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Author Topic: I'm Broke Down Post!  (Read 2516 times)
robertglines1
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« on: September 14, 2011, 05:40:30 AM »

Keep them coming. We all learn from them.BCO recent post called attention to several things.1st His dissatisfaction with road service. I'm in total agreement! Let's read the rest;as I understand he is now going to lighten the weight of his coach after actually weighing it or going to weight it soon. He was pulling a beautiful box trailer also. Had made necessary modifications to the stock suspension--a accepted practice on this type of coach.    BCO took corrective action and has recognized a problem.  Did share a Bad experience with Coach Net.  Also has planned to correct the possible problem for future use.   Our roads are horrible! definitely found the weakest spot in the rig here.  Brian's brake problems: I learned from. caused me to be aware.  Kevin's engine failure is probably the least under or control-just watch for signs and keep fluids at correct levels ;temps at correct range  or shut her down!                     I for one had my trailer safety chains to tight and cracked my hitch mount during a tight turn. Dick Eagler a fellow busnut (while I was on road) took me into his shop and fixed it for me. Thanks again Dick!.          If I had read this board first I would never have owned a bus.  Nothing but respect for all the people I mentioned and thanks for sharing.   Bob       
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 05:55:02 AM »

Don's coach was probably to heavy on the rear axle to start with when he bought it with the bigger engine installed the 2 axle coaches are easy to over load on the rear axle that was always a problem with 10s Eagle maybe he will post his weight the GVW on his is somewhere around  36,500 depending on how you read the chart 24,500 on the rear


good luck
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« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2011, 06:02:34 AM »

I think one of the interesting things I learned is that Coachnet is for breakdowns, not accidents.  I think I probably knew that, but I sure didn't think about it.  They considered that road-caused damage is an accident, kinda like hitting a rock or debris in the road is considered an accident.  I once had to replace  two wheels on a road car because I drove over a 4x4 that a truck in front of me dropped.  Insurance paid, but it was deemed an at-fault accident.  

I have Coachnet, I have used them once, had a good experience but I understand the challenge of expecting them to be able to come up with a major repair in a camp ground at 4 hours notice.  They use a network of private operators, they just call out to people who do service in the area near where you are.  They don't own them and sometimes they need to find them from scratch.  When I used them, I was in deepest darkest Nova Scotia (OK, three miles from my house and two miles out of town) and worked with the gal on the phone with google maps to show her exactly where I was.  Then I gave her the name of the only tow truck operator in 25 miles and said "call him, he's near here, and he knows where I am already".  They had never had a call anywhere near there, had no contractors so they called him, he showed up, took me home, put my MGB my garage for me, and bob's your uncle.  Coachnet lady called me back three times, one to say that she had called the tow service, once to check that they had arrived, and a final time to make sure I was happy with the service.  Not saying BCO's experience wasn't different, just that I was happy with mine.  Would have been different if it had been the bus. and needed a low-boy tow.  That could have taken a couple of days to organize where I was at.

Brian
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2011, 06:23:36 AM »

Like Brian I have had CoachNet for 10 years never had the problem like Don I used it when I broke a cam 60 miles from El Paso they found a shop 20 miles from there that said they could do the repairs and I told him no.

I wanted to go to Stewart and Stevenson in El Paso 60 mile farther and did not want a hook 3 hours later a low boy showed up and he even had to make detours to clear some underpasses with my bus,Coachnet does have different plans so make sure you get the right one for your bus,I have used their techs before those guys are pretty sharp also lol as I even give a little advice there on the old 2 strokes when someone is having a problem like running out of fuel and lost the prime on the engine, the Blue Bird owners are good at that.
 
If Don sends a letter they will remove the one guy from their list of service people I know that will happen they removed a tire guy here because he would tell people he would be there in hour and show up 4 hrs later  

good luck
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 06:33:09 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2011, 09:48:02 AM »

Clifford, Coach-Net only has two plans.  Gold and Platinum.  I spent some time reading the 17 page benefits guide last night.  The towing coverage for the RV itself doesn't change between the two plans as far as I can tell.  The Platinum plans adds coverage for multiple RVs and they cover towing a trailer.  They also add some emergency medical assistance. 
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2011, 10:19:43 AM »

I had a friend in the auto repair business that owned a wrecker. AAA approached them about being one of their clients and he accepted. It wasn't long before he dreaded that decision and did not continue any longer. They only pay so much for a tow to the operator and they were not making it worth his time. I imagine that's what most other business's face.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2011, 10:52:18 AM »

There are web pages out there that show the average amount paid per call by a number of different roadside assistance companies.  The pages also show the average time to pay.  Coach-Net was near the top on both.  Obviously, the goal of any roadside assistance company is to pay as little as possible while paying enough to actually get operators to work for them.  AAA locally has their own fleet of trucks they use first and then call others for any overflow.

