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Old 03-17-2006, 03:24 PM   #1
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Help!! Jasons bus is being eaten by the Ocean!!

So were still in south padre island & Jason decided to take his bus north along the beach and camp out last night, while the rest of us stayed behind & camped in my bus here at the campground.

Jason walked up this morning & told us that his bus is stuck on the beach & the waves are eroding the sand from under his bus. It's buried up to the frame & waves are crashing aginst the side of the bus during hi tide. I guess he was up most of the night trying to dig it out. Now were sitting in my bus here in the campground waiting for the tow truck driver to come so he can drive us out there to assess the situation but he estimates it to be about $1,500 to get it out.

Oh yeah his bus is about 20 miles north of the last (northrnmost) access point off the main road on the island.

I called about renting a dozer to get it out but it will cost about $1,250 to have a cat D5 but then we have to worry about getting that stuck on the beach.... ugggggg. My bus is way worse in the sand than Jasons bus is, he has already had to pull me out several times while on the beach, so thats not an option.

Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to get it out.

I'll post pictures later...
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Old 03-17-2006, 03:54 PM   #2
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:48 PM   #3
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Also, make sure a price is agreed upon based on the effort and required equipment for extraction. Bare in mind there will be some snafus so it may be more expensive than you expect, but make sure they have adequate equipment from the getgo and that they know what they're doing. I'd hate to see you pay an hourly charge while the tower works to get his own rig out or while you wait for him to get more/heavier equipment out there.

That said...maybe renting the D5 isn't sure a bad idea....it won't get stuck IMHO. If it doesn't get the bus out, atleast you can give it a proper burial anyway .


What.....no AAA?
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Old 03-17-2006, 05:26 PM   #4
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I would go with the dozer......Has anyone heard how they are coming???
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Old 03-18-2006, 01:58 AM   #5
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To whom this may concern regarding Jason's sinkage in the sand,

SOOOOOO....Here we are 24 hours later and a tow truck came out and got stuck.....a guy in a suzuki laughed about getting us out.....anyways at high tide the waves where coming in the door....at low tide the bumper was mostly out of the water...... nothing has worked....the tow truck eventually ended up snaping a suppose to be 60,000 lb cable..........No luck but it is 1 am here and don't know what to do.......Right now Jason and the tow truck are trying to pull it out at this very moment......well we will let you know how this all come out

p.s.--- the engine has been running for twenty four hours because of the exhaust under the water.......well thats it for now........
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Old 03-18-2006, 02:15 AM   #6
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Empty the hot tub. That's a lot of weight on the back wheels pushing you into the sand.
If the rear axle is in the sand, you better dig it out before your try again.

I'd go with the Cat.

Don't try and pull it out with your bus. One bus lost in the surf is bad enough.
Photos?
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Old 03-18-2006, 02:33 AM   #7
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I think Im going to cry if you dont get that bus out of the sand
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Old 03-18-2006, 02:36 AM   #8
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The bus is about 28 miles from the nearest road, so getting traction on pavement is not an option.

Theres no way to get anything under the bus with out a lot of digging because the bus is resting on the frame. more than half of his rear tires were under the sand, the rear of his driveshaft is submerged, his fuel tank, trans pan & oil pan are all resting on the ground. There was sand up to the 2nd step inside the door & quite a bit of digging was needed to free the door enough so it can open & close again.

My bus was way worse in the sand than Jasons was, so using my bus is not an option. Becides I think its happy here in the RV park.

The hot tub was empied within a few minuts of the bus being stuck.

Low tide was at about 10pm tonight, I was out there till about 11:15pm & the bus hadn't moved an inch yet.

Jason dosent like the bulldozer idea because it would be even worse if we sank the bulldozer out there along with the bus.

I have some pics but I dont have anyway to get them from my digital camera to Jasons crappy laptop, so I will have to post them when I get home.... whenever that is....
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:30 AM   #9
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Solid ground is the best place for your bus. You may be going home one bus short.

The bulldozer may be the only way out of this, or possibly a backhoe to dig it out. Or maybe a crane to pick it up.

Your going to have to dig out the frame and axle and make a path for the wheels to roll in and get it towed all during low tide. the high tide is going to fill it all back in. There's got to be a heavy duty beach wrecker service down there. Maybe someone who has converted an old Army duece and a half into a wrecker. Can you get the wrecker that broke his cable back out there?

Sel the bus as soon as you get back home.
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:51 PM   #10
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the cat....

yo I used to drive a d-7 in us army and we bad em on the beach all the time I'd go for the cat or even a large tractor would proably work
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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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