While Zack has been living in the bus for a month or two now, Friday started the first official day of our adventure. Friday after I got off work, we hit the open road, heading to Cleburne, TX. Zack is part of a Skoolie Conversion group and they were having a meet-up. Not having met too many people (only one other) doing the same thing we are, we thought it would be cool to meet some others.
Our drive was a long 7 hours but we made it one piece. Our ‘shake down’ trips really paid off. We did lose a belt about 20 minutes into our trip, but having been down this road before, it wasn’t too big of a deal. While Zack put the spare belt on, I called around to find a spare replacement. An O’Reilly’s on our route in Texas had one, so we lucked out.
The reason we keep losing so many belts is the fan mount is leaning or is bent inward. The fan belt eventually gets ripped off and our bus starts overheating. When we heard the alarm going off, we immediately knew what happened. It is something that we will be fixing before we head West.
So we made it to Cleburne around 9:30 Friday night. It was fun to pull up somewhere and see so many Skoolies in one place.
Five of the eleven skoolies
Zack has talked to these people online so he was excited to meet them in person and see their work. We spent Saturday touring everybody’s homes and hanging out. Rubber tramping can get lonely, especially for solo travelers, so these events help foster a community. Zack and I really enjoyed our time with everyone we met and are excited to see some of these same people at Skoolipalooza in January.
Another great thing about the meetup was that everybody there was in a different stage in their conversion. It’s great to see how everybody has their own ideas for their skoolie and to try and help others by telling of our missteps.
Justin McCormick’s (Wilderness Wandering) Video
Wess Lewis’ (Transcend Existence) Video
Saturday night bonfire
Zack and I are on another deadline to make it to the Tiny House Festival by Friday, so we hit the road Sunday morning. But before we left, we got some advice from the people there on how to temporarily fix our belt.
Trying to fix our fan mount issue
We installed 1/2″ Grade 8 bolts through the back bumper and into the fan mount to hold it upright. You can see from the picture above that we originally drilled through the lip of the metal but that didn’t hold. So we moved the bolt down to the middle of the bumper and added some washers to distribute the pressure. So far so good!! We would still be in the same routine of buying and breaking belts if it weren’t for the help of the other skoolie converters.
The goal was to drive as far as we could on Sunday since Zack didn’t have to work. After another long day, we finally made it to Poverty Point Reservoir State Park. And then Tuesday and Wednesday night we camped at Tannehill State Park. We have really lucked out at the places we have stayed so far. The people have all been friendly and the sites have been pretty cool. Tannehill has an old Ironworks shop and mill on it’s property. We toured the property on our bikes Tuesday afternoon but none of the actual buildings were open. It was still cool to take a look around.
Zack was happy to find fall color after a lackluster fall season in Central Arkansas
And now onward to the Tiny House Festival with a stop in the ATL. I’m already nervous just thinking about driving and parking the bus in what we always hear is a very congested city.