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Old 09-13-2004, 01:00 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
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WonderKaty….That’s really Cool you were able to paint your Bus in Rainbow colors and it’s neat that ‘you say’ you had no problems with Campgrounds turning you away…

But for any of you other Folks out there in ‘Schoolie Land’ who might think it’s a fun thing to revisit the 60’s …you need to understand a few things about that …and accept the ramifications & disappointments of doing so.

I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do with their lives …I’m just trying to save some folks from finding out what really happens when you ‘step outside’ the ‘Norm’.

First…. Here’s my ‘Credentials’ and why I think I might just have something to say about this sort of thing. (Just in case anyone thinks I’m talking Bull%$#* I have pics to prove it too)
Millie & I’ve been together for almost 22 years and have spent the majority of that time living fulltime and traveling about in self-converted vans, a few small RV’s and Schoolies (ours and other folks)
Before I met Millie…I traveled the ‘Hippy Trails ‘ for many years Hitchhiking around this country (and Others) and living in friends School Buses and vans.

………………………………………… …………………………………………

I have to say we had a great time and neither of us would trade or change a thing about our traveling lives….
But it wasn’t all Fun either.

There wasn’t a week that went by in all those years …where we didn’t at least once get pulled over and get our ID’s checked …or have our ‘rig’ searched for drugs.
(In certain Areas of the country it wasn’t at all unusual to have this happen daily.)

Every single Rainbow Gathering we visited always had some form of ‘Safety Check’ (Road Block) set up by the local & State Police to allegedly check the Schoolies for safety issues. Numerous Schoolies were ticketed or impounded at these roadblocks.

There wasn’t a single Grateful Dead concert we visited where we didn’t see (or experience) the same ‘safety checks’ or something similar happening to the ‘Dead Heads’ living in their vans & Schoolies.
(For many years, (still is in California )just having a Grateful Dead sticker on your rig was considered legal ‘probable cause’ to pull over the rig and search it and the passengers in California and many other states.)

These were (and still are ) the facts of life …and situations you’ll have to handle when you step outside the usual main stream culture .
So…if you decide you want to go the Rainbow colored bus route you’re going to have to accept some of the problems associated with doing that.
Things are a bit better now than they were in the 60’s , 70’s & 80’s for this sort of thing. But you’ll still have problems with campgrounds letting you stay and get a lot of nasty looks in certain parts of this country.

If the Schoolie is going to be your Full-time Home and you’re going to actually use it to travel in …versus parking it long-term somewhere…or just using it for camping trips.
Then you need to understand that there’s a growing movement in the world of campgrounds …called the ’10-year limit’.
This ’10-year limit’ is allegedly setup to ensure that the rig is safe…and won’t create a fire hazard and such…
But in actuality, it’s designed to legally allow campground owners pick & choose which rig they feel they want to let in.
So you don’t want to do anything to your rig that’s going to give these people validation for tossing you out.

Things like this are very important issues if your Schoolie is going to be your ‘Home’.
It’s really easy to for some new Schoolie owner to think ….
’well I don’t intend to stay at campgrounds ….Schoolies are built like tanks so I’ll permanently Boondock in mine.’
Sorry…But that’s not the way that Full-time living in an RV or Schoolie works at all.

You’re going to have to work with 7-14 day camping limits in most BLM or National Forest campgrounds. (Or any other areas within the National Forest)
The days of just moving a mile or so down the road for another 7-14 day stay are over…(Forest Service Cops figured that one out years ago and will make you leave)

That’s just on the West Coast and places like Arizona, New Mexico Utah Colorado & Such…The East Coast has a whole different set of camping rules & situations you’ll have to deal with.
There are relatively few areas where you can legally (safely) Boondock there.
And rather than the big National Forests we have on the West Coast…you’ll be staying in State Parks.
Most of the North East State parks close for the winter season…so you’ll have to move south or west.
No Big deal, right?

Yes it is .
You’ve got every single RV ‘snowbird ‘ doing the same…and most of them reserved places in the warmer southern State Parks months previously.
So you motor on down there thinking you’ll find a spot ,only to be turned away because the parks full…
So what do you do?
You could always try staying at some Camp Ground …but what if they don’t particularly think your 60’s Rainbow colored looking Bus is very ‘Cool’ and tell you cant stay.
What then?
I suppose you could always stay at the Walmart Stores that allow overnight parking…but the keyword there is ‘overnight ‘.
They don’t want you staying there for more than that unless of course you’re driving a ½ a million-dollar Motor home and will spend a lot of money there. Only a very un-informed fool would expect to be treated the same in a ‘Hippied-Out’ Bus.

