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Author Topic: Potential Bus Found (VL100) - Inspection Tips???  (Read 4230 times)
Hard Headed Ken
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1988 Prevost Angola Conversion Repowered With 14L Series 60 & Eaton Ultrashift


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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 08:35:27 AM »

If you are thinking about spending 30 grand I saw this on the Nashville Craigslist. I don't know anything about it.

Ken

http://nashville.craigslist.org/rvs/2381810194.html
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 09:45:12 AM »


Apparently the motor was rebuilt 65,000 miles ago, and the overall mileage on the bus since the conversion in 1985 is 104k.  An interesting side note, this was the last VL 100 built in the USA in late 1959.
 

This is always the case with used buses...no one even told me my engine had been rebuilt in the not so distant past and I chose to believe it anyhow.  To wit...if there are no documents supporting the rebuild...you should proceed as if it has not been rebuilt.
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technomadia
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2011, 09:58:40 AM »

If you are thinking about spending 30 grand I saw this on the Nashville Craigslist. I don't know anything about it.

Ken

http://nashville.craigslist.org/rvs/2381810194.html


Thanks... however as discussed in other threads about our search..

1)  We're only open to spending $30k+ on an absolutely ideal for us bus (solar, no big looming projects, two computer workstations)
2) We're not overly interested in 40' buses, and are targeting 35' and under

 - Cherie

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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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chuckd
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2011, 10:11:17 AM »

Understand your parameters Cheri, but would encourage others to look at that 79.  I have a 35 foot 79, that I paid the same dollars for, so it looks like a good deal to me, if it is as advertised.  But then maybe I paid way to much Sad
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John316
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2011, 10:55:56 AM »

Cheri,

I would also go for that Prevost over the FLX, any day of the week. The Prevost is newer, parts will be easier to come by, etc, etc. Remember, these take a fair amount of mechanical know how. They are not turn key, and go. IMHO, newer the better.

FWIW

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
technomadia
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2011, 11:24:27 AM »

We completely get (and appreciate) the advantages of a newer bus, and why that is definitely a plus for most folks. And we don't rule out that we might encounter a newer one that really strikes our needs.

And we totally understand that vintage buses are not easy going little maintenance needed machines. We're actually specifically looking to get our hands dirty and gaining mechanical know-how, as we plan to eventually get a sailboat to live aboard, and view this adventure as training (without risking sinking or floating adrift in the middle of the ocean) for that by learning diesel mechanics, fixing things on go and dealing with scarce availability of parts.

We're also heavily, heavily, heavily drawn towards 35' for a variety of reasons (such as, we're coming from a 17' trailer that has been our home for 3 years - and we want to keep as many options open for getting into public campgrounds).  We have an entire thread soliciting advice on 35' vs 40' at: http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=20067.new;topicseen#new   Again, we don't rule out that a 40' bus might strike our fancy, but so far after being in a few over the past couple of weeks - they're just too big for us.

So please..  while we greatly appreciate tapping into the well earned experience of folks here, would much appreciate keeping this particular thread on the topic of the VL100 we're currently investigating.  We are totally open to hearing about other options out there as well - and welcome those via PM, e-mail at us@technomadia.com and/or filling out our form at: http://www.technomadia.com/sell-us-your-bus/ .


Thanks a bunch..
 - Cherie 
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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travlinman
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2011, 11:29:51 AM »

Cherie,

I will be back over in Eugene next week if you want another set of eyes to look at it.

TM
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eagle19952
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2011, 04:54:16 PM »

Yes, we have followed up on the Victorville, CA listing as well.. and that sweet sounding bus has been sold. AngryNag Dabbit Sad thought i found a steal....
Huh
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gmbusguy1
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2011, 06:51:48 PM »

Chris,  I would not choose a FLX  but if you do not mind searching for parts like brakes ,steering,suspension and so on then waiting for them to reach you at wal mart in timbuk2 then maybe it will fit your life

I would recommend thinking more seriously in regards to a newer coach.  the Prevost looks like a good candidate and the price is probably negotiable

Just my 2 cents

Chris

Ps a MCI-5 still has very good parts support and are 35 feet   
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2011, 07:49:37 PM »

Not trying to belittle anyone or stir up a hornet's nest but we sure get a lot of posts here from newbies looking to become bus owners with similar questions and such. It's great and without a doubt probably not a better place to ask such questions as here. What gets me sometimes is all the conditions and dollar limits that folks set in their search of the ideal bus. Throw those dollar limits out the window!! A 1959 bus, no matter what the make or cost, is not for those seeking cheap and reliable transportation as far as busses go. Any breakdown will incur a large investment which will happen sooner before later. If you are mechanically inclined, have access to the tools and such required to repair breakdowns along with the maintanance and have a shop or such to do such then it's a great opportunity. It's also great advise to have someone knowledgable to inspect the bus but that advise is great for catching the obvious problems as of that moment.  They all end up with issues later if not sooner. Not trying to scare anyone off, just advising that owning a bus isn't for the feint of heart. To put it somewhat in perspective, if you can't afford a $1000 tow bill and possibly another 10 grand to repair something then whatever you just put down on that bus is money you will never recover. Just something to think about...
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technomadia
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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2011, 10:05:42 PM »

Thanks Chopper Scott...  the exact reason we have set a price range for the initial purchase of a vintage bus is precisely for the reasons you state. In addition to the purchase of the bus, our overall budget includes:

1) Investing in making it ours
2) Setting aside a *very* sizable amount for anticipated repairs, maintenance, etc.

Our goal is certainly not to have 'cheap' reliable transportation. And we certainly know that whatever money we put into the bus will be quite unlikely to ever be seen again.

