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Old 04-02-2019, 05:26 AM   #421
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Originally Posted by Offgr1d View Post


YAY!!!! my couch has been updated to full custom installed lounge seating!



this is sgtill one of my favorite builds!!! I see a mini split.. did you ditch the neat chiller system you were working on a couple years ago?
-Christopher
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:54 AM   #422
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Year: 1998
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Yaay! So glad to see progress, been a long time since you posted, was starting to wonder where you went! The coach looks amazing!!!

John
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:50 AM   #423
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Coachwork: American Cargo 14'L x 7'8"W x 7'H Box
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Rated Cap: 11500 lbs
Very cool and inspiring conversion. Was kind of bummed out when you dropped off the grid here (pun intended).

Welcome back and keep the pictures and videos coming. I am also curious about the story of your previous HVAC design.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:17 PM   #424
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Yaay! So glad to see progress, been a long time since you posted, was starting to wonder where you went! The coach looks amazing!!!

John
My thoughts exactly... Drooool....
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:33 AM   #425
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Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
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Rated Cap: 47,000


Omg, a clean shot of the kitchen! Itís usually stacked with tools the counter used like a workbench - lol
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:01 PM   #426
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Most people think I'm crazy for living in a bus and doing all this work - glad to see other bus folk think it's awesome. Thanks for the compliment.
Can you repost the photos of your build? We have the chance to buy a 1998 Van Hool to convert, so I am dying to see it.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:06 PM   #427
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Can you repost the photos of your build? We have the chance to buy a 1998 Van Hool to convert, so I am dying to see it.
You might get what you're looking for from her Instagram. I've got a 40' '95 VanHool myself, so I was very interested in her photos as well though I've only gotten as far as roughing everything in to a live-able state.

https://www.instagram.com/offgr1d/?hl=en
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:15 PM   #428
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Chassis: VanHool T945
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Testing if I can re-upload all my pics!

Seems like no way to keep in the original timeline....

Contacted Skoolie.net and they don’t allow me to edit old posts.
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Old 08-12-2020, 12:50 PM   #429
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Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
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Sent another email to Skoolie.net

Would like ability to edit my old posts so I can fix broken image links.
As of right now thatís not allowed.
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Old 08-12-2020, 02:38 PM   #430
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I thought I heard of a way through photobucket that didnt cost a ton of money. It basically reinstated your original links. I could be wrong though.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:47 PM   #431
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Originally Posted by Offgr1d View Post
Testing if I can re-upload all my pics!

Seems like no way to keep in the original timeline....

Contacted Skoolie.net and they donít allow me to edit old posts.
How expensive is upkeep on a 1998 Van Hool? I have an opportunity to buy one that looks good, but it has about 850,000 miles on it. The engine was rebuilt about 200,000 miles ago. Any advice? Bad idea? I was told by someone more experienced that he didn't recommend a Van Hool for a first timer with no experience and that repairs and maintenance could sink me before my dreams get off the ground. Also, since I plan to travel all over the US and Canada and to Alaska, how difficult to find good mechanics and parts?
Thank you.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:49 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by Phuriousgeorge View Post
You might get what you're looking for from her Instagram. I've got a 40' '95 VanHool myself, so I was very interested in her photos as well though I've only gotten as far as roughing everything in to a live-able state.

https://www.instagram.com/offgr1d/?hl=en
Thank you!

Can you please read my post I just made above? Looking for advice.
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Old 08-14-2020, 01:46 PM   #433
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
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How expensive is upkeep on a 1998 Van Hool?
I have no experience with a Van Hool and can't speak the specifics of one. However; I have owned/been living in an MCI coach for nearly four years. There is no doubt that a coach is a larger/heavier/more complicated beast than a 'lesser' chassis. Mine has a 52,000 lbs GVWR - compared to the 33,000 lbs GVWR of my previous (40' diesel pusher) motorhome and 16,000 lbs of the previous. You can imagine how much more significant every part is to handle such a large amount of weight/power/torque/stress/etc.

Answering the 'upkeep' question is nearly impossible since we are operating these coaches from a used state. How well (or not well) they were previously maintained has a lot to do what is necessary now. They are certainly not "inexpensive" to maintain so I would suggest a rather healthy budget if going the coach route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfanous View Post
I have an opportunity to buy one that looks good, but it has about 850,000 miles on it. The engine was rebuilt about 200,000 miles ago.
That strikes me as being low mileage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfanous View Post
I was told by someone more experienced that he didn't recommend a Van Hool for a first timer with no experience and that repairs and maintenance could sink me before my dreams get off the ground. Also, since I plan to travel all over the US and Canada and to Alaska, how difficult to find good mechanics and parts?
This is very true - it could - so be sure to have an appropriate budget. A new set of tires - $6,000-$8,000. Oil change/service (and fixing minor things that are found) always seems to be a couple thousand dollars (including 7 gallons of oil and two large oil filters). Remanufactured alternator (Delco Remy 50DN, 270 amp @ 24v) = $1,500.

In my case, a Detroit Diesel 60 series motor and Allison transmission are pretty common so parts are not all that difficult to find (but I have not needed to do so). The very few small parts I've needed have been easily sourced. That said, in my experience, very few places/shops know anything about coaches and seem to be scared of them. I've had mine into a charter bus service facility a couple of times and they were familiar/comfortable - not cheap.

