Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
September 23, 2014, 11:28:55 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If you had an E-Mag Subscription: You will not have to go out in the rain, sleet, hail, or snow to retrieve it.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Poll
Question: Which would you do or if could do over?  (Voting closed: November 02, 2008, 08:27:56 PM)
Build it myself - 25 (35.2%)
Buy used Coversion and modify - 42 (59.2%)
Buy the shell, and contract the work. - 4 (5.6%)
I can afford new, so New it is! - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 68

Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Conversion...Do it yourself or Buy pre-converted  (Read 4069 times)
New2Busin
Ben
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 16





Ignore
« on: October 28, 2008, 09:27:56 PM »

  If you could as you poll, provide the vote you chose and why.  This will help a newb like myself and others that may read this pole in making a great choice to hard decisions they/us must make.

  Happy polling,
   Ben
Logged

New to Busing, but looking forward to a new adventure and meeting a new breed of folks.  If motorcyle families are close, can only imagine what a bus family is like.
Melbo
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1070


MC8 under construction




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 10:08:18 PM »

I don't know if you can amend the poll but I bought a conversion that was started and I still have not finished it but use it regularly.

Melbo
Logged

If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
Albuquerque, NM   MC8 L10 Cummins ZF
Dreamscape
Guest

« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008, 02:07:34 AM »

I bought an older converted Eagle, and would do it again in a hearbeat. It came with most of the goodies needed that I kept.

There are some really good buys out there right now and one could be had for a pretty low cost.

You still have lots of work, but it's all worth it.

FWIW,

Paul
Logged
scanzel
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 514





Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2008, 03:32:03 AM »

If I had to do it all over again I would have done it 5 to 10 years back. At 58 I am having back problems, taking care of 2 sets of ageing parents, helping my son with his house and trying to work a 40 hr a week job. Just not enough time or me to go around to everyones needs. Plus taking care of my own house. Plus with the economy the way it is there are many used conversions that can probably be bought really cheap because they need the cash. I'll finish my conversion but it will just take longer.
Logged

Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
New2Busin
Ben
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 16





Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2008, 04:18:45 AM »

I don't know if you can amend the poll but I bought a conversion that was started and I still have not finished it but use it regularly.

Melbo

  I suppose that could fall under "Bought a used conversion / Modify"
Logged

New to Busing, but looking forward to a new adventure and meeting a new breed of folks.  If motorcyle families are close, can only imagine what a bus family is like.
JackConrad
Orange Blossom Special II
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4447


73' MC-8 8V71/HT740 Southwest Florida


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2008, 05:35:53 AM »

Although I voted to build it myself, because that is what did (9 years ago), if doing one today, I would probably buy a used conversion and modify, mainly because of the time factor amd cheaper. Jack
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 05:46:18 AM by JackConrad » Logged

Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
Arcadia, Florida, When we are home
http://s682.photobucket.com/albums/vv186/OBS-JC/
Tenor
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 991



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 05:38:16 AM »

I voted "build it myself" and that is mostly what I did.  The sides were reskined and the interior was gutted by the PO and that is as far as it got.  I've built everything else from there using a 1995 travel trailer for it's parts.  The trailer was water damaged, but the appliances/mechanicals were good.  That is really the way to go.  I had an opportunity to go to an auction and get a 35ft bus converted by a professional converter in the 1970's.  It looked beautiful, but the layout was not right.  I'd have a hard time taking apart something that nice.  If I reworked a coach, I'd look for something pretty unfinished or rough around the edges.

