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Old 07-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #1
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Proper way to tow a broken bus

Hello to all, I have been lurking in the shadows and finally joined to be in the light, I have yet to purchase a bus but I indent to do so in the near future, The size of my wallet is going to dictate the purchase of my soon to be bus (the wallet is skinny and empty at the moment LOL), will probably be something that will need to be towed, I do realize that a towing company is a option, by example AAA will tow a non commercial bus/RV 100 mile and I will probably use them for the first 100 mile but if my bus is located further then that I like to keep my option open. I kind of found a MC8 that is possibility but she's 300 mile away and won't run under her own power at the moment. Any suggestions? Or pictures of a RV/Bus Schoolie being towed unconventionally.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

However you tow it, be sure to pull at least the right rear axle or the drive shaft.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

AAA will not tow a MC8, commercial or not.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

Sorry, didnt read that it was an MC8. If you are going to have it towed you best be sure they have a wheel lift setup. If they dont, you really better sure you find someone who knows what they are doing. You CAN NOT lift the front of an MC8 the way you would normally lift a straight truck!! Well you can, but just once. ;)
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

Try GoodSam, they seem to having towing for all bus conversions. Call... ask.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

I'd look at a towing company that handles heavy-duty commercial vehicles and is familiar with coach buses. The frame of an MC8 is nothing like the frame of a school bus. School buses can be towed by a medium-duty wrecker (not recommended because of the weight/stopping power, but I've seen it done with no damage to the bus). Coaches have specific lifting points on the front axle that must be used. If they try to lift the frame the same way they would a truck/school bus, it will cause serious damage to the bus. This is one of the reasons I chose a school bus for my conversion, the frame and suspension is simpler and can be easily towed (and I actually know enough to do basic maintenance on it). An MC8 will make a more comfortable conversion, but they're much more expensive to tow and fix.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:51 AM   #7
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

Here's a 7 if you want to spend around $30k. Trying to help the guy sell it: Very nice shape.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:33 PM   #8
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

Any heavy-haul (semi) wrecker can tow a coach: wheel-lift the front, either pull the driveshaft or remove the axles. A skoolie can be hooked the same way, most can also be lifted on a sling (from either end).
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:05 PM   #9
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Re: Proper way to tow a broken bus

Thanks for the responses, I was more currious regarding the unconventional ways to tow a skoolie or a bus that have been seen, bus towing bus, car towing bus, horses? anybody got any pictures?
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:17 PM   #10
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To tow or not to tow :-)

Howdy, I have become the proud mother of a 42 ft conversion bus in Anchorage, Alaska. I am trying to decide the best way to move it to my property which is about 20 miles away. It has sat for 5 years but apparently was functioning when it was parked. I assume the tires that were not covered are rotted though. I am looking for ideas on towing it (42 ft and covered with wood). 1064 diesel if that makes a difference. I don't think I will be driving it ever, but am debating the pros and cons of buying tires versus towing etc... I was told it had 18 gears which sort of boggles my mind. Can that be true? Any thoughts welcome and appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:22 PM   #11
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Profile Pic Tutorial Anyone?

Howdy, Cant see, to locate where I upload a profile pic on this forum. Any tips appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:38 PM   #12
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If the tires still hold air and the engine will start, just drive it the 20 miles slowly and save yourself a bunch of money, as long as the brakes work
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:58 AM   #13
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I recently heard of uship.com. I've never used it but apparently many carriers (especially independents) use it to avoid dead-head trips when possible. Maybe an option - at least for the several hundred mile move??
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:27 AM   #14
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A while back there was a post here that detailed a member having a non-running bus delivered.

IIRC: it was a full size transit style. They dropped the driveshaft and towed it 4 wheels down with a Dodge Ram 3500.

I may be shaky on the details but it was a big bus and a pickup truck.

