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Old 05-25-2009, 07:01 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, 07:48 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, 01:49 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, 04:57 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, 06:20 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, 08:09 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, 01:27 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, 12:09 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, 08:28 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, 10:56 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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Old 06-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #11
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
Very nice. Are those just shelves, or is the upper space a bunk? Can't tell how deep it is from the photo.
it is just for storage for us, but if need be a child could sleep up there.
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:29 PM   #12
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Good Heavens, gotmuddy! 600 miles??? Did you fly in first, or have someone drive you out to Kentucky?

Swinada, Nice shelf/kiddy-cot. I really love the interiors folks with long buses can create. There's just so much room to play! But I'm chicken to buy something that long. I guess it's all a matter of practice, but wow. I've seen too many city buses around here come within inches of scraping a car parked on the curb while turning to believe a neophyte like myself would be able to get a larger bus through the same neighborhood. <sigh>

There's a bus in Lexington, KY that fits the bill. I'm placing a bid on it tonight. We'll see what happens by the end of the week.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:43 AM   #13
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

I got mine in town and the owner even drove it over to my place for me so I could learn how to drive it at my own speed. I was completely happy with it, I guess the only thing I wish I would have known is that nobody will fit tires to split rims. I probably still would have bought it though!
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:18 PM   #14
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

i had a friend drop me off in rustburg VA, to pick out a bus from sonny merriman. i had preiviously scoped it out on a drive from richmond va to wilmington nc. i felt pretty confident that my bus was out on the lot among the 200 or so busses so i had my friend drop me at a sketchy motel and i walked to the lot the next morining and drove it for the first time all the way home!!
long story short it was an adventure, a solo adventure that i took with no follow car but lots of powers of deduction.
long story medium read my conversion posting " first timer road tripping project"
i realize i didnt answer the question. it was 300 miles from home but i think i prob drove 400 back because i kept pulling off the highway and then looking for parts places and then getting on the interstate and getting off again to take state roads.....
ADVENTURES in th G Bus
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Old 06-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #15
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

To answer my own question, I traveled 203 miles from Hampton, VA to Front Royal, VA. Took much longer than the three and a half hours Google Maps says it should take. But going back up there in a couple of weeks should be faster since I'll be in a better car. Coming back may take much longer again, but I'm willing to go slow to ensure BOB makes it home without a problem.

All Hail the Great & Wonderful BOB

a.k.a. Big Old Bus.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:28 PM   #16
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

3,200 miles?!?!? GREAT GOOGLIEMOOGLIE! BigTex!!!
That's not an adventure... that's a freakin' Indiana Jones movie!

Wow. Glad to hear you made it back okay! Did you actually figure out how much gas you'd have to buy to get home, or was that an "unexpected bonus"?
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:17 AM   #17
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

Hello all... Long time lurker here. Finally getting around to posting.

I purchased my '72 Superior Coach in September 1993 from On-D-Go Used Bus Sales in Bucyrus Ohio. I was hitchhiking around the country following the Grateful Dead when I stumbled across the Phool Bus. My trip started in San Diego county. I "thumbed it" up to the Shoreline shows in Mountain View, CA. Then out to Colorado, where I decided that it would be nice to have a bus. About two weeks later, after the Ohio shows, I saw On-D-Go's lot full of busses. Five days later, I purchased the Phool Bus for $500.

The first thing that I learned was that my fuel guage did not work. It was showing 3/8 of a tank. I made it about 20 miles before running out of gas. The second thing that I learned was that it is a PITA to remove the seats when all of the nuts are rusted to the bolts due to salted roads.

I had calculated that it would cost about $900 to drive back to CA and found a job hanging billboards to get the gas $$ for the return trip. Ohio was wearing me thin, so I headed out with $500 in my pocket. Three days later, I stopped in Colorado Springs, CO. with $63 left. I figured I'd stay there "for a little while" and raise the money for the rest of the trip back to CA. I ended up meeting a lot of great people in Colorado because of the bus and I ended up staying for the winter. The Phool Bus got it's name shortly after I arrived in CO.

On the trip to CA from CO, I swung past a Greyhound station and asked if anyone was heading to southern Ca. One guy said that he was going to Los Angeles and asked why I wanted to know. I told him that I could give him a ride for the cost of his ticket. He laughed at me and walked away. As I was walking up to the door of the bus, I heard footsteps running up behind me. It was "Mr. LA". "Oh my God. Is this yours?" he says. He handed my his $26 fare and off we went. At one point, I had seven hitchhikers and a dog with me.

That was a great trip. Spending a winter in the bus in Colorado Springs was an experience I will not forget. In all, it took about nine months to get the bus back to San Diego county from Ohio.

We have since been as far north as northern CA. helping a friend move. Down to Zihuatanejo, Mexico for a six week long scuba diving / surfing trip with seven other adults, two children, and a dog. Countless concerts, trips to Baja, to the desert with motorcycles and atcs loaded inside... It's a blast pulling up to a campsite and having all of the desert rats looking at the bus. Seeing their jaws drop when I kick the back door open and unload two motorcycles, an atc, and a quad is priceless.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:55 PM   #18
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

From NJ, I bought my bus from a school district in Ohio for $1000 (eBay). I took a Greyhound to Akron, then metro transit bus to Alliance ($81.00 total). During the 426 mile drive home, I realized that the left front windshield leaks during a downpour on the PA turnpike - or anywhere else for that matter. Spent about $250 in gas money. All said and done - I was on a bus for an entire 24 hour period! Great experience so far, and the price was right!
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:02 AM   #19
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Re: How far did you go to pick up your bus?

611 miles.

Drove up to Whitehall, MT in my gals car (big tool box and sleeping bags in the trunk ) did a good once over, test drove it, checked oil, other vital fluids and tire pressure, dealer filled her up and I put her on the highway!

I bought my bus from a bus dealer and it had been well maintained and inspected for fire and search and rescue crew shuttle so it was in good repair and had a fresh service on it, they were selling it rather than put new tires on it. It is in great shape, but I paid premium for it, $3800 with a full tank of fuel.

I searched for several months and made a few road trips trying to find a "bargain" but couldn't seem to find the right size with the right engine in the right condition in one of those $1500 deals.

Bus ran strong at 65 mph and didn't give me a bit of grief, burned 57 gallons of diesel in 611 miles. I get a little more speed out of her since I found the black piece of PVC glued under the accelerator for a "governor"

Take Care,
Den
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