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Author Topic: cost of conversion parts  (Read 3958 times)
tekebird
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« on: December 12, 2007, 09:25:40 AM »

Would be interested in an idea of what people are spending on thier conversions

Cost of Shell
Cost of shell repairs
Cost of Conversion parts.

Maybe even man hours for conversion

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tekebird
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2007, 09:38:13 AM »

last I calculated for the Quality of ityems I would want, I was well in excess of 30k in conversion parts alon at bargain shopping prices.

Inverter
Generator
Flexsteel seating
Toilet
Tankage
lighting
flooring
roof vents
A/c


I understand that this is all subjective as some are OK with more rustic type conversion and others go for the quality of Professional Converters

for example:  A new 10kw brand name Diesel Genset probably in excess of 7,000, vs a honda portable generator at 3kw for maybe 1/4 that.

Prosine 2500w inverter charger vs something from Harbor freight etc etc.

used house furniture vs New Flexsteel Untraleather R/V furniture
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tekebird
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2007, 09:41:28 AM »

Here is a real world example:

the 4108 that My Folks are selling,   When figuring a value to put on it, the Converter was contacted and asked what it would cost to duplicate that conversion today.

Conversion including all labor was something like 120k IIRC

This didn;t include the Shell, Shell Paint, or any Shel related work
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paulcjhastings
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2007, 10:19:10 AM »

last I calculated for the Quality of ityems I would want, I was well in excess of 30k in conversion parts alon at bargain shopping prices.

Inverter I'm still looking(want a 4024) but I talked to a guy yesterday that had a Trace 3012 he never hooked up for $1100
Generator not there yet
Flexsteel seating not there yet but intend to buy from discount rv furniture 2X $875 couches and 2X $364 for captains chairs
Toilet surplus new was $155 Tankage not there yet
lighting not there yet
flooring not there yetroof vents new surplus 2 Maxxair vents for $270
A/c received a quote for 15k basements for about $700 each

I also have recently purchased an oven and cooktop for $289 and Kemlite skins for approx $2300 and am presently getting pricing on windows.


I understand that this is all subjective as some are OK with more rustic type conversion and others go for the quality of Professional Converters

for example:  A new 10kw brand name Diesel Genset probably in excess of 7,000, vs a honda portable generator at 3kw for maybe 1/4 that.

Prosine 2500w inverter charger vs something from Harbor freight etc etc.

used house furniture vs New Flexsteel Untraleather R/V furniture
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Paul Hastings
1993 Setra 215 w/ Detroit Series 60 & Allison HT748
Belle Plaine, MN
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2007, 10:19:50 AM »

5 Years Salary and all the spare change you can find...
Also include the materials for the inside. Estimated around $12,000 or more.
( inludes learning to use ruler over and over again.)
Insulation ( the right way ballparks $2,000 to $4,000 )

If I had to do it again, I would have to get a real job and a lot more common sense.

Dave....
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scanzel
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« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2007, 11:41:37 AM »

So far for me, coach $29,000, new tires and stainless wheel simulators $3000, all new air bags replaced and power steering leak fixed $4200, used Kohler rv generator $3500, new furniture $1300, backup camera $400, washer/dryer combo $900, tow hitch and tow bar/vehicle mounts  $2000. 2 used Proheat X45 units $650 pair, and other items accumulated $1000. Some of the above may seem high but working full time I don't have the time to do all things my self so I must send out for work to be done. I am gutting it now. Expect to spend another $25 to 30,000 before completion. Grin
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
Stan
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 12:01:07 PM »

Tekebird: I think your estimate is very conservative if you are talking about a quality conversion. One of the big factors is the abilities and connections of the individual. If you are a diesel mechanic and your employer will sell you parts and let you work in his shop on weekends, an engine rebuild is about 25% of the retail price. Likewise, a cabinetmaker with all the tools and material at wholesale will make cupboards for about 25% of a cabinet shops retail price to make custom fitted cabinets.

