Thursday, November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hello all, Christi and I are now living in St. George, Utah. We were transferred from San Diego to mgt. a RV Resort for Western Horizons in April. In early July the Resort was sold to Equity Life Style and became a ENCORE Resort. We were offered the mtg. job and took it. We now have a house in Leeds, Utah that is 4 mins. from the park. Things are going well for us, our son Jared has moved back back here and is doing great in his new school. We plan to stay here until he is done with school. Mrs Jones is sitting on a space at the resort without her furniture. We removed all of it to put in the house. This will be a good time to change somethings in the ole' girl. We built a small stage in the resort clubhouse and are currently doing our show every other Sat. during the season that will end on Dec. 1st. Off season we stay open but we will have time to do a few shows down south. We hope that some of our friends will come by to see us. All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Thursday, February 25, 2010
The Bus Learning Curve in Ramona, CA On the return trip from the "Q" rally we were coming down a steep hill with a stoplight at the bottom. All RV'ers hate these hills! Well the bus had a hard time stopping. It did stop, but just in time. Now that hit me a little hard in that I felt that I was not in complete control. I sad to myself, " Why didn't I make time for BOTN to show me how to adjust the bus brakes". So I got on the bus board and asked for help. I asked for Show & Tell help. the request sat there for a couple of days until Buswarrior stepped up and asked the board to help me out. I got some offers to bring the bus out on a weekend to another busnuts house, but I work on every weekend. Then Bob Evans (BOTN) changed his plans to come and help. We built bus ramps, Adjusted the brakes on the rears and tag. Went over a lot of the bus systems under this monster. It was a little unnerving crawling around under a bus. It's so big and there is no were to go if something fails and the bus should come down on you. It took me most of the day to get over this fear. But Bob is a great teacher and helped me through it. Then we, or I should say Bob worked on the Jake Brakes. He found a brake in the connection from the dash to the switch that sits on top of the engine. He installed a new wire and We now have Jakes! He then installed a air hose connection at the front auxiliary air tank. That's going to come in handy! Not only did he work on Mrs. Jones but he and his wife Marilyn put on 2 seminars for our resort guests. One on Blogging and the other on Busing into Mexico. Then to bet all, they treated Christi and I to home made lasagna. They are truly good people and we are proud to call them our friends. All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The Bus Learning Curve. It has been an on going thing learning about a bus. All the systems that came with it and all that we have added. That's my job, I have the task to keep this ol' girl rolling down the road. Only thing is I have no training in this bus world. So I say, Thank God For Bus Nuts! I have received a lot of good information off the web, as I have posted here in the past, but there is nothing that compares to hands on instruction from another bus owner. The hard thing is to find one that has the time for bus show and tell. We got to meet a few Bus Nuts at the "Q" Rally, (Quartzsite, AZ), hosted by Larry & Carol Hall. Pappa (Stormcloud) helped me install a small inverter to run the refrigerator as a last resort when there is no power to be had. I told Bob(BOTN)Evans about the brakes feeling a little sluggish and the jakes not working at all! Bob offered to show me how to adjust the brakes when I had the time and he took a look at the jakes. In the very limited time we had, Bob found that the jakes work but were not getting a signal. What ever that meant? We didn't have the time Iwe needed due to the rain, But I did learn a lot. We had a great time at the "Q" and we will go again. All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Monday, February 15, 2010
All we need to know, Should we stay or should we go? We recived this e-mail last Friday; Chuck Jones to michael, Elk show details Feb 12 (3 days ago) Michael It has been given to me the obligation to inform you that; the company officers have made a decision to go in another direction relative to the entertainment at Elk Meadow. So; it is with reluctance that I must inform you that your contract has been cancelled. We wish you the best! Chuck Jones This is very bad for our up coming tour. Our contract with Elk Meadow Resort in Estes Park, CO was to be a dinner show. We were guaranteed a minimum of 2 shows a week with perks for the whole summer season. As a norm we have to book shows 1 year in advance. Now here we are 2.5 months out and we have lost our summer! The whole summer! Now we are down to "the bird in the hand" syndrome. We are working at an RV resort in CA. that pays the bills and we can stay here for as long as we want too. We can book shows in the area and here at the resort. So, Should we stay or should we go? I think about the fact that I (Michael) am 50 y/o now and I don't have a lot of time to get my name back out there. On the other hand it would be a full time job to book shows this late in the game and the shows would be what ever we could get. Its very frustrating. The road calls to me. I want to show Christi this great country in our bus. Time is going by so fast these days. I don't want to wake up one day and say, " I Should Have Done That!" Should we stay or should we go? I keep asking myself. Should we stay or should we go? All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Its " WOW " been a year!