So you spend a night there and move on…
Your Rainbow colored Bus really sticks out so in most City’s, Towns and communities you cant just pull over somewhere to sleep …unless you think its fun to be woken up by a cop at 3 in the morning, ticketed and told to move on.

These are the realities of doing something that feels cool to you, but doesn’t… to most other people.
I can tell you from personal experience it’s not a smart move to ‘hippy-out’ your bus.
Most of the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s breed of Bus Folk got rid of their buses and settled down because it was too much of a hassle to continue to live that way.
There’s nothing ‘Cool’ or ‘Fun’ about being treated poorly by a society that mostly doesn’t relate to living this way …or being turned away from campgrounds.

I know this is 2004 , and folks are into retro stuff like the Partridge Family and other stuff…but things haven’t really changed that much.
A few weeks ago a guy driving a ratty & hippy looking Schoolie got off the ferry here …within 2 days the cops had pulled him over and cited him for stuff like ‘driving too slow’ and various ‘safety violations’…….

I’d be Really careful about this one Folks

Michael
http://www.mobilehomestead.com
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Old 09-13-2004, 01:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soused moose
I suppose you could always stay at the Walmart Stores that allow overnight parking…but the keyword there is ‘overnight ‘.
They don’t want you staying there for more than that unless of course you’re driving a ½ a million-dollar Motor home and will spend a lot of money there. Only a very un-informed fool would expect to be treated the same in a ‘Hippied-Out’ Bus.
We have a LOT of Skoolies in this area and it not unusual to see one parked in a WalMart lot for a month at a time. In fact I talked to a guy who should be joining the group shortly, he parked his bus at WalMart for two months.

In fact WalMart is probably a more accepted place to stay, the people at WalMart certainly don't have a half million dollar rig sitting at home and they are often fond of people who are doing things their own way and on a budget. I find that wherever I take my bus everyone is very impressed and interested and glad to have me parked next to them.
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Old 09-13-2004, 04:33 PM   #13
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Steve …
I’m not trying to get in any form of fight here…just bringing up some stuff that I think folks should think about.


And…they might let folks stay at Walmart for a month where you live…
But I like to see someone try that in California, Washington, Oregon and Florida and see what happens.
My whole point has been about actually living & traveling fulltime all over this country in a School Bus…. not just about certain areas that are friendly to them.
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Old 09-13-2004, 04:53 PM   #14
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My thoughts here, from a Police perspective, is this: attract attention and expect to get attention, blend in and expect to be left alone. Even cops can admire a well done schoolie conversion, but even a rookie cop knows that hippies and drugs go together like chocolate and peanutbutter. Or maybe that's just a stereotype...you decide. True, we're not in the 60's anymore, but most of us have been alive long enough to remember the 60's and what they stood for.

Personally, when I'm travelling I like to blend in and be able to concentrate on my trip, not worry about a trooper somewhere who hasn't met his quota on equipment violation tickets. Do whatever you want on your bus, but it's probably better to install your door beads, flourescent posters and lava lamps inside and leave the outside looking classy.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:13 PM   #15
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although it might get you some "bad" attention, I would like to argue that a multi-colored bus also spreads its share of peace, love and happiness (says the idealist). and I don't think the positive attention should be ignored in the equation.
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Old 09-14-2004, 12:49 PM   #16
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Katy…I agree totally that there are certain ‘positive’ aspects to using Rainbow paint jobs on a Schoolie…it definitely makes a statement on what a person stands for.
(I’m an old Peacenik and Save the Planet sort of guy from way back when…so I do relate)
But at the same time, doing something like that limits where you can take a rig that looks that way.

If your intent is to only visit Barter fairs, Alternative Energy Fairs, Rainbow Gatherings, Blue Grass or Reggae Concerts and any other place(s) that ‘Alternative types’ hang-out…then a rainbow colored bus is going to receive plenty of ‘Positive attention’.
Nobody there is going to have a problem with it….
But if you intend to live in that bus fulltime and travel through some of the “Schoolie” unfriendly states …then you’re going to run into problems.

