We Found Our New Home!

In our last update, I shared our plans for getting on the road after the house closes in a couple of weeks.  Well, we have some super exciting news to share with everyone!!  

We have found our bus!!  Or maybe, I should say, our bus has found us!  PHOTOS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!

Since making the decision to NOT move forward with a full bus conversion for our new home on wheels, I have been searching Craigslist, eBay and any other place I could find, for a Blue Bird Wanderlodge that would fit our needs.  I have also been posting to various forums and Facebook groups about our desire to locate a bus for our upcoming adventure.  

One of the most helpful places has been the website for the Wanderlodge Owners Group.  This is a website dedicated to everything Wanderlodge.  It is an amazing community filled with passionate and helpful folks who love their Wanderlodge buses and they love to help others find a passion for them as well.  

After posting to this site what we were looking for in a bus, an amazing couple, Rick and Chris, from Toledo, OH, reached out to me and indicated that they have a bus that may be just right for our family to take out on the road.  And man, was he ever right!!  I will write up a separate post about Rick and Chris, as their story deserves its own home here on our site.  Needless to say, they are an amazing couple who are excited about the vision we have for our family.  

After Rick reached out to me on the WOG forums, we spent several hours talking on the phone and going over all of the particulars. Rick has had the bus for 6 years and during that time has made many improvements and addressed many maintenance items on the bus.  He has ensured that it is mechanically sound and ready for travel.  He and his wife have regularly used the bus for traveling to the Ohio MIle, an very cool race track in Wilmington, Ohio.  More about Rick and his history in racing in my future post.  

After discussing the bus with Rick, we made the decision to travel up to Toledo to check it out.  I will post photos and videos from this trip in the next day or so, but needless to say, it was everything we have hoped to find and then some!  We plan to finalize the purchase in the next couple of weeks once our home sale closes.

So, back to the bus!  It is a 1980 35' forward control Blue Bird Wanderlodge.  I have posted a gallery of photos below.  It is awesome!!!  It has everything our family will need to get on the road and share our vision for less stuff and more experiences! I will post all of the details about the bus on a separate page as well as some of the planned changes and updates we will make, but here is the Reader's Digest version of features, specs and updates:

  • Built in 1980 at the Bluebird factory in Fort Valley, GA
  • Caterpillar 3208 diesel engine with an Allison MT643 transmission
  • 150-180K miles on the original engine (odometer stopped working well before this so actual mileage not known), which for a diesel is nothing when well cared for, as they are designed to run a million miles.
  • Air ride suspension
  • Air brakes
  • Onboard 15KW Perkins/Kohler generator
  • Twin bunks in the rear and a full size slide out bed in the front
  • Full kitchen with stove, oven, microwave, fridge and double basin sink
  • Full bath with toilet and shower
  • Three - 13K BTU roof air conditioners
  • Electric and propane heat
  • 30 and 50 AMP electrical service

During the time that Rick and Chris have owned the bus, they have invested a lot of time and energy into making sure that the bus is in excellent running condition.  Below is a short list of the updates that have been made to the bus:

  • All new fuel lines and fuel filter systems
  • All new brake systems - new lines, brake chambers, drums and pads
  • Tires with less than 3000 miles (dated 2015)
  • Copper plumbing replaced with Pex throughout the bus
  • LED lights throughout interior and exterior of the bus
  • Backup camera with super bright LED spotlight
  • Aux transmission cooler, fan and filters
  • New tuned CB radio
  • Air dryer for all air systems (brakes, air ride suspension)
  • King Cruise control
  • Lots of gauges replaced and updated

 

I cannot express how incredibly happy we are about this bus and what it means for our family as we head out on Our Adventure.  The gratitude that we feel to Rick and Chris for sharing something that we know means a lot to them, is endless.  We are so incredibly thankful that fate has brought them to our lives.  Thank you Rick and Chris!

More details to follow. 

Jamie Meredith

We are the Meredith Family and we are about to embark on Our Most Excellent Family Adventure! Join our family of 4 as we travel the world in a converted school bus.