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Author Topic: Anyone looking to bus pool from Minnesota to Bussin' 11?  (Read 3326 times)
belfert
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« on: October 12, 2010, 07:26:36 PM »

Is anyone interested in bus pooling from Minnesota to Bussin' 11 in Arcadia, FL?  I am looking for someone who might want to go to Bussin' 11, but can't afford to go on their own or who doesn't have a bus yet.  I am trying to cut my fuel costs plus have an extra driver.

You don't have to be going all the way from Minnesota to Arcadia, but you would need to meet me along the way.

I'm not 100% sure if I will be going.  I've considered possibly driving my car instead of the bus, but with hotels and such it might not be much less money.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 10:14:30 PM »

Brian,
I don't know yet if I'm gonna get my charter down to Orlando again this yr or not. But if I do I'd love to make it on down to Arcadia again.

I wouldn't be bus pooling w/ya but I would be willing to pay the 2 person Rally fee (or maybe even more people if you get extra riders to help cover fuel $ etc.) for a bunk to crash in! (my host last yr was awesome and paid my fee as well as his and would not allow me to pay him back and I'd like to "pay it forward!"

I think when we touched on this subject once before Craig had mentioned he might be interested. And then there could even be others too! 
Grin  BK  Grin

We could even use the Setra S417 as a sports car to get around in! Wink
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2010, 02:56:00 AM »

We were planning on having Christmas in Tarpon Springs this year, which would have put me at the rally, but a death in the family this summer has changed those plans.

We won't be able to make it this year.

Maybe next year.
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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2010, 04:14:36 PM »

I'm torn on driving the bus or not to Bussin' 11.  I want to go regardless, but I am looking at all my options right now.  Driving my car would be half the cost of driving the bus (even with hotels) and even flying would be less money than the bus.

I would really like to drive the bus, but not sure it is worth the cost and 5 days of driving.  This isn't any worse than my trip to Reno every year, but I have 4 to 8 other people to split the bill and 3 to 6 drivers to split the driving on that trip.

If I can find someone to bus pool with me that would sure help on the money and driving fronts.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2010, 08:25:09 PM »

Brian, knowing you, you have done some good analysis.  Having said that, when our bus was down and we had to travel by car to our trade shows we found it more expensive.  On one trip we used our PT Cruiser and it gets about 22 MPG so the fuel costs were about 25%.  On the other trips we used our service truck and it gets 10MPG Angry, so for that trip the fuel was not all that different.  The other part of our costs were motels when we had a free site at the rallies as a part of the rally fee.

Granted, we do mostly Wal Mart on the way in the bus, so our costs are mostly fuel.  We try not to eat out too much.  Hotels are often more than $100 per night and food can get expensive.  We tried to go the cheap motel route and it was just terrible.

Concerning Wal Mart, we found that it is a real problem in late December.  The lots are full of Christmas shoppers and many of the Wal Marts along I-10 have some pretty small lots.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2010, 08:00:15 AM »

Jim, we have found the same thing. We have done some figuring expenses in the past as far as doing what we do with our bus, versus hoteling it and eating out. It is no cheaper to do it that way, and sure not as much fun or comfortable. Walmarts can get crowded at Christmas time, but, if you get in there late, it is usually not a problem, as long as you park in a place that is easy to get out the next morning. We have said many times, we would not work on the road if not for having a bus to do it out of. We tried the MH route too, and it just doesnt hold up to all the miles we travel, and the condition of the roads now days.
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2010, 09:56:58 AM »

Brian, excuse me for being blunt or rather, just me but you worry way too much! Drive the dang bus. Thats what you got it for un the first place unless you wanted a yard knome! I mean, it appears you have bought a very expensive piece of transportation to use only once a year. Use it every chance you can  and then you will be able to justify the cost, in more ways than one!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2010, 10:09:27 AM »

Ace, I don't know about you, but $1,600 is a lot of money for me to spend on a trip for one person especially when I will have to spend over 1/2 the trip driving.  I have exactly enough time off from work to make the trip as long as I don't get sick in the next two and a half months.

I don't go on cruises, trips overseas, or too many other trips mostly because I don't have the money, nor the desire to make such trips by myself.

