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Author Topic: bus towing charges/options  (Read 1748 times)
oldfordlover36
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« on: June 12, 2014, 09:02:06 PM »

Hi I am new to the forum and I have a question.  I am looking at a salvage bus to convert but it would have to be towed about 1000 miles.  Any input on an amount I know it won't be cheap!  Also any suggestions on who would be best to tow it would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
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lvmci
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 09:18:04 PM »

hi OldFord, we need more info, what bus manufacturer and year,   standard or auto, rear or front engine, how long (35, 40'?), 1 rear axle or 2 or tag, do  you have insurance from fmca, AAA, or others, are you going over mountains, also tell us where you are and where its coming from,  do you think the drive shaft can be, disconnected?  The guys with experience will then chime in, , I used a landall, which ended up working best for my 35' 66 MCI5A auto with one rear axle, just in one valley, lvmci...
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 09:52:33 PM »

  Hi I am new to the forum and I have a question.  I am looking at a salvage bus to convert but it would have to be towed about 1000 miles.  Any input on an amount I know it won't be cheap!  Also any suggestions on who would be best to tow it would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance. 

    I know one guy who had a bus (non-runner) delivered from San Francisco area to Charlotte NC for about $5500 (on a LandAll).  Took him 2-3 weeks of looking at bids to get that rate.  I've also seen a quote "$250 to hook up, $4 a mile (total tow truck mileage)" but I think that's 24-hour/"do it now" roadside recovery rate.  Don't take the first quote you get.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

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scanzel
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 02:46:37 AM »

Something to look at is the cost of the bus/vehicle worth the cost of having it brought 1000 miles. Even if the vehicle is free is it worth the delivery cost ? I would assume that you have already looked at this vehicle and it is what you want.
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 05:51:06 AM »

How much time and money is needed to make a salvage bus roadworthy?  It cost me two years and almost as much money as a bus in good condition to get my salvage bus roadworthy.  Seriously consider starting with a shell that is in the best condition possible-- you will thank yourself later.
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DriverGT5
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 06:04:54 AM »

How much time and money is needed to make a salvage bus roadworthy?  It cost me two years and almost as much money as a bus in good condition to get my salvage bus roadworthy.  Seriously consider starting with a shell that is in the best condition possible-- you will thank yourself later.

Agreed. Spending a few thousand dollars extra upfront can save 6 months of work. I have also found that the longer a project goes on and the bigger the total task, the less likely it is to get finished. It's really hard to wake up and start working on something that's been going on for two years.

Much easier to have something basically running and do little projects from time to time.

When I was younger and broker I always went for the screaming deal and put in the sweat equity. Now that I'm older and have slightly more money I have never once regretted spending a little more upfront. Especially on vehicles.
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1968 Eagle Series 05 - 7616
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Jon
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 07:17:12 AM »

With the current pricing of professionally converted Prevost motor homes with 20 to 25 years of age on them there is no worse decision than to start with an old seated coach that has to be towed home. I get the concept of "creating" a coach. I get the satisfaction of starting from scratch, but for the die hards that want to do that buy that under loved 2 cycle powered professional Prevost conversion and gut it and start all over. At the very least you will have every component needed to make a first class motor home on a commercial bus chassis and your cost will not even approach what it takes to buy all the parts separately.

Even sweat equity has a cost because unless someone's mission is just the building and not the enjoyment of the final product, every hour of "sweat equity" is an hour taken away from the family enjoying the coach, which I presume was the intent in the first place.

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Jon

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Knoxville, TN
robertglines1
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2014, 05:54:28 PM »

The Build!!  I wrote a heated response to the last Prevost entry.  I do not agree at all.. I erased it..  I would not do that on a site that is dominated by Prevost factory conversions..  How many years behind are the pro on HVAC and just recently doing led..  Can't buy class or pride---throw money at it all day long...Bob
« Last Edit: June 13, 2014, 06:01:44 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 06:10:59 PM »

Looks like you got some good advise from what I can see.

I would say the tow bill would be outrageous + the fact that you will need to do a good amount of work. It may not look like a lot of work, but believe me, once you start into it you will find out that other changes will need to be made while you are doing you re fit or you need to make changes for upgrades......meaning once you open the can up, you will always find something that will need to be addressed if you want to do it right.

We are refitting ours and I am finding things I did not even think about. Mind you, these are not bad things, but things that should be corrected before we button it back up.