Glenn
Logged

Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
www.threemenandatenor.com
1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
8v71
4 speed Spicer
luvrbus
Guest

« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 05:52:23 AM »

Shop,shop and shop I looked at a 80s model Eagle conversion for a  couple of guys on the board  here that was in Phoenix for sale on EBay no rust good tires generator, inverter and was told the engine was bad come to find out the oil cooler was leaking and this bus sold for $8,300 Williams flushed the system installed a new oil cooler off he went for under $9000.00 and the 15kw generator (new) was worth what he paid for the bus      good luck
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 05:59:22 AM by luvrbus » Logged
Lin
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4559

1965 MC-5a




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2008, 08:50:43 AM »

I would buy another converted bus, but I would get a better mechanic to look it over first.
Logged

You don't have to believe everything you think.
busshawg
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 490





Ignore
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2008, 09:05:45 AM »

I voted buy used conversion and modify. Having said that there are a few factors that I would have to consider. I have looked at a few conversions here in Canada but found the weren't stipped down far enough for my preferance. Not saying he buses we badly done I just feel it's important to re-insulate from factory etc. Therefore to strip these buses right down would be defeating the purpose.

The second point is I found too many gray ares into bringing a converted bus across the border. Transport Canada seems to be a real pain in the #@@##.  When I was looking I found a real nice conversion down south for a resaonable price, thought that was my bus. However after doing some research I found it was too risky and bought one up here in Canuck land. Much more money that what I wanted to spend by the time it's all done but so far my bride hasn't left!

Have fun!
Logged

Have Fun!!
Grant
New2Busin
Ben
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 16





Ignore
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2008, 09:16:00 AM »

Pretty close so far...

  I'm up for either, depending on what most are saying...Shop, shop, shop!  My wife is good at that, so I'll employ her...LOL!  This is a great place for someone like me to find the ends and outs and hear from someone who's "been there and done that".  One thing that I don't want to do is buy now, thinking I have a deal of the century and have it sit for 7 years, hence the reason I started looking now and of course setting $$ aside for the purchase.

  Thanks for all your comments, by all means keep'm coming...


      Ben
Logged

New to Busing, but looking forward to a new adventure and meeting a new breed of folks.  If motorcyle families are close, can only imagine what a bus family is like.
Lee Bradley
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 706




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 10:19:04 AM »

I voted to do it yourself. Makes no sense economically, wether you're building a bus or a race car but I have done both because I want to know how it was put together. My MGB had every part that could be removed removed and a few that couldn't were removed and then sandblasted, painted and built piece by piece for racing. My Neoplan isn't quite that bad but close. All of the flooring has been removed and the floor is being lowered 7.5" back to the drive axle air bag frame; that was more engineering than I was willing to tackle. I will know where all the systems run and how they were installed. I guess it is worth the cost to me to have that knowledge.
Logged
FloridaCliff
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2458


"The Mighty GMC"




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2008, 11:20:41 AM »

Even though the one I am doing is a ground up, do it yourself project.

I voted for used conversion and modify.

With what I have learned and know now, after owning one for several years, I believe I could very easily identify that "Diamond in the rough".

Since there are usually some great deals in the used market, I could find something close to what I wanted and convert to my standards and tastes as I went.   

The main thing is to find generally what you want in a used one.  Its such an easier project when you are just "redecorating" one area at a time to your specifications.  Get tired of it, wait a month or so to change something else.

If you do the "REAL" math, its hard to argue against the Used and modify.

Just my opinion....

Cliff
Logged

1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain
oldmansax
Tom & Phyllis
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 994


'82 Bluebird Wanderlodge PT40




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2008, 01:39:52 PM »

I bought & voted Used and modify.

The only caveat I would have would be "depending on the market" Right now, you can get all kinds of deals. A little later, things may be different but I would still find something very close to what I want, professionally converted, & then modify it to my needs.

TOM
Logged

'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
Delaware

DON'T STEAL! The government hates competition!
Blacksheep
Guest

« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2008, 01:47:39 PM »

I had a lot of fun doing this bus as it brought many friends into Susan and mine life. I would do it again as long as I had Susan to help! Now if we were to hit it rich somehow, I'd have a pro build it as we watched! Even though there are some great deals out there, I would rather know exactly what we have and buying one already done sort of leaves you in the dark especially when something goes haywire. If you did it and it breaks at least you have a head start in knowing where to look! If someone else did it, good luck finding the problem!
JMHO

Ace
Logged
ktmossman
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 525




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2008, 03:08:47 PM »

