It’s cold here in Show Low, Arizona. Last night the thermometer dipped down to 25 degrees! We were sure glad that we put so much effort into insulating our bus conversion when we built it. With just a small cube style electric heater, we kept it about 65 degrees inside the bus overnight.
We don’t have a furnace in our bus. We installed one early in our conversion project, but quickly realized that the typical RV furnace blows more heat outside than it does inside, so we pulled it out. We have an Olympian Wave 8 catalytic heater that keeps us toasty warm on cold nights, and when we have an RV site with a 30 or 50 amp electric hookups, we use the cube heater to save on propane.
Several people have written to suggest that instead of replacing our bus, we just put in a rebuilt engine. We debated that, but the 8V71 Detroit Diesel engines like we have were prone to overheating on steep climbs even when they were new, and they were never very powerful. We want to get away from the overheating problems and the long, slow climbs here in the West.
We could upgrade to a more powerful engine, like an 8V92 turbo, but that would also require a transmission upgrade, and a pair of larger radiators. I talked to a bus garage we trust and for the price he quoted us to do the job right, we could spend just a little bit more and have a newer coach with a slide out or two.
We’ve reached the point where we’d like to have some more living space. Yesterday my daughter and her family stopped by, and with the two grandkids in here, it was just too crowded.
There is no perfect RV, even when you build it yourself. Our bus meets a lot of our needs in a home on wheels, but if we were going to do it all over again, there are some things we would do differently. We’d install an instant-on hot water system, we would not put in a residential size bathtub, and we would try a different floor plan, probably a side aisle design.
Some things we would definitely do again would be the residential style refrigerator, the stainless steel apartment size range with oven, and the separate apartment size washer and dryer. We’d also still spend the money we did on large holding tanks, our solar system, Magnum Energy inverter, and large bank of AGM batteries.
Some things I’d like to see in our next RV are a bigger engine, at least a living room slide, and preferably a bedroom slide too, a rooftop automatic satellite TV dish or dome, and leveling jacks.
What options do you wish your current RV had, or that you will demand in your next rig?
We know the right coach for us is out there, and we’ll keep looking until we find it.
Thought For The Day – You can do something in an instant that will give you heartaches for a lifetime.