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Author Topic: This is your chance to design your dream coach  (Read 3934 times)
andy
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« on: February 22, 2007, 03:45:33 PM »

Okay gentlemen I have some idea of what I would like but it will be interesting to see what experts at convertions have to say. I will be boondocking at times for a week so put on your thinking caps and spare no expense. You are designing a 45' Eagle. This will be interresting!!!!!!!
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tekebird
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 03:54:45 PM »

Sell Eagle immediatly and buy an MCI or Prevost......LOL
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2007, 03:58:47 PM »

WTH - I'll kick it off.  You need lots of water storage both fresh and colored - can't have too much.  Depending on the climate where you plan to boondock you probably need a pretty decent gennie and good insulation, maybe some solar backup and a huge battery bank.  If you don't want to run for groceries every day then you'll need a big fridge. 

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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2007, 04:31:05 PM »

Come on guys how big of tanks What type of fridge gas or elec or both. This post could help me make up my mind. I need your help to a beginner reading all you guys write is confusing. And sorry Tbird I love my Eagle
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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2007, 04:44:21 PM »

How many people on board?
Where are you boondocking?
Are you afraid of propane?
Are you going to be bring game home?
Winter/Summer? All year?
What hobbies?
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JerryH
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2007, 05:01:48 PM »

Andy:
Lee is right ... you need to provide parameters before the answers can reasonably fly.

(these questions in no specific order)
1.  How many adults?_____ Kids?_____
2.  What part of the country will you be traveling?_____"Boondocking"?_____
3.  What time of the season(s) do you plan on traveling?_____
4.  How long of duration?_____
5.  Fuel source, do you have a preference?_____ (all diesel v. LP & diesel)
6.  Cooking...type of meals?_____
7.  Let's talk cargo...what are you going to be taking with you?_____
8.  Interior type.  Are you a marble floor and leather person or pine and shag?_____
9.  Are you short ... tall ... big ... or small person (family)?_____
10.  Pets?  Any pets in tow?_____
11.  A tow vehicle... you want one?_____
12.  What about reading, TV, work on the road?_____  Do tell.
13.  Are you going to be the on-road mechanic ... and to what end (might determine how much space to allocate for tools)?_____

Help us out.
Jerry H.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 05:15:02 PM by JerryH » Logged
andy
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2007, 05:17:31 PM »

Remember this is your coach.  I thought this would be fun for other people to see what you would like in  a coach.  But, I'm 45 years old have a wife, no pets, not afraid of propane, could be snowing when I boondock or could be hot.  I want 4 roof airs, a furnace, an inverter, and a battery bank.  I just thought if I saw everyone else's idea of a perfect coach I could pick what would work for me.  I don't want this to be a complicated process, I wanted it to be fun for everyone, and it would also help me very much.
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tekebird
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2007, 06:02:33 PM »

Andy,

I think you ask to broad a question......No Need to have people tell you want they want in yours........build yours the way you want it.  for every aspect there are at least 100 different possibilities. for components alone, let alone how they are configured in a conversion.

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andy
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2007, 06:32:04 PM »

I just wanted to know what would work best maybe I should talk to a conversion company and explain what I want to do there are so many differant opinions a newbie doesnt know where to start.Your write this was a bad idea.
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H3Jim
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2007, 06:38:54 PM »

Go to a rally and walk through everyone's coach that you can.  Floor plan, equipement etc.  We all love to talk about our work.  Its probably better and more informative for you to see everyone's than to just read about them. Almost every piece of equipment has tradeoffs, weight, size, power consumption, cost, where it will fit and what resources it takes that limits some other part of your conversion.

What part of the country do you live in?  come by and see mine sometime.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 06:53:53 PM by H3Jim » Logged

Jim Stewart
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Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2007, 06:44:20 PM »

I live in Indiana any body close!!!!!!
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H3Jim
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2007, 06:58:21 PM »

Also, I  found Gumpy's website to be very good because although you and he have different coaches, he is very methodical in his approach.  He says what worked for him, what mistakes he made, and most importantly, what he was trying to acheive and what blend of tradeoffs he made.

http://www.gumpydog.com/bus/site_map.htm

And even if you have to fly to a big rally and stay in a hotel, it will be money well spent for your learning process.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2007, 07:00:01 PM by H3Jim » Logged

Jim Stewart
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2007, 07:07:09 PM »

And not to slight Sean Welsh's conversion.  He and his wife have been full timing it for several years, they have a beautiful coach with a lot of great ideas incorporated in the build. 

He has thoroughly documented his conversion at    http://www.ourodyssey.us/, or at least you can follow the links to the pages you want.

