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Author Topic: ok have a couple of questions  (Read 3544 times)
dumbone
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« on: July 11, 2007, 07:48:04 PM »

I called a conversion company today because hubby and I are considering buying either a eagle or prevost shell and doing the conversion ourselves. Admittedly we know nothing ,but the guy on the other end of the phone told me that ie would be a 10 year project and by the time we are done we will spend close to a million dollars. But followed it up with we build them here and can sell you one alot quicker than you can build one. Someone help is any part of this true ??
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2007, 07:56:46 PM »

Hi Dumbone,

Welcome!

You certinly have alot of reading to do in our archives...

The outcome, length, and quality of a conversion depends on the person converting it and the extent of their talents. Oh, and the depth of your pockets...

Let us know your in-vision and we will direct you down the proper path.

Good Luck to you!
Nick Badame
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 08:02:49 PM »

Darn,

The bad news is I have 7 1/2 years to go.

The good news is I am 980,000.00 under budget.... Grin

Sounds like a salesman to me.....Like Nick said, read the archives and take it all in...

Best of luck..

Cliff
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2007, 08:03:44 PM »

Yes, it could take 10 years to do it yourself if you don't have the time and/or if you are really picky doing the work.  No way will DIY cost $1 million unless you spend $400,000 on a shell and buy everything brand new at the most expensive places.  Even then, you would probably have to gold leaf the interior to get up to $1 million.

There are converters that could build a fairly basic conversion with a used shell you supply for way, way under $1 million.  It may not look like a Marathon coach inside, but Marathons have way too much glitz and complexity for my tastes.

I think this sales person wanted to scare you into buying a conversion from their company.
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 08:06:24 PM »

Cliff, what have you done to only spend $20k on a conversion?  I've spent probably $20,000 on house systems and interior alone and the interior isn't near done.  I'm not doing anything real fancy on the interior.
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dumbone
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2007, 08:08:29 PM »

What we like is the style of the 88 eagle. However thru my reading I do believe we will have to have the roof raise on what ever we get hubby is 6ft7. What about a seated coach and going from there? What about the chassis is there anything special I have to have added? The only thing out of the ordinary from other motorhomes is I want a full size fridge. I thought about slides (still thinking) the guy on the phone today scared my almost full grey headed. About the whole thing. As far as money I know what I want but I think it would mean alot more if we did it ourselves  instead of just purchasing one. Any input would be great..
Thanks,
Darlene
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kyle4501
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2007, 08:26:19 PM »

Cliff, what have you done to only spend $20k on a conversion?  I've spent probably $20,000 on house systems and interior alone and the interior isn't near done.  I'm not doing anything real fancy on the interior.
That's easy, Cliff was smart enough to let the prev owner spend the $$$, Cliff just stole the bus  Grin
Seriously tho, Cliff is amazingly talented & works wonders with what he has. Amazing what you can accomplish on a budget if you can find deals & incorporate them into your plan AND live with what you have.

There is a lot to be said for living within your abilities.

What we like is the style of the 88 eagle. However thru my reading I do believe we will have to have the roof raise on what ever we get hubby is 6ft7. What about a seated coach and going from there? What about the chassis is there anything special I have to have added? The only thing out of the ordinary from other motorhomes is I want a full size fridge. I thought about slides (still thinking) the guy on the phone today scared my almost full grey headed. About the whole thing. As far as money I know what I want but I think it would mean alot more if we did it ourselves  instead of just purchasing one. Any input would be great..
Thanks,
Darlene

Best thing for you to do is realize that salesman was trying to intimidate you into buying what he was selling. Personally, I don't put much faith in what a salesman says. Their usual goal is to sell me something that will make them a commission. As you can imagine that is in conflict with my goal which is focused on ME, not them.  Grin


Read, read, read this & every other board you can concerning this insanity of bus conversions. If you can't wait the ~6+ months for all this to start to sink in, then you probably can't wait to 'roll your own' conversion.

When I first started looking at busses, I wanted a 750+hp engine. Now, not so much. Why? Because I now have a better understanding of what I want out of my coach. That & the $$$$$$$ it'd cost  Shocked  Grin

Good Luck, you're gonna need it  Grin  Grin  Grin
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2007, 08:29:13 PM »

Time, Money, and energy---  How much are you willing and able to spend?  and what do you want to do with your bus?  You need to answer those first. Mostly to yourself.


If one could afford a Million dollar bus they probably wouldn't build one themselves.  (  I'd be looking for a used 2 Million dollar bus if it were me Cheesy ) but everything is relative and they could build one if they wanted to.

