Well, I could tell a lot of stories of spending years over the road as a charter/tour bus driver but I had to really think when it came to a story about camping. But then one comes to mind
About ten years ago a friend of mine owed me some money. One hundred and sixty dollars it was. He comes to me one day and asks me if I would have use for a old camper trailer that he had and if I would settle for that instead of the money. Well I always wanted one to fix up so I said yes. Now we lived in St. Joseph mo and this trailer was in a small town about 30 miles away. So off we go with the pick up to get it. When we get there I see this little thing with the weeds all around etc. Its a 1964 Aristocrat Lo Liner. So we are hooked up and ready to head back to St. Joe. Now it wasn't all smooth going back. The side door for the battery compartment flew off ,then about a mile from home a tire blew to pieces etc ,etc. But had a good spare and made it. It was in pretty good shape for sitting that long and the stove and fridge were like new. So we clean it up, the wife makes new curtains ,seat covers etc. The wiring needed updating. The 12volt and the 120 volt. Now I have done electrical repair most my life in homes and also cars and buses. But I had never worked on campers in the way the 120 volt was wired into the breaker box. So I wired in new outlets, lights etc. Not paying attention to the breaker box I did not notice or realize that as I ran the new 120volt line into the box that the neutral wire and the ground wire were separate. Unlike home or building wiring where the the white neutral wire and the copper ground wire run into the same bar in the box. Well all seemed good. Now a year later we decide to make a trip to Florida to visit my sister who also happen to own a rental house that was empty where we could stay. Great I can pull the trailer in the drive there and do work on it in the nice sunshine I thought.
On our way down there we stopped at a campground in northern Florida. Now this was in December and it was slightly raining. As we pulled into our spot I remember thinking that surely there would be some other common po folks pulling in with all these neat old trailers and we would just meet all kinds of folks!
I get out and as I am lying on the ground setting up the jacks, etc in pulls this huge motor home. This rig was big bucks for sure and pulls right next to us. Now here I am on the ground. The rain is picking up and I see the the living room slide out and the jacks come down and the dish go up etc etc. Boy was I feelin small lol. Well I plug in the ac cord and the GFI on the hook up pops. Hmm, I think so I reset it and pop again....Must have a short in my cord I think. So here I am sitting out there with my meter checking the cord etc. and of course its raining and starting to get dark. I look up to see this guy sitting in his nice chair looking down at me through the window. Well got to get this figured out but getting darker. By now I have realized the problem is not in my cord but its getting darker and trying to hurry and "Big shot" watching me is not helping me think any better. So I tell my wife I will run the cord through the window and tap into a junction box that will get power to a light and outlet for the tv etc. Ok thats what I do and we got some light and she can watch some tv . All is good till she sits down at the table happens to touch some metal trim and says "OW! I got shocked"! Then I touched the trim and I get bit too. So then it come to me. So I disconnect from the junction box and just use the cord run in and plug in a lamp (and the tv of course) and all is ok. The next day we awaken to find we are surrounded by giant motor homes! All around us! Talk about feeling like a prairie dog in a buffalo herd....I think my little trailer could have fit into the cargo bays of some of them! Well we made it to our destination and I fixed the problem now realizing that the ground is isolated in the box. Still got the old girl and have enjoyed it a many times since then. Makes a good hide out too...If things get uneasy in the house its nice to get away,,even when its in your own back yard!
Nice story, Rick! Wish those folks in the giant class A's knew how to drive them like you do the buses!
Sometimes, they are jealous of you in your Vintage rig I bet. Also, check out VK's Vintage Trailers link under Sites We like... they've got 3 or 4 Aristocrats that they restored sittin under their barn roof up Washington way. Stay in touch. And, if you see any neat bus conversions pictures please post them in my Bus Nuts bloggy thing. pat
Thanks pat. I will have to check out those photos. Amazing how some of these old trailers are redone so nice. I sure miss driving the buses. I miss the people too. Can't do it full time like iIused to but Im thinking of going back to doing it again kinda part time. Im living in florida now but there are companys down here and well its in my blood. At least down here there is no winter and snow! can't say that I miss those times of going to colorado mountains and ski resorts and show and cold lol. If I see any old ones I get some photos! i got photos of myself with some ones i drove from the 70s thru the 90s but they are not converted to rvs. Take care!