FIRST OUTING WITH THE BUS
We took our bus out to a local San Francisco Bay Area School Bus Roadeo to show her off. My company was helping to sponsor the event so we wanted the assembled drivers and school districts to see what you can do with an old Crown. After her debut, we then took off for Pismo Beach, California, which is about 230 miles south of the Bay Area. We stayed at the Pismo Coast Village RV Resort. It is right on the water and sand dunes. Pismo Beach is south of San Luis Obispo (a big college town).
We were a little concerned since Pismo Coast does have "Resort" in its name. We have heard the stories about some resort style RV parks refusing to take in bus conversions.
We didn't need to worry. The RV resort office staff all came out to check out the bus and get a tour. They loved it. This is a large resort with hundreds of sites. I think half the park stopped by our site to check out the bus and get tours. Everyone was very excited about the skoolie conversion. We got dozens of waves and thumbs up gestures as we drove through the park to our site. No snobs at this resort.
This was our dry run to check out what worked and did not work in our conversion and design. We had a few issues that we discovered needed to be worked out. Nothing major. We found an electrical outlet that did not work properly. The initial placement for my cell phone holder did not work and I am going to have to move it. We had a rain storm while there and our bus door leaked a little near the bottom into the step well of the bus. Nothing major and a little redo on the rubber molding at the very bottom of the door will fix it. The bus heater in the front dash was not hooked up properly after we replaced it. Blew great cold air as we went down the road, just no heat. One of the front fans at the front windshield would only come on at high, but not low. Again, relatively easy fixes. We had an initial problem with the throttle as it would not allow full power. We stopped by one of our clients and they figured out that the throttle cable was not properly setup. After they adjusted it, we were getting double the acceleration from a standing stop. It was a 10 minute fix.
Everything else worked out great. The bus was a champ and handled the very steep Cuesta Grade into San Luis Opisbo perfectly (7% grade). This part of Highway 101 in California is steep enough to have dedicated truck lanes with much lower posted speeds for the trucks given the steep downgrade. The 50 amp service connection was perfect. We tried out the heaters and air conditioners in the bus. The fireplace heater really put out great high temperatures. We had to dial it back. The MaxxFan did a great job of ventilating the bus (we had six people in the bus). While heading out from Pismo Beach to meet with a series of school district clients it got warm on Monday. So, we got to try out the air conditioners with the diesel generator going as we moved down the highway. Worked like a champ. The front air conditioner kept us comfortable in the front of the bus. One of our school district clients has ordered us a much larger alternator for the bus so it can allow us to run the front air conditioner without having to turn on the generator. They will install it for us. We will be reimbursing them for the parts and labor costs.
Below is a picture of our Crown at the RV site.
Next step is to get the fixes mentioned above completed and then finish some additional projects on the bus before we can say it is totally completed. We believe this will take several more weeks.
All in all our 1988 Crown did us proud on her maiden voyage as a skoolie.