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Author Topic: "If you were to do it over again, what would you do differently ?"  (Read 3794 times)
Hobie
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« on: March 23, 2008, 06:32:11 AM »

Was wondering what you would have done differently with your bus .....after the fact.   
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cody
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 06:38:52 AM »

The only thing that I would have done differently is to do it sooner, each part of my bussing experience has been an adventure and a learning experience, with the patient guidance of many on this board and their expertise I have slowly brought our bus from an empty shell to being our home.
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Prather
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 07:42:35 AM »

I would have added a seperate fuel tank for my generator so I could have used off-road diesel.   Prather
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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2008, 08:55:22 AM »

Do what I am going to do with my next conversion-use a big rig Diesel instead.  I love my bus and am very satisfied with the conversion, but am not in love with the drive train (8V-71TATAAC and V730) even though it does perform well now, it still doesn't get very good mileage (5-6).  And more importantly, because of the engine and transmission being mounted in their own subframe or cradle, all forces from the trailer hitch are being transferred through the cradle, meaning I can't haul a big trailer with my bus.  So by using a three axle truck, I'll have an engine and transmission most all mechanics can work on with no special training, have a full length frame so I can put a 15,000lb receiver hitch in the back to pull a big boat, and have room in the back to create a garage to carry a Mini sized car, bicycles and such with my master bedroom overhead-not part of the garage.  My box is going to be 9ft tall inside so I can use the first two feet for equipment and massive amounts of storage, then have a second floor for 82" of headroom.  Then all tanks, heaters , electrical, etc will be out of the living space (unlike what I have now because of using a transit).  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
captain ron
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 12:26:12 PM »

Insured it for a LOT of money and pray for something to happen.
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Melbo
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2008, 12:37:38 PM »

My coach is still under construction but as I have progressed the only thing that I might have done differently is to make my grey water tank larger and my black water tank smaller.

I have plenty of fresh water but I am limited by the size of the gray water tank -- it fills up LONG before I am out of fresh water.

Melbo
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2008, 01:26:43 PM »

Not buy a bus!!!!!!
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2008, 04:36:23 PM »

I should have included a black tank or made the grey tank bigger than the fresh water tank.  Both fresh and grey are identical now and it appears the grey is filling faster than the fresh is emptying due to toilet waste.

I should have made the bathroom a little smaller and done the bunks differently.  (Bathroom is the way it is due to location of toilet.)  I'm probably going to rip out the bunks and maybe the bathroom to redo them this summer.  I think I figured out a way to move the toilet, but have to do some measuring to be sure.  Luckily, no kitchen yet so a lot less to rip out during a redo.  The shower needs major repair regardless so redoing the whole bathroom isn't much more work.
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2008, 05:48:13 PM »

With the information I now have, I would have to agree with Jjrbus...

I wouldn't buy a bus.   It has been fun,  Grin  and I've meet a lot of nice people,  Grin

However, it as cost me a lot of $$$$$$$, that I had not planned on.   Cry

Bill
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Sam 4106
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2008, 06:01:36 PM »

On thing I should have done was put in a dirty clothes hamper. Now we use a basket in the bottom of the closet and I don't like putting smelly clothes in with the clean ones. if I had thought of a hamper it would have been easy to move the stool a little further from the wall and put the hamper behind the stool. It would be a major job to do that now.
Thanks, Sam 4106
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1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2008, 06:07:37 PM »

The only thing that I would have done differently is to do it sooner

Thats it in a nutshell!

Bypassing the 'Sticks n Staples" would have saved me considerable time.

But, its usually better to step carefully into this RV thing without too much of a cash infusion....

As can be testified to by all the hopefuls that ended up being sold.......usually at a loss...

Cliff

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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2008, 06:10:48 PM »

Sam,

We tried a couple different solutions with the dirty laundry.

