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Old 03-20-2006, 09:08 AM   #11
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Has it been towed out yet?
Any updates?
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Old 03-20-2006, 10:38 AM   #12
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Yes it is out... I guess a few tow trucks pulled it out at about midnight saturday night. I dont know the full details but I guess they pulled it out on a 30* angle from the rear tow hook.

I just got home to Michigan a few minutes ago. We (in my bus) ended up leaving on sat at about 2pm while Jason & his passangers waited on the beach for the tow truck to come back.

I had some minor hold ups with my bus (battery shorting out & leaking acid, ran out of fuel, & a couple of rest stops) & Jason cought up with me sunday evening just north of Little Rock, Arkansas. We followed him the rest of the trip to Michigan & both busses ran fine the rest of the trip.

I only have pictures of the bus stuck at night, Jason has some day time pictures on his camera but here is what I got....





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Old 03-20-2006, 10:41 AM   #13
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I got many trucks and cars stuck in the muddy field (including a few wreckers) one weekend. The final fix was shovels, jacks, and wood. Grab some 3/4 inch plywood sheets (at least 4) - and two or more big bottle jacks. Also get some 4x4's and cut them about 2 feet long. Place the plywood (maybe 2 sheets on top of each other) behind the rear, set the jacks on the frame, and pick up the back end (this is butt to the water, right?). Anyway. Lift the bus. As you lift, make cribbing out of the 4x4 blocks. Make a box - two this way, two the other way, and so on, so it get's taller. This will save your butt if it goes "bad". Take the weight off the rears. Dig under the back wheels (if you can't get the rear up high enough with the jacks), and get a sheet of plywood under each wheel. This will help you get up above the water some. You will want to be on plywood.... and once you are UP and on the ply, you should be able to drive off. You may need to have 4 more sheets, and make a "road" as you go, so the front AND rear are supported.

If I was there with my fire department, we might be able to call it a "drill exercise" and see what we can do - we use air bags for lifting. Even a medium sized airbag (a 2 foot square thing) can lift a semi truck, or a section of collapsed bridge. AND you don't get under the vehicle when you are lifting.
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Old 03-20-2006, 04:54 PM   #14
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I don't understand when you said your bus is stuck worse than Jason's but you are at a campground. Could you describe or better yet post a picture of what the campground is like there.
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Old 03-20-2006, 05:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
I don't understand when you said your bus is stuck worse than Jason's but you are at a campground. Could you describe or better yet post a picture of what the campground is like there.
I ment that my bus is worse in the sand than Jasons is & probably wouldn't be able to even make the trip up the beach to Jasons bus... We were both on the beach earlier in the week but we were on the more heavly traveled part of the beach where the sand is much harder paked.

Jason had to pull me out about 4 or 5 times, his bus is much better in the sand than mine. I think it's because my front axle is back about 8 feet from where his sits which puts a lot less weight on my rear tires. I also dont have a hot tub in my bus...


But here is a pic of the campground or I mean RV park where my bus was parked...


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Old 03-20-2006, 08:41 PM   #16
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Ok Here is the story in several installments for your reading pleasure Sorry it's so long..... driving the bus on the sand 28 miles north of the nearest access point was a horribly bad idea......Hindsite is 20/20. At the time, it didn't seem like a big deal. I had already pulled several stuck vehicls out of the sand. My bus performed excellent on the surface, plus i have lots of ground clearance compared to most vehicles. I didn't go unprepared....i brought shovels, planks, a jack, and a 4" wide heavy duty tow strap, and plenty of off road driving experience. (although not in a skoolie)

I got the bus stuck in some soft sand near the end of the island......we spent a few hours getting her out. I tore apart my wooden roof rack for 6 extra 12 foot 2x4's and 12 feet of 1/2 plywood. We finally got her free, and i parked on the hard packed sand where the tide had been earlier. She was parked for about 1 minute at low tide and one wave came up and hit the rear tires. That caused the bus to sink just a little bit...but that was enough to get her stuck. We soon realized that the tide was coming in. It was dark out, and we worked frantically to unstick the bus. At this time, only 1 wheel was stuck. I tried to get planks under the tire, but ended up with a little wheel spin. That dug me in deeper. I found the jack, and frantically worked at jacking up the wheel so i could get planks under the new sunk wheel. The tide was coming in fast! Under the bus, i was working with the jack in between getting pounded with waves. When a large wave would come in, i'd be trapped under the bus between the driveshaft and rear axle until the wave receeded finally allowing me to catch me breath . This was not the safest working enviroment to say the least.......We'd put a plank under the tires, and a wave would come and carry it away. After hours of digging, jacking, planking, ect, and now in a near hypothermic state we decided to sit down and eat some food. It was obvious at this point that mother nature was winning the battle.
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Old 03-20-2006, 08:53 PM   #17
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The next morning the bus was cemented into the sand........