There are probably others as well, lots of smart folks  here.
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
JerryH
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2007, 07:32:18 PM »

OK Andy -- I agree with Teke... but here goes.
I'll share the parameters so it makes "some" sense.
We're a family of 4 (me, wifie, and 2 kids).  Adults in their 40's with children under 12.
We love to travel...we are destination people, but like the journey.  We don't fish or hunt ... we ski and like the ocean.  So our climates can vary.

We'd own a 45-footer x 102" wide.
We'd have ample power by CAT (C-15)
The exterior would NOT be fiberglass.  It'd be paint over polished stainless.
The paint would be eye-catching, but NOT look like an off-the-rack wannabe bus.
We'd have all Alcoa's all the way around.
Awnings all the way around.
The windows, tinted, would open and with screens (insulated glass).
Ample GenSet, PowerTech 20kW.
140-gal Waste (divied gray and black) with 160-gal Fresh.
Fuel tank 150-gal.
Exterior slide-out grill and TV (local, on unit, small LP fuel source).
Webasto unit for coach and cargo bay heat, engine pre-heat, and domestic hot water.  With electric cargo bay heaters on thermostats as well (redundant?  Yes!).
NO basement airs -- (4) low profile, ducted roof air.
(2) Trace 4000 watt inverters, with ample battery source on slide-outs.
Exterior water source, hot/cold hose bib.
Retractable waste pipe.
Retractable shore-power electrical cord.
KVH A-7 "in-motion" satellite.  2 or 3 receivers.
"Joey bed" slide out in forward cargo bay.
**A place for everything in cargo bays**
Screen door for entry.
Tiled steps.
Drop down pneumatic floor for buddy seat.
Retractable step at entry.
Air ride drivers seat.
Solid bulkhead behind drivers seat for privacy with speakers.
AM/FM, CD, Satellite radio wired throughout the coach.
Color monitor backup camera(s).  Yes "plural".  A few views -- why not?
Privacy curtain from drivers bulkhead, covering access to coach interior.

Working from the back of the coach to the front...
Rear sleeping area with Queen (or) Double bed.
Ample storage.
LCD TV.
Intercom to drivers seat.
Hinged access door -- not pocket door.
Bathroom, not wal-thru type.
Bath includes decent tiled shower, glass door, vanity & bowl, toilet (china) with direct drop to holding tank.
Fantastic vent and skylight in bath.
Shower could be in separate compartment from toilet and sink.  But would not want to block access to the rear bedroom with a closed bathroom door.
Bunks (x4).  Yes, we have 2 kids, but like to travel with another family.
Bunks have ducted air and heat.  Flip down LCD TV's with DVD.  These TV's to have switchable source for SAT and video games.
Bunks to also have speakers for LCD TV and audio source from front of coach.
2-bunks over storage one side, 2-bunks over storage other side.
Ample storage closet(s) with drawers.
Kitchen with all-electric standard home-type refrigerator.  Refrig. to operate on shore power and inverter.
Advantium microwave oven.
2-Burner electric cooktop.
Single bowl sink.
Trash to drop straight to collection area in compartment bay.
**Somewhere in coach (kitchen or forward) to have a built-in stainless/insulated ice chest for drinks (a must!).
Drawers and doors are lockable.
Built-in dividers in needed drawers.
Slide out shelves for cookware.
All storage compartments and roll-out shelves to have inserts to secure dinnerware, etc.
Bottle roll-out storage.
Place for the coffee maker and toaster oven.
Pantry storage.
Floors in kitchen and bath to be porcelain tile.
Carpet in bedroom and bunk area.
Seating to consist of 3 or 4 swivel chairs, 2 couches and dinette table with seating (combination of leather and fabric).  (1) Couch to turn into sleeping, likewise with dinette if possible.
Buddy seat a must.
Tables and end tables to feature oversized cup holders.
**Oh, this will just make some of you cringe ... "some" mirrors and lighting on the ceiling.  Yes, I like the look -- makes it look more spacious and like the lighting too.
Control panels to offer display of many functions, electrical status, holding tanks status.  Amp and voltage meters for all power sources.
Lighting in coach to be a combination of 12volt and 120vac.  24volt to be minimal, used for coach operation where needed.  All exterior coach lighting to be 12v LED type.
Electric mirrors and heated.
Air leveling system.
Plumbing to be connected to air system (psi dialed down) for blowing out the lines after a trip for quick partial winterizing.
Cargo bays are insulated for cold climates.
Compartments in baggage bays for skis and poles (out of the way).
Solar collectors to provide power to house batteries and power 'float' or coach starter batteries.