Roadside assistance companies are kinda like health insurance companies.  Neither pays anywhere close to what a private person would pay for the same service.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2011, 02:06:24 PM »

The Eagle 10-S has always been heavy.  In 1982 Trailways opened a second plant to manufacture a new two-axle suburban Model 10 at Harlingen, Texas, creating Trailways Manufacturing, Inc. The original Brownsville, Texas plant remained under Eagle International. Trailways placed 19 suburbans in Atlantic City service. Although several other operators experimented with the suburbans, the fact that the axle loading exceeded the legal limit in most states inhibited the popularity of this model.
     
Underfloor luggage space did not increase when the tag axle was dropped to create the suburban because the space was filled, in most units, with additional air conditioning equipment.
     
In 1985, the Model 10 drive train was redesigned to eliminate the mitre box, allowing the engine to be set farther to the rear, improving accessibility for maintenance. The weight shift caused by this change made the two-axle version even less practical so the suburban was discontinued and the Harlingen plant was closed.
     
Other special versions produced were the empty shell model for conversion to custom motor homes and right-hand drive models for operation in Australia and other countries.
     
The Model 10 remained in production after the 102-inch wide Model 15 was introduced in 1985. Most sales switched to the wider Model 15 but some demand remained for the Model 10 to be used in East Coast tight spots such as New York’s Holland Tunnel. The last Model 10 was delivered in November, 1987 as future orders for a 96-inch Eagle were to be filled with the new Model 20.

Our coach has been re-powered as Clifford pointed out, it has an V892T, after cooler, transmission cooler and a 6 speed Allison World transmission, with King Cruise Control, current mileage is 53,112 miles.  Last trip fuel numbers came in at 7.3 mpg.  It also has an all Oak interior with wood floors, and this too adds to the total gross weight.

The current weight of the coach is 35,640 lbs gross (full fuel, water, 50% holding tanks), and the combined weight of the bus, trailer, tow car comes to a robust 43,540lbs.

The breakdown is as follows:

bus 35,640
toad 3,215
trailer 4,685

It is pretty apparent besides beefing up some of the suspension components, it needs to go thru some kind of weight-watchers thinning process before the next outing.

We are on the Coachnet “Gold” Plan.  This should sum it all up for those who wanted to know.

BCO

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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2011, 03:50:20 PM »

While they did close the plant Don they never stopped making that bus the model 20 two axle was the same bus except most had Cummins engines, taller windshields and the GVW was a little more. 
There were 2 models of the 10S the other was a 10SC and I cannot tell the difference I have a tough time trying to figure the 10S some have the fuel tank up front and some in the rear some are 35 foot others are 40 foot the 35 foot models carry more weight,the model 15 two axle like the one Lee owns is a nice bus


good luck
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RnMAdventures
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 06:15:37 PM »

A wise man once said, "For those who travel in bus conversions, life has a flavor the sticks and staple owners will never know."

A bus is safer, more reliable, and a much better ride if they are properly maintained. I try to learn from the stories about the breakdowns and really appreciate when folks post their experiences. I don't know many of you personally. One thing through reading that I have not got a good feel for is how many miles folks actually travel trouble free? I drove my 4104 a few thousand miles maybe and it never broke down. It scared me a couple of times, but overall it was a good bus. I think we all fear breaking down on the road and not having the knowledge, tools, or financial means to deal with a breakdown miles from home. In BCO’s case it sounds like it was bad luck. He has a pristine coach and it is well maintained. Even if it is a little heavy his trip would have probably been fine if the poor road conditions hadn’t got him. That could happen in million dollar coach.


« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 02:36:09 AM by RnMAdventures » Logged

Mike & Rosemarie
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 06:34:54 PM »

I've traveled between 25,000 and 30,000 miles in my bus since I bought it in 2006.  I've had four issues on the road with only three of them involving the bus itself.

1. Water pump and radiator core had been replaced.  One coolant hose was not centered properly and started leaking.  It took about three hours and an additional hose clamp to fix the issue.
2. Enclosed trailer had axle break loose in middle of night.  Trailer had to be towed to a welding shop so we rented a trailer and transferred our stuff before the tow truck came.  The trailer was repaired by the time we were passing through on our way home.
3. Another coolant hose developed a leak on way to Florida last December.  A wide band clamp fixed the leak until I got home and replaced all of the hoses this past summer.  I actually noticed the leak while visiting Mike in Chattanooga so I wasn't exactly on the side of the road.
4. I had a tag axle brake lock up about 2 weeks ago.  I was stuck on an exit ramp on I35 for about five hours until I was able to release the brake.

