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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

Our Coach!

August 2, 2015 will mark ten years since we moved into our shiny, new to us, happy home on wheels, just a mere 3 months after we hit the road, and we are still loving it and the lifestyle of full-time RVing with all its quirks. Knock on wood, our fabulous bus hasn't given us any major problems since its inception into our family, which is amazing considering we have put over 200,000 miles on it. The only issues that have come up are little ones that Frank, in his infinite wisdom, 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, a few parts just due to wear and tear of traveling, new tires every couple years, 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 and not in the middle of the living room. They love going to bed once it gets dark, and they especially love sleeping in. Their only complaint is that they hear the motor noise, so a few mornings when we have to wake up early to drive they get a bit grumpy, but we can always leave them covered until they cheer up. When we began our search for the perfect Prevost (pronounced Pray-Vo) conversion, we started out looking on Marathon's webpage every week or so along with about a half a dozen other sites in early 2005 when we were planning our voyage across the country.

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There are about 6 different companies that convert buses into motorhomes, but since a lot of them only do a few a year because they are so pricey to do our first choice was a marathon since they do about 100 a year and have the best reputation and the best quality product. We searched and searched and searched and 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, were a bit out of our price range, or were sold before we ever called on them. The brand new 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 a couple model years older than the new ones, but still beautiful, and since most buses are built fairly equal we didn't mind having a gently used Prevost. Not to mention they are all built to drive hundreds of thousands of miles on the original engine, just without the million dollar price tag. Still to this day one of our favorite pastimes is to look at Prevosts and see all the new bells and whistles they come with. I must admit however that no matter how nice and fancy they are, we still love ours that has all the comforts of home.
Back when our search began, we had visited a dealership in Tennessee, one in Oklahoma and a handful of smaller RV locations around the country. Frank diligently continued to search the Internet daily every week. Finally on the weekend of the Fourth of July 2005 we came across a beautiful model on the Marathon Coach website that looked perfect. 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 Frank kept checking Marathon every single day to see if it was still there. We finished up the Denver event and headed full speed to Seattle, Washington. We had only a day and a half to get there, so there was no time to look then, and boy were we both sad.
After Seattle we again only had a very brief time to get to Sonoma, Ca, but we drove all night long to look at this bus that appeared to be perfect. I, which goes against my optimist attitude, was sure it had to be an enormous typo and was sure it would turn out to be twice the posted price. 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 ten minutes and told me that it was even prettier inside than the website had shown, and I must come and see it. That it was!

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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 year. The paint job is brand new, 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 thinking and 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 off were the same! Marathon has 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 drives like a dream and is built better than we ever imagined. 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. It feels as though you are at an IMAX theatre and not just a 8 foot wide vehicle. We are truly at home!!!  And now it drives even better since it no longer has a payment. I swear it gets better gas mileage without the anchor of debt!

Now that we have our fabulous bus, see where we've taken it and what we've seen in the past few years!

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