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Old 11-06-2019, 12:50 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 12
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado National
Chassis: Escort RE
Engine: Cummins C8.3
Rated Cap: Not sure (32 foot model)
First attempt, 1997 ElDorado National Escort RE

Hello, from Tacoma, Washington.
We recently bought a 32 foot 1997 ElDorado National "Escort RE", with grand visions of a rolling castle in our eyes. We're looking to have a comfortable space for the 2 of us and a dog, so we can work online from wherever we want to go.
We got the title transferred, and we're going to do the Vermont thing when we get the WA State title, since it seems like the easiest way to get going.
If course, before I even start pulling out the seats, we have to get the engine/transmission/etc. fully checked out, since I'm not familiar with diesel (at all). It did make the 1 hour drive home without a hiccup (but plenty scary with bald tires and expired tabs and no CDL).
We'd love to hear of anyone else who has experience with one of these fully-looking things, and advice on where to look for owners manuals or service manuals (I plan on contacting the company, but it's changed hands a few times and I don't know if they'll have them.)
Any other advice is greatly appreciated, as we're total noobs with some renovation skills and craftiness.
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MilesOriginal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2019, 08:23 AM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Central missouri
Posts: 74
Can't wait to see how a city bus comes apart.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
Posts: 389
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: T444E 7.3 w/ MD3060
Rated Cap: 36000lbs / 78pass / 39'
I drove mine home without any tags at all and a VA state trooper followed me a good 12 or more miles before going around me. Drive like you have some brains and they will leave you alone. Also it prob helps to make sure not to look like a burn out or hippy LOL. Typically you don't need a CDL to drive a private use bus, if you aren't being paid to drive then it's not commercial to begin with.

There was a former cop on another thread saying that cops pretty much ignore buses unless of course you break a law or just do something noobish/stupid.
Putting a "not for hire" sticker on it helps alot.
Nice looking bus, I advise you to spend loads of time studying diesels or you better have deep pockets to pay someone else that may rip you off. There are other forums to help and loads of us on YT make videos to help do it yourselfers do a good job and save money. It also helps alot when you can keep from being stranded on the road side, I'm a roadside tech and use to be a nation wide dispatcher for road side services, it could be a matter of life or death knowing how to fix your own rig. In some places it's tough to get help on the road, best advice to you is to learn as much about the mechanics of your rig before hitting the road.
Welcome to the forum!
__________________
If you would like to check out my website that has all sort of information especially for the T444E/7.3PSD engines check out www.PatrickTheSalvageGuy.com I've got helpful downloads and articles as well as a link to my YT for other how to videos mainly on the F series trucks.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:34 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Sleddgracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 2,265
Year: 1975
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
Rated Cap: 24,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickBaptist View Post
I drove mine home without any tags at all and a VA state trooper followed me a good 12 or more miles before going around me. Drive like you have some brains and they will leave you alone. Also it prob helps to make sure not to look like a burn out or hippy LOL. Typically you don't need a CDL to drive a private use bus, if you aren't being paid to drive then it's not commercial to begin with.

There was a former cop on another thread saying that cops pretty much ignore buses unless of course you break a law or just do something noobish/stupid.
Putting a "not for hire" sticker on it helps alot.
Nice looking bus, I advise you to spend loads of time studying diesels or you better have deep pockets to pay someone else that may rip you off. There are other forums to help and loads of us on YT make videos to help do it yourselfers do a good job and save money. It also helps alot when you can keep from being stranded on the road side, I'm a roadside tech and use to be a nation wide dispatcher for road side services, it could be a matter of life or death knowing how to fix your own rig. In some places it's tough to get help on the road, best advice to you is to learn as much about the mechanics of your rig before hitting the road.
Welcome to the forum!
I was asked to provide proof of insurance and moving permit 3 times during my 600 mile trip bringing my bus conversion home - I had the necessary paperwork, so it was no problem -if I hadn't had that, the rig would have been towed and I'd be looking at a $600 fine at a minimum - plus the cost of the tow, depending on where you, can easily exceed $1000, plus storage for the bus, taxis for myself, accommodation, and finding a place in a strange town to get the necessary permits - it's not worth taking the chance - all in all, it could easily add up to more than the bus cost in the first place
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:48 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
PatrickBaptist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Johnson City TN
Posts: 389
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC/AMTRANS RE
Engine: T444E 7.3 w/ MD3060
Rated Cap: 36000lbs / 78pass / 39'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
I was asked to provide proof of insurance and moving permit 3 times during my 600 mile trip bringing my bus conversion home - I had the necessary paperwork, so it was no problem -if I hadn't had that, the rig would have been towed and I'd be looking at a $600 fine at a minimum - plus the cost of the tow, depending on where you, can easily exceed $1000, plus storage for the bus, taxis for myself, accommodation, and finding a place in a strange town to get the necessary permits - it's not worth taking the chance - all in all, it could easily add up to more than the bus cost in the first place
Atleast you had yer papers then eh? What were you stopped for just to be asked for papers? Blame it's worse than nazi germany over here for permits and permission, can't even get married unless the state gawd blesses it with a license. So much for this land being so free.
I had a 450-480ish mile drive, thankfully worst I got from the tax enforcement was just being looked at.
__________________
If you would like to check out my website that has all sort of information especially for the T444E/7.3PSD engines check out www.PatrickTheSalvageGuy.com I've got helpful downloads and articles as well as a link to my YT for other how to videos mainly on the F series trucks.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:14 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 12
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado National
Chassis: Escort RE
Engine: Cummins C8.3
Rated Cap: Not sure (32 foot model)
MacC, I can't wait, either. It's driving me crazy to have it sitting here and having to leave it be.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:18 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Posts: 12
Year: 1997
Coachwork: El Dorado National
Chassis: Escort RE
Engine: Cummins C8.3
Rated Cap: Not sure (32 foot model)
PatrickBaptist, thanks for the advice. I plan to learn everything I can about the entire bus, especially the engine and the air brake system.
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