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Old 01-02-2017, 09:13 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 13
Exclamation ATTN PDX Skoolies

Howdy.

After a brutal failed attempt at flying to Tulsa, OK from Taos, NM to buy what appeared to be a good TC2000 transit, I hopped on GovDeals and won myself a 1999 Thomas MVP 5.9 EF from the Beaverton School District.

I'm flying out from Albuquerque this Friday, the 6th of January and arrive to pick up the bus around noon. I plan on getting the bus, having some work done, and then kicking around Portland potentially until Sunday the 8th, before beginning the trip home to Taos.

The bus is completely missing the handicap door for the Ricon lift as it was destroyed by having not been shut properly and then striking a tree at 30mph. I am told a simple fix for this would be to purchase some plywood and affix it on the interior to cover the gap of the missing door just for the drive back to New Mexico. It makes sense, and seems simple enough, but I am not checking any bags on this trip so I can't bring any of my tools.

If any of you are out there and see this post in the Portland/Beaverton area and could potentially help me with pickup of supplies or lending a tool I would be eternally grateful! There's beer or dinner in the offer!

This is going to be one hell of a drive, she's a full-sized 40' with the AT545 (aux trans coolers factory installed at purchase), and I have no more than 30 minutes of school bus drive time under my belt. I'll take tips on routes you guys may suggest or over-night options.

I plan to keep a close eye on weather the entire time and map accordingly, another hope would be to avoid serious mountain passes, but I know that's damn near impossible without heading all the way down to LA and over from there. Also, while I anticipate frigid temps, I am going to do my best to avoid hotels or motels and use a sub-zero bag inside the bus. We'll see if I can stick to that..

Thanks for any help you folks can give me and a big CHEERS
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:36 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Kent, WA (Seattle)
Posts: 411
Year: 1987
Engine: 6.9L Diesel
I'd love to help you out, but I'm around Seattle.

If I were in your position, I would probably seal the door with some wooden pallets, blankets, and a tarp, do a sloppy and quick spraypaint job. Then gun it southbound where the air is warm and your home is near.

Best of luck to ya mate!
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:42 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 13
Ah, thanks anyway! Just checked out your website -right on. I have family in Burien, I'll look you up next time I'm Northwestward!
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:45 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Kent, WA (Seattle)
Posts: 411
Year: 1987
Engine: 6.9L Diesel
I'll hopefully be in Portland by then . If you get desperate and want to come up on a Thursday, I may be able to help you patch that door up. But January is a tough month for me, I don't have a lot of time.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:13 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 554
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
A roll of black Gorilla tape and a blue tarp from walmart will seal up the hole.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:05 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,440
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I picked my Bluebird up just South of Portland in November. I had a window missing in the back to deal with.

I found the Skoolie population in the area pretty thin but there was a Home Depot right down the road from the surplus place. I made a bee line for HD and spend a couple of hours on their parking lot attending to odds and ends before I hit the road. Plywood, bungee cords, duct tape and a few tools.

You can buy a reasonable sheet of 7/16 OSB and they will cut it to size for you to fit over the door. Around $12 for a sheet. A few screws or well placed bungee cords and a bit of duct tape.

I sure miss the hot dog stands that they used to have at Home Depot....

Have a good trip!
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:40 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kansas
Posts: 492
Year: 2000
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: Your mom +1
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I sure miss the hot dog stands that they used to have at Home Depot....
I know, right? What ever happened to those? They just kinda thinned out and disappeared. My local one in Merriam KS had a 80 year old couple from NYC slinging authentic dirty water hot dogs and sausages... Best I've ever had. Last time I talked to them they were moving back to the city... Jesus, thats been almost ten years ago... Miss those guys... sorry to thread jack.
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Old 01-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,440
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaughridge85 View Post
I know, right? What ever happened to those? They just kinda thinned out and disappeared. My local one in Merriam KS had a 80 year old couple from NYC slinging authentic dirty water hot dogs and sausages... Best I've ever had. Last time I talked to them they were moving back to the city... Jesus, thats been almost ten years ago... Miss those guys... sorry to thread jack.
Louisiana hot link was my favorite....

While I couldn't get away in early January to pitch in for Buffalo, I have considered volunteering to help new bus owners drive them home.

I wonder if it would be worth it to some of the new folks to have a second driver & backup mechanical help. I am not a mechanic but I can turn a wrench if I have to. Schedules allowing, I would have fun doing this if they were willing to cover basic transportation and feed me. Ok... Maybe a beer or two...
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:36 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: P30
Engine: Chev 350 gas-replacement
Hi TheBuffalo,

Please PM me, I live near Beaverton and you'd be welcome to pick up your bus, go to Home Depot for plywood, and bring it to my suburban neighborhood to install. I've got drills, grinders, etc etc etc.

I can't offer you a place to park and sleep, unfortunately, but there are parks, side streets, Wal-Mart, malls etc nearby that hopefully will work out for you.

I've also got a Coleman-fuel heater that you can have--it's supposed to be well below freezing in Portland the next few days. Bring warm clothes--it's DAMN cold here right now!

Cheers,
TA
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:15 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,440
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Hey Buffalo,

I just reread your original post and wanted to speak to your route question. I have made the run from Seattle to Lubbock many times in the Winter over the last 30 years.

While it will certainly add a number of miles, I would strongly recommend taking I-5 South to the Bakersfield area then catch 395 East to Barstow and pick up I-40 East.

The more direct route through Eastern Oregon and Idaho can be a real BITCH this time of year and the distance between services can be loooong. If you run I-5 to I-40 you will have some mountain passes to deal with but they are (IMHO) much easier Winter travel than the more easterly route.

https://tripcheck.com/Pages/RCMap.asp?curRegion=3#

LaGrande to Ontario OR can be a bad stretch. From there the road conditions may be better but you will really find yourself in some remote stretches of country with services few & far between.

If you take the Western route consider picking up chains if the passes look questionable. If you decide to take the Eastern route I would suggest picking chains up in Portland.

BTW: I just bounced over to the ODOT site and I-84 West of Ontario is closed.

Another recommendation regardless of route. Pick up a good warm sleeping bag, a couple gallons of water, snacks and a spare cell phone charger. Just the typical Winter travel precautions.

ROAD TRIP!!
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