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Old 08-02-2015, 09:27 PM   #111
Almost There
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: CO
Posts: 91
Year: 1975
Coachwork: Ward
Engine: Ford 391 V8
Rated Cap: 72
Initially, the plan was to park in Redfeather. That plan fell through with 2 weeks to spare (before move-in), and we were biting our nails, trying to find a place to park our bus. Posting ads on Craigslist, calling local RV parks, etc. yielded scarce leads. One day, we were strolling through Home Depot in search of the last items we needed for our plumbing. A nice employee came our way, and we started talking about our project with her. We talked for a long time, and she chimed in that she needed help with maintaining her property, and would love to “rent” a spot to park on her property, to us!!! We were and still are, absolutely elated. She is a sweet and very fun lady, and her property is absolutely gorgeous, with almost a quarter of an acre that she has accommodated us on!

On Friday the 31st of June, a blue moon, it was move in day. The sunny day was so hectic, as we tried to get all of our material possessions moved into the bus, and the bus ready to move. Kelsey’s cousin Steven even came all the way up to Fort Collins with his truck to help move some things. We bid farewell to many of our material possessions, many of which were going to donation. The purging of our items was often sad and memory-triggering, but the feeling of freedom of possessions was very refreshing. (We still have many items that we have decided we don’t need, and are headed to the local donation place tomorrow.)

It was finally time for us to drive the bus the 5 miles north to the property. She fired right up, and we took the necessary precautions to remove the stove cap and ratchet the wood stove to the wall. We convinced our roommates, Ryan and Michelle, to follow us there to help if a break-down occurred. Kelsey monitored the items in the bus to prevent anything from falling over, while Justin drove. While it was only a five mile drive in the afternoon, it felt like an eternity. Justin was white knuckled the whole way, as the bus engine whined up the hills and the line of traffic behind us grew.

We made it to the property just as the bus seemed to have finally warmed up to optimal temperature. She fared well through the first gate, with room to spare. Arriving at the second gate on the property, it was a little more tedious with only about 2 inches on either side to spare. She finally made it in, and we were home!!!!!!

The first night was interesting. We barely got our power hooked up before it was dark out. We were absolutely exhausted from the day, and only cleared off the bed and couch… our unsorted possessions cluttering the walkway. We had forgotten a phone charger, and both of our phones were dead. We dimmed our RGB LED lights to a nice amber color, and decided we would both try our hand at reading a fiction book, for a change. It was absolutely refreshing, and we enjoyed each others company while sipping some Blue Moon beer.

We have been living in the bus full time since Friday, and it’s only Sunday. We just enjoyed our first home-cooked meal in the bus, made on an induction hot plate, as we don’t have our gas hooked up yet. Earlier today, we enjoyed a warm shower, thanks to the 200ft long hose that is running to the bus and the warmth of the sun. We might not need gas for awhile! All of our plumbing works with no problem, and our new toilet has a great seal and thus no odors. We also installed a 6,000 BTU window AC, to help keep the inside at a moderate temperature for our Red Tail Boa, and our four Rats. Unfortunately, the AC won’t cut it, and we are looking at other options to keep the bus cool in the hot sun. We just got a canopy that we thought would shade the west facing windows, but it is too short! We will continue to brainstorm, and if we can’t find another option, we will sadly have to find the snake a new home. The dogs on the other hand, will be just fine. They can climb up on the bed and lie in front of the AC, which Nadja did on Saturday.

We absolutely love our bus, and the new chapter in our book that we are writing. We are still unpacking, and learning “what works where”, but it feels so great to be living in something that we built, just the way we wanted it to be. And even better, that home is moveable! We have plenty of room inside the bus, moreso than I had imagined. Funny, we haven’t turned on our TV once since living in the bus… we spend our time reading, working on our bus, or outside playing with the dogs. The sunsets here are breathtaking, and the air seems so clean. The whole experience kind of feels like a fairytale or a dream.
-Kelsey and Justin
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:40 PM   #112
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 584
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: I.H.
Engine: DT360
Excellent story! I just finished reading to my wife as she dozed off. It is inspiring to read that others are loving the life. Continue enjoying every moment and keep us posted. Your messages read like passages in a novel.
Thank you!
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:03 PM   #113
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 14,167
Year: 2004
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Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 32
You guys are awesome. Enjoy the new lifestyle.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:17 PM   #114
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Russell, Kansas
Posts: 1,281
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Congrats on the successful transition! You are where my wife and I are looking to be in about five years or so. We have the '88 Ford B600 as well as our '89 Thomas to work on. The Ford will be for our son when he graduates high school. We'll be watching how you continue living in the bus to see what we need to adjust for.

