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Author Topic: Still looking for someone to tow a bus...  (Read 4072 times)
Songman
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« on: September 29, 2008, 08:12:37 PM »

I've got to pick up the Model 20 by this weekend. Still looking for a reasonable way to tow it if anyone has any ideas we haven't already tried. The bus is in Gualala, CA which is on Hwy 1 about 2.5 hours north of San Francisco. Unfortunately there are no large towns around there. Heck, there are hardly any towns at all!  The cheapest I have found so far is around $3000. Open to suggestion...

Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2008, 11:57:22 PM »

Dale call me!
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 03:27:42 AM »

 You may already know this , But!! If you have an Eagle model 20, there is an all wheels down towing connection behind the front license plate cover.  There is also an airline connector there. this may help for short or slow tow.

Art
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 06:48:21 AM »

Unfortunately, towing a bus ain't cheap. The best I've found here on the east coast works out to about $2.75 per rolling mile of the tractor & landoll trailer. Another outfit charged $95/ hr PLUS a fuel surcharge PLUS a driver that took over an hour to back in the drive (only took 5 minutes after I made a suggestion  Roll Eyes).

If your 20 rolls, you might be able to find a cowboy with a big dump truck . . . . . Some heavy chain (& a pipe over the chain), bus brakes operated by the dump truck, & some really big onions is all you need.  Grin  Grin  Grin

Is there an option of having a mobile mechanic fixing what ails it? $3000 will make a good start at fixing a lot of stuff.
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 07:03:44 AM »

Unfortunately, towing a bus ain't cheap. The best I've found here on the east coast works out to about $2.75 per rolling mile of the tractor & landoll trailer.

Freight here is almost $5 a mile that is mega cheap.
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Songman
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 07:07:40 AM »

BK, I will call you in a little bit.

I do know about the wheels down towing. The problem is that this bus is about 60 miles up Hwy 1 on the CA coast. It is up and down hill, sharp switchbacks with an ocean on one side and a mountain on the other. I didn't know how well it would work in that situation.

Kyle, the bus actually runs and drives. The guy I am buying it from said that he would not sell the bus to anyone who wanted to drive it away and it must be towed. I think his reasoning behind this is that he did an 8" roof raise on it and never put the caps and sides on it. Personally, I think it would be perfectly safe to drive but at this point it is his rules. Rates out here from what I have found are $300 per hour. I would love $95!

The bus is only 400 miles away but because of where it is located, it's about a 12 hour run and that is just driving time. It would be my luck to get someone who took 3 hours to get it loaded!
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kyle4501
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2008, 09:19:59 AM »

Once the deal is done, the papers signed, he has no more control over it, even if the ink hasn't dried. If ti makes him happy, sign a release form absolving him of any liability.
Since it is already taller, I'd think towing it would pose more of a threat. The eagle doesn't need skin & caps for strength, does it? It has that nice frame to deal with all that.


35mph with a chase car would be where I started.

Maybe you could have it towed a short way, then drive it.


Good luck with it.
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2008, 09:21:03 AM »

Freight here is almost $5 a mile that is mega cheap.

Where is 'here'?
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2008, 09:53:31 AM »

A friend sold his Eagle 5.  It had no sides or windshield in it, because of a roof raise.  The buyer drove it about 200 miles with no problems or concerns.

Assuming the brakes are good and engine and tires OK, buy it and drive it.

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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Songman
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 11:27:34 AM »

I agree. I would love to just drive it home and use that towing money towards actually working on the bus. But the seller is very clear that he will not sell the bus to someone who wants to drive it. I had hoped to find a busnut somewhere within a couple of hundred miles and just have it towed to their house or business and then do a little work on it and drive it from there. But this is a pretty desolate little town and there is no one around that I have found.
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2008, 12:08:45 PM »

Unlike most other buses, the Eagle will be fine with only the frame.  I too have seen them driven several hundred miles like that.

Are you sure this seller is not trying to cover up some other drive train problems?  I can understand him being concerned about liability but if you've got cash and sign a waiver, I can't imagine why else he wouldn't let you do what you want with your bus.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 12:32:45 PM »

If you have made the deal to buy it and show up with the money to pay him I don't think he would back out of the deal.  You might have a letter typed up releasing him from any and every liability that might happen with you bus.

I can't imagine any one that would lose the sale over the way it was to be removed.  That should be your problem.

