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Author Topic: Night time - My favorite time to drive the bus  (Read 2059 times)
WEC4104
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« on: May 11, 2009, 07:52:31 PM »

NJT's recent post mentioned a "Moonlight Cruise", and it got me thinking.  Ya know, I think my favorite time to drive the bus is in the evening from 9:00 to midnight.  Certain things, like backing up or driving in the rain are more difficult at night, but I find nice stretches of interstate to be very enjoyable after dark.

I have nice soft lighting on, just enough for the family to see to get around.  My three sons tend to relax and/or sleep. Less highway traffic.  After a hectic day of doing whatever it was that we did, everyone seems to really appreciate finding their own corner of the bus to watch a movie, grab a bite to eat, or generally kick back.

During the day, everybody seems focused on when we will arrive at our destination and the anticipation of the day's events. In the late evening no one seems to care. They are content to ride along endlessly. 

When my boys were younger, they though the coolest thing in the world was to change into their pajamas at night and strap themselves into the copilot seat. For some reason they loved sitting in their PJs watching the night traffic through the big front window.  Now they are a bit older and there are different advantages.  The final leg of our journeys often has us arriving home late at night. I pull in and park the bus with my three boys fast asleep. My wife and I head into the house, but we leave the boys where they are.  They wake up in the morning, discovering that we arrived home during the night.

Anybody else like driving at night? 

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belfert
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 08:00:57 PM »

I love to drive at night.  No glare and heat from the sun.  Less traffic too.

To minimize use of vacation time we often leave in the evening and drive all night.  For our annual trip to Reno it works out just right to leave Tuesday evening and we arrive at sunrise Thursday morning.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 08:31:51 PM »

Given the choice between day and night driving I'll take night every time.  Less idiots on the road and more professional drivers is the big difference.  Generally now we start out too early in the day and I can't put in the hours I used to be able to so I'm tired by the time it gets dark.  We should leave later in the day I guess. 
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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buswarrior
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 09:15:38 PM »

Liked driving at night right from the beginning, before I knew nothing from nothing.

Still like it.

That will last until the inevitable age related decay of my night vision, but I'll enjoy it until then!!!

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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bobsw
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 10:06:09 PM »

I would prefer to drive at night if I could get more distance out of the low beam lights. They just don't seem to be bright enough. They are stock MCI-7, I can't believe that the drivers hauling passengers had to put up with with the poor lighting.
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TomC
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 10:15:26 PM »

Even when I was driving cross country in my truck for 21 years, I hated, yes hated to drive at night.  I'm one that really likes to look at the scenery-even with driving down the same stretch hundreds of times.  Granted at night there are less vehicles on the road-but nothing to look at but what is illuminated by the street lights.  Hence, also with night driving and nothing to look at but the road, I would easily fall asleep.  So now being a tourist, day time is for driving and touristing, and night time darkness for being safely parked kicking back (I will drive still at night if necessary-my night vision is still excellent-just don't like it).  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 03:38:50 AM »

I agree with Tom. Driving at night is boring, granted there is more traffic, but you can't see anything at night but headlights! The only time I would consider driving at night is the heat during the day or heading into the sun with the big greenhouse glass in front of me. I like to watch my mirrors and see if I'm pushing any black smoke out the back! Grin Besides a lot of animals like deer are out roaming around, sure don't want to run into one of those!

To each his own! Roll Eyes

~Paul~
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 03:52:05 AM »

I will run day or night now but before only during the day because my headlights also were very dim. Since fixing that problem, its nice to have normal lighting and being able to see!
Check your charging system! Even though my bus would start and run, I found my batteries were not being charged fully while driving! It ended up being a bad relay to the charge circuit and a mis-adjusted regulator!
Works great now!
Ace
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JackConrad
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 04:52:46 AM »

   I used to drive all night and enjoyed it, BUT age has a way of catching up with us. My night vision is nowhere near what it used to be. I will drive after dark if necessary, but prefer not to. 
   Besides, now that we are retired, we rarely have to be someplace at a certain time. If we do have to be someplace at a certain time, we can leave earlier.  Retirement is great!!!  Jack
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 08:22:41 AM »

Day or Night, No matter. I do enjoy a eazy 68mph slow drive in the day time for site seeing. At night its 75mph. git "R" done and realy good talks with the Love of my life. NO, not Mrs. Jones! Roll Eyes All the Best, M&C
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RJ
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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2009, 07:30:43 PM »



I would prefer to drive at night if I could get more distance out of the low beam lights. They just don't seem to be bright enough. They are stock MCI-7, I can't believe that the drivers hauling passengers had to put up with with the poor lighting.



Bob -

If you or any other busnut is serious about getting better low-beam lighting to drive at night, then you should consider upgrading your US DOT headlamps to European E-code models.  Same bulbs, different optics in the lens.  Huge difference - BTDT since the '60's.

www.cibieusa.com is probably the biggest supplier, and fairly priced.

Not cheap - a full set for your 7 will set you back about $300, but then again. . . What price SAFETY???

For more info, do a search here and also on BNO for headlight upgrades, and be sure to check out Daniel Stern's site, too:  www.danielsternlighting.com

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2009, 08:20:41 PM »

Im a big fan of night driving..very peacefull and relaxing. I like the comming  and goings of the passengers as they wake here and there, and also the alone time either listening to some music or just enjoying the silence.
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2009, 09:56:35 PM »

RJ,

That is solid advice about D sterns lighting.  He is supremely knowledgeable and 'can" save you a ton of time, effort and money.  Be very careful with the guy, though.  He is one of the few that will go for the groin if he "thinks" there is something wrong with you or your sincerity or anything at all.  I have had a few really nice experiences with the guy and one that leaves me with no motivation to repeat.  I lost nothing cause I smelled him out early.  Consider that if someone WANTS to mess with you and you are dealing across the country how bad that might work out for you.  Still, I would recommend him to you with a caution that you only deal with credit cards or Paypal.

This is the bottom line on those little round headlights.....they have never worked and never will.  Sterns told me that that is the one design that he cannot get you good lighting from at all.  I think he was equally charmed with the little square jobbies.  Either 7 inch rounds or quality Projectors are the real answer.  7's are the cheapest way to go and I think they are the true answer.  Now can anyone figure a way to hang them on the front of the bus that is not labor intensive and the parts are available and we can all follow along.  I have ancient Hellas and they leave not a single thing to be desired and the modern Cibie is better but way more spendy.

My little rectangular amber fogs are a godsend.  Don't get those "white fogs" that sterns thinks are great....they aren't.  The lens is great but the color is wrong.  One experience with amber will clue you in to that.  Amber is also great as a additional light when in the rail.  The bright lite yellow fogs are better than white but I swear by the darker amber ones.

Buy ONLY "E Spec" lights.  Unequivocally!  SAE never again if I can help it and not break the bank.  Never, again!  Am I clear on that?

Anyone have the answers to converting to the larger rounds?

Good luck,

John
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 03:53:55 PM by JohnEd » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2009, 09:08:57 AM »

I don't do a lot of driving anymore but before the regs were so strick I'd run my big truck anywhere from 18,000 to 24,000 miles per month. I really enjoyed the night driving. As mentioned the drivers seem more professional , the line ups in construction sites weren't so long, easier to find parking during the day, less chance of blowing a tire as the road temps were down. , lots of interesting people to chat with on the C.B., seemed like people at night weren't so stressed out, some occasional eye candy with the porch light on, the troopers would let you away with much more, etc etc.

Grant
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Grant
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2009, 01:33:27 PM »

Do I recall Fast Fred looking into the feasability of fabricating a headlight tub for 7" headlights for his 4106?

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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