Vehicles part 1
The media image of the 'hippy convoy' in the early 80's was very much that of the multi-coloured buses and converted old Bedfords and Leylands. Today there are modern coaches, double deckers, ambulances and vans.
Coaches range in length and style. From a blim bus to a 52 ft, they are convertible in a multitude of ways. Most people replace several windows with board in order to build shelves or cupboards. The colourful paint jobs still exist, but lots of people retain the anonymity of their vehicles company colours.
Double deckers have the advantage of increased space on two floors and being easily adapted for living, storage or cafes. Their obvious problem is that of planning routes which avoid low bridges or overhanging trees.
Ambulances are a popular conversion. Cheaper to run than buses, and well insulated, they can be comfortable homes. There are usually an assortment of transit-type vans on site, either bought as campers or converted. Those with a Luton-box over the cab are particularly spacious.
While being convenient and self-contained on the move, a bus can be awkward as the only means of transport. Owners may have a blat motor or a bicycle for daily use. Also if the engine packs in, it's your home on the side of the road!
Trucks and lorries are also a popular living vehicles. They have much greater height than buses, and windows can be cut wherever required. They can also transport livestock, motorcycles or working equipment.Their principal advantage over buses is that they are often less conspicuous parked in an urban lorry park, or behind a farm for a few weeks.
Some New Travellers use caravans just as traditional gypsies and show-people do. The advantages of towed space are that you can use your towing vehicle without tatting down each time you move, someone can tow your home if your vehicle breaks down and they are usually easy to sell or exchange. They do have disadvantages though, the 'A' frame can snap, the axle may buckle, the lights may fail and they suffer from bad condensation, they were not designed for living in 365 days a year.
I love this bus that I call my home.
I dig this coach that allows me to roam.
My little space that can take me any place.
My sanctuary no matter where I be.
And when I know that she’s ready to go,
and a time to travel’s dawning.
Reaching, to start her heart she turns,
she breathes, she fires, she vibrates gently.
We move into the morning,
wondering whence we do depart.
Knowing that there’s nothing wrong with where I am,
some folk simply do not understand.
All photos taken by me or friends. Sorry the quality of some of them is not that great but thought they were still worth showing.