All thats been said lets all remember he is in Calif!
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2008, 01:23:55 PM »

If you promised to tow it away, do it.  I do not think you have to promise to tow it all the way home.  Have it towed to a nearby location and drive it from there.  If there is a competent diesel mechanic nearby, have it towed there for them to give it a once-over before hitting the road.  The guy can't complain about that and it would be absurd to ask you to tow it from location to location like forever.
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Songman
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2008, 02:04:07 PM »

That's most likely the plan, Lin. And I did make the commitment to his rules so I will do that. Don Fairchild is going with me so the more than competent mechanic will be on-site. Still just need to find someone to tow it away.
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2008, 03:21:07 PM »

I've never met Don or spoke with him but he has a great reputation - If he says it will make it then do it - Heck have HIM drive it LOL - Why not combine some of the great suggestions and use the towing connection and tow it till your out of sight (don't forget to wave goodbye) and then take YOUR bus, which is NO LONGER on his property, and go home - You have still honored your word and towed the bus - You just never said how far  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2008, 03:58:02 PM »

If it will start and build air you can tow it with about any thing big as a 1 ton, if it has any weight in it.
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Fort Worth, Texas where GOD is so close you don't even need a phone!

1968 GM Bus of unknown model 6V53 engine (aftermarket) converted with house hold items.

Had small engine fire and had no 12 volt system at time of purchase. 
Coach is all 110 w 14KW diesel genrator
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2008, 04:26:28 PM »

If it will build air and move itself then may I suggest towing it with the nearest Datsun?  We used to call that "pushing the Datsun with a rope".  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2008, 04:44:55 PM »

This should make for some great pictures.
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Songman
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2008, 05:23:11 PM »

Woo Hoo! I just got off the phone with the seller and told him what a terrible time we were having arranging towing because of his location and he agreed to let me drive it away! What a load off my mind!

Although I did enjoy the thing about pushing the Datsun with the rope! haha
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luvrbus
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2008, 06:05:10 PM »

Dale, you are one lucky fellow I would have bet money he stuck by the first agreement I met this guy before enjoy the new toy and you and Don be careful now on to Wal-Mart for bundge cords,traps and duct tape and your on the way my friend     good luck
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 06:11:26 PM by luvrbus » Logged
Songman
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« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2008, 10:19:15 PM »

Thanks Clifford. I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed. I told him that I understood that he wanted it towed away and I would certainly comply with that but it would be a lot easier for me if he would let me drive it. He agreed. I think I almost yelled I was so happy!
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VAN
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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2008, 05:45:22 AM »

Dale ,I just got back from New York and am still available to lend a hand give me a jingle.Van
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Sojourner
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« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2008, 05:55:39 AM »

Songman....I know your extra happy and anxiety waiting the next steps to get it home safely.

Keep us informed, thank you.

Have a great day!

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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« Reply #23 on: October 01, 2008, 06:55:25 AM »


I know don's big truck and it will tow a eagle.  it towed the big van at bk's

 
great guy just don't let him know it, will make him have the big head.


ned

also pushed a big bus cross country
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« Reply #24 on: October 01, 2008, 07:51:00 AM »


I know don's big truck and it will tow a eagle.  it towed the big van at bk's

 
great guy just don't let him know it, will make him have the big head.


ned

also pushed a big bus cross country

Almost towed a Dina too from what I heard after I woke up! LOL!  Grin  BK  Grin


Or should that be Don almost totalled a Dina owner? LOL!  Grin
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« Reply #25 on: October 01, 2008, 10:51:27 PM »

WOW!  You guys sound like a bunch of friggen attorneys.  I really like that about ya'all.

John
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« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2008, 05:27:02 PM »

I still wonder why he was insisting that a drivable bus HAD to be towed away?HuhHuh??  Weird, but is is Callyfornia!
Jack
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Songman
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« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2008, 09:57:52 PM »

Well Jack, if I come back on Saturday and post that the roof caved in on my head, we'll know why! haha

Honestly, I think that he is worried about the fact that the bus has been sitting for almost three years. But it has been sitting inside a barn that it was driven in to before the roof raise. And I'll have Don with me so I am not worried. I think the fact that Don was with me when we went by a couple of weeks ago is what made the difference too. I think he could tell that I knew nothing about diesel engines, but he could tell that Don did.

We're leaving at 4AM in the morning to go pick it up. I'll have pictures when we get it home.

Here are a few pictures of how it is now.





« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 10:18:38 PM by Songman » Logged
quantum500
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« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2008, 10:41:23 PM »

Freight here is almost $5 a mile that is mega cheap.

Where is 'here'?

Western colorado.  Hauling a cattle pot, we have a guy that is doing it for $3.35 right now but most guys average about what a gallon of fuel costs.  So $2.75 is mega cheap.  Once the price goes up it has a hard time coming down!

Songman, glad you made it work "your way".  It always makes me feel better when that happens, as long as I'm not taking to big of a risk. 
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2008, 02:58:02 AM »

Good Luck Dale,

Now there is no excuse, put that thing back together and hit the road! Grin

Hope your trip is safe and say Hi to Don.

