A couple and their dog live and travel in a 187-square-foot bus. Here are 8 ways they make the most of their tiny space.

The couple and the kitchen area of their bus.
The couple spent seven months renovating their 187-square-foot minibus. Beer Run Bus
  • Hope and Manny Hernandez turned a 187-square-foot minibus into a tiny house on wheels in April.
  • The couple said they designed the bus so it felt like a home.
  • The minibus is filled with smart storage designs, like a swiveling tabletop and stove cover to add counter space.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In April, Manny and Hope Hernandez ditched their 1,200-square-foot Florida apartment and opted for something tiny – a lot tinier.
The couple inside their 187-square-foot bus.
The couple inside their 187-square-foot bus. Beer Run Bus
Manny told Insider he had spent his most of life dreaming about living in a tiny house. Meanwhile, his wife Hope was dreaming of traveling the world.

The couple found a compromise in a 187-square-foot 2010 Ford Shuttle Bus. The bus would allow them to explore the US while living tiny.

It would also allow them to explore one of their favorite things: craft beer. Earlier this year, the couple moved out of their apartment in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and moved into their bus, which they now drive across the country and stop at microbreweries along the way.

Hope and Manny aptly named their bus the Beer Run Bus.

The couple spent seven months renovating the 187-square-foot minibus. Today, they travel the US in their tiny home on wheels.
The couple exploring the US.
The couple exploring the US. Beer Run Bus
In 2020, the couple spent about seven months and $35,000 buying and renovating every element of their new home. 

“We ended up, quite literally, building every single thing in his bus from scratch,” Manny told Insider. “So we’re pretty proud of it.”

In April, they finally set out on their road trip, and in just three short months, they’ve explored dozens of US cities. 

The couple told Insider that they have loved the adventure, partly because the bus caters to their lifestyle. 

Since they designed it, it’s filled with unusual storage and organizing elements. Take a look inside.

Hope spent months mapping out the bus’ layout to maximize storage. “We wanted to feel like we were in a home,” Manny said.
Before and after images of the couple's bus.
Before-and-after images of the couple’s bus. Beer Run Bus
Hope designed multiple layouts for their 187-square-foot tiny home.

“We had to get really clever with the different types of storage,” Manny said about maximizing space in the bus.

Ultimately, they landed on a design that had a large kitchen, queen-sized bed, shower, and a small couch.

They maximized space in the kitchen by looking for a stove cover that could double as a countertop.
Arrows point to the stove cover that creates more counter space in the couple's kitchen area.
Arrows point to the stove cover that creates more counter space in the couple’s kitchen area. @beerrunbus/TikTok
The kitchen area extends about 8 feet (2.44m), so there’s already plenty of counter space, Hope said.

But a simple glass stove cover only increases that counter space.

When is being used, the cover flips up and sits behind the stove. 

A deep sink allows them to store items like their Brita filter or a vase of flowers when they hit the road.
An arrow points to the deep sink in the couple's kitchen.
An arrow points to the deep sink in the couple’s kitchen. @beerrunbus/TikTok
As many people living in RVs, vans, and buses know, you can’t have anything unsecured when you’re traveling, or else it will go flying when the vehicle moves.

Manny and Hope said that their decision to have a deep sink has been a game-changer for that reason.

“Whatever we have loose that we’re using throughout the day, while we’re driving, we just throw it in the sink,” Manny said. 

 

No space is left unused – including an area below the oven where the couple added an extra drawer.
The drawer beneath their oven that stores pots, pans, lids, and a blender.
The drawer beneath their oven that stores pots, pans, lids, and a blender. Beer Run Bus
Hope said that the drawer below the oven is one of her favorite storage spots in the entire bus. 

The couple not only utilized what could’ve been unused space below the oven, but they also customized it to their needs. It fits their blender, pots, pans, and all their lids.

Underneath their bed, the couple has a storage area that they’ve nicknamed their garage.
Hope Hernandez in her bus' bed.
Hope Hernandez in her bus’ bed, which has storage underneath. Beer Run Bus
The couple uses their under-bed area to store outdoor gear like Rollerblades and rock-climbing equipment along with some of their utilities, like a freshwater tank. 

They can also access this storage area from a door in the back of the bus. 

By choosing a minibus instead of a van, the couple said they have taller ceilings, which allowed them to build cabinets above the bed.
Arrows point to the cabinets the couple built themselves.
Arrows point to the cabinets the couple built themselves. Beer Run Bus
Manny and Hope designed and built every element of the bus, and Manny said that the cabinets were by far the most challenging part of the project.

But now when he looks at the custom cabinets, he said he’s thankful for all the storage. 

For example, the couple was able to add a set of cabinets above their bed, which wouldn’t have been possible without the bus’ tall ceilings. 

Many elements in their home serve a dual purpose. For example, their bench doubles as storage for their refrigerator, which slides out from under the seat.
Storage is even underneath their seating area.
Storage is even underneath their seating area. @beerrunbus/TikTok
The couple said that one key to maximizing space in their bus was finding dual uses for items.

A great example of this is the couple’s bench. It serves as their primary seating, but it also is where they store their refrigerator and other items.

The couple avoided having a bulky table and added a long table on a swivel that sits above their bench when it’s not in use.
The swivel table.
The swivel table. @beerrunbus/TikTok
The swivel design allows the couple to store their table when they’re not using it to eat or work.
Simple changes, like keeping their toiletries in bags or a soap dispenser saves space and clutter.
An arrow points to the couple's mounted shampoo and conditioner dispenser.
An arrow points to the couple’s mounted shampoo and conditioner dispenser. Beer Run Bus
The couple made small additions to their bathroom that help them minimize clutter.

Hope designed day bags, which are filled with all their necessities, like their toothbrush, lotions, and toothpaste. Instead of the items sitting on a bathroom counter, they’re stored in bags so the items don’t topple over when they travel.

The couple did the same thing for their shampoo and conditioner, which they put into a mounted dispenser in their bus’ shower

Today, the couple continues to explore the country while helping others renovate and design smart storage for their tiny homes.
The couple in the entryway of their bus.
The couple in the entryway of their bus. Beer Run Bus
After the first renovation, the couple started a business helping other people remodel their vans and buses. 

They’ve finished two projects and plan to help with more bus conversions. 

“It’s been an awesome experience to be able to build something with my wife,” Manny told Insider. “We’ve been able to spend so much more time together.”

Hope agreed. “We finally get to do what we really wanted to do. Fulfilled is the word,” she said.

You can follow Manny and Hope on TikTok and Instagram.