Chip, the All American Bus

Discussion in 'Show Us Your Ride' started by theBusmonkey, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. rickyrooo1

    rickyrooo1 Hanging round like a bad smell

    excellent post and pic's i'd love to visit my vans old stomping ground of san fransisco, driving it around there would have been a dream.
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  2. I'm going to show this thread and @Chrisradioman thread to inspire the kids. That's what travel is about.
  3. Your right but I've not done USA yet. :)
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  4. It wasn't all plain sailing. Somethings you just don't think about.

    This line was the incorrect length. Guess what happened when you turned the steering wheel!

    Oh and the clips were missing all round. It never occurred to me to check.
  5. awesome, you dont things by halves do you. Looks like the trip of a life time. Keep the pictures and stories coming, I'm sure you have loads more
    theBusmonkey likes this.
  6. Simply awesome, I agree with @scote could you drip feed pics & stories throughout the winter as it will keep me going until spring :thumbsup:
  7. wehey.. travelers is what this forum needs more of.

    We've almost covered Europe in the bus, would very much like to ship it for a round trip of 50 states one day. That dream seems slightly less impossible when i read stuff like this. Was it very costly to ship there and back?
  8. Will do Robo. Roll on the Spring....
    Robo likes this.
  9. Sven, we bought the bus in San Diego so only had to ship it to the UK. It's a bit different than a 2 & fro shipment because we were actually importing the Bus. For that we had to do a customs declaration relative to purchase cost etc etc & prove the Bus was registered with a current US title.
    The actual shipping costs were pretty reasonable & like a lot of people who import to the UK we used Kingstown Shipping in Hull. I think it cost a little less than a grand for a container service. We delivered the bus to Linden, New Jersey to the shippers & collected it about 6 weeks later from Chatham (then drove it home...whoops, on US plates)!! Speak to Steve there, he's a good bloke.

    Disappearing round the corner at the container packers
  10. Thanks, that's very useful information. I think you need to sign a type of contract that obliges you to take the vehicle back to where it came from when shipping back and forth. A grand for one way seems reasonable enough.

    Don't spare us any photos.
  11. OK, as it's winter officially now (first stove top stew last night) & we're looking forward to next year, I need some inspiration as well. As I've said, it's interior refit time & I've been flicking through some snaps to motivate me to stop looking at pictures of heaters, hinges, leisure batteries & solar panels & to actually get on & do something. This may help some of you as well.........

    The US bus was not a long thought out process, it just sort of happened.

    We had Wolfe, & loved that Bus. This is from about 2002 just outside Skipton.

    Owning this bus & the freedom of travelling on stolen weekends (stolen from work that is as they expected 24/7) was the catalyst for us to quit corporate life. One day I'd had enough crap from my needy boss. I phoned Mel from the lay-by I'd just spent the last hour in, whilst working out how we were going to cover his inappropriate dealings with key accounts, & proposed selling our house. 5 months later we were homeless but we had a bus.:) He took us across France, through the Frejus tunnel (that thing is 8 miles long) & into Italy. Across northern Italy to Venice, a ferry to Patra then around the Peleponnese, Crete, Santorini, Athens & back to Patra. On to Bari, across to Amalfi, Naples & up Vesuvius (yeah you can drive up) & on up the west coat of Italy through Pisa, Rome etc. Round the Riviera & into Spain. Where we settled.

    Some of the campsites we visited

    He was going to be with us forever, I mean how could you contemplate letting go of the tangible link to those memories.
    We worked hard, built a small business, took the bus away around Spain whenever we could (the coast road from Cartagena to Almeria is amazing for any of you contemplating next years trip). Economy crashed, we LUCKILY, sold the business, the dollar was 2 to the £ & Mel said. Let's go to the States. OK then! We were going to buy a bus over there, ship it back & use the £££ to restore Wolfe. We didn't. I guess I got cold feet about the risk & persuaded Mel that we should get the cash for the bus first in case it all went pear shaped. I wimped out & we sold the bus to a great guy who came down on the train to Sheffield from Dundee, I think, & drove the bus back. We both cried when it left.I hope the bus got the attention it deserved......

    Basking, no salt!

    And thats how we came to Chip. I'd contacted a guy in San Diego, he found a bus which had spent its life in Palm Springs. Away from the coast, in the desert. He sent over some pics, I sent him some cash & the build began. He had 12 weeks to sort out this......


    & turn it into a vehicle we could drive. Where we were going to drive it, we had no idea & as it happened we sort of made it up along the way.
  12. now thats what i call some road trips, quality pics.
  13. Great story, seems like you are managing to compromise between earning money and free travel time quite well so far.
  14. Loving this thread:thumbsup:
  15. love it - living the dream :thumbsup:
  16. Great story ,and Wolfe is still touring the UK as he's just been re-taxed :):thumbsup:

    Vehicle enquiry
    The enquiry is complete.The vehicle details for PBW 949M are:
    Date of Liability01 11 2014
    Date of First Registration08 03 1974
    Year of Manufacture1974
    Cylinder Capacity (cc)1584cc
    CO₂ EmissionsNot Available
    Fuel TypePETROL
    Export MarkerN
    Vehicle StatusLicence Not Due
    Vehicle ColourWHITE
    Vehicle Type ApprovalNot Available
    paradox and theBusmonkey like this.
  17. They get under your skin!!!!! That's superb.
  18. Sven and theBusmonkey like this.
  19. Just a quick addition this moring co’z I’ve just read @paradox ‘s post "Time" & I’m feeling guilty for indulging myself here.

    Pictures of the build were sent across but they didn’t really tell us anything. It wasn’t an expensive full resto, just a “tart up & don’t break down” brief. We figured that if the bus was crap, we’d deal with it there with a big bat!


    Prepped for paint

    Our luggage on arrival at LAX.

    Relevant in that the “body bag” thing contains, among other things, a Thetford 145 portaloo, our Camping Gaz Party Grill BBQ, the gutter mounted sun canopy, my travelling tool kit, sleeping bags & linen. Now we could have bought all this & more in SD. It just seemed appropriate to lug all that crap around at the time. I’ll get it all there when we do it again.

    When we arrived in SD the following day we drove to the address the bus builder had given us to find it was, literally, a mail box. I crapped it! They were in actual fact across the city at another “secret” location. At the time we didn't really think as to why they were so secretive, we were just relieved that our deposit hadn’t been used for some surgical procedure or other.

    This is what we arrived to. Looking good & nearly ready to go, so we thought

    As it happened we ended up living in a Motel 6 for nearly a month whilst the dude finished the bus.

    One pot dinners are the future

    We saw SD though & it’s a big, bold beautiful city.

    Santa Fe Train Depot, Little Italy

    USS Midway, Navy Pier, Downtown San Diego

    Coronado Beach, training ground of the US Navy Seals
    Lord Congi and paradox like this.
  20. That's it! We had bought a guide for the West, called Don Wrights. It's a huge list of where you can stay for 12 bucks or less per night & was worth every cent of the $20 or so it cost. We couldn't find the eastern edition so navigated by Walmart once east of Texas. Can you imagine ASDA having a similar policy here?
    paradox likes this.

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