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Old 03-17-2019, 07:36 PM   #29
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Although it is true that many parts for a MH are available even if the mfr. is out of business there are still some that can give you a giant headache. Front suspension parts may have to be custom made and they are expensive. If, for example, you have a 2009 Monaco Camelot or Dynasty the company that made the chassis multiplex system is out of business. But for $6000 you can have one custom built. However if you only wanted to buy a used MH from a mfr. that is still in business your choices will be limited. many of today's mfrs. do not carry parts for their 10 year old coaches. Not every bus converter from 10 years ago is still in business. If I were to buy a Prevost it would be a Marathon or Liberty. They have all parts available. So far I have not been stumped getting parts for our 08 Dynasty.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:00 AM   #30
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Per- we are doing well. Flooring in coaches is something that I should have done decades ago. I like your coach
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:16 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
we have been looking at various Older Motohome options. The safety, ride, and durability of Prevost has a lot of appeal, but we have not seen a single Prevost conversion we like.

we are looking in the 1998 - 2008 range (we want slides, no DEF, preferably a Detroit Series 60). Two of the main things we cannot find in a Prevost conversion are windows that open; and wood cabinetry furniture and trim (no laminates and very little plastics, chrome, mirrors). Prevost converters seem to be obsessed with laminates and with mirrors. We are looking for a cozy comfortable homey feeling not bling/glitz hotel type decor.

Does anyone know of a converter who used wood and windows that open? So far I found one Liberty with wood, out of about 60 Used Prevosts I looked at. A lot of them have wood look laminate over wood but we want simply wood - no laminates at all.
We were looking for something similar. My plan was and may be in the future was to find a three slide that is gaudy and have it redone inside with wood vs liberace's bedroom.

Our issue was finding a bath and half with a bed on the passenger side. That's hard to find, we found an American Coach Eagle that checked all the boxes. The build quality is excellent, zero pressboard.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:25 AM   #32
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Mark. Very few coaches today use pressboard. Probably Thor and maybe Jayco. Thor even has OSB under the countertops. I looked at an early 2000ish Winnie and the cabinets were all pressboard and coming apart! Even the lowly Bounder uses plywood. Our 88 Bluebird uses 1/2 inch plywood for the drawers! And not that soft wood that Fleetwood uses.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:53 AM   #33
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W . . . have it redone inside with wood vs liberace's bedroom.
That is an apt description of pretty much every Prevost we have looked at. (And Newell, and Realm, . . . Pretty much all of the higher end Motor-homes).

Thank you all for the discussion above. Some very interesting points to consider. Sorry, the discussion is making some a little hot under the collar. It can be upsetting when someone disses your personal choices. I have not made any choice. The beaver/Monaco still has a lot of appeal. Many of them are in buy and go condition, while the only way we could do Prevost is either find one that needs some sort of work or a really old one.

One thing I really like about the Series 60 is pretty much every diesel mechanic on earth knows how to work on them. Also I probably mentioned my father was on the design team and this was the crowning achievement of his career, so it has nostalgic value to me as well. (More important is that pretty much every diesel fleet owner I know calls them the best engine ever - - fairly trouble free, simple and easy to repair when needed, easy to maintain, tons of torque for the engine size, great durability "overhaul it every million miles and it will last almost forever") there is a reason they went into most of the very top end Motorhomes.

I have looked at some Prevost shells recently. Some are former buses - those have too many miles and too much work to do, no generator, some have no tanks, no aquahot or equivalent, plus no slides. Some were entertainment motorhomes. Those also have an awful lot of miles, but already have generators and storage and tanks etc. They often also have slides. Best bet seems to be former motorhomes, but many of them are gutted because there was a fire inside. I would want to see the fire damage before they gutted it. A fire could quickly generate enough heat to stress the metal. I saw one for sale that was gutted because someone had killed themselves inside of it. That is a little disconcerting, but it would not be damaged much if at all.

It is surprising how many of them seem to be around.

Ideally I would like to find one that is simply dated and worn inside and I can use a lot of the existing framework and just refinish it and upgrade the systems.

I do not understand why it would cost so much more to fit out a Prevost than another kind of coach.

For example an Entegra Cornerstone, which is quite luxurious, costs less than $500,000 for the entire brand new motor-home loaded up with computers, mirrors everywhere, high tech everything. It virtually drives itself. That means the interior build out cannot be much more than $100K. While I would want to go with higher quality products than Thor/Entegra, I would not want as much flash and dash or to quote above "Liberace's bedroom" so the cost would likely be less than what Entegra spends (not to mention I can DIY a lot of it if my wife allows). I also do not need/want all the computerized stuff. While computers are fine where absolutely necessary, I prefer fewer things to break. I do not see how just the build out could cost more than about $100,000.

