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Old 10-03-2018, 03:19 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Transporting bus cross-country

Hello everyone!

I am planning to move from Idaho back home to North Florida asap and am looking into my options for transporting my bus that distance.
I have just started the gutting process, so it is not yet livable, and I have my personal vehicle and belongings to transport as well.
At the moment, the bus needs a variety of repairs (bad axel seal, bad front tires, possibly brake replacements, etc) before it could drive cross-country.

Has anyone had any luck shipping their bus via train or flatbed? I'm not sure the cost and rush to repair the bus plus the stress on the vehicle and having to figure out how to tow my car behind would be worth it.

Any advice? I'm super stressed out about all of this.
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:59 PM   #2
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My advice would be to run some numbers. Even if you get the repairs professionally done, it might be comparable to fix up the bus and pack yourself into it for a good long drive vs flatbedding the bus that distance and also renting a box truck.



Or, close enough that the advantages of having tagged and insured the thing tip the scales towards getting it running. Transporting it via truck is gonna be a lot of money just to relocate the same problem to a new locale.
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:16 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Any tips/advice for safely making such a long trip in a bus?
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:35 PM   #4
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fix it drive it

$2500 to truck my bus from colorado to kansas. 24 foot long bus. probably better to fix your bus, load your stuff on to it, then add hitch to your bus, and tow the car behind it. If the bus breaks you could drive for parts. time is the bummer thing. when do you leave idaho?

william , topeka kansas
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:54 PM   #5
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yeah, im gathering that it will be way cheaper to drive. im just super worried about breaking down in BFE or something. I'm not mechanically inclined.

I'm hoping to leave Idaho ASAP.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:18 PM   #6
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I just recently bought a bus in oregon and since it was 40 years old I inquired to several shippers about flatbedding it to ohio.. (2500 miles).. I got quotes from 7500-10,000 bucks to do it...



I took my chances, I hopped in and drove it home..



1. unless an axle seal is REALLY bad.. they typically dont leak much fluid and can be topped off daily and driven.. I had one leaking on my red bus and drove it quite a bit checking it every day before i fixed it..



2. you are going to need tires anyway... go ahead and get them.. the tires wont fix themselves on a flatbed.


3. have your brakes checked by at least 2 truck shops (to get a fair assesment).. if it needs brakes get em.



4. if you were planning on renting a U-haul to go across the country with your car and belongings then you will have quite ab it of $$ in that.. any chance your belongings fit in the bus and you get a hitch installed on the bus to tow the car?


seems to me for the $$ you'll have in transporting it that



1. you sell it and go buy another in your home state or close to it
2. fix it up and drive it


the reason transporting a full size bus is so pricey is that you will be eseentially hring a full size semi as a full truckload.. no way to share expenses in an LTL situation with the truck carrying a bus..



freight operators dont like to go into florida unless they are agricultural haulers as they have a tough time getting any Backhaul out of florida.. so it may be a good bit of deadhead (no revenue)..



the low bid I got fro ma trucking company was stringent as they could cover that driver once he arrived in ohio with a backhaul.. (they were a west coast freight hauler)..



my bus had yucky tires so I got new ones in oregon... knew id need them either way... changed the oil, and took off..
-Christopher
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I just recently bought a bus in oregon and since it was 40 years old I inquired to several shippers about flatbedding it to ohio.. (2500 miles).. I got quotes from 7500-10,000 bucks to do it...



I took my chances, I hopped in and drove it home..



1. unless an axle seal is REALLY bad.. they typically dont leak much fluid and can be topped off daily and driven.. I had one leaking on my red bus and drove it quite a bit checking it every day before i fixed it..



2. you are going to need tires anyway... go ahead and get them.. the tires wont fix themselves on a flatbed.


3. have your brakes checked by at least 2 truck shops (to get a fair assesment).. if it needs brakes get em.



4. if you were planning on renting a U-haul to go across the country with your car and belongings then you will have quite ab it of $$ in that.. any chance your belongings fit in the bus and you get a hitch installed on the bus to tow the car?


seems to me for the $$ you'll have in transporting it that



1. you sell it and go buy another in your home state or close to it
2. fix it up and drive it


the reason transporting a full size bus is so pricey is that you will be eseentially hring a full size semi as a full truckload.. no way to share expenses in an LTL situation with the truck carrying a bus..



freight operators dont like to go into florida unless they are agricultural haulers as they have a tough time getting any Backhaul out of florida.. so it may be a good bit of deadhead (no revenue)..



the low bid I got fro ma trucking company was stringent as they could cover that driver once he arrived in ohio with a backhaul.. (they were a west coast freight hauler)..



my bus had yucky tires so I got new ones in oregon... knew id need them either way... changed the oil, and took off..
-Christopher


I have gotten bunches of quotes in the time since I initially posted this and definitely seems like it will be a better deal to fix it and drive, as nervous as that makes me. I am, however, not planning to tow my car as that is not something I am comfortable doing having had no practice or experience. I am planning to talk to my bus mechanic and see what the cost will be to get it road trip ready and hope for the best I guess.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:39 PM   #8
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rhian --what kind of car

I have a house in Emmett Idaho, that is not far from Boise. What kind of car do have? How long is your bus? post a picture of side shot of the bus.

