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Author Topic: Who are Conversion Owners?  (Read 1878 times)
prevosman
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« on: August 26, 2011, 03:59:49 AM »

I have owned a conversion since 1990. I have never built my own conversion. My conversion is a hobby and my name is a tip off to what kind of conversion I have.

Over the years and miles I have seen conversions that were multi-million dollar brand new coaches, and I have seen coaches that have been worn out in seated coach service that were little more than aluminum and steel tents with fewer features than a low end S&S. I have met owners that knew little more than where the key was, and other owners capable of not only repairing anything on the coach, but of building one that is equal to the store bought conversions. Based on the questions and comments posted on this site and other similar sites I suspect even those who will or have done their own conversion have the full range of skills possessed by owners of professionally built conversions. I know of high dollar conversion owners who have the skills and knowledge to make any modifications or repairs to their coaches, and I know others who are just beginning the ownership experience and who don't have a clue. Same as folks who post here. Everybody has to start somewhere and some are starting from the beginning, some at the top.

My questions revolve around who we are and our attitudes. Do we judge other conversion owners automatically? Is someone who has done their own conversion considered more talented, knowledgible or adept than someone who can write a check for a store bought conversion? Do the folks who can buy a professionally built conversion think of those who can build their own conversion as "grease monkeys"?

I am going to presume there aren't a lot of store bought coach owners participating on this site. I am also going to presume there are not a lot of folks who convert their own coaches hanging out with the Prevost Prouds.

My reason for asking is we all have the same interest, which is the coach, and believe it or not the same questions and comments are made on other sites or at rallies. Maybe the owners are perceived as being different from one another, but I doubt it based on my 21 years of hanging with folks on both sides of the hobby. What say you? I do know this for a fact. The folks on this site can learn a whole lot about converting a coach from the folks that buy theirs already built, and those folks who buy their conversions can learn a whole lot from the folks who build their own.
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Jon Wehrenberg
Knoxville TN
1997 Prevost Liberty
rampeyboy
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 04:09:25 AM »

I think a person very easily could fall into either category....ready made or DIY. I say this because the older I get, the less I care about doing, and the more I care about buying something that's done for me. My dad told me several years ago " son you don't need another project...you've already proven your abilities....". I hated hearing it at the time, but you know I am becoming more comfortable with the idea.....


Boyce
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Boyce Rampey
Columbia, SC
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 04:13:18 AM »

I think a person very easily could fall into either category....ready made or DIY.
Boyce

That is real close to the "gist" of it right there.

BCO
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rampeyboy
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 04:40:06 AM »

HAHA, thanks for the laugh this morning! I should read what I type huh! still asleep!

Boyce
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Boyce Rampey
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 05:30:18 AM »

while there are some really good pro converters out there  there are some really bad really bad pro converters out there. I know that by taking one apart!  It's a economic and pride thing that I  I said I build my own.  Just my way  Bob.   I like all coaches.   pro don't mean best!
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wal1809
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 05:45:18 AM »

I did not convert mine.  Maybe one day I will but I doubt it as it is no longer profitable to buy one, fix it up and sell it.  Dern sure not going to make money doing it.  But I like all busses.  I like school buses, Eagles Prevosts and the rest.  

I liked buses ever since I was in High School when my beach bum buddies all through in to buy a bus from The Yuma Baptist church.  They would take it to the beach every weekend and where they parked it is where it stayed until Sunday night.  Campfires booze and bikinis, those guys were free.  They sucked up the free feeling of life and didn't live in socially created world.

I have been chasing that sort of "Hippie" freedom since then.  Doing what I do for a living certainly does not allow any personal freedom like my Yuma Baptist church buss driving friends.  But in 6 more days I hit my 20 in the retirement sytem.  A few more  to go years and me, my wife, a yorkie and 2 labs are going to rediscover our hippe freedom. We are planning on a summer in Alaska but that could change just because we overslept, took a wrong turn or just wanted to stop somewhere.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 06:18:44 AM by wal1809 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 06:08:25 AM »

  Plenty of room for all types, from the roll your own crowd to the tailor mades, and all shades in between. Just so's no one is so snooty they cant stand being anywhere near the other.

 
 

 
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demodriver
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« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 06:32:24 AM »

For me I am way more prowd of something that I built then something that I bought. And I would much rather build it my way then to buy one and end up taking it apart to make it my way lol.  This isnt always the most practical thing to do tho. It is a time or money thing that usually determines what one does. I know that if I had the money to buy a coach that is ready to roll I would so that I could start enjoying it right away with my family... But we also enjoy building it and building it our way. Some of the best memorys are and will be from the build.

just my .02 Eric
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MEverard
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 07:01:36 AM »

I am a firm believer that we all have something to offer in this world. Some are hands on, and some are not. That does not mean that either one is better than the other. The smart man is the one that knows his limitations. Unfortunately, as much as we try to keep this board just busses, religion, politics and personal agendas sometimes poke out. We all just have to remember that we love busses and everything else means nothing. Whether or not you bought or built your bus, enjoy it it for every minute you can.

