Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-23-2019, 02:23 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
TheRollingBones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 61
Question Most expensive Conversion: Coach or Skoolie?

Are coaches more expensive to convert to an RV? Are Skoolies more expensive?
(Let's say a Thomas 90 passenger HDX Vs. an MCI MC12)?
If you had a reno budget of $125,000, could your money "do more" on a Skoolie?

__________________
Papa "Rollin" Bone
TheRollingBones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 03:14 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,011
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
As I understand it, the coaches cost a bit more. However, with a renovation budget of $120,000.00 the difference between $5,000.00 for a skoolie and $12,000.00 for a coach is a low percentage of the total project.


Note: The skoolie and coach prices are just for the purposes of an example.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 07:11 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,028
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
It would seem that the interior work would be about the same cost either way.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 07:24 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 573
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
It also should be noted that insurance companies view coaches differently. There are more options for insurance with a coach.

I might be wrong, but I’m guessing total cost of ownership will be much higher for the coach.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 07:57 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
musigenesis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,147
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
As I understand it, the coaches cost a bit more. However, with a renovation budget of $120,000.00 the difference between $5,000.00 for a skoolie and $12,000.00 for a coach is a low percentage of the total project.


Note: The skoolie and coach prices are just for the purposes of an example.
You could start with a brand-new bus if you had that budget. I wonder if OP meant $12,500 as a budget.
__________________
Rusty 87 build thread
musigenesis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 08:08 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 185
Coachwork: In the market
I think a lot will depend on what kind of school bus you get. A fair amount of the discussion on this forum pertains to determining which is the 'right' bus for someone's custom build because school buses come from the manufacturer spec'd for a particular purpose and that purpose may not include highway speed cruising all day long. Therefore, you may get a better deal buying a school bus over an MCI but then you could end up spending the difference or more to upgrade it for the task. You'll also have to fabricate much of what is already inherent in the motorcoach like under floor storage bays and even then the school bus bays won't be nearly as spacious as a motorcoach. These are the types of things that add up throughout the build that may have been given in the buying process.

All in all you will get more space in a motorcoach. School buses don't come in sizes larger than 40 feet and 96 inches wide whereas a motorcoach can be 45 feet and 102 inches wide. Your headroom is also native to the motorcoach and to get a comparable clearance requires a roof raise in a school bus which opens up another whole can of worms.

All in all, if you have a $125k budget I believe you can get a better custom build from a motorcoach simply because you don't spend as much trying to make a school bus into something it wasn't designed to be. That being said, most of us here have an affinity for school buses and therefore that logic is cancelled out by the build we've envisioned being a school bus build, not a motorcoach build.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 11:09 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,028
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
I think a lot will depend on what kind of school bus you get. A fair amount of the discussion on this forum pertains to determining which is the 'right' bus for someone's custom build because school buses come from the manufacturer spec'd for a particular purpose and that purpose may not include highway speed cruising all day long. Therefore, you may get a better deal buying a school bus over an MCI but then you could end up spending the difference or more to upgrade it for the task. You'll also have to fabricate much of what is already inherent in the motorcoach like under floor storage bays and even then the school bus bays won't be nearly as spacious as a motorcoach. These are the types of things that add up throughout the build that may have been given in the buying process.

All in all you will get more space in a motorcoach. School buses don't come in sizes larger than 40 feet and 96 inches wide whereas a motorcoach can be 45 feet and 102 inches wide. Your headroom is also native to the motorcoach and to get a comparable clearance requires a roof raise in a school bus which opens up another whole can of worms.

All in all, if you have a $125k budget I believe you can get a better custom build from a motorcoach simply because you don't spend as much trying to make a school bus into something it wasn't designed to be. That being said, most of us here have an affinity for school buses and therefore that logic is cancelled out by the build we've envisioned being a school bus build, not a motorcoach build.
I agree with what you are saying. Must say for me I wanted a school bus, and have no desire for a coach. Mostly for just because it is what I like.

I have been in a few coaches that feel claustrophobic, so kind of turned off by that.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 11:25 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,315
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
It would seem that the interior work would be about the same cost either way.
I have experience with both and would agree that a particular level of fit and finish in a conversion would cost about the same in a coach as in a Skoolie.

However...... Most of the coach conversions are built to a different level than skoolies.

Now I have seen some very nice Skoolie builds but on average the coaches I have been around have been generally fancier. A have seen a number of million dollar plus conversions.

