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Author Topic: Eyes Wide Open at Walmart  (Read 3091 times)
Audiomaker
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« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2014, 05:21:41 PM »

Fellows, you've let this thread deteriorate. What began as contemplative introspection on a public forum has become little more than junior high banter. I want to read more about the reasons others find for choosing mobile lifestyles.

It's ok.  I just figured nobody wanted to talk about it Smiley
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Lostranger
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« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2014, 01:53:59 PM »

Audiomaker, I'll talk about your original topic.

At 61, I can claim a life-long streak of nomadism, and yet I love the area where I grew up and the ability to grow some of our own food. I lived in a van for short stretches when I was single. I was always able to store some stuff in Mom/Dad's basement, so that took some pressure off. When our oldest two girls were small, we built what would now be considered a tiny house. We had farmland rented in a county adjacent to where I grew up. We wanted to be able to live on the property and grow a large crop of cabbage. It was not built on a trailer, but when we left there, we jacked it up, backed my 16' tandem trailer under it, and hauled it away. About a year later, we lived for several months in a 24' box van on a Ford C700 chassis. We'd never heard the term "house truck", but we had it, it was dry, and we needed a place to live.

We eventually raised six children. The last two were in the process of leaving when we lost our middle class house in 2010. We were torn by that old agrarian/mobility tension for a while, but we ended up renting a 5 acre farm in the mountains from a "friend." He let us spend a year and a half remodeling his unlivable house (at our expense) and then evicted us so he could sell the place. At that point we decided that we will never rent again, so....

We had a bus then, but it was not dependable for full timing. That story is here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2408&hilit=Wisdom+in+Motion

and here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2541

The step van we bought in 2011 is great, but we decided that we do not want to full time in it. I began looking for a different bus, and eventually settled on the Gillig detailed in my build thread.

Part of the reason Bev and I want to stay mobile is that we can do it without going into debt, but that's just the beginning. When we lost the house and got rid of so much stuff, we realized that we were better off. We're still paring down, but since we do so much that involves tools and materials and spare parts, it is now more difficult. Neither of us has any desire to own a fixed foundation home. We love knowing that we can crank and move whenever we like. A crop of small grandchildren provides counterbalance to our wanderlust, but even that won't last forever.

Do not underestimate what I am about to say. I love sleeping in my own bed, and this way I always have it with me. We spend a lot of nights at Wally World and truck stops. We stay occasionally at other big box lots and large grocery store lots. Sometimes we stay in city or county parks. Sometimes we stay in back of a restaurant or bar where I'm playing music or a church parking lot where I'm preaching. No matter where we are, I love knowing that when I turn off the ignition and draw the curtains, I'm home.

Best to all,

Jim in NC



Baking sourdough bread in a Dutch oven beside the Ocracoke dunes. Nothing makes friends in a campground like fresh, homemade bread.


« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 07:00:53 PM by Lostranger » Logged

Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
Audiomaker
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« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2014, 06:29:51 PM »

That's quite a story Jim, thanks.

I see quite a lot that full timers are with spouse.  I would think that would make things a lot easier.

One thing you don't need to worry about is dating on the road Wink
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Lostranger
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« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2014, 06:31:42 PM »

That's quite a story Jim, thanks.

I see quite a lot that full timers are with spouse.  I would think that would make things a lot easier.

One thing you don't need to worry about is dating on the road Wink

Not true! Bev and I date often.
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2014, 06:39:00 PM »

Not true! Bev and I date often.

 Grin Grin Grin
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Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2014, 05:26:22 AM »

Hey Jim (Lostranger):

Nice-looking bus!

What kind of engine-tranny do you have? Did you have to change rear end ratio for the highway? What kind of fuel economy are you getting?
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
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100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
Lostranger
Sophia
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« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2014, 09:23:43 AM »

Hey Jim (Lostranger):

Nice-looking bus!


Thanks! I'm glad others are finally starting to see value in this bus the way I did from the beginning.

It's a '99 Gillig H2000LF. Hertz collaborated on the design and used a number of them across the country as airport shuttles. DD Series 40, 8.7ltr, 330 HP, Allison B400R with overdrive. It was highway geared from the factory. Will run 70 with no problem, but I don't. This bus was never a transit and never had a front door. Aluminum and SS body.