A little over a year ago on new years eve/day I got the idea to hit the road and go on tour again. We have come along way since then. This time last year we were making arrangements to bring home Mrs. Jones. We have learned so much and we still have a lot to learn! Building a Bus Conversion in 90 days has its good points and bad points. Just to touch on this, the good thing was that we got to use the bus for touring right away without missing out any comforts of home, Like our large TV, king size bed, full size refer and lazy boy couch. The bad thing was/is that we are not set up that good for Boon docking, mostly the TV reception, inverter for power and we don't have high capacity holding tanks. Oh, and we happen to have the generator from hell, 120db's. OUCH! We moved out of our house into the bus and got on the road on June 1st, 2009. We have put 8,000 miles and explored the western united states. We have done a bunch of shows at FMCA rallies, fairs, clubs, theaters and RV resorts. We have meet some fantastic people from all over the world at the shows and on the http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php, Bus Boards. Christi and I are now in CA for the next 2.5 months, then were head off to CO for a 4 month stand in Estes Park.
If we had it all to do again, I don't know if I would change much. Christi probably would have cracked the whip a little more to get more done. All in all I think we did pretty good. It beats the crap out of the bus sitting in the yard rotting away and that knot in your gut when you look at it!
It has been a real adventure learning to drive this beast. Now when ever Christi hears a Detroit Diesel fire up, she start putting things away and securing the inside of Mrs. Jones!?! I think she turning into a Real Bus Nut!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
RV'ing 101 anyone? Have you had the pleasure of this type of RV'er? We manage a RV resort here in Ramona, CA (San Diego). We get new RV owners that spend big bucks for an RV and get no training from the dealer how to set up all the systems and much less, DRIVE IT! They show up at the gate and demand that "WE" do it all for them. They hold their keys out and say they have been on the road for 3 days an something smells like sewer!!!???!!! Then they get all red faced mad when we offer to help but only instruct them what to do. Now we own a bus conversion and we are still learning. We ask for help from the "Bus Yodas" but we do the work, you have to, to learn. I find this very odd that anybody would buy one of these RV's and not ask for training or pay for a class! RV'ing 101 anyone? We will always help out everyone that comes to our resort but you have to do the work or maybe you need to go back to tent camping and use the comfort station. Hey, this Ranting stuff feels pretty good!?! I would love to hear BOTN's take on this. He is a fellow blog'er, Busnut and good friend. You can read his blog @ http://travellingwithgeorge.blogspot.com/ . Good stuff! All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Trip, Quartzsite Bus Rally. We left last Thursday morning in a driving rain from Ramona Canyon RV resort that we manage in Ramona,CA. We rendezvoused with fellow Bus Nuts from the MAK board, Mike and Lisa, aka, Loosenut in east San Diego along Hwy 8. They pulled up in a very nice 30' Neoplan. The rain and wind kept coming as we made our way to El Centro where we had lunch at the famous Mexican restaurant Camachos. We found the service to be a litte slow, the food was good but the portions were small. The waitress actually whined a bit that we didn't order their special; a handmade puffy quesadilla! Not a place to go if you are in a hurry. We waited 10 mins at the counter for the check! At least we had good company in Mike, Lisa and Lisa's mom, Mary Lou. When we pulled up in front of the restaurant, the parking lot was under a foot of water, so we had to park directly in front of the restaurant which is a little small for a 40' bus and toad. As we left, I tried to turn around onto the road but both front tires went on to the shoulder. Mrs. Jones slid in the mud about 10' and settled with her bumper and exit door up against a dirt embankment just missing a large wooden pole. Christi's eyes almost popped out of her head! The bus was blocking the whole road and part of the parking lot and I could see the large field trucks heading our way. I hit the door button but the door only opened 6 inches since it was lodged against the dirt. I pushed it open another 2 inches and squeezed out to frantically unhook the toad and survey