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Author Topic: Looking for a Prevost  (Read 7567 times)
Joe Camper
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2011, 08:31:33 PM »

I have talked with Phil Cooper before. Phil keeps good notes and he has been around a long time.

I just clicked it, he has a few mid 90s XLs with what have IMO a good reflection of the current market, looking at the asking prices.

The closer you get to 2000 the fewer the straight axles. 96 97 98 buch of straight axles in those years. 2000 very few.

Would it be a deal buster if I really found a bus I liked and it had IFS? No. But it sure would be disappointing unnecessary and an additional maintenance consideration.

Anyone who can feel the difference must have a softer tush than me cus I really feel no significant difference. The straight axle is just so much simpler and adequate.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 08:40:41 PM by Joe Camper » Logged

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edroelle
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2011, 06:17:24 AM »

Joe,

Wasn't the IFS based in the VIN such that all 98 and 99 Prevost chassis were IFS?   Prevost started the IFS on 1997 chassis.   Conversion year may be later.

You are right that it is very hard to distinguish the ride between straight axle and IFS.   However, the IFS has a tighter turning radius.   

Ed Roelle
Flint, MI
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luvrbus
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2011, 06:37:58 AM »

1996 was the first IFS buses I had the very first one in a Vogue what a joke Prevost worked on it all the time and took me almost 4 years but they gave me my money back.
They redesign the IFS in 2000 because of problems and it was funny Eagle used the IFS since 1957 without problems straight axle is the only way to go on a Prevost till 2000 IMO


good luck 
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2011, 07:35:19 AM »

Ed I will assume you have more correct data I often get a bit general.

As for the IFS here is how I see it.

For the most part it is like the rest of the chassis built like a tank. There were a few weak links. 1 main issue is the upper a-arm bushings. Part of the issue is the service centers remedy for that repair.


IMO what is going on is the upper a-arm is only about 1/2 as big as the lower so it has twice the travel combined a smaller bushing than the lower. The other force working on it is its very stiff and although designed to twist it really needs to rest at ride height to keep it out of a bind. Well most of these campers go down over time and many folks dump the front all the way down when camping. This is what is chewing the uppers out.

In 04 they finally enlarged the upper bushings to the same as the larger lowers and turned them 90 degree.

These IFS on Prevo incorporate BOTH ball joints AND king pins. Tru to form baby lets over engineer it.

 The only other shortcoming up there is the grease boots on the tie rod and drag link and the dust covers on the ball joints. If not completely gone they will be crumbling to bits before 10yr old.

Additionally another large part of the problem was the service centers recommended fix for it. Buy 2 new complete upper a-arm assemblies . If you have ever paid a bill at one of these places you will not be wondering what that might set you back.

If you are still undaunted and want this fear not. The bushings are available individually for 75 a piece you have 4 total and the dust boot for the upper Ball joint is 8 bucks. Any decent truck or bus mechanic should be able to do it with no problem in 8 or 10 hr. If we had this I would expect a service lifespan for the upper bushings of 10yr I have replaced More than a few with less than 100000 I have seen entertainer coaches with 200000 and the originals still in with the rubber completely gone and the bus still handling very very well.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2011, 08:02:56 AM »

Dick Kaiser at Kaiser Alignment in Eugene OR helped Prevost solve most of the problems on the IFS he worked with Marathon, Country Coach and Monaco for years on the problem.
 Best Prevost front end repair in the US  Prevost owners line up and make appointments months in advance to get in his shop for front end work on a Prevost owners come from all over the US to him 


good luck
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 08:16:25 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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RJ
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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2011, 09:43:07 AM »

Beardog -

Others have been talking about Prevost "the chassis", let me talk a little about Prevost "the house."

The "Big Boys" in the bus conversion industry are, in alphabetical order:

Angola
Custom Coach
Liberty
Marathon
Royale
Vantare

Custom Coach is the granddaddy of all the conversion outfits, having been around since the mid-50s.  Good solid construction that, altho maybe not as glitzy as the others, withstands the test of time.  The son of the founder is still involved with the company today.  Not uncommon to find an old Flxible, GMC, MCI, Eagle or Prevost with a CC conversion, as they will build on anyone's chassis.  I know of an MCI CC available right now that would be a good buy for someone, as the current owner is a long-time bus industry veteran who understands the importance of proper maintenance.

Marathon started out converting MC-9s, then switched to Prevosts when they got a better flooring deal from them.  The most expensive of the big boys, with rolling bordello interiors.  I believe they have a fiercely loyal owner's group - heard a bunch had their coaches shipped to Europe so they could tour together a couple of years ago!

Angola is one of the older converters, as is Liberty.  I believe Angola has halted production, but Liberty's still hanging on by a thread.  Both build a good unit.

Vantare took over production from somebody who's name escapes me for the moment.  I'm not sure if they've survived this economic downturn or not.

Remember that every one of these beasts are customized to the original purchaser's tastes.  Nothing's permanent, anything can be changed.  99% all have basically the same layout as your S&S: Living area, galley, head, bedroom.  It's just the details that differ in the "big picture" scheme of things.

Another consideration that hasn't been mentioned - Length.

