Take a tour of the ‘Struggle Bus’ 15-passenger van
This white van has been through a lot — a lot of chicken nuggets, a lot of dents and a lot of vomit.
And it can be yours.
Josh Wood, a dad of nine kids in Amarillo, Texas, told The Wichita Eagle that he is retiring (and selling) the 15-passenger van, which is “affectionately named ‘The Struggle Bus.’”
He said the van was used for “hauling junk” around his family farm, but he bought a new-to-them van for his large family about a year ago and then sold the farm, so there’s no need for The Struggle Bus anymore.
“Our family is big; but, it isn’t two-fifteen-passenger-vans big,” Wood wrote to The Eagle.
So, Wood and his wife, Careese, decided to list the van on Craigslist with the hopes of finding someone who is in the market for the 2005 Ford 15-passenger van with 143,200 miles.
But they are not trying to fool any person into thinking this van is perfect. The couple was honest — brutally and hilariously honest, that is.
“In the interest of full disclosure, here’s more information and a partial list of its issues,” the Craigslist listing says.
The listing includes details about the missing speaker in the side door (his kids have been throwing “random items” in the speaker hole for years), the dents and scuffs throughout and about the rubber door liner that is detached in some places.
“It still does its job, but it looks stupid,” Wood wrote on Craigslist.
But that’s not all.
It also comes with a cracked windshield, a not-so-good air conditioner and front speakers that you should assume don’t work.
“Better yet, if you’re wondering if some particular part of the van works, just assume it doesn’t work in the way that Ford originally intended it to work,” the listing says.
The van also includes the aroma of decaying chicken nuggets, “the ghost of vomit past” and maybe even some “really old” chicken nuggets in that speaker hole mentioned above.
Wood said every single one of his kids have thrown up in The Struggle Bus at some point in the last 10 years, including that time on his family trip to College Station for a Texas A&M football game. Vomit got everywhere, Wood wrote in the 2015 blog post.
You’ll see on Craigslist that Wood listed the van in “fair condition,” but that’s because “sad” is not an option, he said.
Oh the bright side, though, the heater and automatic windows work, according to the post. And it even includes a 20-inch TV that helps distract kids, Wood said. Oh, and the tires and brakes “seem to be OK.”
“Everything under the hood looks and sounds fine to me; but, then again, I would have no idea if it didn’t look or sound right,” Wood wrote on July 25. He said he recommends having a mechanic check out the van before you buy it, and duct tape is not included (well, except for the duct tape he used to keep the broken automatic door locks from running, that is).
Just two days later, Wood updated the listing and said he has received many responses.
“I think the van is sold (surprising me and likely all of you), but the deal hasn’t been finalized yet,” the update says. “Believe it or not, I have a waiting list to contact should the deal fall through.”
He said he also appreciated the solidarity between “fellow parents and vomit van drivers.”
“It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in our smelly, intermittently cooled world,” Wood wrote.
On Facebook, one person said her daughter asked if they had bought their old van after reading the listing.
Wood told The Eagle that it has been a “surprising ride” since he posted the van for sale.
“Many of the messages are from fellow parents and drivers of moderately broken, moderately smelly, and entirely well used vans,” he said. “The stories have been making my wife and I smile and laugh and laugh all week-mainly because many of the stories are eerily similar to those of The Struggle Bus. It’s been kind of awesome.”