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Author Topic: What is the best brand name bus to buy! OR, Let's open a BIG can of worms!  (Read 6270 times)
RJ
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« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2008, 09:09:16 AM »


One of the things that differentiates a Prevost from an MCI, at least up until the "E" model, has been the placement of the air bellows on the rear axle.  Your MC-8, as well as the 5s, 7s, 9s, etc., all had the bellows mounted inside the duals.  Prevost, OTOH, has mounted them outboard for years - the MCC below has them that way - long before others.  The entire stainless panel around the drive axle pivots up to reveal not only the air bellows, but also, IIRC, the leveling valves.  This outboard placement seems to reduce the side-to-side rock 'n roll of most air suspended coaches, and definitely reduces the feeling that you're cornering on the rub rails.


Others have mentioned Prevost's customer service when it comes to parts - I can attest to that somewhat.  I called the factory and asked if it might be possible to get a copy of the Final Vehicle Record for the MCC below.  It took them four weeks (partly due to the entire factory's closing for vacation in August), but they were able to come up with it - for a 34 year old coach!!  How's that for service?



Tom -

Two things I want to add to my previous comments:

1.  In addition to the outboard mounting of the air bellows, many Prevosts come with a switch that allows you to lift the tag axle completely off the ground.  Doesn't help the ride when you do so (it gets worse), but it can provide some additional traction in adverse conditions.  Some say it tightens up the turning radius, but I've never noticed any difference.

2.  To clarify why obtaining that FVR that took four weeks - I first called on a Friday afternoon, about 4 pm Eastern, the Friday before the plant shut down for a three week vacation.  Once the plant reopened, the FVR was in my mailbox the following Saturday.  The fellow who originally took my order told me, at the time, about the upcoming vacation, so I was aware of it.  He also told me that for a coach that was this old, he'd have to go to another building where the paper records were kept, because only the newer stuff (mid-80's on, I think is what he said), is stored electronically.  So when you think about it, the service wasn't bad at all.  This fellow had to traipse over to some musty storeroom, wade thru a bunch of file boxes to find 1974's records, then sort thru the box until he found the correct VIN's FVR, go back to his office, make a copy to mail to me, then return the original to it's storage box, and reshelve.  A whole lot more work than simply pulling the number up on a keyboard.  So I was pleased with the service, considering the timing of my request.  And it was free, too!

(And to answer the unasked question:  The coach pictured in my original comments was part of an estate.  A decision was made between the beneficiaries and the estate's trustees to sell the coach, and it was put up for bid.  After only two bids were received, one of the estate's two beneficiaries decided to buy the coach from the estate and keep it.  Last I heard, it was N of San Francisco in Marin County.  Very unique coach, that's for sure.  Was in good shape, just dusty from lack of use.  Even had all the original Custom Coach manuals for the house systems, too!)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
bobofthenorth
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« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2008, 11:48:29 AM »

I'll 2nd the comments about Prevost parts service.  The 1st time I phoned there I had a toll free number that I wasn't sure was the parts number so I phoned it on a Sunday, expecting to get an answering machine.  Instead somebody answered the phone, took my order, set up a new charge account for me and then apologised profusely because she couldn't ship the parts until the next morning.

I had one bad experience with their accounts receivable dept though.  About a year after we had some work done in their Mira Loma facility I got an invoice in the mail for work done on a 2 year old H3.  It was a trivial amount - $180 maybe - but clearly a mistake.  I phoned them immediately and joked with them that, if they would guarantee to have the keys ready, I would pay the bill when I picked up the coach.  They assured me that they would fix the mistake and I forgot about it.  Forgot about it until I started getting late payment notices that is.  After several phone calls and about 6 months of time wasted I finally contacted Volvo's North American service mangler and complained.  The problem was then solved within 2 days.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
1981 Prevost 8-92, 10 spd
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« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2008, 01:52:59 PM »

Crown Super Coach.  Others will agree.  Superior engineering.  Admidships pancake mill, (either Cummins or Detroit) custom crome moly boxed frame with bonded/welded/bolted aluminimuminumm body, huge air brakes, 10 speed Roadrangers, Jakes, very aerodynamic, (mine got 10+mpg @ 60 mph) off the shelf class 8 components (usually) easy to work on (not always) and driver friendly.

Crown Super Coach mostly built school buses and was kinda a West Coat thing.  They went belly up in the early 1990's.  Factory warranty was 20 years and 200K, bumper to bumper, parts and labor (or soosss I was told by a factory rep way back in 1970)  Hundreds (scores?) still in daily service in LA.  If you lived in Southern California, you kids rode a Crown Super Coach.  CROWNS FOREVER!!!  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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H3Jim
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2008, 05:54:18 PM »

bobofthenorth,

Damn, I was trying to get you to pay my bill.....
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2008, 07:55:17 PM »

Now you're telling me there are other buses out there besides Prevost?  Shocked Shocked Shocked
A lot of people believe the sky is falling too!! Cheesy Cheesy Grin
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oldmansax
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« Reply #35 on: April 30, 2008, 08:26:28 PM »

I wish I was ready to buy right now as there are a couple on ebay I would look at real close!

TOM

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=190217331511&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=009

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=320242893845&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=011

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=300220976108&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=020

What are the chances of 3 decent Prevosts being on at the same time?  Huh Huh
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'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
Delaware

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prevost82
82 Prevost 8V92ta 6 speed
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82 Prevost Marathon XL




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« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2008, 11:01:50 PM »

The way RV sales are going right now, with fuel and the housing market ... I would say pretty good. They look like great buys for that price.
Ron
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belfert
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« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2008, 04:34:55 AM »

I would suggest trying to find a 1994 or newer Prevost with the Series 60 for better fuel mileage.  You might be able to get into one for $150,000.  I didn't see anything on Ebay in the 1994 or 1995 vintage with a Series 60 right now.

