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Old 01-13-2022, 10:51 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Mass
Posts: 11
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Express 3500
Engine: 5.7L GM 8cyl
Rated Cap: 14
Heading out in April for full time bus life

Hi, I'm Hilary. I've had my bus converted since 2018, but haven't had the freedom to go off in it till now. I plan to head to see my son in Colorado, where he's stationed with the Army. Then up to my daughter in northern WA. I've driven across the country a few times, but never just for pleasure (though I did love the views!) and always had to drive straight through. So seeing beautiful places while passing at high speeds is nothing like stopping and absorbing, or maybe staying a few days - which is what I plan to do.
What I hope for from joining this community, is to have some like minded people to reach out to - or be reached by.

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Old 01-13-2022, 11:02 AM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 79
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 77
Hi Hilary!
Here are a couple links that will help you to find places to stay.
https://freecampsites.net/ https://www.campendium.com/
Congrats on the new way of life!
John
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:03 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Mass
Posts: 11
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Express 3500
Engine: 5.7L GM 8cyl
Rated Cap: 14
Thanks so much!
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Old 01-13-2022, 12:30 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Communist State of New Jersey
Posts: 547
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 27,500
Welcome Hilary. Hopefully all the snow will be gone by the time you leave in April.

Some photos of you bus would be welcome winter viewing for those of us stuck in cold places.
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Old 01-13-2022, 11:55 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 563
Year: 1996
Coachwork: AmTran (Now Navistar)
Engine: DT444E (7.3L) International
Rated Cap: 31,800 pounds
We use a small 5th wheel trailer (building our skoolie) and have done about 15,500 miles on three trips. Been from the west coast to the east coast, N Dakota to Texas, and lot more. In all that travel we paid to camp, dump, or fill our water exactly 5 times, each time a stay in an camp ground when we needed to drop the trailer to do an airport pickup/drop off, visit relatives, and hit the French quarter in New Orleans. While it can take a bit of planning it can also be done spur of the moment when you see that big ole pull out on the highway, or the Cracker Barrel or Cabella's sign on the freeway.
We use the following apps to find overnight parking, facilities, etc.
APPS:
RV Parky
iOverlander
Boondocking
RV Parks - rarely as we rarely pay
Free Roam
Dump Station - shows where dump stations including FREE ones
iExit - just got this one & it looks like it could be useful but not yet sure.


I would suggest getting a handgun or a 12 gauge pump shotgun for your safety as well as some safety and self defense use training if you aren't firearms knowledgeable. Remember, many of the places yo may end up can be remote and have a long response time or might not even have cell service to call for help.
I would also recommend at least getting a CB radio in your rig, better yet a HAM radio (license required for non emergency use but much more capable).
Or go with the statistics, cross your fingers, and hope you don't become one....a statistic that is.
ONLY YOU can provide for your safety.
__________________
ONLY YOU can ensure your safety! . . . . . We've done so much, for so long, with so little, we now do the impossible, overnight, with nothing. US Marines -- 6531, 3521. . . .Ret ASE brakes & elect. Ret (auto/aviation). Extra Class HAM, NAUI/PADI OpenWater diver
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:42 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Mass
Posts: 11
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Express 3500
Engine: 5.7L GM 8cyl
Rated Cap: 14
Hi, I'm still figuring this place out and can't seem to get pictures attached when I want to. I do have some on my profile, if you can check those out.

I'm not too worried about snow at that point. I'll start out going south too, so I'll give it more time. I'm in a cold place currently as well, just not in my bus. It's 32 degrees now, but will dip into the low single digits later.
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:47 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Jolly Roger bus 223's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 1,812
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
what bus body do you have?
the chassis is chevy the bus body is the coachwork.
either way if and when you need help i have the chevy repair manual for your chevy express cutaway.
mine has a collins/midbus body and if that is what you have then i can help with some wiiring details on that as well as far as what i have deleted and kept for the existing wiring
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:48 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Mass
Posts: 11
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Express 3500
Engine: 5.7L GM 8cyl
Rated Cap: 14
I appreciate the apps and the safety tips! I am 5'10" and pretty strong. I have a bat stationed above the door, in case anyone was trying to get in. Also a few decent switch blades, left behind by my son. But I do think a hand gun might also be a good idea. I do have an old CB radio, I'm not sure how to work it, but I guess I'll figure it out and bring it along just in case. I don't want to be a statistic! Thanks!!
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:54 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Mass
Posts: 11
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Express 3500
Engine: 5.7L GM 8cyl
Rated Cap: 14
I guess my bus body is a Girardin. I do think I have that manual as well. But if not, I appreciate knowing you have it, thanks!
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:44 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,259
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Glad to hear you're not opposed to having a gun, as MA is so anti gun in general.

If you haven't taken a gun safety course already, please look into that.
Not to scare you in any way but it could be the difference between life and death, literally!

Good luck in your upcoming travels, and post pics when you are underway...
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:25 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Mass
Posts: 11
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Express 3500
Engine: 5.7L GM 8cyl
Rated Cap: 14
peteg59

Yea, I'm not "in" to guns but I have done a lot of target shooting with rifles. I'm not against them for this sort of protection, but don't agree with the automatics being legal. And yes, Massachusetts has a lot of laws!



Not sure if I did the picture attachment right, but here are a few pictures hopefully.



