Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Le Boos

Aside from the Apple shares I bought when I was 19 the purchase of our bus aka "le boos" was probably one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. It was a few years in the making though, with the arrival of baby #2 in 2002 I bought a fairlane v8 (hands down one of the nicest cars i've ever driven) which a scum bag with no license or insurance then ran into (thankfully we had full comp). A replacement 4x4 with more than 5 seats would have been a wise choice but I opted for another sedan, this time a Holden Calais (I will never buy another Holden) which saw us through to the arival of baby #4. At this stage the 4x4 was again suggested but I opted for a 7 seat people mover having hired one for a few weeks when we moved to Brisbane. This saw us through the arrival of baby number 5 but soon needed replacing with the imminent arrival of baby #6.

Enter Le Boos.

I shopped around and looked at the offerings from the other manufacturers that do vehicles over 8 seats, Toyota - too expensive, & no luggage space, Mercedes, too expensive again, Renault no thanks even Hyundai entered the ranks but it was the ford transit 12 seat bus that won out in the end and here are a few reasons why:
  • Easy to Drive- I doubt I will ever buy anything but and automatic turbo diesel ever again its so nice to drive
  • Mileage - She costs about $100 to fill depending on the price of diesel that day of the week, and depending on the temperature and if you stay on 100kmh she wil easily do 8-900 km to that tank.
  • Space - Behind the back row of seats is approx 2 cubic metres of space, what this means is you don't have to fold up a pram, you can carry at least 20 suitcases, you can move house (everything fitted in the bus except the fridge and couch)
  • Sitting up high - You can look over traffic, you can see into cars you can pull out of side roads with ease. This also helps create a sense of extra safety.
  • Vinyl Floors - I'll never clean vomit out of car carpet again
  • Duel zone A/c - The children seem to be a few degrees out from us in the front so on a hot day we have the A/c on full in the back but low in the front
  • Truck Tyres - The bus uses truck tyres which from what I've seen so far have done 50,000km and are only starting to look like wearing on the fronts
  • Portable Change Room - If we go to the beach we can all change in the bus with its dark tint people outside are none the wiser.
  • Portable Change Table - The back floor is the perfect height for changing a dirty or wet nappy
  • Child can separate - With 12 seats we can actually seat 5 children apart from one another
  • You can park in a bus zone
  • You can drive in "Bus Lane" on the freeway (this has circumvented many a gridlocked traffic jam for me)
  • It beeps - The thought of backing over a child be it my own or someone elses terrifies me, there is no sneaking up on someone with the Beeep beeep beeep
  • Cheap to buy - We bought a second hander for around the same money as a late model Tarago
  • Cheap to insure - The 12 seat bus is cheaper to insure than my little 2 door hatchback
We certainly give her a work out, this is from a recent trip over the great divide

She has seen the cold too (and floods)
Why list everything great about a bus? Well for one we met a lovely family yesterday with 6 children who had more or less outgrown their 9 seat land cruiser and reveled in the chance of a tour.

There are 2 things that face large families or people planning large families, accommodation and transport. Of course you can fit 8 people in a 2 bedroom house with bunks and the like but transport is more complicated. Obviously there is the option of public transport, personally I commend any parent that catches public transport with children (I certainly wouldn't)

Extra passengers

The long and the short of it

Where to from here for our bus? Well when asked what I wanted to upgrade my runabout to my first answer to Mamma bare was "ANOTHER BUS" but obviously that's probably not practical. The only negative for the bus is the places you can park, at a guess I'd say you can only park in 80% of the car parks cars can (ie underground/multilevel are out). I must say though I have been drooling over Toyota coasters (24 seats) and hope that down the track I can buy a full size passenger bus and convert it to a camper for our round Australia trip.Have to wait a while for that one.

I do have to replace my runabout though, I'll be getting myself a 4x4 for sure, its no bus I know but I'll make sure its turbo diesel, has vinyl floors and sits nice and high in the least because I've been spoilt by our awesome bus.

Buy a Bus people!!!!

Disclaimer: I wish I bought apple shares when I was 19

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