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Old 07-24-2017, 01:12 PM   #1
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Transporting a Bus from East to West Coast

Hello all,

I've searched a bit on the site and haven't found much beyond this thread (http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/tr...les-13149.html) so I'm writing here. Any help/advice is very much appreciated.

Question:
I am in the process of converting a 1987 Ford B700 bus. I'll be finished up with the conversion in the Fall. In May of 2018 I'll be moving from my current location in Floyd, VA back home to WA state near Bellingham. At present, my bus isn't registered and I don't intend to drive it anywhere; rather, this bus is being used as a residence while I build a cabin back in WA state.

The mechanics on the bus are ok; however, I doubt that without a serious amount of work that the bus could be rendered road-ready for a 3000 mile cross-country beginning-of-summer trip. So, with all that being said, I'm seriously considering just shipping the bus back to WA state and driving it the 5 miles or so from the nearest city of size (Bellingham) to my property.

Does anyone have any leads on 1) who might transport the bus? 2) how much such a transport might cost? 3) what is the best way to go about this process?

Thanks so much in advance for any information you can provide. I look forward to your replies and wisdom!
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Old 07-24-2017, 01:13 PM   #2
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I got a quote of three grand to haul a bus 500 miles.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:46 PM   #3
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Any Other Advice?

I've posted a listing on uShip (https://www.uship.com/shipment/Need-...-to/223106175/) but no one has bid on it yet.

Anyone else have any advice on how to transport a schoolbus 2700 miles? Thanks in advance for any tips, y'all!
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:56 PM   #4
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What about a freight train?
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:01 PM   #5
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It'd probably be much cheaper to get it running good and drive it. Not to mention way more fun
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:46 PM   #6
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Pay someone to drive it.
Shipping a bus is ridiculously cost-prohibitive, imo.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:49 PM   #7
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Just wondering what is wrong with it?
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:00 PM   #8
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lots of independent truckers would haul it on flatbed... would be cheaper if you got someone who hauled some equipment close to you from oregon or washington state and had no back haul. We have used some guys east of bend ore to pick up auction equipment on their back hauls to oregon,..
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:16 PM   #9
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Skoolydoo View Post
Just wondering what is wrong with it?
That's a good question. It starts fast, idles fine and seems to run ok. It has the Detroit Diesel 8.2L in it . . . which gets (at best) mixed reviews. I plan on dropping the tank, replacing with fresh fuel, changing the fuel filters and possibly replacing the injectors. It does also need 2 tires.

I'm capable of doing everything except the injectors on my own. I've read horror stories about doing the injectors on the 8.2L "Fuel Pincher" . . . but $~800 in parts + as much in labor (is that even close to how much it would cost?) + fuel for the trip still seems cheaper than $5500ish to ship.

All that being said, it does seem cheaper to drive it . . . I'm just worried about having a complete meltdown before I get to WA; further, if I ship it I don't have to worry about getting it titled/registred/etc. Not a huge deal, but something nevertheless. I guess I'll get AAA RV (any idea if they're into buses?) and hope for the best!
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Greatestrr View Post
It'd probably be much cheaper to get it running good and drive it. Not to mention way more fun
True Story!
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:32 PM   #12
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Here's the thing. Do you intend to do much (or any) driving once it reaches WA? I don't see the point of putting $800 worth of injectors into it if it starts, idles, and drives fine as it is. I wouldn't drop the fuel tank either - at least not without a good reason to. I would drop in a bottle or two of fuel treatment and drive it around locally a few days (see about getting a temp tag for this) and see how it does. If it doesn't overheat, snap a belt or pop a hose and otherwise seems OK, it will probably make a long trip alright.

Where failures often happen (not always, but often enough) is people buying a used bus that's been sitting around for ages (or had issues and was not fixed) and then having to go a long ways with it. And often enough, an issue arises and they hope to "limp it home" (sometimes doing more harm in the process). Many times school districts don't test drive them any distance before sale.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Here's the thing. Do you intend to do much (or any) driving once it reaches WA? I don't see the point of putting $800 worth of injectors into it if it starts, idles, and drives fine as it is. I wouldn't drop the fuel tank either - at least not without a good reason to. I would drop in a bottle or two of fuel treatment and drive it around locally a few days (see about getting a temp tag for this) and see how it does. If it doesn't overheat, snap a belt or pop a hose and otherwise seems OK, it will probably make a long trip alright.

Where failures often happen (not always, but often enough) is people buying a used bus that's been sitting around for ages (or had issues and was not fixed) and then having to go a long ways with it. And often enough, an issue arises and they hope to "limp it home" (sometimes doing more harm in the process). Many times school districts don't test drive them any distance before sale.
Thanks for this bit of advice, SwiftFur. Once it makes it home to WA I don't intend to drive it anymore . . . so I'd love to avoid the injectors bill if possible. It did sit for about three years before I got it (drove 4-5 times per year around the county). I don't know the pedigree before that but it did make the trip from Montana to Virginia at some point.

I kinda thought the same thing about driving it but I am a little afraid something catastrophic might happen . . . but if so, it'd be close to home. I drove it 45 minutes home and it ran ok -- just really, really lacked power (30mph uphills with the seats removed). I'm hoping fuel treatment & clean filters will help with the lack of power. Do you have any other recommendations re: increasing power?

