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Poll
Question: How much time do you spend living in your bus?
Bus? What bus? I don't have one! (okay, I do, but it feels like I don't because I don't ever live in it) - 14 (12.7%)
Vacations and small trips only - 62 (56.4%)
Half of the year - 15 (13.6%)
Most of the year - 3 (2.7%)
FULLTIMIN' IT, BABY! - 16 (14.5%)
Total Voters: 110

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Author Topic: Poll: How much time do you spend living in your bus?  (Read 5158 times)
jordansinthesky
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2011, 09:13:16 PM »

Bought my 57 PD4104 in November and have been living in it full time since.  I'm 24 years old, and don't make much dough, so i haven't hit the road much.  I go through phases of being so excited about my new home/purchase, and at times go into full panic mode thinking "why the hell did I get this, I'm in way over my head and can't afford it!"   Overall bus life is good so far though.  Little bugs with systems here and there, but slowly upgrading systems.  Dealing with mice right now.  My first trip will be from phoenix to mesquite nv and back next weekend.  Hope everything goes ok!   
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1957 PD4104.  Self proclaimed youngest busnut in the nation.
thomasinnv
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2011, 09:18:09 PM »

coming up on 3 years full time now.  I am 40 and am married with 2 kids (girls).  I love living 'on the road' and if i sit in one place longer than about 2 weeks the itch starts acting up.  The longest we have spent outside the rv was 2 months last summer when we sold the 5'er and bought the bus.  The 4 of us lived in a small spare bedroom as I converted the new to us bus.  I was never so happy as when we moved our stuff out of the storage shed and into the newly renovated bus.  I love the rv life style, always have.
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There are three kinds of people in this world....those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that just wonder what the heck is happening. Which one are you?

1977 MCI Crusader MC-8
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95% converted (they're never really done, are they?)
BJ
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2011, 10:15:34 PM »

I have been building my MC8 for many years now and haven't had a chance to travel or live in it. BUT, I lived in my 56 ford 28 foot for 10 years in Santa Barbara, Calif including around the state. THEN I lived in my 59 Crown 35 footer for another 7 years in Calif, Arizone and Oklahoma.. does this count for full timing? When I finally owned a house I missed the motorcoaches. In the future there is the MCI, it will be the last. I think....lol
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JackConrad
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2011, 04:55:40 AM »

I voted 1/2 the year, but it has varied.  When we were still working and first started the conversion, we set a goal of at least one weekend per month (sometimes more often). Since we have the bus finished and are retired, we now spend more time in the bus. In 2009 we were in the bus from June till mid November. We were home from mid November until March 5, 2010 then back in the bus until November 2010. We hope to leave this year mid April with an unknown return date.  Although we enjoy extended trips, my wife is happy to spend a little time in our house before oing back into the bus and I do miss my shop when traveling.  I don't think we will ever give up our house & shop.  Jack
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 05:01:58 AM by JackConrad » Logged

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2011, 08:29:44 AM »

Owning my own business seems to limit my vacation time into 3 day weekends and such at best. We basically use our's for local camping although we drove it to Orlando/Daytona for bike weeks last spring. Winters generally find it tucked away. I have way to much crap to even think about full timing. I'm a good 10+ years from considering retirement if I ever do but as my son takes over more of the daily operations of the business I hope to get some trips south for the winter in the years to come. I like my MCI 7 but the fact that it's not slide out friendly would make me look more into a Prevost or such if I was thinking of the full time route. I'm used to wide open spaces!!
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Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2011, 09:32:47 AM »

When and If I ever get this finished, I've researched several locations in Key West, I've even found where I can park and actually work for food and shelter (parking place) in trade....which sounds like a deal for a year or so.......not sure how the boss feels about it...but it works for me!
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Pat

1982 Prevost LeMirage
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2011, 02:21:11 PM »

Had a 1974 Crown Supercoach ex school bus stripped out inside and intended to be a nice Bus Conversion.  While I had it, I was living the dream.

Loved the mobility of it all.  If you didn't exactly like the surroundings, you could pack up inside of one hour and move.  Great way to see the nation.

The theme of being mobile had its moments.  Everything, including expectations and methodology had to be modified to suit the situation.

Best decribed as being related to boat or yacht full timing.  One had to learn to "live close".  Little things became important and big things irrevelant.

You had to learn all about your machine and be prepared to do most if not all the work and maintenance to keep her in tip top condition.  Easy at first.

But....as health issues became obvious, it became more and more difficult, then impossible to do the REQUIRED repair and stuff necessary.

