The Bus!
It's a bullet, it's a rocket ship?? No, it's a bus!!!!! And thanks to Dave
Ramsey's infinite wisdom, a bit of hard work and a Total Money
Makeover we have paid it off!! See how at www.daveramsey.com
It's been over three years since we moved into our happy, new to us, on the
road, home and we are still loving it. Knock on wood, it has not given us any
major problems which is amazing considering how many miles we put on it. The
only issues that have come up are little ones that Frank has been able to figure
out and repair.  He is so handy to have around and he loves poking around
figuring out how everything works. Aside from a few oil changes, transmission
fluid changes and the 10,000 mile services that we have to do a few times a
year, our little house on wheels has been better to us than the brand new
Monaco we had before. The birds love having their own space, since they are
now in the bedroom instead of the middle of the living room as they were in the
previous motorhome. They love going to bed once it gets dark and they
especially love sleeping in. The only downside is that they sleep right above the
motor, so a few mornings when we have to wake up early to drive they get a bit
grumpy, but the nice thing is we can leave them covered until they cheer up.
So what made us buy a bus conversion? They are by far the best built
motorhome on the road and they are built to last many many miles nad many
many years. They are so solid and built just like a house on land, however nicely
portable to move from place to place since we love to travel. When our search
for our bus began, it was a lengthy one. It started a few months before we left
California with Frank regularly searching about a half dozen Internet sites that sell bus conversions. We had always wanted a Prevost, but there are only a
limited few out there for sale. We had truly begun to give up on the idea that we would ever find "the one". Frank found many that had a great floor plan, but I
would usually veto them because of the pink fuzzy couch (YUCK!), or the plaid chair with matching floral ottoman. DOUBLE YUCK!!! We of course did find a
few that we both loved, but they usually ended up being in the $400,000 - $500,000 range or were sold before we even called on them. The later 90 models
were very nice to look at, but we've decided against selling our house to buy a bus (yikes!). The years of buses we had been looking at were in the early
90's. Even though it sounds a bit old, the buses built back then were built very similar to how they are today, and since they are all built to drive hundreds of
thousands of miles on the original engine they are almost the same as the newer buses, only without the 1.4 million dollar price tag. The 2005 and 2006 floor
plans that we looked out (just for curiosity sake) were amazing to see. They too had a few scary paint jobs I will admit, and the interior left a bit to be desired
on most. Some, however, were beautiful, and decorated better than my house back in California ever was, but then again my house in California was a bit
less than the sticker price of a brand new Prevost (for the time being at least). We can do without sculpted carpet and super fancy mirrors on the ceilings.
(our mirrored ceiling is done very subtly -ha ha) We had visited a dealership in Tennessee and one in Oklahoma. Frank searched the Internet daily for weeks
on end. Finally on the weekend of the Fourth of July 2005, we came across one on the Marathon Coach website that looked very nice. It had a new paint job
that didn't have a single stripe of pink or purple. The interior was a nice beige with sage green accents on the couch and La-Z-Boy. It had two closets, which
is great because we could put the birds in one, and clothes in the other. We had struck gold, except for the fact that it was in Oregon and we were in Missouri
with no plans of heading to the west coast for almost a month. We were sure that it would be snatched up long before we could get a chance to look at it. We
continued on our search and kept checking Marathon every single day to see if it was still there. We finished up the Denver event and headed to Seattle
Washington. We had only a day and a half to get there, so there was no time then. After Seattle we again only had a very brief time to get to Sonoma, Ca, but
we drove all night long to stop at the Marathon place to look at this bus. I of course had convinced myself that it was an enormous typo, and it was really a
2000 bus that was supposed to be at least twice what they were asking. I even told Frank that I was going to sleep in, and to come and wake me up if it looks
anything like the pictures. He of course came back within the hour and told me that it was even prettier inside than the website had shown, and I must come
and see it. That it was. The interior is amazing. The previous owner (who also was the original owner) had taken excellent care of it and had redone pretty
much everything inside in the last few years. The paint job is only a couple years old and it is a wonderful light beige with a greenish swirl (not scary at all)
The salesman showed us all around, and then we started talking price. To our surprise, it was well within our price range, in fact it was less than some of the
new motorhomes, not buses, we were comparing it to. We made them an offer, gave them all of our info, and left to drive to Sonoma to work. After quite a bit
of negotiations we came to a very nice deal, and agreed that we would come back up to Oregon before heading to Brainerd, Minnesota. Since Marathon only
deals with bus conversions we thought that they would have a problem trading in our Trek, but they gladly took it and did all of the financing for us as well,
until the Fourth of July 2008 when we paid it off. Wow, I never realized until now that the day we found the bus and the day we paid it of were the same! They
have been a wonderful company to work with, and we have not had any issues at all with the bus so far. I'm not sure how many of you read Frank's
complaints on our last motorhome but the list was long. We had 30 issues with that Trek within the first few months of owning it, and it was brand new. This
motorhome is now 18 years old, drives like a dream and works better than the last one ever did. The bus rides on air bags so it feels like you are in a
hovercraft going down the road. The Trek let you feel every bump in the road, while the bus just glides over them. The windows are huge, and take up the
entire front and back, so when the blinds are open you can see the beautiful countryside from any seat in the house while driving, and it makes you feel like it
is even bigger then it's 9 feet in width. We are truly at home!!!  
The closet where the birds will go                The token engine picture for all the men to see
                                                                  (grrrr grrrr grrrrr grrrrr)
Our littleTrek served it's purpose for being close to home and traveling the short distances that we traveled while in California, but it lacked a bit and was
small for the long haul of driving cross country. We love having a real bedroom in the back, and the birds are in their own space instead of in the middle of
the kitchen.  Now they can go to bed and not be disturbed when we have company. The extra room and comfort is amazing. Riding in the bus compared to
the Trek is like night and day.  They had their new cages installed just after the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis of 2005. We drove over to Kalamazoo, Michigan
to a company called Corners Limited. Frank had measured the back area, and ordered a cage to the exact specifications that we wanted. They did a
wonderful job on it. It is beautiful, and fits perfectly in their room. The cage looks as though it was always there. The ironic thing is that the small mirrors on
either side of their cage have feathers on the glass, as does the vanity table on Suzy's side of the bed. This bus is so perfect for us. It was meant to be ours
many years ago, and God had it waiting for us when we were ready.  Since Parrotbus doesn't flow as well as Parrottrek and we are still on a "Trek" so to
speak we will keep our name the same. :-)


Out with the old (and small)


In with the new (to us)
Just a few pictures of what the other bus conversions that we looked at had inside. Most of the interiors have terrifying colors of
wallpaper or plaid or floral furniture, or the infamous pink and purple interiors that were popular in the early 90's for some scary reason. A
lot of them have very dark wood which makes them feel very small inside, or the bedroom in back transforms into another living room.
Choose a year below and see all the fun places we've taken our bus!