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Author Topic: This looks like a lot of bus for the money...Anybody looked at it?  (Read 6140 times)
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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2011, 05:30:44 PM »

  Guys, who's looking for perfection? It was asked what we thought of this Bus. I said what I thought of it. The OSB looks like it was slapped right over the inside walls, blocking off the windows, witnessed by the hacked out holes in the OSB in the rear area. The wiring looks like it wouldnt pass residential standards, much less an RV bouncing and rattling down the highway.

  After you pass over the "conversion", you have the Bus itself. We know very little of it other than it runs and drives. Looking around the country, a running/driving MCI like this is selling anywhere from $5K to $8K, and they might take less on an offer. So whats the conversion worth? IMHO, it needs to come out and start over. But if your comfortable living and sleeping in a bus with questionable wiring, with possibly no way of escape other than the front door, exposing yourself to high levels of formaldehyde based materials, and taking friends and family along and exposing them to the same risks, go for it.

  I may not be well versed on detroits and bus mechanicals so well, hence I ask many questions and often stick my foot in my mouth. But I know my way around RV structures a little bit, having employed myself in their construction with a several manufactures in an earlier life, and this one is crap.
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Fredward
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« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2011, 06:02:06 PM »

I will throw this in purely based on my experience. Of the two buses I have been involved with purchasing (mine and a friend's) they always look better in pictures than in person. My MC-5 looked great until I bought a one way ticket to go pick it up. As it turned out, she's been a fine learning bus but it was not what I had envisioned nor what it looked like in the pictures. (we've put over 20,000 fun miles on it since bringing it home and its been great.) My buddies' Eagle 10 looked like a great shell in pictures. Windows had been removed and the top half was resided and painted. The interior appeared to be all plywood and ready to go the next step. The guy even showed pictures of where it was rusted and would need repair. We drove it 1100 miles home (ran fine) and discovered the residing was steel not aluminum; had leaks and ridges and waves and the interior was junk and had to be stripped out. So it basically had to be torn all the way down and the conversion work started over. Now it turned out just fine also but he paid about $3,000.00 too much for it.

You definitely have to look at it. The fact that it has a furnace, water heater and refrigerator is a plus and will save you about $1,800.00. The engine sounded OK but as pointed out earlier, an 8V71 in an MC-9 is going to require some patience driving; particularly with an automatic. My MC-5 has an 8V71 and its pretty under powered. Plus its considerably lighter than the MC-9.

Fred
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Fred Thomson
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« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2011, 06:20:07 PM »

I think there are two types of people, the cavalier and the cautious.  One type can't understand why the other thinks the way they do, but Lord knows we need each other! Wink  I would say that most of our spouses are the opposite type.  I know mine is, and thank God for it.  

I agree Fred, you absolutely have to see something in person to really know what it is.  Pictures can be very deceiving.  I think it is important to make sure you are mentally prepared to walk away.  You will always more regret making a bad purchase than missing a good deal. 

And I agree with Art, there just isn't enough information to go on to make an intelligent assessment of this bus.
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« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2011, 06:26:16 PM »

I lucked out. The bus was even better looking than in the pictures and it looked pretty good in the pictures. Smiley
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« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2011, 10:55:15 PM »

This is going to sound really stupid ..... OK ..... I'll go ahead and say it ..... a bus is not a person (this is where I'm going to be accused of not being a busnut) ..... that being said, falling in love with a particular bus in this market is like marrying the first girl you meet at the dance ..... it's just a dance, don't go to the dance expecting to get married and you won't end up in a miserable divorce ..... buying your coach can be a pleasurable experience if you just consider it part of the journey - step back and ask yourself if you'd still enjoy being 'married' to it 25 years from now? I like the explanation about "looking for perfection" but you certainly don't want to fix it's teeth, dye it's hair, give it liposuction, have it's tummy tucked, face lift it, and have breast augmentation done - just to find out you didn't like it in the first place - the old silk purse out of a sow's ear saying works here - In this market, if you really want to be 'married' to it, sit back and make an offer that absolutely would not give you buyer's remorse and if they don't take it relax and look for a better 'spouse' (of course if your making an offer on my bus this does not apply) - remember that right now the opportunities are great and in the near future they will probably be better - Wish I was looking right now - FWIW
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« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2011, 05:30:03 AM »

