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Author Topic: Looking for a Prevost  (Read 7242 times)
Beardog
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« on: March 21, 2011, 05:25:27 PM »

Hello everyone, and thanks to the BCM staff for approving my membership to this forum. I have been browsing here for several days, but I just got the ability to search and post to the forum this afternoon.

My wife and I are almost 50 years old. We have one 17 year old son left at home. We live in the Hot Springs, Arkansas area. We presently have a paid for, 41 foot long, 2003 Holiday Rambler Navigator, all electric with diesel powered Aquahot, two slides and a 500 HP Cummins turbo diesel. It has 48,000 miles. We have owned it for 3 years, and have wished for a couple of years that we had been more educated, and bought a Prevost. We travel as frequently as possible, and are sure that as long as there is diesel and we can afford it, we will continue the RV lifestyle (I am a bluegrass music fan, and we catch every festival that we can make).

Now, we are seriously considering trading into a 40-45 foot bus. I am not a mechanic or carpenter, and I don't want to do a conversion myself. I want a turn key, ready to roll rig, with an automatic transmission. I am used to the 500 HP engine, and we pull a full size short bed Chevy truck everywhere we go. I don't want to deal with propane. I just want to park it and plug it in, or turn on the generator.

I am not afraid of the $3K-$5K yearly maintenance (we already have that on our S&S rig). On the other hand, I don't want to run into any surprises and/or thousands of dollars of repair work soon after I purchase a bus. I want to buy a rig and not have to worry about it rattling into a heap/wearing out, and needing to be replaced in a few years. I want to buy one bus and keep it from here on (yeah, I know...famous last words). My wife isn't even too interested in getting a bus with slides, as slides seem to be one of the biggest repair headaches in the S&S world. We are not adverse to slides, if they are more dependable in buses than in S&S RV's, however.

I don't know what my Navigator is worth on the trade-in market, but I see the all electric rigs like ours occasionally up for sale in the $175-$200K range. I don't mind spending a few thousand dollars over my trade value on a bus, but I'm not looking to spend in excess of  about $40-$50K over trade value (and then only if necessary).

So, with those preliminaries considered, it would seem that I need to be looking for a bus in the $150K-$250K price range. I see that many folks have buses with several hundred thousand miles on them. What is the maximum number of miles that I should get nervous about when purchasing? Lots of buses are out there for sale with 90-180K miles on them. Does this mean that they were traded in just before needing major engine or chassis work?

Are there dealers that I need to avoid, and certain dealers that are highly recommended?

Are there conversions that we should avoid?

Who can I trust to give me an honest assessment about the condition of a bus?

How does one go about finding fair market value on a bus?

If any one within a couple of hundred miles of Hot Springs, AR has a bus, where do you get it serviced?

Is there a place where I can find the changes that have been made to the Prevosts since about 1995 forward?

What are the pros and cons of the different Prevost models since about 1995?

How old does a bus need to be be before one should starts looking for rust and other structural problems?

I have been told that there are only about 10 (!) registered Prevost buses in the state of Arkansas, so we will probably need to do some fairly long distance driving to see several buses for sale. I did find this one, about 2 hours from my house, but it seems to be overpriced, based on other buses I have seen at dealers around the country:

http://www.campbellautosales.net/vehicledetails.aspx?VID=126241658

Any advice is appreciated, and I certainly don't mind searching. But, with over 800 pages on this forum, that is a lot to weed through! Any threads that come to mind that might be helpful, or other forums that I should browse/join would be great, too.

Thanks in advance!



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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 05:42:30 PM »

would probably refer you to the     prevoststuff    web site.. I have two prevost but not in the high end range you are looking for. Mileage on the 4 stroke Detroit can exceed 500,000 miles before a in frame and up to 1 million before a major.  that's maximum.#'s.  some don't make it 1 hundred thousand-mostly because of poor maintenance and uneducated drivers(my opinion)   You can always look here for answers to your Questions.   Welcome   Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
luvrbus
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 05:48:51 PM »

Trust me there is a lot more than 10 in the state of AR the reason for 10 registered is they are registered in Montana or Oregon,check with Browns RV in Rogers AR he does a lot of polishing on Prevost and always has a few for sale all I can tell you stay away from a 1996 model with independent front suspension those are a nightmare been there done that from 1996 to 2000 the IFS had problems big bucks to repair.  
You do know that the largest Prevost club in the US is located in Searcy AR lol The Prevost Prouds drop them a pm and they will tell you what is for sale in your area

good luck
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 06:11:06 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 05:50:01 PM »

Give our resident Guru 'er I mean YODA time to put his words of wisdom in type and you'll find he knows just about all the answers you seek! (Now even though you may not think so at first mark my words he has an accuracy rating of about 99%!)
Grin  BK  Grin

Opps I see he posted while I was typing! (ya beat me to it Clifford!)
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
www.kylakesidetravel.net

Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
Charley Davidson
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 10:22:38 PM »

The one you listed seems like a cream puff, I'm sure at $250k theres a bit of haggling room.
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Kevin Warnock
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 01:38:07 AM »

You might want to look at http://philcooper.com

This is run by Phil Cooper, and he has a lot of listings in your price range. You should be able to get a Series 60 conversion with what you're willing to spend.

Kevin Warnock
http://KevinWarnock.com - my blog
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 06:22:56 AM »

You want a turn key rig just park it and turn the gen on.

GOOD LUCK

I am not saying they are not out there but those kind of buses are not found very often and when they do go up for sale they disapear very quickly.

Would you be interested in a 94 XLV a marathon. Its got the 60 series.

 IMO it is the clostest thing I have come across so far that fits that requirement.