If I was younger, YEP, I would go back to full time bussin' in a heartbeat.  It would be super to be able to home school your kids while full timing....

.and seeing the entire country in grant style.   HB of CJ (old coot)
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divinerightstrip
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2011, 06:01:05 AM »

SO thankful for all of your input!

I love the first response by bob - this is something that I hear over and over again: that those whom you meet on the road are some of the greatest people out there. I think that is certainly takes some very special qualities to be able to do what so many of you are doing. Not all are equipped for it!
We'll see if I am as well-suited as I think I am, though it sounds like we all have those hiccups along the way - a natural state of events as anyone converts from one way of life (that they know and are familiar with) to another (unknown, and different).

For me, I think that my biggest challenge will not be space (I am only one small girl in a 45ft bus!) nor will it be TV channels (I am proud to say that I have never owned a TV and never care to), but will most likely be HOT WATER and taking LONG HOT showers on cold days. Will have to wait for touch-down at a fully-equipped RV park for that!
Also, finances (I'm broke!)
and maintenance and upkeep on my bus as I settle into a location, stay for a few months, and move on. I know DDs don't like to sit for long periods of time. How do y'all with Detroits care for your engines while parked?

Thanks all, you are wonderful!

-DRT :}
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The Bus Girl
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2011, 06:57:33 AM »

I don't think the Detroit minds sitting unattended for several months as much as the grass under it does!! Cheesy
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Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2011, 07:40:43 AM »

I do two things when sitting for a while.  I put covers on my tires and a tin can over my exhaust pipe to keep critters and maybe moisture out. Smiley
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2011, 08:19:19 AM »

hi drt, sharon and i ( ron ) have been on the road for almost 18 years now and are loving it. we have mostly been boondocking, but lately, we have been getting use to full hookups. its nice to be pluged in for awhile, but its also nice beening out in the boonies. we have meet so many friends over the years, its like having a big family. we have also workkamp all over the U S mostly in the summer, but we did two winter jobs one in s cal. and one in the fl. keys. workkamp for us has been a good way to see the county. you woun't get ritch, but we get a full hookup campsite and pay for all hours worked. we might try working yellowstone NP this summer. if you are anyone wants more info you can call ron or sharon at 619-787-1851. have a great day, ron
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2011, 10:47:46 AM »

SO thankful for all of your input!

I love the first response by bob - this is something that I hear over and over again: that those whom you meet on the road are some of the greatest people out there. I think that is certainly takes some very special qualities to be able to do what so many of you are doing. Not all are equipped for it!
We'll see if I am as well-suited as I think I am, though it sounds like we all have those hiccups along the way - a natural state of events as anyone converts from one way of life (that they know and are familiar with) to another (unknown, and different).

For me, I think that my biggest challenge will not be space (I am only one small girl in a 45ft bus!) nor will it be TV channels (I am proud to say that I have never owned a TV and never care to), but will most likely be HOT WATER and taking LONG HOT showers on cold days. Will have to wait for touch-down at a fully-equipped RV park for that!
Also, finances (I'm broke!)
and maintenance and upkeep on my bus as I settle into a location, stay for a few months, and move on. I know DDs don't like to sit for long periods of time. How do y'all with Detroits care for your engines while parked?
Thanks all, you are wonderful!
-DRT :}

Anja,
You have the whole world ahead of you still and at a young age too! And as Bob (and others) said you just don't meet more nice people anywhere else than in bus'n!
Also you are well ahead of many of us in the learning curve too. Your gonna be fine out there, with your skills, knowledge and ambition.
As for the hot water that too can be dealt with. If you use a "Proheat" or similar unit you can have yer hot water and use it too! Also if you put in a large tub or jacuzzi you could do long soaks.
Sean & Louise have a SWEET set up with their portable hot tub!
Now I just learned something I didn't know. I thought "Urge" was a 40'er isn't it like an '89 or '90 model? (IIRC the 45'ers didn't start until '93 or '94) 
Wish ya all the luck in the world girl! Wink (yer do'n a great job so far!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2011, 07:02:18 AM »

!!! YAYYY!


BK,
It took me a while to respond to this post because I left the internet window open on my computer for me to read every now and then as inspiration!
I am continuing to move forward, thanks for your encouragement!

Thank you all!

-DRT
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The Bus Girl
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« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2011, 07:40:56 AM »

Blu and I travel to cookoffs every weekend in the summer for points. We spend 10 days in Terlingua for the cahmpionship, but if a cookoff is local and only I day, we take one of our pickups. My bus(cannot yet be called a coach) is basicly a Motel room with MY bed and bathroom. I can fix anything that goes wrong. Pm is a must. I intend to travel further when I retire.