If you have the talents, time and money, you can buy all the tools and equipment and with a limited amount of professional help, do everything yourself. You probably waste a lot of material and spend a lot of time doing things over, but you have the satisfaction of having done it.

As to a time estimate. I did three bus conversions, working on them as a full time job and a rough estimate is 3000 hours. If you value your time at minimum wage level, you are pushing $30k for labor.
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Tenor
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 01:11:55 PM »

We are going for the cabin on wheels look.  Knotty pine tongue and groove, oak cabinets and doors. We may have a TV.  We like to be outside doing things and would not be full timers.  However, putting in good insulation and a great inverter will allow us to boondock when possible.
Well, starting with a great deal on a shell or previously converted model could save you a chunk.  For my case:
1968 MCI 7 needing:

Front bumper hinges
skin assembly around engine area
completion of rivet work
drip rails
gauge electrical repair
door reassembly (skin was off)
rear bumper pods

Came With:
2 brand new roof airs
out of frame rebuild -Tranny too?
new brakes, wheel seals, pads (drums?)
8 new tires - sitting for several years though
3 fantastic roof vents
fresh and black water tank
electric hot water heater
custom steering wheel
wheel balancers
water pump
properly re-skinned 6 slider RV windows installed, 2 more extra picture windows
Stainless wheel covers
Misc.
Cost: 3500.00

The right to salvage another MCI 7 for parts (made out like a bandit here) $600

1995 Travel trailer (e-bay) for ALL working appliances, lights, more tanks etc. Couch, shower, toilet furnace
Cost 1500.00

Spray foam insulation quote: $650.
SW4024 Inverter: $2k
Bigger water tanks:$300
used 7.5kw Kohler gas generator $450
Electrical Cost prediction: $300 (panel, wiring)
Cabinetry - father in law's help, $500 cost prediction
Plumbing - $200 prediction
Additional wood $500 prediction
Furniture from previous project and Chairs $750
Batteries for inverter $500
Fake pergo floor -$200
Queen Bed - $350
Awning $300
2 Awning canvases - $100 (we will have awnings on both sides.  We owned a 17 ft from our old Winnie, bought a 19ft, and with 10 feet of windows up front, decided to use both.  They are a very cheap way to cut down on heat.)

Should come in under 15k.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 01:19:40 PM by Tenor » Logged

Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
www.threemenandatenor.com
1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
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lyndon
1988 MC-9 DDC 6V92TA Fuller T-11605D
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 10:21:51 PM »

5 Years Salary and all the spare change you can find...

Awesome! This is going to cost less than we thought!
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Don
1988 MC-9
tekebird
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2007, 10:51:08 PM »

I'm not presently thinking about building, just trying to gauge the Average of what folks are doing.

I agree except for those who are retired....one really should account for some labor cost.

Realistically there are few of us in the world who are master of all trades,,,,and generally some segment usually lacks if the whole thing is done in house ( by yourself)

my better than 30 k price was just for major components and parts...no labor and all at the " I have all the time in the world to hunt for bargains" shopping method.



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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 08:13:07 AM »

I like to keep things *real* simple, and my statement, which I'm stickin' to, is,

"If you plan on much less than $50k when it's all said and done, just give up now. You're fooling yourself."
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tekebird
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2007, 08:34:41 AM »

Next question is how long does it take you to do it.

I know guys that have been fooling with a conversion process for years.

Of theseated coaches I have sold most lookers have been looking to convert.  I always tell them it is wiser to buy one that is already don....or at least partially done.

the partially done ones are always a value becuase the person is sick of it generally.

Already done ones are a value too when you consider the little to no work you have to do to them to start using them.

Unless of course the conversion process is your hobby, I'd almost always opt for  buying a professionally done or very nice home conversion over doing it myself.

all adds up to spending a bit more out of pocket up front....but not waiting two years for a completed product.  Back to the paying yourself or accounting for labor idea.



