Here’s an update on what’s been up with the vintage bus project:
The vintage bus ended up being stored at Choo Choo Express Garage in Chattanooga, TN for about three months before I had a chance to fly out and drive it to Oregon. I really wish that shop would have been able to handle many of the custom projects I will eventually need to be completed (converting windshield wipers to electronic, adding power steering, etc, etc.), but they were not able to handle the custom work I needed.
I flew out to pick up the bus on October 24th and spent the next week driving it 3,000 miles to Coburg, OR. During that trip, I made numerous stops at vintage gas stations to capture the bus in vintage environments. Here are a few examples:
I also made a stop at a waterfall while passing through California.
I had a total of two breakdowns during my trip. The first one happened in Tucumcari, NM, while the second happened near Ashland, OR. Both stops needed the same repair: A big rubber hose slipped off a metal pipe that runs from the turbo, which cut all my turbo boost, which only allowed me to travel at 55mph instead of the normal 75+ mph. In the end, I found out that the rubber hose was too short to properly be secured to the pipe and I knew it would eventually have to be replaced, but none of the shops I stopped at had a replacement in stock.
After driving for 3,000 miles, I made it to Coburg, OR and dropped off the vintage bus at Paradise Coach. They will be finishing up work on a vintage Silverside bus within the next month and then they’ll get started on my bus.
In the end, I’m very glad that I did not end up bringing my bus to Craig Dorsey of Vintage Vacations. I have entered a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, which Mr. Dorsey has not responded to. He now has a record with the BBB if you look him up. I’m considering taking him to small claims court to try to recover some of the expenses that I’ve incurred in moving the bus and parts all over the country. I can’t let go of the idea that someone else might consider using his services without knowing how he treated me. No business should be allowed to continue to operate normally without their clients knowing how they’ve treated previous clients.
The next month will be spent planning the various systems that will be implemented in the vintage bus. That means we’ll be making very precise measurements to make sure things like the refrigerator I plan to use can actually make it through the front door and won’t poke through the curved roof when it’s installed. Once December rolls around, we should have all the interior floor and ceiling removed and have the planned layout laid out on the floor. That’s when things should start to really progress.
Don’t expect this to be a fast process. Building the interior for a bus is similar to building a home or yacht and will take at least a year, if not longer. I hope to update this blog at least monthly once we get going with the project.
Ben, I hope the “big rubber hose” that fell off the turbo was neither the main air intake duct nor the charge air supply to the engine. If it was, I strongly recommend you get the engine oil sampled ASAP. If you drove more than five or ten miles with that duct disconnected, you may well have “dusted” the engine. Not fun — it happened to us, and we had to drop $15,000 on an in-frame rebuild as a result.
Nothing to do with the “big rubber hose”. I’m just getting back to looking for a flx and missed one in texas. Any leads for one thats running and needs updating only?
Small world . . . I saw your bus when you were in our area (Ashland OR)
I took your class 10 or 11 years ago up in Portland and I am a fan of your teaching style.
We are getting our Sportsmobile ready for road trip photography. Next time you are in the area we can show you the great spots only the locals seem to know. Have fun!