Good luck with your search......be sure to buy something you can drive home:)

All the best
Mike
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Mike and Lori
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oldfordlover36
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2014, 08:19:50 PM »

Thanks for all the input.  I am realizing my notion of a salvage bus is overwhelming.   I have built alot of salvage trucks and they do always require more time effort and capital than planned that coupled with a motorhome conversion would really be a project!  I just really like j4500 mcis and don't want to spend 300k on one lol.  I will prob scrap this idea and keep looking for a   n already converted bus that maby needs some tlc, finishing, or remodel.  Anyone have any projects they want to sell or know of any?  Thanks again for the input.  I can tell already this is a helpful forum
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oldfordlover36
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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2014, 08:30:01 PM »

Ok I will add that I am looking locally at a 1990 102c3 with a l10 and a 5 speed that the interior has been removed on seller wants 10k for it.  Also a 1995 vanhool 840 with m11 for 12500.  I won a 1994 dl3 with d4500 front and rear caps on ebay last week but the seller sold it on craigs before I won the auction!!!  I just don't know what to do.  I am a self employed mechanic and have remodeled several homes so I have the ability to do a conversion just not sure if I want another project to consume my life just yet.  I apoligise for the lack of direction just really appreciate the advice of fellow bus lovers.
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lvmci
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2014, 08:58:53 PM »

Hi oldford, drive as many as you can, and look over even more, some pro and home conversions, the more you look at the more things you recognize,  more easily, where are you at? 45 ft is quite long do you intend on staying in rv parks? Lvmci...
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oldfordlover36
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2014, 06:50:26 PM »

Lvmci
I am in wisconsin and I have heard the 45 footers are more difficult to find campgrounds to stay at.  I will keep looking at them.  I have another 1993 102c3 to look at tomorrow will report on how it goes.
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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 07:08:48 PM »

1993 MCI 102c3 would be my first choice. Extra head height with out doing a roof raise. Wider at 102" and is the best of the old coaches IHO in looks. Merl Haggard uses one as do many of the music people. a lot of them were never in people hauling service but were started as a converters shell. All that said I would stay away from the Van Howels (Hool) They can have lots of hidden rust as well as having a hard time finding parts. I believe they also have weird rear Bolt patterns on the wheels as do Neoplan type. HTH

Dave5Cs
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luvrbus
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« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2014, 07:57:48 PM »

The later Van Hools are good buses no rusting the older ones were bad news ,the new Cx45 IMO is the sharpest looking bus on the road with plenty of power from the DD13 or the Cummins ISX
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2014, 06:19:15 AM »

If you are looking at C models, might as well look at D3s (40 foot) or DL3s (45 foot). Lots of them still in service. Price of used ones coming down. One with a pre EGR Series 60 (before '98 I think) would be great.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
1977 MC5C, 6V92/HT740
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2014, 07:00:26 AM »

Hi old ford, I'm running a 1991  102c3 with a N14, Allison 740 very happy with the way it turning out. Still have a lot of work to do.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2014, 07:11:10 AM »

The C can be had with a Cat engine also,but like JC I would go for the D just watch the rust on the east coast D's the VanHools and Eagles have nothing on some of the D's they rust with the best  Roll Eyes
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RJ
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« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2014, 07:47:31 AM »

Old Ford [NAME???]-

Be smart about this.

The market for used conversions is totally in the toilet right now, has been for awhile, and is probably not going to change for at least the foreseeable future .

Far better off to spend a little more up front now to purchase one that's already been converted (especially from one of the pro shops), than to start from scratch.

There are a lot of "dreams" sitting alongside barns where somebody started the way you're thinking, became overwhelmed and gave up, never even getting the opportunity to enjoy their dream.

So go shopping for a completed one, find a coach that's really close to what you want, then simply upgrade here and there as needed, while in the meantime getting to use it. 

Seriously.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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Fresno CA
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« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2014, 07:56:33 AM »

Yep for 50 grand and under one can buy a nice late model conversion with a little shopping not worth the trouble and money to convert a old bus with a million miles unless you just like to do it your way
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Charles in SC
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« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2014, 05:59:36 PM »

Yep for 50 grand and under one can buy a nice late model conversion with a little shopping not worth the trouble and money to convert a old bus with a million miles unless you just like to do it your way

Wow, 50 grand huh. I think I have about 13 in my 1969 GMC after converting it. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in the end. Also remember that sometimes the journey is a big part of the fun.
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S8M 5303 built in 1969, converted in 2000
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« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2014, 06:30:25 PM »

Wow, 50 grand huh. I think I have about 13 in my 1969 GMC after converting it. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in the end. Also remember that sometimes the journey is a big part of the fun.

