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Author Topic: new to boards and RVs  (Read 4148 times)
coachcrazy
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« on: May 24, 2006, 09:21:47 AM »

Hello all
     im a  29yo single father from connecticut, I am a metal fabricator and enjoy doing that.  Over the past few months i have become what seems to be obsessed with bus conversions.  Now given my current financial state i dont have the funds to get the 2006 prevost h3-45  ds like i would like to, my options being buy a used coach or do it myself.  Now i am leaning on the building it myself part, i have purchaced a few books on the subject and i am fairly confident i can take on this project.i am going to make my purchase soon and   I really want to do something different. I have narrowed my choices down to a  Neoplan skyliner, a Neoplan megaliner or a Prevost H5-60.  So my question to you all is should i undertake one of these examples as my first go around(and i do plan on adding slide outs atleast 2 except the H5-60 where i would like to add 4) or should i play it safe and go with a mid 80s MCI,Prevost or eagle.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2006, 09:29:24 AM by coachcrazy » Logged
El-Sonador
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2006, 09:44:10 AM »

Hi...

Do what ever you can afford.
You seem to have the main ingredient... THE DESIRE

With the help from the great folks here on this board, Desire is all you really need.


Welcome to the board by the way...

Steve
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darrenayres
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2006, 09:56:11 AM »

Hi Crazy,

Hmmmmm...which frame to start with???  I've never done a conversion. Having said that, I've known guys who had H5-60s in the charter business and everyone of them couldn't get rid of it fast enough!!  Always doing repairs! Yet, I've wondered about doing one as an entertainer coach for some time. Beware! In some states, the rear compartment is considered a 5th wheel (Florida, for example) and a class A license is required to drive one.

There are a lot of folks here who have done MCIs, Eagles and Prevosts. Might be safe to start with one of those to learn all the ins-and-outs of the electrical and plumbing, before beginning on something a little different. You can also find these buses available with part of the work started for you and then just finish it.

FWIW

Welcome.

DArren
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2006, 10:19:43 AM »

Hello coachcrazy,

Welcome to our Board.

As steve said, You have desire.

And as DArren said, the H560 is a Bear!  Also concider what kind of camping you will do. Thoose 60's won't fit in most camp sites!
Along with the need to tow a vehicle?? how long would you be??

Which ever route you take, you will have many answers to your questions here!

Good Luck
Nick Badame-
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Dallas
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2006, 10:32:40 AM »

Hello all
     im a  29yo single father from connecticut, I am a metal fabricator and enjoy doing that.  Over the past few months i have become what seems to be obsessed with bus conversions.  Now given my current financial state i dont have the funds to get the 2006 prevost h3-45  ds like i would like to, my options being buy a used coach or do it myself.  Now i am leaning on the building it myself part, i have purchaced a few books on the subject and i am fairly confident i can take on this project.i am going to make my purchase soon and   I really want to do something different. I have narrowed my choices down to a  Neoplan skyliner, a Neoplan megaliner or a Prevost H5-60.  So my question to you all is should i undertake one of these examples as my first go around(and i do plan on adding slide outs atleast 2 except the H5-60 where i would like to add 4) or should i play it safe and go with a mid 80s MCI,Prevost or eagle.

Unnhh,
You may have a problem with a H5-60.
Artics aren't allowed in a lot of states. In fact in Oregon, the TA in Portland had to get special dispensation from the state and Federal DOT to run they're Artics over some of the bridges.

If you really want to know about buses, drop into a few rallies, stay on this board, the BNO board, the Yahoo Transit board, (since you seem to like transits), or any of the other Yahoo boards, personally the only ones I frequent much any more are this, the BNO and the GMC Yahoo board.

Good luck in your search and, as a word of wisdom, don't buy ANYTHING without checking on your chosen board, and, having it professionally inspected.
You may be the best mechanic/fabricator in the world, but when your passion takes over it's better to have a non interested party to look at the bus in question.

while in serch mode, check out Luke in Berlin, Nj. He at times has some good used buses. ABC sales may or may not have what you would want, Watch for local transit auctions. check out the State Surplus Auctions near you... CT., NH., MA., NY., NJ., PA., etc.
The list is almost endless.

