Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 30, 2014, 04:14:05 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription:  It will not get lost in the mail.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The infamous $20k emergency fund I keep reading about - Really?  (Read 3086 times)
pickpaul
New Bus Not
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 190


New Bus Not




Ignore
« on: October 16, 2011, 07:35:44 PM »

I get that the number is a worse case scenario but at the prices I'm seeing on pull out DD 2 Strokes paired with Alisons, could you really get even close to that with labor on a swap?

I'm planning on getting an 80's or 70's MCI, Prevost or Eagle and would love your thoughts on an appropriate emergency fund.

Cheers, Paul.
Logged
bobofthenorth
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2071



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 07:46:56 PM »

It cost me more than that by the time I got out of Camp Luke 3 years ago.  The problem with emergencies is that by their very nature you don't know when they are likely to happen.  If you have lots of time and a good location then you can mitigate your costs and they would likely be considerably less but if you're on the far side of nowhere and need to get it fixed well ..........

I don't know what an appropriate emergency number is but these are big complicated machines and when they fail they can be phenomenally expensive to get back on the road.  Fortunately they don't fail in that spectacular fashion very often.  But its not impossible that they will.  When you are comparing costs of a rebuild vs. a pull and replace don't forget that unless your donor engine/transmission comes from exactly the same bus there will likely be some costs for the transition.  If you're paying shop rates for that process the costs can add up rapidly.
Logged

R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
My website
Our weblog
Simply growing older is not the same as living.
kyle4501
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3122


PD4501 South Carolina




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 07:59:44 PM »

It has been my experience that used parts that fit exactly are never available when you need them - if you can wait until one shows up, then great. But, when stuff happens away from home, storage bills add up faster than you may think.
It also depends on how you are set for adding time to your trip while you wait on service.
While I'm still having to work for a living, I don't leave the house for vacation if I don't have enough to buy return plane tickets plus a tow home. That way, if something happens, I KNOW I can get home in time for my other commitments (like work & kids school).
Logged

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
lostagain
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1507


MC5C




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 08:08:49 PM »

The possibility of a costly breakdown is real, but very remote. While at home, do your preventive maintenance, get to know your machine, so it is in good shape before you go away. You have to get your bus to a state of repair that you can drive it across the continent tomorrow morning. An engine does not crater all at once without warning. Same with a transmission. Or at least it is rare. You also have to carry a good assortment of tools with you to deal with the more minor issues that will inevitably come up. And road side assistance will make you feel better too. I also have a list of mechanics and suppliers around home and all over the place that I can call in case of crisis for technical and moral support. Buses are heavy duty machines that were built to run down the highway 24/7, and if maintained properly, will continue to do so for you. In all my years of professional, volunteer and private bus driving, show stopping breakdowns have been very rare. More often, it is minor things that cause a few hours delay, or overnight at worst.

JC
Logged

JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
Chopper Scott
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1298


MCI 7




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 04:55:26 AM »

I guess I haven't seen anyone posting the magic number of 20 grand to be set aside for such an emegency but rather that one has the ability to come up with that much if need be. I think previous posts have pretty well answered the question correctly. A rule of thumb when it comes down to various expenses is 50/50 labor versus parts in many cases. Most folks with these ole girls have the mechanical knowledge and abilities to do such repairs or should steer away. Along with the knowledge comes better maintanance habits and a gut feeling when something isn't quite right. The ability to find and predict potential problems in the friendly confines of home rather than meltdowns half way across the country is as good as cash in the bank!!
Logged

Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
prevosman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 185





Ignore
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2011, 06:43:05 AM »

It is my opinion that we all need to have the resources to get us roadworthy again if something catastrophic should occur. That includes involvment in an accident. I doubt if we need to carry cash with us, but we do need access to either cash or credit should something bad happen.

The probability of something bad occuring is slight, and as owners we are the ones who can increase the reliability of our coaches by addressing problems before they happen. Some of the posts I read and some conversations I have had with folks makes me wonder about the folks on the bad end of the bell curve. Some must be so optimistic that they can continue to ignore signals that something is going wrong for countless trips, and then when their bus pukes they are dumbfounded. Rather than carrying $20,000 in cash, or credit cards with $20,000 limits I much rather pursue an agressive preventive maintenance program that not only gets me under the bus often, but it gives me peace of mind knowing I am riding on nearly new air bags, that I have no drips or leaks, that my brakes are functioning leak free and with the proper stroke and pad or drum thickness.

Nothing ever breaks or quits working while it sits in the garage, but after every trip I have a list of things I want to check, fix, adjust, or just look at before it goes out on the road again.

Having said that, I had an AC system repair done on a coach about 7 years ago by Carrier, the folks who made the AC compressor. As a result of their work I got 400 miles and had an $82,000 fire in the engine compartment. Needless to sayt having money or a credit card would have been useless, but having an insurance company that took over for me in insuring the bus was repaired was vital. My point is we need a lot of resources so we are prepared for anything, and the first and most important is knowing everything possible has been done to make sure the coach is roadworthy, but accepting the fact there are just some things that will happen despite your best efforts.
Logged

Jon Wehrenberg
Knoxville TN
1997 Prevost Liberty
Rick59-4104
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 310





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2011, 08:12:58 AM »

  If I were to have a major failure away from home I think I would look at having my 4104 trucked from wherever to home and then fix it myself with help from a couple of local people I know. Would not be cheap but would not cost 20 thousand. I would think up to 5 thousand should get a haul from a trucking company from about anywhere in the country. I don't get much more than a few hundred miles from home in the bus so having my bus hauled home would be something I would look at if I had a major breakdown.

