Welcome!!! We are glad to have you aboard. I will give you my thoughts on which bus to buy, since you have narrowed it down to a MCI or Prevost. First off, you don't just drive a bus, you experience a bus (can I hear some Amen's please
). What do I mean by that? Well a bus is a lot like an airplane. It has complex systems, on it, namely the electrical, and air (of course there is the power train and things like that). If it is a bus, it will fail...on rare occasions
. With that said, you want a bus, that can be diagnosed, and fixed, in the shortest amount of time. My recommendation would be a MCI DL3. I say that because, that is the first model, that was a forty-five footer, which means more room, less maneuverability, etc. Second, it isn't as computerized as a E model or later. I have heard that with an E, if something goes wrong, then you replace a three hundred dollar part, then a seven hundred dollar part, and then, when all else fails, you replace a two thousand dollar computer. With a DL3, if something goes wrong, you troubleshoot the failure and fix it. Also the parts are fairly readily available from MCI.
If you are concerned about the looks of a DL3, which doesn't look as pretty as a E or later model, there are cosmetic things that you can do. An R&M upgrade kit for the front, which is a huge challenge to install, looks great when done. You can also raise the roof, making it look more imposing (of course you would raise it for the extra room right?
. The paint job is also critical to making it look fancy (if that is what you are going for). If you want the new MCI look, it is fairly simple to paint around the windows black, and swoop it down to the drivers window. The bottom line is, I would consider a DL3, if you need the forty-five footer. MCI also has some other great buses, but they don't have the extra five feet. One other thing that I have loved, about ours, is the Detroit Diesel, Series 60 engine, that we have. That engine, coupled with an Allison B500 tranny, is a great powertrain setup.
If you have any more questions about a DL3, let me know since we have one, and I love it.
Remember, all of this was if you were going to get a forty-five foot MCI. If you are going with a Prevost, or another MCI, I really don't have much insight on those. I do know that some of the other guys here have excellent advice on them, so keep your ears open. Like others have said, your bus will end up costing you far more than you planned...but then again isn't that the goal??!!
My post is not to scare you off, just to let you know about somethings . You will love your bus...except for rare occasions...and this board is a great place to learn.
Enough for now.