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  1. Hi Thanks for the information; I was considering the mobility lifts as there might be some customers with mobility issues, but decided against due to rough road operation. As for the HP/Speed - I didn't properly express myself; I know the 2 are not directly related, but as I understand it when the tech is in bumping up the HP, they can also give me more RPM. After my most recent freeway trip, I think I will pass on the RPM increase. I have found fuel consumption seems to go way up when sustaining 90kph. Faster would just make it worse. You seem very knowledgeable about these RTS units. Any chance you know where I can find shop/service manuals for this bus? Also any ideas on best way to extend service life of transmission? I know I have a 'Reliabuilt' DDS50 that was supposedly done just before 2010 Olympics and not very many km on it since. I don't expect to run more than 40-50k-kms over the next few years. Cheers Ken
  2. I am still under $10k all in for a usable bus; compared to $15k & up for much less rugged units. I knew going in that I would be dropping a lot of money on dealing with entropy and deferred maintenance. The only other big ticket item I anticipate in the near future is $2k for new traction tires; I have had too many bad experiences with re-treads and consider myself on borrowed time with the existing back rubber. <rant> The big ouch is having to jump-start the business using CC's - Canadian banks are useless when trying to start up a new small business (We would loan you money if you already had money in the bank. Since you don't have any money, we can't offer you a loan) Insulting even, as I own 3 houses fully rented, lots of equity, and a grade A credit rating :angry: </rant> BTW, I can make out #104 on the back of the bus. cheers Ken
  3. Hi All Since my last post, I have completed 2 charters and learned more things about my bus. Lesson 1, fuel gauge reads 1/2 actually means empty. Tuition $500 (for service call to re-prime) Lesson 2, Battery charge equalizers are a great thing to have working! Tuition $600 (beats treating start batteries like deep-cycle & killing them) Lesson 3, I am restricted to 90kph on a freeway trip where the posted is 120. Tuition for that class will be $500, but they can bump HP up in same class. Lesson 4, 20 year old seals on cooling system are pretty worn out. Belts & hoses are fine, but O-ring on coolant reservoir sight-glass has never been replaced. Lesson 5, CHECK TIRE PRESSURES at start of trip. Tuition for emergency road-side $250. Lesson 6, DD50 is super fuel-efficient! Cullen diesel tech pulled logs for me from DDEC; 2.73 US gallons per hour over lifespan of 13,000 hrs - this would include all the idling and stop & go city traffic. 2.73 USG = 10.3 litres/p/h - if I average 50kph on a trip, that could resolve to 20l/100km. I have owned big-block cars and pickups that I WISH could have achieved that. In fact, most of the km I will be driving, will be non-stop between 40-80kph, with minimal idle time. I will be keeping logs to see how it actually plays out. Also, officially in business now and accepting charters. Cheers Ken
  4. Hi Dane I have a few contracts already this spring for an educational institute, and am hoping to pickup some tourist charters I specialize in getting to Bamfield, which is 50k of active logging road. Hoping to add charters to Nitinat lake (huge kite/sail board community) and Carmanah drop-off/pickups. Some friends in Port Alberni also have a couple of ideas for back-road destinations for those who want to see other than Tofino. The big Vancouver Island operators (Smith & Wilson) will travel these roads, but they have to charge a lot, as their drivers must get back to Victoria, and many of the charters have 2 dead-head legs to service a multi-day visit to Bamfield. A lot of remote resorts and lodges use school buses due to rugged chassis and cheap buy-in, but having driven a classic yellow bus on these roads in all seasons, I would not inflict that on paying customers. thanks Ken
  5. Thanks for the info, Harry I saw some for sale ads in Cali, but have never imported any vehicle, let alone a bus. A couple of US bus wholesalers I contacted offered to deliver as far as Seattle, but none were setup to handle export/import paperwork. Having recently been through the Passenger Transport bureaucracy, I have no desire to grind through red-tape again for a while. Cheers Ken
  6. Hi Sidney Transitfan (can I call you Sidney for short?) Well I get to Nanaimo often. Might even get a call for a UVic pickup this year; would you like a heads-up if I do? Please wait until I finish the paint and get proper sign-age Its a 20/20 paint job - for every 20 metres you step back, there is a 20% improvement in the paint job. I am waiting word on financing; hoping to buy another unit to have a "hot stand-by" just in case. I really could use one with a rear door; being able to load luggage & freight separate from passengers would be handy. Unfortunately it seems none of the YVR's were ordered with back doors. As I was working on the bus ( I am mechanically inclined and once trained as millwright) I noticed that the RTS is a very solid, well built vehicle. The only flaw I have encountered is that its not very "rain-proof", someone along the line removed and didn't replace some sealing above the windows, and with the monsoons we are getting, I end up with a swimming pool inside. I still have to trace a charging issue on one of the 12V sides; Alternator is putting out well, but 1 battery of pair is not receiving charge and gets drained down. Cheers Ken
  7. As I understand it, Okanagan Charters had 2 in/around Penticton, 2 in Merrit (one is missing engine/trans) and one parked in Princeton, condition unknown.