Ok, I've sucked up enough of this thread ... and I am not even done.
See Andy ... with no budget, the skies the limit.  I go there all too often, especially when I buy a Lotto ticket and wait for the numbers to be drawn.  They when I realize I have no winning ticket, I smile and still love my (antiquaited by todays standards) MC-8.

But it really doesn't matter what "I" want ... it's what "you" want.
Oh, and one more thing... I never mentioned the actual coach brand.  Well, it depends which Lotto I win.  But suffice to say I'd like to stick with MCI, probably a D4505 "New Look" (stainless) or a Prevost XL-II.

Jerry H.
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andy
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2007, 08:09:50 PM »

Jerry thats what I was talking about I got some good ideas and you had fun dreaming I cant afford all you said you would like either but with a few more responses like that I"ll be on my way. I am going to make a rally I wish I could have made it to arcadia  Thanks , Andy
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2007, 04:45:44 AM »

You didn't mention where you would be boondocking but one thing to consider is that a 45 footer is too long for a lot of state/national parks.

That said, for the ideal boondocking setup, I would go with

  • The largest set of tanks that will fit
  • Enzymes in the black tank
  • A large solar charging system (i.e. all available roof space)
  • Extenisve insulation (think rolling thermos bottle)
  • Insulated windows with screens
  • Awnings over all windows
  • Large patio awning
  • Bicycle and/or ATV storage in one of the bays
  • Extra large fuel tank, or large separate generator tank
  • When selecting appliances/fixtures, look for high efficiency ratings
  • High efficiency shades for windshields
  • Substantial pantry, perhaps as a pop up from the basement
  • Extra clothing storage (on board W/D is nice, but uses too much water for extensive boondocking)
  • Satelite television & radio, with voip (i.e. Vonage) phone service.
  • Slide out grill/cooking center for outdoor cooking (less heat inside when not desired)
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2007, 06:32:41 AM »

Since you asked how I would built my own fantacy conversion with money not a factor for the project, the "Dream Bus" would be a full double decker like in the attached photos.
It would only see good weather - good road conditions.
It will be kept inside a garage if not in use.
Choices are: a European model or a US model presently being used in New York City.
Drivetrain requirement:
At least 500 HP/1200 ft-lbs 4 cycle diesel engine with coach air/heat
First floor: Rear 1/3 for utilities-storage-tanks etc.
Mid 1/3 will house the Kitchen & Full bath and front 1/3 for the living room
All counter-tops would be solid surface, custom solid wood red cherry cabinetry
Floors would have to be marble in the kitchen and bath but hard-wood in the LR.
Custom built-in living room furnitures with ultra solf leather surfaces
50 inch ceiling "drop down" LCD HDTV with Blue Ray Player with 5:1 sound system
In-motion-satellite antenna, XM radio, FM/CD player, rear camera with 10" LCD screen
Top of the line energy efficient Digital Refrigerator + MicroWave + Elec cook-top
Second floor:
Bedroom will occupy the front 2/3 with custom made/shape bed  along with a 1/2 bath, walk in closet and a sitting area to watch a 42" LCD HDTV with 5:1 sound system.
Flooring will be top of the line carpet, and all sitting furnitures built-in with leather surfaces.
Rear 1/3 of the 2nd floor will be have a HUGE electric opening sun roof for an open deck area with "teak floors"

Other requirements:
50 amp 240VAC electrical service with surge/spike protector
100 amps of 24V roof mounted solar-array system
2-Xantrex 4024 interter stacked suppported by a 2000Ah of industrial quality battery bank.
Marine diesel water cooled DC gen-set inter-connected to dual zone Webasto or Proheat Radiant heating and a small (3-5K) Diesel water-cooled AC genset for emergencies
It will have dual Zone Central Air-conditioning system
Automatic 4-point Hydraulic camp leveling system
At least 100 gal capacity fresh water system with corresponding custom black/gray tanks
Exterior:
Star-jet paint job is a must with one of a kind USA patriotic design
I'll chrome plate Alcoa 24" aluminum wheels wrapped with the fattest rubber that can fit

I know I have more unlimited "stuff" to spend on if I was a multi-millionaire.
Ahhhhhh, it's always refreshing and energizing to daydream every now and then.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2007, 06:34:54 AM by gr8njt » Logged

****1982 MCI-9 Crusader-II Bus Conversion****
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2007, 07:00:16 AM »

Andy,
  I live in Indiana! But I'm a rookie regardless of what it says by my name. I would chat with you about it and let you know what I have learned, if you want.
  I am working on a 4108 (35' GMC) which is probably NOT what you would want, but it would give you an idea.
  The best bet is to go to a meet - one coming up in Cincinnati - and see as many coaches as you can. That is the best way to get ideas of what you want. All the technical stuff can be researched out here with some really informed people. (I speak from experience!!!  Wink)
  If you want to give me a jingle---- 812-934-4468. I probably live a pretty good ways from you, as that always seems to be the case. I live in Batesville. (half way between Cincy and Indy)
   Let me know if I can help!!!
       Chaz
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2007, 08:07:26 AM »

