Re: The BigBlue..CastleFamilyTourBus!
Ok...so the whole story. I can't even remember the dates, it was all such a blur! After taking off 4 days (just in case) from work, Mark and I left Key West late in the morning to get through Miami and up to West Palm Beach. It took us about 4 hrs to get up there, stopping mind you plenty of times with the 2 kids and Zoe the Scottie. Everyone was all excited and then we sorta got a little lost. The owner of 'Boo-Boo' lives way on the outskirts of WPB, right in the everglades. We finally find our way around dusk and make it out to the property. We were all in AWE as we come around the corner and there she sits right out front.
We meet up with the owner, and get right out to look her over. Flash lights in hand she starts explaining all about this and that and blah blah blah. She lets Mark start her up and Boo Boo turns right over (beautiful!). We decide to go get a hotel and pick her up in the morning because at this point it's pitch dark out. There were a few red flags right off the bat, but we have to say not so bad considering we didn't go look at her before we bought her. We're just hoping she makes it home at this point.
Next morning, bright and early we go back out there to get her. She again starts right up without a hitch and we drive off down the road. Previous owner says, 'Make sure you fill up right away, cause there's little if no gas.' Spewing thick blue/whitish smoke all the way down the road, I was a little uneasy to say the least. First stop, Sunoco gas station. I have to give it to Mark because it's been a LONG time since he's driven something so big and he pulled right in there no problem. We fill up to the tune of about 290$ or so. Look her over a little bit, check fluids etc. He gets in and...She doesn't start! 2 hours later..it's the battery. Luckily, we brought an RV battery with us and after some figuring we switch it out and again we're on our way. By this time, it's already 3pm-ish. We have to pull off behind the shopping center and unload our Uhaul truck into the bus. (that's another story altogether) We had to bring all of our STUFF with us, driving the uhaul and our car to get Boo Boo. Pack, unpack..realizing that Boo Boo is REALLY skinny with not alot of storage space. We take the uhaul back and finally we can go..Or so we think. Cue in the torrential down pour..tick tock, i am just picturing Miami traffic at this time now about 5pm. Considering that the wipers Do NOT work, and Mark can't see..we decided to go back to the hotel for one more night. Figuring that would actually give us more time to check her out, etc etc.
At this point we haven't driven Boo Boo even 15 miles, so we're still not sure that she can really make the trip. In any event, again bright and early we FINALLY get on the road..Me following behind the smoke that's still burning off, and the chips and pieces of old rotten metal that's flying off down I-95 south. So far so good, but actually the ONLY gauge in the bus that seems to work is the HOT/COLD sensor. We're running hot almost continuous down the highway and Mark's gotta pull over just after roughly 40 miles or so. We check fluids again..Gallons of water and some coolant later we realize either there's a leak or something, we're not sure. We do this for what seems like HOURS, inching along about 40-50 miles..filling up..fluids/water..mix, repeat etc etc. That day's trip literally took us more than 12 hrs. When we finally made it to Marathon (last stop before home for us)..Mark wondered if it was the pressurized cap (that didn't have any pressure)..causing the coolant to just boil up and spew out of the radiator?? (any ideas here?) We could not detect any leaks at ALL in the radiator. The last stop though, we did notice a collection of fluid on the ground after we had been sitting for a half hour or so. It leaked a little oil on the trip, but she did great in that department. Remember when we had all those questions about major oil leaks. In any event, it was pretty uneventful it just took SO long. I can't imagine that's normal, because school busses go forever picking up and dropping off kids all day long..and NOT over heating like that. So that's an issue we need looking at. We are EXHAUSTED..but we're home. Considering we have to live in Boo Boo while we fix'er up...it's definitely going to be a 'story'.