Monday, August 15, 2005

Life In A Bus

Hello World
I titled my blog "Life in a Big Purple Bus" because that is exactly what I live in now. My present partner loves buses and has had several. Two and a-half years ago he had a stroke and had to give up his life work. When he got his settlement we bought an older (1990) Bluebird from the local bus company and then proceeded to convert it into our present home. It has all of the amenities, including a portable toilet.
Anyway, he and I and our two babies (feline children), live in the bus and travel between northern Wisconsin and southern Nevada, depending on the season.
First of all we bought a small pull-along camper, tore everything out, and built the couches, cupboards, tub, and table into the bus. Then we built a bedroom and bathroom in the back using scrape wood and a corner table we all ready had.
We have it set up for 110, 12 volt and propane usage on the furnace, refrigerators (two small ones), t.v.'s, and gas stove/oven. We only have plumbing for the kitchen sink as of yet, but hope to have a shower soon, even though we don't have hot water yet. We have two 50 gallon tanks under the bed for water, filling them about every three weeks and heating water for dishes and sponge baths on the stove. Most of the time we shower at his son's home, at truck stops, or campground facilities, which can be a pain, but works okay.
We finally decided (I think) that instead of a generator we would go with a few marine deep-cycle batteries, inverters, and the bus engine for power when we don't have a place to "plug-in". We have been looking at generators, but have found that we can run the diesel engine cheaper than many generators we have found and batteries and inverters will give us much of the power we need. Most of the time, in the winter when we are down south, we do not use power during the day and only use electricity after dark for television, roaster or microwave, then only for about four to five hours. This generally burns about two to three gallons of fuel, close to a half gallon an hour. The refrigerators stay cool enough with just that little bit of power throughout the day.
Last winter we spent at Lake Mead, outside of Las Vegas, with no electricity and very little water, but made it just fine with running the engine a few hours a day, getting water from the large expensive campsites (free water), showering for $2 each and sponge baths, and dumping at the campsites and restrooms. It worked out very well. The temperature was between 45 degrees Fahrenheit and 80, so we did not have to use the furnace very often.
We had to find different places to park every fifteen days, but there are plenty out there. And the best part of staying in the desert by the lake is IT IS FREE!!! Since we are on a very fixed income, we saved money by not paying for a site, especially near Vegas!!

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