Start with a VanHool 835 (35ft x 102") with all the necessary interiors.  Then pull a toy trailer made from another 835 with cutting as much of the front off to come in at a total length of 65ft (about a 25ft trailer).  Not only look sharp, but enough room for a small PU, boat, bikes, ATV's, etc.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2007, 08:15:00 AM »

Andy,
  I live in Indiana! But I'm a rookie regardless of what it says by my name. I would chat with you about it and let you know what I have learned, if you want.
  I am working on a 4108 (35' GMC) which is probably NOT what you would want, but it would give you an idea.
  The best bet is to go to a meet - one coming up in Cincinnati - and see as many coaches as you can. That is the best way to get ideas of what you want. All the technical stuff can be researched out here with some really informed people. (I speak from experience!!!  Wink)
  If you want to give me a jingle---- 812-934-4468. I probably live a pretty good ways from you, as that always seems to be the case. I live in Batesville. (half way between Cincy and Indy)
   Let me know if I can help!!!
       Chaz

Chaz,
I was just going to suggest that Andy look up your posts as you have been asking very good questions about specific systems.

Lee
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« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2007, 08:19:46 AM »

Thanx Lee.
  It says "SENIOR MEMBER" under my name, but I'm the the least knowledgable of the "seniors". Grin  ("senior" in posts only!!  Cheesy) But there may be some good info in the answers to my questions.
 
    More and more "senior" everyday,
              Chaz
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« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2007, 11:28:51 AM »

OK Andy here goes mine.
These are some of the parameters of what I am in the process of building.
Its just me, and perhaps a girlfriend, Im 56, and 5 11 tall.
I love to travel. I go the desert to ride in the sand.  I despise RV parks and love to be out by myself somewhere in beautiful country with pretty scenery. Climate can vary, but too much cold not likely only if I get caught in it.  Too hot is not much fun either, Im spoiled in southern Ca.

