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Author Topic: What have I done?  (Read 1841 times)
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Dave Knight
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« on: October 23, 2009, 09:18:24 AM »

Does anyone besides me ever look at their bus and wonder what they've gotten themselves into?
Some times I look at her and I'm pretty confident that I can handle it and I'm excited and other times I look with near horror and wonder what I've done!

Thoughts of what if this or that happened on the road and how would I handle and pay for it run across my mind. Other times I'm fairly confident.
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 09:29:18 AM »

I think that for most of us, it depends on finances.  I had the same fear, even with a relatively inexpensive 4104.

If blowing an engine a thousand miles from home would be a financial disaster for you (not just a hardship), then yes, I would be concerned too.

The other thing is how much support you get from family.  My wife loved traveling in the bus, but the first time the engine sputtered a little bit, she was ready for the motel. And, if it looked like we were about to write a thousand dollar check for something, the bus was not a priority. She enjoyed the bus but not as enthusiastically as me.  A big factor.
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2009, 09:34:43 AM »

Happens with me, and I bet it happens to lots of others with limited mechanical skills.  When all is running well, there is a tendency to feel that buses are not all that hard; things may go wrong, but you just fix them.  When something goes wrong, the mind can tend to play out different catastrophic scenarios.  At that point I may be thinking about the hubris that got me into this.  The funny thing is that at those times I also look on the internet for other buses as if getting a different one would solve the problem.  
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 09:46:19 AM »

I'm scared, haha but not as scared as I was about a year ago. As mentioned in previous posts one mind plays tricks. I'm still at the stage where I havn't built up complete convidence with it. Still waiting for something to go bang while driving down the road. However we did take ours out on a few runs this summer, approx 6000 miles and it worked well.  I did feel a sense of accoplishment and even a little proud of what we have accomplished in the past 2 years. It is really nice not having to do the motel thing!!!

Grant
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 09:55:18 AM »

That thought used to happen when I was about 50% of where we are now. Now I never think about it, we live in it, don't have to pack when we want to go somewhere and feel good when I do a pre-trip and fire it up!

When/If we ever have a major problem, in other words mucho dinero is required, we'll just park it and wait to win the lotto.  Roll Eyes

The good feelings out weigh the bad by a long shot.

It's all good!

Paul
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 10:42:32 AM »

Hi Dave,

The only thing you should be worried about is if you did your maintenance/check ups on your bus or not.

If you do all the proper safty checks, there is nothing that you should let spoil your journey..

If something malfunctions, well, that's when you start worring.. Not a second sooner!

Keep the busses rolling!
Nick-
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 12:18:06 PM »

Well,,,,from a womans point of view,,,,,,,,,Years ago when we got our current bus, I was pretty nervous about it. Hubby worked for about 20 yrs on RVs, but they are  a different thing. After a couple of yrs of being on the road, I got more confident. Not to say we never had any issues, but, I love the bus life. We literally drove the wheels off of an RV the first couple of yrs, had to find something to hold up better with all the miles, and the highways. Now, we are about to change busses, and once again I am nervous. Mostly because, we pretty much know everything there is to know about the gmc. Hopefully, it will be a smooth transition. There was 2 times that I asked the question, What the heck are we doing. But, its all good. Grin
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 12:46:01 PM »

I used to worry, but after driving a bus ~700 miles after it had been sitting for 10 years, I got over myself. Yes, there were problems that were a real pisser at the time, but I had the help of friends & we worked our way thru the problems issues as they presented themselves.

If you are strapped for cash, you better have plenty of time for sorting out the issues. & visa versa.

If you are short on time & cash - then maybe you should reconsider an old bus that is very likely behind on the maintenance when you got it.
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 03:12:59 PM »

After I bought my bus, I would get kind of a sick feeling anytime I looked beyond the nice conversion work of the PO. The engine compartment scared me, the electrical panels scared me and the suspension scared me. But now three years into it, I have replaced an airbag, pulled the engine and replaced the clutch, changed wiring in the junction boxes, adjusted the brakes numerous times and driven about 20,000 miles. And never had one mechanical issue on the road.

Now that I understand the machine, I have complete confidence and I don't worry about something going "bang" as I'm driving down the road. But every winter I pull it inside and tear into something else to see if I can find anything wrong. Last winter it was the front suspension; brakes, bearings, torsion bushings. This winter it will be the rear suspension, etc including axle seal inspection.  I also lucked out that the 8V71 is probably less than 1/2 used up. It really runs great and doesn't leak much. In other words, what Nick said. Its all about the maintenance and what you don't know can rise up to ruin a trip.
Fred
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Fred Thomson
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« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2009, 09:15:22 AM »

I think that for most of us, it depends on finances.  I had the same fear, even with a relatively inexpensive 4104.

If blowing an engine a thousand miles from home would be a financial disaster for you (not just a hardship), then yes, I would be concerned too.
The other thing is how much support you get from family.  My wife loved traveling in the bus, but the first time the engine sputtered a little bit, she was ready for the motel. And, if it looked like we were about to write a thousand dollar check for something, the bus was not a priority. She enjoyed the bus but not as enthusiastically as me.  A big factor.

Haha, that reminds me of the old days with some of the cars we used to drive. The only tool we would carry was a scewdriver, so if the engine blew up, we could take the licence plates off the car and leave it.. We certainly can't afford to replace a bus engine immedietly, let alone a thousand miles away from home, but that dosent stop us from pursuing this "hobby". 
And yes, when we travel, I still carry a screwdriver "just in case". So if you see an MCI on the side of the road with no plates....
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« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2009, 02:23:08 PM »

I have abandoned more than one car on the side of the road.  I still owe the state of Connecticut for the 41 Chevy I left on the turnpike.
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2009, 02:26:52 PM »

PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE!  
    That is the key.  If you maintain a good PM program (including a thorough inspection), you should find most problems at home during your regular PM. Of course, there is always the possibility of a unforseen component failure while on the road (I have even seen brand new buses sitting along a road or on a hook)
   We have kept what I feel has been a good PM program for 10 years and have only had a couple minor problems on the road that were easily handled.  Jack
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2009, 05:22:30 PM »

I never really had that feeling with the bus.  However, I did have that feeling when I first saw the front of the truck I had purchased as the donor for my new engine.  This is what I saw when I first arrived to pick it up!  I seriously said to myself: "Uh Oh, did I chew off more than I can possibly handle?!!!!!  NOW WHAT!"  In the end it turned out okay, BUT, I was pretty scared about what I had decided to do at this point.
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boxcarOkie
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2009, 06:20:18 AM »

Does anyone besides me ever look at their bus and wonder what they've gotten themselves into?

FWIW I would say that this is a fairly "normal" perspective.  I often wonder (in the quiet moments of the night) if this is all worth it, and have my fair share of doubts, and anxiety.  But with proper maint. and a good attitude, funds in the account to cover the unexpected, it is a good ride.

Mine shut down in Atlanta once and to this day, I am still somewhat anxious when I go to start it, but most of the time it is okay.  Just depends on how cold it is outside at the time.

BoxCarOkie.
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