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Author Topic: What do you think of these RTSs on EBay with Series 50s?  (Read 3553 times)
Kevin Warnock
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« on: October 14, 2006, 01:56:55 PM »

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250038589752&fromMakeTrack=true

Here are some busses for sale that really have me thinking. They are 35 feet, which I want so I can go to Yosemite and camp, for example. They probably get great fuel economy due to the Series 50. They apparently are well maintained and ready to go.

I have now an MCI 5a from 1967 that gets 6.4 mpg. It looks terrible due to hundreds of dings on the exterior, and peeling and missing paint. I've been planning to have it reskinned in November for about $20K including new paint, new top of the line Penninsula windows and smooth aluminum top to bottom. But this is a lot of money to put into a coach that would only sell for $10K on EBay, at most, and probably the realistic number is $5K, given what I've seen lately there.

So, I wonder if anyone knows how far $20K would go to hire someone to convert the RTS on EBay now? My current coach has lots of high end goodies, like a Trace 4024 inverter, 4 Trojan L16 Heavy Duty batteries, a Novacool 24 volt fridge, 200 watts of solar panels, a new Espar furnace, a MotoSat Internet dish with the latest modem and controller. Selling my coach on EBay would not recoup the big cost of all this fancy stuff.

What I am thinking is pulling the good stuff out of my MCI, and putting back the original propane fridge. The bus wouldn't have an inverter, but it didn't when I bought it. It would still have the propane furnaces, two of them. So the coach would still be functional. But I would then have about $15K worth of cool stuff to put into the much more modern RTS. I also have a brand new Hitachi mini-split system I bought for the MCI bus never installed. I take it the RTS has working over the road air, which I really want. I asked the seller to be sure.

So, I have many of the expensive items on hand, and I bet these RTSs go for $5K each or so, a fantastic steal given the repower. I don't have the time or skill to do a conversion myself, but I am willing to spend $20K, since I've already been planning for months to spend that to make my MCI 'look new.'

I don't need the conversion to be stunning inside, but I do need it to be functional, and I'd need leveling while parked as a must. I take it that's a simple project of putting valves on the airbags? I bought my MCI already converted, but installed all the goodies above myself. However, I don't have the time to shift the items over.

I have plenty of time to wait, however, and could leave the coach with a converter for months if needed. I just have no idea how far $20K goes in the hands of a converter.

Comments?

Thanks,

Kevin
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belfert
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2006, 03:58:39 PM »

A converter would probably hardly answer the phone for $20k.  I spent at least $15k on materials for my conversion not including windows and such.  I figure on spending at least $5k more for materials and I'm not doing anything fancy inside.

You would probably be further ahead pulling everything you can reuse from the old coach.  With a coach as old as yours, the appliances and probably worth more seperate than in the bus.  I suspect most people in the market for an older bus are not expecting anything fancy and don't want to pay for it.

Brian Elfert
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2006, 04:10:59 PM »

Kevin,
     Shoot me an email off board so we can trade phone numbers for a more complete discussion.  I'd be careful of the RTS's , many have poor gearing for highway use and the parts to get a 4.10 gear ratio cost about $1500 +  installation.  Wth the RTS you'd still need to reskin most of the windows and install rv windows.  To make a 'decent' conversion from an RTS requires lots of work under the bus relocating air tanks to get some under floor area to work with for tanks, house batterys etc.  6.4 MPG seems too low, is the 5a an automatic?  I just got over 8.5 on the round trip to the Timmonsville rally.

Regards
Jerry 4107 1120 
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RTS/Daytona
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Pete RTS/Daytona ->'89 TMC 35' 102" 6V92TA 4:10


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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2006, 04:47:02 PM »

Hi kevin

We should talk - I have a 35' RTS 06 Conversion almost completed (no it's not for sale) - but if your near the Florida area (Daytona)  - You can come see how easy it really is to do the conversion - once you've seen one done and learn the short cuts / tricks / etc

Blitz rebuilts - they did a great job of completely redoing the RTS's - so much new stuff they actually got to change the registration year

Hertz & Avis wanted series 50 - Stevenson Engineering (in Texas I think) designed a "Stevenson Reverser Box" goes between the right hand series 50 and the left hand v731 - Blitz and other's installed them

Hopefully the series 50 will be an early one - (no ERG valve)  - ERG=lots of maintenance headaches)

RTS over the road A/C is over 10 tons of AC cooling - that's 120,000 BTU's - think about the horsepower drain
better to put twin 15kbtu rooftop a/c units and run them both with a Trace 4024

I'm installing PTO driven A/C compressor and an under the dash unit (40,000 btu's)

call me   386 672-0571 

see-->
RTS Photos----> http://community.webshots.com/user/hawk_ii
Home Page-> http://members.tripod.com/~mehawk_ii/index.html

About '93 Nova Bus took over building RTS's - they have series 50 with V731R (right hand engine and right hand V tranny)

Don't let those other guys scare ya - I got 4.56 highway rearends cheap == 70+ MPH

Pete RTS/Daytona --
 
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2006, 05:28:54 PM »

I second Pete's support of the RTS as a conversion shell.  A few months ago I picked up my 40' '82 RTS II and I love it.  I am doing the conversion myself and am currently in the process of stripping out the bus interior and planning the work.  I am very pleased with the structure and drive train (6V92T with plenty of power) and I love the look.  I haven't even done anything to the exterior and I've already had several onlookers comment on what a nice looking motorhome it will make.