I own a 41-footer x 102" wide.
I have DD, series 60, Allison B500.  It had 394,000 miles on it when I bought it, it has 420,000 now. I am considering rebuilding the engine just cause, and to upgrade to higher horsepower, seal up all the small leaks, etc.  I hope that the transmission lasts another 200,000 miles, those B500s are way more expensive to rebuild than the engine.  I run synthetic in it, and Academy bus who originally owned it also ran synthetic.
The exterior is fiberglass. Nice subdued paint, something I wont ever get tired of, something that wont show the dirt kind of Like Aces paint. The paint would NOT look like an off-the-rack show bus. Or a wannabe RV
I have Alcoa's and Michelins all the way around.  Chrome Hadley air horns on the roof with a great low pitched sound.
Lateral arm awnings all the way around, remote controls for all, with anemometer so they automatically close with wind speed above 22 mph.  I also have a separate power switch so they cannot open while under way.  Full awning the length of the passenger side, window awning only on the driver side.  Mounted on the roof, they obscure the other junk I have up there so all you see from the side is a clean roof line.
The windows, tinted, mirrored, open with screens (insulated glass), as well as tilt open to allow more air, or to install large items like the refrigerator, bed, or large cabinets.
Webasto unit (actually the 41,0000 btu Espar unit the bus came with) for coach and cargo bay heat, engine pre-heat, and domestic hot water. Heat exchangers with two level fans blow heat from upper stairs forward, under the couch on your feet, under dinette on your feet, by toilet on your feet and on both sides of the bed.
Dick Wrights GenSet, 12kW, big enough to do it all, not so big as to be hard on the engine or use too much fuel, or take up too much space.  I dont think anyone but a rock band needs a 20k.  The genset is surrounded by a quiet box, and the radiator is mounted remotely. All maintenance functions can be done on the side mounted genset by removing a large access panel.  The generator stays in place without having to move or slide it.   I intend to route the exhaust up through the roof.  I like not having to set up and take things down ( like an exhaust stack).  In the same bay I have a 115-gal grey tank, 58 gallon black tank and 160-gal Fresh water as well as a 10 gallon hot water heater for domestic use.  Its a dual heat version that has a 1500 watt electric element as well as a heat exchanger so I can use the Espar. There is some storage space left  and I carry one of Jim Shepherds great fire extinguishers here as well as a tool box.
Fuel tank is stock 235-gal, I can drive from San Diego to Canada on one tank, although I have to arrange financing to get home.
No slide-out, I have plenty of space, and no roof raise.  Both were beyond my metal working abilities. 
Three low profile, Carrier airs.  Two are ducted, he other one is just above the refrigerator (that has the coils on the top) and blows forward and back.  The two ducted airs have remote controls with thermostats that also control the Espar heating system.
(1) Trace 4000 watt inverter, with 600 amp hours of gel cell batteries at 24 volts.  There are 6, 4Ds, two are turned on their sides and fit above the wheels.  So far no issues.
I can hook up an exterior water source, or use from my tanks. When I fill, I can either fill from the large filler neck, or by attaching a hose to  an inlet that is low and in another bay where water escaping does not create issues.   Have it set up so a buddy can attach his hose and either use my pump as his pressure line, or just fill his tanks.  I have a faucet in the water / waste water bay with hot/cold water and a soap dispenser if I get my hands dirty.  I have the inductive sensors on plastic tanks so I can tell almost to the nearest gallon how much water I have in each tank.  The gauge is inside, although an auxiliary gauge is available for near the tank filler.
I have a 50 amp, 30 foot shore-power electrical cord with line testing function to insure no faulty grounds or reversed polarity prior to turning on power pole power to the rest of the coach and all its sensitive electronics, microwave etc.  I have several adapters so I can plug into any style or capacity plug.  O f course the inverter can be set to limit the amps brought in from the outside, so as not to overload any circuit its plugged in to.  Any excess demand is taken from the batteries which are in turn recharged by the inverter (or solar panels) when demand drops.  I have an automatic source switch that automatically switches between generator and shore power, depending which is available.  I have a large double diode in a finned heat sink that isolates the house and bus start batteries, but allows the big 300 amp bus alternator the fully charge each set.  I always arrive at my destination fully charged.
I want an "in-motion" satellite with 2 receivers.  I have an omni-directional amplified antenna.
I have room for 2 quads or two Harleys standing upright in the cargo bays no trailer required. Or just lots of other things.  Lots of 120 volt electrical outlets in the bays, as well as lights when the doors are open. (can be disabled for when I leave the bay doors open for long periods).  Lights run off house batteries. Nothing but the engine runs from the start batteries. I have a 30 foot, 12 gauge electric cord on a retractable reel for easy pullout and put away.  I have a similar reel for an air line.  I  plan to  hook up an air compressor and can switch between that and bus air so I will always have my own air station easily available.
I have commercial grade carpet on the entry stairs.  It was free.  I may replace it with tile later, but so far so good.  It so dense I can brush or sweep it clean.
Air ride, ultra-leather drivers seat and co-pilot seat.  I kept the original bus desk in front of the copilot, although I did refinish and cover it in cherry wood.
Stereo cabinet behind drivers seat, warm home type lamp on top, I made from an antique cherry hand tool.
AM/FM, CD, Satellite radio wired throughout the coach.
Color monitor backup cameras. A few views, down on hitch, and back to towed, side cameras too.  All using and 12 LCD monitor built in to the dash.  Also available to view to distract the driver is a GPS system, Ipod and  the Silverleaf engine readout software.  It can show a gauge on the screen or record any engine / transmission function where there is a sensor.  Fuel pressure, speed, turbo temp, oil pressure and temp etc.
Privacy curtain from windshield, covering access to coach interior.
Cherry wood cabinets and walls everywhere. Rear sleeping area with Queen bed that lifts up on gas shocks for access to large storage area underneath.  Bed is 18 tall for lots of storage. I installed two matching peninsula windows in the back because I like to be able to look out 360 degree when I am parked.
26 LCD TV, DVD player and access to antenna or satellite signal.
Hinged access door that swings back to cover part of the closet.
Bathroom, center walk-thru type. Bath includes classy tiled shower, glass door.  The bathroom sink is in the bedroom with good lights and mirrored vanity with storage inside.  Cherry cabinet and top with designer blue glass bowl. China toilet with direct drop to holding tank, and very water thrifty while still good at cleaning skid marks.
Fantastic vent above toilet to remove bad smell and excess water vapor from shower. Heated floor.  Main electrical panel is in a short side aisle.  Water tanks, genset hours meter, solar panel control, amp hours meter, 12v, 24v, 120v fuses and breakers, Espar control.
Fantastic vent and fan above microwave / convection oven and the stovetop to remove heat and or water vapor
Shower across hall from toilet.  I dont care about blocking access to the rear bedroom with a closed bathroom door as its mostly just me, or me and one other friendly.
Ultra-leather couch in front converts to double bed.
TV's to have switch able source for SAT and video games.
Large TV in front possibly a projection TV for extra size.  It could be taken outside and project onto the side of the bus for movies.  Five channel NAD surround sound receiver with subwoofer.
Ample storage closet(s) with drawers.
Kitchen with all-electric, super efficient 16 cubic foot refrigerator made by Sunfrost with two Danfoss compressors that operate on 12 or 24 volts. Since there are two compressors, there is no airflow between the freezer and the refrigerator thus providing less freezer burn for foods in the freezer and longer lasting food in the refrigerator better than almost all home type refrigerators, and must more energy efficient. Refrigerator senses when the batteries are being charged and will turn on to take advantage of the supplemental power, thus saving power when on batteries only. to operate on shore power and inverter.
Advantium microwave oven, combination  microwave convection oven, will run on just battery power.  The coach is all electric, using large power supplies and efficient appliances.
2-Burner 110 volt electric cook top.
Large single bowl white Corian sink molded in to a curved Corian countertop with a small bump up on the edge to keep things from rolling off while parked. Matching curved solid cherry sink base. The sink has a cover that matches the counter top so the whole surface looks continuous and can hide things in the sink.  Brushed stainless faucet with pullout spray and a squirt soap dispenser.
Trash can under sink and beside refrigerator. No room to drop straight to collection area in compartment bay.
Real hardwood floors in living area and kitchen.
Drawers and doors have catches or will close when brakes are applied. No need to worry about acceleration opening things.
Built-in dividers in needed drawers.
All storage compartments and roll-out shelves to have inserts to secure dinnerware, etc.
Garage for the coffee maker and toaster oven out of sight, but with an outlet and a door that opens for easy use.
Pantry storage with lights, 24 volt fluorescent from original bus.
Floors in kitchen and bath to be porcelain tile.
Commercial carpet in bedroom.
Seating to consist of 2 swivel chairs, 1 couch and dinette table with seating for 4, using 4 of the original bus seats.  Very comfortable. Couch folds out to turn into sleeping area.
I have not needed cup holders since the bus is so stable.  Ive driven 500 miles with a cup sitting on the dash and it has not moved at all.
Simple pattern of light colored, easy to clean vinyl on the ceiling, mounted on removable panels.
Lighting in coach to be a combination of 12volt, 24  volt and 120vac. All exterior coach lighting to be LED .
Outside mirrors are heated.
Air leveling system.
Plumbing to be connected to air system for blowing out the lines after a trip for quick partial winterizing.
Cargo bays are insulated for cold climates.
Dump valves are electric and dump just in front of the rear wheels to maximize bay space.  Block heater controllable from the inside, on a timer switch.
Solar panels 600 watts to house batteries and aux charge to coach starter batteries.
Roof deck with seating for two and an umbrella.