These are words of wisdom from a big dummy that's done buses from a 1935 ACF-Brill to a 1980 GMC RTS.
Now I own a 1952 GMC PD4103 that I've fallen in love with.

Good Luck!!!

Dallas
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plyonsMC9
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2006, 10:36:58 AM »

Greetings Coachcrazy!

As far as the slideouts - I believe the Eagle the easiest to perform this modification on.  I've heard from those MUCH MORE knowledgeable on the subject than I am, that it is a much more difficult engineering task to do on an MCI or Prevost.

I'm sure someone will more clearly articulate the pros/cons.

Welcome aboard!

Kind Regards, Phil
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2006, 11:37:46 AM »

Welcome Crazy,

A lot of good advice above!

My only addition to the above is don't be in a hurry to get a bus.

Sweat some of that fever out during the "Lets look at some buses" stage.

There is a big learning curve on these things and just making sure all the mechanicals are right before you start the conversion part can take a lot of time and money.

But most of all enjoy all the steps, this is a great hobby and some of the best money I ever spent.

Cliff

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coachcrazy
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 12:54:25 PM »

lots of great adivce guys, thank you.  i think i am going to go more mainstream with my first conversion and when/if i decide to do another then ill go with one of the more exotic chioces.   I'm thinking along the lines of a mci 102c3 or something close.  something 102" wide and 40ft and not too old.  im in no hurry to get one and im sure ill be bugging you guys for advice alot.  thanks alot guys Smiley

and i have to say  that Nick Badame Refrig. Co.  MCI is part of my deciding factor i think it looks dead sexy in primer black like that, some black wheels and got your self something out of a sci-fi movie
« Last Edit: May 24, 2006, 12:58:25 PM by coachcrazy » Logged
darrenayres
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2006, 05:00:58 PM »

Hey Crazy!

Here is a link to a 1980 MC-9 in Kennesaw, GA that has been started.  http://adcache.rvtraderonline.com/3/0/1/84106001.htm

$15,000 for bus with new 8K genset and two rooftops already installed.

Darren
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Ross
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2006, 06:04:27 PM »

Hey Crazy!

Here is a link to a 1980 MC-9 in Kennesaw, GA that has been started.  http://http://adcache.rvtraderonline.com/3/0/1/84106001.htm

$15,000 for bus with new 8K genset and two rooftops already installed.

Darren


Wow...looks like he dipped it in white paint.  EVERYTHING is white.
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Ross
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 06:15:31 PM »

Hello all
     im a  29yo single father from connecticut, I am a metal fabricator and enjoy doing that.  Over the past few months i have become what seems to be obsessed with bus conversions.  Now given my current financial state i dont have the funds to get the 2006 prevost h3-45  ds like i would like to, my options being buy a used coach or do it myself.  Now i am leaning on the building it myself part, i have purchaced a few books on the subject and i am fairly confident i can take on this project.i am going to make my purchase soon and   I really want to do something different. I have narrowed my choices down to a  Neoplan skyliner, a Neoplan megaliner or a Prevost H5-60.  So my question to you all is should i undertake one of these examples as my first go around(and i do plan on adding slide outs atleast 2 except the H5-60 where i would like to add 4) or should i play it safe and go with a mid 80s MCI,Prevost or eagle.

Unnhh,
You may have a problem with a H5-60.
Artics aren't allowed in a lot of states. In fact in Oregon, the TA in Portland had to get special dispensation from the state and Federal DOT to run they're Artics over some of the bridges.

If you really want to know about buses, drop into a few rallies, stay on this board, the BNO board, the Yahoo Transit board, (since you seem to like transits), or any of the other Yahoo boards, personally the only ones I frequent much any more are this, the BNO and the GMC Yahoo board.

