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Author Topic: The maiden voyage!  (Read 1253 times)
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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PD4106-1063 "Wheezy Bus"




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« on: June 13, 2006, 11:05:02 PM »

I do not want to bore everyone with a travel log, but being this was the family’s maiden voyage, I wanted to share my excitement with my bus friends. We had a wonderful time; we stayed close to home because we are not completely familiar with the bus and its systems, so if something happened, the whole family wouldn’t be stranded. In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we are fortunate to have a lot of state parks within a few hours drive or less. We went to Douthat State Park, A quick plug:

(www.state.va.us/dcr/parks/douthat.htmEditors of the 1999 Outside Family Vacation Guide, a summer planner, have named Virginia’s very own Douthat State Park one of the nation's 10 best. It's on the National Register of Historic Places and straddles Bath and Allegheny counties. Douthat was one of the original six Virginia State Parks to open on June 15, 1936. Douthat is nestled in the Allegheny Mountains and features some of Virginia’s most outstanding scenery. In addition, a 50-acre lake offers swimming, boating and seasonal trout fishing.”).

 Even though this is a very old park they do not seem to have any length or height restrictions, if you can get it in a spot, it is O.K. with them. It is also very clean, and that ranks high on my list. I have six children so that is why you see tents in the campsite. The bus sleeps max of five, so I need to do some changes to make it fit our needs. In the mean time, we are going to use it and work around those problems. There is a lot of work that needs to be done on the bus, and I have even more questions now that I have started using it, but I will save those for future posts. You guys are great; thanks for making this newbie feel so welcome.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2006, 11:08:22 PM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
It’s the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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PD4106-1063 "Wheezy Bus"




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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2006, 11:05:49 PM »

Two more:
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
It’s the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
FloridaCliff
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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2006, 02:21:40 AM »

Barn Owl,

Great pictures and good to hear your first time out was a success.

Funny enough, as soon as I saw the tents in the pictures I was thinking "He's got kids too" Grin

My kids love our bus and traveling in it.  Usually they want to move in the night before we head out somewhere.

But whats not to like, "Buses is Cool" Wink

Enjoy and good luck

Cliff


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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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JackConrad
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2006, 04:51:57 AM »

Barn Owl,
    Congrats on a fun maiden voyage! Another possibility, depending on how much stuff you carry, is a "downstairs apartment". when our boys were still home and traveling with us, we made a bay into their bedroom (FOR USE ONLY WHEN CAMPED). They loved it and referred to it as their downstairs apartment.  Jack
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Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2006, 05:01:08 AM »

Glad to here that your first time out went well. Good first impressions for the other family members is important.

I'll also agree that having a bus & kids is a really cool thing. My three boys (ages 6, 9, & 13) treat our bus like a member of the family. I don't recall them wanting to sleep in her the night before a trip, with us it is vice versa.  Frequently we arrive back home late at night, with the kids already asleep in the back bedroom and on the front sofa. Rather than my wife and I having top wake them up, we can just leave them sleeping where they are in our driveway.  In the morning they just wake-up and come in the house for breakfast.

I have begun carrying a tent in one of my bays, but so far, haven't used it.  I am anticipating that, as the boys get older, they may want their own space.  I also realize that not all campgrounds permit both a tent and an RV on a single campsite.

Good Luck, and start "makin' memories"!
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If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.
El-Sonador
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2006, 05:17:00 AM »

Barn Owl...

The hardest thing to do is when one paces back and forth in anticipation of taking that first maiden voyage... Then all of a sudden, something comes over you, like a bird leaving the nest on its first flight, and you rustle up enough courage to fire up that bus and head out, brining with you all the fears of break-downs along with you. But with every passing mile, you sit a little higher in the seat and before to long it all just becomes second nature.... A truly wonderful feeling.

Congrats on your maiden run and hope you are able to get out on the road often.

Steve

PS... I tow a VW camper van behind the bus as my tow vehicle and it makes for a great guest cottage. Sleeps 4, with head, sink, stove, furnace, fridge and more... Plus it is cheap on fuel for making those side excursions... I have 4 children and they fly down to see me often wherever I may be.  But I seem to end up in the VW as my kids take over the bus.... lol  Roll Eyes

« Last Edit: June 14, 2006, 09:13:58 AM by El Soñador™ » Logged
Dallas
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2006, 07:08:26 AM »

Barn Owl,
I too would like to doff my hat to you!
I'm working on my 6th bus and my wife, (Cat) is on our second.
This bus' first voyage for us was an emergency trip from Versailes, Ky to Johnson City Tn.
The bus had been sitting for at least 2 years with the front and middle vents open, windows cracked open, and full waste tanks.
Our first night out bringing it home was terrible... it was close to 85° humidity around 90% and we weren't even sure the bus would make it any farther.
We slept on the floor of the galley that night as it was the cleanest s[pot we could find. It was so narrow and dirty that we were sure we were gonna wake up with jungle rot or worse.
The next day we got up early and while I fixed the brake and tail lights, and tried to figure out some weird homeowner wiring, Cat made the drivers area a lot more inviting.
The drivers seat was original from 1952 with horse hair padding and hard as a rock.
We made it all the way with little or no other problems.

Would we do it again?
Probably, even though we were shot for 3 days after getting home.
Would we do it any other way? Sure, if we could afford it.
Was it worth the trouble?   YOU BET!

Have fun with your bus, get to know it, drive it, work on it and come to love it!
She'll take care of you in reciprocity.

Dallas
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