the damage. We got the toad off and both bus drivers (rear tires) were still on the pavement. The front end was 18 inches deep in the mud. I got back in the bus, put her in reverse and she muscled right out of the muck. I love my bus! We hooked back up right in the middle of the road! There was no way my tires were getting off the pavement again. Back on I8, the rain and wind kept pounding us. As we went through the Imperial Sand Dunes just west of Yuma, we were sandblasted. The wind blew from the south, mixed with rain and the sand was sticking to everything. We made our turn on Hwy 95 in Yuma and headed north. We stopped for cheap fuel at Barney's Truck Stop. We started fueling and Loosenut pulled in. I asked, "What do you think of this trip so far?" He said, "At least we have lots of good stories to tell!" I think Lisa and Mary Lou are at their wits end it being their 1st long trip in a bus. I bet their last too! LOL We finished fueling and continued North on Hwy 95. The wind had calmed and I could relax a little driving Mrs. Jones. However this was short lived. After about 15 miles the wind and rain began pounding us once again hitting us broadside; but this time out of the east! Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse we had to deal with all the washes that cross the highway. In the desert, the ground saturates quickly and the washes flow. Because it seldom rains in the desert, the State Road Dept. doesn't seem to think there is much of a need to construct bridges or culverts over the washes. Therefore we had to contend with water running across the road. We counted 7 washes that flooded the highway. The depth of the water started at 4 inches and just got deeper and faster as we got closer to the "Q". The last 2 washes we crossed were well over a foot deep. About 5 miles outside of Quartzsite the sky turned black and the clouds were swirling and dumping rain in buckets. We heard a tornado warning had been issued for the area. We pulled into Rice Ranch and parked in the middle of the bus rally grounds. Bob Evans (Bob of the North) met us in the driving rain and proceeded to temporarily lose his hat to a gust of wind. He was all arms & legs running after it! A moment later Larry Hall arrived in his PT Cruiser and advised us to stay there until the rain subsided a bit. We made a run for it to Larry and Carol's bus and waited out the deluge. Good Hugs! Soon the rain stopped and we were able to get parked. Look honey! Look at all the buses! Is that "Pappa Bus?" It's rally time, Oh, Ahhhhhh BUS... All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Mrs. Jones roars to life! There is something exciting about the sound of a Detroit Diesel starting up. The hum runs through my body, the hiss of the air system reaching its peak. Mrs. Jones stating, "I'm ready now". We discovered the strange thing that happens when we are parked for an extended period. When another bus rolls by, we get that yearning to get on the road again. I have had the roar in my blood all my life. I've hitchhiked and driven across this country more times then I can remember. The far away places from my 8-3/4 Navy years and later the RVing & touring time. Christi & I had a house in Tombstone, AZ and thought we would never leave it, but the travel bug constantly gnaws at me. So we built Mrs. Jones. What was totally unexpected to me was that the travel bug bit Christi! And her case is much worse than mine. Now we are managing a RV resort in So. Cal. and now our blood boils every time we hear a Detroit Diesel screaming by. The only cure is to batten down the hatches and press the button. Mrs. Jones roars to life! "Honey, it's time to go." Oh wait, she's already strapped in! Here we go. North, South, Beach, Desert? We love our Bus! HUMMMMMMMMMMM. All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
2 Weeks till "The Q"Rally We can't wait!!!!!! 400 buses, 1,000+ Bus Nuts and all the MAK board chatters. We plan on getting to "The Q" on Thursday the 21st. We hope to trek over with some fellow Bus Nuts, Mike & Lisa, aka Loosnut. They would like to take the southern route along US Hwy 8, pick up a bite of Mex food then up the 95 to "The Q". We hope it works out. Until then we will be working on Mrs. Jones. Christi is busy making new curtains and I am scratching my head working under on our non-existent boondocking systems. I need to meet the Yodas of the Bus world! I have a ton of questions and hope they take pity on my ignorance. Did I say "We can't wait!!!!!!" All the Best, Michael & Christi See our other Blog;http://michaelhargisshow.blogspot.com/