Sunday, September 25, 2011

Home Sweet Ride(s)

    So far on our travels we have called three vehicles home. The first was a 1972 GMC Wayne body 34ft standard school bus. Our bus of course was named Wayne. Wayne was propane powered, which I would not suggest for long distance travel due to low power and wildly unregulated price of propane without getting yourself a corporate account with all the regional fuelers. In the same 5 blocks I have seen it range from less than $2.00gal to over $5.00gal.  Propane has up to 30% less horsepower than other gas and diesel, but it burns cooler so the engines last a good deal longer than standard gas, with lifetimes almost as good as diesel. I made a conversion of the inside that was simple but suited our needs with beds for all, a simple kitchen, inverter and porta-potty and we hit the road leaving the sticks-and-bricks house we were renting behind. Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Miami-Hollywood later we sold our beloved Bus in favor of a more convenient fuel.
     Our next ride, or rides rather, we owned for a short time only. We purchased a Dodge B-250 hightop conversion van and a 26ft travel trailer that earned the names Vanny and Buster. These vehicles were both totaled in a crash near the end of our second crossing of the US. The advantages of this combination were the ease of fueling and the ability to separate transportation from the living facilities. The kids really grew to love these vehicles in the short time we lived in them and had truly made themselves at home.
    Our present vehicle/project is our Big Blue MCI MC 8 Crusader/Challenger. This is a 1973 converted bus. We had luck with us when we found it on craigslist 80-90% complete on the conversion. We are putting on some personal and finishing touches and planning our route of the next leg of our journey. I do not have a lot of experience with this rig yet but it purrs like a Tiger, can cruise at 70mph (55mph if you want to conserve) and has room I do not even know what to do with yet. The Detroit Diesel has plenty of power to tow anything. I would suggest this bus to anyone not afraid to drive it. I would love feed back from anyone with questions or stories of your experiences with vehicles like these.

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