Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-31-2019, 10:26 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
WoodenYouKnowIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lake Barkley
Posts: 120
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Prevost
Chassis: H3-45
Engine: Detroit DDEC III
Rated Cap: A LOT
Van Hool or Prevost?

For a long time, I have had my heart set on finding a Blue Bird All American RE for my conversion project. I am familiar with this bus because this is what I drove when I was toting America's most precious cargo from their homes to school and back again. But I haven't been able to find one that is in the price range that I can afford.

Then, out of the clear blue, I ran into a tour company here in middle Tennessee that has some old buses for sale. I went to look at them but I know really very little about them. But I CAN afford one.

They have four coaches sitting side by side. They are a Van Hool CX45, an MCI, another Van Hool that's about 35 feet long and a Prevost H series from the 1990s. However, all four of these buses are so vastly ahead of the Blue Bird that I've decided I can get one of them instead.

I really like the Van Hool CX45. It's HUGE! It might even be a 50 foot because it's just so big. I don't know. My 87 year old mother wants me to get the Prevost.

I can't decide. They are both the same price - $6000 (Actually, all four of the buses have the same asking price)
WoodenYouKnowIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 10:34 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,734
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
35 foot coaches are cool. WHat model is the MCI?
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
WoodenYouKnowIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lake Barkley
Posts: 120
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Prevost
Chassis: H3-45
Engine: Detroit DDEC III
Rated Cap: A LOT
I don't know but I will find out here in a little while and get back. I'll also take some photos of everything that's there and see where I can post them so that you folks can view them.

I will say that, sitting next to the Van Hool, the MCI looks little.
WoodenYouKnowIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 11:45 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,374
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Back in the 1990's I used to take my Eagle to the service shop at a local charter operation that ran a bunch of Eagles.

After Eagle went belly up for the third or fourth time the charter company decided to start replacing their retiring Eagles with VanHools.

The service guys and drivers that I talked to were very happy with the VanHools. The only complaint that I heard was was that they didn't ride as well as the Eagle.



This forum is a great, laid back and (mostly) very friendly place with lots of great info and people. However, don't limit yourself. There is some good info specific to OTR coaches at www.busconversions.com

Good luck with your quest.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 07:16 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
WoodenYouKnowIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lake Barkley
Posts: 120
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Prevost
Chassis: H3-45
Engine: Detroit DDEC III
Rated Cap: A LOT
I went to meet with the seller of the buses today. They operate a company that, ... well I'm not sure what they do but it is a faith based outreach organization that helps homeless, down-on-their-luck and others who are going through rehab and such. They're selling off their inventory of OTR long distance buses and switching over to schoolies. I'm not sure why but the guy I met with said that they were having to maintain insurance on these buses that were on their lot. Apparently, insurance for school buses is a lot less expensive.

Anyway, I looked the Van Hool over really good and then the Prevost. Turns out the Van Hool has a lot of problems - mostly electrical. It's not running. The Prevost is actually in pretty good shape and runs well. It needs air bags in the rear and the Prevost dealer in Nashville quoted these folks some $17,000 to replace them. I've already found a website that shows how to do it myself. The Prevost has a mere 162,000 miles on the clock so YES, it's in good shape. It looks like one of the top vents was broken out by some vandals that wanted to get into the bus and sleep there. ...or smoke something funny. I'm not sure. It's not in the best of neighborhoods.

So the decision has pretty much been made for us. Although, the seller said he would take $12000 for all FOUR of the buses. He said that he REALLY needs to get them off of his books.

So, if anyone can come up with a few grand, he can choose from among the other three. If I knew how to post photos, I'd show the buses. I'll see what I can do.

I just posted a photo, the only one I have, of these buses in the photo album. Since I'm new to this forum, I'm learning as I go.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/member...ture20987.html
WoodenYouKnowIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 07:35 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 17,734
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Does the mci run?
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
WoodenYouKnowIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lake Barkley
Posts: 120
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Prevost
Chassis: H3-45
Engine: Detroit DDEC III
Rated Cap: A LOT
I don't know. But I will find out. Can you PM me?
WoodenYouKnowIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 08:36 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,374
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
162k miles on a good running Prevost......

RUN AWAY!!!!! but not until you send me the sellers phone number....

Tell us more about that one. If you don't buy it someone else here may be interested.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2019, 11:38 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
WoodenYouKnowIt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Lake Barkley
Posts: 120
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Prevost
Chassis: H3-45
Engine: Detroit DDEC III
Rated Cap: A LOT
Oh I'm buying it. There is no way in the world I would let this one go. This is really one of the once in a lifetime things and it's never happened to me before. It's about time one came my way. I need to be very thankful and very respectful for what I'm getting here. This coach will get a good home where it will be taken good care of.
WoodenYouKnowIt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 01:56 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,119
I would stay strictly away, a long way away, from any Van Hool.



For whatever reason all of the VH's tend to become garage queens as they get older. The number one gripe is always something to do with the electrical. The problem is compounded by the fact that even though the engine might be a Cummins or Detroit Diesel and the transmission an Allison, normal regular scan tools won't work on a VH. For whatever reason VH has added proprietary code into the Cummins, DD, and Allison software that prevents anything except for VH scan tools to work.



To compound the electrical problems even further VH follows the European practice of the ground is in the switch and the power is always hot to whatever. You can imagine the problems that arise as a bus gets older and insulation wears out. It is bad enough on an American vehicle that when you turn on a switch you blow a fuse or a breaker. But on a VH you will have power leads dead shorting all over and you will have a devil of a time figuring out what is causing all of the electrical gremlins.



The only coach worse for electrical issues are the Neoplans. And their biggest issue is Neoplan used aluminum wiring in a LOT of their buses.



The Prevost H3-coach has been their premier coach for more than 20-years. They are a little quirky and parts can be an issue at times but nothing like a VH. Rust can be a problem with them but otherwise they are a very solid coach.



The MCI has been the workhorse of the motorcoach world since the '60's. Many of the parts are interchangeable between the MC-5, -7, -8, -9, -10, and -12. The MCI E-coaches can have some electrical problems. The fact it has seven brain boxes can give you an idea of what some of the issues might be. The MCI J-coaches are a lower line E-coach with only three or four brain boxes. The D- and DL- are the newer version of the -9 and have proven to be very reliable.


The longest any of the buses will be is 45' at the most unless the Prevost is an H5-60 which was an articulated bus with five axles--two steer, one drive, one tag, and one trailer.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.