We have been living on the bus for just over a month now. We are parked on our friends' property about a mile away from our old house and enjoying the quiet of their property and the thousands of dragonflies that surround the bus every night. The past few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of learning the bus's systems and adjusting to bus life but I feel like we are doing really well now. But to be honest, the first weekend was rough.
Since the last blog post everything to make the bus livable inside has been completed. Our friend Travis really came through and got all of our electrical dialed in before we had to live on the bus. The electrical and solar is finished although we have decided to add a battery and change out some of the cables as per our new friend Neil from Diversified Vehicle Services suggestion. He has already come by our new home to check out what we have going on. The electrical was the last big thing before we could live on the bus. There is a lot to do on the outside, like of course, finishing painting the bus, installing a cargo bay and awning, and maybe adding a solar panel or two but we have about a month before we leave Jersey and feel really great that we have more than enough time to do all that and still say goodbye to all the important people in our lives.
We sold or gave away almost everything we owned which was both liberating and scary. I had a huge yard sale and sold a lot of other stuff on Facebook Marketplace. Goodwill also got a huge chunk of stuff and we are so lucky that there is a drop-off right up the street. My sister is storing some things for us that we did not want to part with like holiday decorations and the kids' mementos and everything else is on the bus with us. We were all packed up with just a few things to take care of the morning of the sale of our house.
On the morning of our house's closing we were going to drop off the kids at the Robertson's house for the day and finish a few odds and ends before moving the bus to our friends', the Madison's property. Nick came back from dropping the kids off and went to start up the bus and it didn't start. We just stared at each other. He tried again, nope. This wasn't suppose to happen, we have a battery thingy in place so this will never happen. We were not supposed to have a dead battery, EVER. We called Neil, we called Good Sam, I texted my friend LA, not that she could start the bus but because I needed to have her feel me. The home inspection was in less than an hour! Roadside assistance came at the same time the new homeowners and our realtor came to do the home inspection. Luckily we know the new homeowners so it was not a big deal to have a 40' school bus still in the driveway. Roadside assistance didn't tell the man who arrived that he would be jumping a school bus. He got out of his car and looked a bit surprised. He had a very small battery charger in his hand about the size of a wallet. Yeah, I was pretty sure this was not going to work but to my surprise, on the second try, it did! We breathed the deepest sigh of relief and Nick climbed behind the wheel to drive the bus for the very first time. Yeah, I know! We had intended to take him out on some joy rides but it just never happened so on this very emotionally charged day, Nick drove the bus for the first time. I followed him in the van and we were on speakerphone the whole time. He did so great! We pulled in and our friend was there to greet us, and then we need to hop in the van and go to the closing and sell our house.
Closing took longer than expected and we were physically and emotionally drained sitting there signing our names a million times. It was a surreal experience because I could remember sitting in that very same room, on the other side of the table, about 5 years ago buying the house of my dreams and now we were selling it. Our dreams had changed, we had changed and it seemed like a different life ago that we bought the house. Once we signed the last signature and handed over the keys we were house-less, but not homeless. Our new home is mobile and our new backyard is the millions of acres of America and we don't have to mow any of it!
The first weekend was a bit tough, we weren't parked in the best spot. We knew we were going to move to the back of the property but some tree limbs needed to be trimmed first so we spend a couple days in a shady spot which meant we weren't generating enough power to keep our batteries charged. We also didn't have our toilet fully set up to go number two and we didn't have a shower curtain up yet as I needed to hem it, everything about bus life is custom. Also, Nick had to work right after closing and the entire weekend and it just felt like home was on hold because he wasn't there to share it with us. Our friends welcomed us in and fed us and let us overflow their toilet, and shower that first weekend which was so wonderful. I hope that everyone who goes through any serious transition in life has friends like ours.
In a couple of days we moved the bus but not without getting stuck in some soft ground and needing the biggest tow truck I'd ever seen come to pull us out. Thank you Good Sam! After almost two hours we were out and driving down the driveway to the back of the property. Cue the cheering! We are now in a super sunny spot in a beautiful field next to a farm with deer and nightly visits from tons of dragonflies. The kids can play in the yard with use of a awesome swing-set and trampoline. We have beers by the fire and enjoy lots of great conversation. So we are here, bus life, and it has its challenges but so did life in a house. We are very busy getting ready for our adventure and can't wait to share with you. We are so grateful for the time here to figure out all of our systems and spend time with great friends. We will miss this time and remember it always but can't wait to get this adventure going!