I try my best to have the bus in top shape so it doesn't break down on the road, but things still happen.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
robertglines1
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 06:52:39 PM »

Guess I'm fortunate. 30yrs RV 16 yrs in buses 4 to date. a few flats. one major blow out!  one transfer pump. ran out of fuel once. DUMB Roll Eyes minor gen set problems.  all easy fixes. no tow trucks.     mine are not million dollar coaches but are home built the last being a 1200dollar salvage shell.    Bob  picture on left
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 07:00:26 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 06:57:31 PM »

I have traveled about 60,000 miles in 9 years.  I have had two break downs on the road.  1st issue was on the way home after I bought the bus.  The exhaust pipe blew off the turbo outlet.  I spent a bunch of time working to get it back on and fixed it myself. The 2nd time was a failed drive axle wheel seal.  This happened back in 2004.  I had to have road side service come and help me out.  I have had no other major issues affecting the enjoyment of my trips.  There have been lots of little things I have had to put on my to-do list during trips.  However, I consider everyone of my issues (like dash lights failing, speedo acting up, etc.) to be simple by products of a vehicle that is 26 years old.  Of course, I've invested a ton of cash into proactive maintenance and consider this one of the reasons I've had so few problems on the road.  I enjoy working on my bus and consider the maintenance I do part of my hobby.  It might seam quaint to some, but I also consider the fact that God's hand has been involved in much of the timing of some critical repairs and failures I've had.  His unseen hand has clearly been at work.  I've always been in a position to deal with whatever has happened - at home or on the road.
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 07:02:23 PM »

One can basically tell from other folk's posts about their maintanance precautions and such before they hit the road. Without a doubt BCO was pretty well on top of such and had worked hard to make his trip as uneventful as possible. But still something bad happened that basically ruined his vacation and forced him to return home prematurely. I think the majority of us sigh in relief when we arrive home with the "ole girl" and the bus  Wink after a trip that may take us one or 2 thousand miles away from our comfort zone, so to speak. One thing however that I have noticed on my brief time of traveling in a 40 year old bus is that I see a lot of new s&s version with problems also. Granted it is expensive fixing our stuff on the road but I seriously doubt it is any cheaper than the s&s rigs getting towed into a rv dealership for repairs. I guess the fact that we are hauling around a mobile version of our homes and expecting to do it without any problems may be to much to ask, be it in something new or something old. I had a friend that bought a new 5th wheel camper in June for 60 grand and now is selling it because he bought a cabin. The same dealer he bought it from offered him $38,000 now. That 38,000 is still a lot more than I have in my bus. So I'm staying the course as I basically just run under a thousand miles a year for the time being until I once again get a wild hair and set off on a wild excursion. Regardless of what one has, be it a fifth wheel behind a Ford with injectors taking a dump or a Dodge Cummins with scored cylinder walls...... it's gonna be expensive to haul that much stuff around. Just no way around it.
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 07:41:11 PM »

Scott, you covered it well the S&S jobs use the $20,000 engines and $10,000 transmission too and they go south and most RV dealers charge 125.00 a hour and don't do heavy work so off to a dealer they go.
Parts are expensive for any engine I bumped the HP up on my wife's little rig with a new pump and turbo it was over 3 grand for parts only no labor but I just could not stand the 190 hp 280 hp is a lot better lol.
I never had but 1 major set back on the road and that was a broken camshaft no way could I repair it in a rest area and towing home was in the 1000's of dollars so I took my hit wasn't much I could do at the time except shed a few tears and $22,000 bucks  

good luck
« Last Edit: September 14, 2011, 07:47:42 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2011, 08:41:46 PM »

I do have to laugh Cliff! My first house out of school was a 10 by 50 foot trailer house......and I could barely afford the rent on  that!!! Grin Grin I would be the envy on this forum if I had a 120X 50 foot bus!!!  Cheesy Cheesy I ride motorcycles all over and when one breaks down it sucks and costs unless one can fix it by himself. Sometimes parts are 2 days away. At least I can rent a pickup and throw the bike in the back and get home. Busses on the side of the road are a whole bigger ball game. Still worth it.
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2011, 08:44:04 PM »

We have put on about 35-40 thousand miles on our 5A in the last 8 years. Once in Salt Lake City we started having a problem with the compressor, got it fixed in Ridgefield Wa. ( It was the governor). At the same time i had them change the tranny over to transynd and they found a rear wheel seal starting to leak and fixed it too.  Last fall i stopped at a shop on the way south to have a front wheel seal fixed that had been leaking. At the same time i had new front wheel bearings, seals, studs, and brake shoes put on both wheels. During the 6 months that we spend in Yuma in the winter is when i do my service and repair/upgrade projects. Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2011, 10:24:57 PM »

I tried to modify my last post and ended up reposting. Sorry about that.


« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 02:35:36 AM by RnMAdventures » Logged

Mike & Rosemarie
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2011, 02:11:52 AM »

Good reading, insightful, best I have seen all week.

Possibly related:

This Old Bus


BCO
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robertglines1
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2011, 05:11:05 AM »

I like that BCO  !!!!  But if we all had new we would be one of them----- and wouldn't need this forum. Grin.     Doing the best I can with what I have.   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2011, 06:22:34 AM »

I would not worry to much about Don's problem when Sonnie get finished he can tow a tank and won't need a diet

good luck
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« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 06:35:10 AM »

I have about 12,000 miles in two season on my bus, this year has been zero miles.  If you define a breakdown as half an hour on the side of the road while you figure out what to do - happened twice.  If it's you have to fix something important during the trip - same two.  If you mean stranded and can't continue till you are fixed - none!

I had the nut that holds the alternator pulley come off.  Trashed the pulley, needed a new one which took the best part of two weeks to sort out.  I was on the second leg of a 3,000 mile trip, and in the heart of Montreal on the side of a 10 or 15 lane highway.  I took the pulley off, took the belts off, started the bus and carried on, the rest of that 1,000 Km leg over two days.  No problem, but might have been if I had to run the lights.  I drove during  the day.

On the way home the solenoid on the starter jammed on, and my starter motor ran for around 2 hours.  I finally noticed, pulled over, and hitting it with a hammer un-jammed it.  It still worked, I drove to the next big truck stop, I had a spare starter so I had it changed in the local school bus shop by a couple  of really nice guys, and carried on.  I could have changed it myself, but it was raining out and I was grateful that they were willing to do it, for the $65 they charged me!

That's my tale of woe...

Brian
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 09:55:11 AM by bevans6 » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2011, 08:34:28 AM »

I would not worry to much about Don's problem when Sonnie get finished he can tow a tank and won't need a diet

good luck

We have already discussed it (as you more than likely are aware of) and changes are in the works.  One thing has already happened, that was the replacement of the air bag.  The old bag, which held up pretty well (was rubbed out by the tire sidewall) has been replaced with a Goodyear unit (somewhat larger) and that got us home.  I sent Sonnie some ten pictures of the undercarriage and setup, we will get it fixed.

One more thing I am doing is draining the aux. fuel tank, and instead of carrying full capacity I am going to hold about 100 miles in reserve (12 or so gallons) to pull some of the weight off of it.  The trailer is history, at 4600 lbs it is too heavy and will no longer be used for the long haul, even after corrections are made. 

One more item for the estate sale.

BCO
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« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2011, 09:01:59 AM »

I do have to laugh Cliff! My first house out of school was a 10 by 50 foot trailer house......and I could barely afford the rent on  that!!! Grin Grin I would be the envy on this forum if I had a 120X 50 foot bus!!!  Cheesy Cheesy I ride motorcycles all over and when one breaks down it sucks and costs unless one can fix it by himself. Sometimes parts are 2 days away. At least I can rent a pickup and throw the bike in the back and get home. Busses on the side of the road are a whole bigger ball game. Still worth it.

My old harley dropped a lifter just north of Flagstaff on highway 89, I was there for a couple of hours, reading my owners manual, which is good, it gave me time something to do until someone showed up to "tell me how to fix it."  He was on a Triumph by the way.

BCO
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« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2011, 09:06:18 AM »

I have about 12,000 miles in two season on my bus, this year has been zero miles.  If you define a breakdown as half and hour on the side of the road while you figure out what to do - happened twice.  If it's you have to fix something important during the trip - same two.  If you mean stranded and can't continue till you are fixed - none!

I had the nut that holds the alternator pulley come off.  Trashed the pulley, needed a new one which took the best part of two weeks to sort out.  I was on the second leg of a 3,000 mile trip, and in the heart of Montreal on the side of a 10 or 15 lane highway.  I took the pulley off, took the belts off, started the bus and carried on, the rest of that 1,000 Km leg over two days.  No problem, but might have been if I had to run the lights.  I drove during  the day.

