We’ve all seen the shows on TV where a young couple or small family downsizes into a tiny home, but it’s not every day we come across a family of 8 exchanging their 2800+ sqft home for a 498 sqft roaming tiny home. So, when I came across the “Double Decker Family” on YouTube I had to reach out and learn more about what prompted them to make such a drastic life change and find out more about their plans.
Ask Dane how he’s doing and he’ll always tell you the same thing “Livin’ the dream!”
“It’s not everyone’s dream.” That’s the first thing Dane told me when I spoke with their family about their upcoming adventure. He’s not wrong. I haven’t met many families willing to sell everything they own just so they could move into a tiny home on wheels. This isn’t your typical family either, this is a family of 8 – Dane, Deena, and their six kids ranging from two to eight years old. Dane continued, “I’m not even sure it’s our dream either, but I am sure that it will bring us closer together as a family, and that’s what’s most important to me.”
Dane and Deena have been married for a decade and in that time they’ve worked hard to have the typical American Dream – a large home, two cars, good savings and investments, a rental property, etc. Dane is college educated and has an excellent job at the insurance tech startup Agency MVP. Deena runs the day to day of the household. The kids attend great schools. From the outside they certainly appear to be well on their way to “success,” but they felt something was missing.
Throughout their marriage the Eyerly’s have taken regular family vacations, typically to visit friends or family. It was on one of these family vacations when the couple says everything changed. It seems that COVID has given us all a chance to reflect on what matters most and for the Eyerly’s they determined that success wasn’t just financial. They wanted more family time, so they created a plan to get just that.
While driving their family van from Utah to Texas the family stopped at Capulin Volcano in northeast New Mexico and decided that they wanted to spend as much time as possible traveling the country. So they made a plan, purchased a double-decker tour bus, and hired Apex Customs Utah to convert their bus into an RV, which they call a “roaming tiny home.”
The Texas family tells me they intend to start their journey on the road in Utah around the 4th of July and they’ll go wherever the road takes them. Dane tells me they don’t have any specific plans, but the spreadsheets, budgets, etc. seem to tell me he’s much more prepared than he thinks. Their timeline calls for just over two years on the road, spending 2-3 days in each location they visit and driving their bus roughly 45,000 miles.
Their bus is a Van Hool TD925 powered by a Cummins ISM 10.8L engine and paired with a ZF Astronic transmission. They expect the bus will have no problem taking them to each of the lower 48 states. The plan is to spend approximately two weeks in each state while they “road school” their children.
“It’s important for our kids to not just learn the book material, but experience the world around them.” Says Deena. She’s knows the importance of education and is confident that the natural experiences this two-year road trip will provide is the greatest education they can receive.
Their eager to share their experiences with everyone and hope to make plenty of friends on the road. For now, they’ve started a YouTube Channel called Double Decker Family and an Instagram @doubledeckerfam so that all their friends and family can follow their adventures. They hope others will be inspired to take the time to explore new places and build better relationships with their own families. One thing is for certain, this family is all in and they are excited for the journey that lies ahead.
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