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kyle4501
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2007, 08:52:45 AM »

Unless of course the conversion process is your hobby, I'd almost always opt for  buying a professionally done or very nice home conversion over doing it myself.

all adds up to spending a bit more out of pocket up front....but not waiting two years for a completed product.  Back to the paying yourself or accounting for labor idea.

You already know the answer depends on what your needs/ wants are . . .

I'm in this as a hobby.
Why?
Because I have yet to see a conversion that I wouldn't have to gut 75%+ & start over to get what I want (that includes the professional conversions too).

So for me, self converting is the only way I'll get what I want.

In order to have something to use while I play with my hobby, I bought a used Airstream trailer. As nice as it is, there is loads of stuff done by the factory that I'll never understand the reason behind their decision to do it that way . . . .
Why a trailer VS. a motor home? - perceived value per $ (that wasn't spent on the bus  Grin )

Besides, I also like the look of classic styling.
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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2007, 09:27:58 AM »

Next question is how long does it take you to do it.

Well I think that mythical 2,000 hours I always heard is NONSENSE.

Stan says 3,000 hours, but that's Stan! He knows what he's doing.

It really depends on how much you have to learn, not just doing the manual labor.

I've had to learn, or relearn about every. single. thing. related to converting a coach. If I had to make a list it would fill this page.

There are lots of dimensions that don't enter conventional thoughts when considering how long it will take. Just the research to determine what to get can take forever. The running around to get stuff. Is a helper involved who can do all that running around? All those things should be factored in. The traveling back and forth to the work location, (which many don't have to deal with, but for those who do, there's a huge impact, even if it's a short distance) where you must plan on 1/2 day's work or forget it. You can't go outside and piddle after dinner, etc.

I am now 90% functionally complete, but only about 50% cosmetically complete, with probably 4,000 total hours, including the above productivity impacts. And when I say functionally, I mean built to my needs, not functional for every possible contingency, as some are trying to do.

[but I forgot to mention that I'm slow-witted.]  Shocked

« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 09:33:08 AM by ChuckMC9 » Logged
travelingfools
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2007, 10:34:02 AM »

As a bright eyed impressionable newbie, here's my two cents..

We had a S&S last year that was way to small, rode like crap, yadda yadda...We had always wanted a bus, but no way could we afford 30 or 40k even for the meagerest of conversions. We were able to score a NJT in pretty good shape for $6500.00. With travel to and from the dealer and some other misc we have around $1500. more into it, including new battery's. We will be taking our time converting it as we can afford it and hope to pay cash as we go along. We know it will take a while, but we will use it as much as we can as we go. We scored some free 55gal barrels from a car wash which will be our water/waste tanks. We camp mostly at CG's and rarely, if ever boondock, so that will help as we go. Folks around here that have seen the bus in my drive are always donating things to the cause, and we've scored some pretty decent furniture that will be great for a start. We plan on doing a nice/permenant job on the insulation, flooring, ceiling and wallcoverings, but everything else will be whatever we can afford, beg, borrow or steal until we can afford "permanent" furniture, fixtures etc.
The plumbing will be designed so that it will be an easy switchover to different tanks and fixtures.  This morning, a guy at work asked me if I wanted his 1980 5th wheel trailer for free. He said he tried to sell it, but got no bites and he needs to get it out of his drive. Everything works in it, but the kids are gone and they just dont use it anymore. We'll gut it, and that should give me enough equipment to be able to hit the campground as soon as the weather breaks in the spring. I have no clue, what this will cost me in the end, or how many hours Ill put into it. We are all really excited to go camping and traveling in the spring in our "Jersey T" as it has been named by my brother. I retire in 9 years and 6 months. I would hope to have it done by then as we hope to spend our winters somewhere warmer than Buffalo..but if its not, we'll continue to travel in it as is and buy more new stuff as we can afford it..
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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