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Anyone have experience with a Prevost h3-45?

ka0tyk

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Came into a situation where I can grab a Prevost h3-45 bus and was thinking about doing an RV conversion on it. Other than the normal mechanical things to look for in any vehcile, ie leaks near motor/transmission, air lines, bags, air brakes, etc... anyone have experience with these things? Detroit 60 with an Allison B500. Theres a LONG list of maintenance that was done to it, has new tires, and has the CA DPF retrofit already.

I already have a place to store it.

The plan is to upgrade to a class b non commercial and then changing the reg to a "RV" once the conversion is finalized. I've been spending the last few weeks researching and it seems the general consensus is that they're a very well made vehicle and a great platform to start on. 45' is no joke obviously. I think it'll be a fun next project for me. Even more surprising, the wife is on board after showing her some of the conversions. We were looking into getting a small trailer, but were met with a bunch of obstacles. Have joined a few RV/Skoolie/Conversion forums etc to get details on water/sewer systems, inverters, generators, etc... theres some pretty good sources of info, and theres a LOT of scary hacks.

2003-Prevost-H3-45-Highway-Coach-C14556-4.jpg

(not the picture of the actual unit, but similar. no graphics plain white)
 

EmpirE231

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No experience with them, but prevost is known as being the top of the chain as far as chassis and shell goes. Only down side looks like no slides.

A project like this sounds fun, but I am assuming can turn into one of those never ending money burning journeys real quick.
 

4Waters

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No experience with them, but prevost is known as being the top of the chain as far as chassis and shell goes. Only down side looks like no slides.

A project like this sounds fun, but I am assuming can turn into one of those never ending money burning journeys real quick.
I've thought about doing this very thing and looked into adding a slide-out and there are companies that do that on bus conversions. It's reasonable considering what they are doing but definitely not cheap.
 

fishing fool

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This is the place you will want to talk to. They are a converter

My wife used to work at Signature coach works, they deal with a lot of Prevost. Give them a call and ask for Roger.
 

ka0tyk

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No experience with them, but prevost is known as being the top of the chain as far as chassis and shell goes. Only down side looks like no slides.

A project like this sounds fun, but I am assuming can turn into one of those never ending money burning journeys real quick.
I was on the fence with the slides... I've seen a TON of videos about the coaches and the newer prevost/newell's have some *VERY* complex slide systems. The floors drop up/down, theres an air bladder that seals the slide, the actuators themselves, and the system to control it all.

Part of me would like something with a slide, and the other half would rather NOT deal with any of that.
 

MK1MOD0

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The family has had a number of Prevost over the years. Marathon and Featherlite are premier coach Builders. Just to let ya know.... the Prevost is the cheapest part of the deal. They easily cost a million and up. Slide conversions can get very pricy if done correctly. Looks like a fun project
 
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merc_400r

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If you are going to use a platform for an RV you can't go wrong with prevost. What year is the bus and how many miles? And if you are going to gut the inside I would 100% do slides. The hardest part of adding slides is trying to design around the current floor plan and plumbing/electrical. If you are starting from a bare chassis its super easy to add them then design around them for the infrastructure. Plus resell value just about doubles when selling an RV with slides vs with out slides. No way to loose money and you can't compare camping in an RV with slides vs without slides, comfort is 10 times better.
 

Hydroman55

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You can buy used Prevost RV factory conversions all day long already done and super clean for $150K.
Not sure what budget your working with but unless you have lots of time it would hard to match the factory used conversions at a buck fifty. The conversions use everything high end so hard to beat used depreciation when factored in.
 
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lakemadness

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Yeah, that’s a good way to throw a metric shit ton of money down the drain. Absofuckinglutely will never get Back anywhere close to what you end up putting in it. If you’re into that type of stuff then good.

You could be way ahead and just buy something done, like a regular rv.

But again, weren’t you the guy trying to make a home made table saw with a skill saw?
 

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Where do you plan on taking it? My parents sold their 38' Country Coach because it was getting to big to handle and were limited on campgrounds because of the length and the lack of turn radius.
 

ka0tyk

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But again, weren’t you the guy trying to make a home made table saw with a skill saw?
I did... and it worked well. I used it to make a lot of things, like the wainscoting in this room. I didnt need the best tools to get the job done. Ive since moved on to other tools, like you should from this thread with your pessimistic attitude.

IMG_7103.jpeg
 

Looking Glass

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I did... and it worked well. I used it to make a lot of things, like the wainscoting in this room. I didnt need the best tools to get the job done. Ive since moved on to other tools, like you should from this thread with your pessimistic attitude.

View attachment 930644

BLOCK OUT people who can not encourage and or give sound advice. The end objective is save some $'s have a Ton of FUN Family FUN. The rest is irrelevant. Do your Homework and "Go For It"
 

Universal Elements

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I did... and it worked well. I used it to make a lot of things, like the wainscoting in this room. I didnt need the best tools to get the job done. Ive since moved on to other tools, like you should from this thread with your pessimistic attitude.