On the way home the solenoid on the starter jammed on, and my starter motor ran for around 2 hours.  I finally noticed, pulled over, and hitting it with a hammer un-jammed it.  It still worked, I drove to the next big truck stop, I had a spare starter so I had it changed in the local school bus shop by a couple  of really nice guys, and carried on.  I could have changed it myself, but it was raining out and I was grateful that they were willing to do it, for the $65 they charged me!

That's my tale of woe...

Brian

Minor issues, most of us can handle.  It is the big things that really bring it home.  Last year, I had the same thing, alternator, jumped around it with a pair of alligator clips, and ran it over 700 miles on the genset and completely bi-passed it.  Fixed it when I got home.

This trip it was the drivers heat (Suburban heater) took off the plate, unplugged it (blew out the electrical connections with a can of compressed gas $7.99 Radio Shack), hit the reset and nothing.  Tapped it with the blunt end of a screw driver and she fired right up!

Go figure .....

BCO
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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2011, 09:08:14 AM »

I like that BCO  !!!!  But if we all had new we would be one of them----- and wouldn't need this forum. Grin.     Doing the best I can with what I have.   Bob

I would like to see the "out-takes" from this Old House sometime, I would venture they are a real hoot.

BCO
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2011, 01:08:24 PM »


The worst breakdown on the road was me. We were camping at the Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee river in west Tenn. At about 2:00 o'clock in the morning someone started to jump up and down on my chest. Rode 12 miles up the road to Savanna Tenn. in a EMT vehicle and then about 80 miles in a helicopter.

one of the good thing was my wife and son got the bus to the parking lot and security put her right in front of a door that led to the room that i was in. It was nice and every one treated my family great.

The bad thing was waking up to see two devils in the room. I thought I had went the wrong way.
great busnuts.

The old GM has never failed to get me home. sometimes half running but always a great adventure.


uncle Ned
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« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2011, 05:32:18 PM »

Most of my miles have been in the 1958 4104 that I had. I only took two trips in it, but i drove it monthly in the area. When I first got it I drove in home and took my inlaws at the time for a ride. I pulled up to a stop light and the throttle stuck down. I had no idea what was going on. I went to the back of bus opened the engine door and stared at it and it was ROARING. I went back to the front and stomped the peddle a couple of times and it freed up. On a another adventure on a trip around the block was when one of the brakes cam'd over. One time I was making a left turn in the middle of an innersection and it just died. I hit the starter once and it sounded like the batteries were weak. Cars on all sides of me, and I was about to stress out and I hit hte starter button again and it came to life. The switches were not getting a good connection due to the age and lack of use. As I saw things along the way I read about how common some of it was. I owned that bus for about three years.

On a side note, we purchased a 1997 33' Coachmen earlier this year. It was a two owner RV and had been very well maintained. It only had 26k miles on it. Within two months the transmission had blown a front seal and burnt up the transmission, at night in the middle of nowhere, and my whole family was with me. That was a $500 cab ride, $3000 transmission, and the wrecker driver dinged the front of the RV when he picked it up. After the transmission had been fixed, I went back to Corpus and drove it home and it had a blowout on an external rear tire and it took out the panel around the tire. I got it home, fixed the panel around the tire and sold it on craigslist. I owned that RV about 4 months.
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Mike & Rosemarie
1964 PD4106-2626
DD8v71 & Allison v730
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« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2011, 09:17:19 PM »

  One of the reasons, perhaps the main reason I wanted a Bus, was what I found to be a very difficult time finding anyone willing to work on a S&S motorhome. In Minnepolis there were several dozen RV centers, but none wanted to work on the chassis. Truck stops work on trucks, some do Buses, most wont do anything else. Same with truck repair centers. I've learned the south is a bit different, people are easier going and more willing to help down here, but there is still that problem. As many truck places will work on a Bus, as will many Bus companies, its almost a no brainer.

  I can do a lot of my own work, but when your on the road you cant do everything that you could do if you were home. Knowing you can get help in the off chance you may need it is a lot of peace of mind.

  The flip side is what would happen if you had a engine problem in a S&S? Most are built around the chassis, pulling the engine would be excruciatingly difficult. Ive looked at the Cummins/Allison in our Bounder, and I cant imagine the level of labor that would entail its removal, and im pretty sure the labor would exceed its current value if you were paying for it. I'm also pretty sure it was never meant to be repaired. At least with a Bus we know up front the max failure (engine) will be somewhere between $5K to $10K. On a S&S diesel pusher the same failure could possibly double or tripple that amount.
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« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2011, 04:41:11 AM »

When I had my problems with my 8v92 last year,water in oil,shop rate for rv was $100.00 an hour.Bus was $65.00 an hour.
  Don
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