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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

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Author Topic: Conversion...Do it yourself or Buy pre-converted  (Read 4277 times)
ktmossman
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« 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.
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bobofthenorth
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« 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.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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NewbeeMC9
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« 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
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niles500
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« 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
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prevost82
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« 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
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David Anderson
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« 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
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makemineatwostroke
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« 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
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Barn Owl
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« 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.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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Songman
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« 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!

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New2Busin
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« 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!
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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
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« 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
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cody
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« 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.
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zubzub
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« 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)
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Don4107
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« 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
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Don 4107 Eastern Washington
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1966 GM PD 4107 for sale
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HB of CJ
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« 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
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