The oil bubble will probably burst and fuel prices might drop a bit for a while, but they are going to just keep going up long term.  The extra cost for more MPG up front will get paid off faster and faster as fuel prices rise.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
tekebird
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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2008, 05:26:27 AM »

finding a converted Prevost for 150k with a 60 series will be hard considering decent seats H models are till fetching around 100k.

must keep in mind that a professionally converted Prevost of 1994+ vintage likely cost 600k Or more.

although fuel prices suck.....people that buy a 600k+ bus don;t care about fuel prices thus are not selling them off for that reason like people with class A S&S with a ford V-10 that is getting 3mpg


based on todays fuel prices and 15k miles a year.

8-92T...............10377.00 in fuel based on 6.5mpg
Series 60.......... 7941.00 based on 8.5mpg

at 2000.00 per year presently, it would take you some time to recover the cost of a series 60 equiped coach
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oldmansax
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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2008, 07:04:01 AM »

I'm with Tekebird on the financial reasoning. It takes a long time recover fuel costs if you buy a new (er) vehicle solely based on MPG.

I have a diesel Suburban that gets 16 to 18 MPG. I can buy a new SUV that gets 22/24. How long at 20k to 30K a year before I get my investment back?   

A LONG TIME!   Angry Angry

I don't think I will base my decision on engine type.

Besides,

I LOVE THE WAY A DETROIT SOUNDS!!!!    Grin Grin Grin

TOM
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'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
Delaware

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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2008, 03:51:08 PM »

I hear ya Tom,

I bought my Diesel Truck when Diesel was cheaper than gas....and have had a 300SD Mercedes Diesel before than ( still have it)....thought about buying something new perhaps a VW diesel 40+ mpg....but the car and truck are paid for......and the car gets 25mpg around town.....30 or so highway.......

my solution...ride my motorcycle more..  50+mpg also paid for.
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2008, 04:35:43 PM »

finding a converted Prevost for 150k with a 60 series will be hard considering decent seats H models are till fetching around 100k.

must keep in mind that a professionally converted Prevost of 1994+ vintage likely cost 600k Or more.

although fuel prices suck.....people that buy a 600k+ bus don;t care about fuel prices thus are not selling them off for that reason like people with class A S&S with a ford V-10 that is getting 3mpg


based on todays fuel prices and 15k miles a year.

8-92T...............10377.00 in fuel based on 6.5mpg
Series 60.......... 7941.00 based on 8.5mpg

at 2000.00 per year presently, it would take you some time to recover the cost of a series 60 equiped coach

As Tekebird said, do the math.

I just figured buying a economy 35+mpg mini suv, against my owned mini van 18+ mpg.

I would almost break even at todays fuel prices, but WHEN they drop, I am in the hole.

The numbers don't lie, or carry emotion.  Off my soapbox.... Kiss

Cliff
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1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

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« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2008, 07:40:51 PM »

Non-slide Prevost XLs with 4 strokes are in the market for $200K and up. 
FMCA ads recently had a (this bus was on Ebay too) '96 Marathon Prevost with 170K miles with an asking price of $279K.   It didn't sell during the listing.
If you get into '98 or later, slides, and 45' coaches, you may be looking at half mill plus, but non-slide 40' coaches won't bring that sort of price anymore.  Someone may ask that, but they ain't likely to get it.   
These factory conversions are usually super plush..but they are super complicated.  Some may have gremlins that can be expensive (or impossible) to sort out.   You'll definitely want the thorougly check out all the tiny gizmos and functions in a complicated factory conversion.   
Computer controlled interiors, and low mileage engines that have been 'rebuilt' are signs.  Bad signs.   Some folk can deal with these issues and other will about buy the bus again trying to get the little buggers repaired.   
Still, excellent deals are out there.  Just gotta look for them.   I believe the deals will get better as time goes.   This time of year, some of the coaches that were for sale thru the winter are being used again.  The fall should see a great buyer's market. 
There was an '88 Marathon (?) Prevost LeMirage that was nice inside, clean on the outside, but could use some paint in the near future, believe it belonged to 'Syl' (?), that was for sale with an asking price of $120k bucks.  All the stainless was excellent.  Powered with an 8V92TA.   Really a nice conversion. 
You'll see these coaches on Ebay for $90K and up.  Most don't sell unless they're bonafide steals.
There is more motivation for buying four stroke than fuel mileage.   2 strokes are beginning to become difficult to get good quality service on the road.  Everyone's familiar with the popular four strokes.   
IMHO, and contrary to popular opinion, 2 strokes are far more complicated than 4 strokes.  If possible, a 4 stroke is the way to fly.   
Good luck with your rolling retirement village!  JR 
 
 
« Last Edit: May 01, 2008, 07:47:37 PM by NJT5047 » Logged

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

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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2008, 05:22:33 AM »

Speaking of factory professional conversions, I know where a friend of mine (a car dealer) is selling a very nice, clean prevost. It's a LeMirage model with one of if not the best bodies I have seen. This coach looks brand new. It should as it's been garage kept! It has 57K original miles. New rubber all around and for 90K it's truly a steel. Had I not bought the one I have I would have jumped all over this one. He got it a auction and has been trying to sell it. I guess fuel prices are keeping more people from buying than we really think!
BS
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luvrbus
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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2008, 09:15:47 AM »

Tom, if you haven't look yet take a peek at Phil Coppers web site where individuals have Prevost for sale 95 or 96 models are no where close to 600k.You will find  the 1996 Prevost with the ISS front end to be the less expensive David the guy that bought mine has it listed there
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