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Old 03-15-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
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Greound Zero

Ok...my wife and I are about to embark on a mission with our 3 girls (soon to be a 4th!)

We are starting from ground zero and will be dull timing the next year (or more). Part of the challenge we are having is getting a CLass A layout that works for us...so we started looking at a bus conversion.

Quite honestly, I have no clue where to begin and I feel a bit overwhelmed by the thought...yet, I feel it is the best way to make it work for us and get the layout we want. I will not be doing the work ..as I am not handy

Looking for:
- something 40 feet plus
- Heard prevost and MCis may be the best?
- Will be outsourcing the work..but not sure who or where to go to
- plan on buying an older bus and put about $100K + into it...but I am concerned about losing my shirt if we resell it in a year or two (who knows...we may live in it for 5+ years...but not sure yet and don't want to lose that much on it)
- want something older..but not too old...I was thinking between 7-15 years old
- would like something with high enough ceilings where we could build a loft (similar to what Thor outlaw has in their newer CLass A toyhauler models)

Also..would love to know:
-what I should be looking for when buying this bus....I plan to have it inspected
- what should I be concerned about when buying an older bus?
- what does it cost to gut and build out a custom layout if I am outsourcing everything?
- where should I be looking for used buses?
- are there any major drawback to full timing in a bus conversion (like finding places to stay, getting insurance, resale value, etc)

I know I have so many questions...and I don't want to overwhelm the forum on my first post....

so any info is MUCH MUCH appreciated...we are very serious..and I need to get moving on this because we want to leave by this summer
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gmaz1 View Post
I will not be doing the work ..as I am not handy

Looking for:
- something 40 feet plus
- Heard prevost and MCis may be the best?
- Will be outsourcing the work..but not sure who or where to go to
- plan on buying an older bus and put about $100K + into it...but I am concerned about losing my shirt if we resell it in a year or two (who knows...we may live in it for 5+ years...but not sure yet and don't want to lose that much on it)
- want something older..but not too old...I was thinking between 7-15 years old
- would like something with high enough ceilings where we could build a loft (similar to what Thor outlaw has in their newer CLass A toyhauler models)

Also..would love to know:
-what I should be looking for when buying this bus....I plan to have it inspected
- what should I be concerned about when buying an older bus?
- what does it cost to gut and build out a custom layout if I am outsourcing everything?
- where should I be looking for used buses?
- are there any major drawback to full timing in a bus conversion (like finding places to stay, getting insurance, resale value, etc)

I know I have so many questions...and I don't want to overwhelm the forum on my first post....

so any info is MUCH MUCH appreciated...we are very serious..and I need to get moving on this because we want to leave by this summer

"...but I am concerned about losing my shirt if we resell it in a year or two (who knows...we may live in it for 5+ years...but not sure yet and don't want to lose that much on it)"
Come to the fact now that you'll NEVER recoup even close to what you spend on the bus. If you're looking at it like a monetary investment forget full time RV's and go buy real estate or stocks.

Since you're having someone else do all the work, and you want a full size coach like and MCI or Prevost, be prepared to spend well over $200k for a custom built rig......probably much, much more than this actually. Then be prepared for the ongoing expenses for maintenance, repairs, etc. These things are not cheap to operate and maintain.
If you're in a coach conversion that was done professionally you should have no problem finding places to stay. Professional late model coach conversions = $$$$well off owner who can afford to pay for premium rv sites!
If you're having someone else do the entire build, just start researching the different coach conversion manufacturers and buy the used coach through them as part of the package. Most if not all of them redo used coaches all the time that people trade-in for newer units, off lease units, etc. They'll be more than happy to do whatever you want if you have the $$$$$$$$.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:35 PM   #3
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I think you've answered most of your own questions that are legitimate. You've got a budget decided and you know you want a coach. That all sounds great but this site is pretty much about doing it yourself and often on a budget.

There's a lot of information here about projects like yours, but as you have no bus it's kind of hard to answer your questions. Buses just vary to greatly. At least you have a relatively generous budget. The problem with outsourcing your work on your bus is you won't know how to fix it. Again, not a problem if you have the money.

Honestly you could do a lot with $20k. This isn't something you'll get your money back out of. It's kind of a labor of love and if you give it up nobody cares what you put into it. You either use it up to get your money back or you park it in the back yard and watch it rot. If it's nice enough you can sell it, but don't count your receipts.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:37 PM   #4
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Buy a finished coach, you'll never get half what you spent back from a custom build.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:23 AM   #5
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when i grow up i wanna live in a prevost.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Buy a finished coach, you'll never get half what you spent back from a custom build.

Agreed, sad thing about our community is if we do have to sell, we never get back what we put into it. Very few things with a motor and transmission get anything close to what the original price was in a resell.

You want a coach? I'd suggest posting in the coach section, as most of us are just skoolie owners. (not saying we don't know, there are just more experienced folks in that type of forum.)

Daughter #4 on the way?? Congrats!! Make sure your coach has a second bathroom!!!!

-Doc
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by turf View Post
when i grow up i wanna live in a prevost.
Meh...when I grow up, I wanna live in a VanHool double decker
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:27 AM   #8
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Thumbs up THanks for all the feedback

I definitely don't plan to get my money back...but was hoping to not lose it all or 50% in one year ..........Everything is relative. My wife and I are fortunate that we just sold our home care business that we put our blood, sweat, and tears into for over 10 years. A 24-7 business. We made a lot of sacrifices but we were also rewarded for our efforts....but the money is not limitless. Im also not handy in any way. I think it would be great to build my own as a project...I just don't have the skills.

Sounds like if I do pay someone to do it.......lets say I put $200K into it...bus and custom design...I may be lucky to sell it for $100K in a year or two?

So I have to make the decision....am I willing to spend that kind of money for a year or two for an amazing adventure and have the layout that would be most helpful to us as we travel being that I will still have to work...or do we buy something that does not have all the spaces we need and buy something that will still depreciate...but maybe i will get 75% back of what i purchased it for in a year or two.

All the feedback was helpful..thank you so much for your time.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:44 AM   #9
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Go buy yourself a nice coach and have a few things swapped around.
Have you shopped around, and looked at what 50-100 grand will get you?
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmaz1 View Post
I definitely don't plan to get my money back...but was hoping to not lose it all or 50% in one year ..........Everything is relative. My wife and I are fortunate that we just sold our home care business that we put our blood, sweat, and tears into for over 10 years. A 24-7 business. We made a lot of sacrifices but we were also rewarded for our efforts....but the money is not limitless. Im also not handy in any way. I think it would be great to build my own as a project...I just don't have the skills.

Sounds like if I do pay someone to do it.......lets say I put $200K into it...bus and custom design...I may be lucky to sell it for $100K in a year or two?

So I have to make the decision....am I willing to spend that kind of money for a year or two for an amazing adventure and have the layout that would be most helpful to us as we travel being that I will still have to work...or do we buy something that does not have all the spaces we need and buy something that will still depreciate...but maybe i will get 75% back of what i purchased it for in a year or two.

All the feedback was helpful..thank you so much for your time.

As EastCoast said, go look at used coaches/Class A's and see about having some minor renovations made to one to fit your family of 4. No need to break the bank by starting from scratch if you're only going to use it for a year or so.
On a bigger note, do it now while you have the money and the kids are young! You'll spend valuable time with the kids that you can never get back as they grow older and they will gain fond memories. They will also learn so much about the country that they wouldn't otherwise see.
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