Are you curious about life on a bus? We don’t have too much experience yet, as we’ve only been on the bus for three days. I imagine things will change as we learn more and gain experience, but I can tell you a little about what it’s like right now.
First, there’s no plumbing on the bus. The previous owner had installed a toilet and sink, but they were in the way of where we needed to build our bed so they got pulled out. We don’t know if we are going to add plumbing back in or not. It depends on how things go the next week and also how they work out in Alaska. Our time there is limited and there is much to do.
Currently we have a small spot for a bathroom and there is a tiny toilet in there, the kind of toilet that you potty in a bag and then dispose of the bag. It’s for emergencies only. Miss B has many emergencies. We make the boys wait. For instance we’re looking for a rest stop for Sam right now. So far it’s working. The potty bags are not cheap ($2 a piece) and so we’re trying to avoid using them very often.The boys have been known to pee in a bottle.
Without running water, I’m realizing that we need water for everything: rinsing fruit, washing hands, cleaning, bathing. We’re finding some workarounds though. We keep a couple gallon jugs filled with water for brushing teeth and rinsing fruit. We have a case of wipies for washing hands and wiping dirty feet. And of course hand sanitizer. Lots of hand sanitizer.
I keep telling myself that this is all temporary. Right now we’re just trying to get to Alaska. We can put long term systems into place after that, for now we just need to get through the next 4000 miles.
We showered at a friend’s house in Nashville last night and also did a couple loads of laundry. That worked out beautifully and I’m so thankful! Imagine a bus full of sweaty people pulling up in front of your house, tromping through your front door with a couple baskets of dirty clothes and proceeding to sully your bathroom and run up your water bill. That’s us. Though I like to think we’re pretty good company and we tell some good stories. We’re visiting my sister who lives outside Chicago tonight and we’ll repeat the process.
Do you live on I94 or along the ALCAN highway? Let us know if you’d like a personal visit from The Big Blue Bus – we could sully your bathroom and run up your water bill too! In exchange for showers and laundry, we could even give you a ride on the bus!
If that doesn’t work out we plan on staying at campsites that offer showers, toilets, and free wifi. In this heat a swimming pool would be nice too. As a last resort there’s always truck stops. They have showers too. Though I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Speaking of heat, let’s talk about air conditioners. Our bus has two. Those are the big white things on the top of the bus. For short trips around Tampa they worked great. It also keeps us perfectly cool at night. But the last few afternoons have been brutal. Currently we are driving with the ACs turned off and the windows down. The AC was barely keeping up and without air movement it wasn’t very comfortable. I’d rather have warm air circulating than stifling barely cool air. It also has been costing about $30 a day in gas for the generator, which runs the air conditioner. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to cooler climates!
As far as eating on the bus… we don’t have a kitchen right now either. The area designated for a kitchen is currently full of boxes. We have two plastic totes, one has paper plates, plastic utensils, ziploc bags, etc. The other has bread, crackers, applesauce, granola bars, etc.
We’re keeping our meals simple. We’ve committed to not eating out and specifically not eating fast food. Plus we aren’t buying chips, cookies, candy, etc. We’re sticking with basics like fruit, veggies, meat, and cheese. Jake’s favorite snack is hummus and pita chips. That being said, we are currently pulling off because we just spied a Dairy Queen! Ha! An ice cream sounds terribly refreshing right now!
We have a cooler and we just added an iceless cooler that connects to the cigarette lighter. (Thanks for all your advice on the Facebook page!) We’ll see how that plays out as time goes by.
Do you have questions about our life on the bus? Let us know! And feel free to leave us some love. We adore reading comments and it helps us feel connected out here on our own!
Talk to you soon!
Amy, Jake, Jacob, Josh, Sam-a-lam, and Miss B
*from our view out the window of the bus