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Author Topic: NEWBIE Bus Owner (soon), with the first question  (Read 2959 times)
BucketList
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« on: May 17, 2010, 08:19:31 AM »

I guess I will start off by telling that my partner (5?)and I (4?) have decided to dive into converting a bus. We want to do a two year (minimum) "Bucket List" tour of the Country. When we first entertained the idea, we thought of a Motor Home, then a fifth wheel, and even (briefly) a travel trailer. Through my research on the internet, I came across Bus Conversions. I was hooked. Since I am an amateur home remodeler, and am a wee bit nutz, I decided this route is the best. (My partner is not so convinced in my abilities. LOL) Anyway after looking at all the possibilities, we have narrowed it down to a Silver Eagle or a MCI. (In the 80s/90s era.)
First Question - (Other than am I TOTALLY insane for trying this?) Does anyone know of anyone in Florida who would strip the interior of a bus in exchange for the seats, racks, a/c ducts, spare change, and other sundry parts? (That is the only part that does not appeal to me in ANY way what-so-ever.) I would be ever so grateful for any leads to this end. LOL
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 08:30:49 AM »

Sorry, can't help you with your question; just want to welcome you to the madness. Both Eagles and MCI's are good choices, but they have some real dis-similarities. Others on this board will be chiming in shortly with lots of advice, Good luck to you, Will
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Sean
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 08:44:33 AM »

... Does anyone know of anyone in Florida who would strip the interior of a bus in exchange for the seats, racks, a/c ducts, spare change, and other sundry parts? ...


None of those items has any value at all except the seats, and then only if they are in tip-top condition.  Generally speaking, you should count yourself lucky to find someone to take the seats for free, saving you the dump fees and/or transportation costs.  So, no, I do not know anyone in any part of the country who would do that work on an exchange basis.

That said, there are several shops in Florida who can do that work for a fee.  Just don't expect any discount for giving them the removed materials; in fact, expect them to charge you to get rid of it.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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josephgranzier
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 08:49:17 AM »

Why bother ? Wink
 Take your money and buy one done/complete  . There are lots of nice conversions for sale all ready done. You 'll have plenty to do just fixing one to your liking. I'm sure others will chime in and give some specific numbers dollar wise.  ( .25/.50 on a dollar?)  for those that have converted - not to mention the hundreds / of hours spent .
I sure if you read on this website - you will find lots of stories of busses started and not completed - time / money fell short.
Congratulations  welcome - this is great group of folks to talk with
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 09:02:22 AM »

Welcome!... You can find abandoned projects already stripped or already almost finished; and finished projects for much less than you will ever spend on a from scratch conversion and that's without even factoring in all the labour hours.
That being said if part of your bucket list is converting a bus and you don't want to strip it, hire a nephew or 2 to pull the scrap, you supervise and learn how your bus is put together at the same time.
BTW conversions can take a long time.....2 yrs is possible with 5 retired people with plenty of spare time, 2 yrs is nothing if your working and doing the bus on the side by yourself.  Good luck and remember the more you spend wisely on the initially shell or conversion, the less you will spend (hopefully) on fixing the things you missed/underestimated during your inspection.  That said these are old buses....helps to have some $$$$ to fix whatever comes up.  That's the good part about having 5 of you, hopefully spreads things out.
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 09:05:41 AM »

Welcome!!!  I am an Eagle fan.  All buses are kewl, but I am hooked on Eagle.
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 09:51:53 AM »

That's NOT the first question.

The first question is the one you ask yourself the moment you swap a check for the title, then look up at your new toy:

"What in HELL have I DONE?Huh"

As far as the shell stripping, don't hold your breath.  Most of us have some of those parts sitting in the garage waiting to find someone who wants them, because we can't justify throwing them away.

The good news is that this isn't all that hard to do, not complex, just time consuming.

The better news is that there are a LOT of stripped shells around -- and even some nice complete conversions -- at a good price, if you have cash.

So what you really need to ask yourself is what your REAL budget is, and is that a lump sum or over time.

And before that, you need to ask something else -- if your "bucket list" means that you and your partner are sick or terminal, how long will you be in physical condition to horse around a 15-ton coach?
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 10:35:49 AM »

I'm with most others recommending a bus already converted. You can always find something close to what you want and change stuff to suit your liking. All you have to do is start adding up all the components it will take and then compare it to what the completed units are going for. There are many here who are building their own but they have been in the game for awhile already and have the skills and knowledge for such an undertaking. Removing the old interior is small potatoes compared to the rest!
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2010, 11:14:47 AM »

I got lucky on first bus and the local school corp took the seats and restroom out to use in their sport team bus..other wise is good if you can break even after.I put a add in paper bus seats $10 pr and sold all one week end(on 2ND coach)...you need a good sawzall and air chisel to take out MCI bath and maybe dynamite..(78 MCI Cool..where do you live??many bus nuts would help..
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 02:17:06 PM »

Chopper Scott has done a good job in posting what I would say. Very, very wise advice you are getting here.

Welcome
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2010, 03:23:27 PM »

I'll add my vote to the "buy a converted coach" crowd.  That's what we did 6 years ago and believe me, if you want stuff to build and fix you won't be short, no matter how good a coach you find.  Buying something converted means you can get busy and enjoy it immediately.  There will still be lots of stuff to modify or fix as you go but you get the satisfaction of using it right away.  And buying a converted coach will be WAY less expensive overall than doing it yourself in today's market so you can either buy more coach or spend less money.  Either way you win.
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 03:26:42 PM »

If I were you with the current bus market down in the dumps, look for something already converted. Change if you want as you go. It will save you a bundle of bucks and lots of scraped knuckles.Two years is not enough time unless you work on it everyday and have deep pockets, very deep. A genset alone is around 5-6K. You can buy a completed coach for 45-50K, it's your choice. Add up the costs associated with all the conversion items and then double it.

If you do the conversion yourself, prepare for lots of learning along the way. I'm not saying it can't be done, as most of here have done it ourselves. Just passing along MHO.

You probably won't find anyone to swap parts taken out for chump change, they might even charge you.

Have fun and enjoy the journey!

Paul
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2010, 04:05:08 PM »

Unless you are skilled in design -first. Then the usual skills as RV electrician, RV plumber and RV cabinetmaker are second. If you can work, I mean work not thinking time, at least 8 hours per day then you are at probably one year. This assumes that you have all materials in hand when needed and you don't make any mistakes.

Unless you really need to convert a bus or want something really different then you should look for an older conversion. I think, cash sale, you can find some nice clean and sound conversions in the $35K to $50K.

Your choice, of course its your choice. However, nobody will ever say 'told ya so'  Cheesy

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Bill & Lynn
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 07:00:47 PM »

Barn Owl - what about my god advice  Undecided Cry Grin
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2010, 07:09:06 PM »

Great advise from you also Joseph! Sometimes we all need to hear something more than once !!!  Wink
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Seven Heaven.... I pray a lot every time I head down the road!!
Bad decisions make good stories.
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