A "bus" owner strikes back!

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  #1  
Old 07-27-04, 07:24 PM
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A "bus" owner strikes back!

Ok, I'm probably going to get in trouble here with pickup truck owners because I'm going to make fun of you. Lemme explain. I'm sick of getting heckled in Home Depot parking lots, so I'm publicly stating now WHY I know that my bus is better than your truck.

BTW, this is all in lighthearted, good fun.

I own a 1984 VW Vanagon. It's huge, ugly, and not amazingly fast (although I have cracked 100 in it one time when I had to). I got it for free from an old lady who's a friend of my mother. I put a new clutch into it, some minor engine work, and it was ready to go for less than $300 in parts. Within a few weeks, I began realizing that this was quite possibly the greatest vehicle man has ever built.

Allow me to explain, but first, some additions. I have since added some beefier shocks, struts, and bearings (actually, I replaced pretty much the entire undercarriage). Then, I replaced the 14" tires with new, heavier duty Michelins. I'm now thinking of replacing the gas engine with a diesel one, but I have to look into it.

So, why have I dumped a lot of money and time into a nearly 20 year old vehicle that I got for free?

I'm still not going to answer that yet... You see, everywhere I go, people (for some strange reason) take an interest in this bus. They ridicule it (and me), thinking that it's just some old POS. I especially get heckled by pickup truck drivers who think they own God's gift to engineering with their crappy F-Series or GMC or Dodge trucks. First of all, WHY do people take such an interest in what SOMEONE ELSE drives? WHO CARES?!

Secondly, here's what I loved, when it happened the first time (and I've done it many a time since).

After a big Home Depot shopping spree, when I have 3 carts loaded up with everything under the sun, I naturally make my way to my bus. On the way, I always watch people trying to fit their 8' 2x4's, drywall, backerboards, plywood, and whatever else into their trucks. Invariably they fail and at the minimum they end up with 6 miles worth of crap sticking out of the back of their truck beds. I start to laugh. Here's why:

The very first time I decided to show up pickup drivers, I made a huge Home Depot run. When I left, I left with the following:

1. 9 PACKS (18 sheets) of 1/2" drywall.
2. 8 3'x5' cement backerboards.
3. 10 boxes of ceramic tile
4. 5 sheets of 8' 1/4" luan plywood
5. 2 sheets of 8' 25/32" plywood
6. 25 96" 2x4's
7. 7 bags of just small, random cucca.

Then, after it was all loaded, my wife got in the passenger seat as I drove merrily away. You see, I was nowhere near capacity yet. Go ahead, ask me if I even needed so much as a bungee cord. Go ahead...

Now tell me, other than a commercial van, WHAT pickup truck on Earth is going to do that? None.

And the kicker is that these Ford, Dodge's GMC's, etc certainly DON'T cost the short money I paid in total! My bus didn't cost me no $30, $40, or $50k.

The moral of this story is that IF you're one of those people who thinks the sun rises and sets on your truck, know that if I ever meet you in a Home Depot parking lot, I'll be the one driving off first with 3 times as much product while you're still scratching your head wondering just how on Earth did that goofy-looking thing fit all that crap. AND, just how am I going to get this all in my bed, anyway? Damn wheel wells...

I guess revenge is not a dish best served cold, but rather while driving along in my big, ugly bus.

Chris


PS. The week before all that, I hauled away 25 80lb bags of concrete. Nothing amazing there, it's only a ton. What I loved, though is that instead of having to take all the indivual bags out, the HD guys just forklifted it right INTO my bus. Yeah, pallet and all. Not going to do that in an F-150. Hell, you're not going to do that with an F-350.

I love my bus!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-29-04, 12:44 PM
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good story. i have a question and a comment.

question: why did you HAVE to go 100 mph that day? were there cops involved? did you just give the bird to a guy in an f-250?

comment: its pretty cool your old bus can haul all that stuff, but can it pull anything? keep in mind that the vehicle may be able to handle the loads, but your tires are probably not rated for that kind of weight so be cool and keep it under 100 mph when loaded ok.
 
