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Author Topic: Another one probably giving up  (Read 5155 times)
Runcutter
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« on: January 11, 2011, 09:57:17 AM »

Phyllis and I have just about concluded that we're going to give up the 4107.  The only reason I'm posting it here, is so that potential newcomers may be able to benefit from our experience. 

We came about owning the bus from a couple of directions.  I've been in the transit industry for over 40 years, we've been married for almost 12 years.  Sometime early in our marriage, Phyllis commented several times that, when we retire, it'd be good to buy a bus, convert it, and travel around the country.  I wasn't in favor, A, because bus people don't retire, and B, because of the amount of work involved in a conversion.  In Spring 2006, I was at the Hershey bus museum's Spring Fling, and in a discussion of bus values.  I was sitting in the driver's seat of a 4106, felt right back at home, and was surprised that prices were lower than I'd anticipated.  Shortcut -- after some research, found the 4107, trusted the seller (top notch, by the way), had plenty of cash, so we bought it and brought it home. 

We've been redoing the conversion, but made difficult because we can't keep the bus at our house (and my woodshop), it's in a storage area.  Last year, it was hit while in the storage area, front end stove in -- other guy's insurance paid for the repair.  After the repair was complete, I've left it at the repair shop, planning to get it painted -- then back to work more on the restoration.  However, in the last couple of years, the economy has taken a toll on my business -- holding even, but not with the cash surplus of prior years.  We've been without the coach for over a year --- even if we had it, we're both several years from retirement, and don't have enough time to do what's on our current agenda -- work, my hobbies, her hobbies, church, etc.   

And, to do nothing costs about $1,200/year, between the storage yard fees, registration, and insurance.  So, to keep it until we reach retirement age still has a cost --- and with a couple of minor rust spots, a paint job isn't just cosmetic, it's also a maintenance issue.  If we keep the coach, we still don't know if our health will still be good, or if we'd still be interested in that type of travel.  I travel for a living, as a consultant, and there's a great advantage to using modern vehicles (including aircraft), hotels, and not having the worry about a costly mechanical malfunction on an antique vehicle.  Also, since I travel for a living, I enjoy my time at home. 

We have enough airline miles for a couple of trips, First Class, to Europe -- but the bus uses up the money for hotels/food, etc.  The money would also let us remodel the house kitchen, something we use everyday.  If I knew business was going to pick up, had a forecast of lottery numbers, etc. - we'd probably think differently.  If the bus wasn't waiting for a $5,000 - $6,000 paint job, I'd be more willing to write off the $1,200 annual carrying cost.  That said, it's still a tough concept to mentally write-off the dollars we've put in -- the saving grace is that it was still a reasonable decision at that time, we couldn't predict the decline in business.     

The interesting part, is that I'd been trying to broach the subject -- but I was concerned because she originally wanted the coach more than I did.  In the end, she brought it up, and we'd both been thinking along the same lines.  Over Christmas, we had lunch with old friends (he got me into the bus business), and they mentioned that they're selling their vacation home, and need accommodations at a transportation museum they're (and we're) involved in.  It turns out, while I was thinking that the 4107 could be an opportunity for them, Phyllis had had the same idea.  Today, I sent them an email to see if they'd be interested.

So, here's the question.  If you and your spouse, separately, think alike --- is that scary?

Arthur   

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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
1968 PD-4107

Working in the bus industry provides us a great opportunity - to be of service to others
luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 10:18:46 AM »

It worked for us the same way Arthur anyone that puts a pencil to owning a bus will come up with the same and I never had the storage problem only cost me thousands to solve 40x60x18 shop for that one and a 4,5 or 6 thousand paint job is on the low end I wish Mike Wilson charged me 5 grand lol I try and tell people a bus and boat are about the only thing that one morning you start the engine and boom there goes 1000's up in smoke. Now I only have the boat want to buy it only holds 1500 gals of fuel


good luck
« Last Edit: January 11, 2011, 11:09:09 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 10:42:54 AM »

They definately are not for everyone and having the facilities and know how to keep them on the road is a priority. Hope you recover some of your money invested.
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 11:30:28 AM »

$6K for a paint job is very low, you can spend 10K just painting an automobile.  Imron for example is over $400 a gallon and a bus takes ..... a big bunch of gallons!  Like most things in life, owning or buiding a bus, is only worth what it is worth to YOU and no one else.  When she asks me "are we going to sell our bus/"  I always reply the same way .... "Yes hon, at the Estate Sale."