Somewhere between 2 and 3...  The plan is to buy either a shell or a used conversion (depending on what I can get for the $$$) and modify it, contracting out the parts where my skillset is limited.
Logged
bobofthenorth
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2083



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2008, 03:16:45 PM »

I voted buy it already converted, which is what we did and have no regrets about doing.  However Ace is right, when you do it this way there are whole areas that you have to take on faith.  And when something goes wrong you sometimes have to do some serious figuring to determine what the converter might have done.  I spent about 4 hours yesterday chasing an electrical gremlin that would have been a lot easier to isolate if I had done the original work.  Despite that I'd still go for buying someone else's work - largely because I can buy that work for pennies on the dollar or maybe even for free.
Logged

R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
My website
Our weblog
Simply growing older is not the same as living.
NewbeeMC9
NewbeeMC9
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1167


1981 MC9 8V71, HT 740




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2008, 03:29:20 PM »



I bought converted enough to to get a loan cause i am poor, and cheap.  I also wanted to be able to use it and i would take tooo long to convert myself. 

there are enough concessions in how i would rather have things and how they were done

still plenty enough things to take care of the need to tinker and i could rip out and put back if i were so inclined


i vote you buy me a new one though Shocked
Logged

It's all fun and games til someone gets hurt. Wink
niles500
Niles500
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1188


ROSIE




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2008, 06:18:48 PM »

Just got this emailed from Phil Cooper - Hard to build your own when it's this easy - FWIW

http://www.philcooper.com/details.php?v_id=403
Logged

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")  

- Niles
prevost82
82 Prevost 8V92ta 6 speed
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 555


82 Prevost Marathon XL




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2008, 06:34:29 PM »

Wow Niles ... that's cheap for a ser60 45 ft'er. Owner must need cash ASAP.
Ron
Logged
David Anderson
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 844


South Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale area




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2008, 07:19:16 PM »

Man that is a good price, sign of the times I guess.   However, after driving my 40' Eagle 10 around the country for 5 years now, there is no way I would want a 45' coach.  In fact I wish I had a 35' eagle.   I toured one at the Brownsville rally last year and really fell in love with it.  40' keeps me out of some very nice state park campgrounds.  I feel I could live comfortably in a 35' coach.

Back to the topic.  I loved building mine and it was one of those "life's desires" to do it.  Since I have that under my belt the next one would be buy and modify, much cheaper and much faster. 

This will probably be the only coach I'll ever own because all the needs I want in a motorhome are met with what I have.  There is nothing else out there that I want.

David
Logged
makemineatwostroke
Guest

« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2008, 07:48:52 PM »

I have a 45 footer and they do cause problems looking for RV parks that can handle it, with a toad you are in the 65ft range but Wal-mart has plenty of room   have a good evening
Logged
Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2049


PD4106-1063 "Wheezy Bus"




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2008, 09:27:17 PM »

I am younger than most here on the board and all of my six children are still under 18 so that means I am both time and money bankrupt. I had no choice but to buy an already done conversion and I don't regret it for a minute. It has helped me learn what I would and wouldn't do if I ever did one on my own. I am surprised at how my "ideal conversion" has changed since the early days, and am glad I didn't build something I would have to tear out and do over. Having a starter bus has been a great learning experience.
Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
Blue Ridge Mountains, S.W. Virginia
Itís the education gained, and the ability to apply, and share, what we learn.
Have fun, be great, that way you have Great Fun!
Songman
Guest

« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2008, 09:35:50 PM »

Yeah, you got me by a year, Laryn! But 6 kids! I only have two and one is grown and gone! haha

Ben, I've already told you my saga. Three buses in three years and still haven't converted one yet. I almost bought a Marathon Prevost a year ago with fire damage but the guy apparently thought it was still mint by the price. That's about the only previously converted bus I have considered. I started buying parts before I ever found the first bus. Put them up in the garage until I had the bus. Finally, my third bus, is the one that will get all the goodies. The previous owner partially did the roof raise, but other than that we are starting from scratch. And I can't wait! It is a good feeling knowing that when all is said and done I will know what every wire and component in the bus does. We have a bear of a time with Don's Country Coach because the wiring is do dang complicated that you can't work on it!