BTW, do you have a recommendation on treatment? I was thinking either this (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000M5QPSY...=3PR2XTETYCWXX) or perhaps this (https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Shots-Sec...additive&psc=1).
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Here's the thing. Do you intend to do much (or any) driving once it reaches WA? I don't see the point of putting $800 worth of injectors into it if it starts, idles, and drives fine as it is. I wouldn't drop the fuel tank either - at least not without a good reason to. I would drop in a bottle or two of fuel treatment and drive it around locally a few days (see about getting a temp tag for this) and see how it does. If it doesn't overheat, snap a belt or pop a hose and otherwise seems OK, it will probably make a long trip alright.

Where failures often happen (not always, but often enough) is people buying a used bus that's been sitting around for ages (or had issues and was not fixed) and then having to go a long ways with it. And often enough, an issue arises and they hope to "limp it home" (sometimes doing more harm in the process). Many times school districts don't test drive them any distance before sale.
Well depends on the amount of fuel in the tank, I would drain and add a few gallons run around for awhile come back and then change the filters
Add some treatment run around some more then just change the primary filter again
Filler up and go.
If it's running I wouldn't mess with the injectors, there is a fuel treatment at Walmart about 10.00 a can that works great I have used it for years. But can't
Remember the name..lol I just know where it is on the shelf.

Course to each is own.. I used to haul for Uship 5 or 6 thousand is a fair price
I also did drive away.. that should run about a thousand plus fuel and any repairs would be on you
Wish you luck with it
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justalewis View Post
Thanks for this bit of advice, SwiftFur. Once it makes it home to WA I don't intend to drive it anymore . . . so I'd love to avoid the injectors bill if possible. It did sit for about three years before I got it (drove 4-5 times per year around the county). I don't know the pedigree before that but it did make the trip from Montana to Virginia at some point.

I kinda thought the same thing about driving it but I am a little afraid something catastrophic might happen . . . but if so, it'd be close to home. I drove it 45 minutes home and it ran ok -- just really, really lacked power (30mph uphills with the seats removed). I'm hoping fuel treatment & clean filters will help with the lack of power. Do you have any other recommendations re: increasing power?

BTW, do you have a recommendation on treatment? I was thinking either this (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000M5QPSY...=3PR2XTETYCWXX) or perhaps this (https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Shots-Sec...additive&psc=1).
I use some DieselKleen every other tank, but the hotshot's stuff is good and its on sale at tractor supply for ten bucks a bottle.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:51 PM   #16
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I have used "Power Service" in the past but there are other brands that are just as good.

Your low power sounds to me like you need to replace the fuel filters, it is a *VERY* common symptom of clogged fuel filters. Buy 2-3 sets of filters. You'll use them as you drive out the old fuel. Keep the spares in the bus, along with everything you need to change them. Don't be surprised if you go through a set (of filters) in a tank or 2 of fuel after it's been sitting so long. If you ever plan to drive it (even years later) after the long trip, you might consider putting some fuel treatment into the tank before parking it. Leave a note on the tank/fuel gauge that you used fuel treatment (what brand, date, etc); this may save a lot of headache several years in the future.

If the tires have tread and don't look dry-rotted (cracked) they'll probably make the trip just fine. I'll have to leave this up to you and a local tire technician. Consider buying used tires (*NOT* recaps for the steering axle) since you plan to park it at the destination.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:23 PM   #17
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Hi, VA has a trip permot for $5 that can be printed. ...?
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Old 07-28-2017, 12:47 AM   #18
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I too would not mess around with the injectors.

Going 30 MPH up a hill empty doesn't sound too out of character for a 8.2L Fuel Pincher.

IIRC, most of them were only rated at 180 HP. That isn't going to move anything very fast.

If you can leave before the heat of the summer hits and plan your trip to hit the steep parts late at night or early in the morning when it is coolest outside will help to reduce any stress on your rig.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:30 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justalewis View Post
That's a good question. It starts fast, idles fine and seems to run ok. It has the Detroit Diesel 8.2L in it . . . which gets (at best) mixed reviews. I plan on dropping the tank, replacing with fresh fuel, changing the fuel filters and possibly replacing the injectors. It does also need 2 tires.

I'm capable of doing everything except the injectors on my own. I've read horror stories about doing the injectors on the 8.2L "Fuel Pincher" . . . but $~800 in parts + as much in labor (is that even close to how much it would cost?) + fuel for the trip still seems cheaper than $5500ish to ship.

All that being said, it does seem cheaper to drive it . . . I'm just worried about having a complete meltdown before I get to WA; further, if I ship it I don't have to worry about getting it titled/registred/etc. Not a huge deal, but something nevertheless. I guess I'll get AAA RV (any idea if they're into buses?) and hope for the best!
lots of good busses in washington. is where i buy the last two from auction in eastern wa. thomas re can often get for 1500...
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:46 AM   #20
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Not Sure how far you are along but if you do not intend to drive it then rip your good pieces out of it , sell it and get another on the west coast. the cost of getting stranded, may be a tow, and back up running again, insurance, inspection, tires etc might be higher then the joy driving across.

later J
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