Pictured above are some of the people I’ll be joining for Burning Man. In less than a month I get to experience several firsts. I’m going to Burning Man for the first time (which has earned me the nickname “burgin” by my travel mates). I’m also driving across the country by myself for the first time in a yellow school bus I’ve converted (mostly) into a motor home. The drive will take roughly 25 – 28 hours from Springfield, MO to Reno, Nevada (or possibly San Francisco) where I’m picking up my comrades. Well, I’ve got less than one month to prepare my bus, get packed, and plan for the worst. Did I mention I’m also selling my house? Man, August is going to be a busy month!
So I’ve decided to compile a list of safety precautions to make my trip a little more organized and give my parents some peace of mind. Here’s what I have left to do:
Step 1: Finish the Bus
The bus is almost done! I still need to have the generator and air conditioner mounted and a drain installed so I can use the water. I haven’t gotten it properly insured as a motor home yet, and I’m not sure if I have to do that before I leave for my trip, but I imagine it’s a good idea. I talked to my insurance company (American Family) and they said in order to get it properly insured I have to get it appraised and then it have it re-titled as a motor home. Here’s a list of what I need to do before I leave for my journey west:
- double-check the tires and condition of the bus
- install a drain so my running water can work properly
- have the AC mounted
- have the generator mounted and theft-proofed
- get the bus properly insured as a motor home
Step 2: Sign up for AAA
I am not an automotive person, and twice already I’ve had to tow this stupid bus. Once because the starter needed to be replaced and once to replace the valve gauge connector. I really don’t want to get stranded in the middle of the desert with no one to contact. Unfortunately, my insurance company doesn’t offer roadside assistance, so I’m going to look into some options later this week. It would be nice to just insure the bus through one company that offers free towing should the worst happen, but Geico doesn’t cover converted vehicles. I might look into other options, but currently I think Triple A is the way to go.
Step 3: Pack and Prepare
This is my first time at Burning Man. Fortunately, I’ll be meeting up with a group of very experienced people who apparently go every year. The Burning Man website gives a lot of advice about surviving and packing.
Since I’m technically living in the bus, I’ll pretty much have everything I need, but here are a few items and things to do according to Matador Network. Most items from this list I have covered, but i’m going to make note of the ones I still need to do.
- Printed out map
- A spare car key (and hide-a-key)
- A gas can and jumper cables
- A camp stove
- A bicycle
- A headlamp and goggles
- Costumes and art stuff
- Lots of food and water to last the week and drive there
Step 4: Plan the Route
I think this will be the most fun step of all. I’ve never done a big road trip like this before and I’m eager to see some sites on my way to the Playa. So I’m setting up an itinerary to follow:
I could take the fastest route north or make a slight detour and see Denver, which I’ve always wanted to see. There’s also a more southern route that would allow me to tour Las Vegas and visit an old friend. I figured I could do one route on my way there and another on my way home. The possibilities are endless and I’m both nervous and excited!!!
Do you have any advice for me? I can’t wait to hit the road. Fingers crossed nothing goes terribly wrong!
Happy trails, y’all!