[Talk-us] GeoBus Discussion

Eric Wolf ebwolf at gmail.com
Tue Aug 24 18:23:41 BST 2010

Just to jump in here... As a former owner of a '74 VW Bus, I can tell you
that there are serious positives and negatives to going that route.

First, the positives:

1. If you can find someone not wanting to rape you, they can be purchased
fairly cheap ~ $2500 for a decent camper. However, decent doesn't mean the
same thing here as it would for any newer vehicle. That means:
   a. Engine runs well enough to get it home.
   b. Minimal rust through (straight frame, no undercarriage rust)
   c. Interior isn't hideously gross (and I'm not just talking 70s plaid

2. They get pretty good gas mileage (~ 20mpg) and are fun to drive once you
get used to it. They are amazingly easy to parallel park! Very short

3. Style + Substance - better than a schoolbus

4. There is a great network of people to help you WHEN you break down:

5. You will be a decent mechanic after owning one

Second, the negatives:

1. 90% of the buses for sale now are in the "rape" category. I'm talking
$11,000 for a vehicle with 150K miles?!? If you want a classic 21-window,
you'll spend at least $5K for a rolling body and no engine.

2. Be sure to clean it thoroughly. If you have a friend in the police
department, ask them if you can have a drug dog check it for you. There are
about a billion places to hide (or lose) drugs in a VW bus. You don't want
to get pulled over by an over-zealous redneck cop and then find out there's
a kilo of cocaine in some hidden corner.

3. You get good gas mileage because you won't be going fast. The semis will
be blowing past you. It will be life in the slow lane.

4. You will be a decent mechanic after owning one because you will do
repairs on the side of the road. I always had the necessary tools with me in
the bus to remove the engine on the side of the road. Fortunately, I only
ever had to do this in my driveway.



Eric B. Wolf                           720-334-7734

On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 1:20 PM, Jim McAndrew <jim at loc8.us> wrote:

> Blars,
> I do realize that the telephone format is inconvenient to a lot of people,
> especially considering time zones and availability.  It is a good suggestion
> to move it to an email list.
> As far as the amount of work involved, we know that getting an old school
> bus is expensive and won't be easy.  The mileage, insurance, and fuel cost
> are all concerns to us.  Thea Clay is currently in the process of pricing
> the total cost of ownership for different vehicles, and we think that a VW
> bus will probably be the best solution for this idea.
> If you would like, I can send you the meeting minutes from last week's
> meeting.
> --
> Jim McAndrew
> On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM, Blars Blarson <
> openstreetmap-talk-us at scd.debian.net> wrote:
>> In article <AANLkTinHg331nOZJxJHKwCeG2va+gnBCErhTZXm7pY_q at mail.gmail.com<AANLkTinHg331nOZJxJHKwCeG2va%2BgnBCErhTZXm7pY_q at mail.gmail.com>>
>> jim at loc8.us writes:
>> >Tomorrow (Thursday) night at 8pm EST, we are going to have a meeting to
>> >discuss the GeoBus.
>> You should realize by making it a phone discussion, you are excluding
>> some people.  I'm much more likely to participate in an email or IRC
>> discussion.
>> I think you are underestimating the amount of work involved in such a
>> conversion.  Used busses (school, local or long distance) tend to be
>> very high mileage and need a lot of maintenance.  I think a used RV
>> should also be considered, they tend to have maintenance issues from
>> lack of use.  Also, the bus is more likely to need a commercial
>> drivers licence.
>> --
>> Blars Blarson                   blarson at scd.debian.net
>> With Microsoft, failure is not an option.  It is a standard feature.
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