Logged
New2Busin
Ben
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 16





Ignore
« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2008, 02:07:33 AM »

Dale, thanks buddy...


   Yall that's the feelings I get when really I sit back and think about this whole thing...

   If I do it (build it) I just may in fact spend more.  But I'll know every nook and cranny of the thing.  With that being said, with my budget, maybe that's something that will work for me.  Here's how I look at it....

   Buy the parts along and along....bonus, if I pay cash for it...it's a done deal.
   I'm smart and young (31) enough to do it, plus I have all kinds of DIY relatives near by.
   I'll always have you guys to lean on in the "What do I do now" times, if you would be so kind...LOL
   The draw back is it will take a W H I L E....to finish...but I'm OK with that....for now...LOL!

   Great topic though, awesome responses too...thanks yall!
Logged

New to Busing, but looking forward to a new adventure and meeting a new breed of folks.  If motorcyle families are close, can only imagine what a bus family is like.
Dreamscape
Guest

« Reply #25 on: October 30, 2008, 02:10:55 AM »

Carefull when buying eltronics as they change so much over time. You might like something now, and find something better in 5 years. Roll Eyes

I've been there and done that!

Buy it and use it!

FWIW,

Paul
Logged
cody
Guest

« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2008, 02:36:22 AM »

When I brought my bus home for the first time, my wife looked in the open door and down at the ground and looked back at me and said, Nice bus, but I don't suppose you could have found one with a floor?"  It was a long hollow tube, no floor, no nothing.  The next weekend I had 8 sheets of plywood laying on the floor structure, screwed together but overlapping in places, a plastic lawn table, a couple of lawn chairs, a porta potty and coleman cooler along side the sleeping bags and we took a ride for almost 2 weeks, was fun, and it began lol.
Logged
zubzub
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1164


'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2008, 09:58:04 AM »

My bus is old ugly and stinky, but I'll clean it up, slap some paint on and keep using it.  I recommend pre converted as the market is full of them and there are some nice clean rigs for prices lower than the cost of just the conversion materials.  When I was looking there were some nice clean rigs out there between $5-10 K, some were a little tacky.  Craigslist and kijiji is the way to go the deals are there ( as well a estate sales)
Logged

Don4107
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 407





Ignore
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2008, 10:36:50 AM »

We bought a usable conversion to see if the bus thang was for us.  We learned a lot from it.  Once we though we new what we wanted in terms of size and layout we went shopping for the one to retire with. 

Some of the things we learned from the first bus:  Bus people are the best.  Insulation is VERY important.  We like the 35' for all around use.  Must have good insulation. We want good fuel economy(First bus 5.5MPG).  The best insulation you can get. We want an open floor plan with normal furniture.  DO NOT use a dark color on the exterior. Stainless steel gets VERY hot too.  Did I mention you need really good insulation? Can not stand to listen to another roof air!

We could not find a unit to suit us on the entire west coast.  Found a super good condition 4107 that had been converted and then stripped to reconvert.  Decided that the only way to get one the way we want is to build it ourselves.  BIG job, but God willing and the creek don't rise, some day!  Mean time the first bus is still here for use.

There are some really cheap conversions on the market today.  Something to consider.

Good luck
Don 4107
Logged

Don 4107 Eastern Washington
1975 MCI 5B
1966 GM PD 4107 for sale
1968 GMC Carpenter
HB of CJ
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1252




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2008, 12:02:30 PM »

Great questions and poll.  I/we lived in a DINKY 19 foot baby 5th wheel traveling the country and later me going back to school, then still much later, 3 years in a minimumly equipped shell ex-school bus Crown Super Coach in SW Oregon.

Sosss, I'm VERY LUCKY to have done the live in/using/driving thing.  If I could do it again, (hopefully) I would definitely BUILD the Bus Conversion MYSELF.  It would be the fun and satisfaction of doing it yourself your own way.  Welcome aboard.  HB of CJ Smiley Smiley Smiley
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!