But with four on board, a plastic bag put into the bay, daily, was the best answer.... Grin   Wink

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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Paul
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2008, 06:58:00 PM »

We did a 10” roof raise and used two Carrier 15.000 BTU roof top, ducted, low profile units

If I had it do over the roof raise would be 12” and still drop the ceiling down 7” in the bus.  This would be a bus height of 12’ 10” the same as an 8” raise with regular roof top Air conditioners units   

The sticker on dash states that bus is  ------------------------------------11’ 5”.
10” roof raise =   ------------------------------------------------------------ 12’ 3”   
Remove roof hatch subtract 2.5”   --------------------------------------- 12’ ½”   
Carrier low profile is 7.5” high   ------------------------------------------12’ 8”

I drop the ceiling down 7” in the bus, this gives us 6” of space above ceiling in center of the bus to install AC duct.  Changes to 4” in center with 2” of spray foam over roof ribs

I will have a Ceiling height of  6’ 8” after installing 1 ½ Dow Blueguard Styrofoam
Insulation on floor and Ύ plywood over insulation
 
With a level on top of roof AC and Bus aired up, I get a Measurement of 12’ 7’ to ground with 10” roof raise.
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Paul
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2008, 08:05:13 PM »

I wouldn't change much. I bought a low milage unit, 400,000 miles with a replacement DD 6V92 at 30,000 miles. The only problems I have dealt with are DDEC and ATEC issues. Now I have gotten on top of the learning curve with both of those systems and am very satisfied with my unit. I have 230 gal fresh, 180 grey and 60 black. A couple years ago I had 17 people on for a week. I showered everyone everyday and serviced the tanks every 4th day. I don't always hold my grey water like I should and just let it spill. No one has ever said anything about that to me.

I am changing from 2 8D battery's to 4 8D's because my satellite track unit uses more juice than I want it to. I have a 40,000 BTU Suburban furnace that is also power hungry, but I think I can go 3 days or longer (boondocked) with the 4 8D's and that will be fine.

My bus is real solid and I think it is ready to go anywhere anytime. We have alot of fun with it and it has been one of the real joys in our lives.

When I go to Magic Mountain, they always comp me a free day pass as the driver, people are always asking the kids if we are a band. Last time I went to the World of Outlaws show they parked me right next to Sammy  Swindell. Whats not to like?
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2008, 08:36:34 PM »

we have a laundry chute in the bathroom that lets us drop the dirty clothes into a basket in the bay below.
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2008, 06:20:57 AM »

I would have filled the diesel tank last fall when fuel prices were much lower  Grin
« Last Edit: March 24, 2008, 12:27:14 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2008, 06:49:49 AM »

I would build in a explosive destruct button for the late night in the rain malfunctions.  John
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2008, 09:14:57 AM »

I would do as many newbies are now doing. (Research, Research, Research) and then when I found a bus I liked have it inspected by a experienced busnut with a similar bus with full knowledge of what to look for.  (Such as Fred Hobe, Sonnie Gray, Jack Conrad, Florida Pete, Florida Cliff ) or any one of the regular posters on this bb'd with a bus similar to one I had fallen in love with. 

The internet is the greatest tool to have available to research and request help from and I am so, so darn sorry I did not realize that over 6 years ago.  I am still trudging along on my personal conversion and with my experiences I am learning from I hope to prevent as many other newbies from making any errors possible such as I made.  I will complete my project, but not sure thanks to the guberment how far I will be able to afford to trave or how long I will get to enjoy the fruits of my labor. 

I think I am having a bad day here, but my ever growing knowledge of our hobby grows still with each day and I am thank full for meeting the group of busnuts I have.  Look upward as someone used to always say, look for tomorrow and learn from today.  Help Others when ever possible.  Helping others is a reward that is remembered after you are gone, enjoy today and those that have made your conversion passion easier at times and something many will never appreciate if they never tried. 

Thanks for a great thread Hobe.  You are absolutely one of the best to me.

Gary 
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Gary
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2008, 10:30:14 AM »

Thanks for a great thread Hobe.  You are absolutely one of the best to me.
Gary 

Gary,
    I agree this is a great thread, but it was started by Hobie, not Hobe.  Jack
PS: We left Fred Hobe's yesterday after a nice visit with him & Carolyn.  With a slight modification, we got the brakes operating on that bus.  JUack
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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2008, 10:52:50 AM »

Gary

Just think about all the work you wont have to do after you get it on the road. LOL

TomC. You would get better millage if you would have let me short port the Liners and retard the cams and you would have better hill climbing abilities and you would run about 5 deg's cooler. Please put a full width flap across the back just behind the wheels, that will also help it run cooler going and coming from Vegas this  summer.