A Prevost with a thrashed interior would still have the generator, aqua-hot, compressor etc in place. A 10K generator is plenty for me. Our 16K standby powers our whole house, AC units, pool pumps, two fridges, freezer, dehumidifiers, everything. An older Prevost might need new air bags and maybe some mechanical work (possibly not), but mostly I would be building in walls, plumbing and electrical, flooring, AC, power systems, and finish. I am not sure how much of it I would DIY. I wired about 5000 s.f. of our house, so I could probably handle wiring a motor-home. Yes, the systems are different and more complex since you need to be able to run on AC or DC, but it cannot be all that hard to learn. Plumbing is basically the same. Plumbing with PEX is especially easy and hard to make a mistake. I can do the rough carpentry, but I would hire out the finish carpentry. Not my forte.

Depending on the type of flooring, I would probably have that done. I have done some basic flooring. I do not do carpeting though. My knees are already messed up enough.

No matter what kind of RV I got, I will probably replace the driver and passenger seat with the newest, most comfortable coolest thing out there. that is pretty easy. Furniture is also easy to buy and install.

Frankly, a lot of the items could be taken from other motor-homes. I see no reason to custom make counter tops. Possibly the same with cabinet frames if I can find a layout I like and just get them finished the way we want them. Is there an RV junkyard someplace?

Even if I needed to have the cabinet frames custom made, I do not see it costing that much. Yes custom cabinets are expensive but we are talking about a 60 s.f. kitchen and 400 s.f. altogether.

I also see things like couches at RV stores for a fraction of their normal price because they are a discontinued model or color.

I guess to price it out and determine whether it is feasible, I need to make an estimate of materials and cost.

One big hurdle for me is my wife. She may not tolerate this idea. We bought an 1893 house and spent 9 years restoring it to near perfection. Then we sold it and bought an 1836 house for $1 (we had to move it and restore it). The deal was we would have it 100% finished before we moved in, not like the other house. We had a ton of money from selling our other house and a loan for way more than enough to finish everything at top quality levels. But - - - our bank went out of business, costs overran, home values tanked - - - we ended up moving in and are still finishing things 12 years later. Not sure what will happen if I tell her, we are gong to buy a Prevost and then work on it until I retire then we can move into it and sell the house. I do like all my parts attached.


Kind of a side issue. I have been studying RV toilets lately (ok that is a bit weird, but I look at each aspect intently one at a time and I prefer to make decisions on a piece by piece basis). I see a lot of comments that with 1.5 baths the toilets that are not sitting directly on top of the tank tend to plug up frequently if you do anything but pee in them. Some people say always, others say never/it is not true.

Another question does anyone know why they do not use ICYNENE (foam) insulation in motor-homes? It seems ideal because it does not retain or get ruined by water, it will not feed mold, it has extremely good sound deadening quality. Is it too heavy? It is so much better in houses than any other type of insulation. I would love to use it.

If I end up going the DIY route I will need to go do some factory tours and look at what they use. I assume they use steel studs in the walls since steel studs are are lighter and stronger than wood, but I do not know for certain.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:28 PM   #34
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coldjensens. Do not take this post as an insult but you are being very naïve. Building a MH is nothing like building or reneoing a house. Confined quarters. You have to consider the design and layout. Tanks can only be in certain spaces.S o plumbing and locations are important. Weight distribution is another factor. Depending on where you live the unit might have to pass an inspection. Wiring in a MH has it's won code. I doubt you could even buy the components for $100,000. The labor would be at least $250,000. What you would end up with is a Skoolie. Worth maybe $35,000 when you are done. You are wasting your time! Your logic is twisted.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:07 PM   #35
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coldjensens. Do not take this post as an insult but you are being very naïve. Building a MH is nothing like building or reneoing a house. You are wasting your time! Your logic is twisted.
X2 plus after the years it would take to finish, you would not need it as a single man.

IF I were going FT, I would seriously look for a 2015 4 slide Prevost with a non Liberace interior. At 20K+ miles/year the bus part of it over the 20 years that many FT, it would be worth it. No way am I going FT, especially at my age, plus there is no way to take all the other toys along...boats, vehicles, or the airplane.

Why are almost all entertainer coaches Prevost or MCI? They are going to get lots of miles and they are on a tight schedule. Several years ago Greyhound ordered 220 new buses... 130 MCI and 90 Prevost.

One of the things I dislike about all new big MHs and all Prevost are the flush, frameless windows. Sure they look nice but they do not open very much. AC makes up for the lack of airflow but even when snowbirding it’s nice to not have to use it. Having to run the generator while boondocking pretty much defeats why and the neighbors are going to love you.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:23 PM   #36
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:29 PM   #37
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@coldjensens -


I've ridden a few thousand miles in Prevost-based entertainer conversions. Converting one of them into a motorhome successfully depends on how it was kitted out to start with. If it had a shower, that means the plumbing is more involved than a coach that had only a toilet, hand washing sink, and galley sink. That could be in your favor, or possibly tie you down to specific locations in the floor plan. Would a mid-ship shower be a problem in your design? If so, things got more expensive and complicated.


