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Author Topic: Your first trip out - share the experience.  (Read 2458 times)
Paladin
Dave Knight
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« on: November 12, 2007, 10:40:10 AM »

I'm curious about everyones first trip out on their coach.

Where did you go?
How far away did you go?
How long were you gone?
What troubles or interesting experiences did you have?
How far along was your coach conversion wise?
What would you do differently now?
What in your coach came in the most handy?

Tell me your stories. Inquiring minds want to know.

-Dave
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 10:41:41 AM by Paladin » Logged

'75 MC-8   'Event Horizon'
8V71  HT740
Salt Lake City, Utah

"Have bus will travel read the card of the man, a Knight without armor in a savage land...."
Tenor
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2007, 01:22:07 PM »

Let's see, very first trip was bringing it home through a blizzard over the Macinaw Bridge, without any heat or door latch. Oh yeah, with one flat tire.  Later trips were under 300 miles and the most handy thing in my bus was the FIRE EXTINGUSHIER!  I used it on 2 different occasions.  I wouldn't have done a singe thing differently - or I wouldn't have the knowledge I do now.  Gotta love this insane hobby!

Glenn
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Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
www.threemenandatenor.com
1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
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4 speed Spicer
prevost82
82 Prevost 8V92ta 6 speed
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2007, 03:46:28 PM »

If you mean "first time out" camping in it. We only went about 20 miles from home for 3 days, after camping in the driveway for 5 days ... making sure the systems all worked, the bus was just about finished except for cabinet doors. The 2nd time out we went to Mexico, 10,000 mile trip with no problems.
Ron
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 03:48:34 PM by prevost82 » Logged
NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2007, 05:56:05 PM »

other than driveway camping at home and friends house.  our first shakedown cruise was to hot springs NC.  couple hours away.  Been back twice

woulda taken the radios, did the last 2 times.

found more leaks, but the conversion is pretty much what it is now with a few more things fixed.  I was worried about one of my broken AC but it hit 47 at night in august.  shoulda took jacket and sweat cloths and firewood.  had plenty of room.

enjoyed it and got to learn about the jake brake too.




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It's all fun and games til someone gets hurt. Wink
lyndon
1988 MC-9 DDC 6V92TA Fuller T-11605D
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2007, 09:38:19 PM »

Our first real trip was bringing to bus home 2800 miles and it was amazingly uneventful. But now that we know seats come out in about 5 minutes, we wonder why we slept dangling across the aisle.

Now this was more eventful:

While we convert on weekends, we like to take the bus for a run, but without really having a destination in mind. It's usually a short enough run to allow for some work time but long enough to keep everything loose and get the engine temperature up. Diesels like to work.

Expect the unexpected? This scene was pretty much unexpected.


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Don
1988 MC-9
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2007, 05:20:55 AM »

Did you all remember the space, near disaster, later made into a movie, Apollo 13?

After 8 years of converting my MCI 8, and promising the kids to go to Disney World, we took the bus 1200 miles to Fort Wilderness.  Actually, it was far from a disaster, but we had MANY things not operate as designed.   

As examples -
VERY cold driving with not enough heat in front
Diesel generator ran-out of fuel (Better that than bus engine.)
Ceiling vent would not close - rained - wife Janet slept with bucket on her legs.
Inverter did not work AS EXPECTED, but rather as it was suppose to.

We persevered and enjoyed the trip.

I know, first trip should be short.

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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JackConrad
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2007, 05:44:26 AM »

   Just curious, where were the photos taken.  We used to drive cattle about 2 miles down SR 70 near Punta Gorda, FL to get them from the south pasture to the north pasture.  We got a lot of stares and great co-operation from the motorist.  Some would actually get out of their cars to take photos of us on our horses.  Jack
Our first real trip was bringing to bus home 2800 miles and it was amazingly uneventful. But now that we know seats come out in about 5 minutes, we wonder why we slept dangling across the aisle.

Now this was more eventful:

While we convert on weekends, we like to take the bus for a run, but without really having a destination in mind. It's usually a short enough run to allow for some work time but long enough to keep everything loose and get the engine temperature up. Diesels like to work.

