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richard5933

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    Beautiful Southern Wisconsin
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  1. It was explained to me that much more care needs to be taken with motor homes than commercial vehicles. It's not just that they have to spend more time prepping (floor covering, and other protective gear) but that there is a whole other level of expectations when dealing with the motor home owners. Not to be offensive to anyone, but if I owned a shop I'd rather have commercial vehicle owners as customers than motor home owners any day of the week. This includes myself... Let's face it, we are going to be fussier, likely to be less knowledgeable about the mechanics of the coach, and in general be a more difficult customer. We also won't have a commercial account with the shop and will require retail billing. Shops will always give their best pricing to the customers they want to encourage and that make them the most money.
  2. Buddy of mine runs a company doing "cash for junk cars", and the price he pays is much higher if the factory catalytic converter is still there. First thing he does is cut it out. Takes about 2 minutes with a Sawzall, usually while the car is still on the hook. Going to be a difficult item to protect - restricting access to the vehicle is the best way.
  3. Does your fridge have an adjustable low voltage warning or is it preset?
  4. If you have a heated wet bay, and if the outside temp is below freezing, might be a good idea to fill your tank and disconnect from the city water unless you are using a heated hose.
  5. Bus conversions make wonderful motor homes, but they are really unlike most other commercial motor homes out there. True, house systems will be built with components and appliances common to all motor homes, but the mechanical systems of the vehicle itself are going to be quite different. They were built to go millions of miles carrying passengers, which is why we chose a bus conversion over a traditional motor home. We wanted the road worthiness that comes with a bus chassis, but of course that brings with it a whole new world of things that a traditional motor home doesn't. There a few really active bus conversion forums out there with a wealth of technical information and experience maintaining a bus. You can also find information on Facebook, but the really good stuff is on the main three forums which are filled with owners of bus conversions, both vintage and newer. It would probably be a good idea to get on one of these to learn the specifics of what you need to look at when evaluating a bus conversion for purchase. Bus Conversion Magazine, Bus Nut Online, Bus Grease Monkey. There are some great threads which talk specifically about evaluating a used bus conversion, and while many are about older more vintage models, the basics of the lists would apply to a newer one as well. You've got to look much deeper than just the miles on the odometer. There are some high-mileage coach in great condition, and there are some low mileage coaches I'd run away from rather than consider buying. This is where having someone with you that is experienced in bus conversions when you evaluate will be really important, or be able to get it to a shop that does bus maintenance for them to do a thorough pre-purchase inspection. To me, the number of miles on the vehicle isn't as important as how the vehicle was driven and cared for during that time. Mileage is one of those things that can go either way. Too many miles, especially if the appropriate ongoing maintenance hasn't been done, means that you'll be in for some repairs and have a bunch of deferred maintenance to catch up on. Some bus conversions are done on retired passenger vehicles, and they will have gone many miles before being retired. The condition at that point will depend largely on how well the company maintained the vehicle and whether they were southern or northern buses. It's not uncommon for charter companies to stop doing routine maintenance on buses they know they are going to sell off. Buses running in the snow belt states will deteriorate quickly due to the constant exposure to salt, so use caution if you're looking at a conversion that was a bus in the north. Too few miles can also be a problem. These vehicles were built to be driven, not parked. We bought our coach with about 41,000 original miles, which created its own problems. Our coach led a very pampered life, but the extreme low mileage meant that it wasn't driven often enough to keep all the mechanical systems in good shape. We've spent a considerable amount of money replacing seals that have dried out, and we've had our fair share of maintenance/repairs necessary not from miles driven but just age. It's possible to find some bus conversions like ours which were done on new shells and which have low miles on them, but which were owned by people that either had no clue how to care for them or that just didn't care. So, you have to do a full inspection regardless of the miles. Yeah - if the conversion is 15-20 years old expect some of the house components to need updating or replacing. In the grand scheme of things, it's a small thing though. If you find a conversion you like and that meats your needs, nearly everything can be easily upgraded to modern equipment. Depending on how the conversion was done, it could be quite easy to. Many conversions provide great access to the various systems and have wiring chases which are accessible. Some were built without a thought regarding future maintenance or upgrades. Look carefully at how things are put together so you can determine if you will be able to access things you need. Chassis electronics are much more difficult to upgrade though, so it would be important to confirm that the engine & transmission are still supported. Some newer systems also use proprietary computer systems and make doing the work yourself difficult. I'd assume that anything within the last 30 years is still supported, since many charter companies are still running coaches that old in commercial service. But it would be wise to confirm this with a shop that works on buses so you don't get stuck with an odd duck or an orphaned computer system in your drive train.
  6. Two of the problems could be eliminated easily... If the problem is with the tires, the problem would be there anytime you are in motion and not connected to whether or not you are accelerating. You would hear/feel the problem when coasting. Since you did not notice it while coasting, I'd feel comfortable crossing that off the list. The Turbo issue also sounds like a red herring. If it were problematic you'd hear it every time you revved the engine, even when standing still. I'm with the others - something wasn't done correctly when your driveshaft was disconnected/reconnected. That's where I'd focus my attention. Hopefully it's something as simple as your driveshaft being out of phase. But, possibly you had a failing U-joint before all this happened though. Your coach is at the age where things like U-joints can begin to fail. It wouldn't be uncommon for things to hold together until they are taken apart, and then once opened up things can go wrong. A good shop can inspect all the U-joints to be sure while they are evaluating things.
  7. Pilot/Flying J has an app - at least they do on Android. It works similar to the Love's app including the wallet and fueling feature. The app is listed on Android's Play Store as "Pilot Flying J"
  8. Welcome to the forum. It would be helpful for us trying to help you if you could provide more information. What make/model are you talking about? What troubleshooting steps have you done. Have you done any preliminary diagnostic measurements yet?
  9. Fascinating to watch that steam engine push that freight train like it was nothing. Incredible, the amount of brute force in those things.
  10. Can't answer with certainty on those. I asked when I signed up, and the only fee I was able to discern was a $10/mo fee if the account is inactive for 90 days (three statement periods). If you cancel, it was my impression that they would send a check for the balance after a brief period to be sure that there were no transactions in the system waiting to be processed from retailers. Seem to remember a few weeks on the waiting period, but can't be sure on that. I've got about a $400 balance with them. Like I said, it's really just a backup to the TSD card or if I happen to be somewhere that the TCS card has a better discount. I like redundancies in all things, payment methods included.
  11. Before doing lots and lots of guessing, it seems that we need to know if the problem is limited to the water pump or if there is also a problem with other 12v systems when the coach is not plugged in.
  12. Choosing tires is similar to choosing oil brands - we each have personal preferences, but most of the major players are going to be pretty close in performance as long as the specs are met. The top-tier tire brands are pretty much all good quality. I think that every major player in the tire world has had problem tires models over the years, so that in itself shouldn't disqualify a company's products. I know that this isn't directly what you are asking, but I'd suggest finding what's available in your area. Find a good commercial tire dealer that's willing to spend time with you going over the options, and then explore. Even better if that dealer participates in the various discount programs FMCA has to offer. Come up with 2-3 possibilities based on your budget and availability in the size you need, and then perhaps ask for people to give opinions on those particular tire models.
  13. Any way that you can re-arrange things to bring your tongue weight down?
  14. I agree - there is absolutely no reason to go with anything else if insurance is being used. You'll never have to worry about blinking check-engine lights, and any future owners won't have problems with emissions testing.
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