Taking out the bunks is easy and making changes to the forward salon is relatively straight forward.


I can't know your level of trim carpentry experience, nor your skills in designing a road-worthy interior so I can't offer any guidance in those areas.


Take a look at www.busforsale.com and check the "for sale by owner" section.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:22 PM   #38
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Ivylog: many Prevost Conversions have a huge battery bank and multiple Inverters. They may be 24 or 48 volt. Not sure. But supposedly you can run2 AC's off the inverters. If the unit was ordered from Prevost correctly it even has driver AC for running down the road. The Prevost engine AC is designed to cool 50 plus passengers. The former owner of my Bluebird has a 1999 Prevost. He has owned many BB's. The first thing he noticed on his Marathon was that everything is accessible. Sometimes wiring and relays is behind a door. Other times it is a removable panel. There are 2 conduits running the length of the unit. Anytime you want to add something the wiring can be run in those conduits. His unit was redone at Marathon and is NOT Glitzy. I think the cost of redoing some items exceeded the $100,000 that the OP was willing to spend. I already told my friend I want first
crack at buying his Marathon. If I live that long!
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:38 PM   #39
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Ivylog: many Prevost Conversions have a huge battery bank and multiple Inverters. They may be 24 or 48 volt. Not sure. But supposedly you can run2 AC's off the inverters. If the unit was ordered from Prevost correctly it even has driver AC for running down the road. The Prevost engine AC is designed to cool 50 plus passengers. The former owner of my Bluebird has a 1999 Prevost. He has owned many BB's. The first thing he noticed on his Marathon was that everything is accessible. Sometimes wiring and relays is behind a door. Other times it is a removable panel. There are 2 conduits running the length of the unit. Anytime you want to add something the wiring can be run in those conduits. His unit was redone at Marathon and is NOT Glitzy. I think the cost of redoing some items exceeded the $100,000 that the OP was willing to spend. I already told my friend I want first
crack at buying his Marathon. If I live that long!
Moisheh,

Just to clarify a couple of things; Prevosts have a 24 volt battery bank for starting, and 12 volts for things like lights. All Prevosts come with a driver's AC system, unless they are equipped with the over-the-road AC, which like you say, is sized to cool a bus filled with 50-some passengers. The nice thing about this system is that it is also over-the-road heat--we have heat/AC vents the length of the coach. In our coach we have both the over-the-road system and 4 CruiseAirs, which is a split system like a residential unit, and it is significantly quieter than roof ACs. Either system can cool the coach, although with the over-the-road system the engine has to be running.
Another item on the list for Prevost: In our CC Affinity, we really had to watch the cooling water going up steep hills. Once, on the Baker hill going to LV, we actually had to pull over to let the engine cool down. We have never had to do that in the Prevost, and we have been on steep hills with 100+ temps. Wouldn't work too well to have a passenger bus with a full load of people pull over on a hill, would it!
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:08 PM   #40
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One other item I wanted to bring up is the décor in Prevost conversions. I hear a lot of comments that Prevost conversions are gaudy. While there are some that could do well as a template for New Orleans Cathouse (don't think they have those anymore!) many are very tastefully decorated; Most Marathons I have seen are not overdone with mirrors etc. That was one of the things we liked about our coach. Keep in mind a lot of Prevost conversions are custom built to the first owner's preference. While some will always prefer wood--I loved the wood in our Affinity, but it required constant care with furniture polish. A simple damp cloth on our laminate will remove any stain or spill.

While some Prevost have been neglected by owners, there are a lot of owners that take an older coach and zero it out--meaning they replace wear-out items to the point the coach is practically new from a wear perspective--ours is one(and no it is not for sale--not for another 10 years!) If you can find a coach that has had wear items, such as air bags, tires, shocks, brake chambers, suspension components, tires, batteries, Norgren valves etc., replaced, you will be way ahead of any project coach you may find. Those coaches are out there, you just need to make sure the owner has documentation on work done. Renovating a coach will cost a lot more than you think. As far as a new Cornerstone that may cost $500k, consider a typical paint job on a Prevost will run over $100k--you're comparing hamburgers to a filet.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:57 AM   #41
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In my work on flooring, I have never encountered on the higher end coaches, decorative paper wrapped particle board for any trim. EVER
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:52 AM   #42
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Mark. Very few coaches today use pressboard. Probably Thor and maybe Jayco. Thor even has OSB under the countertops. I looked at an early 2000ish Winnie and the cabinets were all pressboard and coming apart! Even the lowly Bounder uses plywood. Our 88 Bluebird uses 1/2 inch plywood for the drawers! And not that soft wood that Fleetwood uses.
I saw pressboard in the rear of a London Air and Cornerstone not all but where they could sneak away with it some have. Not what I expected.

The AE I have has 3/4" where strength counts and 1/2" where it dosen't. That coupled with the liberty chassis and they are tanks.

That comes at a price I do weigh in just over 50k.
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