I've been lurking this site for years but only this week finally acquired my key to freedom..a 1989 Chevy Bluebird Shortbus 4 window. My mom started it all when I was 9 she bought a full size one to put on our property for camping in Arkansas..then when I was 18 she bought two more; a short bus with the squared off front end for travelling and a full size International she was making into a mobile stained glass studio for teaching. The full size bus she has been working on for almost 10 years off and on, and built a full second story, all custom built with aluminum framing and a full length lexan roof that opens. The short bus caught fire the first trip and burnt to the ground, and she is finishing the interior of the big one as we speak (ill post pics for sure on my follow up post).
Well I love the site and the creative juices that flow here. I am an custom painter; airbrush artist and have run a custom paint shop up here in Olympia, WA for the last 8 years, and being a sun worshiper I pretty much am sick of the rain. Im a single dad of a 6 year old boy and his mom lives in TX, and she has him in the summers. This year they want to try switching it up and her having him the school year and me the summer parent. So I decided to take my gig on the road for a year and see what happens
(ive wanted to for as long as I can remember but opted for the mainstream lifestyle house, dog, mini van and all that jazz since I had my boy and wanted stability for him). I found this sweet bus last week on craigslist and scooped it up for $1000. It has 165k, maintained until last year by the district, and from I've found, has zero mechanical issues and runs/drives killer and actually doesnt get that bad of gas mileage. I will definitely get a big bus someday, but since I am hitting the road solo I dont require much space (and im not a big guy either so that helps). I also dig the bus can do a Uturn in the same radius as my full size truck maybe even better and seems to get about the same mileage. It has a brand new lift in it, 800 lb capacity, and I will utilize that for the Honda Ruckus scooter I will find so that when I get to a new town I can just zip off and explore in that.
Behind the bus I'm pulling a gutted pop-up trailer I have that will double as my booth at shows and festivals, and my bathroom, shower, storage etc. I want to keep the bus orange, but a custom mandarin candy orange, and since "skool bus" has been played out alot, I'm thinking "2 kool for skewl" and "wndwlkr" for the liscense plate (although Im afraid id offend someone I might go with "litlppl" or "2short". I will have a full size rack built for the roof with extendable legs to accomodate a 10x10 canopy.
On the inside, I want it hip. I'm going to airbrush a fantastic mural inside, and want light colored pergo flooring, indirect lighting, overhead cabinets, small closet, a bed that will 2nd as a couch, computer niche and icebox/small sink kitchen area (im doing all the cooking and whatnot in the popup.) I have 2 37" plasma tvs for front and rear, a dvd player, backup cameras, cb and lots of other tech toys. I still need to figure out my wiring plans but hope to run mostly off propane for much of my needs (fridge,shower,heater). The bus has two batteries, but I want more as well as solar panels to keep the batteries maintained.
I have a ton of questions and am excited to finally contribute!