Family of six lives in a van next to their house, while their house is rented out and the benefits are revealed
A family of six who have lived in a van next to their property for the past 15 months has revealed why they love their new simple lifestyle and how it will save them thousands of dollars during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kylie, 40, and Nathan Hasham, 39, and their sons Oliver, 12, Jasper, 10, Monte, 7, and Scout, 5, returned to their home near Wollongong in February after a 10-month trip across Australia with their vintage Airflow of 9 meters.
But having rented out their family home on 17 acres until the end of 2020, they had to look elsewhere that was reasonably priced to live in.
‘Originally we didn’t know whether to rent another house, or park the bus at a caravan park or with a friend, but in the end we thought it best to just stay at home on one of our paddocks,’ Kylie told Daily Mail Australia.
“We had an agreement with the tenants that if we returned earlier than the 18-month rent, we could park in the paddocks if necessary.”
A family of six who have lived in a van next to their property for the past 15 months have revealed why they love their new simple lifestyle and how it will save them thousands of dollars during the coronavirus pandemic (photo Kylie and Nathan Hasham)
Kylie, 40, and Nathan Hasham, 39, and their sons Oliver, 12, Jasper, 10, Monte, 7, and Scout, 5 (the children in the photo) returned to their home near Wollongong in February after a 10 month trip around Australia with their vintage 30 foot Airstream
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, the family were grateful for their decision, as life in the van saved them precious money while continuing to rent out their main property.
“The biggest difference from normal life is that we spend most of our time outdoors,” Kylie said.
‘We usually eat outside, the children are outside after school and we often sit by a campfire in the afternoon when it is cold.
‘When homework has to be done or food has to be prepared, it is done on the outside table. The kids have gotten quite used to being outside, even when it’s cold – it doesn’t bother them too much. It’s a great way to live. ‘
The family (children in the picture) says they spend most of their time outside now, even when it’s cold they just light a campfire and do the homework, play and cook outside
The Hashams have installed two sets of double doors in the van, which help divide the space into three different sections, keeping parents and children some distance from each other (parent’s bedroom shown)
But that doesn’t mean life in the van in the paddocks hasn’t been without complications.
When the Hasham family moved in in February, there was no sewage, water or electricity reaching the paddock.
We need to be very aware of power now as we depend on solar energy and a generator so things like washing can only be done at certain times
And while Nathan has since built an outdoor toilet cabin with the help of some friends, five months later the family still has no power, relying on solar panels and a generator.
“We need to be very aware of power right now because we rely on solar power and a generator, so things like washing can only be done at certain times,” Kylie said.
‘We also didn’t turn on the TV until later in the evening after dinner. But much of what we do is no different from everyday life in a house.
‘The kids still go to school every day, so I pack their lunch and prepare their uniforms. Washing and cleaning also has to be done.
‘It’s all much smaller. You can only put a certain number of belongings in a van, so you don’t accumulate that much stuff and get used to using what you have. ‘
Previously, they had traveled across Australia for the past 10 months with the 30-foot van in tow, visiting many different places (pictured)
‘We need to be very aware of power now because we depend on solar energy and a generator, so things like washing can only be done at certain times,’ said Kylie (part of her family in the photo next to the van)
The mother of four (children in the picture) recommends that everyone get out and explore Australia as the country is extremely varied and diverse and often many people have not explored it
The Hashams have installed two sets of double doors in the van, which help to divide the space into three different sections, leaving parents and children some distance from each other.
Kylie and Nathan’s bed is close to the front of the van and kitchen, then a door leads into the boys’ bedroom with bunk beds on either side, before another door leads to the bathroom and washing machine.
“There have been many highlights of living this way, but the outdoor lifestyle and less reliance on technology and screens is certainly a big one,” said the mother of four.
‘I can also clean the van from top to bottom pretty quickly, we’re much more minimalist and less wasteful and I’m not sure how much money we’ve saved so far, but it’s certainly thousands of dollars.
“We had to spend quite a lot of money to get the van ready, but when rent comes in that almost covers our mortgage, it gets easier in difficult times.”
Kylie added that the main challenge is that as her kids get older, she can see they need more space:
“Rainy weather is difficult too, because it can mean we’re all stuck together,” she said.
‘And I really miss having a hot bath!’
‘There have been many highlights of living this way, but the outdoor lifestyle and less reliance on technology and screens is definitely a big one,’ said the mother of four (the family pictured in Darwin)
The Hashams bought their 1970s Airstream from a seller in Orange County, California, for about $ 100,000, before going through quarantine and a three-month stay in a workshop to convert electricity, gas, and appliances before they were finished for the road in Australia (the family pictured next to the van)
The Hashams bought their 1970s Airstream from a seller in Orange County, California for about $ 100,000.
The van went through quarantine and spent three months in a workshop converting electricity, gas and appliances before it was ready for the road in Australia.
“We didn’t buy anything new for it when we left,” Kylie said.
“All the linens, pillows, cooking utensils, and dishes come from our own home, knowing they were only going to go into storage anyway.”
For anyone contemplating life or doing anything else, the mom of four said you should try it.
It’s very liberating. I didn’t expect to find it as easy as I do. But it really made me focus on what’s important.
Creating memories and spending time with the people you love is the most important thing, and you don’t need a lot of stuff for that.
‘People don’t realize how diverse and incredible the Australian countryside is. I recommend everyone to get out and explore. ‘