Anytime we travel, and especially in any campground, the Gillig draws a crowd. Part of this summer's plan is to finish the door, reskin and paint it. Then it will look even more fabulous. We full time, and it's a work in progress. I've said in several threads that we could not be more pleased with a conversion shell.

If you're interested, my build thread is here: http://www.nomadicista.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2541

And here's a shot of the other side:



On a currently active thread I mention that the roof is only 9' 6" high, not counting solar panels and wood stove chimney. I can't give accurate mileage figures because my gauges aren't working, but it's somewhere around 10.

I always appreciate it when bus folks notice my bus.

Jim in NC
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
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« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2014, 09:30:16 AM »

So let me tie this question in...

Can any full-timers offer their experience with how one goes about working on completing their conversions on the road?

My thought is that a Home Depot parking lot is every bit as good as a Walmart Smiley
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2014, 09:37:42 AM »

   So let me tie this question in...

Can any full-timers offer their experience with how one goes about working on completing their conversions on the road?

My thought is that a Home Depot parking lot is every bit as good as a Walmart Smiley 

    I've been doing some of this (not on the road but without consistent access to a proper shop).  You'll want good climate control (A/C more important than heat in most climates) and be happy with smell and sawdust in every little crack and crevice you can imagine.  It *can* be done but it's an added layer of complication.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
Lostranger
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2014, 09:42:58 AM »

So let me tie this question in...

Can any full-timers offer their experience with how one goes about working on completing their conversions on the road?

My thought is that a Home Depot parking lot is every bit as good as a Walmart Smiley

Even though we full time, we have a home base with tools, water and sewer. No indoor shop big enough for a bus, however. I still work outside. Last winter stopped my conversion work cold. Pun intended.

I'm with you on HD parking lots. Lowe's works just as well. The thing I like about the home supply stores is that I find much more to look at when I go inside.

Jim in NC
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
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« Reply #40 on: June 26, 2014, 10:12:31 AM »

Yes, well this is quite an adjustment for me.

As we speak, I am still loading my shop into a 45' dry van (will need 2 at least).

My "house" is an old elementary school that I purchased a decade ago.  It's 33,000sqft.

My "shop" is the old cafeteria which is a little over 8000sqft.

I have more personal tools than probably anyone most people will ever meet.   A full machine shop... my tool cabinets are 18' X 5' tall.
Literally over 40 tons of tools (wood and construction too).

My "bedroom" is 1100sqft alone, and I have several.

...and now I'm supposed to cram my living into 300sqft for everything, and the tools I can take into 36"T X 56"W X 30"D....yay!

It's quite a challenge....it's a good thing I like challenges!

My plan is to land my dry vans in storage, wander awhile (while working on the rig at HD), and then when I find an area that I like, to get employment and lease a space like a defunct service station, or a Jiffy Lube or something along those lines.
Then move my vans and "RV" there and live with my shop doing odd jobs to help pay the rent.

Frankly, it's daunting, but I'm just looking at it like an adventure.

 
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lvmci
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« Reply #41 on: June 26, 2014, 05:32:03 PM »

Your truly living the uhaul saying, an adventure in moving!  Maybe we should alter it, saying, an adventure thats moving,  lvmci...
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« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2014, 06:08:18 PM »

LOL I can tell you Lowe's has a lot better wifi than HD we are setting in front of Lowe's right now I don't even use the wireless gadget  when I can find a Lowe's  Roll Eyes
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eagle19952
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« Reply #43 on: June 26, 2014, 06:39:14 PM »

Before anyone jumps I asked and got permission....in 2005 I stayed at a Wal-Mart in Houston, and changed out, reconfigured, and plumbed my GREY Black and potable water systems in the parking lot.
Ordered the tanks out of California delivered to the parking lot.
woke up to a knock on the door one night, a bunch of drunks (guys and gals) wanting to know if I was their charter to Lake Charles Louisiana... Huh
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2014, 07:12:18 PM »

  LOL I can tell you Lowe's has a lot better wifi than HD we are setting in front of Lowe's right now I don't even use the wireless gadget  when I can find a Lowe's  Roll Eyes   

    The Lowe's stores in NC have a big sign near the entrance door "WiFi Available".   They're making a feature of it - makes sense, somebody can search part numbers, etc. on a smart phone if they have access to WiFi.  I didn't know that it was really good in the parking lot, too.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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