As for the windows, I will be keeping the existing windows and skinning over 4 window sections.  I like the RTS's windows and they are in good condition.

With the 40', I'm not having any trouble with space underneath.  With a 35' you might have a little more challenge, but I am certain you can work it out.  If you remove the road A/C system you can put your generator over the engine like Geoff on the RTS Yahoo group.

Looking at that listing I see that they referenced it being governed at 70mph so it sounds like it already has highway gears.

Good luck!
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kyle4501
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2006, 06:00:21 PM »

NCBob has a MC5 that is just drop dead georgeous! It has the polished stainless on it & blue paint.
The RTS's are also great looking coaches.

Other than the cosmetics, how is your coach? Any vehicle has a personality & will have it's own set of unique 'problems'. You may be trading one set of known issues for a host of unknowns.

I like both coaches, but I'm partial to T-drive's, mainly because of more options. The V-drives don't take up much volume & leave more room for conversion stuff.

So, what do you want? If you like your current interior & mechanicals, I'd say paint it!

If your current coach has 'issues', well. thats another story...

Good luck deciding,
kyle4501
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NJT5047
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2006, 07:06:11 PM »

The coach is already up to $3K and that's idle bidders at work....still four days to go.   My guess is that the coach will bring closer to $10K than $5K.  Serious bidding won't start until 5 minutes before the end of the auction.

The RTS S50 is a RH engine (has a reverser between eng and trans) and could be used in "T" drives... this "donor engine"  fact will drive the cost of the coach up.   It is a good donor...with most of the parts (sans trans) needed to convert a "T" drive 2 stroke to an S50.  Also looks like a nice conversion shell.  You got to see these things in person.  Who knows where the reserve is set...they may tell you if you ask.
An RTS does indeedy make one sexed up conversion.  Best looking bus conversion when done up nice.  RTS looks like a sports car conversion.   Eagle and Prevost still has the best looking "real bus" conversion.  MCI offers the most bang for the bucks in the MC9s and 102A3s. 
Actually, if one wishes to spend some bucks, there are a lot of buses that look great in a newer sense.... MCI 102C and D smooth sides, Prevost H3s (toured Aces's very nice H3 last weekend)...and the list goes on and gets more expensive.
There are pix of a gray RTS at one of MAKs "Cavern" rallies....don't know who owned it, but it is a cool looking conversion. 
Good luck on the bidding!  That coach could make someone a super nice conversion.  JR

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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2006, 04:09:29 PM »

BE real careful of this particular bus!   The listing mentions a 6v92 series 50 so I called the owner who said it has 6 cylinders.  THIS IS NOT the SERIES 50 we are all wishing for.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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NJT5047
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2006, 04:27:54 PM »


Somebody is going to be VERY disappointed...if not seriously PO'ed.   That sort of thing could get some really bad feedback.
The add seemed to be discussing two units....clearly stated that it was an S50 retro....I'd like to see the winer of that auction!  Shocked
JR

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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.”

Ayn Rand
JerryH
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2006, 05:18:27 PM »

BE real careful of this particular bus!   The listing mentions a 6v92 series 50 so I called the owner who said it has 6 cylinders.  THIS IS NOT the SERIES 50 we are all wishing for.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120

The eBay ad says ==> "we are second owner to them as the previous owner went another step and replaced the 6V92T engines with Detroit Diesel series 50 engines, the engines alone aree worth 15,000.00"

Jerry H
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2006, 05:19:37 PM »

I copied this from the ad:

Quote
we are second owner to them as the previous owner went another step and replaced the 6V92T engines with Detroit Diesel series 50 engines
[/b][/color][/size]
Richard


Somebody is going to be VERY disappointed...if not seriously PO'ed.   That sort of thing could get some really bad feedback.
The add seemed to be discussing two units....clearly stated that it was an S50 retro....I'd like to see the winer of that auction!  Shocked
JR


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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2006, 06:48:50 PM »

Yep.  Clear as can be...however, what Jerry saw is posted on the sidebar...it says 6V92 and S50 as if they are models of the same engine. 
There will be some discussion on that detail as time goes by.   May already be noticed by serious bidders....the bidding has stopped prior to the reserve being met. 
Seems  that since Jerry called and asked about the engines, they would have modified the add by now.   They cannot alter the original listing, but they can add addendums to the bottom.   
We'll be watching that one!
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2006, 07:49:32 PM »

This little excerpt from their "Purchase Details" section and how it might relate to the exact engine received would be of great concern to me if I were bidding.

Quote
In most instances you will receive the bus in the picture. On occasion we may have buses that are the same in make and model, but not the exact bus. This is due to potential local sale of the bus or general rotation of similar buses yet lack of time to take pictures of each bus. The owner makes no warrantees, expressed or implied.

Of course they also state:

Quote
After you inspect the vehicle if you any reason you are unsatisfied the deposit will be returned.

But if I were the bidder and invested in significant travel expense to inspect it either before or after bidding and it wasn't equipped as listed or as pictured, I would be pretty upset.
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2006, 08:44:13 AM »

All,
      Well it 'sold' for $6000+ and now it's relisted.  I'd guess the buyer wasn't happy with that 6V92 series 50.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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RTS/Daytona
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Pete RTS/Daytona ->'89 TMC 35' 102" 6V92TA 4:10


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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2006, 01:31:26 PM »

Jerry

Ebay ad says - They have more than 1 RTS with a Series 50 for sale

Pete RTS/Daytona
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