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Poll
Question: I keep getting asked why I decided to buy a bus and not an S&S. Of course there are a number of reasons but I have wondered exactly what makes an otherwise reasonably intelligent man (or woman) choose to build a bus?
For the thrill of building my own - 29 (17.2%)
For the safety - 33 (19.5%)
Because S&S are too prone to being made cheaply or otherwise falling apart - 36 (21.3%)
I can do it in steps instead of paying all at once - 35 (20.7%)
I think I had a stroke or was drunk at the time - 7 (4.1%)
Because I'm afraid the wife will toss my can out someday and I need a place to put my junk - 6 (3.6%)
I was already very familiar with buses so it was the natural choice - 9 (5.3%)
Other - please elaborate - 14 (8.3%)
Total Voters: 53

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Author Topic: Why did you choose a bus?  (Read 2832 times)
Jeremy
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 11:27:49 AM »

In the UK there simply aren't any domestic manufacturers building 40' A-class motorhomes - and you would struggle to get one into an average British campsite anyway. You do see big S&Ss on the road, but they are typically used by horse or car race teams going to events, rather than families going on holiday - and any that you do see are inevitably personal imports from the States and therefore prohibitively expensive and of course left-hand-drive. Old buses, on the other hand, are dirt cheap, right-hand-drive, better built, safer, etc etc.

Having said that you vary rarely see decent bus conversions here either - plenty of hippy-type buses, and quite a few buses with ramps built into the back and race cars inside, but very few high-spec motorhome conversions such as I am trying to build.

Jeremy
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A shameless plug for my business - visit www.magazineexchange.co.uk for back issue magazines - thousands of titles covering cars, motorbikes, aircraft, railways, boats, modelling etc. You'll find lots of interest, although not much covering American buses sadly.
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 12:24:54 PM »

Inherited madness.

forced into child servatude at age 9 (1978) for parrent's Charter Bus operation
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cody
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2008, 12:33:54 PM »

I hear it's a form of insanity, very contagious and can be caught at rallys, luckily a cure seems to be many years away lol.
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2008, 12:39:41 PM »

I guess I should have added a slot for the independent spirit but that's obviously a given isn't it?
Should have also made the "do it my way" an choice but that's sort of the same as #1.

It looks like I'm not alone in the insanity since my reasons are pretty much the same as everyone else:safety, reliability, do it my way, pay as I go and being different. To us it's a no brainer but to others it seems rather crazy.
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'75 MC-8   'Event Horizon'
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"Have bus will travel read the card of the man, a Knight without armor in a savage land...."
tomhamrick
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2008, 01:35:11 PM »

I always wanted a big diesel motorhome and this is the only way I could afford it. I also love to build things.
Tom Hamrick
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Tom Hamrick
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 02:15:12 PM »

Almost the same reasons as above, but slightly different.  I chose my 1974 Crown Super Coach 40-foot 3-axle 10-wheeler ex-schoolie (VIN 37317) because, in my humble opinion simply put, it is a better vehicle.  Durability, strength, safenessness, (SP?) handling, balance, braking, top speed, capacities, capablities, fuel economy, blah, blah, blah are all better than your average bus-type coach and simply light years ahead of ANY stick and staple cheapo motorhome.

Sorry everyone, but the truth burns true or something like that.  Also another reason is that I admit that I am slightly (?) crazy and would attempt to turn something else into something better given time, blood, sweat, tears and lots of $money$.  Crowns were/are great schoolies, but one (me?) really has to work at it to turn one into that ultimate driver's motorhome.  Not that easy to do actually, but then again, again like I said, I am crazy.  The question is, am I crazy enough?

Years ago I drove a very similiar Crown 10-wheeler school bus (lots of kids) while pretending to go to junior college part time.  Good idea, but it eventually failed as I was drafted.  Another story.  Anyway, at that time, I wondered to myself if the Crown Super Coach would make a superb motorhome.  Now understand this was way back in 1970 or soosss, a long time ago.  Again, since I am crazy and blessed with regression, validation, absolution, blah, blah, blah and all that other stuff, I am now doing the coach conversion thing.  Thank you, I feel better now.  Can I have more cheap red wine?  He he he.  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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Slow Rider
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 02:30:35 PM »

I chose a bus after a lot of looking at S&S's.  The safety factor was very high on the list.  I also just was not impressed with what I looked at.  They were falling apart and obviously poorly made.  Being able to do it a little at a time was a big reason also.  In the financial department I am one of those "who shouldn't own a bus" according to some bus nuts.  Another reason is when you by a manufactured motor home, you get what some one else thinks you need. With the bus conversion I get what I want or have no reason to complain.  The last and not necessarily the least reason was the style factor.  An S&S will never have the style, class and yes coolness factor of a bus.