Good luck in your search and, as a word of wisdom, don't buy ANYTHING without checking on your chosen board, and, having it professionally inspected.
You may be the best mechanic/fabricator in the world, but when your passion takes over it's better to have a non interested party to look at the bus in question.

while in serch mode, check out Luke in Berlin, Nj. He at times has some good used buses. ABC sales may or may not have what you would want, Watch for local transit auctions. check out the State Surplus Auctions near you... CT., NH., MA., NY., NJ., PA., etc.
The list is almost endless.

These are words of wisdom from a big dummy that's done buses from a 1935 ACF-Brill to a 1980 GMC RTS.
Now I own a 1952 GMC PD4103 that I've fallen in love with.

Good Luck!!!

Dallas

My friend who sells used RV parts is having another auction on June 10th, tenatively.  The last auction was insane.  Things going for pennies on the dollar.  A complete hydraulic leveling system with three BIG rams and power pack went for $20. 
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coachcrazy
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 08:06:53 PM »



My friend who sells used RV parts is having another auction on June 10th, tenatively.  The last auction was insane.  Things going for pennies on the dollar.  A complete hydraulic leveling system with three BIG rams and power pack went for $20. 
what state will this be in? if its only a few hour drive for me it might be worth it to hop in the ol box truck and see if i can pick up some goodies.

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NJT5047
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2006, 08:21:25 PM »

The most "bang for the buck" will be the mid '80s MCIs. The 96" units are very reasonable. Avoid the "A2" two axle units. They have a large turing radius. 102A3s are available starting in '86. Beware that a lot of '80 vintage MCIs (and all other brand coaches) may be a liability to own even if it were given to you. Check the prospective coach carefully.
Eagles are some of the best looking, as are Prevost...Prevost will be expensive to buy, and more expensive to repair than MCIs...Eagles have Torsilastic suspension that may cost more than the coach is worth to repair...if you buy one with worn out suspension. Eagles may have major rust out that is hard to verify. Older Prevosts may be a little motheaten too. While MC9s and later may have the least rust...some are going to have rust that you can see, but it may be expensive to repair. Eagles frames rust...MCIs rust in the walls and the steel suspension members. Neoplans and other Euro style coachs will rust everywhere. And Euro body parts are hard to find...
MCI parts are readily avail for almost all years, as are GM parts. Eagle parts and Prevost parts are easy to find also, with Prevost parts at a much higher cost.
I'd avoid the Neoplan...no parts, funky electronics, rust problems. Sean Welsh proves that it can be done...but compare his qualifications with what most converters bring to the table.
45' coaches are not ideal for RVs...CDL requirement in some states...and quite a few campgrounds don't park anything over 40'...your intended use will establish what you can use. Nice 45' coaches are expensive too. No articulated coaches. Most cities won't allow them without permit.
The key to buying a bargain is pick out a coach that private charter coach operaters don't want....stainless side MCIs, older Eagles, any transit (GM RTS make a great looking conversion) and almost any coach without a restroom.
Buy an automatic transmission powered coach. Almost all engines are good if the engine is in good condition.
Half finished conversions are also good pickings if all the rules for checking out the coach are followed. Get a motor man and someone familiar with buses to help you evaluate a bus. You just cannot imagine the pitfalls!
Be sure you have a place to store and work on the bus.
Be prepared to spend an inordinate amount of time and money on all aspects of the conversion. Your metal fab background gives you a leg up on a lot of us.
Good luck, JR
 

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

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coachcrazy
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2006, 04:16:08 PM »

i thought i would post a pic of the work i do.   i build these trucks, we dont make the box but we make testing equiptment and stuff that goes inside.  ill try to get a better pic from work this was one i pulled off the internet
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Ross
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2006, 04:33:07 PM »



My friend who sells used RV parts is having another auction on June 10th, tenatively.  The last auction was insane.  Things going for pennies on the dollar.  A complete hydraulic leveling system with three BIG rams and power pack went for $20. 
what state will this be in? if its only a few hour drive for me it might be worth it to hop in the ol box truck and see if i can pick up some goodies.



Southern New Hampshire.  It's looking more like the 17th now.  I'm going to Elkhart with him next week to pick up another load of parts so there should be some good stuff at the auction. 
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