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Old 04-15-2024, 07:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 6
Hopped on the bus!

Hello, everyone! Thanks for having this community, and I'm glad to join. Bought my first bus yesterday 😁 2001 International/Blue Bird 3800 T444E. So excited to drive it, set up the conversion, and learn all about the beast! Definitely already have some questions, but I'm gonna ease my way into the forum, I'm just glad to be a part of it😁😁

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Old 04-15-2024, 07:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,914
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
welcome to the Jungle.. love my Bus with a T444E.. you can go mild to wild
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Old 04-16-2024, 05:51 AM   #3
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Thanks, caddy! I'm excited and nervous and all the things
Starting to wonder how I can afford the fuel as I'm out traveling... But there's time to work through things like this!
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:46 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 885
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Being able to afford fuel will be the least of your worries if you have a major breakdown out in the real world. Get to know your engine bay thoroughly and what everything does and how it works so you can keep an eye on it to prevent a breakdown. Everything YOU work on and repair prepares you to be better equipped to do your own preventive maintenance and repairs. An alternator or starter will cost you 1-2 thousand for a shop to replace on the road, a few hundred if you do it yourself.... and the list goes on and on and dollars higher and higher. Start with changing your oil, all oil, air, fuel filters, antifreeze, checking rearend grease, wheel hub oil, fan belts, fan clutch, that's a good start. If a vehicle is 15 years old or older I automatically change all hoses, thermostat, water pump, possibly alternator, and such so I don't get stranded on the roadside or even worse roasting a $30,000 engine over a $30 hose. These are the most common things that put you on the shoulder of the road and are easy to prevent. If you think owning a bus is anything like an automobile you are sorely mistaken, they are much much more expensive. I am not trying to run you off but getting your attention how important keeping an RV in tip top shape. I had to put an alternator in my bus while on my way from Skooliepalooza last year and it was only 3 years old, took 2 days but it only cost a couple hundred bucks because I carry a good amount of tools and did it myself. A guy I know was complaining about a shop charging $350 for an oil change on a new $90,000 diesel PU, it goes with the territory. Enjoy your new hobby and we all look forward to hearing and seeing your progress!
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Old 04-17-2024, 03:52 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2024
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Thanks, Rick, for the very detailed breakdown 🙂 I do aim to be preventive, and you gave a very good list of things to help. I am my own car mechanic and plan to learn to do what I can here as well. One reason I took this leap is because I have survived this far on self sufficiency. I agree 110% I'd rather spend the money on parts ahead of time than tow bills.. I have given myself a year to get the bus where I want it. Maybe do a couple local weekend festivals to get used to driving it, etc. I really appreciate the time you put into your response, and value your knowledge greatly 🙏
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