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Author Topic: I had to comment on this old thread  (Read 5386 times)
BigDougInOregon
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« on: February 20, 2009, 05:10:47 PM »

When you bought your bus, how far did you drive it to bring it home?

I read this old thread and started laughing at some of the responses and especially when I started thinking about what my ultimate answer *may* be for how long and how much trouble I went through to get my bus home.  Once I *have* an answer, I can't wait to post it.  lol.

Doug
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2009, 06:17:57 PM »

I drove my ebay purchased bus from Reno Nevada to Berlin Connecticut, it took four days and about 2800 miles.
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 06:28:30 PM »

To save some folks the search, hopefully the link below will take you the the specific thread.  Some classic reads...

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=3707.0
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2009, 06:44:42 PM »

I drove my ebay purchased bus from Reno Nevada to Berlin Connecticut, it took four days and about 2800 miles.


Did you buy it from that dealer in Reno who was selling used buses on Ebay? If so, how did it go?
I bid on one but not too seriously.
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2009, 07:45:11 PM »

I drove my ebay purchased bus from Reno Nevada to Berlin Connecticut, it took four days and about 2800 miles.

You got cohones!   There isn't enough Zanax in the world to get me to drive an unknown bus that far. 
Not a bus that I could afford anyway... Wink
I have these visions of towing that sucker 2750 miles!  Shocked
Everyone should own at least one bus.  It's really the only way to travel!  I'd move into ours in a minute...T ain't so inclined.   So we don't. 
Cheers, JR




 
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 07:51:56 PM »

Flew out to St Louis with another guy from the bad, had a friend pick us up and drive us 2 hours to where the bus was, picked it up, spent a day with the PO and had him teach us how to drive it, and show all the basic maintenance stuff and so forth.  then me and the other guy from my band drove just over 1000 miles (30 hours) straight, tag teaming the driving....i would drive, he would sleep, then i would sleep and he would drive.  absolutely not one problem going home.  definately a huge help in my confidence when it came to driving it.  i had knots in my stomach the first time i sat at the wheel....it can be intimidating!

now, 6 months later, 2 of the previous owners (a band owned it before us) moved to new jersey and joined our band haha.  so its comforting to now that on our next tour we have 4 guys who have driven the bus many times, 2 of them being more familiar with it than i am.
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2009, 05:39:13 AM »

I accidentally forgot to mention that I was going to buy a bus to libby, I went and looked at it, taking a friend along that works as a mechanic at a bus charter company, he crawled under, over and around it for an endless amount to time, or soo it seemed, then he looked at me and gave me the thumbs up.  I bought it and on the way home called my wife to ask her to move the truck to the side of the driveway, she asked why, I told her, remember how I've always wanted a bus? she said yep, I said I'm about 5 miles out, bringing one in lol.  When I pulled into the yard, she actually walked out without a gun so I took that as a good sign, her first words were as she looked into the open door was, 'couldn't you have at least bought one with a floor?' she was looking straight down at the ground lol, no floor, but I only had to drive it about 300 miles.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2009, 06:40:39 AM »

Bought our bus on ebay in Dallas. Never driven one before but have run construction equipment including off road haul trucks and water trucks for thirty years so the size did not intimidate me. Took less than 100 miles to be comfortable with it. Drove 1100 miles in 2 days to home which at that time was Strawberry Az. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 07:23:55 AM »



    Bought my bus in Vancover, BC down to Port Orchard, Wa. on to Indianapolis, Indiana.  WOW! what an experience

    it was.  Never have driven a bus and not to mention the mountains between there and here!


    Steve 5B........
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2009, 07:48:32 AM »

Bought mine via ebay from a charter operator.  Drove it from Seattle, WA home to Chattanooga, TN.  About 2700 miles as I recall.
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2009, 07:49:38 AM »

I bought ours on eBay. I was living in Burbank CA at the time, 2003. Couldn't believe I won the bid! Upon my arrival, with my daughter, the owner said "Look her over and if you don't like it you don't have to". He was a very honest guy and showed me everything he could think of.

On the way from Columbus Ohio to Burbank (1800 miles) I had the best time! I had driven school buses but this was totally different, one thing was it was MINE.

It has been a great experience, wish I would have bought one about 20 years ago though.

When I met my wife she said "Oh an Entertainer huh?" She married into it and is really liking the adventure. At least I think she is. Grin

If I was interested in doing another coach you might see me in the divorce court though! I think is my first and my last, don't have too many more years to enjoy it before I get too old to.

