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Old 05-25-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
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How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Same idea as the cost question, but with a twist. Paying for the bus is just the first part of the equation... Add the expense of travel to the pickup point & the drive back home... that's the real cost.

How far did you travel to pick up your bus?

BONUS QUESTION: Did you learn anything about the bus on the way home that you wish you knew before handing over the money?
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

My bus was bought from an individual in Cherokee, NC. I live in VA. The drive to Cherokee was 535 miles according to google maps.

I then drove the bus to Athens, GA (actually, Hull, GA) to visit a friend of mine for the weekend and also keep the first trip short in case of any issues. It was a pleasant weekend all together. That was about 126 miles according to google maps.

I then drove the bus back home, and had no issues aside from a lack of power accelerating from rest areas and interstate merges. That was 597 miles according to google maps.

The most important thing I learned is that I HATE driving at night in unknown territory in an unfamiliar vehicle. I ended up finding a hotel for the night on the way from NC to GA.

If I remember correctly, I got 8.75 mpg average on that trip. My little corolla, with dad driving and following me, got 48 mpg on that same trip.

Oh, and if you want to find diesel fuel in Emporia, VA, don't bother. I drove through 4 or 5 stations without seeing a single indication that they had diesel. I definitely want at least 1 more tank on this thing.

Oh, another thing... diesel likes to spray all over your hand when you're filling the tank. It might just be an issue with my tank's design, but it happened every time.

Oh, and if the 8-way lights aren't in, and it rains, then it rains inside too.

Also, the speakers built into the bus are wired funky and suck for normal radios.

My first "big" vehicle I drove was a 32' motorhome. That vehicle suffered from white-knuckle-steering and loved to wander all over the place. The bus drove like a dream.

I put $403.84 worth of diesel in the bus and still have close to a half a tank. That was 85.72 gallons I put in. That was an average of $4.72 per gallon. Fortunately, the price of diesel has come down a lot since that trip. It cost me another $66 for gasoline for the car.

Over all, I consider it a very good trip. No mechanical problems, and no tire problems. 65 mph was top speed, but 60 was more easily maintained. I would like to gain the ability to keep up on the interstate, but I also recognize that the point of camping/living fulltime is to enjoy the scenery and slow down. But I can't help but think that 55-60 mph at lower rpms would help improve fuel economy.

hope this helps,
jim
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:49 PM   #3
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Drove 325km one way to go and get my bus. Did I learn something new? Yes of course because i didnt know anything about my bus except it is big and yellow before i bought it. Actualy it was bought for me. Since i could not make it to the auction i told a friend of mine who was there that if any of the buses look decent and go for around 1500 he should buy it for me. That was after i spent weeks online and on the phone trying to find a bus but everything around here was 4000 and up. we mostly looked at shorter buses, we didnt plan on buying a full size. Well my friend called me back about 15 minutes later and told me that he just bought one for 1750 and its full size pusher flat nose. Once i picked it up i learned its automatic, has a 8.3 cummins etc. And i really like to drive that thing. I'm glad he bought us the full size and nothing shorter, we need the room for all 8.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Swinada,
It really is a beautiful thing! How long is yours? I'm looking at something similar on ebay now. Guy said it's 40' long tho! WOW. A bit too big for places I'd like to go.

But I really do like the looks of the flat nosed buses. Don't know why. They just appeal to me. Maybe that's why I'm so heasitant to get the bus I'd looked at Friday. Well... that and the fact it won't even reach 55 unless going downhill with a tailwind.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

yes mine is a 40 footer too. An if you wait a little longer i will be able to tell you how far out to remote places i took it. Our style of camping and traveling is to remote places, i'm sure our bus will see a fair share of backroads.
Make sure you get a long wheelbase, the buses with short wheel bus and a very long overhang at the back will hang up way to fast over bumps and through dips.
See what i mean
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?


That looked like fun! But even I could see it was doomed from the start. Still, everyone seemed to have fun.

I would think the trade off between a short wheel base and a long one would be maneuverability. Shorter wheel base would mean shorter turn radius? Short or long wheel base, I think any bus over X feet would have some kind of difficulty in truly hilly areas. Either a long bus will bottom out between the wheels, or a short bus will bottom out in the back.

I guess the tradeoff with a longer bus (and subsequently longer wheel base) is the XTRA room. The dog-face bus I'm looking at tomorrow has 25' of living space behind the driver, and an extra 10' of bus length (including driver's seat) that's just engine space.

How much square footage do you have with the snub nose? Is all 40' usable as living space, or is a section of the length dedicated strictly to motor housing?
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:27 AM   #7
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Quote:
How much square footage do you have with the snub nose? Is all 40' usable as living space, or is a section of the length dedicated strictly to motor housing?
well the last few feet are engine housing but it can be integrated in to your bedroom.
such as this. from this.....


to this.....
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Very nice. Are those just shelves, or is the upper space a bunk? Can't tell how deep it is from the photo.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

I drove 250 miles to get my bus. I was kind of worried at first when they had trouble starting it. Turns out that it was out of fuel, they put 20 gallons in it and primed the injectors for me to get it running. I was so worried about it that the whole ride back I was afraid to shut it down, I even left it idling when I stopped for fuel... Turned out to be a non-factor, it has not failed to start for me ever since...that was 3 years ago!!

Since it rained most of the way back, I did learn that I'm not really fond of air powered windshield wipers... I'm considering converting mine to electric. Other than that, I think it was fun ride home!!
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:56 PM   #10
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

600 miles from my house to Covington, KY. The only issue I had was the fuel or filters were/are bad and coming up out of covington it would barely do 25mph. I put some fuel treatment in and then it ran like a scalded dog. 65mph was no trouble, but over that and the bus started shaking. I noticed that windshield wipers were not needed with a flat nose, the wind kept the rain off the windshield.

BTW, it was the first time I had ever driven a bus, and it was located in the ghetto in downtown.
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