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Old 04-20-2019, 06:07 AM   #21
Bus Crazy
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,494
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Sounds like an awesome adventure so far and you are learning about the bus! Safe travels!

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Old 04-20-2019, 11:35 AM   #22
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 681
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
Rated Cap: 35
Goodbye from Oregon. Glad your trip is going well and that you are learning a lot and getting familiar with your bus. I will head over to Instagram to check your pics. have you calculated your MPGs? what are you getting?

stay safe!
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #23
Bus Nut
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 334
If you take 80/90 in Indiana and need anything send a message
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:30 AM   #24
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Northern California
Posts: 44
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FC
Engine: Cat C-7
Enjoy your new adventure! Be ready for the unexpected, do NOT let minor details discourage ypu, you will have plenty. Our bus has comml insurance for the interim, dont feel bad about it, you will have time to look for cheaper once your conversion is completed and you can re-title as "Private Motor Home, etc. Hoses and belts!! Please check thoroughly as it can leave you roadside will llookin for replacements. Otherwise, enjoy your drive back with your new project!
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:09 PM   #25
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: California
Posts: 2
Year: 1965
Coachwork: Crown XDSA 4016
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Toro-Flow Diesel
Rated Cap: 30
Thanks for sharing your progress

Seems like you're taking the same route my wife and I have been considering for July/August coming up. We'll be starting from Modesto California and heading north before heading east to Ohio. We're both enjoying your posts. You just got on a plane to Portland and are making it work all the way back to the east coast. Dang! Right on.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:33 PM   #26
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 19,179
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
wow what a trip!! sounds like you guys too kthe northern route.. more serious hills.. when i did it last summer from portland to ohio, I did 84 to 80 which only had one real mountain to climb to 8700 feet.. once I got into nebraska it was pure boring-ness though.. (but much easier on the 40 year old bus i was driving)...

Love these cross country trips!!
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:31 PM   #27
Bus Nut
Willie_McCoy's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 261
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 671T
Update #2 I made it home!!

I caught the sunrise over the Badlands NP and it was pretty spectacular. Stayed in the park for a couple hours and hit up the visitors center for some souvenirs and magnets for the bus, and a fresh cup of coffee. Met a few van-lifers working in the gift shop next to the visitors center, and traded travel stories for a little while. Then it was back to the road.

I noticed when I came into South Dakota that the signs for the weigh stations said that ALL vehicles over 10,000lbs MUST stop at the weigh stations, and as my bus is well over that, and is probably going to be considered a commercial vehicle by any DOT enforcement officer, I felt it was best for me to avoid the interstate as much as possible while crossing SD. I left the Badlands NP from the south and headed east on state hwy 44.

Hwy 44 is a pretty nice ride, reasonably well paved 2 lane highway with very little traffic that parallels interstate 90 for most of the state. I enjoyed that road a lot. Stopped in a tiny little town called White River for a breakfast sandwich and some fluids without caffeine. I I took that down to Hwy 18, then Hwy 50 IICR and onto I29 and then down to I80 in Iowa.

Somewhere in there, I think on Hwy18 I got passed by a pretty good size biker gang, they seemed to love the bus, I had them surrounding me for a couple of miles giving me waves and thumbs up. It was pretty cool. The bus gets a LOT of attention on the road, truckers love it, lots of waves from passing cars, etc

I knew I wasn't going to be passing through any real wilderness areas anymore so my sleeping situation was going to be a bit more of a challenge. Truck stops and Walmart parking lots are always an option, but I prefer not to use them except as a last resort. I decided to take a look on Hipcamp, its a lot like AirBnb, but for camping and RV's. I found a cheapish spot on there about 1/2 way across Iowa and booked through the app. It was nice knowing I had a place to park and a destination to shoot for that night.

I rolled into the campground in Earlham Iowa around 9:30 or so. It was a pretty small place but the spots were large and level. It had power so I could charge up my cameras, phone and portable batteries, but most of all, it had a brand new shower house, private, and open all night. That was the best shower I have had in a long time.

I rolled out of there around 6:30 Sunday morning and headed east on I80. Checked out the worlds largest truck stop, and put the hammer down. Only stopped one other time in Iowa for fuel and coffee, and while I was there I was distracted by a trucker who wanted to check out the bus, and I forgot my fuel cap on top of the pump I didn't notice till I fueled up again several hours and several hundred miles later.

The night before I knew that I was going to be blowing by Chicago much earlier than I had previously thought so I had my buddy change his flight to Cleveland. I picked him up at about 10:30pm and we just kept on trucking.

We decided that staying on I90 and crossing NY north of the finger lakes was a better idea than taking I80 and fighting NYC traffic in the morning.

We drove through the night and by sunrise were well across upstate NY. We only stopped a few times for fuel and coffee and food, and made it back to RI by noonish.

That last leg was about 1400 miles and about 30 hours of nearly non-stop driving for me, and I was utterly spent by the time I got home. My knee was screaming from standing on the throttle for so long and I crashed pretty hard on the couch.

The bus is now filling my driveway and looks like its bigger than my house.

Now that the trip is complete, I think the journey has really just begun.

Some trip stats:

Total Distance: 3,310 miles approx
Total Travel time: 5.5 days
Average MPG: 9 (as best as I can figure it.)
Total fuel cost:$1,200ish (I still need to total up all my receipts)
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:33 PM   #28
Bus Geek
EastCoastCB's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,782
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Glad you and the bus made it!
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Old 04-24-2019, 03:30 AM   #29
Bus Geek
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,859
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Glad you and the bus made it!
I'll second that notion!

That was one successful first trip!
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:27 AM   #30
New Member
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: California
Posts: 2
Year: 1965
Coachwork: Crown XDSA 4016
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Toro-Flow Diesel
Rated Cap: 30
Thanks for the excellent update and interesting details! Was getting a little worried lol
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