It's been quite a ride!

~Paul~
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2009, 08:30:57 AM »

When you bought your bus, how far did you drive it to bring it home?

One of the guys interested in the 4903 that I'm selling is considering driving it home to Florida after picking it up here in the San Francisco area.  That's probably going to be close to the record, if he buys it.

Since I put it on Craigslist, I've had emails from all over the US, but he's the most distant.

One guy who wrote me last week decided to buy something else (skoolie or transit) sight unseen, wrote me this morning asking if I would take it in trade (not on a dare!).  He has to drive it from Los Angeles to Omaha.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2009, 08:37:23 AM »

I also bought our bus on EBay. I had been looking at buying a bus from the GOV. out of Idaho. They had two different auctions and I didn't have enough guts to bid high enough. I lost the bid in the second auction and started to look on EBay. I think I had too much to drink on night and bid $6000 for a bus in Bend OR. I didn't bid enough to meet the reserve price. The next morning I was out bid and they didn't hit the reserve either. About a week later I got an email saying the seller had removed the reserve and I would need to bid again if I wanted the bus. Now I made contact with seller but he didn't know much about the bus as he was selling for someone else. Time was running out in the auction and I think I had more than enough to drink again ( see a pattern here LOL) and bid one more time for $6500. I was the high bidder at $6200 with one day left in auction. Well the auction ended with me being the highest bidder. Now panic set in. I had thoughts as what the H did I get myself into. About a week later My wife, daughter, one year old grandson and I headed to Bend from Wells NV along the way I hit a coyote with the car at seventy miles an hour. That didn't do much good for the front of my car. We keep going. The temp was around 10 below f and I have to say I was suffering from a lot of anxiety. When we got there and I saw the bus I could not believe how good the bus looked. I drove to Burns OR the first day and on to Wells the next without any problems except one of the monitors that had been wired wrong started to smoke, over 400 miles. Best thing I have bought sight unseen.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 08:41:38 AM by Jriddle » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2009, 09:37:48 AM »

Doug, Some of us may have gotten lucky making it home. I flew into Pheonix AZ around noon. Looked over the bus paid for it, visited some family for a few hours. I left at 9pm drove till I got tired. I was home in Pa on Sunday afternoon. After I got home I found missing and loose drive flange bolts and other problems.
  Many of us could have been in your shoes. I have learned a little about busses since then, mostly from this board. Hoping things work out for you. I would look at flying in and making a run for home. Keep it full of fluids and baby it.  Good Luck  Tom Y
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2009, 10:17:41 AM »

After looking pretty much all over the country though mostly in the west I finally found mine and drove it about 7 miles home. I had pretty much decided to abandon the idea until this popped up.
I got to check it out quite a bit both with the owner present and without before buying and drove it for a while out where it was before taking it on the freeway for that long, long 7 mile journey.  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2009, 11:15:49 AM »

Doug some of us got lucky and, as you are well aware, some of us didn't.  We paid many multiples of what you did sight unseen and transferred the money in full before we ever saw the bus.  Then we got on a plane and flew 1/2 way across Canada to pick it up.  In hindsight about the only thing we did right was do an oil sample and that came as a result of a retired friend who told me he would go and pull the sample and that I couldn't pick up the bus until he did so.  The previous owner pissed me off so thoroughly when we went to pick up the bus that I vowed I would never under any circumstances phone him and I stuck to that vow despite being sorely tempted on a couple of occasions.  Recently his idiot son introduced himself to us in a campground, having recognized the bus.  The apple didn't fall far from the tree and we didn't invite him inside.  A thread like this is likely weighted towards the success stories because the ones that bought a bus and ended up taking it to the scrapyard aren't likely following this board anymore.
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2009, 12:35:00 PM »

Well,
When I bought the 1974 GMC P8M4905A that I converted and still have it was only around 28 miles from my house.
I had a chance to drive this coach before even thinking about trying to buy it.
A very good bus buddy who was a driver for Oklahoma Transportation Company and my self drove it for quite a few miles on the 2nd test drive and we decided that it was a good coach for a motor home conversion.
We made a dollar offer on this above coach and the owner balked and said no way he would sell it at that price so we said thank you and walked away from the table.
Later that afternoon I received a phone call from the owner and he said come get the coach for our offer price.
Next day the coach was brought home and it's been a very good coach for what I paid for it back in 1996 which was $10,000.00 dollars.
The coach was a non-lavatory and I received all of the maintenance records and the history about the coach.
Yes there are good deals on used coaches but you have to look for them and be very cautious before you buy a used coach.
One thing I might caution some one who is looking for a used coach be very careful look very close before the money changes hands. And take a  bus second set of eyes along to look at the bus before you say I will take it!
Good luck buying your next coach. Grin



