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Old 07-15-2014, 08:58 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Prevost Le Mirage

Does anyone have any experience converting a Prevost Le Mirage? I have an opportunity to get one of these instead of a 92 BB AA. I'm wondering if it is a better idea in the long run to start with something like this for my first build? Any thoughts, reliability of engine/transmission, you name it, I've got about a week to decide which one I'm going to get, and the list of pros and cons I've come up with are about even. Skoolies are sturdier and easier to work on, but require more work to convert. Skoolies are great on the shorter trips, and can get into far more places off the grid, but aren't as good over the road.

Need more information from people that have been there and know what I am about to get into, lol.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:30 PM   #2
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

I'm going to give you this in the Readers Digest version. A school bus is simple! Everything Prevost is difficult. Its all about looks with those buses, not serviceability. You'd end up with a 2 stroke Detroit, which is a great engine. Twice as many moving parts than a 4 stroke though. Detroits are all getting age on them now. Fuel economy isnt great, engine oil is getting hard to find, Detroit parts are as well. Tires are much more expensive. If you need Prevost parts, be prepared to pay. I could go on forever.

Long story short, if you dont have a substantial bank account, skip it. You will be spending a good bit of money buying a coach/entertainer. I'd rather be negative with you BEFORE you buy it, than afterward.

On the positive; nice ride, creature comforts, good looks, stout units. Lots of power generally, durability as well. Much, much nicer than a school bus.

If you want more, go here and ask the same question: http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?board=1.0
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:04 AM   #3
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

Quote:
You will be spending a good bit of money buying a coach/entertainer.
This actually isn't a problem, I'll be getting it from the same guy that has the school bus I am looking at, so it will still be mostly a trade. It's not an entertainer though, it's a seat bus. I guess that would be considered a transit? I got a better look at it yesterday, it is the same dimensions as the skoolie, 40' long and 8' wide, and the head clearance is the same as well. So the amount of room to be remodeled into an RV isn't a factor either way. It is a manual transmission as opposed to the auto in the skoolie, which means my wife wouldn't drive it, even around the yard. But I really didn't believe that she would drive the skoolie anyway. My next step is to find out exactly what shape the motor and transmission are in, I don't want to start the project with a bus that doesn't run or will need extensive repairs. It's still up in the air, but my wife got to look at both buses for the first time yesterday, and she is leaning towards the Provost just for the comfort level of the air ride suspension and the already existent basement storage being well over 4x what the BlueBird has built onto it. She doesn't have much of an imagination when it comes to what can be fabricated and attached to the skoolie. I need to learn more about the mechanical side of the Provost before I settle on which one will be best.

(I have this lump in my gut that tells me that sometime over the next 4 years I will end up with both, but which one should be first?)
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:00 AM   #4
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outcast
Quote:
Originally Posted by Opus
You will be spending a good bit of money buying a coach/entertainer.
This actually isn't a problem, I'll be getting it from the same guy that has the school bus I am looking at, so it will still be mostly a trade. It's not an entertainer though, it's a seat bus. I guess that would be considered a transit?
1. I think you misunderstood Opus. He was listing the money you will be shelling out AFTER the acquisition, not the cost of becoming the owner.

2. Transit means city bus, usually with low floors and no luggage areas. The drive trains are usually geared to running block-to-block at 25 to 50 MPH. Most of them can also be used on the big highways, but not happily.

All the Prevosts I've seen or installed radios into are coaches, but some companies make both. Coaches are highway buses, usually much taller than Skoolies and geared for Interstate Highway travel. They should have baggage bins and usually have a small toilet room. Think of Greyhound or Trailways buses when you think of coaches.

A coach will get you from point to point with more ease than a Skoolie, but will not be at home off of the pavement the way a Skoolie without belly bins could. Forget exploring forest roads in a coach. But it will be more welcome in many upscale RV resorts than a Skoolie. So besides cost and comfort en route, ask yourself how and where do you intend to use your bus after conversion?
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

Well, the wife decided she wanted the Prevost. (For the first build, don't mention that to her) So I guess that's that.

I did get a little more info:

1981 model, seated coach. 121,000 miles on a 8v71 Detroit Diesel with a 6 speed manual transmission and a built in lavatory. Put good batteries in it and it fired right up. Ran the motor for about and hour, all the air system seems to work fine. Didn't take it on the road yet. It will need tires on the drive and tag axles.

It has the Air Conditioning unit in the under storage, in the middle of the bus. I was wondering if this could be run while the engine was off, forgot to ask the owner. Still want at least one roof AC unit.

A roof raise should be interesting, seeing that you have to cut below the windows instead of about them like on a skoolie. It'll make for more light up high anyway.

I figure in a few years I'll get the skoolie as well, for more remote camping. I'm going to need a second job!
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

there no riseing on a provost roof,,, trust me ,been there ,try it no upper surports to speack of ...unless your over 7 ft tall leave it along... I work for a company and they will not rise a provost that's my 2 cents worth
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:49 PM   #7
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

Thanks Keith, I need to do a lot more research into it before I go cutting anything, but I did see a tutorial, pics and all, on another site where a guy raised the roof 8 inches by cutting the ribs below the windows, and welding in 14" sections of square tubing inside the original tubing. (3 inch overlap top and bottom for stability)

So, it can be done, I just don't know if it's worth it for me to tackle. But I have until November to ponder that question. Phase 1 is getting it titles and tagged as an RV, which doesn't need all that.
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Old 07-21-2014, 11:17 PM   #8
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

best of luck,,, mine is tag in Ga too,,,Ellijay ga
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:23 AM   #9
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

Cool, I'm in Cleveland.

If I could pick your brain just a bit more, what is required in Georgia to have it retitled as an RV? I'm getting conflicting information from what are supposed to be "official" sources and with your experience in the matter maybe you can clear some things up. To begin with I'm looking to just do enough to get it retitled, a bare minimum. Later, over the winter, I'll gut her and start a complete rebuild, but I need her retitled so I can get a tag and insurance and drive her to the various places I need to be to get some of the work done. As it already has a toilet built in, that is one out of the way, but what else will I need, and how intense are the inspections, if any?
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:09 AM   #10
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Re: Prevost Le Mirage

If you want to know about converting a Prevost, ask on BNO's forum. We had an Eagle 05 (Prevost was based on an Eagle). Getting it up the driveway was a pita and yes, the rear did drag (typical mountain driveway) unlike the skoolie on the same driveway. I'd bet that you will be spending more for your Prevost conversion over a skoolie conversion. Mostly because you will upgrade everything a little because "it's a coach not a skoolie". We chose to do things differently over the Eagle because we were no longer dealing with the "coach" mindset. Also highway coaches are just that HIGHWAY. They are not real fond of being driven down a rutted gravel road to a remote public campground, thru steep turns and I have watched more than one get hung in a steep gas station drive. But I really miss the basement. Other than the basement, I'm glad we went with a skoolie. Not quite the same cachet as saying "we live in an Eagle" but I will take the "stigma" of the Blue Bird. If you drive a highway coach, then people just assume you have the $$ to go with it.
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