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Author Topic: Buses are expensive vehicles  (Read 4297 times)
TomC
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2007, 02:57:05 PM »

HB- Is that Big Cam II a turbo or non turbo engine?  Whichever, I would suggest to just go up to a 350 with aftercooler.  The 350 was quite possibly the most reliable Big Cam engine made.  It'll make about 1100lb/ft torque which will be enough.  Going to a 444 (probably one of the most troublesome engines Cummins made, besides the 475 twin turbo), will be alot more money.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2007, 05:23:34 PM »

Yes,  buses and bus conversion cost some money.  I too am a former owner of a 'stick and staple'.  With the bus: I get better fuel economy 8.4 MPG avg. vs 6 at best; cruise at 70 knowing I can stop vs cruise 62 on the best day and every stop required a prayer;  Arrive after a long drive rested vs being a nervous wreck after a few hundred miles; have a more effective heating system, air conditioning system that cost's far less to run; Have lots of cool features,like a jetted bathtub, 200 gallon water tanks and a digital fuel gauge, that I didn't have and couldn't even get in a commercial motorhome.  I was into the gas class a for over $20,000 and may  have spent twice that on the bus, including rebuilding the engine.  But to me the best things about my 'did it myself' conversion are it is what I wanted and I feel tremendous pride of accomplishment. So what if I've spent some of my daughter's inheritance, I'm truly glad I did it, even though I'll be adding to it and changing things for the rest of my days.   
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Jerry 4107 1120
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2007, 05:58:26 PM »

Sure there expensive, if your surprised by that you need to rethink your due diligence process.

One of the things I learned from reading the numerous boards before I purchased the bus was, "don't be surprised".

These are old buses and thing will go wrong.  But by checking carefully and not getting bus fever you can find a diamond in the rough.

The most important items are the engine and drive train, thats were the really big dollars are hiding.

If you were anywhere else but here, you would have fallen over if someone said 1500.00-2000.00 for a radiator.

I still was surprized on that one, but didn't grab my chest, well, not yet!

I started out in a Stick "n" Staples too, learned they are cheap and expendable, in the process of fixing one up found out just how cheap and crappy they are built.

I really enjoy my bus and the conversion process, and most of all the people I have met from doing it. 

Wether you are just thinking about doing one or on your second conversion, you are a different breed, you are someone who likes a challenge and the success that goes with it.  You are not afraid of your own shadow and willing to try new things, new ways and have fun in the process.

I don't know who said it but, Go ask an older gentleman, what do you regret most in your life, the things you did or the ones you didn't.

You know the answer!

Oh and the expense, In the big picture of your life, its not much for the fun, comradire and the smile on your face when someone says, "Wow, you did that"

Thats my take on it!  Tongue

Cliff






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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2007, 06:36:40 PM »

Cody mentioned in his post above, the idea of 'talent' sharing.  That is exactly what this board is and is doing.  When someone here asks for help and advise, they almost always get both from someone who's 'been there & done that'.  Some projects are involved enough and big enough that they even get off line email and even phone support.  Cody, all you have to do is ask (it would help if your profile allowed someone to email you).  See the thread 'Applause for Chaz'.  He asked for help, got it and succeeded in doing what is without a doubt a most challenging inverter installation.  He happens to have outstanding metal fabrication tools and skills and he's volunteered to use them on a little project I'm working on.  The converted bus community is just chock full of really wonderfull people, both willing an able to help each other in so many ways.  I'm really glad to be a part of it.
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Jerry 4107 1120   
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cody
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2007, 07:08:24 PM »

I'm confused now lol, (normal state for me), I thought my email showed in my profile, I thought I had set it to be available. 
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2007, 07:12:08 PM »

Cody, looks like you just fixed it.
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Jerry 4107 1120
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NJT5047
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2007, 07:17:04 PM »


then you have to account for either a rode hard put away MC-9 platform ( example) vs someting nice and solid with documentation on everything.

Sort of off topic, but I am supprised MAK sells buses as Unknown mileage.  unless he is getting these buses from third hand auctions or such I would expect these records to be available.  I know any company that I would purchase a bus from ( charter outfit) that did not or would not provide records I would walk away no matter the deal.