For instance… California & Oregon.
Even though historically both of those States have a long history of folks living in House Trucks & Schoolies…and have very large groups of ‘Alternative Types’…they’re also places where you’ll find incredible restrictions and a definite Anti-Folks living in Alternative RV’s viewpoint/stance.
It’s really not coming from a distaste of the rigs …its more an anti-hippy attitude that’s the primary motivator here.

So…any of the ‘Mecca’s’ (Santa Cruz, Garberville, Eugene, Ashland etc.) that tend to draw folks living in Schoolies & Such, also have some very hardcore restrictions on living in rigs.
In those areas you can forget about Boondocking or slipping down some back alley to get some sleep. The powers that be, very seriously watch out for that, and when you’re caught you’ll be told to move on and very likely ticketed.
This is why you see the majority of ‘Alternative RV’s’ in those states secretly parked behind friend’s houses or up some Forest Service logging road.

I know parking your rig behind a friends house sounds like fun…but it really isn’t fun to be in a situation where you know, not only you can get into trouble for doing something like this …your ‘Friend ‘ can too, because almost all city’s have restrictions and rules against people living in vehicles in your yard.
But…unfortunately you’re stuck with having to stay at friend’s houses & such if your rig implies ‘Hippy’ in those areas.
Campgrounds are NOT going to let you stay …even really sleazy Trailer Trash type mobile Home Parks will turn you away.

Case in point:
We have a very good friend called RomTom who lived in an old Schoolie since the early seventies. This guy is very nice!
I lived on his bus back in 74 as we traveled up & down the west coast hitting the ‘Hippy Trails’…his idea of being a ‘Positive’ sort of person, was to buy old bikes, repair them and then give them away to poor kids who didn’t have a bike. (Like I said…this guy is a very decent human being)
Eventually he settled down with his Schoolie in Eugene Oregon (Hippy Central)…After many years of years of being told to ‘move along’ and ‘you can’t stay here’ …he decides to move into a mobile home park in Eugene.
Not a single one would rent him a spot (even the ones that allowed incredibly trashed looking RV’s to stay).
So he wound up giving his Bus away and buying a used Motor Home…just so he & Ellie would have a rig that was allowed (accepted) in campgrounds & Trailer Parks.

By the way…this is the primary reason you see so many converted & partially converted Hippy looking Schoolies for sale on the West Coast.
Tons of happy & well-meaning folks bought a Schoolie with thoughts of living a free & nomadic lifestyle only to find out that very few & sometimes only the most out of the way campgrounds would let them stay.
(Out of the way campgrounds sound Cool…but they’re not much of a help if you need to find a job in a Town or city)

You run into some of the same stuff in the South West States and Texas & Florida can be a problem too. (Any place that has good weather and has a huge influx of the RV ‘Snowbirds’ are not very friendly when it comes to Schoolies , especially Hippy looking ones)

Please…I don’t want anyone to think I’m Anti-Schoolie . I love these things (I’m on my 3rd.)
Even though, I’m going to most likely sell our Bus and build a big trailer … that only has to do with needing more space than our bus has ….it has Nothing to do with some Anti-Schoolie viewpoint or looking for a rig more acceptable to this society.

All I’m trying to do in my feeble & tired way is to try to explain what’s going to eventually happen to anyone if they Hippy-Out their Bus.
It’s fun and all that. You get a bit of positive reinforcement from a small segment of this society …but after awhile (unless you’re completely dense that is) having most of the rest of society treat you with distaste & total distrust gets very old.
This is why you see so few ‘Old-School’ hippies living in Buses anymore…they got Tired of Bucking the system and eventually realized that their choice of lifestyle wasn’t fun anymore and had become more of an endless search for a place where they could stay without being hassled versus any altruistic stuff… So they did what any halfway intelligent being should & got off the road.

So, if your Bus is your Home…ours always are, so anything I have to say only relates to Full time living and not for Schoolies that only are used for camping trips or for going to Sports venues & such. There’s a BIG difference in Living 365 days a year in a Bus versus just camping out in one occasionally …then you want that ‘Home’ accepted just about everywhere.
It makes no sense in having a rig (home) that can only be used in the most out of the way spots (IE.Forest Service Roads, Deserts etc.). You need to have a rig that doesn’t force you to hide out or forces you to hang out with only one small segment of this society just for a little camaraderie.