The wife and I share the same passion and we don't like the expense of ownership any more than the next guy, but it is just one of the things that comes along with owning a bus or an RV.  In the end, I would much rather be parked and holed up somewhere, waiting on a payday, than stuck in some motel off the beaten path.

But that is me.

BCO
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 11:43:18 AM »

They definitely are not for everyone and having the facilities and know how to keep them on the road is a priority. Hope you recover some of your money invested.
Arthur,

Best of luck.  Tough decisions are best made together.

Scott and BCO,

Totally agree.

Plus, not having it at the house makes it really tough to work on.

My newbie advice is use it at every phase, and don't put 40K in a 10K coach.

With a little talent and research, most anyone can build a decent coach.....without breaking the bank......

Cliff

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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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chris4905
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 12:48:28 PM »

Arthur,

You are about 4 months behind me.

Cheryl and I had our bus for about 11 years as we designed, worked, and used it.  We both loved it, Cheryl was as involved in the hobby as I was.

I am 2 months away from retirement (the 2nd retirement) and I am/was very concerned about the financial issues of the bus after retirement.  Also the on the road repair as I get older, etc., etc.  A few months ago I sat Cheryl down and told her I wanted to get rid of the bus, the reasons why, and told her, go ahead and try to talk me out of it.  She agreed with my reasoning.

But, it's not easy to get rid of a bus right now in this economy.  Sooooo, I took out a few of the things I wanted, and gave the bus away.  I gave the bus to a church traveling group who had just lost their bus due to a blown engine.  Some folks are saying God had a plan and I was only being temporarily used to do God's work.  Which is just fine with me.  (I even enjoyed it while being used).

So, we now have a new sticks and staples 5th wheel we will be traveling in when seeing the Grandkids (oh, and the kids too...) and I don't have that constant thought in the back of my mind of an expensive repair or having to do on the road repairs I can't afford or may not be able to physical handle. 

Bottom line, it was/is a great hobby, I have no regrets about the money spend on it, and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Like someone else said, "whatever is right for you and the wife".

Good Luck,
Chris
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Chris & Cheryl Christensen
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 01:55:48 PM »

This is always a personal decision and we will all have to make that decision sooner or later.  For right now, Paula and I are still in good health, I can still do most of the necessary work on it, and we both enjoy traveling in it. When the time comes that either (or both) of us are no longer able to comfortably travel and still enjoy traveling, or able to do the necessary work on it, it will probably become an apartment on our place for visiting friends. Or may go to one of my sons that constantly reminds me to take good care of HIS bus LOL.  Jack
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 10:34:42 PM »

  Y'all are scaring me again. I have this old 92 Fleetwood S&S, actually an Oshkosh chassis with a 5.9 Cummins/Allison pusher. Its treated me well, but parts are almost nonexistant, and service/repairs are mostly DIY. The way they buried that motor in the back makes it very hard to do much but look at it. I cant even imagine how hard it would be to R&R it. Most I have asked wouldnt touch it with a 10 foot pole, and it makes it something I am no longer comfortable with out on the road. But I still want a large RV to tow a car. I tried the 5th wheel thing, truck rode like a lumber truck, blew around, no thanks.