HEYYYYYY!!
I got one of those "platforms"!   And the old bus has been way generous to me.  Bought in '01, converted it and started using in '03.  
Always runs well, drives pretty good, looks OK (at a few feet), has almost all the comforts anyone wants in an RV, and only have $45K invested.  Bus and all.  Couldn't buy a decent class C for that.  And the mileage is a wash when compared to most gasoline powered S&S RVs.  
One doesn't have to spend a ton of bucks to own and operate a bus.  It really comes down to whether the owner can, and will, maintain the thing.  If an owner is unable to keep the coach up, it's gonna get expensive to own.  So would a S&S.  
Another issue with non-mechanically sensitive bus owners is that they are unable to predict problems....thus they end up spending huge sums of bucks on preventable breakdowns.   Not that all breakdowns can be prevented, but many problems announce themselves.
Regarding MAK's reluctance to state mileage on used equipment...it's called risk prevention.  That's the reason most bus sellers just post a disclaimer for the mileage.  Why risk actions due to events you would have no ideas about.  Same's true of bus logs.   Many operators will not pass along logs due to the real possibility that some service work performed in the past is faulted and could be considered contributory in an accident.   More buses are being sold sans records.  
My dos centavos!   JR

« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 07:20:36 PM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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jlaney
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2007, 07:18:47 PM »

hey
i used to work for a barter system co , i could make money from trading and sales also. i still do a lot of trading. just traded a bass guitar for an radial arm saw and a band saw. maybe not the best trade lately, but if we would start to think of things we have and don't use very often, i think we could do some business. this is not a commerial. bartering is not new to the world , thanks j.t.
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j.t. laney  tyler texas 1980 prevost lemirage
cody
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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2007, 07:32:13 PM »

I didn't mean anything bad about the barter comment, I know that it's a common place occurance, I just meant that I enjoyed doing it and it sure has saved me a lot of money lol.  I often trade cabinetry work for other work and even have a standing offer for it. I'm hoping to at some point to be able to travel and enjoy life a little but I would miss my workshop so I figured on taking the shop with me, hopeing to make some sawdust here and there as I go.  It doesn't take much for me to break out the tools, lol, usually a cup of coffee puts me into the mood to do something constructive lol.  Making sawdust is almost as addictive as these busses.
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Dallas
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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2007, 07:48:56 PM »

If anyone is really interested in a barter type system, I'll be glad to ask the PTB's if it's alright to do it here. If not, I can set up a barter classified on my website so there will be no conflict here.

Let me know what you want !

Dallas
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jlaney
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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2007, 07:56:40 PM »

dallas
could be a way to get some type of work or product for their bus.
it would need to be close to home type of swaping. like the spare tire site
if it was free , it still would cost to much for shipping ect/  thanks j.t.
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j.t. laney  tyler texas 1980 prevost lemirage
justin25taylor
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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2007, 08:31:46 PM »

I wouldn't trade bus life for anything.

Nick (as usual) was right in his pointing out that a repair done right will likely never have to be done again. Even the 20-50 year old buses most of us own are incredible machines. They are very dependable, they drive great, They have all the comforts of home, and most importantly they are ten times safer than a S&S rig.

I drive for a living and although I mostly drive entertainer coaches, I get called to transport quite a few new Class A S&S rigs from the factory to dealer or between dealers.

It kills me to see folks work hard their entire life and then go buy a new class A motor home to enjoy after retirement. After lots of different brands, sizes, etc. I would not give $10.00 for one. They are built on a truck chassis. They ride like a truck and drive even worse. There is just nothing holding them together. I have had windshields pop out, roofs blow off, king pins break (yeah, I said break), axles break, tie rods come loose, doors fly off, and all kinds of things that should not happen to a new coach.
There is no way they can last over 100k. The engine/trans might but the coach will be worn out.
I just get sick knowing they could have bought a bus for a lot less money and it would be more comfortable, last them a lifetime, and be way safer.

I think we hurt our coaches by not driving them often/far enough. These things are designed to go millions of miles. You will never convince me that there is a safer or better value RV than a bus.

I just made it to St Louis, MO for the steel guitar convention in my Eagle. 1000 miles from home and never gave it a second thought.
If anyone is in the St Louis area I will be here until Monday morning.


Sorry for the rant.

Best,
Justin
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gus
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« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2007, 08:50:49 PM »

I think one more point to add here is that a long, expensive, labor intensive, first class conversion will almost always cost more than you can possibly ever sell the bus for, especially if a lot of work is done by outside shops.

I see this all the time with antique vehicle and airplane restorations. If you have to pay to get the work done you will never get your money back-so, plan it to suit your personal wants and don't plan to make a profit!

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PD4107-152
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2007, 09:14:34 PM »

Adding up the receipts and not counting the POís time I bought my bus for less than 20 cents on the dollar. I would not have been able to get into this hobby if the sellers didnít take such beatings. Sad for them, great for those in my situation.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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H3Jim
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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2007, 10:37:36 PM »

Yeah go Justin - nice rant, I feel the same way.

I could  never really get out of my coach near what I have into it. 
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Jim Stewart
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