Have a very nice weekend,

Mike
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Mike Everard
1960 GMC PD4104-4520
Antioch, CA
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 07:26:32 AM »

I went shopping for a motorhome and could not find one with a treadmill (or even room for one inside) or a shower big enough for two people.

Then  I learned about bus conversions.

I have a treadmill and a shower big enough for two even though I had to do it myself.

Melbo
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If it won't go FORCE it ---- if it breaks it needed to be replaced anyway
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 07:33:11 AM »

Our bus was a professionally converted one. I thought I was a pretty good mechanic when we bought it. It has taught me otherwise. This conversion on a prevo chassis is the most complicated and challenging piece of equipment I have ever worked on and that is coming from someone with quite a varied background in mechanics.

My relationship with this absolutely fire and ice. It so challenges and aggravates me when I have failures and make repairs and then I benefit from the repair with all the knowledge gained an so continues the vicious circle LOL.

I believe professionally converted coach owners are a minority here. Probably not too many prevo prouds here either and IMO that is their loss.

Another thing is there is absolutely no way I could ever do my own conversion with the level of fit and finish that is built into ours. Maybe here and there but the finished product is way beyond my ability. Also those of you who are concerned that buying a converted bus will rob you of a certain degree of the experience of doing it yourself, rest assured, plenty to keep you busy and interested in an already converted bus, PLENTY. Often very close to overwhelming.
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Signing off from Cook County Ill. where the dead vote, frequently.
luvrbus
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2011, 07:38:51 AM »

There is quite few of the Proud's that read this board not many of the POG the few POGs that do go poke fun at the owners here so I stopped reading that board
Only problem I see converting a bus with 2,000,000 miles on it is the upkeep makes no sense to to me people starting one and can have 50 to 100 g in one before they know it when they could I have bought a Prevost converted in the late 90's for under that price.
I have owned 3 pro conversions 2 Custom Coach MCI's and 1 Vogue we bought new never cared for any of the 3 and I always like the Eagles so we bought one and had it converted we loved that bus because it was done our way.
I never knew you could belong to the Proud's with a DYI wasn't allowed when we belonged to that group
You can usually tell when some of the Prevost club members post here they are very touchy if anything is said about a Prevost most of those are a little thin skin and put their self up a notch or 2 not that they have a better bus just they think they do.  
I still have a lot of friends in Proud and most of those love all buses my doctor a Prevost owners loves Eric Browns and Hal St Clair's Eagles and wonders why Marathon cannot do that type work.
We are all different and have different views.
1 good thing about a factory conversion as I buy and sell a few they are so much easier to roll over to make a few bucks not that they are better just the name.
You are right there are some hatchet jobs in DYI conversions but they do they best they can on what the funds allow and they have fun doing it they can attend the rallies for buses for around a 100 bucks and the host don't care what their bus looks like go to Proud rally 1000 + bucks lol
 

good luck
  
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 07:59:14 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2011, 07:47:36 AM »

After driving for 21 years and seeing multiple RV accidents, I was convinced to do my own bus conversion.  Part of the reason it took 6 years was designing everything to be serviceable, wiring and plumbing accessible, waste tanks easily removable.  Plus I know where everything is.  In the 18 years I've had the bus and the 11 years the conversion has been done, the biggest problems have been with the bus itself-especially the Detroit 8V-71 and oil leakage.  None of my installations have ever givin me problems.

So now I'm doing my truck conversion. REALLY looking forward to it being higher, basement accessible from the inside, having a cabover truck where the engine and transmission are exposed when the cab is tilted and having an engine that doesn't leak that any mechanic knows how to work on it. Granted it won't ride as well (even with 8 air bag suspension in the rear) and no longer have front viewing from the back out the windshield-but no vehicle is perfect.  

What started out as a $4,000.00 initial bus is now a $95,000.00 investment.  But in this day and age-what can you buy new for $95,000.00-not much to be proud over.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2011, 07:56:14 AM »

Well since ya asked. Most of us here don't give a damn who ya are, how ya got it, what brand it is, or any of all that as long as you are REAL and like buses!
By real I mean genuine and not fake! We get fakes here from time to time that come in claiming to KNOW EVERYTHING about this, that or ALL.
And in a very short time they end up alienating themselves with that attitude by clearly trying to make themselves look big, important or whatever by challenging the known knowledge of some of our guru's or yoda's.

