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-   -   Seems as good a place as any... (https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34412)

Revision 07-23-2019 08:38 PM

Seems as good a place as any...
Haven't created many thread here, so feel free to move if better suited elsewhere.

Anyway, as I'm sure the regulars have become aware, we picked up the bus. Back in Oct I had shown up here asking about a 70's unit that had been abandoned in the woods in Maine, and Randy planted the idea about buying Finn's Inn. Due to the geographic location and occupations of all parties involved, it took quite a while for the stars to align but, with a short window, I flew to Columbia on the 13th, one way. As luck would have it, I have family in the area I didn't even know had moved from SD, so I was able to lay over for a couple days while I waited for the bus to be ready...couldn't meet with Ed and Kevin until Monday the 15th, but arrangements were made and we went over there. Ed and Kevin are super nice, and it was wild to see absolutely everything. I got to meet the renters, and I got to hang out with Bud as well...he actually came out to wish me off when we rolled out, but I'm skipping ahead.

The bus was pretty clean by the time I got there, although there is still some memorabilia that needs to be pried off the walls...they didn't want to do damage so left it to me. She was dirty outside as to be expected...parked under trees for the year since John passed. Ed and Kevin had had a tech out to remove the booby traps (kill switches) from the other vehicles, but nobody had really looked at the bus and although it had been plugged in and ventilating, nobody had tried to start it. I gave Kevin the check contingent upon getting her running, and we set to work.

It turned out that the charger was charging house but not start bank, and with access to Randy, Turbokity and the pbase site, we were able to figure out enough to get it to turn over so, leaving it on the charger, we signed the bill of sale and headed for the DMV to get temp tags for the transit. We got back and she'd crank but not stay running...ultimately a tiny bit of ether did the trick although she hasn't needed it since so she doesn't appear to be cold nosed. Regardless, we shook hands and parted ways...they had a lot to do and I was worried about tying them up, so we said goodbyes and Buddy came out to see the bus, and I left.

It is at this point that I think the flexing suspension caused the lever to slip out of whack, because I don't really remember it being off kilter when we were still on the RV pad, but I made the drive to Edmund RV park so that I could plug it in and begin going through things without burdening the Finn's. I pressure washed it which instantly improved the situation, then spent the next solid day between the forums here, the pbase site, the phone to techs, and the manuals trying to figure out the suspension thing...ultimately made the trek to i26 and got settled, but a good portion of that day was washing, topping up all fluids, checking belts, crawling in, under and around, airing tires, etc etc and trying to figure out all the different things going on. Upon leaving Edmund I went straight for the fuel station with no idea what was in the tank. I bellied up and pulled out the credit card for what I consider to be the most dreaded part of RV ownership and squeezed the handle. $14.62 later, the pump clicked off and I laughed and thanked John, having just experienced the cheapest fill up I will ever experience during ownership.

There is no power pedestal at i26, and it is at this point that I first tried to use the generator. I knew it started, because we tested it at John's, but had not really tried to use it. At first I couldn't get it out because the new powertech panel was hidden behind a stack of gloves and I was trying to use the old switch...meanwhile I was trying to open the latch that doesn't appear to do anything. I ultimately referred back to pbase and was able to go through pics and see that I was missing a panel, got it rolled out and checked fluids, but it unfortunately won't stay running, so no A/C for me! It was a hot night in SC, and ultimately I was able to fall asleep on the couch in front of the dash fan courtesy of benadryl.

The next morning had me on the road, and I busted out 8 hours from SC to VA, which is where I hail from. Still no A/C, so it was a toasty drive, and I quickly learned to make sure water and whatnot is within reach of the driver's seat. I did see that other lodge at the Flying J in NC and wanted to stop and meet my first WL friends, but unfortunately had to press on to VA for a meeting.

Once in VA I dropped the CB off to my tech to take a look at...I was having an issue where people weren't hearing me broadcast, and it turns out it was toasted inside, so he's fixing to mail along to me. Had a couple days to lay over before the trip to Maine and the oil had had a chance to break down the sludge, so M/E oil change occurred, as did fuel filter. I've got some wicked algae going on in the fuel with pressure at the gauge hovering between 1 and 4 psi, but that'll get dealt with. Regardless, I picked up a second for the trip to ME...had to get back to run a kid's camp this week, so we headed north.

25 hours on the road for a drive that normally takes me 14, but this included a long layover for breakfast, a long nap in CT at a rest station, and jumping SOB's toad that was stuck in Park. She's steady and loves 65 mph and not a one more, and I get used to looking in the rear now. From SC to VA i tallied the vehicles I passed and it was not a single one, which I found amusing.