Big john
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
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Sean
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2011, 08:56:11 AM »

Sean & Louise have a SWEET set up with their portable hot tub!

Why, Bryce, do I detect a hint of envy there? Smiley

Seriously, I used to be a dealer for these tubs, but never sold a single one.  Which may be part of the reason the product is no longer available.

That said, I can show anyone with a hydronic system (Webasto, Espar, Aquahot, etc.) how to make a hot tub using a single pump, a heat exchanger, a tempering valve, some hose, and a few household plumbing fittings.  The trick is to find something to use as a tub, and then find the water to fill it.

... Please select your status, and then tell me what it's like!

Anja, I think I was the third or fourth person to vote in this poll, but I wanted to hold off on answering for a bit because I, too, was curious to see some of the other answers.  Frankly, I am surprised to see that as many as 14% of us are full time -- I expected it to be more like 5-10%.  Herewith are my answers to your questions:

Quote
Do you wish you spent more time in the bus?

No, in fact we probably spend too much time in the bus.  Which is to say we spend a good part of every day sitting on our duffs and feeding our Internet addictions.  We do everything on-line now, from paying our bills to reading the newspaper, planning our routes to finding camp sites and dump stations, and figuring maintenance schedules to answering questions right here on the board.  We have two computers, a file server, and a ~200-megabyte per day Internet habit.

Fortunately our bus is a comfortable place to spend that much time, and we do try to get out every day.  Some days that's just to go to dinner or pick up groceries, but we do try to spend time exploring the areas we travel through.

Quote
Is bus life getting old?

No.  Many here know that we intend to move from the bus into a boat, and every now and then we come across a boat that might suit us at a price that would work, and then we look at each other and decide that we are most certainly not done yet with the bus.  We have been living in it now for six and a half years, which pales in comparison to some others here, and I know we could go again that much time and still not see everything we want to see in North America.  While we've been to all 48 lower states and a good part of northern Mexico, we have yet to make it to Alaska or anywhere north of the 49th parallel, and we even occasionally muse about shipping the bus to Australia and spending half a year there (about the only overseas destination where a 40' RV makes any sense at all).

However we are not getting any younger, and we want to see the rest of the world, too.  While I know people who have done it, we don't want to start boating in our sixties.  We want to get out there while we are both still young enough to take the punishment of the open ocean, handle a boat ourselves, and pursue the kinds of activities we enjoy.  So with each passing month, we get closer to that emotional place where we will be "ready" to part with the bus should the right boat opportunity present itself.  Of course, every man has his price, and there is a cash number where I would sell the bus in a heartbeat if it was offered.

Quote
What issues have you run into?

Wow -- too long to answer here.  They are all well documented, however, in our blog, should you feel like wading through some 1,500 posts.  Some highlights (or perhaps I should say "lowlights"):

  • We've gotten stuck four times.  Three required an enormous tow truck to unstick us, and one required some clever footwork by me and pilotage by a ferry captain to extricate us.
  • We've broken four windshields, two lowers and two uppers.  I taught myself to fix chips and cracks now before they get bad enough to require windshield replacement.
  • We've "dusted" our engine twice.  Both times the damage was done long before the problem was detected through oil analysis.  Both required complete in-frame rebuilds to include replacing all eight pistons/liners and rebuilding the turbo.
  • We blew a turbo climbing a grade in the desert and had to spend a week in a hot parking lot running the genny nearly full time.
  • We've had to turn around or otherwise pass up numerous campgrounds, back roads, and other destinations because we were too tall, too long, or too heavy, making us long for a truck camper mounted to a 4x4.

Quote
Things you love, things you hate.

Also well documented in the blog and too long to repeat, but here are a few.

Love:
  • The freedom to be nearly anyplace we want any time we want.
  • Having our pets with us everywhere we go.
  • Being in our own bed and our own home every night.
  • Paying no mortgage, utilities, property tax, state taxes (other than sales).
  • Sunsets from the deck and evenings in the hot tub.

Hate:
  • Maintaining a 25-year-old bus.
  • Random strangers knocking on our door asking for a tour.
  • Dealing with bureaucrats who can't fathom full-timing.
  • Dealing with USPS, UPS, FedEx. etc.
  • Drivers who think nothing of cutting off a 24-ton bus.
  • Random people who think we are stupid because we don't have a house or a car.

I could go on, but it's too much typing.  Catch us someday over a glass of wine...

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Full-timing in a 1985 Neoplan Spaceliner since 2004.
Our blog: http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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