For the last couple of months or so, we have been toying with the idea of getting a vehicle for our trips. We weren't 100% sure if we wanted to find a vintage cab-over or a motor home to make road accommodations easier. After spending time browsing Craigslist, we would call to find out the vehicle had been sold. Or we would drive to look at it, to find that the condition of the vehicle didn't match the price. We finally found a possible prospect in northern Idaho.
Susan and Jeff drove up to Hayden, which is just north of Coeur d'Alene last Tuesday. They were there to look at a 1962 GMC Private Coach. The seller hadn't used it in quite some time, it had been sitting in storage for ten years, and it would still run (bonus!). Before hitting the road, there were some items that needed to be taken care of right away. As you can imagine, having a bus sit for ten years, the tires weren't really road worthy any more. On Wednesday, we hit up Les Schwab, and they had three tires in stock. We waited another day for them to get the other three in. There were some electrical components that were a little less reliable than we would have liked, but some fuses and wiring would get that squared away. Chappie wriggled his way out of the back window of the truck, so we had the pleasure of chasing him down. The bus was also full of dead hornets. Those got vacuumed up before hitting the road too. That would have been way less fun if they had still been alive.
On Thursday, we were on the road. We had to make a stop in Kellogg, at another Les Schwab, to have the tires tightened. For something like this, we definitely didn't want to take a chance having something go terribly wrong. Just down the highway, we stopped in Wallace when the electrical started to act up again. Without the gauges working, we would have been taking a bit risk of blowing the engine. After checking more fuses and wiring, we called it a night.
Friday morning, we got up and hit the road again. Friday was much less eventful. We made a stop in Missoula to have the radiator blown out, and then were on our way again. We made our pit stops throughout the day without having any more real issues. The weather in Pocatello was terrible with thunderstorms, wind, pouring rain, and flash flood warnings, but we got through it. We were able to make it all the way home, which made for a very long day (about 13 hours). As you can imagine, when we pulled into the driveway, we were so relieved to be home. The icing on the cake was realizing the power at home was out.
Here are some pictures of what the bus looks like now. We have found that it appears to be a custom build (as many motor homes this age would have been). The outside is in pretty decent shape, but the inside, while it isn't horrible, is very dated. There has been a little bit of leaking where the seals have given up. It has an air conditioner and a solar panel, but they may not be the most efficient models available any more. We are looking forward to making the inside more comfortable for us when we go on the road.