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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2009, 01:12:20 PM »

I got lucky. VERY lucky in fact.  I bought my Crown from a guy on ebay who told me ( and it turned out to be true) that he'd recently installed a 10 year's newer engine in the bus.  I drove it from Fresno home to San Diego without issue.

BUT

Once home, as I got into the engine I found that:

(1) The only reason I didn't blow an air tank or a brake line was that the windshield wiper motor leaked so badly, it compensated for the fact that the a$$ that had worked on the engine had disabled the compressor regulator by hooking it's hoses up wrong.  Fixing the wiper motor leak once I was home made the air pressure rise well past 250psi before I caught it.

(2) The oil pressure gauge didn't work but the guy assured me that pressure was ok and it was just a bad gauge.
Truth? The only reason that I didn't blow the engine was that when assembling the bellhousing to the engine, the a$$ had pinched the oil line that went to the gauge between the block and bellhousing, effectively shutting it off.  Downstream the oil line was rotted and completely full of holes. So had that line not been pinched, there would have been a nice trail of oil from Fresno to where the engine would have froze from lack of oil.  Fortunately the guy's sloppy work saved me!

(3) When I got home I pushed on a short piece of water hose that went between the thermostat housing and the block.  My finger went right thru it.
The 3rd only reason I got home was that the radiator cap was missing it's seal and so no pressure could build up... and it was a cold day, so the thing didn't boil over and the hose didn't blow....

Phew that was a lucky drive!!!!

« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 01:14:58 PM by boogiethecat » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2009, 02:14:34 PM »

I bought my MCI 9 from a friend. Picked it up in Elkhart, 1200 miles home to Texas.
First it would not start,
second one of the hydraulic houses blew while 10 ft underway. ( I was lucky it could have been on the road)
Third it only had 1/4 of a tank of diesel in it, I stopped 20 miles from Elkhart to fill up.  Down south the green handle hose is diesel. not in Elkhart it was gas, I pumped 17 gallons in before I noticed how low the price was,,,, It was unleaded.Talked with Stewart and Stevenson, they said drain, also and nother bus repair shop, they said the same. Finally I got a hold of my friend who had owned the bus. He said put 1/2 quart of 10w/30 oil in fill it all the way up with diesel, watch the temp gauge, and keep topping off every two hours.
Got home OK.

John
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2009, 02:40:21 PM »

 recently  went to see a 4108, the owners bought a few year older 4108 that was converted new with less than 70k on the clock....flew out to LA and drove it back to PA.

I don't think I have seen a better maintained fleet of conversions (4)....thier 33 year old 4108 was nicer than most few year old charter coaches. 
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2009, 03:05:29 PM »

I would look at flying in and making a run for home. Keep it full of fluids and baby it.  Good Luck  Tom Y

Thanks Tom.  This won't work for our bus.  She is not really drivable beyond a few miles due to the retarded electric cooling fans on her (no original cooling system) and the fact that now it is obvious it either has blown head(s), gaskets, or both and God knows what else that could break 1000 miles down the road and then I find myself in a Deja Vu all over again in Las Cruces, or Phoenix or wherever.   No, its pretty obvious to me that stopping in El Paso and putting the bus in storage and then coming on home was the death blow to this portion of the dream.  I am formulating my next move now but it isn't going to be good for my bus ownership dream, of that I am pretty sure.  I appreciate your input and advice though.

Doug
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2009, 06:42:26 AM »

OK, this wasn't me as I had just started a new job at the time and could not make the trip.  But a good buddy flew out to California and purchased an AC Transit fishbowl.  Drove it back to the east coast with no problems, except the bus was geared for steep grades and topped out at 50 mph on the flats.  The good news was it would do 50 up hill also.
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2009, 09:18:04 AM »

This poem is for Cody:

If you love your bus, set her free.  If she comes back to you, you obviously didn't sell her far enough away from home.  If she ends up in the scrap yard, then the buyer obviously didn't know what the heck he was doing and she is better off without him.  Tongue

Or some derivation of that story.

