The above is a picture of Larry, Cenda, and my wife Yoko. They are standing beside Larry’s 95 Prevo, his pride and joy. Not long ago, Larry traded off his Eagle and made what he thought was a good call, and stepped up to a Prevost coach manufactured by Liberty. It is a 95 model with a series 60 Detroit. I call it Larry’s Traveling Cat House, because they travel with four cats, three that they owned, one they found starving at WalMart.
I am reading with some amusement another website where the stories of people getting in trouble on the road with their Eagles and I think about Larry’s recent trip back home to Ohio to see his family and spend Father’s Day. When they come thru our city, we meet and have dinner and visit with each other, trade stories, catch up on the news.
Larry recently made a trip from his home in Arizona to Columbus Ohio. What you might describe as an annual pilgrimage home to see the family.
Before leaving Arizona it was discovered that the Prevo had a problem in the air conditioning system, and it was put in the shop, of course the parts were not handy (had to be ordered) so it sat there for about two weeks, and when retrieved the bill was for $4,800 and some change.
Ahhhhhhhhh, the joys of bus ownership.
Packing up and everything in good working order, or at least assuming that everything was in good working order? They hit the road east and make about 225 miles, when something goes amiss in the air system, and the bus lowers itself to a “kneeling position” and becomes un-drivable. A shop is called, and room is made, the air leak is found and the check is written, $280.00. I thank my lucky stars that I have a torsion bar suspension system, even tho it is archaic and outdated, it is still better than this.
Next day finds them in Tucumcari, New Mexico, just down the big hill from Amarillo, the series 60 Detroit is starving for fuel and barely has enough energy in it to make the top of the hill. Not any particular hill mind you, just about any hill. Another diesel shop, Q&A, the whole nine yards, new fuel filters, carefully putting up the check book, here we go again.
Next stop Okie City, home of the Brickyard Canal and Toby Keith Steakhouse. (Maybe)
After a nice short visit, our friends depart for St. Louie and points east, at least that is the plan. They make it up to Missouri, barely inside The Show Me State, and are once again, put in the “foot patrol.” This time it is a clutch fan, and it is on Sunday.
Pulling into a truck stop and assuming a spot, they call road service, and a local guy comes out after church, and removes the errant clutch fan and assures them a new one will be on the next day. Now Prevo’s have two types of clutch fans, the $800 model and the $1,400 model, which one do you suppose Larry needed?
After replacement, installation, service and labor, they head onto to Columbus, Ohio. They make it all the way there, well almost, they are shut down 150 miles from their destination, clogged fuel filters again.
By now you should know the drill.
I call him three days later and all is well (of course it is, the bus hasn’t been running and has been parked all this time) and he says “I still have one problem.” So I say “What is that?” He replies, “Well, I came out this morning and the thing is kneeling again, and down on all fours. I just cannot figure it out?” He then tells me that he is going to check on it at the Diesel Shop later on in the week. He is in the market for a six pack and I am not talking Bud Lite (fuel filters).
A few days go by, so I pick up the telephone and I give him a jingle, kind of wanting to touch base with him and see what he is up to. We talk for awhile and then he offers, “I got the air problem solved.”
Curious I respond, “Yeah? What was it?”
So here is the setup, for the uneducated or curious. Prevost coaches are loaded usually with all the bells and whistles, they have miles of wiring, electrical relays out the kazoo, they are also generously equipped with a host of switches and dials. He has a bank of switches up near the driver and on this bank there are two push button switches that “dump air” out of the system, in case you wanted to level the coach or for some other reason.
Intently I listen and then he says to me …….. “Dog-gone cat did it, don’t know which one, but one of them suckers, has been walking around up there by the dash, stepped on the switch, and let all the air out of the coach.”
So I said, “You sure?” His reply was, “Yup. I aired it back up on Tuesday and then I covered up the switches and it has been up for three days now!”
Which brings me to this …. “The owner of a second hand bus knows how hard it is to drive a bargain” … I cannot wait for the back-haul to Arizona.
Life is short … Enjoy the ride.
Have a great weekend, if you travel be safe. We will see you all on Monday.