Please don't let this scare you off if you are prepared to play in the 'coach space.' They are great rigs. Some think a Porsche 911 should cost the same to maintain as a VW bug - same thing, right?
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:47 PM   #434
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I'd second what JD stated. The only thing I could assume is really different with VanHool is the availability/cost of parts. That being said though, if you're a DIY'er, this shouldn't matter much. Engines, tires, alternators, etc are common with other large vehicles (M11 here), it's just baggage bay door hardware, locks, gauges, etc that are specific to the rig that if replaced in-kind can get expensive. Haven't priced OEM hardware for any other brands, but I bet it's not too far off. Haven't seen any salvage yards with a VanHool except way up north, so it's your choice in fabbing/other DIY replacement, sourcing salvage parts, or buying some-what pricey OEM.

In short, no real difference except maybe support documentation - takes some additional interpretation to read electrical schematics, etc. They don't seem to follow the same practices as what I typically have encountered in American-made vehicle documentation
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:22 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
I have no experience with a Van Hool and can't speak the specifics of one. However; I have owned/been living in an MCI coach for nearly four years. There is no doubt that a coach is a larger/heavier/more complicated beast than a 'lesser' chassis. Mine has a 52,000 lbs GVWR - compared to the 33,000 lbs GVWR of my previous (40' diesel pusher) motorhome and 16,000 lbs of the previous. You can imagine how much more significant every part is to handle such a large amount of weight/power/torque/stress/etc.

Answering the 'upkeep' question is nearly impossible since we are operating these coaches from a used state. How well (or not well) they were previously maintained has a lot to do what is necessary now. They are certainly not "inexpensive" to maintain so I would suggest a rather healthy budget if going the coach route.



That strikes me as being low mileage.



This is very true - it could - so be sure to have an appropriate budget. A new set of tires - $6,000-$8,000. Oil change/service (and fixing minor things that are found) always seems to be a couple thousand dollars (including 7 gallons of oil and two large oil filters). Remanufactured alternator (Delco Remy 50DN, 270 amp @ 24v) = $1,500.

In my case, a Detroit Diesel 60 series motor and Allison transmission are pretty common so parts are not all that difficult to find (but I have not needed to do so). The very few small parts I've needed have been easily sourced. That said, in my experience, very few places/shops know anything about coaches and seem to be scared of them. I've had mine into a charter bus service facility a couple of times and they were familiar/comfortable - not cheap.

Please don't let this scare you off if you are prepared to play in the 'coach space.' They are great rigs. Some think a Porsche 911 should cost the same to maintain as a VW bug - same thing, right?
Thank you so much for all of your advice! Mulling it over...
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:23 PM   #436
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Originally Posted by Phuriousgeorge View Post
I'd second what JD stated. The only thing I could assume is really different with VanHool is the availability/cost of parts. That being said though, if you're a DIY'er, this shouldn't matter much. Engines, tires, alternators, etc are common with other large vehicles (M11 here), it's just baggage bay door hardware, locks, gauges, etc that are specific to the rig that if replaced in-kind can get expensive. Haven't priced OEM hardware for any other brands, but I bet it's not too far off. Haven't seen any salvage yards with a VanHool except way up north, so it's your choice in fabbing/other DIY replacement, sourcing salvage parts, or buying some-what pricey OEM.

In short, no real difference except maybe support documentation - takes some additional interpretation to read electrical schematics, etc. They don't seem to follow the same practices as what I typically have encountered in American-made vehicle documentation
Thank you so much. I have a lot to think about...
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Old 08-17-2020, 05:27 PM   #437
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Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
I second JD on the largest fact that we are operating from a used standpoint (second life to the vehicle)...
Personally I have had no issues with the state I purchased my T945 VanHool in.

I’ve added coolant and changed a tire that had cracks.

Yes the costs if something major were to happen would be higher than a Skoolie.

As for the parts? Parts are NOT hard to get. Any VanHool part is distributed and current with ABC-Companies.com - They are local in USA and have locations everywhere! I’ve been to one for service of the road AC system when I got the bus. They have EVERY part in catalogues to order. You want a dash switch? A rubber seal for a bay door? They have it.

Not sure why people keep saying it’s hard to find parts....

I have put VERY minimal miles on my bus compared to life it had before - like it’s in retirement. Lol
Mine had over 700,000 miles but it was always owned by a company prior to me for the sole purpose of being road worthy carrying passengers. DOT inspections mandatory etc.. So good bet a coach was decently maintained especially if buying from some fleet / charter co.

Sorry for my late reply - I did get access to update my photos in this thread - so soon theY will ALL be back online here and I’ll start back up my posts and updates..
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Old 08-17-2020, 05:38 PM   #438
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Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tfanous View Post
How expensive is upkeep on a 1998 Van Hool? I have an opportunity to buy one that looks good, but it has about 850,000 miles on it. The engine was rebuilt about 200,000 miles ago. Any advice? Bad idea? I was told by someone more experienced that he didn't recommend a Van Hool for a first timer with no experience and that repairs and maintenance could sink me before my dreams get off the ground. Also, since I plan to travel all over the US and Canada and to Alaska, how difficult to find good mechanics and parts?
Thank you.
I would still say it depends on the state of the bus itself - IMO it doesnít matter much of brand in large coach scale / these are machines designed for million miles of business in their chassis. It would mainly be caretakers fault..
800,000 wouldnít scare me too much...

Newer engine sounds good. Most from what Iíve heard have overhauls at around 500k if not full swap.
Iíd pay close attention to the air system (airbags, leaks, brakes, compressor) , roof leaks, play in front end suspension / steering..

Did you drive it?
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:11 PM   #439
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Made it through page 2 of 20 of re-uploading / fixing broken photos...

This will take a while, but should be worth it...
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:24 PM   #440
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Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Thinking of doing a live YouTube QA stream....

Anyone interested in watching something like this?

Basically open bus discussion on the “whole” process I went through at least in my build experience.

Got some new streaming software so I’ll be broadcasting very soon - been testing it.
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