You are probably right Bob, but I don't plan on being one of the scorned and eternally wounded.  Some of what I have read made me mad, most of it is enlightening and the rest lies somewhere between mildly amusing and downright gut busting funny   Shocked.  What more can anyone ask for?

Doug
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2009, 09:46:40 AM »

I drove my ebay purchased bus from Reno Nevada to Berlin Connecticut, it took four days and about 2800 miles.

You got cohones!   There isn't enough Zanax in the world to get me to drive an unknown bus that far. 
Not a bus that I could afford anyway... Wink
I have these visions of towing that sucker 2750 miles!  Shocked
Everyone should own at least one bus.  It's really the only way to travel!  I'd move into ours in a minute...T ain't so inclined.   So we don't. 
Cheers, JR

I bought my 1965 MC5A in Memphis NY and drove it home to Tucson with not a single problem other than I wish we had taken another two weeks to enjoy it. It was my first time driving a bus and a four speed manual to boot. I thought I'd never learn to shift the darn thing, I still have not mastered it. RJ,s how too article was a big help.

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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2009, 11:11:27 AM »


This is me
http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/pp3/zubzub_photos/busalmostgetsthebetterofme.jpg
 a few days into prepping my bus for it's first trip with me.  By this time over the last 12 months I had driven 5000 miles to a A: check it out to buy it (2000 miles return) B: Go pick it up 3 months later (another 2000 miles,  mechanical/safety issues/ran out of time problems/ stopped me from bringing it back that time) so this was my third time there, I was with my son( who was 6) I had been working 2 days straight, I was hot and dirty, and this was supposed to be my vacation (my work is also hot and dirty).  That night as I rewired the rear lighting, I thought to myself "what am I doing this for?  It feels too much like work and I have to go back to work when this is done!".  I decided to ask my son in the morning if he would rather just go camping for the next week instead of helping me with the bus, I was ready to walk away.
   So the next morning I asked the little guy, and he thought for a moment and said that we should stay and work on the bus.  From that moment on there was no more whining (from him or from me) about when were we going to be done, and he helped a lot more (turns out six year olds make great oilers when you're drilling holes in 3/8 steel for a trailer hitch). 
   The trip home was  pretty decent with only a couple of roadside repairs....re the tools you need harbour freight will do you....still about $350 of large tools :3/4 " impact wrench (1200 lbs torque) and the sockets and adapters to go with it.  Oh yeah and an air assist 12 ton bottle jack $59.00.  Lots of other stuff as well but you will work that out...oh yeah an IR gun the HF one is only $30 on sale....hmmmm it does all add up doesn't it.  The thing is, I know from experience that once you get an old rig sorted they can give years of trouble free service and this is what I wish for you.  Good Luck with your decision,  sounds like you have the bug.
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2009, 08:02:39 PM »

I bought my 1965 MC5A in Memphis NY and drove it home to Tucson with not a single problem other than I wish we had taken another two weeks to enjoy it. It was my first time driving a bus and a four speed manual to boot. I thought I'd never learn to shift the darn thing, I still have not mastered it. RJ,s how too article was a big help.

Maybe you could install one of the later RoadRanger or some such transmission?  Some buses just were not meant to be shifted.   Gear splits are too wide.  Gotta count to 100 between shifts?
I bought mine 180 miles from home and arranged for towing of that sucker before I left to pick it up. 
I didn't have to tow it, but I'd never even been inside a bus and this was pre-board too.  I only wanted a big motorhome.  Totally mindless. 
I expected Zub's sort of a trip...or worse.   Got lucky.  Bus has run great for 8 years now.   I'm gonna see if Sawyer's Bus will warranty some tires...only been 8 years?   Wink
Rick, Arizona is the area where that huge aircraft depot is located?   Great place to store anything outdoors!   
JR

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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2009, 06:09:35 AM »

My wife and I fly out from Charlotte NC landed in San Diego Ca . Did a quick test drive and had all the fluids and filters changed. Started to head back to North Carolina. Had to drive at night because had a issue with heating up.  I kept a close eye on the temperature , And pulled over when it got a little over 200.  Cooled it down with a  yard sprayer and the fast ideal on. Would of love to drove at day time to see everything. But got home with no problems and didn't hurt anything.  4 day trip 2400 miles
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« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2009, 06:36:56 AM »

From the previous owners house to my house is about 45 miles. (all back-roads)
It took longer for us to decide to buy it then to drive it to my house.