They may not know everything, but these guru's or yoda's have been around here a minute or two and have more often than not proven to be correct in almost any & everything they post!
We have old school yoda's that just have been there & done that for so long God keeps them on speed dial for advice.
And we have guru's on here that not only know what they are talking about, but actually spend a fair amount of time going thru the trouble to find the proven sources to show others FACT to back what they say.

Then there are others who don't know much about ALL, but know ALL about one or two particular areas.

And last ya have the trouble making hecklers like me that don't even have a conversion or know much except how to stir the pot when the fakes appear!

SO whether ya built it yerself from the ground up, or plunked down a check with 7 digits before the decimal point it don't matter as long as you remember we all put our pants on one leg at a time!
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
KY Lakeside Travel's Busted Knuckle Garage
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2011, 08:01:06 AM »

I see Yoda and TomC posted while I was typing. And I still stand by what I said.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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Huntingdon, TN 12 minutes N of I-40 @ exit 108
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2011, 08:19:48 AM »

Having just spent a couple months traveling the country shopping for our first bus, we were amazed at the wide variety of both buses and owners. That's something that really attracted us to continuing our lust for a bus - the diversity of what we could do, and who we could meet by immersing ourselves.

As we are full time travelers looking for our next home on wheels, we sought a bus that seemed livable on day one (ie. already nicely converted and seemingly mechanically maintained), but would give us many opportunities to make it ours. We wanted to force ourselves to learn mechanics and systems along the way, as we've been the 'write a check and buy what you want' sort of folks who wanted to change that.

We have friends who have done conversions from the ground up to friends who are paying people to do their conversions and friends who bought theirs 'off the shelf'.  In our mind - it's all fabulous! 

Life is about making it yours, and that seems to be true for buses too Smiley

 - Cherie

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prevosman
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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2011, 12:07:58 PM »

  Plenty of room for all types, from the roll your own crowd to the tailor mades, and all shades in between. Just so's no one is so snooty they cant stand being anywhere near the other.

 
 

 

We are singing from the same page in the hymnal. I have belonged to the Prevost Proud and the Converted Bus chapter of FMCA and found I didn't fit in either. The Prouds seemed more interested in my balance sheet and the Converted Bus folks seemed to think I wasn't qualified to belong because I drove a store bought bus.

But except for those instances I have found if a person talks "bus" he fits in with every group. There is very little on my buses that I haven't repaired, replaced or improved, from the entire Prevost chassis to the converter side. I have rebuilt my 8V92, changed the entire undercarriage from air bags to Norgrens to brakes (chambers and friction). I have redone floors, reupholstered the furnishings and modified the way the converters built the systems and bays.

But I never really felt I fit in with either group because I'm not in a position to stroke a check for a new one, nor do I want to dedicate the time to start from the beginning to build one.

I find the comments and perspectives very interesting and I also find myself in agreement.
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Jon Wehrenberg
Knoxville TN
1997 Prevost Liberty
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« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2011, 12:52:45 PM »

HAHA, thanks for the laugh this morning! I should read what I type huh! still asleep!

Boyce

No, it was good.  Short, concise, and to the point.  Thought you did a good job.

BCO
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2011, 03:08:16 PM »

Mr Prevosman,
Might I ask you do you your self & the rest of us a favor and ask that you add your name & location either in your signature line or at least in your profile.
Most of us here feel like we are family with our fellow busnuts and Mr Prevosman is quite a mouthful when addressing you. Also if other members know where you hail from might invite you over for a pepsi, java & bus talk. Or some of us might ask what time supper is and invite our selves over. (just ask Bob!)
No need to put what kinda bus  you have/admire your user name says it all! LOL!

I too am like you in that I don't have blank checks to go and write for a store bought conversion. Nor do I have the time or $ to build my own @ this time.

But I have many friends on both sides of the fence. I have held 3 rallys at my place and we've had old buffalo GM guys sit and eat right next to Marathon Proud guys and actually come away liking each other ! LOL!

We all still put our britches on one leg at a time!
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
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2011, 05:40:12 PM »

Thanks for the nod Clifford! I have owned a lot of ss over the years and had peoblems with all. I kept thinking it was because they were used and possibly not well cared for. I bought a new one and within one year the roof bowed allowing water to pour in around the roof airs!! So much for that. I played music when I was younger and rode on lots of busses. I think they are made for the road and if maintained will last a lifetime. I have been offered late model Prevost factory conversions for my home built. I know what I have built. I can fix anything about it, and it was custom built the way I would want one. Not a million, but I,m happy with it. Just my two cents or less!!LOL
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