Damien and Rebecca McDonald have recently purchased an old English double decker bus that they want to transform into a home for their family of 5 and travel the country. Picture: WARREN LYNAM
Damien and Rebecca McDonald have recently purchased an old English double decker bus that they want to transform into a home for their family of 5 and travel the country. Picture: WARREN LYNAM

Coast family culls belongings for mortgage-free life

A FAMILY-OF-FIVE is about to embark on their biggest challenge yet.

They've moved out of their large four-bedroom suburban home, culled their belongings and bought a 1962 double decker London bus to convert into a tiny home on wheels to live in and travel the country.

Rebecca and Damien McDonald's much-anticipated future home arrived on the Sunshine Coast from Nowra, NSW, at the end of May.

Already, the family-of-five have gutted the interior and begun "the painful task" of stripping the paint.

Originally from Sydney, the couple said they dreamt of simplifying their lives, living mortgage free and moving from a consumerism lifestyle to one that was "sustainable, healthy and happy".

They'd followed the tiny house movement online for some time, and when the opportunity came up to build one from a bus, they jumped at the chance.

"We decided to do it for many reasons but COVID-19 was the tipping point," Mrs McDonald said.

"We hope to make it as sustainable as possible with solar panels, composting toilet and are also looking into materials that are sustainable, such as bamboo, to complete the fit out."

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Mrs McDonald described their family as an unpredictable, ever changing and adventurous.

She said they started their journey of living a low-toxic, low-waste way of life after having their third child.

"With that began looking into alternative living that leaves a smaller footprint on the earth.

"During this time, we noticed we were saying one thing to our children but showing them a completely different life such as 'you don't need the latest iPhone' and then going and getting the next best thing in technology.

"Once we acknowledged this, we decided we really needed to change, and practice what we were trying to teach our children."

They hope to have the home ready by Christmas.

"We hope to show our kids that we only have one planet to live in so we need to do our part to keep it healthy and strong," Mrs McDonald said.

Follow their journey on Facebook at Sustainable Family Project.

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