June 24, 2018, 07:59:49 PM

Author Topic: Maintenance on the go...  (Read 2798 times)

Offline Geom

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Maintenance on the go...
« on: February 08, 2014, 06:53:14 PM »
Ok, so here's another question...

This may only apply to a select group of readers, but I'm looking forward to all opinions/thoughts.

We intend to live in our bus full-time. I would also, very much, like to do as much of my own routine maintenance, inspections, etc as possible. How does one accomplish the latter within the reality of the former?

For most, if not all, of our time the bus will be in some (one else's) piece of property that I'm only renting temporarily (state park, rv park, etc). Without p**..ing off neighbors, owners, etc how (and how much) does one accomplish the routine, preventative type maintenance?

I would imagine checking air lines, hydraulic lines, suspension, structural type stuff will involve at least some amount of crawling under/in/around your bus. Which, I would also assume, would involve some sort of chocking, blocking, lifting, raising element; not exactly something one does... discretely. Or is it? Or should my plans include finding private property where I can do such work?

Thanks in advance.

GM 4107, V730
1966 GM 4107
6v92 Turbo

Offline Seangie

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Re: Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 08:58:31 PM »
George - We full-time and our ability to work on the bus changes from place to place.  Most campgrounds and state parks are not going to want to see you pull out any tools and have parts and pieces lying around.   We have found that some RV parks (that have 6 month and year Rounders) will let you get away with stuff like washing your RV, minor maintenance work checking fluids, changing filters and some other stuff. 

If you have power tools (mostly cutting wood with a circular saw is the attention getter) then its going to be tough and will differ from park to park.  The best rule of thumb is to ask before you start. And keep it clean and neat.  Usually your best luck is asking the park owner instead of the work campers.  Work campers follow the rules to a T. I think if you are good at talking with folks though you'd be surprised how many people are intrigued by your project and wanting to help out.

I try and plan to have some of the work and regular maintenece done in a garage (changing tires, oil changes, etc). Sometimes its worth it to just pay the piper and be done with it.  By having an experienced "bus" mechanic look at the bus while getting the work done,   Ive had things pointed out to me that I would not have known had I done the oil change myself.

So far on our adventure I've changed my air compressor in my brothers driveway, installed AC units, worked on the air dryer and replumbed our shower at Scott Bennett's place up in Michigan, changed my coolant while in a RV storage area, built dividers for the bunks while parked in front of a friends house and just rebuilt the front inside of our bus at the RV park we are in.  So there is a good mix of things you can get done on the road.  The most important thing I've learned though is fix it before it breaks.  If you have time to schedule repairs and find parts it'll be a lot less cheaper than being dead on the side of the road and needing the part tomorrow.


Fulltiming somewhere in the USA
1984 Eagle 10S
'Cause you know we,
we live in a van (Eagle 10 Suburban)
Driving through the night
To that old promised land'

Offline travlinman

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Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 09:51:37 AM »
Hey George,

We have lived in our Bus for the last few years and I would echo what Sean has said. I am amazed what I can do on the road with a Jack, ramps and wood for blocking. I usually collect the parts I need for my next service item when I am near a larger town or city. Then when I find myself in an out of the way location with no one to bother me just about anything is possible within the limits of my tool and skill set. I also run the Bus through a brake and alignment shop once every year or so for a check up and any needed repairs. Stay ahead of your maintenance and you will have way less drama!

Enjoy your "new" bus, and tell us where you are..

Steve & Kristen Full time nomads since '06 - PD4106-674  8V71/V730
This bus is for sale - https://gm4106.wordpress.com

Offline bobofthenorth

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Re: Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 12:39:49 PM »
BTDT  Some parks you just know upfront that any maintenance is going to be a problem.  Start making a list of "work friendly" locations.  We're probably done full timing but I had several friends' yards where I could do extensive work, sometimes even indoors. For anyone crossing the Canadian prairies our yard in Buchanan is always available.   If I'm around I might even help out (which is a dubious benefit). If we're not there there's still power, water and sewer available.

R.J.(Bob) Evans
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Used to be 1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
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What's behind you doesn't matter - Enzo Ferrari

Offline lvmci

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Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 01:58:56 PM »
Hi All, has anyone ever done work emergency or not, in a rest area off an interstate or fwy? Did the hiway patrol bother or ticket? Lvmci...
MCI 102C3 8V92, Allison HT740
Formally MCI5A 8V71 Allison MT643

Offline oldmansax

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Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 02:24:54 PM »
Hi All, has anyone ever done work emergency or not, in a rest area off an interstate or fwy? Did the hiway patrol bother or ticket? Lvmci...

I put one hole in a 8V71 (in a truck) in the rest area between Gainesville & Atlanta 30 years ago. No problems then but who knows what they would do to you now.


Offline Melbo

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Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 03:38:55 PM »
My ZF trans was in self destruct mode and the grindings would fill up the trans filter and keep me from moving. I changed the trans fluid and filter in a rest stop south of denver. I had all the stuff there before we started and it was done in less than 45 minutes. I had a "service truck" bring some of the supplies and they helped to make sure that it got finished up ok. I made it home just fine and then I pulled the engine and trans and had it rebuilt and I got it put back together in less than 4 weeks. I also changed the air bags and did a bunch of other stuff. I had a rented shop for the four weeks. I had power and could have had water and sewer but it was not necessary.

I also spent two nights on an exit ramp in Missouri solving an electrical issue and was not bothered by any one while I was parked there.

I could tell more stories but they all worked out well and we were never bothered.

I would think if you are out of the traffic patterns and not a hazard it would not be a problem.


If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
Albuquerque, NM   MC8 L10 Cummins ZF

Offline B_K

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Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 04:09:45 PM »
I have done many repairs in rest areas (on my own buses as well as others on service calls) and never been bothered.
Have also done them in hotel and other parking lots too. (always been given permission an told "if ya need anything let us know!")
;D  BK  ;D

Offline Singing Land Cruiser

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Re: Maintenance on the go...
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 04:07:00 PM »
When Christi & I were out and about in Mrs. Jones we kept a 8'x10' pop-up with sides. We could work on the ol' gal just about anywhere and no one was the wiser.
FYI; Bob Evens has helped us many times and is a great asset to BUS. Thanks BOTN ;D
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