Friday, November 26, 2010

Odds and Ends

Had a chance to get a few more odds and ends. Found a great guy just a few miles away that takes wrecked RV's and parts them out. He had a new 5th wheel that was being taken to California but it was blown over just outside of Park City Utah.

I was able to get the range, microwave and water pump for $200. All are brand new.

The Microwave still has the glass platter packed in the shipping styrofoam.

The pump is tough to judge. I found used pumps for $200 so I am confident this is not the highest quality pump but I will mount the pump and water tank near the back of the bus and it will be an easy upgrade down the road.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How far until a deal is no longer a deal?

What is the distance you are willing to travel for a deal? Does it depend on the price, the savings, how bad you need the item or items.... What are the factors that help you decide the time you will spend behind the wheel?

Trying to find the parts I need to cobble this project together is not that easy. My criteria is both quality and price so I have to expand my area to search. For the past month I have been searching for a dinette and couch and found a matching set out of a newer 5th wheel. The only problem was that it is in Brighton Colorado. By the old Google Maps that is just a tic over 525 miles and by no means as the crow fly. I would have to traverse Wyoming via I-80.

What was the factor that pushed me over the edge to travel to Denver? The willingness of my sweet spouse to travel with me so we had the chance to get away for the weekend. What a great chance to spend some time together with no kids, read a book, eat out and stay in the beautiful wilds of Cheyenne Wyoming. Oh yeah, we were thinking about Aruba but we chose the Cheyenne LaQuinta. Just living the dream.

So Saturday we headed out to meet Aly and Brandon in Brighton to get their dinette and couch/hide-a-bed. For $200 we got both and tried to beat the first big storm of the year. On Saturday Utah was getting pounded by a snow storm and we were covering the beautiful wilderness of southern Wyoming (read sarcasm). I-80 through Wyoming is an awful, awful way to spend a day. Good thing I had someone reading a book to me to help pass the time.

So in conclusion I was able to pick you these great items and pay roughly two and a half times the cost of them in gas and lodging. Crazy? Nay I say adventurous and willing to go to great distances for a deal. So to answer my original question how far until a deal is no longer a deal? Just over 500 miles one way, if Jennefer will go with me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kitchen Cabinets

Working on putting the kitchen together. There are a number of ways I could go about creating a kitchen. There are companies that sell specialized cabinets just for RV's, the only problem is that they are very expensive.

My goal is to make the bus very nice but keep costs down. So I am utilizing as much second hand building materials and parts as I can find. I keep an eye out for key components and this week I was able to get a complete set of cherry wood cabinets from a remodel job for $150.

There are some parts that I will not be able to use but I really like the quality and color.

Key to a happy marriage AND working your project

One key to working a project and keeping your wife happy is to understand one important concept in working projects.

"Understand when you are negotiating and when she is just letting you know what she is going to let happen."

That being said I thought I was negotiating some changes to our property so we can fit the bus. I realized she was just letting me know what was going to happen.

Our property does not really have a straight shot to store a 33 foot bus.

So we had to do some "modifications"
I haven't even begun tearing the bus apart yet and I have to find someway to get it on our property.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How to lose friends, alienate your family and have your neighbors hate you.

Just when my family thought I was somewhat normal, just when my friends stopped snickering when they drove up and there was a enormous green army truck at my house. Just when the neighbors stopped shaking their heads when they drove by... that is when you drop the bomb.

Well here it is the ire of the neighborhood. The reason for my Mother to say my kids will need therapy, our new bus.

Now before you make any judgments let me explain my thought process. We had a motor home that was great, but only had one normal bed and was too small for all seven of us. Se we sold that and bought a trailer that could sleep all of us but still only one or two people could stand at a time. So I decided we need a bigger adventure vehicle. I was looking at older motor homes and larger trailers and I found a motor home I wanted. The only problem is that it was $30,000. As I have pounded into my kids over the years that "debt is dumb" it just didn't make sense to do that and go against what I am trying to teach my kids. This project will have to be done within the budget.

The reason I chose a school bus is because they can only be in service for a period of time so you can always find one, they are extremely well maintained, very reliable and they are built like a tank. But there are some down sides to a school bus. The bus has a governor which means it has a top speed of 58 MPH. Yea give that a minute to sink in, me hurling through the Arizona deseret at a blistering 58 MPH. Now that is a top speed. There was more then one hill I crested at 35 MPH with a trail of travelers behind me that were not thrilled with my new purchase.
The bus was retired from Tempe Union High School District. The great thing about Arizona is that the winters have no snow, no snow means no rust. I will post up some more pictures and give updates on what I am doing.