Place above driver for all bus books.  Shop manual, parts book, conversion specifics, electrical system, Espar unit etc.  Also a place for maps, driving directions, spare bulbs, relays and small replacement parts.

I think there is more, but I cant write anymore.  Hope this helps.

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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
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« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2007, 11:30:04 AM »

I've just noticed your 'Fantacy_RV.jpg' bus is going to Skegness! That's the nearest coastal town from where I live (it's maybe 60 miles away), so lots of people around here go to 'Skeggy' for day trips, weekends with the secretary etc.

Jeremy

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« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2007, 03:34:49 PM »

Me again.  I'll tell you what we do, what we have & what I'd change.

What we do: we park at a local lake for the summer, move to a BC lake for a month in the middle of the summer and go to Mexico or Arizona most winters, not this year but most years.  In between we take some trips in western Canada to visit family.

We have a 96" x 40' coach with 120 gallons of fresh water & 120 gallons of combined wastewater storage, 3 x 8D batteries for the house, 2500 watt inverter, 6500 watt industrial (NOISY) gennie, 8-92 w/10 spd, basement air, bath with combined shower & toilet. 

What I'd do different.  I'd like to have awnings - they look awful on the Mirage windows but for boondocking they would be great.  I'd have more fresh water - we have 100 gallons plus 20 gallons of drinking water.  I thought that was a silly setup when we bought the coach but I wouldn't have it any other way now except I'd increase the size of the freshwater tank.  And increase the grey tank by a similar amount.  I'd move my start batteries closer to my starter, have a bigger gennie (probably 10 or 12 KW) and put it in a Dick Wright hushbox so I could actually use the gennie when I have neighbours.  I'd ditch the basement air and go with carbunkles on the roof because they are simpler & they work.  I'd have a 102" coach because 6" in the right place can be very important. 

I'd change the floorplan so we could use the toilet & the bath separately.  Our coach is plumbed for a washer/dryer - when we bought it we thought we would go there but I doubt we ever will.  We have great pantry storage - that's really important for boondocking.  Good FM & AM antennas would be a plus - we have p-poor AM reception & not much better FM.