  So I felt a Bus would offer the best reliability, easiest to find parts, easiest service/maintenence, best driveability, and would be the easiest to find someone willing to work on it if the worst happened, if it was something I couldnt do myself. I guess I am mostly trying to fend off major away from home repairs, not go looking for them. If fears of failure and expense are keeping some of you awake at night, could you pass along your reasoning?
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 01:57:35 AM »

Cody looked the bus over once and pointed out that it has 6 handles, 3 on each side for the bay doors so he has decided that he wants to be buried in the bus, we've kept our eye out for 6 really strong pallbearers, back in 1976 he decided that he didn't want to sleep on the ground in a tent anymore so that is what started our bus/RV headaches and adventures.  We've also got the revcon so anytime he feels like a change of pace we fire that up and head for summersville wv for a bluegrass fest or to canada for a fishing trip, we've even had it up to hudson bay to look at the polar bears, the bus has far more storage but the revcon drives like a sports car and he enjoys that too, especially passing trucks on long grades.
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boxcarOkie
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 03:20:32 AM »

   If fears of failure and expense are keeping some of you awake at night, could you pass along your reasoning?

If you have fears about road issues, start a maint. fund, put some cash back for emergencies.  You can start a mileage fund at the same time, add a dime to it for every mile you travel, believe it or not, it add's up.  Take the mileage money and put it in the maint. fund.  When you have to spring three grand for some tires, all of it or at least part of it, will already be there.  Same thing with repairs ... I call it peace of mind.

It aint much, but it is something, like the bank sez .... Whatever it is ... make it work for you.

BCO
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rampeyboy
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 04:14:54 AM »

I respect your decision fully as your reasoning is honest and logical. I'm honest, but not many ever accused me of being logical or smart! That being said, I recently bought a Scenicruiser that has sit for a long time, and rough as can be inside. My pockets aren't all that deep, but I am 41, so hopefully I will have a long time to work on her before I die, either way, I'll probably work on her until I die! good luck with whatever you do!


Boyce
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Boyce Rampey
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 05:15:25 AM »

Arthur  no camper    If I had to drive to work on bus it would be a long project. I just walk to shop so it is so nice to have tools and supplies at hand.Easy to work a couple of hrs when I want.  I totally understand you position. Would have been nice to see a wood professional product. Follow your heart and best wishes.  Bob
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 05:36:39 AM »

Everyone here will have to make this decision sometime in our lives, it's inevitable. Arthur, it saddens me to hear this, but if you both feel that you need to walk away then do it.

We have thought about our situation for a long time and when the time comes to hand over the keys, it will be a sad day. I told my wife she can just bury me in it, she said, where am I going to live then? Wink

Until that time comes, we plan to enjoy full-timing in our coach no matter what. If our fuel funds are low, we'll just park it along a river bank or other scenic spot and Thank the Lord for getting us that far.

Paul
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 05:37:01 AM »

I totally understand the high cost of Maint on a but, but have you had a car worked on lately or bought parts.  I just spen ove $1500 putting a transmission in my daughter's 10 yr old car(about 1/3 what it is worth), because it is a nice car, and we don't have another $5K to shell out for a car(basic).  

The VW repair shop here charges over $100 per hour, and I can get good service on the bus for $55/hr.  I bought two water hoses(dealer only item) for my Jetta recently, and the parts only cost me over $200 and I could fit both in a lunch box.  I also replaced the water pump, timing belt, serpentine belt, and idler.  I was afraid to ask how much they cost,so I bought them online for under $100 total including shipping.  The last time I had these items replaced (at a VW shop) the cost was over $1000.

All things need to be in perspective.

If we did only what made financial sense, none of us would ever have FUN or be BUSNUTS!

Just my perspective(your results may vary based on weather conditions, phase of the moon, alignment of the planets, and vitamin intake)!!!




Steve Toomey
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 06:53:09 AM »

      I am 68 years young and just completing a 1964 4106. I have been a rv nut for years but the fact that I can go get in the bus live in it if I have to,go where ever the funds allow ,In one of the safest , most well built vehicle on the road means a lot. It's my last haven of freedom when freedom has almost been forgotten. I have enjoyed every moment of the work even the greasy job of rebuilding the engine. After two heart attacks and several surgeries Its a good thing all the work has been done. The cost of designing, building and finishing this bus cannot compare with the pure pleasure of the many hours of the journey. I would have spent much more on interment and had nothing.  What I'm trying to say is don't think of it as a job, but fullfilling a life long dream. So for you young guys and gals out there if you can look at it that way GO FOR IT.          papa T
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