Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 30, 2014, 12:17:21 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: If your computer is lost, damaged, or stolen, we will replace all of your E-Mags for free.
   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Need help for newbie considering first conversion purchase.  (Read 3318 times)
MtLaw
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21




Ignore
« on: April 27, 2009, 06:18:46 AM »

Hello,

I am considering my first bus conversion purchase.  Here is the situation.  My parents are 90 years old and still going pretty well.  However, my mom doesnít do well with airline travel.  We all live in Montana and my folks want to visit relatives in Michigan and Wisconsin in the summers.  My wife and I are happy to take them but think maybe a bus conversion would be best for them, w/ bed and bathroom available at any time (getting old ainít for cowards).  Anyway, I was thinking with the unfortunate economy, now might be the time to try to find a steal on a bus conversion.  (I have always found the idea of traveling in a bus conversion appealing but never had an excuse before to pursue it.) These are my thoughts:  I am 6'5" in my boots so headroom is a must.  I would like a 102" wide if possible.  I strongly prefer an older, very lightly used, high end professional conversion.  I hope to buy something and try it for a time and if it doesnít work out w/ the folks maybe I could re-sell at only a small loss.  I do have a friend who did professional conversions for many years and he is willing to perform a complete pre-buy.  I donít really care whether MCI, Prevost, or Eagle, but think I want to stick to one of these due to availability of mechanics and parts.  My top price is 50k, unless an absolute steal can be had for a little more.  I donít expect to find anything local and am willing to travel anywhere in US or CAN to get a great deal.  On top of all else, I can barely turn a screw driver.

Ok, these are my questions:
Am I nuts or does all this fine thinking make some sense?
What should I look for and look to stay away from?
Does anyone know of a rig that I should look at?
Is there anything else I should know that I donít even know enough to ask?

Thanks for all your knowledgeable input.

Lee
Logged
Melbo
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1065


MC8 under construction




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 06:34:35 AM »

You will get a lot of input here

Most of it opinionated

Most of it accurate

Much of it diverse

Everything you said makes sense and will work

My only concern is your admitted lack of mechanical ablility -- Most buses are old and need someone to be aware of their condition. ALL are expensive to fix when something goes wrong -- they don't have to be but can be VERY expensive to fix.

Talk to your friend who did conversions about this

HTH

Melbo
Logged

If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
Albuquerque, NM   MC8 L10 Cummins ZF
poppi
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208


mci 8 L10 ZF tranmission; helena




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 06:52:35 AM »


 Welcomne aboard Lee Smiley

  Another Montana Bnut how wonderful.
 
   I have answers but they are for simpler set of questions.  Grin
 
    Good luck

 Skip
Logged

Snow disappeared......Now where did I put that bus?
Airbag
Guest

« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 07:06:12 AM »

Be careful this hobby is addicting and fun. Your primary concern is safety via a sound chassis and running gear. What is above it well you will find a thousand different views here that are valid. Have the bus inspected by a good bus mechanic. Hopefully your friend knows what to look for.

http://busforsaleguide.com/bus_prepurchase_checklist.htm
Logged
jackhartjr
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1325


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 07:10:02 AM »

Lee, as I was reading your posts I kept thinking, "Here in a minute he is going to say 'I don't want to spend more than $5,000,00 for it'"!
I would seriously look it to renting a motorhome for a trip or so to see if it is what you want.  Some folks don't like the camping life!  It would be expensive to rent.  But cheaper than the $50-K or so to purchase one and find out it's not what you had in mind.
Above all...do NOT fall in love with the first one that catches you eye! (Goes for women too...I learned that quarter million dallar lesson too!)
You are smart to have someone that can look at it for you.
If it's not near you ask here, usually there is someone near enough to go look at it for you.
That's just a start.
Jack
Logged

Jack Hart, CDS
1956 GMC PD-4501 #945 (The Mighty SCENICRUISER!)
8V71 Detroit
4 speed Spicer Trannsmission
Hickory, NC, (Where a call to God is a local call!)
zubzub
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1163


'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 07:17:59 AM »

Definitely look at a few both in and out of your price range to get a feel for them.  $50 K should get you something pretty nice these days.
Logged

bobofthenorth
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2071



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 07:30:25 AM »

In your budget range you are either going to have to learn to do a lot more than turn a screwdriver or else you are going to need a large budget for on the road repairs.
Logged

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

« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 07:38:30 AM »

In your budget range you are either going to have to learn to do a lot more than turn a screwdriver or else you are going to need a large budget for on the road repairs.


Now you are going to scare him into a stick and staple. I paid almost 20K less than his budget and drove mine clear across the US with zero problems. With the right pre-buy he should be OK.
Logged
NewbeeMC9
NewbeeMC9
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1162


1981 MC9 8V71, HT 740




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 07:51:29 AM »

Don't for get here,  I highly recommend the Magazine just because it is a fun way to learn about buses.  Stuff pops up all the time.

http://www.busconversions.com




Also here is questions and classified
http://www.busnut.com


Since you do not plan on servicing your bus yourself, go ahead and start looking for bus mechanics at tour places and such.