Expect the unexpected? This scene was pretty much unexpected.



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Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2007, 05:55:11 AM »

Our first trip out was supposed to be a short run!

But due to delays in the roof raise (darned thing called paying work kept getting in the way) and the usual spring sports for the kids, I was rushing to get it sealed up for a trip to Texas from Florida.

The last two weeks before departure were crazy, 10:00 and 11:00 nights.   Getting the generator secure and a mess of wire to temporary locations.  The old couches from my Moms house were fastened to the floor, a make shift wall around the portable john with the plastic bag inserts, little frig from my shop strapped to the floor and all the securing one must do.

We headed out into the night, with the sound of my son saying "If you can't find-em, grind-em"  Be careful what sayings you teach your children.

All went well on the first 950 of 960 miles out there.  But as going down a hill to a stop light the pedal felt a little soft and went almost to the floor before stopping.  Checking this out I had an old air line split feeding the drivers side rear brake.  Clamped this off and made to the Ponderosa.

Over the next week I ended up replacing almost all the brake air lines, as each one I replaced seem to cause the other to expose there weaknesses.

I was surprised at how well my brakes were working on the way home.  But its not over yet!

Just about to cross the big swamp in Louisiana when suddenly the air conditioners quit.

Ends up being the generator has busted the cam shaft pulley off.  Its 99 deg in the shade.

We persevered the rest of the way home using fans off the inverter(1800watt) with all the windows open, but it was really hot.

Since then we have had a few issues on the road, none that we couldn't overcome and still have a great time anyway.  Not to jinx myself, But in the last 17 months, we have completed 15 trips and all have been Great.

Just be prepared, not paranoid!

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2007, 06:54:50 AM »

My first trip was to Timmonsville last year.  I hadn't driven the bus before... 'cept for about 15 minutes on a deserted highway during the 'test drive'.  I got to the end of my driveway, took a deep breath (and held it) and ventured out into the street.  I got 15 feet away and realized I'd forgotten something in the house as always, and had to park in the street and go get it.  While I was there, several neighbors came out and wanted to see what I called my 'studio loft bus'.  Once I got going, I made my first real turn and some branches hit the A/C - no problem.  Got to the end of that street, waited 'til there were no cars in sight, and made that tight right turn following all the instructions I'd gotten online like waiting to turn when my shoulders were even with where I wanted the bus to go, etc. 

When I finally got to out of the residential areas and was waiting to turn left to cross the big draw bridge, the friend with me said "I'm impressed".  Normally, this would have been taken as sarcasm, but in this case, I knew he was sincere - I hadn't hit or run over anything.  Once over the bridge and on our way, I was having the usual fights with the Spicer 4-speed and the overly loose steering, but made it to Timmonsville uneventfully.  It was a bit late when I pulled in and everybody was in their buses.  A few folks came out to see who'd arrived.  I remember Ace backed it in for me - I hadn't had to back up any yet and didn't want to learn with a bunch of parked buses around.  We were parked right next to the bath house, which was good, as I didn't (and still don't) have a bathroom installed.  I remember talking to Gary and Cat.  Cat heated up some dinner for us and made sure we were full.  Then we had desert in the 'slightly' modified Eagle. 

The only real difficulty I had was in backing the bus back into my driveway.  It's 150' deep, fairly narrow, and has an 10' gate that I have to negotiate.  Neighbors came out and moved their cars for us.  It was a bit embarrassing, really.  I did get it back in the yard, but not without a tired left leg and frazzled nerves!  I did notice that 'somebody' ran over part of a crepe myrtle that's beside my drive way.  I wouldn't have thought it was me, but the bus tire tracks and the leaves and bark stuck to the rear side of the bus say differently.   Wink

