Curt S

Split window VW saga

My son and I set out just after the New Year to purchase a 1966 VW bus. We decided against an on-line purchase and delivery, opting to drive from Canon City, CO to Melbourne, FL, where we would test drive, then purchase, and load the bus on my car hauler trailer and return home. It seemed simple enough. I'm retired. My son had time off. We had the necessary equipment, and it seemed like a good opportunity for a road trip. We set out on 1/3/14, a warm sunny CO Friday morning. We knew a storm was coming, and so we decided to get out ahead of the weather. All was well until we approached Wichita Falls, TX and noticed a lot of ATF on the trailer. We stopped for the night and went to a garage the next morning, where we got the bad news that the transfer case on my 2002 4x4 pickup with 80K miles had a hole in the side and was down 3 quarts. No problem-I had a buddy an hour away, and he said if I could get there, he had a 2005 pickup that I could borrow for the trip. We swapped vehicles, hitched up the trailer, and continued on our way. We got into Louisiana, stopped for gas, did the normal walk around checking our equipment, and discovered we had no running lights on the trailer, although brake and turn signals were okay. We stopped for the night, and I called another buddy another hour away. He said bring it by in the morning and we'd trouble shoot the system and fix it, which we did. It was an open wire on the truck, which we repaired, and we were back on the road in an hour. All was well until just east of Tallahassee, FL when the borrowed truck began to buck like a mule. We limped back to Tallahassee, got a room and spent the night. The next morning I rented a car to continue to Melbourne where we inspected and drove the bus, which was everything the seller said it was. A quick call to the credit union to have funds wired to the seller took longer than anticipated, so we got a room for the night. At that time, a serious cold front worked its way into FL with record low temperatures. The next morning the wire transfer cleared, after a few phone calls, the seller gave us the title, and we headed back to Tallahassee. The bus performed just fine with my son driving and me following behind in the rental car. All was well until Ocala, when the nice state trooper pulled us over for having no registration on the bus. We explained the situation that we never intended to drive the car and were merely trying to get the bus back to our truck and trailer. He was not sympathetic and told us to get a temporary registration, which we did. Thankfully we had arranged with Hagerty to insure the car before we left Melbourne, and other than a delay of 3 hours, we registered the car for $150 and continued on our way. It was now very cold, the bus has no heat, and has a top speed of 50mph, but we got back to Tallahassee and got a room about midnight. The next morning I took the rental car back and took the disabled truck to a shop where it was diagnosed with a failed throttle position sensor. They fixed it for $200, but the shop had a policy of not accepting credit cards in the month they expired, which was a surprise. Fortunately, I had another card that worked, and once again we were on our way. We got the truck, trailer and bus back to my friend's place without further incident, replaced the transfer case on my truck in my friend's driveway at a cost of $2000, spent the night there, and returned to CO the next day, 1/11/14, with everything intact. So, other than a few delays and unexpected expenses, totaling nearly $4000, we are pleased with the bus and will remember this trip for a long, long time.

0 Reader Comments

Join the Discussion