So you spending a Millon--  I vote that would be up you.
Buy one quicker-  most likely
ten year project- again up to you.

Freinds on the board-  priceless


Hope this helps and welcome.  Get the Magazine just so you'll have a highlight to every month. and keep readin the board.  Great bunch of well rounded knowledgeable people.

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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 08:29:57 PM »

Hi Darlene,  Thanks for your name..

Take a stroll through our members bus and family pictures at the top, above this thread and get some more ideas..

We can reccomend some converters to you if you feel that it would be out of your league.

Where are you located?

Nick-
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« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2007, 08:31:20 PM »

Brian,

I guess I am a better shopper than you...... Grin   Tongue

But hey, I'm not done yet!

Cliff  

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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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Kristinsgrandpa
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2007, 09:05:20 PM »

Darlene, 

A roof raise may not be necessary as some coaches have a taller interior. The MCI 102 C3 advertises an added 3" to the height of their "A" series coaches.

Some of the MCI specs can be found here: http://busforsaleguide.com/mci.htm

If just starting, I would be looking for an MCI 102 C3.

HTH

Ed.
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2007, 09:06:38 PM »

Darlene Welcome,

After you've read everything on this site, twice, plan a trip to a bus ralley, spend at least two days, ask lots of questions, take lots of photos.  Go home, let it all soak in, then plan another bus rally.  What you spend going to bus rally, you will save building you coach.    Try to find someone on the board that you can visit that is in the middle of rebuilding a bus.  Once again, the trip will be an eye opener.

Good luck, everyone on this board will help you.

Bill  
Leaving Phoenix in a couple weeks.
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 09:09:46 PM »

The do it yourself bus conversion is never done.

The problem is that most of the million $$$ coaches need to be redone to suit your needs
at unusually high prices.

A good used already done conversion is usually available somewhere at some price. Go used and spend a few bucks to fix up to your liking. The basics will be there already done and you can refine from there.

And yes we are talking less than $200k going down the road. A Buddy of mine bought a NICE Prevost/Marathon conversion for $73k and drove it home. He will probably spend another $10 to upgrade some of the leather and cabinets but that's easy. All from eBay too!

Buying an Eagle, well any Eagle will be risky at best. There are reasons why an eagle could be a poor choice and all of it is under the sheet metal skin. It may look good but be your worst nightmare and take years to make it safe and usable. I like eagles but am not a fan of replacing 90% of the structural steel which can rust out hidden from view. If you like to metal-fab and weld and have the space and equipment and knowhow then it might be possible. It depends on your aggravation level and bank account.

Basically you couldn't go too wrong with an MCI or Prevost and they can be raised. Or if you like the older styles maybe a pre-1980 GMC coach although they are harder to raise the roof on.

I didn't mention the other brands but to those who have them they might work too.

The TALL requirement might cause a few problems but not so big as to limit what you can do...

Dave..
Oh Guys..... I am now in Tennessee! , Out of Florida clean and clear....whew...

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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 09:10:54 PM »

Darlene,
     Are you and/or hubby mechanically talented and driven.  You'll need to learn and do, in addition to lots of 'engineering',  welding, wiring woodwork, plumbing, upholstery, painting, and more. I'm intensely proud that I've gotten a bus conversion done enough that I can take it to rallies and travel in it.  I keep 'improving' it and adding to it's capability's, next will be the satellite system, hopefully before this winter's travels.  I'd guess I have about $20,000 in 'motorhome' systems and interior materials.  And another $25,000 in shell and major repairs such as engine and tires. Still far under the magic million. I'd guess I have 4000 hours in it spread over the 3 years I've owned it.  But it's definitely 'my way'.  You simply can't buy a motorhome with features I've incorporated, like a full sized jetted bathtub and the closet above it that rolls back over the bed.  Or the digital fuel gauge that reads in tenths of a gallon.  Or the airconditioning that'll keep us comfortable on a 95 degree day while plugged into a 15 amp outlet at a relatives house.  Or the water and heating systems that eliminate 'winterising' and allow it to be ready to go all winter by storing it plugged in to a 15 amp outlet which maintains the interior temperature above 50 even on sub zero winter days.  Bus conversion to me is a wonderful challenge but it's definitely not for everyone, I'm saddened to see so many partly done conversions for sale.  Choose carefully.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120   
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 09:26:37 PM »

Quote
A good used already done conversion is usually available somewhere at some price. Go used and spend a few bucks to fix up to your liking. The basics will be there already done and you can refine from there.


Buy used and you can start enjoying it right away, and at the same time you will learn what you like and donít like. That way, when you are ready to do a DIY, you would be closer to what you want the first time.
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