In Nashville there is a big lease company for the stars that you might could try one out for a while.


GET it checked out!!!!  Read and research!!!!,  also a lot of your questions may have been answered so the search button on this site is quite useful.  Also just browsing back to past threads will reveal a lot.


Also, It is a good idea because you could get to your destination,  Most likely quicker, and much more comfortable and cheaper than 4 tickets, and you can be on your own schedule.  And you have a place to stay when you visit. Wink

If you look, you should be able to find a good bus that will just need regular maintenece and you can educate yourself to prevent the major or semi major issues.  Remember buses are made to go a long time and 24/7 so you won't wear it out.  Traveling in a bus conversion is a lot less stressfull (even stress relieving) than airplanes or even car/motels.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Logged

It's all fun and games til someone gets hurt. Wink
Dreamscape
Dreamscape
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3283


1968 Silver Eagle Model 01 8V71 Allison 740 #7443


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2009, 07:53:28 AM »

"I strongly prefer an older, very lightly used, high end professional conversion.  I hope to buy something and try it for a time and if it doesn't work out w/ the folks maybe I could re-sell at only a small loss."

I'm sorry but I had a big smile on my face when I read that, Don't we All!

Be careful on what you get no matter what. You said you can't even turn a screwdriver, like Bob said, be prepared for the high cost of repairs. Even for those that have mechanical abilities it's still spendy, ask Bob.

I don't want to scare you, but you need to take your time and do a lot of research before opening your wallet. Yes, there are some good buys out there, and now is a good time.

Ask lots of questions, and you will get lots of answers, some you will like and some you won't.

Follow your dream, but look around at several before you decide, almost every coach has a different floor plan, make sure it works for you.

Good Luck and Welcome to our crazy hobby, Wink

~Paul~
Logged

Becky and Paul Lawry, On The Road
Travel Blog - http://dreamscapetravels.wordpress.com/
Bus Blog - http://dreamscapesilvereagle.wordpress.com/
______________________________________________________

Our coach was originally owned by the Dixie Echoes.
gmpd4104
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 60




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 08:38:34 AM »

there is a nice MCI A3 on ebay presently, I have looked at it and it is well layed ourt and a Professional conversion, just was too far above the new bus fund at the moment.

it is set up to sleep 4 and has a very large stateroom and walk through bath that is bigger than the bath in my first house.

Logged
cody
Guest

« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 08:48:36 AM »

Bob, your corn fusing canadian money for real money here in the states lol.
Logged
PP
Will & Wife
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1046



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2009, 08:50:21 AM »

Welcome to the Funhouse,
I have only one comment and I don't want you to take it wrong, but a bus purchase isn't a one-time investment. Of course, even stick and staple's aren't. And even though you don't turn a screw driver now, after owning a bus you will definitely learn its intricacies and all the little things that keep your heart pumping on a regular basis. 50K in today's economy will net you a real gem, even if you're talking Canadian coin, just don't jump at the first one you see and don't be afraid to negotiate, Good luck with your endeavor, Will & Wife
Logged

Chopper Scott
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1298


MCI 7




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2009, 10:45:14 AM »

Some great advise and all pretty well along the same lines. The one fact that pops up a lot is having some mechanical knowledge and in fact one needs a love of doing it at times. Even new busses need scheduled maintanance, however they run a lot more miles than what you will. A bus is a lot safer than a sticks and staples motorhome for sure. Later
Logged

Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
JohnEd
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4571




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2009, 12:21:05 PM »

$50 should get you a Prevost with less than 150K miles, a sound motor and trans WITH MAINT RECORDS. ( Never buy one without unless it is this year's model.)  Interior will probably be "dated" but without abnormal wear and completely serviceable.  All appliances and systems will be serviceable.  Tires will have at least 50% tread and be "younger" than 5 years.  Paint will not be pealing and there will be NO RUST anywhere.  It will have a walk thru bath cause they have more closet space and a transverse queen bed for the same reason.

Along those lines!

There are scads of low ball sales in Florida, Phoenix, Palm springs, Las Vegas, Tenn and LA to name a few "hubs".  I think bus knuts will keep an eye out for you but keep up your own search.  RVTRADER and RVTRADERONLINE are excellent places to look regularly.  EBAY for buses is really iffy.  Make Prevost professional conversions you first choice.  YOU MUST HAVE A PROFESSIONAL BUS COMPANY INSPECT THE BUS AND DD INSPECT THE ENGINE.  An overhaul costs $35K but the engine will go 300K plus between those only if properly maintained.  10,000 miles or less if not.  Whatever you find....run it past this board.

If you can't do pliers , screwdrivers and wrenches....you should stand clear.  Everything else is really reliable and a careful purchase will serve to protect your wallet down the road.  You will learn as you go and this board will be a Godsend.  You NEED to have at least $5K in plastic to make sure you can get fixed and get to home base.

Buses that are listed for 150K are in your price range in this market.  Don't be afraid to make lowball conditional offers....they just might be gratefully accepted.  There is NO DEAL so good that you needn't have your professional inspection done.

Good luck and stay in touch,

John
Logged

"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
ďWe can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.Ē
óPla
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!