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Old 07-29-04, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kerry
question: why did you HAVE to go 100 mph that day? were there cops involved? did you just give the bird to a guy in an f-250?
DGood question. It had nothing to do with anything like that. I had an emergency with my son.

Originally Posted by kerry
comment: its pretty cool your old bus can haul all that stuff, but can it pull anything? keep in mind that the vehicle may be able to handle the loads, but your tires are probably not rated for that kind of weight so be cool and keep it under 100 mph when loaded ok.
I don't know what it can pull, to tell you the truth. I'm sure I could look it up, but I gotta say that I don't care what it can pull. Seeing as damn near ANYTHING fits inside of the thing, I have no need to ever pull anything.

Once, I did hook up my brother's 14 foot trailer to it ans tow his race bike for him while his Tahoe was on the rack. It towed that as easily as his Tahoe did, I can tell you that much.

Oh, and I'm not worried about the tires.

Chris

PS. Wasn't that 2 questions?
 
  #4  
Old 07-30-04, 09:38 AM
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Vans are great. I had an Econoline van for many years. I paid $1500 for it used, put 150,000 miles on it, kept it for 10 years, and sold it for what I paid for it. The straight 6 would tow almost anything on wheels.

I would carry the same load as a pickup, but the load was inside out of the weather and away from prying eyes. It was the dickens to load and unload gravel, though.
 
  #5  
Old 07-30-04, 05:36 PM
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I'm a huge Econoline fan. I've had a few of them. The van I have now was purchased for $300.00. It has beefed up rear springsand LT series tires, so big, heavy loads are not a problem. It has 209,000 miles on it now and runs like new. Well, at least it runs bettwer than the new Ford I drive at work with a Triton V8.

With the bus you can haul people and stuff, how can you beat that?

In my neck of the woods you can retire and use the bus to haul the Amish around to make a good living. (if you can take the smell[no offence intended for my Amish friends])
 
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Old 07-30-04, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel Wachtel
With the bus you can haul people and stuff, how can you beat that?
Damn straight.

I love my bus.

Chris
 
  #7  
Old 08-08-04, 10:42 PM
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Pulling vs hauling.

Ran into that many times. My old 79 4x4 Blazer (fullsize) was great at pulling huge trucks out of the mud, etc. However, when it came time to haul anything from Home Depot bigger than a hammer I had to call DBIL with his Ford with the long wheel base LOL. We sure hate to drag out his truck tho, geared so low and heavy that it would probably pull an 18-wheeler loaded, but talk about slow and burning some fuel!

Saddest part is that I parted with the Blazer for a station wagon. Sad to say, but I can sure haul a lot more in my POS Taurus wagon than I could in the Blazer. Miss mudding tho...

We had an old VW bus when I was a kid. That was the greatest thing on earth to me! Held all of us kids, our gear and we even had room to do the kid-bugging-the-kid thing without interfering with mom or dad driving. We could camp straight out of the sucker, and trips were a breeze. Reading your post brought back some really great memories of the old green VW bus!

Kay
 
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Old 08-09-04, 02:18 PM
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i just gotta say -

1) all the people i know who have vans love them. my little truck leaves a lot to be desired, and w/o the camper cap would be almost useless.

2) a little japaneese hatchback can haul a lot of stuff! I used one for 'bout 6 months when I started my welding shop to haul STEEL!! it was a blast to go to the steel yard and haul off as much as they guys w/the big trucks =)
 
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Old 09-09-04, 06:11 AM
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Erf...

Today, I actually found something that doesn't fit IN my bus.

6x8 fencing. A little too wide to go inside.

Had to strap it to the roof. First time ever.

Chris
 
  #10  
Old 09-11-04, 08:37 PM
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"A little too wide to go inside."

This is why you need to have at least one friend with a trailer that fits your van's tow hitch.
 
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Old 09-12-04, 02:32 PM
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Nah, some bungee cords and the roof worked fine. No sweat.

Chris
 
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