Feb 172009

After a month at the Pinal County Fairgrounds in Casa Grande, we left yesterday and drove an hour south to Tra-Tel RV Park in Tucson, our home for the next month. Tra-Tel is a small, comfortable park which has been a regular stop for us ever since we hit the road.

We were more than ready to put the fairgrounds behind us. I wrote earlier about how filthy the restrooms were at the fairgrounds. If you would have been there this past weekend, you would know why. There was a kids’ rabbit and livestock show at the fairgrounds, and the participants were washing their sheep and pigs in the restroom showers! Doesn’t that just make you want to strip off and soap up?

I asked one mother why she was allowing her kids to do this when there were plenty of water outlets all over the fairgrounds, and she responded by saying that this was the only place that wasn’t muddy. It sure was by the time those morons were finished!  

Terry and I have been doing a lot of talking about our needs in a fulltiming rig. We have been comfortable in our MCI bus conversion, and it has served us well for eight years now. However, we have come to realize that the time is coming when we will need to replace it.

The bus has a lot of life left in it, and would be a comfortable home on wheels for someone who does not put on the amount of miles we do every year. But we travel much more than most RVers and have outgrown it.

Now what to do? We have considered several options, from buying a newer bus shell and converting it, to building a truck conversion, to (gasp) buying a used production model diesel pusher. Each has its pros and cons.

As far as I’m concerned, nothing beats a bus conversion for safety and cargo carrying capacity. We could buy a newer shell, with a bigger engine and more power, but it would still have at least half a million miles on it. And then we still have to convert it, and that is a lot of work. We’re both 56 years old, and we wonder if we really want to start another major project like that again.

I’m enamored with truck conversions, and these days we could buy a fairly late model semi with a modern engine for around $20,000. But then we’d need to have the frame stretched, build the box, and build the conversion. Again, a lot of work.

The third option, finding a used diesel pusher, may well be the best for us at this stage in our lives. I’ve seen a lot of nice rigs at attractive prices lately. I’m no huge fan of many production model RVs, but if we could find a well built diesel coach by a reputable company, we think we could be very happy in it.

But we would need to sell our bus conversion to buy something else, unless we could trade it in and arrange some short term “creative” financing. Right now there are a lot of RVs for sale, so who knows? We are in the looking stage, and keeping our options and our minds open to what may come along.  

Thought For The Day – A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Considering Our Options”

  1. Your bus could go into the RV Museum as a great example of what a little (or a lot) of ingenuity and work can do to change a bus to a home.

    Good luck on your search.

  2. Man, to be 56 again would be fantastic. You’re at the top of the hill, so don’t crawl into the hole just yet. It doesn’t get any better than that unless you call multiple aches and pains an improvement. Run the bus until the wheels fall off. Then there is no worry about trade in value. Gene

  3. Nick: A used Blue Bird Wanderlodge might be just the ticket for you and Terry – inbetween a true bus and most purpose-built motorhomes.

  4. Nick & Terry,
    Recent fan of your blog, and great admirer of your conversion. I wish I had some good advice, but the only thing I can think of is that I’d be really surprised if a bank were to sign off on the creative finance thing right now. As an ex trucker, that white rig looks sweet, as you say it would be a lot of work, but you’ve proven that you could do it before, think what you could do now that you’ve got 8 years of living in your bus. What would you do differently? Exciting options, and I bet that you truly wouldn’t be happy in a stick and staple rig again having had your bus.

    All the best!


  5. I have been in some campground bathrooms that I would have much rather had a farm animal in there. Much cleaner than some humans- but thats another talk show

    Enjoy your blog. Someday we hope to attend one of your rallys.

  6. I know very little about rvs but my in-laws have owned 3 Allegros. My FIL is not big on maintenance, so they are really tough rvs or he just got lucky. The ones they had were not particularly attractive, nor did I like the way they were laid out, but they went thru a lot of abuse and held up.

  7. Nick, maybe this rig is the one for you and Terry….?


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