will be amazing.

‘Our kids will get to see and experience America in such a different light. We’ve heard about how great America is, but we have barely seen it.

‘We want to experience all the different food, the culture, the diversity and everything about America.

‘Most importantly, we want to do this all with our kids, as a family.’

There will be no scrimping and saving on this road trip/

Dane will still be working remotely, as a business consultant, as they travel, so he can meet their overheads, which they estimate will be at least £4k-a-month.

While life on the road is going to be a huge adjustment for the children, who are used to their 18,000 square foot, four bed home, every effort has been made by Dane and Deena to meet their needs.

Dane said: ‘We’d lived in that house for five years and it’s where all our children grew up, so it was a big decision.’

The Eyerly family standing in a field, with trees behind them

The Eyerly family can’t wait to see the whole of America (Picture: PA Real Life)

The Eyerly children sitting on a rock

The six lucky children (Picture: PA Real Life)

The family made the decision to uproot their life in favour of adventure while visiting the Capulin Volcano in New Mexico, in July 2020.

Wasting absolutely zero time, and excited about their big travel plans, they started looking up trailers and buses to buy and convert on the way home from their trip.

Recalling the eureka moment, Dane said: ‘This all came about while we were on a road trip in our van and we were rushing home to my job.

‘I was just looking around the car and everyone was so happy. Really, it was the happiest we’d ever been. We didn’t want it to end.

‘We’d been chasing money for years, but we suddenly realised that it was spending time with family that made us happy.

‘We talked and said, “Why don’t we do this more?”

‘We didn’t need to be chained to a desk. It was time for us to put the emphasis on family.’

Dane standing proudly by the bus

Dane and his double decker family home on wheels (Picture: PA Real Life)

Dane and two of his sons stnading in front of the large black bus

Dane with his sons outside his pride and joy (Picture: PA Real Life)

These are conversations lots of people have – but often, they never come to fruition. But Dane and Deeana were determined to make it happen.

After spotting the bus online, they collected it in September 2021 from Los Angeles, California. They then got straight to work stripping and rebuilding it to their specifications.

This took roughly 20 months and cost more than half a million pounds.

Dane said: ‘The moment I saw the bus on the website, I knew it was exactly what we wanted.

‘It needed to be completely stripped, apart from the six bunks. It was just a shell.

‘We have spent more than £500k on it. We went so over budget I just stopped counting!

‘But looking at it now, we are so happy with how it has turned out.’

The family having a picnic out the front of the double decker bus

Picnic on the road – plenty more of these to come! (Picture: PA Real Life)

The luxury bus is fitted with six sleeping pods and can sleep up to 10 people comfortably.

There are two bathrooms and a shower, a full kitchen with an oven and induction stove, a washer dryer, a fridge and a freezer and plenty of storage space.

The cockpit of the vehicle also converts into an office.

But the real treat is on the roof, where they have set up their very own rooftop cinema, complete with deck and projector screen.

The kids on the roof deck, hearing up for their journey

The kids on the roof deck, gearing up for their journey (Picture: PA Real Life)

The kids having rooftop fun in the sun

Rooftop fun in the sun (Picture: PA Real Life)

the family watching a film on the projector screen, on the roof

Movie night on the roof (Picture: PA Real Life)

Dane said: ‘Every day I wake up and think this is all a bit mad and a bit crazy.

‘It’s not conventional by any means, but it feels right.

‘We knew that every space on the bus needed to be multifunctional and we designed it so that there is a computer monitor at the front that can become an office.

‘We want to be able to enjoy our food together as a family, so we designed the kitchen to have a big table.

‘And we knew we wanted the living spaces upstairs to be able to be messy for the kids, so they can have fun, but spacious enough for them to do school work.

‘We absolutely love the design and look of it.’

While the whole family – who start their trip today – are super-excited by the prospect of seeing the whole country, Dane said leaving everything behind has been more difficult than he anticipated.

‘We said goodbye to everyone here which was quite emotional, but we’re ready to get on the road,’ he said.

While Dane will be working remotely, Deena will be home schooling their children.

A family selfie in the recently converted kitchen and living space

A family selfie in the recently converted kitchen and living space (Picture: PA Real Life)

Before: The sleeping pods

Before: The sleeping pods (Picture: PA Real Life)

Before: The kitchen

Before: The kitchen (Picture: PA Real Life)

The bus before conversion - empty

The double decker before it’s £500K makeover (Picture: PA Real Life)

The kitchen before it was done

The kitchen before it was done (Picture: PA Real Life)

After: The kitchen and living area

After: The kitchen and living area (Picture: PA Real Life)

Two of the children in the converted kitchen

This is where the family will be living for the next two years (Picture: PA Real Life)

The kitchen after the renovations

A stylish glow up (Picture: PA Real Life)

‘My wife will be handling all the schooling and she really will be working far more than I will,’ Dane said. ‘I will work for myself as I do business consulting.’

‘Deena’s really brilliant with the kids,’ he continued.

‘I think with the way schooling became remote during the pandemic, we were able to figure things out a lot better, too.’

The family expect to cover roughly 1,000 miles and spend around £4k on their expenses every month over the next two years.

They will first be driving 1,100 miles to Minnesota, before slowly working their way down south during the colder, winter months – in order to chase the sun.

Dane said: ‘We are trying to follow 20 degree weather, so we’ll keep driving towards hot weather and sunny places.

‘We have a road map that we are roughly following, based on weather patterns, as we want to be where there is nice weather.

‘We’re going north to Minnesota now. We’re going to go the border with Canada in Alberta and will spend most of the summer there before going south.

‘We’re big on national parks and there are 63 in the US, so we are going to try and see as many of them as we can.

‘I can’t wait to take my kids to Yellowstone and Yosemite. And on the east coast the dry Tortuga national park.

‘We’re out to have fun, so we’ll be visiting amusement parks and our kids are excited about Legoland, Six Flags and Disney parks.

‘It’s just a giant adventure and we’re hoping it will never end!’

You can follow the family’s journey on Instagram and TikTok @doubledeckerfam and on YouTube on Double Decker Family.

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