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Old 11-13-2019, 03:23 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: the Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 251
Year: 1997
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: 466e
Rated Cap: its Yuge
First Road Trip, any tips?

For me this bus to RV conversion journey has been fantastic, but it is finally time to take off the training wheels and road trip.

Short one by most peoples standards, 200 miles away, week long.

Any tips / recommendations on final bus prep before i head out would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
dave
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Old 11-13-2019, 03:42 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,677
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
a good place to start is doing a full "CDL style" Pre-trip, tire inflation is important as well... there are various online resources for looking up a pre-trip.. I like to do them before any roadtrip I take.. and I do mini versions pretty much any time I drive the bus..



School bus drivers and truck drivers pre-trip every day...


anyway its a good guide on checking your rig out.. some of it you ignore as it may talk about trailers
-Christopher
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:28 PM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Stansbury Park, Utah
Posts: 184
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: GA39530
Engine: DT466E 215hp 620tq
Rated Cap: 40
Be prepared

I wuold recommend some basic tools and a good flashlight. From past experience, my mechanical problems always seem to happen in the dead of night. I bought an LED head mounted lamp. I always carry 2 work bags of tools and an assortment of hoses and clamps.

I carry extra oil, coolant, and fuel filters, many running issues can be resolved with fresh filters.

Get a good tire gauge on an extended hose so you dont stand directly in front of the tire as you inflate it, most of these buses have tires of questionable age and present a possibility of zippering the side wall, this can kill a person.

Bring extra lengths of wire, water proof but splices and electrical tape and a good volt/ohm meter just in case.

a bit of preparation goes a long way from having to get towed for a simple issue.
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Old 11-13-2019, 05:57 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,924
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Try to Be Prepared. I'd rather take something and not need it, than to need it and not have it. There comes a practical upper limit, though. A quick list:


1. Fire extinguisher. Ranks right up there with a parachute and insurance policy, you hope you never need it, but if you do, nothing else will really do the job and you need it *RIGHT NOW*.
2. First Aid Kit. Not quite as high priority but still an excellent idea to have.
3. Emergency triangles. Just sayin'.
4. Safety gear. Gloves, eye protection, etc. In cold weather, you *WILL* want blankets, jackets, whatever in case you get stranded with no heat.
5. Emergency rations. OK, maybe not as important on a short trip on well traveled roads with stores along the way, but at least you planned for this.
6. Basic tools (as mentioned above). Spare fuses (if needed), wire and tape, fuel filters (doesn't matter how recently yours were replaced, bad fuel will clog 'em quickly), tire pressure gauge (use it before leaving), I'm sure there's more ...
7. Extra money and/or credit card(s). Because *priceless*.
8. Spare/extra fluids. Oil and coolant at a minimum, at least 1 gallon of each (more is better). A 5 gallon fuel can and funnel/extension if needed to reach your fuel tank.
9. I'm sure I missed something but this is a good start.
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Old 11-13-2019, 06:24 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,185
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Try to Be Prepared. I'd rather take something and not need it, than to need it and not have it. There comes a practical upper limit, though. A quick list:


1. Fire extinguisher. Ranks right up there with a parachute and insurance policy, you hope you never need it, but if you do, nothing else will really do the job and you need it *RIGHT NOW*.
2. First Aid Kit. Not quite as high priority but still an excellent idea to have.
3. Emergency triangles. Just sayin'.
4. Safety gear. Gloves, eye protection, etc. In cold weather, you *WILL* want blankets, jackets, whatever in case you get stranded with no heat.
5. Emergency rations. OK, maybe not as important on a short trip on well traveled roads with stores along the way, but at least you planned for this.
6. Basic tools (as mentioned above). Spare fuses (if needed), wire and tape, fuel filters (doesn't matter how recently yours were replaced, bad fuel will clog 'em quickly), tire pressure gauge (use it before leaving), I'm sure there's more ...
7. Extra money and/or credit card(s). Because *priceless*.
8. Spare/extra fluids. Oil and coolant at a minimum, at least 1 gallon of each (more is better). A 5 gallon fuel can and funnel/extension if needed to reach your fuel tank.
9. I'm sure I missed something but this is a good start.
Good list.

I would look a #2 and #8 a bit different.

I consider 2 to be an absolute necessity. I bleed pretty much every time I touch my bus and sometimes when I just think about touching my bus

I keep a well stocked first aid kit on hand.

#8 is a fantastic idea. I do the same but I keep the 5 gallon jug of diesel full. I have had a few fuel filter problems over the last 25 years. The first one caused low power and eventually it got to where it would idle but when you put it in gear and stepped on the throttle it would die. Trying to limp into a shop and didn't make it. We wound up stuck blocking a busy intersection.

I had spare filters but no diesel in the jug . I called a cab to take my wife to fill my diesel jug while I stayed behind trying to keep the cops from towing my bus.. I knew from experience that if I installed the fuel filters (2) without filling them that it could take a couple of hours to manually prime it.

We blocked the intersection for about 40 minutes that seemed like 40 hours to me.

Lesson learned....

I now carry spare fluids including fuel. Spare filters and belts as well as the tools necessary to use my spares.
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