When do you plan to leave?! Do you have a route planned? Basically the first two things we hear whenever we tell people we’re converting a bus. Which, I don’t blame them for asking because I would probably want to know the same thing. So here are the answers! My answer to the first question is this: not as soon as we had hoped.
After we got the bus we had started following other fellow bus converters on Instagram and their conversions seemed to go so quickly! One day they were working on demoing, the next they were doing electric, finishing their kitchen cabinets, hooking up their bathroom and leaving on their first road trip…
Ok I may have sped that process up a little bit but still… they were moving so fast! So when we started to work on ours and the work days were few and far between we started to get a little frustrated. How did we end up with busier lives than before?! Oh right, we have a baby now. When your daughter looks like this… it’s hard to pass up spending time with her… especially when it’s summer and beautiful outside! A general night for us would look something like this: Luke gets home from work at 4, he wants to play with Charlotte for a little bit (who could blame him?), then he finally starts to get his tools ready, yay! But oh wait, now I have dinner ready so we have to eat. Ok, now that dinner is over Luke can finally get to work while I get charlotte ready for bed! Well, after he says goodnight to her that is. Ok now its 7:45 and we’re ready to roll! Oi… See what I mean? Luckily Luke has amazing self-control and is probably the hardest worker I have ever met so he still managed to find time to demo the bus around all of that. I always feel guilty because he’s out there by himself most of the time but let’s face it… if he were the one with Charlotte I’d be standing in the bus not know what to do next…
Between taking care of Charlotte and baking (my job), it was a lot harder for me to get out there than we thought it would be. There were some nights and weekends though when Charlotte was napping or in bed that I finally got to go out and help with the demo. I mostly worked on ripping up the rubber floors, grinding/punching out rivets, cleaning up, and being an extra pair of hands for Luke. I didn’t care what I was doing though; I just love being able to help!
As of right now our projected launch date is sometime in the summer of 2016. We are planning to have the outside of the bus closed up this fall so that we can work on building the inside this winter. (AH that is the part I’m most excited for!) We’re going to temporarily install a wood-burning stove that once belonged to Luke’s grandpa, which will hopefully make working outside in the winter a smidge more bearable. Then in the spring we’ll be able to start wrapping up all the loose ends inside and out, get the bus painted, and get ready to hit the road!
Now to answer the second most anticipated question: Do you have a route planned out? Our answer is yes and no. Yes because we know where we are going to go first. But after that… not so much. Basically, we know that our first trip is going to Nashville and after that we haven’t set anything in stone. There are just so many places we want to see that we haven’t been able to decide yet. Honestly though, we’ll most likely end up going west first. Last year we went to Seattle with our best friends and fell in love with hiking, the mountains, and just being outdoors (my parents are shaking their heads right now because my sister and I would whine through entire hikes in beautiful areas when we were younger. If only I had known to enjoy it!)
So ever since Seattle we have reaaaaalllllyyy wanted to spend some time in the mountains. I dream about waking up and drinking my coffee with a gorgeous mountainous view rather than sitting on my couch in my suburban home while I plan out my chores and grocery shopping for the day -_- Colorado is a definite, as well as California, Oregon, I wouldn’t mind seeing Montana and some of the Dakota’s as well. The great part is, this isn’t a 10-day vacation where we have to decide on a specific plan for a set amount of time… our time line is open ended and we can spend as much or as little time in a state as we want! However we do want to see Maine and Ashville in the fall so we’ll see what our hearts desire most when were getting ready to set out next summer ;]
But anyways, back to Nashville. Nashville is about 8 hours South of us so it’s a nice length trip to see how our newly converted bus can handle the road. Not so short that we won’t be able to see possible kinks but not too long that we could put ourselves in a tough situation if something went wrong. Plus, our friends moved to Nashville last year and we’ve been dying to go visit them!! We’ll have a place to park, a garage full of tools, and two handy friends to help us if need be. Sounds like a win win to me!
So there you have it. We’d love to hear recommendations you guys have from personal experiences! What state/national parks you liked, a state or town to visit, anything! Like I said, we have no route planned out yet so we are open to suggestions!
Looking ahead: Demo and roof raise!