As far as maintenance costs go. Repairs on coaches can be more expensive than what a similar repair can be notably more expensive than skoolies.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 11:38 AM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: the Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 233
Year: 1997
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: 466e
Rated Cap: its Yuge
I feel like any return on investment you would expect at the end of conversion would have much more potential with a coach then a skoolie. I could see them being about the same cost to convert. Some of theInitial cost of bus being offset by things like roof raise and underbody storage.
MambaJack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 11:52 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 5,315
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MambaJack View Post
I feel like any return on investment you would expect at the end of conversion would have much more potential with a coach then a skoolie. I could see them being about the same cost to convert. Some of theInitial cost of bus being offset by things like roof raise and underbody storage.
I would agree with that if you buy well on the coach and materials and are able to perform the majority of the work yourself.

I sold my Eagle for less than my materials cost..... After I had lived in it full time for 7+ years and put 250k miles on it.

It didn't owe me anything

Wow.... Time flies.... I can hardly believe that bus almost 12 years ago. It is still on the road.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 05:04 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Ronnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,028
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
The OP has posted elsewhere on the forum a picture of a really high end interior of an rv. So thinking this would be a higher end build.

Maybe a Crown would be a good choice.
Ronnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 10:01 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11
Wouldn't the driving your doing weigh in. A coach is a transcontinental travel machine usually air ride passenger comfort type machine. A schoolie was get the kiddos to school 5-10 miles away in relative comfort.
Gizmolannigan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2019, 10:04 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
TJones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 409
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
The coach vs bus decision for me came down to overall size. I would love to have the head room and drive train of a coach but I wanted to be around 35 ft long. The added height of a coach might not handle cross winds as well as a smaller bus.

Also with school buses there is the advantage of them "aging out" before the milage gets super high. I imagine most coaches have much higher milage before they are priced close to school bus pricing.

If the size of a coach works for your needs and you have the budget to buy a low milage coach that's what I would do.

Ted
TJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 08:46 AM   #14
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 998
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRollingBones View Post
Are coaches more expensive to convert to an RV? Are Skoolies more expensive?
You are asking a lot of questions and that's good. However; I'd suggest you define your mission/goals and then decide what equipment/approach will allow you to best achieve it/them.

I'm struggling to understand the question. In my mind, it's a little like asking if restoring a Ferrari 308 will be more expensive than a VW bug. They are two entirely different things. A coach with a 62,000 lb GVWR is always going to consist of parts that are more expensive than an 18,000 GVWR bus/chassis. Think about the size/weight/strength of the parts involved. What you spend on the interior is up to you - regardless of the chassis.

There are numerous advantages to a coach but they are only an advantage if that capability is needed/used.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 11:56 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
TheRollingBones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I would agree with that if you buy well on the coach and materials and are able to perform the majority of the work yourself.

I sold my Eagle for less than my materials cost..... After I had lived in it full time for 7+ years and put 250k miles on it.

It didn't owe me anything

Wow.... Time flies.... I can hardly believe that bus almost 12 years ago. It is still on the road.
One reason my family and I prefer a Skoolie (90 passenger Thomas HDX RE) is the higher ground clearance juxtaposed to a low ridding coach. We want to do some serious boondocking.

Question: will a Detroit 60 series turbo diesel engine/Allison B500 trany fit (swap) into a Thomas HDX Saf-T-Liner ? We are planning on a total renovation of one kind or another. Thank you for your input.
__________________
Papa "Rollin" Bone
TheRollingBones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 12:08 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
TheRollingBones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 61
You can't (or shouldn't) drive down rural unpaved roads in a coach, A coach is strictly a pavement only vehicle. We will be touring the US and Canada in the summers.

My wife and four elementary school kids will need the extra space. We will, no doubt, need a big rig Skoolie that can travel on BLM and national forest roads.

The $10,000 question: how do you "Frankenstein" the best of both Coach and Skoolie DNA into a comfortable, glide ride, boondock- touring, vegi-oil burning, solar powered off road freedom machine (and not go over the 125K budget)?

Best Regards,
__________________
Papa "Rollin" Bone
TheRollingBones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 12:16 PM   #17
Site Team
 
JDOnTheGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 998
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRollingBones View Post
You can't (or shouldn't) drive down rural unpaved roads in a coach, A coach is strictly a pavement only vehicle.
Where did you come up with that "fact"?? Please provide supporting data to back it up.
__________________
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
JDOnTheGo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 12:19 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
TheRollingBones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 61
See- "having your cake and eating it too".
__________________
Papa "Rollin" Bone
TheRollingBones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 12:20 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
TheRollingBones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 61
The off road comment?
__________________
Papa "Rollin" Bone
TheRollingBones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2019, 12:22 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
TheRollingBones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 61
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Where did you come up with that "fact"?? Please provide supporting data to back it up.
Regarding which statement?
__________________
Papa "Rollin" Bone
TheRollingBones 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 02:37 AM.


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