Paul
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2008, 11:56:12 AM »

That is going to be a breezy ride - might I suggest goggles and a scarf?
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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2008, 01:35:36 PM »

Heck,
That thing even has windshields, I was imagining pictures of you in goggles heading down the road.
Jim
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2008, 01:42:01 PM »

Heck, I drove our Eagle with no front windshields in it for about 20 miles....That was interesting...At least I kept my mouth shut... Wink

Dales trip oughta be a breeze.......Hee Hee

Paul
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« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2008, 01:51:23 PM »

Thanks for posting the photos.  The comment about her being driven into the barn ___before__ the roof raise conjured up a picture, the photos showed sufficient vertical clearance. 

I still wonder if Brian Brown (spaceship buffalo)'s 4108 was the one that took out a garage door with it's roof, when it was in service.  The Fullington coach came into our garage for service while on a charter, the driver didn't wait for the door to open all the way .... crunch.  Strangely enough, that same driver left Fullington and hired on with the company I worked for, and followed me as the driving instructor when I left. 

I'm still cautious with our 4107 when it comes to unposted heights.
 
Good luck with the trip.  Can you take someone along to photograph the looks on the faces of the other motorists?

Arthur 
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Songman
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« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2008, 05:26:10 PM »

We're still up here working on getting the bus. We got it started and it sounds great. We still have some air leaks we are working on. The biggest problem, I think comes from an interlock from the doors. The doors have been removed and wires cut. We are showing a check transmission light and we can't shift it out of neutral. I saw people with this same problem when removing the rear doors from their RTSs. Does anyone happen to know which wires we need to connect to bypass this problem. Other than that it is all downhill...

Oh yeah... and it chose today to rain all day! Pass the goggles.

I am borrowing the seller's computer so I probably won't be able to come back to check responses. If anyone has an answer and would call me, I can call you back to keep it from costing you..


6-6-1*8-0-9*2-4-6-3

Thanks,
Dale
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« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2008, 10:22:46 AM »

Songman

Even though we've certainly had "problems" with each other- I hate to see ANYONE (even you) having a "DO NOT SHIFT" problem.

I believe the RTS problems you spoke about are actually the Brake & Throttle interlock problem when removing the passenger side door wiring on the RTS.
The cure was to throw the "DOOR MASTER" switch hidden under the dash to release the 1/2 pressure applied to the rear brakes and release the Throttle interlock that gets applied when the doors are open. BUT this was never a "DO NOT SHIFT PROBLEM"

I assume that you most likely have a HT741 Allison with an ATEC (Allison Transmission Electronic Control ??) -
If so - then VERY OFTEN after they have been sitting a long time - they will power up after the statup diagnostic check with - SHIFTING SOLENOID ERRORS - that will cause the DO NOT SHIFT light to come on. Hopefully you have a DIAGNOSTIC SWITCH in front on the shifter - throw it and count the "CHECK TRANNY" lightes to decode the 2 digit "DIAGNOSTIC CODE" - hopefully I've included an Allison 7xx series Diagnostic Error Chart (Mines a V731 - but they should be similar.

But even more important -

#1-THE ALLISON WILL USUALLY let you push gear selection BEFORE it does it's initial statup diagnostics - try pushing gear selection buttons to get it out of neutral JUST AS SOON AS YOU TURN THE IGNITION ON (you don't have to start the engine) - this will usually work to prevent ithe Allison from going into "DO NOT SHIFT" error-  If it doesn't work the first time do it again. Once you gotten past the Pre-Check you can usually put it back into neutral to get the bus started.

#2- Here's the offical Allison Error reset procedure from my diagnostic book --> To clear the codes, start the bus. Let it settle down and run in idle. Press the brake peddle and hold in place. Remove the parking brake. Shift the key pad slowly into this pattern. N, R, D, N then N D R N . that should reset the codes.

IF your Tranny is a World with a WTEC (World Transmission Electronic Control) - then here's the diagnostic and reset procedures for those trannies.
http://www.rvtechstop.com/articles/allson2.pdf
http://westernstatestransmissions.com/html/trouble1.html

Pete RTS/Daytona

P.S. - Say hello to Don for me :-)




 
 

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Songman
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« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2008, 12:44:05 AM »

Thanks Pete. The problem turned out to be a disconnected ground wire on the ATEC computer. Since the Eagle only has one door, it is like the RTS front door and you can drive with it open anyway so that wasn't the problem. Lots of cut and disconnected wires will be the adventure of this conversion for a while.

BTW - This bus has an HT748. I don't know what differences there are between the 748 and 741. I wish I could afford to put a 500 or 4060 in it but I would never recoup the cost on the small amount of mileage difference it would make.

Also Pete, I have no problem with any bus owner on the internet (even you). This is a hobby of great people who are most always willing to help each other out, as you have just shown. I appreciate it and if you still have problems with me, you are in it alone. I'm friends with everyone.
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