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Author Topic: Finally getting hitched! Long, rambling story.  (Read 1257 times)
plyonsMC9
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« on: October 12, 2006, 09:06:54 PM »

I've made several posts over the years looking for someone capable of installing a hitch on my MC9.  In fact, that was one of the first "test" posts on this board.  But haven't had much luck.  Even outside of Chicago.  You would think it would be easier.  I even had the plans for the hitch thanks to the kindness of my fellow busnuts.  Just not the skills to do it myself, nor could I find any one.  We'd like to put our bike carrier on the hitch.  Maybe pull a small horse trailer, or jeep, etc..

Another busnut from this board recommended a shop he had gone to several years ago when he lived in this area.  Didn't know where the shop was, just that he had been there years ago, maybe 10 or so, but they did great work!  Well, I finally found the intersection where they were supposed to be.  And, you guessed it, a realtor's sign was on the window. 

I see a couple of gents inside what used to be the shop.  Desperate as I am, I figure to have a talk. Low and behold, it was the ex-owner.  He had retired  four years ago and closed up shop.  But - he did still remember all the other businesses in the area who might be capable of the hitch task on the MC9.  Apparently, not many shops could actually 'walk the walk'.  Tho' many could 'talk the talk'.  Sigh...  Just one he could think of that he would trust.

The place he remembered was far out west of Chicago.  Wasn't still sure if they were still in business.  Wasn't even sure of the name of the shop.  Just something like beringer brothers or something like that.   The work done by this shop was of top quality.  And reasonable. The shop was passed from generation to generation.  Just faaar out of the way.   

After several weeks of google, yellow pages, phone calls, etc., I figure just to drive to the town.  Hampshire, IL.  After all, there are only a few streets in town.  How hard could it be to find a guy / shop to put a hitch on my bus?   Full tank of gas.  I take off for Hampshire.  ( who says this bus thing is an addiction?) 

I get to town, and just start driving up and down the streets looking for something like beringer brothers.  Unfortunately, this was on "talk like a pirate day", and I had my pirate bandana on my head.  BAD idea to go into a small town dressed like a pirate.  At one small shop I pulled up to, a farmer actually walked up to my Jeep, stared at me through the front windshield, and started laughing.  And continued laughing.  laughing...  I went to the next block , taking off the pirate regalia.  Note to self; don't dress like a pirate in Hampshire, IL.

Finally, I see an old brick building.  Very Old.  Built in 1933.  I walk inside the dark brick building.  Lots of steel, and flames shooting out different toches and furnaces.  I'm glad I don't have on the pirate bandana.   It is heated by a 5 foot tall pot bellied stove.  I have stepped back in time!  Then I meet the owner.  This is indeed Gehringer Brothers Shop!    Name started with G, not B.   Still in business.  And the guy knows his stuff!  He knew right away what I needed.   In fact, many of the RV dealerships send him their difficult hitch work.  Jackpot!!!  And extremely reasonable!

OK, if you've read this whole story, you are probably addicted to this busnut stuff too!  But, I am a happy boy now!  I just need to leave the bus there for a day - and I'm hitched!  I'll keep you posted on this.  Even with pix.

Thanks for "listening".

Best Regards, Phil
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 09:08:55 PM by plyonsMC9 » Logged

Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 12:38:58 AM »

Phil, good story... and look forwarding to seeing those hitch pix.

As a BTDT word of caution though... we did put our five bikes on a hitch on the back of the old 4106 for a trip to San Diego in Summer '05. By the time we got there we had some major oil to clean off of the bikes.

It'd be best to wrap them in something disposable if you do this.

BTW our new 4108 has a free (and tall) bay that fits them all of our bikes upright (and oil free) now.

HTH,
bb

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Brian Brown
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 02:01:43 AM »

The first job I had done to my bus was to get a towbar put on, so I could tow my boats. I too found that none of the 'modern' shops would do it, but eventually I found an old time-served truck mechanic with a beaten up shop who was willing to do the work, and did a good job too. The engine in my bus is in the middle, so the chassis actually stops at the back axle - so to install the towbar he had to start by running two 6"x2" beams under the bodywork to the rear bumper - so it was by no means a quick or cheap job. An added complication in the UK is that towbars have to be 'CE marked', which means the design has been tested to European safety standards. Obviously this is impossible on a non-standard, fabricated bus towbar, so technically I was actually asking the mechanic to break the law by doing the work.

Turns out the mechanic was a really interesting guy, and told me all sorts of things about my bus that I didn't know (I had only recently bought it then). Amongst other things, in his earlier days he had raced stockcars (a stockcar here is very different to a stockcar in the US), and had once converted a coach to carry his race car inside.

Jeremy
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 05:03:08 AM »

LOL Phil,

I sure wish I could have seen you in the Pirate outfit, Pictures man pictures these things must be documented. When this comes out in paperback I hope you at least dedicate it to me for sending you on this little adventure to find a good welding shop, and to think you get to drive your bus on this little adventure to boot. Ah the life of a busnut. Dick Tracy would be proud of you for following your leads to the end and for that you get 5 adda boys.

Oh if this story gets turned into a movie I want my cut LOL

Dean
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Dean Hamilton Villa Grove, IL East Central IL. Near Champaign
Still Dreaming and planning
plyonsMC9
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 07:14:32 AM »

Haha Dean, yes indeed.  You did start all this - and thank you!  I didn't mentioned your name as I didn't know if you would want to be associated with my antics!   Cheesy

Kind Regards, Phil

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Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006, 10:24:52 AM »

Waiting to here or see the plans and hitch... I need one to hold a motorcycle?Huh Keep us posted...
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