Made it to Maine is the moral of the story. She's solid, and it's a testament to me as to her condition that I was basically able to top fluids, adjust suspension, and put in 1500 miles without it even fazing her. We've got some growing pains still to go...I've got a few things that need to be fixed and finding more, plus there are switches, doo-dads and more that I will need to reach out to those that helped John or the pbase site to learn about because I have no idea what they do, but we have begun the remodel on the inside to adjust to our needs as I continue to clean, repair and address.

We're very stoked to be on the other side of the fence, and will be starting a project thread sometime in the future as we catalog where she'll go next and what she'll do. Loosely though, we are remodeling with the intention of full-timing for at least the next 5 years as we start our family and explore the open road. We look forward to meeting you all in person, and thank you again for all the kind words, inspiration and information as we move forward.

I will say this thing gets an insane amount of honks, waves, shakas, thumbs up, women flashing (okay...I made that last one up.) Is that an FC thing, or is that because there are two giant red screaming eagles painted down the side?

Fair winds and fun adventures!

- r

Captain Fred 07-23-2019 08:51 PM

So far I am finding out it is an FC thing. That being said the eagles don't hurt.

Revision 07-23-2019 08:57 PM

I'll take it either way.

LeRoy 07-23-2019 09:07 PM

Congrats on the bus and you getting back safely. I also spent my maiden voyages first night in a parking lot with no a/c when the gennie wouldn’t stay running. I think that you’ll find that it seems the more you use things the better they function...especially the generator. I only talked to Finn a couple of times since I’m pretty new but thanks for continuing to care for the bus he obviously had a passion for and enjoy it!

Revision 07-23-2019 09:12 PM

We're definitely excited, and have a pretty extensive transformation planned for the inside to suit our needs, remove things that don't work, and update the things that do. We plan on sharing our adventures...we're already on instagram but have plans for .com/youtube/facebook in the future as well, and I've already been filming content. This is a very nice bus, and we are extremely excited to be her current caretakers.

al perna 07-23-2019 09:13 PM

Nice Intro . You have become the care keeper of a very special coach , and I'm sure if Randy offered it to you then you must be deserving . So Congratulations and think of us all as family and know that were ever you are in this country there is a WOG member past and present there to help you, and your young family on the road as they have done for many of us :)

Revision 07-23-2019 09:32 PM

We hope we're deserving. The network has already come out strong! I unfortunately missed the PM as I was traveling without a computer, but Tom in NY was standing by to offer roadside rescue and a place to plug in had we needed it, not to mention Ryan and Randy and everybody offering help the first couple days...We're excited to be here for sure.

Chief607 07-23-2019 09:36 PM

Revision, congrats. I enjoyed the read of the beginning of a new journey for you and family. Cant wait to see whats next. Hope to meet up with you at pine mountain if your attending.

Randy Dupree 07-23-2019 09:37 PM

I think most of your coach problems are operator error!
I;m very sure the genny ran just fine when John got home from the last trip.
And i think your fuel pressure is just that,pressure from the electric fuel pump.
I'm sure John had it dosed up real well for algae prevention.

As far as the women flashing you,John was well known as a ladys man.

I don't know whats up with the genny,lots of "john mods" were done by Me,Ryan and others,and by John himself when he was feeling better.
You may not have the fuel pumps turned on for the genny,he added a 2nd pump as a backup and i was not involved with that mod at all.

He had backed off some on his pbase postings,his hand tremors would not let him do the pics and stuff like he was famous for,so some good stuff may have been lost.

Facebook,well lots of us here will never get to see what your doing on the coach,since lots of us don't do facebook.
You can post it here on WOG,and we would like you too.

Thanks for the update,and keep us in the loop.

Revision 07-23-2019 09:47 PM

I'll post here as well for sure, Randy. The project thread will be coming down the line.

I didn't intend to get too technical in this thread as it's meant as an update/intro, but fuel pressure and a lot of other things could just be "the norm" for this particular configuration. I had been planning on a steep learning curve, but it absolutely never occurred to me how harder it would be to not just be able to email the PO or get that "pass off" of information. Alas, we'll get it figured out, and I think she did just fine and dandy on the way to Maine. We don't have AC here anyway, so no worries! Thanks for the tip re: second fuel pump...I plan on delving into the genny tomorrow and will post back.

- r

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