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« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2009, 06:48:33 AM »

gm4106,

Yard sprayer, what a great idea, as I have in the past before I installed a new rad core, been on the side of the road with my 04 trying to bring the temp down.

John
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« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2009, 07:09:46 AM »

I found mine in town here and watched for a year before i bought it.  He sold it three times before me so I waited for the price to go down.  He was 1/2 mile from mech who checked it out and said it need certain work and dollar work, part was brake work.  so when I purchased it, i picked up the shop owner and he drove it to his shop.  When I went to pick it up, he took me for a test drive and when we were stopped at a stop light he put on the brake and jumped up and said sit down- your bus.  So i did Shocked.  It was a little after 5:00pm so I got a real experience.  I dropped him off and went on my way.  Overwhelmed? yes to say the least but still i did it.  I ventured out to the Target parking lot at night first and the around a big block taking freinds for a ride, grocery store and movie return and such.  then I braved a trip across town to Harbor Freight on a sunday morning to try the interstate when it wasn't so busy.  Then trips to friends further away sleeping in their driveway.  Then braved Hotsprings Campground in NC a couple hours away and I finally got to test the jake brakes Cheesy and testing out the camping systems.  I was much more comfortable on the ride back.
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« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2009, 07:55:46 PM »

We bought a PD 4104, sight unseen and went to Florida to pick it up. We were put in contact with the PO, who had owned it for 11 years and knows it like the back of his hand. We drove it 1200 miles, from Florida to Texas and parked it for about 2 months. It was just too cold to drive it up the Alaska Highway at that time. I still need to pick it up, in Texas and bring it home to Soldotna, Alaska. Plan on doing that in April....Bill
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2009, 02:53:22 PM »

.just to re-live the rush of excitement.  I bought it in Orange County close to a month ago.  I had to bring cash which is kind of a rush also.  With little or no inspection and a one mile+- test drive I bought a 1985 33 foot Neoplan Jetliner and drove it home to I drove it to San Diego about 60 miles.

I bought if figuring all the systems were dead or needed fixing.  The widow of the original owner said the electrical was easy to operate but she wasn't sure if it worked and couldn't remember how, the generator was toast and the over the road A/C didn't operate.  So far everything including the generator seems to work fine.  Which is fine with me as I'm not very mechanical. 

Why you ask would I buy a bus not expecting it to work?  Lisa loved the interior.  There are a few crinks of course but, all-in-all we are thrilled.  The grin of the ride home is still stuck on my face Grin so don't be surprised if I add another post to this thread Wink.

I wish all the best in their purchases.

Mike
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2009, 03:33:14 PM »

The feeling never changes, Mike. Everytime I get ready to fire her up, I walk the exterior at least twice. The first time around is just to admire her. Unlike most people, I start mine from the rear engine compartment after an idiot almost killed me. While inspecting an old Eagle that I was considering, I was crawling around with my head halfway into the engine compartment and the guy fired her up. Angry  I also air her up off the auxilliary air compressor before hand if it's not raining out. Don't ask why, cause I don't have an answer for it-just feels right LOL. Keep posting. We love reading about others that have the disease--misery loves company Grin Grin
Will
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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2009, 05:27:52 PM »

Will, I sometimes go out at night and just sit in My bus and turn the gps on and sit there and pretend!  I really like moonlight nights as I live in the country on a farm of sorts and there are no lights at all at night.  Do You think I need professional help?  I think I may be nuts!  John
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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2009, 07:01:45 PM »

I gotta admit that I enjoy just sitting in the bus with a cold one and watching the weather roll in while I was supposed to be tinting the front windshield. There's always another day! Later
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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2009, 07:08:24 PM »

Will, I sometimes go out at night and just sit in My bus and turn the gps on and sit there and pretend!  I really like moonlight nights as I live in the country on a farm of sorts and there are no lights at all at night.  Do You think I need professional help?  I think I may be nuts!  John

John, anyone that would deliberately buy a 35000 lb toy is beyond 'help'...  'Terminal' is more apt.  Wink
Why not take that bus out for a 'moonlight cruise'?   Maybe like..to check the speedo against the GPS?  Any excuse will do!

JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.

Ayn Rand
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