These all relate to towing a car behind your bus and I might be to go from boise to kansas with you.

william
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:11 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
I have a house in Emmett Idaho, that is not far from Boise. What kind of car do have? How long is your bus? post a picture of side shot of the bus.

These all relate to towing a car behind your bus and I might be to go from boise to kansas with you.

william

I drive a Kia Spectra5 (manual hatchback) and my bus is 28ft long bumper to bumper
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:46 PM   #10
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Your car will tow easily.
Your bus will hardly know it's back there.
Bolt and or weld a hitch to the bus bumper no need for a receiver hitch.
A factory tow bar for your car should be easy to find. Get the tow bar used and just buy new brackets for the car.
This is easy. Go for it.
Nice looking bus.
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan N View Post
Your car will tow easily.
Your bus will hardly know it's back there.
Bolt and or weld a hitch to the bus bumper no need for a receiver hitch.
A factory tow bar for your car should be easy to find. Get the tow bar used and just buy new brackets for the car.
This is easy. Go for it.
Nice looking bus.
I worry that it will be difficult to handle driving a bus that's towing a car such a great distance if I've never had experience towing anything before.
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Old 10-03-2018, 10:02 PM   #12
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Towing a Kia should be a piece of cake. You will never know it is back there unless you have to back up. Just plan your stops so you don't have to. I have towed from Knoxville TN. to San Diago two times and to LA once and points all over the South with a 66 pas. bus. With a long bed Datsun truck and the motor cycle on the front bumper I was 67 feet long. You can do it! If you have another person you can un hook and have the other person drive the car in Down town situations. Let me know when you get to FL.
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Old 10-03-2018, 11:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhian View Post
I worry that it will be difficult to handle driving a bus that's towing a car such a great distance if I've never had experience towing anything before.
If traveling the interstate for long periods you won't be turning the steering wheel more than 5-10 for hours on end. You probably won't know the toad is back there after 5 miles.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:27 AM   #14
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I have a 28 foot bus and I tow my Subaru - I don't even notice I am towing it - the only thing is to watch tight turns - but a few right and left turns around a parking lot will get you comfortable.
I drove around Florida - from FL to Montana - Montana to Virginia - Virginia to Texas towing.
If you are comfortable driving your bus - towing should be a pretty easy addition.
IMG_8793.jpg

I was going to not tow for the same reasons - but felt the added security of a car was nice. Plus I was planning to stay in places for a few months at a time.

I did install a Rear view camera (from Amazon for about $130) - and that helps me keep an eye on it - though it is more for peace of mind than purpose.

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:52 AM   #15
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You bought a skoolie to do big girl stuff, your'e going to need to learn sooner or later right. Hitch, tow bar, pulling a car are all things anyone can if they need to. Hire some one capable, if you have to, to teach you and get you started off right.

Spend a week end at a campground visiting with flolks about it an I bet you find someone to help you get going.
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:53 PM   #16
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wow.. its a Classic old Ward S-series.. ! Love these busses!!
-Christopher
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:17 PM   #17
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for quick and dirty

Get tires, repair axle seal leak, have brakes inspected, have hitch put on.... keep in mind that the rear over hang, in some situations will come close to the ground.

there are three ways to haul the car,

flat tow -- that means all four wheel on the ground and you attach a tow bar to your car, that is often attached to the front bumper, sometimes a spot lower on the front under the car. The tow bar is connected to the car with a couple of pins. You have to plug into the lights on the bus and have lights on the car or separate lights that attach to the car some how... the easy way is to go to harbour frieght and buy magnetic stick on lights, not the cheapest, but after you add labor, it might be cheapest.

tow dolly, -- you put the front wheels of your car on a little "mini trailer" so to speak, called a "tow dolly" new ones are around $1300 but you can rent them from Uhaul. Still have to do the light thing as you do in flat towing.

trailer, -- drive the car up onto a trailer and tie it down, -- This is the most expensive, least amount of work, and the heaviest.

I think a flat tow with magnetic lights would get you done, The brakes on the bus are so big, that under braking conditions, You wont know if the car is there or not. The car is so narrow that you wont see it unless you are turning sharply. so close behind you that no real aerodynamic drag to speak of, and could possibly help. You would go to an RV store and have the tow bar installed.... I would try to get you to go to some truck shop, like pick up truck shop and install the tow bar. I wish I was there, I could help you do it but now I am in kansas. call all the shops around, any body that work on the bus should be able to do the tow bar stuff too. Find a one stop shop, get estimates and shop around your self.

call if you want 785 207 7600

william
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:20 PM   #18
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tow bars boise

there are several tow bars on boise craigs list right now......
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:25 PM   #19
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They make those magnetic tail lights in a wireless model, so no wires running from the bus to the back of the toad.
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Old 10-04-2018, 03:32 PM   #20
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hitch like this bolted to the bus

https://boise.craigslist.org/pts/d/t...692964693.html


tow bars

https://boise.craigslist.org/rvs/d/t...708852872.html


does this help any?

william
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