[Talk-us] GeoBus Discussion

Leslie Zolman lzolman1 at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 26 23:12:54 BST 2010

I am a VW lover and owned a bus for a few years.  I now have a wonderful bug.

A great place to look for VWs is http://www.thesamba.com/vw/

Or you could always get a new one in Brazil :-)

Leslie Zolman

From: Jim McAndrew <jim at loc8.us>
To: Eric Wolf <ebwolf at gmail.com>
Cc: talk-us at openstreetmap.org
Sent: Thu, August 26, 2010 3:07:04 PM
Subject: Re: [Talk-us] GeoBus Discussion

I am planning on another phone meeting tonight at 8:00pm:

Thursday August 26, 2010
8:00PM EDT
Call in number: 218-486-3891 x663610833

I will try to get the minutes into this email as soon as the conversation is 
over, so we can keep the discussion going here.

Katie had some good questions, so I'm going to try to answer them here:

When do you think this would happen?  Duration?  Would anyone really be 
available for the entire duration? or just portions?
I think the "Bus" will be a symbol of the project, and will be flexible enough 
that it can do a month long trip, but also be used for smaller trips. 

>Agree  with the concerns over costs and burden of maintenance.  Do we really  
>want to maintain something in the long-term?  What about renting a  vehicle?  
>Considering the costs of ownership, perhaps this might be a  better option? 
Having a "Bus" as a marking symbol is the way we want to go.  Eric Wolf has some 
good information on VW buses.  A lot of it is kind of scary.  We did discuss 
renting a van for a short time.  I'm not sure of how that would work, but it's 
not a bad idea.

>Also, what about taking Amtrak across the country? (always been  interested in 
>doing this)  Amtrak offers unlimited passes for 15 days,  30 days, or 45 days of 
>travel.  They also have good group specials and  perhaps we could lower the 
I had a roommate in college that did this one summer, he had some great stories. 

>I would also be happy doing car trips at a smaller scale, doing outreach  at 
>universities and engaging people, (e.g. ambassadors, trainers) and  scheduling 
>things during weekends.
>In reality, not sure how much vacation time I would have for this anyway, versus 
>other ways of spending vacation time. 
That is a major problem with it, and people would probably each only do a short 
stint on the bus. 

I'll keep these in mind for the discussion tonight, and I hope to talk to some 
of you there! I'll be back with the meeting minutes before tomorrow.

Jim McAndrew

On Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 1:23 PM, Eric Wolf <ebwolf at gmail.com> wrote:

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 gross)
>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 wheel-base.
>3. Style + Substance - better than a schoolbus
>4. There is a great network of people to help you WHEN you break down:
>     http://www.type2.com/rescue/
>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:
>>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 
>>Jim McAndrew
>>On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 1:28 PM, 
>>BlarsBlarson<openstreetmap-talk-us at scd.debian.net> wrote:
>>In article <AANLkTinHg331nOZJxJHKwCeG2va+gnBCErhTZXm7pY_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
>>>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.
>>>BlarsBlarson                   blarson at scd.debian.net
>>>With Microsoft, failure is not an option.  It is a standard feature.
>>>Talk-us mailing list
>>>Talk-us at openstreetmap.org
>>Talk-us mailing list
>>Talk-us at openstreetmap.org
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