I love this bus! We calculated about 1.5kmiles driven (averaging 11mi/gal) so far and no major problems yet. But lets back up, so last post we were in Fauquier. I was fixing up the trailer with shelving, installing the mobile filtering setup, finishing the shower plumbing (we found a used portable graywater 10gal. tank that solved our dumping quandry), and putting baskets on the scooter. Instead of putting the kayaks on top I welded a rack for them to sit down in near the toung so we wouldnt add more weight to the already top heavy trailer. Then after securing everything with ratchet straps and bungees we were ready to head south.
We decided to renew the inspection on the bus in Fredericksburg while visiting my mom even though ours was good until Jan. I figured it would be more convinient to fix anything that was wrong while we still had my tools and reliable power. Turns out it was a good decision because we failed. Bad wipers, a brake light out, and exhaust leaks. Wipers easy fix. All of the rear lights had been giving us problems because the screws were rusty (or missing) and weren't providing a reliable ground, replacing them solved that issue. The exhaust leak turned out to be a lot easier than I was expecting. The pipe had rusted through where the new exhaust met the old, so I cut the bad section out and replaced it using pipe hangers and rtv sealant.
Shortly thereafter we were on the road with a brand new sticker! We stopped in Richmond and Petersburg before leaving VA, visiting friends and family. While fueling up in Petersburg we discovered that the odometer hadn't changed since the inspection.. and then looking at the title.. since I bought it... That was very dissappointing, but she's running great so we'r going to keep a log and hope for the best. But note to anyone thinking about buying a bus or any vehicle I suppose... make sure the odometer moves when you test drive it!
We drove from Petersburg to Canton, GA where we visited my sister and her boyfriend's family. They showed us around their farm and let us see their baby goats. I got to help Josh squirrel hunt with his dogs, a first for me. I wired in the lights that came in the harbor freight solar kit onto the battery side for night time use, same with the 300watt inverter. After one last hot shower we prepared to leave and I got Josh to take a look at the bus tires with me. I had tried to pump them up at a gas station with little success because I couldnt get the air nozzle fitting to bend around to the stem on the outside rear tire. It's lucky we made it to GA because all the tires were very low, one was only 35psi (80max). After filling them up it was amazing to see how much better it drove, especially on the uphill climbs. Where before we might slow down from 65 down to 45 or 40, now she stays steady at 60 on most inclines.
From Canton we drove to Baton Rouge and met our host family who is graciously allowing us to park for free and without worry of being hassled by traffic cops. First objective in our new spot was figuring out what resources were available to us. There is a bus station a block away that has a public restroom open 24/7 (HURRAY! no sawdust bucket mess this month!), and local grocery store within scooter distance, as well as several coffee shops with free wifi. After a day of exploring we tried to settle in for the night but found it difficult to adapt to the weather change. It had been 37deg. overnight in Canton, but in Baton Rouge its still in the 80s during the day and low 60s at night. So today we made a run to the store for some supplies and we picked up a 12v fan. We also went ahead and bought a new battery because the dead car battery I was using to power the shower pump was making the inverter buz (indicating low voltage). The rest of the day was spent leisurely exploring the town, and spending a few hours in Starbucks downloading Sunday's "The Walking Dead" episode I missed =) Tomorrow we hope to find a place to put our kayaks in and continue preparing for the Green Crawl on Thursday.
Parked by a lake in Baton Rouge.
So now your up to date! We are working on a video tour of the bus for the blog so I'll post a link when its done. Thanks for reading!