The Big Red Bus

A somewhat chronological diary of our bus conversion experience.

Thursday, March 01, 2001

Picking the right one (or What were we thinking?)

After the quilt show in Fort Lauderdale we headed for Heartland Motor Coach in Ocala, FL to look at a few busses. They had two or three that we were interested in. Scott had been discussing the various ones available and prices with Ron, the salesman there, through email and now we were actually going to see them up close. We had never owned a large motor home before and had no idea what we were doing, but somehow we felt led to go and so we did.

When we arrived Ron showed us around the property and pointed out the few busses he thought we might be interested in. Then he turned us loose and we were able to roam freely around the property checking out the various bus conversions in the "graveyard" and also inspecting the ones that were for sale.

Deborah checking out the busses

One of the busses that was on our list was painted completly black on the inside, was without seats and was originally intended to be a coach for a band of some sort. We quickly passed on that one. The next one was trashed and not, we thought, worth what they wanted for it. That left just one final bus to conider.

This bus was burgundy, not my first color choice. It was a repossession from a church and the coach company was motivated to sell. We looked it over on the outside as best we could and then went inside.

The interior had a strong musty smell and it really needed cleaning bad. We quickly realized that this was not a problem, because we were going to gut it anyway. On the dashboard sat Willie's Bible. We don't know who Willie is; probably a youth group member from the church that previously owned the bus. There were additional remenants of youth group activities, hat, jacket, candy wrappers, an old church cassette tape, etc. Other than that the bus was acceptable to us. We thought that we could probably handle this project after all...

Then Ron asked Scott if he would like to test drive it....

We spent three or four days in the Roadtrek camper on the property while the windows and seats were being removed and the paperwork was finalized.

Then we headed for Pittsview...