Frank
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The MCI has landed..... We are home.
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Kwajdiver
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 04:42:15 PM »

I'm crazy,,,, and it's just Cool......

Bill
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2008, 04:55:00 PM »

We bought a bus because we knew that we wanted to live in our RV eventually & I got sick and tired of fixing low bid bullshit on production RVs.  We briefly looked at bus wannabees but I wanted a Prevost so eventually we found one that was already in Canada with the roof high enough to accomodate me and we bought it.  Then the Canadian $$ went from 65c to par and we lost some astronomic amount of money but that's a whole 'nuther story.

The safety thing was just a bonus - the real deciding factor for us was the endurance and overbuild on the chassis.

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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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TomC
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2008, 05:08:22 PM »

I bought the AMGeneral transit mainly for the price ($4000).  Also, it is built like a tank, had the correct engine and transmission, and very large windows.
But after driving it, the engine had the combination of not enough power, smoked at altitude and got bad fuel mileage.  So I turbocharged and air to air intercooled it, along with rebuilding the V730.  In retrospect, for the amount of money I spent for the modifications to the drivetrain- before delivery, paid to have the rear end ratio changed, wheel bearings changed to oil, injectors enlarged, Jake brake installed.  Then, having the engine overhauled, then having it again modified to the turbo'd engine with custom air to air intercooler, enlarging the radiator, larger air cleaner and larger muffler, auxiliary transmission cooler, overhauling the transmission, rebuilt water pump, rebuilt oil pump, rebuilt alternator with new regulator, rebuilt air compressor, new air/water separator, installed hydraulic steering, and have new air bags installed, I could have bought a MCI 102A3 with the money spent on the modifications.  My point-buy the bus that already has the desired engine, transmission in it, rather than spending the money to change it.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2008, 05:20:58 PM »

Doug, why did your dad wait till you were that old (9) to slave you into the business...my dad had me milking cows way way earlier than that?! Grin

Cody, you are right...a rally or two will get cha!  Thanks so much for you and Alice showing us you coach!

Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
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rcbishop
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2008, 05:23:15 PM »

Just because......and besides....I had already owned the other stuff and didn't care for it!.... Smiley Cheesy Grin Angry Huh
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RCB
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kd5kfl
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2008, 05:42:54 PM »

Because the 2 S&Ses I have had are POSes.

So I can select the components to suit my design philosophy.

Because I ripped out most of the interior on my current S&S and redid it more my way. But not all my way.
Because your standard generic RV was not designed for retrofitting of network, home entertainment and CCTV gear. Which my bus will be.

Because I can save my pennies and pay cash for the shell. Then save my pennies and pay cash for the bits and pieces. Then install the bits and pieces at my own pace on my own schedule in my own bus. Which I own.
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Sojourner
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2008, 06:53:47 PM »

I always wanted to travel anywhere on land and divorces took most of my investment to buy my own house. I look at many stick & staples but when I learn I could purchase & convert it into a motorhome….that was it……but waited a year to find MCI-8 at nearby home. I have put in over 12K miles in bare shell form with toilet & 2-110 gals tanks. All this happing 1997 to 2000, now it is still in rebuilding stage…already widened to 102” with 2 openings for slide-out but units yet to be built, raise roof with MCI-9 type roof side curve and lengthen front 8” & rear 30” to repower with state of art 4 cycle engine. After I toured a top RV motorhome manufacturer to see how they are built. I learned more before purchasing MCI how much safer than a “trailer built on truck chassis” Because intercity buses are framed within body which is stronger & much more basement storage area. Plus doing a bus conversion the way you want in a home on wheels.

Now 11 years since I purchased MCI-8….if I had waited until now to purchase my first bus, it would be used H-3 Prevost or MCI –E series because prices are must lower now. Why the above models, because they build coach body with all stainless steel tubing & channels, before hand only bottom half is SS. Plus H-3 & MCI-E model are not skin dependent for structural framing. These have truss bridge design above floor level for main chassis. At the same time you can get DD 60 series or other newer 4 cycle engine with 6 speed automatic transmission. Suspensions are equipped with rolling lobe air spring (softer) and are wider spread so it handles better still.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 06:58:39 PM by Sojourner » Logged
Dreamscape
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2008, 07:56:19 PM »

First of all, I have wanted to build my own traveling coach for many years. I remember having the bug some 30 years ago, it just took that long to actually get one. Instead of buying one totally finished I bought an older conversion and tore it apart. I could not have afforded to do it any other way, as I pay as I go and owe nobody.
I have always wanted the challenge and have acquired the skills throughout the years. When I got the bug I didn't have the skills, so it all worked out.

And besides I'm nuts, so there ya go!  Grin
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