 This would be if I could not find someone local to the breakdown on this site or one of the other bus forums to recommend a shop. One would of course have to weight the haul bill against having the bus repaired on the road but it would be an option.

Rick
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 12:53:05 AM by Rick59-4104 » Logged

NW Arkansas
1959 GM 4104  No. 4115
1972 Grumman Kurbmaster Stepvan Conversion
1957 Airstream 13 panel Overlander
kyle4501
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3122


PD4501 South Carolina




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 03:59:43 PM »

For what its worth, based on my experience from having many buses hauled - If you budget $2.50 per mile the truck will travel (empty & loaded), you will be close to the landoll hauling fee (usually they charge by the hour the truck is away from their shop). If you have the luxury of waiting for the landoll to find 'back hauls', the price may be less.
This also assumes your bus isn't too tall that it exceeds the 13'-6" height limit when loaded onto the landoll. If you exceed that, you may need 'over height' permits - not expensive, just a hassle. . . .
Logged

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. (R.M. Nixon)
thejumpsuitman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 755


'79/'97 Eagle 05


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 04:33:53 PM »

I can say from personal experience that $5,000 is a reasonable emergency fund.  That ought to be able to get you out of an immediate pinch and at least buy you some time.

Depending on what your bus is worth, at $20,000, you need to start asking if replacement of the entire bus is more feasible than the repair
Logged

"Life is like a game of Pool... No matter how bad it looks, you take your shot."
busnut104
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 211




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 05:52:07 PM »

Well Paul that is why I sent you a e-mail about my bus, everything is new I left no rock unturned, Everything That I could think of was rebuilt or replaced with new, and asking a fraction of what I have in it, not even thinking about the work, that was pleasure. I have more in my eng update then what some of the asking price on some of these buses. I also have invoices to backup what has been done. Some times a so called bargain with no documentation can be a expensive night mare.   
Logged
blank
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1929




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 06:00:54 PM »

  In todays market it would be a pretty nice Bus that would exceed $20K value. OTOH, if the Bus is your home, its value is also in the items you carry along, and if you built it, its priceless nature. Still, a $20K repair would be unlikely. And as suggested, $20K will buy a lot of nice Buses these days.

  I got a bit scared along the way, there have been some dusey repairs posted up here, and absolute BS hassles getting the work done. Money is one thing, time is another. There are some examples of owners waiting a week or more just to get someone to even diagnose the problem, and longer to start the actual work.

  Will the shop allow you to stay aboard while the work is done? If not, can you afford a motel indefinetly? Can you stay away from home indefinetly? If you have to leave it far from home, can you take your personal belongings? will they be safe?

  So the best defense is maintenance, intimate knowledge of your machine, and mechanical ability followed up with tools that work. But the very best thing to have, is this website. Nothing beats a few extra sets of eyes and experience on a problem, as well as advice on where to go, or where "not" to go, should you need some work. In most cases these old girls can be coaxed into limping along a long, long ways, putting both that $2.50 per mile hauling fee, and the sting of a big repair, that much farther down the road. So im going with the $2.50 per mile cushion. IOW, dont go any farther away from home than you can afford to haul it back.
Logged
RnMAdventures
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 408





Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 06:12:34 PM »

My plan is along the same lines as several of the post. Thorough maint program and enough of a emergency fund to get it home if it brakes down.
Logged

Mike & Rosemarie
1964 PD4106-2626
DD8v71 & Allison v730
white-eagle
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1184





Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 07:11:39 PM »

we live full time and i'm not a mechanic, not at all.  i've learned a lot on this board and from friends, and i'm not near of afraid of a wrench as i once was, or getting dirty.  But disaster could be just that-disaster.

when we get on the road, i'm usually going somewhere with some sort of deadline.  i try to allow a couple days, not weeks, to get to my next job.  i try to check tires, wheels, oil levels, and i watch the gauges.

i have found friends along the way that have helped.  Jack Conrad, Ray Nukala, John Vickrey have helped me learn to use a wrench.  others on this board have coached, given advice, offered help, or provided phone numbers.  I've read about the free help others have provided.

i'd hate to have Bob of the North's past issues, but i'm not near as afraid as i used to be thanks to Mike's MAK board and the people that post here.
Logged

Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
luvrbus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12099




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 08:19:21 PM »

This one I have a hard time understanding the $ and common sense you blow a 6-71  or a 8v71 engine the dealer wants $12,000 for a rebuild and you are going to pay 5 grand for a tow.

You get home and don't have the tools, experience or a good source of parts and you are under the impression you are going to do it cheaper.. 

A good take out low mileage engine is going to cost you Brian did a great article cost him over 8 grand without the tow he would be at over $13,000 with a $5000.00 tow we all do it different nature of so called hobby 

I have had to bite the bullet before if I was in a 100 miles from home maybe a tow home but I was 1400 miles wasn't going to happen to this cowboy I told the dealer fix it and call me

good luck
Logged

Live each day like it was your last,one day it will be
blank
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1929




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 08:34:59 PM »

  I would like to point out that anyone can learn mechanics. Its not always a gene or a gift, some of the best mechanics will tell you they sucked at mechanical aptitude.

Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!