I have no problem with the 8-92 but I'd like to have an auto, not for myself but so Marilyn could drive if she had to.  As it is, if something happened to me she would be stranded.  Or at least scared silly.  I'd have more passive ventilation options.  Right now we can open the bedroom windows, one window in the kitchen, the roof hatch in the bathroom and the driver's ticket window.  That isn't enough for passive ventilation.  We should have the bottoms of the Mirage windows openable or the door window with a slider or some other way to get airflow to the front of the coach.  A fantastic fan in the kitchen would be a great help too.

Other than those items I wouldn't do anything different and most of this stuff is chickenshit.  We love our Prevost just the way it is - we spent over 5 years actively looking for it, when we found it we knew it was the right one.  We actually bought it off the internet and paid for it 100% without ever seeing it.  Stupid - - maybe, but we had spent so long looking that we knew it was the right one when we found it.  The owners were in Arizona and the coach was in Kelowna, BC.  We bugged the living ***l out of them until they got home so we could pick it up.

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R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
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« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2007, 04:09:41 PM »

Andy
We will be back in south central indiana about 4/15(tax time). You are welcome to come look at my bus,see what I did wrong and what went right.
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Terry
"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, Believe in them, and try to follow them." ~Louisa May Alcott~
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« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2007, 04:22:03 PM »

Hi Bob,
A welcome post.

What I'd do different.  I'd like to have awnings - they look awful on the Mirage windows but for boondocking they would be great.  I'd have more fresh water - we have 100 gallons plus 20 gallons of drinking water.  I thought that was a silly setup when we bought the coach but I wouldn't have it any other way now except I'd increase the size of the freshwater tank.  And increase the grey tank by a similar amount.  I'd move my start batteries closer to my starter, have a bigger gennie (probably 10 or 12 KW) and put it in a Dick Wright hushbox so I could actually use the gennie when I have neighbours.  I'd ditch the basement air and go with carbunkles on the roof because they are simpler & they work.  I'd have a 102" coach because 6" in the right place can be very important.  

I am planning on 200 gallons; happy to hear 100 + 20 is not enough. Friends of our's who spend 4 to 5 months in a 34' class A recommended building in a 5 gallon water cooler for driniking water, cooking, coffee etc. I kept looking at buses until I found a 102" after many comments here.

I'd change the floorplan so we could use the toilet & the bath separately.  Our coach is plumbed for a washer/dryer - when we bought it we thought we would go there but I doubt we ever will.  We have great pantry storage - that's really important for boondocking.  Good FM & AM antennas would be a plus - we have p-poor AM reception & not much better FM.

Wife says put in a bathtub and lay it out so the bath and the toilet can be used seperately. Nice reinforcement.

I have no problem with the 8-92 but I'd like to have an auto, not for myself but so Marilyn could drive if she had to.  As it is, if something happened to me she would be stranded.  Or at least scared silly.  I'd have more passive ventilation options.  Right now we can open the bedroom windows, one window in the kitchen, the roof hatch in the bathroom and the driver's ticket window.  That isn't enough for passive ventilation.  We should have the bottoms of the Mirage windows openable or the door window with a slider or some other way to get airflow to the front of the coach.  A fantastic fan in the kitchen would be a great help too.

I bought the Neoplan in large part because it had an 8-92TA with the 748. Wife doesn't drive a stick shift. I am keeping most of the bus windows as they are about 8 feet long and swing open from the bottom 3 or 4 feet out just have to design screens.

Other than those items I wouldn't do anything different and most of this stuff is chickenshit.  We love our Prevost just the way it is - we spent over 5 years actively looking for it, when we found it we knew it was the right one.  We actually bought it off the internet and paid for it 100% without ever seeing it.  Stupid - - maybe, but we had spent so long looking that we knew it was the right one when we found it.  The owners were in Arizona and the coach was in Kelowna, BC.  We bugged the living ***l out of them until they got home so we could pick it up.

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Barn Owl
Roanoke, VA
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« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2007, 10:16:38 PM »

I don't know what my dream coach would be like; I think my ideas would change over time as my needs changed. But, I do have some likes and dislikes.
 
I do not like the walk through bathrooms; my coach has a small bathroom with a door. There is enough room for one to do the three S's and change cloths. That leaves the back accessible; with a family of eight, that is important. One neat feature is that the door will swing open and block the front from the bath and the bedroom so that area can be blocked off if needed. Keep it functional, but where you spend the least amount of time dedicate the least amount of space.
 