IMG_2845.JPG

DSC_0409.jpg

IMG_2850.JPG

IMG_E2873.JPG
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Old 01-14-2022, 05:33 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Communist State of New Jersey
Posts: 547
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 27,500
Nice looking bus.
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Old 01-14-2022, 06:10 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,155
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Hilary

Bus parking in the Topeka Kansas area. Give me a couple of days notice.


William
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Old 01-15-2022, 12:55 PM   #14
Skoolie
 
Bear Gerschafer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 245
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
Welcome, congratulations, and good luck!! We're 3 months into full-time and love it!!

The only really surprising setback is inability to sleep sometimes... maybe it is the noise or small cracks of light coming in, or maybe I'm just more alert but I get bad sleep more often than good so far...

Recommendation:
Freeroam and iOverlander apps have been priceless tools, and are how we find 90% of our overnights, water, dump sites, propane, and showers. It is the best time to live on the road, technology and community is amazing.

I do feel safer with a firearm but understand it isn't for everyone. I definitely don't want to shoot anyone in the bus, it sounds messy physically and mentally...
We haven't had any bad encounters yet, but I feel safe knowing we have a deadbolt and barricade on the door. I keep everything somewhat "ready for takeoff" in case we are bothered. I know no one can get in, so if they won't leave, we will
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Old 01-19-2022, 04:26 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
katix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Rocky Mountains
Posts: 32
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Chevy C60
Engine: unknown... really!
Rated Cap: 69
@HamSkoolie , thanks for the great parking app list!


@Hilary , I'm parked in the mountains about 30 minutes outside Denver metro area. if you'd like to come over for tea and a hike in the woods and visit another lady's skoolie, feel free to drop me a private message!
__________________
katix and her cats
in #TheBarbieDreambus
a 1971 Chevy C60 skoolie
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Old 01-19-2022, 07:16 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
HamSkoolie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 563
Year: 1996
Coachwork: AmTran (Now Navistar)
Engine: DT444E (7.3L) International
Rated Cap: 31,800 pounds
Quote:
Originally Posted by katix View Post
@HamSkoolie , thanks for the great parking app list!


@Hilary , I'm parked in the mountains about 30 minutes outside Denver metro area. if you'd like to come over for tea and a hike in the woods and visit another lady's skoolie, feel free to drop me a private message!
Hmmm with that signature is it a Barbie bus or a crazy cat lady lair????


JUST KIDDING. Though I'm sure your cats appreciate all the room in THEIR castle.
__________________
ONLY YOU can ensure your safety! . . . . . We've done so much, for so long, with so little, we now do the impossible, overnight, with nothing. US Marines -- 6531, 3521. . . .Ret ASE brakes & elect. Ret (auto/aviation). Extra Class HAM, NAUI/PADI OpenWater diver
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:08 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
katix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Rocky Mountains
Posts: 32
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Chevy C60
Engine: unknown... really!
Rated Cap: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
Hmmm with that signature is it a Barbie bus or a crazy cat lady lair????

Yes. 😉
(It is indeed. Both.)
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Old 01-20-2022, 01:25 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
HamSkoolie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 563
Year: 1996
Coachwork: AmTran (Now Navistar)
Engine: DT444E (7.3L) International
Rated Cap: 31,800 pounds
Quote:
Originally Posted by katix View Post
Yes. 😉
(It is indeed. Both.)

LOL it's all good.

I've rescued some kitties myself. Currently have a pair that were bonded and their prior servant family bought a dog...... and then dropped them off at the shelter. We went in asking for one or two "hard to place" kitties and got Jasper and Nicodemus. It took a while for them to accept a new slave family but they have and it brings smiles to our faces when we watch how they play like the old friends they are. They have a forever home just like all the fur babies I've invited into my home over the years.
__________________
ONLY YOU can ensure your safety! . . . . . We've done so much, for so long, with so little, we now do the impossible, overnight, with nothing. US Marines -- 6531, 3521. . . .Ret ASE brakes & elect. Ret (auto/aviation). Extra Class HAM, NAUI/PADI OpenWater diver
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Old 01-20-2022, 08:43 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Meathead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 373
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
I love your bus!

With that rig you can park at any of the roadside hotels. You look like the shuttle bus driver spending the night at the hotel. Clean bathrooms and coffee in the morning!

☮️
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Old 01-21-2022, 03:35 PM   #20
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Baja often, Oregon frequently
Posts: 232
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Our hot little grubbies...
Chassis: Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle
Engine: Cummins 505ci mechanical
Rated Cap: Three RedHeelers
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
...
I would suggest getting a handgun or a 12 gauge pump shotgun for your safety as well as...training if you aren't firearms knowledgeable..
I would also recommend at least getting a CB radio in your rig, better yet a HAM radio (license required for non emergency use but much more capable)...
ONLY YOU can provide for your safety.
.
a)
A female chosing a shotgun:
* I would investigate a 20-gauge semi-automatic.
Recoil is significantly less than a 12-gauge pump.
Less recoil results in more practice, plus quicker re-acquisition of the target(s).
.
We boondock exclusively.
Rabid skunks and coons were always a problem.
These days, feral swine seem to be stupidly fearless.
.
b)
Ham and CB:
I carry several hundred pounds of tools.
These are less for our Indestructible Steed, and more to (rarely, because they come prepped) assist our caravan chums.
.
Proficiency with your radios can help mitigate boredom during the inevitable traffic-jam or blizzard.
.
c)
If you are firearms knowledgeable, I suggest getting more training... 'Continuing Education', just like a nurse or pilot.
.
d)
For a sense of community and shared awe, join a caravan of experienced travelers.
You may discover half your 'essentials' are just in the way.
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