Again, Congratulations!

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:27 PM   #115
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,386
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
That's a beautiful place you've found to live. Congratulations! I'm a bit envious.

Sounds like heat is a problem! If you can find or make shade that's the best place to start. A favorite approach in passive solar design is to orient the bus (building) east-west, with the long side exposed due south and minimal exposure to the east and west. The reasoning is that you'll have minimal glass exposed to the early morning and especially the long afternoon sun where so much heat is gained, and (for now at least) the mid-day sun is quite high in the sky so there won't be a lot of it shining in through the south-facing windows. It will shine in during the cooler seasons, when you do want heat gain. An eave or awning large enough to shade the south windows would help too. If you could shade the whole bus that's better, but that's a hard thing to do in a wind-resistant way.

Failing those, window film can reduce heat gain. I found 50% visible light transmittance is a pretty good compromise; it cuts glare while still giving a pretty good view of the outdoors during the day. The heat gain coefficient for the 50% VLT is nearly as good as for the 5%, while still allowing the window to function for natural light and scenic view (when you're not filming for privacy reasons). You might have seen the window film thread recently and if so will know I've really liked the SolarGard product. Although I don't do installation professionally, I got a dealer account with them for doing my own bus and could help you order from them if you wanted.
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Old 08-02-2015, 10:39 PM   #116
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Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,194
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
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More Congrats! --- Life is too short not to enjoy as much of it as possible. And you guys seem to going about it very well.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:20 AM   #117
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Location: Fort Riley, Kansas
Posts: 42
Congrats on the move!

For shade you might check military surplus stores for camo nets used for large trucks. Set up properly, they can withstand some wind (I've used them in OK and KS). They'd be a multi-person setup, but if you're somewhat permanent that wouldn't be too inconvenient.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:43 AM   #118
Almost There
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: CO
Posts: 91
Year: 1975
Coachwork: Ward
Engine: Ford 391 V8
Rated Cap: 72
Thanks for your awesome feedback!!

The issue with the shade is one we will have to address. As far as parking the bus facing east to west, we wanted to do that initially. However, the lot is narrow, with the length of the bus only having about five feet of clearance from either fence if parked that way. It absolutely could be done, but it would be like a scene from Austin Powers, and the unobstructed views out of the passenger side windows would be sacrificed. If nothing else works, we will probably end up resorting to that, if we can pull it off.

The idea behind the canopy was that it was quickly removable. We would hate to build something too permanent, though we will hopefully be living here for awhile. A camo army surplus shade is a great idea- we will absolutely check that out!!! We could just attach it to our "gutter" on the west facing side, then to some long poles. Also, the tinting idea sounds great- we also looked into the solar screens (as we are realizing the importance of screens on our windows). Will try these options and let yall know what works best!!

Also- I never got around to making a vent for our black water tank yet. It currently has a hole in the top of the tank, only. The idea was to wait and see how long we could go before it stunk, then make or buy a vent cap. Been stationary and using the loo for four days now, and there is no smell from it, even with the 90 degree (plus) weather we have been having. Nothing besides water and our buisiness go down- no chemicals or TP. We did get a brand new toilet with a good seal, though. We are needing to empty it soon, and will have to figure out how to do so- we might just use 5gal buckets and run them to a toilet. Lol.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:42 PM   #119
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 18
Ur setup really turned out nice, gave us a few ideas...
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:12 PM   #120
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
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Originally Posted by maggiemae View Post
we might just use 5gal buckets and run them to a toilet. Lol.
Yikes! That's about the grossest thing I can imagine doing!
Seriously, I used to use a small, portable toilet for the sailboat and it made me gag every time I had to empty it. Black water is a nasty thing to deal with by hand. Do you folks scuba dive? Having a positive pressure mask on will at least help with the smell! Maybe even wear dark sun glasses so you can't make out the shapes of the sludge floating around.. that might help. Or perhaps a full haz-mat suit!
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
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