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Author Topic: Newbie looking for any help buying a bus conversion  (Read 2269 times)
wrismith
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 07:17:01 PM »

Hi Chuck,
Apparently I grossly misunderstood what you told me during our brief phone conversation. I see that you were just trying to help me out. Please accept this newbie's most humble apology.

Thanks,

Walter
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Cary and Don
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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2011, 07:46:14 PM »

To the new owners.  If you have had a large rv before you will have a head start on the first trip in a bus conversion.  We have had a bus conversion for eight years and recently picked up our new to us bus 2000 miles from home.  We almost felt like newbies.  The systems were different from our other bus,  didn't know where all the important things were located physically.  If we had broken down, we would have had no idea as to where to trace the wiring down or the plumbing lines.  If we didn't know anything about conversions,  we could have really been in trouble.  I would recommend that any newbie stay at least three days close to the previous owner until you learn the basic function of the bus.  This way you can stay someplace comfortable and really investigate everything in the bus.  There is a lot to learn.  Filling tanks,  dumping tanks, charging batteries, using the satellite tv system,  managing battery power, running the generator, air conditioners, heat, maybe leveling systems, webasto systems.  It can be really overwhelming.  After a week, it is automatic.  There is a lot to learn. Then there is the actual systems for the chassis,  what fluids have to be checked, filled with what,  and how often,  checking tire pressure and filling them, how not to overheat, how to go up mountains, and down the mountains, around tight surface streets, how to shift that standard transmission.  There is so much to learn.  Sending a new owner down the road with no support can make for a really unhappy owner even if the coach is in perfect condition.  How many of us have hit the off switch in the engine compartment and couldn't figure out how to get the thing started again?

Don and Cary
1973 Eagle 05
GMC 4107
Neoplan AN340
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1973 05 Eagle
Neoplan AN340
zubzub
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'53 4104. Roadworthy but rough around the edges.


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« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2011, 07:53:02 AM »

My suggestion is patience....and lots of it.  There are for sure some great coaches out there, some of them pristine with a PO recently deceased and a motivated seller. IMHO these are the ones to go for, some may think this is in poor taste but it is a fact that there are some retirement projects out there that have tons of sweat equity in them....the best by retired mechanics or homebuilders as these guys had a lifetime of experience in this arena.
But really patience is key....also FWIW the further the coach is to go pick up the more it costs.....for me a nearby fuel is easily worth a couple of $Ks in time and fuel compared to one 1-2 K miles away.
But mostly patience and go visit as many as you can.
BTW not being mechanically inclined is just as much a deficit in a RV as a decently maintained Coach, both will have their  own little repairs (like a house will) as well as the occasional bigger more "I need a mechanic one".
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Busted Knuckle
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6 Setras, 2 MCIs, and 1 Dina. Just buses ;D


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« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2011, 09:43:02 AM »

I like Don & Cary's suggestion of staying close to the old owner/seller for several days to completely learn the systems.

And even though Chuck was trying to be "newbie friendly" with his suggestion to "look closer to home", that Chuck's coach is an excellent deal and if I were in the market with $ handy I would be on my way to GA right now!

And there are plenty of other deals out there too! As said it's a buyers market and always offer less than they are asking! (if they are trying to get rid of it they will flex on the price, or in Chuck's case they will give you a complete list of items and costs to justify their asking price!)
Grin  BK  Grin
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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)
qayqayt
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« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2011, 10:37:15 AM »

I agree... be patient.  We looked without urgency for 3 or 4 years, always prepared to spring for the right coach.  If you're going to pay regular shop rates for servicing and repairs, your new bus will be a money pit.  I'm lucky that most work I can't do, I have friends who will help.  I have no place to do major work, but found a reputable truck shop in town that will work on buses.  I've put over $10,000 into the bus over 3 years.  Not because the previous owner was dishonest, but because the bus is 40 years old. 

Having said that, I wouldn't trade it for a regular RV.

If I was to do it over, I would take video with my camera/phone of each serious candidate.  Once you make the decision, videotape the previous owner as they run you through the tour of how all the house systems work and anything unique about the bus.  Some of these homespun converters have had brilliant but unusual ways to do things and if you're trying to figure it out 3 years down the road, you might be hooped.

Good luck, stay involved with this board, it's great.

Bryan
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Bryan
Vancouver BC
GM PD-4108
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