Just so we don't confuse folks about formaldehyde based materials, OSB is not the only material used in a conversion that contains that nasty stuff. Contrary to popular belief, plywood also has it, and the cabinet grade stuff has more.

http://www.tecotested.com/techtips/pdf/tt_formaldehydeemission

http://www.pathnet.org/sp.asp?id=24253
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I'm not saying the carpentry in the unit being discussed isn't questionable, I don't like the window openings either, but that can be fixed. I don't see a problem with using OSB as a sheathing for partition walls, I wouldn't use it as sub flooring though.

As for the wiring, it's definitely just in a rough-in state, I didn't see anything in the video that leads me to believe it is a hack job.

Jumpsuit, I sure wish it was closer to NC, so we could take a look-see.  Shocked

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« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 05:38:21 AM by brando4905 » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2011, 06:28:51 AM »

well as this thread wanders I'll add my 2 cents.  OSB stinks!!!!  I can't stand working with it.  I know plywood has formaldehyde but it sure doesn't stink like OSB.  It is code as subloor in res housing now, and is water resistant etc...but even though it costs aprox 1/2 of PW I never use it.,  Just the reek of a few sheets in my van is enough to ruin my day, let alone cutting it on site .  Fortunatly most of my clients are concerned about VOC and are willing to pay the extra $ for PW.  Speaking of which I started using no VOC paint and it is a pleasure to work with for interiors..... apparently you can drink the stuff if you want to.  Has weird paint/finish properties...but doable.
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« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2011, 06:50:56 AM »

The problem with OSB is the edges are sealed you cut the crap and the seal is gone it soaks waters and never goes back to the original shape,the edges keep swelling sure it is ok'd for subfloors in some areas of the US so was particle board a few years ago look where that got us,I mean come on guys when WalMart will pay more for plywood than OSB for the employees break room think about it lol if you use the stuff when you cut it paint the edges with a sealer per the mfg  



good luck
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 07:09:03 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2011, 07:40:04 AM »

Niles, have You ever heard the song"I over looked a orchid while searching for a rose"?  I guess I went to a barn dance for the wrong reason!  I thought it was love at first sight,LOL!  I still love My wife and I also love My bus/coach.  John L
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« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2011, 08:04:32 AM »

Since so much of the discussion has been on OSB, I'll chime in my experience with it, which is positive.

Some folks convert on a dime, 4 years ago I was having to do mine on a nickel (or less).  People who know me are aware my bus is no showcase.  I did the conversion on it out of necessity and with very little money.  It will never be a feature bus, but it is a testimony to what can be done when you have to.  And it has served us very well as a full time home.

I opted to use the Advantek brand of tig OSB subfloor.  I put it in on top of 2x2 framing on 2' centers that are on top of the original bus floor and filled in between with foam board insulation.

4 years on it, 3 1/2 of that full time living on it, with the Advantek fully exposed with nothing laid down over it (certainly not the way it was made to be used) - no problems.  Tracked in water, snow, ice.  Cats hurling on it.  Dirt and sand tracked in and scuffed.  Melted run-a-way ice cubes.  About a month of leaking condensation from my fridge.  My weight walking on it. No problems.  No warping, swelling or flaking.

An interesting read about it in a construction forum:  http://www.construction-resource.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-1573.html

I also used regular OSB for my wall sheathing. It isn't as high quality as the Advantek but no problems so far there either.

I realize it isn't the premium material of choice.   But it seems to be working well in mine.  And as a floor, I'm not so sure that plywood would have done as well under my unusual conditions.

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« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2011, 09:13:40 AM »

  Anyone who can afford $8k, can afford a bit more if you wait,or make a lower offer on a bit more expensive Bus. There are a lot of Buses out there, and as spring approaches, many more will be for sale in all the flavors for everyones tastes. There is no need to jump on anything in this market, just wait and watch. And while you wait and watch, learn as much as you can and plan for it.