I do not recommend this but it has been done.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:35 AM   #15
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A year ago I had to have my bus towed a few miles after its brand-new hydraulic fan motor split during its first test-drive (long story . . .). Good Sam sent a shiny new triple-axle heavy-duty wrecker with all the bells and whistles, and I do mean all the fun stuff! Hooking to the front axles wasn't difficult, but persuading the passenger-side axle shaft to release from its split cones under the eight nuts took many hard thwacks with a BFH until it came free. The driver said he always tried to remove axle shafts instead of disconnecting driveshafts, and for only a few miles tow he said it was OK to remove just one axle shaft - if he had towed it further he would have removed both. One other issue that I had planned for, but still was a slight problem, was airing up the bus to release the brakes: I had made an air inlet next to the door for connecting shop air or a tow truck's air to the bus's brake system, but it's for normal Industrial-style fittings, not the Automotive-style fittings the truck had. We had to jury-rig an adapter to get air into my bus, but I've now made a proper adapter for any future needs.

Yes, you can tow a bus with something smaller than a proper tow truck, but the risk increases, as does the level of interest that law enforcement may show when they see something unusual. A full-size pickup truck will move a bus on level ground, but don't even think about hills unless the bus's brakes are working. The brokers in Texas who buy school buses for export to Central America tow one behind another to the ports from where they are shipped. Many years ago when I worked for a moving and storage company in England one of our fully-loaded trucks broke down in Germany on its way back to England. It was a 2-axle DAF towing a 2-axle drawbar trailer, crammed full of several families' stuff and probably grossing about 30 tons. After much head-scratching the boss decided to drive out to Germany with his old Range Rover and tow it back. It took several days to drive from near Dusseldorf back to England, traveling at about 15 MPH the whole way back on small roads; the Dutch didn't want to even allow it through their border thinking it would break down even worse on their soil, but after a few bottles of Scotch had been donated to them they relented (we always kept a case of Scotch in our international trucks to help lubricate the wheels of commerce and bureaucracy, especially for trips behind the Iron Curtain). We had fun and games getting this whole mess off the ferry at Felixstowe - the bow ramp was too steep to get up, so we had to wait a few hours until the tide lifted the ferry enough to level the ramp, and then the British customs wanted to impound everything until they had inspected the entire load. (More Scotch also smoothed that situation.) Fun and games.

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Old 09-25-2019, 07:08 AM   #16
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Question

I was looking for a flat tow system to hook up but it seems to be non existant.
Do you think that a bus would follow, turn on it's own, with a tow bar system? Could I also rig the brakes to work with my brake controller?
I could rig it for a pindle hitch or 3".
I even found a flat tow hitch for 20000

https://www.etrailer.com/dept-pg-Tow_Bars-gw-20000_lbs.aspx
Bus is a 1964 PD
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:17 PM   #17
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Just my limited experience flat towing, if the vehicle being towed weighs more then the tow vehicle it becomes hard to steer as the towed vehicle overcomes the towing vehicle.
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Old 09-25-2019, 02:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbus View Post
Hello to all, I have been lurking in the shadows and finally joined to be in the light, I have yet to purchase a bus but I indent to do so in the near future, The size of my wallet is going to dictate the purchase of my soon to be bus (the wallet is skinny and empty at the moment LOL), will probably be something that will need to be towed, I do realize that a towing company is a option, by example AAA will tow a non commercial bus/RV 100 mile and I will probably use them for the first 100 mile but if my bus is located further then that I like to keep my option open. I kind of found a MC8 that is possibility but she's 300 mile away and won't run under her own power at the moment. Any suggestions? Or pictures of a RV/Bus Schoolie being towed unconventionally.
For the money spent towing the bus you would be better off to try to repair it and make it drivable where it sits. Unless you know exactly why it won't run and how to fix it paying for a tow could be just the beginning of throwing cash into a money pit. It might be better to keep looking for a bus that runs and is drivable.

Ted
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:41 PM   #19
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The safest way to tow it
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