Our bus and trailer combo attracts a certain amount of attention and I thought I should take a few minutes to talk about that.
We bought our trailer in 2010 from a dealership in Grande Prairie Alberta. If I could do it over again I would have bought a used one because financing these things is incredibly expensive. When we bought it we only had 4 kids and we all fit without having to turn the table into a bed.
We have a 30′ Surveyor from Forest River. This unit is a low profile one, which is good and bad. Good because it is the same height as our bus and saves on fuel, bad cause it is so low to the ground we scrape the back end on curbs and such. Not to mention the drain for the tanks is quite low and can be an issue at dump stations. Fortunately we have only gotten stuck once, and that was early on in this trip when we pulled into a friends’ driveway and had a hard time getting out again.
We all fit, but it’s cozy. We never used the trailer much for travelling until now. It served as a hangout for the kids in the yard for the last four years. We are now finally getting our money’s worth out of it.
We’ve had the bus for a year and a half now. We picked it up from a couple who bought it at an auction with intentions of making it into an RV. We were looking because we didn’t all fit into our Ford Expedition anymore and trips in that were hellish.
The bus is a 2000 Ford E-450 with a 7.3 Diesel engine. Only had 166,000 km on her when we picked her up. She had seats for 18, but we removed the back row to give us more storage room.
I bought a DVD deck off of eBay and hung a tv at the front for the entertainment of the passengers (which does wonders for keeping the kids quiet). I had to get a hitch installed to pull the trailer and wire her for lights and brakes, but other than a new battery I haven’t had to do much to this unit.
She pulls the trailer great and is about as good on fuel as you think. Pulling the trailer doesn’t affect the mileage all that much and it helps that we are not in a hurry to get anywhere.
We christened her as the Compass Rose. We toyed with naming her the Enterprise or Millennium Falcon, but that was too nerdy (but would have been awesome!).