I’ll not talk about the ‘not time’ bla bla today. :)
There are news :-) Last time I wrote about the new plans. That we moved back to Germany and that we want to convert a bus into our flat on wheels.
Our first choice was a Polish Autosan bus. Because they are still working on the roads and slowly they get replaced. Therefore they are cheap in buying and there are still tons of cheap spare parts. But on the other hand we have to bring first the bus to Germany. Then I spoke with a man from the DEKRA (one of the German MOT companies). He said that he can’t say anything without seeing the bus. But we didn’t had any particular bus yet. So, we didn’t got any clear information. Only that it would be smarter to first convert the bus and then to come to make the full big check up and registration in Germany. … Just what if he will then find out that here is something and this has to be done and here we need a special check up … which will cost all in all 3…, 4…, 5… thousand Euro. A full check up for a bus can cost between 500 and 5000 Euro (I just guess now… maybe even more). And this after its converted and our money is in it already. Quite a huge risk.Since we got the idea with the bus conversion I am registered in a ‘RV Bus’ Forum. In this forum are people which are same crazy as we are (some less, some more). :-) So I can get some good tips and can ask some stupid questions. Also there is a category in this forum where the member post links to advertisings, which they found in the internet, when someone is selling a (RV) bus. So always when someone is selling his bus in eBay or anywhere, they post a link to it. Even from the neighbour countries. And I am quite curious and check this advertisings as well sometimes. To see what it possible, to get ideas and to see what is on the market.
One day someone found a RV bus. A MAN 535. I liked it straight away. From the first moment it was special. Unfortunately its straight visible that it is an RV and not a bus any more. Some windows are closed and partly with bull eyes now. So from outside you can straight see that it is not original any more. But it has personality… it’s 45 years old and the charm of the 70s.
And also inside it’s quite unique. I love how it is inside. The converter made it as open as possible. Not like in a normal camper… everything full of furnitures and you get claustrophobic. Here is a lot of ‘air’ to breath. And still everything in we need. Couch, table with 4 ‘chairs’ (original seats), kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Wooden floor. And my view went also straight to the wooden stove… how awesome is that? Imagine to stay in the winter in the snow and in the evening you sit on the warm stove and through the huge bus windows you watch the snowy landscape and the frozen lake in front of you. In my imagination is this awesome!
I think you have a guess already… this bus was to awesome to just let it go. Especially because it have the ‘H’ numberplate (antique car status)… which means 190 Euro tax per year, instead of 1000 Euro. Plus also a cheaper insurance. Then the bus is registered in Germany already and have new TÜV (MOT)… also here no stress anymore. Many advantages… ‘too’ many advantages… THIS is the bus.
And then everything happened in no time at all. I wrote the seller and asked him some first questions. He wrote fast back and said that there is no rust on the main parts. The wooden stove is legal. … I called him. We were talking for an hour. I was still excited… even more now.
We spoke also about a viewing appointment. He said that he have time in 3 weeks. Before he is busy, he said. Also I had plans on the next weekends already. So we decided to meet in the weekend in 3 weeks. (That was on Wednesday.)
Another problem was that this bus was way more expensive then the Polish bus. That went far beyond our savings. We wasn’t that far yet with saving money. But it is THE bus. And the bus is ready converted. The would save us (beside the H numberplate) some money and time.
I asked my house bank … more just for fun… and of course they have no option to help me. A four-figure loan to buy a car / living plave… no, forget about it. Without job… big laughing. Even I am 15 years a loyal customer there. Never had problems with the bank. Also explaining the situation… the I just came back from Cyprus and about the bus, etc… like talking with a wall.
Luckily I still have friends. And sometimes even someone who can help in such situation. (Thanks mate!!!)
So, the financial situation was saved… yeah! :)
All good now… isn’t it? Yeah, yeah… or?
I informed the people in the forum that I want the bus and that they shall not go after it. Of course they asked if I saw the bus already and if I made a deposit already… just to make it sure. And I had to answer that I spoke with the seller and that we made an appointment in 3 weeks… big laughing in the forum.
They said that I shall hurry up. The first one who will put the money on the table will get the bus. (I mean the people in the forum wouldn’t take it, but the advertising is public in the internet… everybody can see it.) And they were right… panic came up. (That was friday)
Then a new member joined this forum and straight in its first post it was asking if this bus (MY bus) is good and that they talked with the owner already the bus is sooo cool… my nerves were raw. (Saturday…)
I couldn’t reach the seller. … I got panic that again someone else could be just a bit faster then we are (like the 2 times when we wanted to buy a mobile home… they bought it just minutes before us… and we talked with the seller before already… same situations). Sunday evening I reached finally the seller. The baby was still available. I explained him the situation and luckily he was off on Monday. So now we made an appointment straight away for Monday.
So next morning I sat in the car and drove 500km through the republic to see a bus, which I maybe also buy the same day. That feels a bit strange. I mean how often do you buy a bus?
I arrived and … there it was, the MAN 535. Almost like on the pictures. Not soo beautiful. It became rusty spots everywhere (seems like the pictures were a bit older). Looked a bit worse for wear.
But inside… the charm… awesome. Like on the pictures and better. Dirk – the seller – was showing me the bus. We also checked the ‘basement’ (the storage rooms underneath) and of course we also checked the engine (not that I have any idea about it). What can I say? The bus is rusty here and there (and more). But its 45 years old. In my humble opinion nothing really bad. (I hope I am right.)
We also took a small test drive. Dirk drove, because I don’t have license yet. Also here I can also say my inexperienced, humble opinion. But it ‘sounded’ ok for me. The engine was running smooth and there were no strange noises in the bus. Also the shock absorber were smooth.
So after 3 hours of showing and talking I decided to risk it and to say yes. I bought a bus. Unbelievable but true. :-D Stupid. Or? No… not at all. Because it is not a bus like people imagine it when I tell them ‘I bought a bus’. Then the people imagine how they sit in a normal public transportation bus. … Ok, the bus did the same years ago… but now its something else. Now it is a flat on wheels. Outside private transportation vehicle, inside full living flat, with all you need to feel home.
I hope that the bus will come next week to us. I can not drive it myself yet. So I asked Dirk and he is so kind to bring the bus all the way here. I need to make first a truck driving license, before I can drive it myself. And yes, I need only a truck driving license, because the bus is not registered as bus anymore, it is registered as RV / Camper. And because its over 3,5 tons (actually over 7,5t), I need a truck driving license. I will start that next month. And when our new baby is here on the courtyard, then we need to work, to make money, to adjust it to our wished and needs. Even its basically ready to go, it is not like we want and need it. There are still a lot of things to do. We want to make the bed to swing-up, that we can access comfortable and use the full (new) storage underneath. Therefore 2 wardrobes can and will be removed. With this new space we enlarge the bathroom. A composting toilet will find its place in the bigger bathroom and the shower is moving into its own cubicle. A L-couch needs to be build. Also with storage underneath and big enough to function as guest bed. Solar on the roof. Electric needs to be renovated. A generator needs to be included in the system. LED lights needs to be installed.
But first of all we need to take everything out, to make a renovation on the bus itself. The rust needs to be removed and the metal prevented from new rust.Yes, sometime things happen so quick. Nothing is as stable as the change… someone said once. :)
But at least this case is closed now and isn’t bothering anymore (our mind and nerves). We have a bus and home now. I just hope that the rust is not much more as it was visible… then we will be happy with our home on 4 wheels. :-)Stay tuned… it will become really fascinating here now. (If you like, get my newsletter (on the right side or here) to be always informed when I publish a new article.)