You've currently got a 41-footer, so you know basically where you can and cannot go.  If you move up to one of the 45-foot monsters, you'll be restricting your access to a lot more places, especially if you like to visit the older, out of the way, campsites.  If you prefer the power pole to power pole type of RV lifestyle, then the newer "resorts" geared to the high-end market with 60' pull-thru sites, 50 amp hookups, wifi, cable and tree-less shade will happily take your "camping" fees.  Unhook the toad, and off you go to visit the nearby national park you couldn't get into because of your coach's length, only to find a little old 35-foot GMC 4104 parked happily among the giant Redwoods. . .

The Class A RV market is in the toilet right now, and it's getting worse as the price of diesel continues to rise.  If you can purchase a bus conversion without selling your S&S first, it's a buyer's market.  If you have to sell the S&S first, be prepared to take a bath, probably less than half of what is was worth just 18 months ago.  Attempting to trade will be worse.  You have one point of strength, tho, and that is your current rig is paid for, so you're not dealing with those monthly strokes on a rapidly depreciating asset.

That being said, the link to that dealership in your original post is a good example of somebody who's totally out of touch with today's market.  You need to do a LOT more homework, not to mention actually kick the tires on some real bus conversions until you find the one that "speaks" to you (no, wait, "speaks" to Mama!!)  Don't be surprised if it takes you a year or more, either.

Make sense?

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2011, 03:53:00 PM »

RJ although I am unfamiliar with custom conversions Everything else you mentioned Id agree with and or is what I have experienced.  Angola's are nice many many around. Many nice Vogue too I like those. At this point in these buses service( 90's) most of the interiors are getting tired and outdated and some are tasteless but the craftsmanship and components and the construction of the house stuff in every aspect are usually pretty exceptional.

 For gettin around, in and out, funny thing I think the size issue is not as much a factor as the Paint job issues are. I can get my old 85 40ftr in very small spaces but not without scraping some brush here or there sometime. The paint jobs from Prevo are so gorgeous many are not willing to brush up against anything. The 45ers are only 3 ft more wheelbase and IFS turns real tight. Many nice shady spots I have been in I know my friends would never even consider.

The Trade-In.............. sell it outrite and finance it for the buyer. There is a fare amount of this going on and with good reason it is a Win WIn. There are plenty of honest working people with money to spend right now that dint have 40% down.

Barter its tax free LOL
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DaveG
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2011, 04:36:26 PM »

Well Beardog, how is that for information overload? Had enough yet?! Everything that has been written so far is all good stuff and I didn't smell any BS in there at all...that is what these sites are all about, right?!

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2011, 04:41:54 PM »

RJ look what I found

http://prevostmotorhomes.ning.com/forum/topics/84-custom-coach-xl

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Beardog
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2011, 06:49:45 PM »

Wow!

Thanks for the many thoughtful replies.

Yes, I am definitely on information overload.

I thought that I would for sure get a non-slide unit, but now my wife is sending me links from her computer, of buses with slides. I have talked to some folks who say only go with slides, others who say only go non-slide.....

A well-known, reputable dealer told me earlier today that after 1995, all you could get on a Prevost was the IFS suspension. So far, I haven't found a post-1995 with a solid axle (for whatever that is worth).

As others have noted, a lot of this depends on what the wife likes. I probably get to pick out the body style, but I won't get much say on color scheme/interior, etc. So far, I like the XL body better, and my wife seems to lean toward the H3 look. The bottom line is if the wife thinks the interior is ugly, IT DON"T MATTER WHAT I THINK.

Like Joe said, many of the mid to late '90's interiors are getting to be very dated. The S&S that we have at present has a beautiful, warm cherry wood interior, with earth tone colors, and is much more visually appealing to my wife than the old green, pink, mauve, blue/purple stuff.

Another dealer told me that several conversion companies,  have their own proprietary OTR AC systems, and about the only company that still uses the original bus air system is Liberty. What say you all?

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gus
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2011, 07:13:16 PM »

There is a Prevost (At least I think it is a Prevost. I didn't look closely because I just bought a 4107!) for sale on Hwy 64 just a couple of miles west of Beebe. AR, Exit 28 of Hwy 167.

I saw it listed on the internet somewhere, I believe at one of the bus forum classified sites, but not sure of that. I don't think the ad said Beebe but that's where it is.

I know nothing about it other than it has been sitting there at a used car lot for about six months.  That is not a very long trip from Hot Springs.
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« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2011, 07:18:43 PM »

Yeah, I suspect it is the same bus I linked to in my opening post. From my research so far, it is about 50-70K over priced. I still plan to go look at it, though. It is 105 miles from where I live.
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gus
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« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2011, 07:30:46 PM »

Yes, that is the same bus. Sorry I didn't see your link in your first post, I kind of skimmed over the whole string! I'm kind of shocked at the price.

I would guess he would be more than willing to come down quite a bit since it has been sitting there quite a while and this is not exactly a hot selling area for Prevosts! Just don't tell him you made a special trip to see it, say you are just passing through!!

Let us know what you find out.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2011, 07:49:45 PM »

Check the guy in Alvarado TX he is a Outlaw Conversion dealer and they are moving quite a few new Prevost conversions  and you see trade ins on his lot for got the name but Outlaw can tell you a bus is not going to be hard to find lol

good luck
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2011, 06:13:14 AM »

There are straight axles after 95 I can think of 2 right off that friends have, a 97 Liberty XLV (96 chassis) and a 98 (97 chassis) Vantare H345.

This issue has tweeked my curiosity.

There is at least 2 years possibly 3 that you could have got them either way I am absoluty sure of this after talking with these folks this morn.
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