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Old 08-23-2017, 06:50 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Question Buying a coach?

How does one find a used coach for conversion? How much do they generally cost? I'm more interested in a coach than a school bus, but it's not easy to find inexpensive coaches, and I'm thinking I may have to choose between a school bus, a gas-powered coach, or an expensive diesel-powered coach that's an extra $10-20K above my original budget. I'm trying to figure out which of these choices makes most sense.

Does anyone know have experience with the gas-powered coaches, and especially with fueling them? Around here, it's hard even to find gas stations which can fit a coach-sized item, let alone afford 90 gallons of gas at a time.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:11 PM   #2
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:40 PM   #3
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I've seen nice MC-5's go for 10-15k.
I want one eventually.

Check this one out-

MCI MC5 28 Passenger Executive Style Seating With Mini Galley C13429-Used1978MCIMC5


View Larger Images Click Here To View Larger Images

Item Details
Exterior Color:BlueStock Number:C13429Odometer:565,000Engineetroit 6V-92 Turbo DieselTransmission:Allison 4-Speed AutomaticCanadian Admissible:Yes

Passengers:28Our Price:$14,499
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I've seen nice MC-5's go for 10-15k.
I want one eventually.

Check this one out-

MCI MC5 28 Passenger Executive Style Seating With Mini Galley C13429-Used1978MCIMC5


View Larger Images Click Here To View Larger Images

Item Details
Exterior Color:BlueStock Number:C13429Odometer:565,000Engineetroit 6V-92 Turbo DieselTransmission:Allison 4-Speed AutomaticCanadian Admissible:Yes

Passengers:28Our Price:$14,499
That looks sweet! $15K is a little high for me, but 10-12k or thereabouts might be manageable.
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:13 AM   #5
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You can easily get one with a Detroit series 60 for that price. Much better engine in my book than the 692 or 871 etc
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Old 08-24-2017, 02:21 AM   #6
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You can easily get one with a Detroit series 60 for that price. Much better engine in my book than the 692 or 871 etc
It's too much for me anyhow. Looks nice, but $12K is my upper limit, and $6-10 is better.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:17 AM   #7
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It's too much for me anyhow. Looks nice, but $12K is my upper limit, and $6-10 is better.
So offer the seller 12 and see what they say. Negotiate.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:18 AM   #8
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You can easily get one with a Detroit series 60 for that price. Much better engine in my book than the 692 or 871 etc
If you find an mc5 with series 60 for that price please let me know.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:49 AM   #9
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Don't loose heart. Those "deals" are out there. You just need to be patient. Let me tell you my story:

My wife and I decided we wanted a coach over a skoolie due to having 4 kids (one is a teen, and another is pre-teen). We wanted the extra room the right coach could provide. (Legal limit for a coach is 45', where its only 42' for a school bus - and the 42'ers are very hard to come by - I saw one for over $20 grand and haven't seen one since. 15 windows long!!!)

So I watched the surplus auctions and eBay for awhile before finding something we could use. It came down to a 40' BlueBird w/ an 8.3L Cummins vs. a 45' New Flyer with an 11.1L Detroit. The owner of the BlueBird (which was a better bus over the New Flyer at the time simply because it was already partially converted and had a genny and A/C already installed) fell silent during the negotiations, and I didn't want the New Flyer to get away. The owner of the BlueBird wanted about $2000 more than the owner of the New Flyer, and the New Flyer owner would deliver. So, we opted for the New Flyer.

My acquisition cost was about $12,500 including delivery, tags, tax, and title - 2x to 4x that of a school bus. (School buses are generally a better buy for conversions.)