I think if you want to be really happy in your rig …everyone should take a look at Verns Bus.
It’s the ‘Perfect’ Schoolie…
I can’t think of any campground that would turn his bus away. And if one does…he wont have to drive very far to find one that will.
That paint job is Wonderful …I think he got the idea from a link that Steve posted that showed this Hippy couples bus that they moved down to Belize or somewhere like that in. (very-smart Hippies who realized that Hippy paint jobs wasn’t going to accepted in most Central American Countries )
He’s designed a rig that doesn’t limit him in his choices, he could travel just about anywhere in this country with few problems…and even the most bigoted Anti-Schoolie type of person would be hard pressed to find something wrong with his bus.
I love his Bus !

Even if you’ve got Hippy Leanings’ it’s the Perfect Camouflage Bus. With a Bus like Vern’s you can go everywhere …stay at most campgrounds…etc.etc.etc.
Then when you visit the Barter fair , Rainbow Gathering or whatever…just whip out your Earth flag and Rainbow banners , pop on a tie-dyed shirt and you’re ready to go.
You’ve got the Best of Both world’s sort of rig…. Very Cool Vern.
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:14 AM   #17
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Hi new here.

IMO, one can not state that one's one experience will be the experience of others. Here in So. calif, I have about 20 stickers of various anti this and piss on that all over my truck (not a bus, no but I do have membership to KOA). Very rarely do I get bothered by the rather "hipped-out" look. Cops don't bother, people are too busy on their cell phones to even notice my truck, which is basic black but with all those stickers..it does stand out. I stayed at KOA in Arizona a few years back. Nothing. Just a few raised eyebrows but mostly I was ignored.

I think one must make your own decision based on level of travel, locations, etc to wether or not you paint with your heart. Just because it happened to one, doesn't mean it will happen again. People, most of the time, just aren't interested in your doings.

One must do what one feels is the best path.

Eventually when I get my skoolie, the body color will be BoraBora sea water blue.
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Old 11-30-2004, 01:00 PM   #18
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If you think someone isn't going to notice your bus because they are on a cell phone, just wait till you get yours and start to drive it around.
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Old 11-30-2004, 09:30 PM   #19
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If you think someone isn't going to notice your bus because they are on a cell phone, just wait till you get yours and start to drive it around.
I feel so unloved when i'm driving my car. Nobody even notices that i'm on the road. Things are a bit different in the bus. Everywhere i go people are gawking at me. I especially love to see the looks on peoples faces when i'm making a wide right turn and have very little clearance between my bus and their little car stopped at the light. Iv'e seen quite a few people move over in their seats when they see the front of the bus coming towards them.

Not sure if my bus falls into the catagory of "hippy looking"....but it's a 37 foot black monster with red/yellow/orange flames painted on the sides and teeth on the front. One glance at the bus, and one could think that there is some hooliganism going on inside.

In the 20K plus miles i've driven so far, i've had very few negative expierences when it comes to peoples attitudes/reactions. Pretty much everybody loves the bus. The campgrounds i've visited dont' seem to mind at all that i drive a converted bus instead of a fancy motorhome. I even stayed in a fancy rv campground with full hookups at your site just north of LA.
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Old 11-30-2004, 09:36 PM   #20
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I'm a very friendly guy from a small midwestern town......when we meet someone on the sidewalk here, we always say hello. Southern California is not at all like that. I find LA to be one of the least friendly cities in america. It just seems they have a different way of life. It's been my expierence that nobody is ever interested in carrying on a conversation with a stranger. If i run into someone who wants to chat when i'm in LA, i find they're usually not from there but just visiting.
My last day at the campground just outside of LA, when i was ready to leave one of the ladies who had been camping next to flagged me down. She was just dying to know if there was really a jacuzzi in the bus. I let her look at it......then others came over and wanted to look. Pretty soon I had at least a dozen people hanging out asking questions and carrying on conversations. I attribute this very positive LA expierence to the crazy party bus. If she was painted plain jane colors and didn't have the jazuzzi inside stickers i would never have met these people.

I don't live in my bus full time, i just vacation and party with it. But i find my expierence is enhanced by the crazy paint job. I've met hundreds if not thousands of people because of the bus.

This has been my expierence, I know that my bus is not typical, but my life is much more interesting in a good way because of my bus and it's non mainstream appearance.
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