It is likely I will drive the bus to Bussin' 11.  I do need to replace one part on the bus that I should be able to do in the next few weeks before it gets really cold.  (I have the part.)
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2010, 10:20:03 AM »

Jim, I calculated the cost of the trip driving the bus at around $1,600 to $1,700.  My car would be about $800 with hotels.  I could fly to Atlanta, rent a car, and drive to Arcadia for around $1,000.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2010, 10:48:11 AM »

Brian, I agree, that's a lot of money in this day but if your going to worry about every penny that it MIGHT cost, what fun is that to own it? Maybe what you need is a woman to share the fun or boyfriend if that's the case. Either way, just enjoy your investment rather than your calculator. Trust me, it's a lot more enjoyable. One main reason we got the bus was to get away from the daily stress of work. We don't just pick up and go, we plan and save for that particular trip. That way the money is already alotted for and for the most part, spent, out of our savings. If we waited for the trip, then counted our GW's, we'd never have enough to go anywhere. I use to worry about fuel cost. I don't anymore. I treat that like I do hurricanes. I use to worry about them too but figured, I can't change what or where they go, so why worry. Kind of like dying! That use to worry me big time but as you know, we have no control over that either. So you see, fuel is the same. We can't change the price, you either like it or you don't. Spend the money, buy. the fuel, enjoy the trip. If your lucky, it will be warmer than usual. Those evenig campfires are really worth coming foe. Just ask those crazy canadians!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2010, 12:14:36 PM »

bus friendships are priceless and last forever!  voice of experience..slow down to 65 and save fuel..don,t buy any in Florida if you can help..Bob
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2010, 12:31:33 PM »

Yea, I totally forgot that part. Buy fuel in Ga. If you can!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2010, 03:59:58 PM »

Brian, it looks like it is about 1700 miles from your area to Arcadia, so your fuel estimate for the bus seems reasonable.  What seems low is your car cost.  If you get 30 MPG, you would be spending a bit less than $300 for fuel.  We can't travel by car for less than $100 per day for lodging and food.  Indeed, we often spend more than that.

Consider that you will likely pay the rally fees bus or not, which gives you free parking.  If you don't take the bus, you will have the motel costs. 

Also consider that putting miles on your bus is no big deal in terms of reduction of value, but that may not be true with your car.

Lastly, attending rallies without your bus SUCKS big time.  We have done it far too often and swear that we will not do it again.  You miss a lot of the fun and discussions with new friends.

Besides, if you don't take the bus, we will all miss out on the THRASH that you go through before each trip  Grin Roll Eyes.  I can laugh at your trip preparation gyrations, since I also often do it as well Angry

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2010, 04:23:09 PM »

Brian, it would be hard for me also to spend 1600 bucks just to attend a rally by myself for 3 days but if I had 2 or 3 weeks to see other points of interest it might be a different story.
I have wanted to attend Jack's rally for years, with me living in AZ it was close to a a 3000 mile trip for me one way. and wasn't worth fighting the weather to go besides AZ is just as nice as FL in the winter and we have cheap fuel lol.
We have made lots of new friends over the years attending rallies but after 30 years we are burnt out on rallies we are down to 1 a year now and the one is only 120 miles from home the grand daddy of all Quartzsite 


good luck and if you do go enjoy
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« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2010, 04:23:57 PM »

I would love to just jump in the bus and drive down to Arcadia, but the stark reality is I'm not made of money.  I had the money set aside for the trip to Bussin' 11, but my trailer problem on my recent trip ate pretty deeply into that money.  I think I will have the funds, but I won't know for a few weeks.  I put in for the vacation for Bussin' 11 many months ago.  I'll probably end up driving the bus.

The bus is 99% ready to go.  It doesn't need anything to get back out on the road other than change the generator oil.  November and December get too darn cold to be doing any bus work around here anyhow.

Jim, I think my numbers are pretty solid for driving my car and for the bus.  I have some friends who will probably put me up for a few nights to save on some hotel bills if I have to resort to driving.  The one thing I didn't account for is tolls for either the bus or car, but those shouldn't be too bad.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2010, 05:21:10 PM »

Just a clarification. Since the county charges per night and we have people staying a different number of nights, camping is not included in the rally fee. If you stay in a motel, you pay rally fee only. This fee covers meals, entertainment, seminars and my rally expenses such as table, chair and sound system rental as well as porta-potties and dumpster. The county sets the camping rates which are $25/night for full hook-ups (50 amp) and $5/night for dry camping.  Jack
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2010, 06:28:44 PM »

Hey Jack, seeing as how you haven't been home for a while, is the rumor true that the Turner center was ripped off (stolen) of all the electric wire from the sites but from what I heard they have been replaced and fixed? I was told the culprits went in the middle of the night and hooked up to one end of the power line which is under ground and drove off yanking the whole underground cable from out of the conduit. It pulled so much and so much that it actually melted the conduit in places!

Another rumor has it that the Turner center was almost closed due to lack of use causing lack of income but supposedly the city parks and recreation or somebody took over control of it and hopes to keep it open and going. I also heard that the lady that caused the friction between you and I before was dismissed! GOOD!

