Warrensburg, Feb 20

Had a blast in Warrensburg. Hung with lots of high school and middle school kids doing a workshop in the afternoon and then played in Hendricks Hall that night for the first show of the winter tour. If you haven’t checked in with steve’s facebook page for details of the tour, click here.

Copying his “Saga of the Phunky Bus” part 1 here:

The saga of the phunky bus:
This is such a long story I might break it into a mini series….
It’s a common and wise practice for a business to try to keep overhead expense to a minimum. The same goes for a band wanting to minimize tour expenses thus increasing profits from the tour. With that concept in mind, when Eclectica was arranging tour transportaion we considered several transportation options: flying to a point then renting a vehicle, using a tour bus with a driver, rent a big van with a trailer, etc. Well, what seemed the most comfortable and economical was to rent a large RV and have our band/tour manager handle the majority of the driving. Sounds like a great plan, now let’s look for our best deal.
The immediate lesson in that is the lowest price is not always the best deal. We initially saved a couple thousand dollars by renting online and having the RV delivered, as opposed to renting locally with a very reputable dealer. Another “plus” to renting locally would have been you actually see what you’ve rented before you take delivery. Online photos can be deceiving and sometimes intentionally not showing problem areas of the online vehicle.
Our first issue was the phonecall from the leasing agent that the 37′ RV we had seen online and leased had developed mechanical problems, so he was sending another in it’s place. The original delivery time was to be between noon and 2:00pm Thursday so we would have plenty of time to load gear and be ready to head out early Friday morning. The RV finally showed up at 11:45pm, ten hours late. The two kids who dropped it off spent just a few minutes going over the general operation. One of our requirements was that the RV have locking storage bays since we would have most of our gear stored underneath in the bays. Of the eight bay doors, only one would lock, one was unusable due to a broken handle and lock, one had flimsy pressboard screwed on in place of the metal door that had been damaged and ripped off. Online, we rented a 2004 in what appeared to be pretty good shape, we received a 2000 with 108,000 rough miles, a major oil leak and body damage to the point that the retractable stairs work intermittently and of the bays that open, only one will lock. I’m nowhere close to being finished. We had intended to get on the road around 5:00 am to make a radio interview and a workshop. Those had to be cancelled because the first half of the day was spent getting a new tire to replace the right front that was split entirely around the sidewall to the point you could fit your fingers in it. While at the tire shop, a locksmith was dispatched to see if he could repair the broken bay door locks. Nope, can’t fix it. Gave him the RV owners credit card number for payment. It was promptly declined. We finally get on the road around 4:00, eleven hours later than planned.
The grey wastewater tank leaks into the water access bay, three of the cabinet doors inside are broken and unuseable, we were supposed to have a widescreen tv to use during travel along with one in the back. We have, instead, a 19″ tv over the driver that you can’t see during travel and the one in the back is not connected. This bus has been in way too many NASCAR infield parties! After spending a few hours on the road we notice a significant surge which gets worse as the miles add up. By day two it has the bus jumping and bucking trying to get up to speed. The owner seems to think an air clamp is loose (really? I think unlikely) so we stop by a truck stop to check it out. More downtime. They can’t find a problem upon visual inspection, other than we’re a gallon low on oil. Top it off and roll on…….


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