I've since made three trips in the bus - this one was about 350 miles r/t - totaling about 2000 miles.  I've had one mishap with an oak tree's roots (MCI's can handle a lot of things, but don't drag the side over tree roots), but all in all it's been fun.  I've gotten the steering tightened up a bit, stopped most of the power steering leaks, and gotten a little better at shifting.  The best part... I didn't have to have anybody move their cars for me to back into the driveway after the last trip.  I learned to back up by what 'feels' right instead of relying on somebody guiding me.  I still have a guard to keep me from backing into anything, but most people are accustomed to backing trailers and expect a bus to behave the same way.  When I positioned the bus the way I wanted it instead of how I was told to position it, I backed it right into my drive way without having to do that back and forth thing a dozen times.  In fact, I only had to pull forward once to straighten it up to avoid hitting the mirrors on the gate.  It just seems to get better and better each time.

Some things that impressed me on the first trip - how well one can see ahead sitting in a bus,  Rain-X on the windshields will almost eliminate the need for wipers, especially when in a vehicle that's up high out of the slush that cars are stirring up on the interstate, my brakes are very good (I was quite impressed by their stopping power), I-95 in South Carolina isn't so bad when in a bus (but really sucks when in a car), and mostly, how much I enjoy driving the bus!

David
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lyndon
1988 MC-9 DDC 6V92TA Fuller T-11605D
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2007, 08:31:13 PM »

   Just curious, where were the photos taken.  We used to drive cattle about 2 miles down SR 70 near Punta Gorda, FL to get them from the south pasture to the north pasture.  We got a lot of stares and great co-operation from the motorist.  Some would actually get out of their cars to take photos of us on our horses.  Jack


Jack, these photos were taken on Alberta Provincial Hwy 791 (southbound), near 583 in mid October. Here's a link to Google Maps; you probably have to zoom out a ways to put this location in context.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=didsbury+ab+canada&ie=UTF8&ll=51.706821,-113.810463&spn=0.043401,0.122223&z=13&om=1

We approached "something on the road" rather slowly, then stopped and enjoyed the experience of being in the middle of a cattle drive. Alberta has lots of cattle ranches, but for city folks like ourselves, this definitely was something different. The kids loved it, the dog did his defensive duty and I managed to avoid messing up the tires in the aftermath.

Photos of horses? Lynn got that, too.

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Don
1988 MC-9
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2007, 08:51:50 AM »

Flew into Grand Rapids, Mi. then was taken to Muskeegan,Mi to meet owner and pick up my "really nice, ready to go" converted 4905. Got to the bus and wad highly disapointed, the pictures must have been 10 years old. Started driving it home, stopped in GR and had dinner with 4 girlfriends  Grin then started my final treck home. Got to Mi. In. border and started leaking tons of fuel from injectors. Called service guy who knew nothing about old detroits so he just pecked on some injectors put my valve cover back on and over tightened it and crushed the stiffener in it causing a massive oil leak that covered the ground and the entire back of my bus where I had stopped in Elkhart, In. Got new valve cover and went on my way. Had oil changed down the road and the guy changing oil did not know where to put in new oil  Huh
Got to 30 miles north of bowling green, Ky. and it started vibrating and the whole rear end of the bus seemed to leave the ground. I pulled to the side engine still running and found my tranny had broke in half (4 speed spicer) CB'd truck stop for a tow then went to sleep wating on tow truck. Woke up am and still no tow truck, called my daughter in Murfreesboro, Tn. and she beat the tow truck there. Got it towed to  KW dealer (KW = Killed Wallet) got priced $600.00 for labor to swap new tranny. Had tranny shipped and flew home. Returned to get fixed bus  and had to wait 3 more days and the bill was over twice what I was quoted. then was told I had a steering problem. 3 more days getting rusted steering u-joint out and replaced. Drove home. Headed back to Mi. on my first leg of my tour and tranny started leaking oil faster than I could put it in. Stopped in BG at KW got leak stopped missed first gig and tranny gave up the ghost 30 miles south of Gobles, Mi in Teapot Dome, Mi. sat for a month in the rear parking lot of a bar there after being towed in by a "Honey Wagon" got her going and still doing the bus thing after all that crap. I'm truly a "Bus Nut"
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