250 for a 2000 is out of whack. A friend of mine sold a 99 marathon XLV 2 years ago for 199

I
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luvrbus
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 06:51:30 AM »

Cash in hand you will be surprised what you can get in the Prevost conversion even Marathon is cutting deals I have a friend that just bought a 2005 for less than you are asking for HR.
 In his dealing try to do a trade in with his factory converted Eagle with Marathon he gave he gave less and kept his Eagle for cash,doesn't take rocket engineering to figure you cannot spend over a million on a 400 thou shell for years they have inflated the prices now they are paying big time just like the housing market,shop with rising fuel prices people are unloading



good luck
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 07:20:55 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Joe Camper
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 07:26:34 AM »

A 07 Legendary XLII-DS (on an 05 chassis) recently sold for 435

There is right now a bran new old stock 08 at Featherlite Fla, a XLII-DS, that could be had for 625.

 As Prevo got to the end of that run of XL and XLV (from 84 when they went to 102 wide right up to 2000 when when the rivits went away and they changed to the XLII) little by little they made changes every year thicknesses of the air bag platform additional gussets. IMO by the time they got to 99 and 2000 they had got way way unbelievably Strong chaiisi and suspension sub Assemblies.

Take a peek at a 91 or 92 at the tag axle and compare that to a 99 the difference is significant.

The lines feeding the suspensions kept changing additional suspension air tanks were added. Its really almost endless the things they do from year to year. If you thought you were a good mechanic now just wait. One of these things to own are very challenging.

With all that said IMO or 85 as it was originally built is still perfect at 250000 I have no structural issues at all. The 2000s I know they are carring more weight but these years chassis are tanks, they will get you there.

I personally like the older stuff its easier to work on less complicated less expensive but I can not afford a 2000 now.
If I had a choice I would get a 95 thru 97 XLV non slide and be very very happy to get it for 150.

 

« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 07:29:39 AM by Joe Camper » Logged

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luvrbus
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 07:49:28 AM »

I have a friend at John Deere Credit they were the largest financiers of Prevost conversion for years they would finance with 10% down now it is 40% down with over a 650 credit score,they have a ton of repos ,there was people dumb enough to pay retail price for the conversion hard for me to believe but it happen

good luck 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 08:01:19 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Beardog
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 10:11:55 AM »

Thanks for all the replies, so far.

For those who have kindly private mailed me, I will get with you tonight or in the next couple of days, depending on my work schedule.

Hey Luvrbus, what kind of expenses and problems were encountered with the independent front suspensions from 96-2000? Was IFS common, rare, or standard on all Prevosts of that era?

Joe Camper, are you saying that a 2000 XLV is, in your opinion the best bus in that '96-2000 era, even though the bus is a little heavier, but be willing to settle for a 95-97 if the deal is right?

What would you all consider a good deal on the 2000 XLV that I posted in my opening thread? I am looking for a good deal, not a steal on a Prevost....Trying to find a steal requires insulting too many sellers, in my experience.

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luvrbus
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 11:01:08 AM »

Before buying any model of a Prevost or any other brand is check for recalls on that model it will shock you and be sure the recall work was done by the manufacture.
I have friend going through that now costing him 10 grand as the PO decided not to have it done

good luck
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 11:07:19 AM »

I am a terrible negotiator and would starve if I had to do sales for a living.  So the asking and giving are up to those individuals.

The dashes on the 99 and 2000 I like the best they have a nice "ledge" that goes around left to right. Other than that the 95 thru 98 are the same dern bus as 99 & 2000 but less money up front as well as down the road.

94 was the first year for the 60 series and the last year for the 5 speed alison only year they were configured like that.

OTR A/C

Long range fuel tanks

roof a/c's

trace inverters make sure there is some way to bypasses for the inverters

straight axle

20000 lb hitch

Manuall zip-dee awnings

 this would be a few important components for me.

No prefferance basic webasto vrses aqua-hot

This is the stuff that I would be looking for but many hwo know me think Im nuts



 
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luvrbus
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 11:25:57 AM »

I'll tell you best and strangest recall I saw on a Prevost not knocking it because it was a good bus was in 1999 Prevost installed heater hoses for brake lines on some buses sounds like China to me lol


good luck
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 11:34:21 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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Joe Camper
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 06:57:33 PM »

Many of the steer axles on early 90s chassis did not have the capacity with the original air bags to  correctly get them up to ride height much less past it when in level-low trying to level manually. I know charter bus drivers that tell me they do not dare "kneel" the bus with a full load. Some have a saftey and won't let you in drive till you achieve ride height and they have had to get all the pass. out to be able to "get it up". If ya know about it its o/k, its fixable. Nobodys perfect, they are very complex, some mistakes are expected. I aint sellin mine anytime soon.

Some had Howard active steering but very very few probably less than 10% This is very cool. Anybody have this?

You know how when you go into a tight turn and dump (raise the tag axle) it has a hard time quickly coming up. That is because when that extra 10000lb immediately transfers to the drives those bags cant react quickly enough. So as the tag is going up the drive axle is going down. NO GOOD Mr Bus driver.

Well some of these little gems.........There is a limit switch attached to the drag link and any time you turn the wheel hard enough to the left or right it automatically dumps the tag.


That also had, incorporated into that accessory, they put 2 additional electric over hydraulic shocks inboard on the drive axle that get that same signal from the limit switch on the drag link and they lock out holding the drive axle from squatting with the additional weight. So tag goes up, reacts way quicker.

Very cool very complicated very challenging to own and maintain.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 07:07:33 PM by Joe Camper » Logged

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