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Old 03-25-2015, 02:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 38

When I moved to California from Virginia 2.5 years ago I took a laptop and a bag full of clothes and left the rest of my belongings at my wonderful loving parents. Now the time has come that my parents will be moving in the near future and my stuff has got to go.. Rather than shipping my stuff for several thousand dollars I decided to move it myself – and drive cross country (something I have always wanted to do). So I decided I would buy a bus to haul my stuff and convert it into an RV when I was done moving..

Soooo we landed on a 2002 International 3000IC, 42 passenger handi-capable bus. I had originally wanted a west coast bus in the hopes of avoiding rust but as it turns out we got a relatively rust free bus and being from the north east(ish) meant it is well insulated, has a bunch of heaters including heated mirrors, and has mud & snow tires. All of which we were super thankful for during our drive cross country as we went through an ice storm in Texas and snow in the Grand Canyon (where it was -2).. We were on a time crunch to get back to San Francisco because my girlfriend started her new job on January 5th. We got the bus on the morning of Dec 24th which left me 4 days to get ready..

Here's Herman on day 1.

I started by removing the sled seats in the rear that were bolted into the handi rails on the floor. Here they are strapped in and ready to go to the dump..

and I made a little 'lounge' area..

I bolted down an old desk across from the lounge (no good pics of it at this stage..) and loaded up the back

Loaded up the remaining seats with boxes

That was pretty much it before we hit the road. The bus had already made it 200 miles back to VA from Delaware so I knew it was running well (enough). As far as pre-flight maintenance I only had time to change the oil filter...I had hoped to change the air filter (more on that later) and do all the other basics but it wasn't in the cards at that time and turned out not to matter..

Lots more to come.

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Old 03-25-2015, 05:00 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72

Thx for sharing.

We all love pics.

"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
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Old 03-25-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 38
Thanks Nat.

I forgot to mention Herman has a T444E and an AT2000 (which I believe is a 5 speed + lockup).

I put this combination latch on the back and a similar one (no combo) on the interior of the front doors to keep our valuables semi secure when we were away:

We took the south route on our trip thinking we'd avoid all the foul weather which didn't pan out all all, but Herman took it in stride..

We stayed mostly in RV parks and KOAs, but we did boondock a few nights. Not much converting took place on our 8 day Journey but we did pick up some crucial supplies at a Walmart just before entering Tennessee. Things like a 100/1000 watt inverter, fabric for curtains & curtain rods, and a Mr Heater Buddy (soo necessary!).

Here's a pic of our little friend doing his thing. Not being too familiar with propane heaters I was very cautious about staying well ventilated. The packaging tape above the drawers was a feable attempt at keeping the drawers from swinging open..I think I had taped one of the curtain rods through all of the handles. It worked, kind of..

It's funny as I'm writing this I'm remembering lots of little details.. I forgot all about the fact that when we first got the bus there was a govenor limiting our speed to 55 mph on the speed (53 actual ). That lasted all of the first day.. We made it to Knoxville the first night, and the next morning we found the nearest international dealer and had them remove it for the low low price of $90 and 15 minutes with a laptop. Now the bus goes hits 65 mph actual (usually closer to 63), which is plenty fast for us.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:16 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 38
The next night we stopped in Nashville (on of my girlfriend's demands).. Not much to tell or see from that but we drank whiskey and sang along at country bars. We woke up the next morning with a slight hangover and got on our way:

We ended up spending the night in a quaint little town called Hot Springs national park, AR. At least the part of it that we saw is a tiny little town in the middle of a national park.

Here's a fun shot of Herman hanging out with the big boys a gas station..

I had done all of the driving up to this point, but the seat cushion was worn out and slanted at an angle and I finally needed to give up the reigns and take a break. The first few minutes with Carrie behind the wheel were terrifying but I learned to overcome my fear LOL..

her first time behind the wheel

And then she decided to sport a little flare from Tennessee

This was a super risky place to stop but everything was going pretty damn smoothly until we got to Texas and the picture was totally worth it..

We stopped for some firewood, wine, and champagne at another Walmart (it was the day of new years eve) hoping we would have a nice little fire to enjoy. We made it to Dallas just before night fall and had some TexMex for dinner.

It was tough to get back on the road with the sun gone and a full belly but we had a schedule to keep so on we went..Until we heard reports of a brutal ice storm. I ended up slowing down to a crawl (10 - 15 mph) on the highway as the ice started coming down and it took us almost 2 hours to get off the road and find the closest RV park.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:17 PM   #5
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Location: Kansas
Posts: 214
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 66 Passenger
That'll be a sweet little bus....Welcome!!
“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.”
― Buckminster Fuller
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:48 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,781
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Wow thats a hell of a drive!
I'm impressed.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:37 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 38
Thanks guys

Where did I leave off...oh yeah, the ice storm..

So when we finally got to the RV park on New Years Eve Carrie decided she wanted to do a snow angel

Which didn't work out very well because ICE - LOL

Soo it was late, we were tired, and the "champagne" we got was inadvertently sweet *gross* so we gave up and settled in for the night. The following morning we woke up to this

At first it didn't seem so bad, and we had a schedule to keep so we got on the road.. Being that we were in Texas and everything was flat for miles we thought we had a pretty good shot at making some progress..15 minutes into driving down a side road we pulled into a gas station.. The ice was TERRIBLE as you can kind of see in this pic,

but we heard the storm was going to continue for days and we really didn't have the time to spare so on we went. The side roads were somewhat better than the highways because all of the cars and tractor trailers on the highway were polishing the ice making it extra slippery.

Side Road...

Highway all backed up and flipped over tractor trailers everywhere

Four hours later we'd made it about 60 miles to Abilene. My nerves were shot from constantly fighting for traction and even though we'd barely made any progress we found a little RV park to stop for the rest of the day..

Since we couldn't really do much we cracked open a bottle of wine and started on the curtains, which we were highly motivated to do because we were tired of waking up at sun up..

I hung the curtain rods and Carrie made the curtains

The curtains are up and you can kind of see the (very messy) bed on the floor

I'll post more in the morning..
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:48 AM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 2,438
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Just the two of us.
Great story, making memories!!!
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:23 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,233
I have BTDT in a bus over New Years. Except I went from Grand Rapids, MI to Castle Rock, WA over I-80/84.

It can be very interesting traveling in the winter. It can become especially interesting when they close the roads and you have to layover somewhere.

It would appear as if you have yourself a nice little bus.

The T444E engine is pretty much identical to the 6.9/7.3L diesel V-8's used in Ford products. As a consequence there are a lot of performance upgrades through Banks and Summit that you could use to really warm up the performance of that engine.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 04-20-2021, 09:13 AM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 38
Fast forward 6 years... I still have the bus, the old girlfriend is gone, and I now have a wife and 3 kids! My bus Herman has sadly been in storage most of this time.

TODAY however, he's finally getting the much deserved attention he needs! While Herman is fully operation there are 2 'bad' wheels (one steer, one rear outer) That I just don't feel safe driving on. Annnd despite my hopes of mobile truck servicing ala TruckDown I've been relegated to towing the bus to the international dealer in Reno.

I'm soooooooooooooo excited! Hermans' getting 2 new wheels, all new tires, and a full service work up. Once he's ready We'll be on the move again - This time to San Juan Island

I'll grab some pics & videos of our adventures today. Stay tuned.
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Old 04-20-2021, 12:46 PM   #11
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,482
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Wow, amazing what 6 years can do.
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
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