Finally, you need to find a truck stop as they deal with large amounts of fuel all the time. Watch a few youtube videos on RVs filling up at truck stops - its not quite the same procedure as filling your car, but its close. And get ready for a few strange side-long glances from the truckers as seeing a bus filling up at the truckstop is something quite new to them. Its quite comical seeing tatooed "brusiers" looking the bus over but trying really hard to not stare....
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:30 AM   #10
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Hmm. Finding a truck stop could be tricky. I live on an island. It's a pretty big island -- contains one big town, five or six small towns and a naval base -- but no superhighways, and no truck stops. The main road is a 45-55mph two-lane highway, one lane going each direction, with occasional traffic lights.

There's a diesel station not far from my house, which is why I'm thinking diesel if I can get it. It's mostly used by folks with pickup trucks, but it'll serve a bus, I think. There are no truck stops; and the gas stations are made for ordinary cars. Doesn't mean I necessarily *can't* fuel a bus there... I need to find out exact height of the overhead cover and stuff like that. But I definitely want to go talk to them about what they can handle.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:36 AM   #11
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Whidbey?

I drove a 40' Eagle bus all over the country and fueled at many regular gas stations. Some where a bit challenging but most where easy.

Consider that all of them get their fuel delivered by semi trucks that have to navigate their lots.

Good luck on your quest.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:45 AM   #12
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Whidbey?

I drove a 40' Eagle bus all over the country and fueled at many regular gas stations. Some where a bit challenging but most where easy.

Consider that all of them get their fuel delivered by semi trucks that have to navigate their lots.

Good luck on your quest.
That'd be it, yep. Whidbey. It's pretty obvious to anyone local, I guess. You have a point about the semis... I hadn't thought of that. Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PocketNaomi View Post
Hmm. Finding a truck stop could be tricky. I live on an island.

Hey, we live on an Island over here, too. It's just big.

You sure have a bunch of special considerations- permits/license for mobile shop, weather/salt, tighter parking spaces (guessing), fueling- how costly is diesel where you are?
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:13 PM   #14
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Don't know how we lucked out but bought this 1986 prevost le mirage xl with a 6v92 Detroit in it with Allison auto granny for 1800 cdn. Had to put a 500 dollar rad into her but shes never missed a beat since. In the process of my conversion. I like the room a coach offers and the dependability over a school bus. The added storage compartments underneath her are a godsend. I wish you luck in your search and sometimes just waiting until the right deal comes along can make all the difference in the world.

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Old 08-25-2017, 09:55 AM   #15
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im not sure about where oyu live.. but in most of the areas i travel, even the regular gas station canopies are at least 13 feet so as long as you arent crazy tall you can fit under.. also many of the diesel pumps are purposelty on the outside of the pumps islands.. so getting big vehicles in.. I realize my longest bus is only 24 feet or so but i often see the largest RV's in these spaces getting fueled up and those guys are often 35+ feet long.

-Christopher
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
If you find an mc5 with series 60 for that price please let me know.
60 series wont fit into a mc5 with out feng shuing the floor. 50 series will fit just fine.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:38 AM   #17
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60 series wont fit into a mc5 with out feng shuing the floor. 50 series will fit just fine.
Good to know- but an old two stroke also wouldn't be a deal breaker.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:04 PM   #18
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Coachwork: Prevost
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Prevost View Post
Don't know how we lucked out but bought this 1986 prevost le mirage xl with a 6v92 Detroit in it with Allison auto granny for 1800 cdn. Had to put a 500 dollar rad into her but shes never missed a beat since. In the process of my conversion. I like the room a coach offers and the dependability over a school bus. The added storage compartments underneath her are a godsend. I wish you luck in your search and sometimes just waiting until the right deal comes along can make all the difference in the world.
I've always found it interesting the way old posts in old threads come back and get bumped months or years down the road. I would sure like to know who this Prevost is coming along. I notice that the last post made by this gentleman was around September of 2017.

Does anyone know anything?
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:37 PM   #19
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Nope, nobody knows anything. At least not that I'm aware of.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:41 AM   #20
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Bummer!

That sort of indicates that he didn't finish the project. ...which is sad, really. It's a shame to see these things go unfinished. They have so much potential.
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