Remember, these are rumors that were told to me and NOT something I am starting but just asking!
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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2010, 08:10:16 PM »

Brian, we have quiet a bit of work to do before then, but we are planning on making it. We have someone working on wipers and motor assembly for it, and we have to install the main gen. Try and get the air finished up, and the front entertainment cabinets to be built, and tile to put down in bathroom and middle room,valances to be made, window coverings, etc.  and many misc. things to be done. Cant work on it til Ken gets home the end of Oct. Never been to a rally, looking forward to it.
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Mixed up Dina, ready for the road as of 12/25/2010
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2010, 04:41:14 AM »

Hey Jack, seeing as how you haven't been home for a while, is the rumor true that the Turner center was ripped off (stolen) of all the electric wire from the sites but from what I heard they have been replaced and fixed? I was told the culprits went in the middle of the night and hooked up to one end of the power line which is under ground and drove off yanking the whole underground cable from out of the conduit. It pulled so much and so much that it actually melted the conduit in places!

Another rumor has it that the Turner center was almost closed due to lack of use causing lack of income but supposedly the city parks and recreation or somebody took over control of it and hopes to keep it open and going. I also heard that the lady that caused the friction between you and I before was dismissed! GOOD!

Remember, these are rumors that were told to me and NOT something I am starting but just asking!

Ace,
   The wiring theft (and repair) was before last years rally, unless it happened again. I won't know about any of the other rumors until we get home and go to a meeting we always have with the staff.  Jack
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2010, 04:57:01 AM »

Brian, that is a long cold trip alone,(the ride back home i mean! ha ha) Like others have said its alot more fun with the bus! If you do deciede to fly down, fly all the way into central or south Fla and rent a car. Last year me and the dog drove down and we picked up Dori at the Clearwater airport in the bus. Maybe you could drive down and park the bus for a month or two and then drive back. I hate having to drive back north in the winter. good luck. Our goal this year is to actually get to the rally before the next to the last day.
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2010, 05:11:21 AM »

Thanks Jack! Didn't realize it was last year but it was just brought up recently about the electric and the take over! It could be old news then again, it could be new. Sometimes it does take a while for info to reach up state! LOL

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Ace Rossi
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« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2010, 06:39:11 AM »

One of the issues with flying down to Florida between Christmas and New Year's is the expense of a rental car.  $75 a day for the least expensive rental car.  I could save significant money by flying to Atlanta and driving from there even though I would have to drive a significant distance.

It is likely I will be driving my bus down to Arcadia.  I just have to hope there is no ice or snow storm at that time.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2010, 06:45:53 AM »

fyi  ck allegiance air   they fly low cost 39$ from alot of cities to sanford fla  Orlando area and have rental car deals. that's the way our kids come down for visit in winter..better with bus..about 2 hrs from arcadia..atlanta 8plus hrs
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« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2010, 08:59:46 AM »

Brian, had not thought about saving money by staying with friends.  Since we don't have any, that is not an option Grin

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2010, 03:46:57 PM »

Brian, had not thought about saving money by staying with friends.  Since we don't have any, that is not an option Grin

I have friends in Atlanta and Orlando.  Atlanta is right on the way, but Orlando is a little bit out of the way.  Even if I drive the bus I will still at least stop on the way there or back, or both even.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2010, 04:50:52 PM »

Brian, I agree that your overall experience will be better taking your bus.  But if somehow you end up flying, I would definitely think you would be better off flying to Orlando rather than Atlanta even if the air tickets were about the same.  As you noted car rental is not cheap.  Been a while since I rented one, but in addition to the daily rental there was also a charge per mile over a certain number of miles per day.  Atlanta -> Arcadia = 538 miles. Orlando -> Arcadia = 108 miles.

If you drive your bus down, you will most likely be coming through Chattanooga.  Give me a shout and stop for some coffee and conversation.
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« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2010, 06:40:26 PM »

It is very rare to find a rental car that doesn't have unlimited mileage these days so that isn't a factor. 

Car rental in Fort Myers is $100 a day (before taxes and fees!).  Total would be $600.  A car in Atlanta is only $252 total for two more days rental.  Yes, there is an extra $100 in gas, but the flight is also $100 less to Atlanta.  I think saving $350 would be worth the extra driving particularly since I have friends I can visit in Atlanta.

Probably all a moot point as I am hoping to drive my bus all the way from Minnesota.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2010, 07:57:16 AM »

If you drive your bus down, you will most likely be coming through Chattanooga.  Give me a shout and stop for some coffee and conversation.

Aren't you going to be going down to Bussin' 11?  I'm certain I will be going through Chattanooga at least one way.  I'll have to look you up if you aren't going to Bussin' 11.
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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2010, 08:39:03 AM »

Unfortunately I won't be able to go this year.  So I will be here and looking forward to visiting with anyone coming down I-75 or I-24 that would like to take a driving break.

Note to all:  Here at the Choo Choo Express garage they have room for anyone that wants to overnite on the way down.  Access to water, sewer dump & trash dumpster.  30A electric for one coach and dry parking for several (with access to the water/sewer dump/trash dumpster).  I can provide short range high speed wifi Internet access.  And if anyone needs any engine/chassis PM or repairs, it is a good place to get it done.
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