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Old 05-29-2020, 11:06 AM   #41
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 611
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Musicforge, do you have any photos or journal entries or anything you'd like to share? I'd love to read anything you have. How did the kids like the trip? Did you all know Spanish? What were the highlights? The low points? Anything you'd do differently?

I'm in the Army for another 8 years, assuming all my injuries don't force me out sooner. If I can get retirement and disability both and then work remotely, why couldn't I be anywhere in world? All I'd need is an internet connection, which should be more available every year. Our kids will be similar ages to yours on your first trip - I'm not sure what we'll do, but I don't want it to be ordinary.

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Old 05-29-2020, 12:20 PM   #42
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Year: TBD
Coachwork: Tbd
Chassis: Tbd
Biscuitsjam, first off, thank you for your service! USN chief gunners mate guns here. I made the mistake the first trip to take digital pictures the first trip and to keep them on one hard drive which crashed and all was lost except for ones the kids took, I started to take pictures the second trip and as we looked at them my wife and I both made the statement that pictures were not capturing what our eyes saw mostly because we are not very good at framing shots ets. but also they did not capture context nor flavor so we just revealed in the moment. I think I have some from bus one I will endeavor to post them. Strangely enough the girls did not get as much out of the trip that we thought they would which is the reason we cut trip one short. My wife is fairly fluent in Spanish having been Immigration for a few years. Me, I picked up enough Spanish to make my desires known and know when I was in trouble, but I have not used it in so long that I am now relearning it. Great thing about Spanish is that while it is a different language there is enough similarities to many languages that you are able to get your needs and points across in a general way. High points, the people by far, no matter how racist some Americans can be in those times outside of Tijuana and the like people bent over backwards to speak to us and dig through the myths about Americans. It’s fun to sit in a movie theater and watch a film in this case gravity (gravidad) in English with Spanish sub titles. More points..... no disrespect to anyone here, but I have been across the USA five times and there is very little here that interests me here anymore and I tend to go native quite easily and the only low point I have is that I had to leave every place we stopped at, if the wife had said let’s stay I would have gleefully. Take a tow behind vehicle, we did not see so much 1st time because the bus would not fit many places, take ramps to put under your tires when you get stuck, got stuck a for a week twice once in Guatemala and once in Costa Rica,
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:24 PM   #43
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Year: TBD
Coachwork: Tbd
Chassis: Tbd
Get satellite internet, always let the bank know your itinerary so when they lock your cards when you are stuck in the mud for a week with no internet service you can get the card unlocked and get money to pay the people that lie on their backs under your bus digging you out and jacking you up an inch at a time and breaking their vehicle towing you out! DONT WORRY ABOUT EVERY LITTLE THING, shite works out...
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:44 PM   #44
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Year: TBD
Coachwork: Tbd
Chassis: Tbd
If you want (I don’t want to crowd the topic) I can post things when I think of them like this.. Airflow, important in so many ways. unless you are on the coast the air will be loaded with moisture, one step below rain, Wash your clothes and hang them to try in the interior and we are talking two days before they dry and still are not completely dry, air flow at night so you can alleviate the heat and humidity and sleep. And not to forget cooling system for the engine, tough to get rid of the heat in the heat so pay attention to your Gauges. Wildlife, in jungle Latin America you see many warning signs for jaguars etc. in Mexico I saw a spider cross the highway from a quarter mile away it was huge!!!
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:49 PM   #45
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 611
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
Absolutely, post any observations you had on the trip.

You said the kids didn't get as much out of the trip as you hoped. Can you elaborate? Was it a lack of social interaction with friends? Irritation from living in cramped quarters? Frustration from not knowing the local language?
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:49 PM   #46
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Year: TBD
Coachwork: Tbd
Chassis: Tbd
sorry for delay in answering, I had a long reply but it involved a bit of history about me and people would have been a bit uncomfortable with it, but suffice to say it was a combination of all of your points. And a great big bit of me, I have a problem understanding why people are reluctant going outside of their comfort zone and pushed the kids to do so maybe a bit to much. I take great pride in being able to drop into just about any situation and survive and prosper in it and I wanted that for them as well and well... wrong places wrong times. But now as they have aged they are wanting to explore the world and step out of their zone. A bit of a consolation but learn from my mistake and they will do what they will do when ready
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:05 PM   #47
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 611
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
It takes guts to admit to a mistake. Thanks - I can see how easy that would be to do.

I'm curious what you brought for spare parts. Also, what kind of features your bus had.

Did you get a lot of stares? Comments?
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Old 05-29-2020, 10:23 PM   #48
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Year: TBD
Coachwork: Tbd
Chassis: Tbd
Actually, for better or worse we brought no spare parts, w relied on the fact that school buses are plentiful in “3rd world countries” the only downside is that out of the USA they rely mainly on manual transmission and non turbo, actually I misspoke were brought tubes for the Daytons and vom meter for electrical which did come in handy. We had berths for 4 , a full size bed, fridge, oven/stove, shower, shore power ac, and both buses used the maligned 545 tranny
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:13 PM   #49
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Wild Wild West
Posts: 693
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
You always have this option if needed.......
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4087D042-A6FF-41AB-8B1E-EEBB141EDADA.jpeg  
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:51 PM   #50
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Year: TBD
Coachwork: Tbd
Chassis: Tbd
That... is terrifyingly awesome
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:46 AM   #51
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,859
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
This is a quite interesting thread. A real divergence from most threads.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:32 PM   #52
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: GA
Posts: 611
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Amtran RE
Chassis: International 3000
Engine: T444e 7.3L
I just watched Expedition Happiness on Netflix. A German couple flew to the United States, converted a skoolie in 90 days, drove to Alaska, and then tried to drive to Argentina.

Spoiler alert:

















They didn't make it beyond southern Mexico before they decided to return home. Ultimately, it looked like they pushed so hard that they lost the fun, and they didn't do anything to deal with the heat (no air conditioning, fans, or insulation). The dog and the boyfriend both getting giardia was the deciding factor. The bus's suspension on awful rural Mexican roads also didn't help.
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