Originally Posted by Mark D
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.