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by | 2017 | The Lills, VW Bus

When we got to back to Beaufort, “Moksha”, our 1978 VW Bus, was running smoothly. Over time though, we began to notice some oil leaking from the middle of the undercarriage. We had plans to get to the Edisto River for our fourth wedding anniversary and somehow made it, but had to borrow oil to get back home from that trip. We were told by a mechanic that as long as we kept oil in it, the bus would be fine. So, when we got the news we’d be videoing and experiencing hot air ballooning, we totally thought we could make it to North Carolina for a super quick trip.

The Lills | Hot Air Ballooning Window Painting

We made it halfway and blew the darn rear main seal (a single piece of rubber), making us lose oil even faster. We pulled over, slept in the bus outside a hotel and the next day, we drove home, stopping every 20-30ish minutes to re-oil, all the way back to Beaufort, SC. It was a bummer we didn’t go hot air ballooning, but we were happy we made it back with Moksha showing at least some signs of life.

The Lills VW Bus | Moksha | Alex Lara Lill

We didn’t have the money to make the fixes, so he sat for a few months. In the meantime, we took a short two hour trip to a guy who was selling parts off of his old junky VW bus. We were able to get the original Volkswagen bus cabinets and fixtures, a replacement dashboard cover, nifty headlight covers, white original visors, handles, door panels and tons of littles for just two hundred bucks.

It was tough not being able to get him going again sooner, but when we moved homes, we moved the bus too and noticed smoking coming from the back. This is when it was clear to us we had a bigger issue than we had first thought, so we towed him to a local mechanic.

They fixed the rear main seal, but the bus still smoked. We eventually replaced the oil cooler, replaced the shocks, replaced the motor, replaced the front wheel bearings and fixed many other little things. You’d think we’d be set, but as we drove along, more challenges popped up. A back wheel was sounding funny, so we brought it back to the mechanic to take a look and he tightened up the bolts. It wasn’t major, but as we’re about to drive off, our bus died. We spent the whole day helping the mechanic drain the oil and fix the leaking carburetor. We really thought we were going to be good to go and the mechanic even found a fleck of sediment that could have caused problems.

We drove off and poof, our bus died again. It was 5pm and we couldn’t get hold of our mechanic, so we brought him to an auto shop nearby to check it out. They kept the bus for 2 months saying they were going to get to it, but no work was completed. We finally brought him back to our trusted mechanic and he replaced the carburetor and manifold. We drove away excited as could be and laughed our butts off when we ran out of gas half-way home. Just another little test.

It’s funny how the universe lines things up. The day after we picked up our camper bus, we were told Hurricane Matthew was approaching our little town. Just in the nick of time, we left, not knowing what we’d returned to.

The Lills VW Bus | Lowcountry

While we experienced life as evacuees for nine days, we’d watch the news and check social media to get information about the storm and Beaufort. We saw a video of our house in a lake of water by the Beaufort Gazette and were beyond thankful we didn’t leave Moksha there to get pummeled by the weather. While on our adventure, we replaced his front wheels (they couldn’t get the back ones off) in Columbia, South Carolina, and returned home to Beaufort 9 days later. Moksha ran beautifully through the entire thing. See our hurricane adventure video here.


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