Another feature I see that I don't like are kitchens that are too large. Plan on what you need and then cut that in half. So many builders get a grand idea that they are going to become a chef and overbuild and waste that area, never using it as planned. When we are on vacation, we don't have the time to make large complicated meals, and when we do, we like to do it outdoors. I have seen some coaches that have slide out kitchens in a bay. I like camp cooking, and we usually do it outside with Dutch ovens. My wife says she cooks enough as it is and vacation is a vacation from cooking for her. I understand that full timers might cook more, but I still think large kitchen areas are a lousy use of space that could be better used elsewhere. The kitchen is a great place to be creative with the counter tops and cabinets. Slide-out or folding counter top prep areas would be a good example of efficient use of limited space.
 
If you put a dinette in, I feel it should be on the passenger side. The side with the dinette usually has the most windows (I like lots of windows), and if used while you travel it's nice not to have to look out over the other lanes of traffic and the gawkers, but instead, see the scenery as it lazily passes by. As a driver, the low dinette and windows makes it easier to see an area that is difficult to see anyways. In addition, if you are at a campground, you want to see your side of the campsite, not your neighbors.
 
Finally, dedicate the most space to where you spend the most time and don't overdo it. Some of the nicest coaches I see are simple, elegant, and practical. Some people don't like dual use areas, but when you have a crowd like I do, it is a necessity. I am going to make the rear bed convertible, a U shaped lounge in the day would give me two living areas so as the adults visit in the front; the children can watch a movie or play games in the back.
 
One of my favorite features of my bus is that it still has the back window. At the beach I go to, the camping sites are directly on the dunes overlooking the water; these sites are back in sites. I love waking up to the eastern sun as it rises above the water, bathing the interior with light, and seeing it all through that big rear window. One day, unless I can find replacement rubber for it (Luke doesn't have it), it will have to come out. That will be a very sad day.

Enough rambling from me now, have fun with your project.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2007, 07:04:30 AM by Barn Owl » Logged

L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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« Reply #27 on: February 24, 2007, 06:22:03 AM »

Hey Barn Owl,
  Very, very well put. I talked with Andy last night and the way you explained looking at space is something I touched on.
  By the way, Andy has a very nice Eagle, but it's a steel tent. He is wanting ideas to do it correctly. He's also pretty excited about getting going on this, he just wants to do it right. Sounds like he is heading in the right direction.
  I think insulation and electrical are going to be his first two challenges, but he still would like to get some overviews of space and things to do with them.
   
    He's definitely another one of us!!! Wink   Grin Grin

             Chaz
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« Reply #28 on: February 24, 2007, 09:18:24 AM »

hi gang,

My bus is in progress at the time.  My wife and I are planning to get out of NH and be full time by the end of June.  I have just what i want in a bus.  1980 96 LeMirage that was re-manufactured with all new systems in 1989.  THe bus has 560 k original miles and a fresh (under 100k) 8v71 with an allison crd close ratio 5 speed. gets upand goes like heck to 55+ and is simple simple simple to work on. my wife and i like to gunk hole ie: hit the back trails and small st hwys and even little old town roads. So I needed a 96 for legal reasons, If you study the stuff in the FMCA pubs there are still a lot of places you can not take a 102.  One criteria that is a must is keep the roof a clear as possible and it is not getting raised. I heard branches hit/brush the roof as is driving up our state hwy we live on here in the boonies.  so I am thereby restricted to a center aisle layout. I'm just under 6'2" so the Prevost just barely has room for me with the existing roof height. This is just for us so it is going to be our way. No extra beds if folks want to stay over they can sleep in the tent in summer or on fold up cots in the winter.  what we are having is a nice little living room, a nice bedroom/computer office, and a big gourmet kitchen with built in gas cooktop with gas char grill.  yep solid surface counters,  I am a certified Wilson Art fabricator. Gen sets cost big $ in diesel format so one thing is to keep the electric needs minimized. I have found a nice little used 6500 man air cooled diesel for $900. So I will have to use some marine methods to quiet the little bugger down. It is not hard just need to baffle things well.   I'm a manufacturing engineer so I have my tested methods for approaching most of the bus systems.  My local house furnace tech was telling me how he put an oil fired pool water heater in the pub area of the local Inn/restaurant and it heats the whole section of the building and it's just a little tiny thing. he is going to get me info on it. I'll post when I get it.  Auxilliary diesel tank for heat with two way electric pump to main tank. Piped heated coolant in radiant mode for the floors and heat exchangers in front middle and rear with separate zones. I am a long time (since 1965) ski and snowboard instructor so the bus has to be set up for full time winter use in ski country.  Just for grins the bus has a NH veterans private vehicle plate "EKAT".

Ken Kesey lives on!

Chase

My needs are relatively unusual compared to most bus conversions but they might furnish some alternatives to the normal systems most conversions have in them.
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