Alaska Bound, Part 1

Here’s part 1 of a yet-to-be-determined part series on our migration from Minnesota to Alaska. As we’ve mentioned previously we own Mean Eugene (aka “Eug”), a 1994 Setra (Kässbohrer) S215 motor coach. Our acquisition of it is a pretty interesting story in its own right, but that’s a story for another day. For now, the important piece is that we bought it for two reasons. Short term, it was to be our 40′ moving van. Longer term, we wish to do a full conversion into a motorhome and use it to travel the country.

After purchasing it, I spent a fair amount of time prepping it for the journey. There were mechanical issues to be addressed, requirements for RV registration/plates, and requirements to be insured. This story begins at the end of all of that, as we began loading old Eug for the 3,400 mile journey from Minneapolis, MN to Homer, AK.

Packing Mean Gene

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What a day. What. A. Day.

As you may have heard, our day began rather abruptly in the wee hours of this morning. At almost exactly 1:30am, the earth decided to give us all a wake up call.  And it wasn’t a soft, gradual wake up like my new Philips Wake-Up Light. It was abrupt, jolting, and all around scary as hell. I’d fallen asleep about 10 minutes prior, and immediately upon being awoken realized what was happening. Instinctually I blurted, “earthquake!” threw off the covers, and rushed toward Little B’s room. I opened her door and started talking to her right away. Before I finished the 3 steps to her bed she had sat up, was starting to cry, and her hands were shooting straight up at me.  I picked up Little B, who was holding Puppy and Bear (the B’s have some exceptionally creative naming skills) tightly under each arm. We then met up with Mama B in the doorways at the end of our hallway and attempted to keep our composure while the world around us shook, rattled, and rolled. Afterwards, Mama B said that for her, one of the scariest aspects was that you were expecting it was going to stop, but instead it got stronger. The next 30 seconds felt like about 5 minutes, and as it goes on you find yourself thinking, “is this the big one?”

It’s the planet

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A Road Ready Trailer

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’ve spent a fair amount of time working on improving a flatbed utility trailer I purchased a few months back. When I last left you, I had new wheel hub/brake assemblies on order, all of the old wiring removed, and the trailer still parked in my driveway. Oh how things have changed.

The weather was starting to make a turn. The days were getting wetter and colder. I knew the last thing I wanted to do was work on the trailer in my driveway in the rain, sleet, and eventually snow. Thankfully the shop space I’m renting for the bus also had room for my trailer. However, at this point, I’d removed all of the lighting and both hubs on the rear axle. So naturally, I improvised. I threw the taillights back on, temporarily rigged up the 4-pin connector to the truck, wrapped the spindles in plastic bags to keep the junk off of them, and brought it a few miles away to the shop.

Good 'nuff
Good ’nuff

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Look Ma, No Hands

It’s about time our bus made its official debut. As we’ve mentioned before, we own a vehicle that once enjoyed life as a coach bus. One of the outstanding items that’s been driving me bonkers since we bought it, is the lack of any functioning air springs on all of the various storage compartments. Nothing’s more obnoxious when you’re digging for a tool, or trying to work inside a storage compartment and having the door swing down on your head or back. Or having to find a scrap of something to prop the door up. That got old, fast.

So now you know the why. Before I jump into the how, I’d like to show you something never seen on our bus for as long as we’ve owned it, and likely for years prior.

Look Ma, no hands!
Look Ma, no hands!

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