We are seeking to build our next mobile nomadic home & office that is as distinctive and unique as we are, while giving us ample training for eventually hitting the oceans blue in a sailboat.  This will be our home.. our one and only.  Unlike many approaching a bus as more of a recreational or hobby project, we have a house size budget to work with - as we have no other housing expenses.  We are choosing to put most of that budget towards making it ours and anticipated high repair bills.  Sure, we could walk down today and plop down a sizable sum of cash on a 'high end' sticks-n-staples RV or new(er) bus conversion and drive on down the road without much worry of problems coming up.  But that's not what we want. That's not us. That's not our style. That's not the lesson we want to learn next.

We've done the reliable RVing thing for 5 years now, and have mastered the challenges associated with that... we want new challenges. We're younger, adventure junkies and seek new experiences, skills and lessons.  We're high tech workers with no debts or other financial commitments.  And we realize that few will understand the unique perspective we are coming from, and thus why we are met with so much resistance.

We know we are entering something that will have ongoing high costs & frustrations & seeking parts made of unobtanium, and are thus setting our initial purchase price of a bus to be only a small fraction of what we anticipate our costs will be.  We fully realize that the purchase of a bus is just the beginning of the financial & emotional commitment.   

We have heard this message loud and clear.  The numbers & stories of frustrations folks have tossed out for repairs and such do not scare us off.  We're still here, seriously contemplating which bus is the bus we want to adopt.

We are not feint of heart, are preparing ourselves (and our budget) for repairs and are doing our darnest to approach this with completely open eyes.  We're also trying not to get caught up in falling in love with a particular bus and staying rational about what we're getting into, and questioning any of the flags that come up for us.

We appreciate all of the warnings and words of caution from experience.  They are valuable, and you all have earned them well.

But please do trust us that we are thinking this thru to the greatest of our capacity, and that we are well aware of what OUR threshold for cost & frustration is. We are considering many options in our quest, including MCI-5's and 35' Prevosts and GM 4106's, in additional to this VL100.  Someone who is not a fan of the style and age of buses we are interested in is obviously not going to get our motivations.. just simply move on to the next thread, and please allow those who are willing to share advice other than 'seek newer buses' to chime in.

And we do believe that our reasons for wanting a 35' and under bus is well reasoned and not just some frivolous condition we're throwing out. We will not compromise our lifestyle just because it may be an easier path in some ways.

With respect,
 - Cherie

 

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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2011, 03:52:30 AM »

FWIW with some exceptions lots of the stuff in my 4104 is off the shelf ( or "I can get it to you tomorrow') truck parts.  For sure there are some bits I would pay  huge $$$ for, but mostly maintenance parts so far have been reasonable/ even inexpensive.  I also enjoy the relative simplicity of the wiring on my coach.....especially as it decays in front of my eyes...it's nice to be able to replace it.
  My # 1 inspection tip is look for rust rust rust rust  rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust.
#2 is make sure the unobtanium bits are good, with the FLX sounds like the torsilastics....this could cripple you (maybe not though, maybe you can stuff air springs in there I know nothing about FLX stuff)......
The good thing is that there are 2 of you, cause even a 35' bus is huge and there are lots of little details, and some days it feels like I just walked back and forth all day.
Did I mention  rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rust rustv rust rust rust rust?
I have learnt nothing cutting out  and replacing rusted metal other than it is a huge PITA.
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2011, 05:26:05 AM »

Cherie,

You guys are living the dream! I love your confidence, independence and desire to be unique. Oh the fun! I am hoping that is what I can do at the other end of my life, after I retire.
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2011, 05:54:10 AM »

Cherie and Chris, you guys seem to have given good thought to your next adventure.  The issue is that some new folks have not done their homework and I think that was what Chopper Scott was addressing.

Those of us who have been involved in the hobby and have read all the "we are giving up" threads, shudder when new folks show up with sometimes "blind" enthusiasm.

The problem is, what would the alternatives be?  Even the best commercial motorhomes have some pretty terrible track records.  A 10 year old commercial motorhome would likely be a very big money pit.  Travel trailers are just plain disposable commodities. 

Given enough money, most used buses are a better buy than an old S&S.  They were built to earn money and run for a ton of miles.  Most use a lot of truck type parts that can still be obtained.

As has been mentioned, the Torsilastic suspension can be an issue.  The Eagle 01 Torsilastics are no longer available and it sounds like that is the same case with some of the Flxibles.  A person can add airbags to assist the Torsilastics (several Eagles have been done). 

In reading the various Yahoo groups that are bus related, one of the major issues seems to be glass.  Perhaps that is not a show stopper, but it can sure be a major challenge.

Speaking of Yahoo Groups, they can be another good resource for finding out about unique "challenges" of each type of bus.  It is easy to join the groups and you can search old posts that relate to a specific bus you are looking for.  The Flxible group is pretty active and it is fun to read the posts.  It is a good source for someone looking to do a engine conversion in one of the old Clippers for example.

We sure hope that you keep us posted on your adventure.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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technomadia
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« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2011, 09:03:29 AM »

Travel trailers are just plain disposable commodities.


In general, I agree with you.  Most trailers are incredibly poorly built.

That is what made our previous mobile home so special - the quality of construction, attention to detail, and solid engineering that went into building an Oliver Travel Trailer was exceptional. 

Unfortunately, they made less than 45 of them before shutting down the production line.

Fortunately, there are enough people who crave that sort of quality that we had dozens of interested buyers, and were actually able to sell our Oliver for substantially more than we paid for it.  Even after three years of full-timing, it still looked and felt new.

An RV that actually increased in value, unheard of.

I sure wish quality construction like that wasn't such a rarity.

More on our previous technomadic mobile home here: http://www.technomadia.com/setup/oliver/

   - Chris // www.technomadia.com
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
Full-time 'Technomads' since 2006 (technology enabled nomads)
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