I decided that digging would just be silly, so i left the bus running ot keep the exhaust pipe clear of sand and water, and the one guy who had come with me stayed with the bus while i hitched a ride with a mexical fisherman back to civilization.

I asked a county worker who was busy moving sand on the beach with a giant front end loader if he would give me a hand. He said he's not supposed too, but he obviously felt bad for me and agreed to help.......until i told him the bus was "about 20 miles" from here. He said that he cant'; go that far.....
I called my good sam club roadside assistance and they found a wrecker service to help me, but explained that this is not a covered service....
So i hitchiked from there into town with some other random person...during that time, good sam called back and said that they found a service to come get the bus, but the wrecker guy stated it would cost between $1,500 -2,000 to remove the bus. I told them to put that idea on hold, and i'd get back with them.....

I found phill and explained the problem.....then phill called the dozer guy. I now think the dozer was the best plan....i should have rented that thing!

The tow truck guy said he'd come by the campground and pick me up, then we'd go pull the bus out......

[/img]
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:21 PM   #18
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Tow truck guy finally showed up with a medium duty wrecker ,and a 4x4 truck. We had perhaps the most incompetant tow truck operators i've ever seen.

They spent the first 4 hours stuck in the sand 10 feet from my bus. We very nicely tried to give them some pointers, but being that they are the professionals, they didn't want advice from us. Several hours later, they finally asked for help getting their truck unstuck. With planks and shovels and the winch on their truck we had them out and moving in under a half hour. They hooked onto the bus and pulled one time, then said they were hungry and were going home.

I'm not tow truck guy, but there were a few things these circus monkeys did that were pretty crazy:
First of all, when using a snatch block for the winch cable,(gives you mechanical advantage so you pull twice as much cable, but get twice as much force....making a 20kpound winch pull 40k pounds) you should use a pully...not a hook. They ran the winch cable to a hook, then back to their truck, expecting it would work as well as a pully. That is really hard on your winch cable!
When they hooked onto the bus and tried to pull it out, instea of pulling directly fron in front of or behind of, they tried to pull at about a 30-45 degree angle. Since the bus was sunk all the way to frame, and both axles were firmly cemented into the sand, trying to pull the bus sideways was obviously not the easiest thing to do. They were there at low tide, and the water was 20 feet from the bus......It was a perfect time to pull the bus out backwards.
I forgot to get a pic of it, but we dug tons of sand from around the bus making it much easier to remove it........

After the tow truck guy left, the tide came in and filled in all fo the sand we had removed.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:28 PM   #19
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Tow truck guy said he'd be back at 9am........Around 7pm we finally saw them coming down the beach.....3 tow trucks. 1 small, medium, and one Huge semi truck tow vehicle.....

I was pretty happy to see them. IF they didn't show up, this would be my third nite spent sleeping inside the bus while the waves beat against the side....

It took a small amount of time for the older expierenced operators to pull the bus out with the big truck, then we traveled the 28 miles down the beach back to the pavement.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:35 PM   #20
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So the tow truck guys said the bill was $5,000. I laughed and asked him how much it really was......except he wasn't joking. I told him there is no way i'd pay 5K for that....the estimte was from 1,500-2K.......

he said if i don't pay, he'll impound the bus. I said that's fine, and we unloaded everything fron inside the bus in about 10 mintutes time while tow truck guy hooked up to the bus.

Then i called the cops and stood in front of the tow truck so he couldnt' leave.

The officer came and said it's a civil matter, and we have to fight it out in the courts....and i asked why he gets to take the bus instead of me.....he can fight with me in the courts!
The tow truck guy said the boss told him he'd accepst 3,500, and i told him he's smoking crack! and he can sell the bus for $500 at auction, but i am not giving him that kind of money............

so i asked the officer where the nearest car rental place was. I gave up on the bus and decided we'd rent a van to get all my stuff home, then i'd buy that new tour bus i wanted.....
The tow truck guy realized i was ok with letting go of the bus, so he offered me $2,500......and i decicded the bus is worth that.....So we gave the guy the money and then drove 36 hours straight to get home.
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