  I want a Bus simply because I see it as the safest and most reliable form of Motorhome, as well as the fact that most can meet or beat any S&S Motorhome in fuel economy. In addition, and unlike any S&S job, there are many places nationwide that will work on a Bus, should you find yourself in the rare position of needing help.

  I initially wanted a GMC. But as they cant readily climb a steep hill, I began looking at the next best option, an MCI. While the economy isnt "as good", its only a slight penalty, and coupled with the best parts availability and modern equipment, well...  I'll try to find a -5, but there are soooo many -9's out there you could blindly throw a rock and probably hit one.

  The point I am trying to get to is there is no need to rush or jump to buy a Bus when the market is filling up with them. This particular Bus has been for sale for over a month. There are more out there, and more coming. Your first priority should be the quality of the Bus. If its not going to drive out adequately, you dont have a good foundation. If the Bus has been converted, there must be some level of quality that most everyone finds acceptable. Its not just the OSB, its how the conversion was started to begin with, just slapping it up against the walls, covering up the windows so you have no access...come on guys, that is the crudest way to do the job. And thats how it started. It would suck just as bad no matter what they sheeted it with. When you start off crude, its only going to go downhill.
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« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2011, 09:24:23 AM »

" I initially wanted a GMC. But as they cant readily climb a steep hill,"
Obviously the GMC you looked at is different than my GMPD4106.
I live in B.C. and we certainly have some STEEP hills. Not to mention the Grapevine going to LA. We don't pass anyone but certainly do as well as a lot of big trucks.
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RJ
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« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2011, 09:27:32 AM »

Jumpsuitman -

Since this thread has wandered quite a bit, I want to come back to this, which is posted on the bottom of the first page:

"As good as the deal is on this bus, it isn't the best deal I've found. If it was just me, I'd be making an offer on a local MC5 with a new engine that was left to a lady by her father.  She dropped from $8500 to $5000 immediately and I feel I could probably get it for less than that.  It's an old Custom Coach with a big diesel generator and alcoas but needs tires and the paint is faded.  But My wife just doesn't like that one at all for some reason.  As mysterious as it is to me what she does and doesn't like, I can't deny that her "intuition" has paid off many times and I am beginning to appreciate that."

I picked up on this comment, and asked a couple of questions about it - they're on the second page of this thread.  Can you follow up on my questions?

Thanks!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2011, 10:20:05 AM »


Obviously the GMC you looked at is different than my GMPD4106.
I live in B.C. and we certainly have some STEEP hills. Not to mention the Grapevine going to LA.

  I have a very steep 1/4 mile long driveway. As I turn in from the highway the grade starts at 18% (increasing to 22% momentarily) before "leveling" off at 14%. I have been all over the subject trying to make it work, but in the end I feel its better to just find something that can climb it without any questions or goofy modifications. Trust me, I love GMC's, and it would be my hands down first choice. But there just isnt any easy or economical way to get one to safely climb a grade like this.
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« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2011, 11:10:21 AM »

Jump -

It's an old Custom Coach with a big diesel generator and alcoas but needs tires and the paint is faded. 

Custom Coach's, for the most part, have a great reputation for being solid, reliable conversions.  Granddaddy of the conversion industry, and still around.

Is it a 5A, B or C?

Hi RJ,

Would Mama consider it a possibility to put a little "sweat equity" cleaning it up, then flipping it while you continue your search for the "perfect bus?"

$5K or less for a Custom Coach, if it's in good shape, is well worth looking into, IMHO.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink

Hi RJ,

I didn't see your comment at first...  It does seem like a good deal.  The owner says her father spent $5,000 on the rebuild.  I asked her to see if she can come up with some documentation.  Only bad thing about the bus it is that it has been sitting for 3 or 4 years and it needs tires.  They have all the tread, but are old and dry.  Does have a set on Alcoas and a 12KW Perkins diesel generator.   Interior is very dated, but it's nice.  It is dirty though. 

I used to blow off my wife's illogical opinions about things, but have come to appreciate her "woman's intuition".  So I have learned to listen and respect her opinions even if they are not based on any known fact.  I could insist on that bus, but she does have mysterious insight and wisdom, and her negative opinion of it gives me pause.

Buying it to flip sounds fun, but who's buying right now?
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