  8. I would have to double-check, but I think #104. Oddly, it has the kneel and lift controls (disabled) , but is only fixed steps. Its been reconfigure for 24 passenger seats, all benches removed.
  9. Website not *quite* ready for prime-time, should be go in next day or two. If you want a preview, it lives at http://kenxions.com/wordpress. Any feedback appreciated. cheers Ken
  10. Hi Folks Sorry in advance if I am violating any rules or etiquette. I am not posting my website or number as I do not wish to trespass. I recently acquired a '94 RTS08 from an operator in the Okanagan, and have just started a small charter operation primarily serving Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Bamfield. I am truly amazed at how well the RTS rode on 80km of very bad logging road, with potholes and washouts from end to end. The bus was formerly in service as a YVR Airporter, and AFAIK the 2010 Olympics. If all goes well, I am hoping to buy another RTS and stockpile some spares. Or by October I might be broke and living in the bus cheers Ken
  11. Hi again all Sorry for taking so long to respond to all the heplful feedback Haven't pulled the trigger on the RTS as the info about the 08 series and hard-to-get parts could turn project into "In Way Over My Head" The note about the wheelbase is also something that concerns me even if we were staying on pavement. cheers Ken
  12. DD Yeah, been reading a lot about the pros and cons of various engine series - I know the old 2-stroke Detroits are very tough and tolerant of neglect/abuse. Have talked with a couple of small fleet operators and gotten positive feedback on the Cummins as well, though they also noted it was underpowered. What I have been able to gather is that the DD 50 series was sorted by '94, and if the unit is a newer rebuild, that other than a shakey idle it should be long-lived. Any and all feedback that would prevent me from spending my hard earned dollars on a bad choice is greatly appreciated. thanks Ken
  13. RTS_04: Thanks for the input. Over in the conversion forums, they really like to point out how any proper bus chassis is superior to "stick and staple" motorhomes built on medium duty chassis; I do know from personal experience that the Ford SD550 chassis is garbage for rough road service, at least in long wheelbase form. Way too much flexion. I have considered a Bluebird or Thomas schoolie conversion, but also having experienced these on bad roads, would prefer someting that can iron out the bumps better. Also not looking at rock-crawling - the roads I have in mind are in regular service and do see maintenance; but they are gravel and do get pot-holes and washboards. I have driven paved city streets almost as bad. Seller claims to have documents for low-mileage rebuild on the D50, and I know that is a major benefit if true. If you don't mind further educating me in regards to the front module, are you talking about things like windshield, mirrors and other body parts, or front steering/suspension, or the cockpit kit? I have a fair bit of mechanical experience (recently a LOT with the F550 and a B600 shorty school bus) so I am not unrealistic about the work involved (which is why I ask the experts first) If the RTS is a non starter, what about a 1999 New Flyer D40? - I have not done any research on these, but there is a batch coming up for sale this summer. Not sure about vendor though - uses same webpage and images as he had for a batch in 2013.... I know a transit is not the best platform due to lack of understorage, but some of the places I would like to go may have height/clearance issues. I would rearely be travelling freeways, so seldom over 90kph/55mph cheers Ken
  14. Hi all I have a line on a 1993 or 1994 RTS bus I am considering for an M/H conversion. As I understand it, the RTS series was never sold new in Canada, but apparently a small batch were imported and used as airport shuttles in Vancouver. It is my understanding that this generation of RTS is all stainless and the chassis is pretty much indestructible. Also the DD 50 series and Allison VR731 are supposed to be long-lived and (relatively) inexpensive for upkeep. I do understand that due to the modular construction, that these are not as easy to convert as a body-on-frame design. I am hoping that someone here who is familiar with when these were in airport service can provide some input. I know it was about 2 decades ago. My other question would be how well they ride on very rough roads? My wife and I are considering this for some backroad touring, many of which will not be paved. thanks in advance Ken
  15. Thanks to everyone; all is grist for the mill. CBL-H345 Driver - the Limo bus that you operate, does it has customized seating layout (ie seats facing each other over table or other non-factory setups?) Just curious, as the conversion specialist had noted this could cause issue with CVSE if we acquired a unit that had such modifications A Wong - thanks for the lead. I have sent WCIC bus a message with our requirements, and maybe they can help. FWIW I also contacted Dynamic Specialties in BC, but their salesman immediately went into "flog the new stuff" mode. Happy Family day everybody Ken
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