When Bess and I were young with our first son, Randy, we thought we wanted a motor home. They were almost unheard of at the time. As the Cutters are known to do the unusual, we made our own. We purchased a used Metro milk delivery truck and with the help of my dad, we started building our motor home.
The van was a half-ton International Metro cab over engine (milk truck). It had sliding doors in the front sides and split open doors in the rear. Since there was no air-conditioning, we installed folding gates in front of the doors so Randy couldn't fall out. We installed a baby crib over the engine for Randy to play and sleep in. We built a kitchen cabinet complete with a sink. There was a closet on each side in the rear and a foldout couch opposite the sink. We also had a fold-up table that could be removed and mounted on the outside under the awning, as we even had built a roll-up awning on the right side. We didn't have toilet facilities and had to use gas stations. You have to remember this is before rest stops and campgrounds.
We had built a single-axle, tilt trailer to haul our 1947 CJ-2A Jeep and tow it behind the motor home. It all worked great, so we headed from Chanute, Kan. - our home then - to Guernsey, Wyo., for two weeks at the National Guard camp that I had to attend.
We pulled into the port-of-entry station in each new state we entered to be sure we met all regulations and requirements. Each time, the inspectors asked if they could have a tour of our self-propelled home. They all were fascinated and had a lot of questions about our unique set-up.
We went by the Seven Falls in Colorado and since there were no campgrounds, we just pulled over to a picnic table beside the road just outside the park. We pulled our curtains and set in for the night. A while later, a park ranger knocked on the side of the motor home and advised us we couldn't park there. We pulled open the curtains, started the engine and headed for Colorado Springs. We couldn't find a campground anywhere so we just parked at a street curb, pulled the curtains shut and stayed the night without any more problems.
One day, we were driving down the highway when Bess decided to make us lunch. After lunch, she washed the dishes in the sink - keep in mind we only had a water supply tank and didn't have a holding tank - and then she pulled the sink drain plug, just as we were passing some highway workers on the road. To this day, those workers have no idea what hit them.
When we arrived in Guernsey, Wyo., we checked into a trailer park, and I drove the jeep to and from the base.
On our return trip, we went to a campground called Elitch's - an amusement park. They too were amused at our unique motor home. Since the campground charged a fee for each vehicle entering the campground, they didn't know how to qualify the Jeep we were trailering. They decided to classify it like a boat trailer - no charge.
Once we were set up, we unloaded the Jeep and drove it to town for some ice. We left the campground in the Jeep with no problem. However, when we returned to the campground and tried to enter - guess what - we had to purchase a pass for the Jeep as it was no longer being towed!
As our company secretary once said: “It's so much fun and always interesting working for the Cutters - there's never a dull moment.”
Once we returned home, we drove this motor home and Jeep all over the eastern and central United States. We were a curiosity everywhere we went, and we used this motor home for several years. Then, we converted it to a doghouse for our drill rig.
Now, I am looking into owning a motor home again to travel the United States. I want to visit drillers, interview them and write stories about them and how they got into the drilling business. Drillers and their families like to know how others work. I think drillers would be interested in reading about their peers and how they established, own and operate their drilling businesses. Since I am basically retired and have the time, who would be better qualified to do this on a part-time, full-time basis?
Anyone have any ideas, offers or have a motor home they would like to donate or sell to me reasonably?
Until next time… ND