The only changes i would make is to do this 10 years earlier.

Don
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2008, 11:07:36 AM »

Hi Don,
Thinking of getting done is what is keeping me going and I assure you I will look back on this journey many, many times. 
===========================================================
Jack,
Thanks for clarifying that Hobie / Hobe misunderstanding, I am sure Hobie is as as good a man as Hobe. 

We look forward to your arrival and the SC Rally in a matter of days.

I am also glad you were able to help out Fred on that darn ole brake problem.  Is this information that the rest of us can use in the future Jack??  If so would you mind sharing just in case it happens again so we can archive it and save for future problems similar.

Safe traveling now,

Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2008, 03:10:13 PM »

Gary,
   I was not able to figure out what was cauing the problem, but was able to bypass the shuttle valve to release the brakes. We could not find an accurate air schematic drawing of that bus.  But at least, we got the brakes released so the bus can be moved. I will try to post some photos of the components in question tomorrow (with a couple questions).  Jack
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Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
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luvrbus
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« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2008, 03:38:08 PM »

I would do at least 3 slides and start in my 20s so I would have had more time to enjoy the bus but it probably would have finshed about the same time .Now I am working on a device to pickup cans at 55 mph along the road to buy fuel so wish me luck
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2008, 03:14:42 AM »

Clifford, that was a good one. Picking up cans at 55 for fuel.

If I could do it all over I would have had more money and time to work on our Eagle. But that's OK, so we trudge along and will enjoy the coach no matter what. I just wish I had many more years to enjoy meeting all of the nice bus nuts here and everywhere.

No matter what you do something will always come up that you wish you would have done earlier, but some things you just don't know when you start. My research is a daily search. Good ideas always pop up after you finish yours, that's life.

Just do it, and Enjoy it!

Paul
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2008, 04:10:22 AM »

I'd have a 102" coach - like a lot of things in life an extra 6 inches in the right place would make a huge difference.

Other than that we're pretty happy with what we've got.  There's always little things that could be improved.  I'd like to be able to shut the water heater off without having to go out and open a bay door - that would help manage power when we're on a 15 amp breaker, like right now.  I'd like to have about 2" more headroom - when you are doing a roof raise make sure you take all you can.  I wouldn't put in basement air - too complicated, too hard to service and the cold air comes out at the wrong place.  And one other thing - I have the utmost admiration for those of you with the patience to build a bus yourself but I am SO HAPPY that we decided to buy one that was already converted.

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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2008, 06:52:28 AM »

I kinda agree here.  I wasn't counting on the cost of fuel more than doubling when I started on the bus in '05.  I've slowed way down in working on it lately, as I've neglected other things to concentrate my time on the conversion.  I'm now going to catch up on those things (house maintenance & improvements, etc.)  I still like my bus a lot, and I've learned a lot of good skills from what I've done so far and met a lot of great people.  Hopefully, one day, I can actually use the bus like I intended back when I started it!

David

With the information I now have, I would have to agree with Jjrbus...

I wouldn't buy a bus.   It has been fun,  Grin  and I've meet a lot of nice people,  Grin

However, it as cost me a lot of $$$$$$$, that I had not planned on.   Cry

Bill
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Geoff
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2008, 09:03:16 AM »

As far as my conversion, an '82 RTS, 350HP 6V92TA, V730 and 4.10 gears-- I am totally happy how it turned out.  I gained a lot of information on the bus boards and talking to bus nuts so I was able to come up with a good conversion plan-- I just have to get the trim work finished!

P.S.  My MUI 6V92TA with federal cams and 9G90 injectors gets 7-8 mpg with a reliable 350 HP.  I do have to use a radiator water spray system when pulling my 7k trailer, but my cradle hitch has handled up to 12,000 lbs.
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Geoff
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2008, 09:23:33 AM »

I'd have started with richer parents footing the bill for my hobbies  Grin

Seriously tho, I wouldn't want to change anything . . . except maybe started sooner.
I've met the best friends anyone could possibly want due to this hobby.  Grin
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2008, 09:45:03 AM »

Nice to see you back Geoff!
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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