Tell us more, any motor or suspension work or tires in that number ?
Did you buy it with any house systems, batteries, inverters etc. ?
 Grin Huh Smiley Roll Eyes Huh Grin
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oldfordlover36
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« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2014, 08:49:42 PM »

Well I got the 102c3 was bar far the cleanest bus I've looked at thus far and for under 10k I couldn't pass it up.  I would like to get an already converted bus but don't want to spend 50k as previously mentioned and am going to do a bedroom and a few other amenities for now and use it!  I was looking at another s&s motorhome and for 15k u just don't get much so I figured an old bus would just be more fun to drive and work on!  The mci has a m11 cummins which I was pleasantly surprised by.  Maby it will never get fully converted but I will get it usable for now and get bussing.  Will keep. Posted on the progress.
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shelled
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« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2014, 09:14:01 PM »

oldfordlover,

a lot of the cost of converting a bus is directly related to LUCK.  You can rarely be certain that there are no lurking faults.  If you've been restoring old pickups, you already know the drill.  Best of luck to you.

edward

p.s. -- some pics in the projects section would be nice.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 09:15:45 PM by shelled » Logged

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Charles in SC
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2014, 08:04:29 PM »

Tell us more, any motor or suspension work or tires in that number ?
Did you buy it with any house systems, batteries, inverters etc. ?
 Grin Huh Smiley Roll Eyes Huh Grin

Maybe I was lucky, it was seated when I got it, the motor and running gear has been great so far. That price included replacing all the air bags, a few of the drag like bushings, all tires, installing three roof ac/s, a diesel generator, building tanks and interior. It is not plush as a Prevost but has served me well for ten years now since converting.
I guess if I had gold plated everything maybe I could have had 50k in it but I would have had to work at it.
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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2014, 10:04:58 AM »

You will have 50 grand in a 1,000.000 chassis just keep it long enough with engines costing 20+K to rebuild and not even gold plated either  Roll Eyes more like alpine green paint
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Jon
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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2014, 12:11:29 PM »

The hardest part to trying to give advice such as on this topic is figuring out what constitutes an acceptable conversion and a person's tolerance level for work, problems, living conditions, appearance, decor, etc.

My wife's senior citizen cousin is not only satisfied with camping in primitive conditions, she looks forward to "roughing it". She will accept living in a tent, pooping in the bushes, and living for extended periods on what she can stuff in a back pack. To her our bus is so far over the top she cannot picture herself staying in one. Obviously we come at vacationing from two completely different perspectives so when we give advice our reference point is not roughing it, but living in the greatest amount of comfort we can within the size constraints of our coach.

So when I think of a converted bus my expectations are it will run reliably and if a person takes a 1000 mile trip in it they won't post that the trip went off without a mechanical problem. In fact the opposite would be the case. There might be a post if something needed repairs.

The interior would be done to the extent it will be like living at home. The outlets will have power the appliances will work, the TVs will work, will have hot and cold running water and a flushing toilet and if I choose I can keep the windows closed and enjoy air conditioned comfort. I won't sleep on the floor I won't sit on crates, but in fact will have a real bed and comfortable seating in the living room plus a table in the dining area.

Plywood walls, sleeping bags, port-a-potties and water in jugs won't cut it.

There is no doubt a person can build a coach cheap. With a great deal of scrounging, patience, and a little luck a person can build a great converted coach, especially if time is not a factor. But if the intent is to have a bus that can be a nice RV and to be able to use it while being creative it is hard to beat a completed professionally converted coach that is complete, and that the owner can change to suit his tastes and needs a bit at a time.

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Jon

Current coach 2006 Prevost, Liberty conversion
Knoxville, TN
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« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2014, 04:26:09 PM »

Lol I paid a ton for my paint job,it all depends on what one wants I know what it costs to resurrect a Eagle 50 grand didn't even come close,I would never do again with the prices of low mileage factory conversions in todays market but we each do it different   
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robertglines1
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« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2014, 07:13:55 PM »

Got to have the   50 grand up front!!  Try borrowing on  bus over 10 yrs old.. Out of my pay grade!!!  Guess I wasn't smart enough..  If you got it ---decide where your going to use it..  Retired,fixed income,and Home-builder.. Bob   PS: doing what I can with what I got.
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2014, 07:59:45 AM »

Not enough time left in life for me to even think about project like yours again Bob ,hang on to all the receipts you will be at the 50 grand mark and if you figure 10 bucks a hr for your time it will be over 

LOl not enough time left then I think a about Jack Campbell you gotta love the guy at his age doing another one
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robertglines1
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« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2014, 12:59:06 PM »

Thread Drift:: I think I/we pretty well did it! The real purpose of all involved was to kindle the thought process==then whom ever can decide for themselves..  Lots of hrs involved ; in my case was good therapy/hobby.  What ever it be it's not a project for the weak at heart( any bus).    BUSNUTS!    Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2014, 01:15:34 PM »

Hey Old Ford:Check out uship.com. Might get a decent price on a flatbed if this thing can run on it's own power.This might not be a great idea if it doesn't run.Could cost as much to load it and unload it as the the tow bill.
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