View attachment 930644
Looks great! Nothing wrong with improvising as long as the job gets done.👍
 

MK1MOD0

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I think the biggest hurdle would be slide outs. They really need to be done correctly by an experienced builder. A lot of weight rides on those those things when out. A lot of engineering in those. The rest isn’t that complicated if you are a good carpenter.

ps. That H3 really is the best of the best coach.
 

lbhsbz

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I’d think driving something that long with the wheels near the ends would get real fucking old in a hurry. Although...for the price, I’d probably buy it, gut it, shop craigslist for furniture and appliances and after I figure out how to get everything through the door...have a pretty cool coach that I’d hate driving.
 

lakemadness

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I did... and it worked well. I used it to make a lot of things, like the wainscoting in this room. I didnt need the best tools to get the job done. Ive since moved on to other tools, like you should from this thread with your pessimistic attitude.



View attachment 930644
I hear ya. I just remember a large majority of the inmates bagging on you saying how stupid and dangerous it was. You don’t recall that? Didn’t know you actually went through with it.

My experience is the proper tool/best tool makes a noticeable difference. Whatever floats your bote I guess...
 

X Hoser

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Where do you live? I think you need a non-commercial class A license to drive it in California with a California D/L. (Over 40' ) . If it pencils out, go for it and make it your own!
 

4Waters

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Where do you live? I think you need a non-commercial class A license to drive it in California with a California D/L. (Over 40' ) . If it pencils out, go for it and make it your own!
At 45' I think you have to have a commercial B
 

4Waters

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Maybe so???? I thought a Class B and C only went to 40' with no tag axle, but didn't look it up. I know a Class C won't work.
I know 45 has something to do with it, I have an unrestricted A with unrestricted passenger so there's nothing I'm not allowed to drive, so I don't worry about it. LOL
 
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Enen

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You are considering a MAJOR undertaking. IMO Prevost is absolutely the best platform to build on. They are a million-mile chassis built of 304 Stainless Steel. Nothing rides like a Prevost, NOTHING. Not a Newell, not any million-dollar Class A motorhome from any high-end builder. Here's a vid explaining the chassis.





If you are seriously considering taking on this project you may want to connect with Kyle at Bordur Coach. He's in AZ, and the "secret go-to guy" He isn't going to charge the prices that big brand converters will charge.

There are major engineering considerations. Weight placement of some very heavy and complex systems. Kyle is the guy to help you with this project. A non-slide tour-bus style build could be really cool. 5 roof A/C's and that thing will be cool inside on the hottest Havasu day. Here's Kyle's website.

 

TrollerDave

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You forgot to start the title of the thread
“Hey LAM”. 😁

Big project. But you got some skills and look like you do nice work, at least from the computer screen.
I know it’s a quality rig and the price is good, but do you really want something that big?
 

ka0tyk

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You forgot to start the title of the thread
“Hey LAM”. 😁

Big project. But you got some skills and look like you do nice work, at least from the computer screen.
I know it’s a quality rig and the price is good, but do you really want something that big?
Eh its not mine... yet. Im def looking forward to the planning stage once I get dimensions. We def have a "look" we're going for thats away from the typical RV/camper look. More home'ish cabinet,floor,fixtures wise etc.

going-boundless-2-889x667.jpg
for-the-l-shaped-kitchen-the-mayes-chose-an-under-counter-fridgefreezer-unit-so-as-to-have-mor...jpg
rv-renovation-ideas-get-refreshed-built-in-shower.jpg


As far as how big it is, I feel like its a good platform to start with. Like someone posted above, its a solid chassis, solid floor, high ceilings. LOTS of storage. We have been on a bunch of camping trips so far, we have joined with family and friends, we've rented our own. Its something I def enjoy with the quick getaways. Theres things I love and hate about all the configurations we have experienced. We kinda have our minds made up on what we think we want, full size beds, full size fridges, a real shower, etc and none of that is going to happen in a small trailer. Our family and friends all do it and we're just waiting to hop on the wagon with them and enjoy that lifestyle in something thats our own. Being able to share that experience of building it with my kids I hope will make them appreciate it that much more. Typical Dad dreams I guess. :)
 

Racey

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I was on the fence with the slides... I've seen a TON of videos about the coaches and the newer prevost/newell's have some *VERY* complex slide systems. The floors drop up/down, theres an air bladder that seals the slide, the actuators themselves, and the system to control it all.

Part of me would like something with a slide, and the other half would rather NOT deal with any of that.
If you lay the coach out well you dont need them, in some ways they can be better as you can access everything without having to stop, level, and put out the slides. Good friends of ours had a Prevost Marathon for years without slides, thing was siiiick.

That said, a coach without slides is comfort for 2, but a crowd with more.
 

merc_400r

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If you lay the coach out well you dont need them, in some ways they can be better as you can access everything without having to stop, level, and put out the slides. Good friends of ours had a Prevost Marathon for years without slides, thing was siiiick.

That said, a coach without slides is comfort for 2, but a crowd with more.
my and my wife got by with a 37 foot DP with no slides for years. Traveled all over the country and lived out of it probably 1/4 of the year. But once we starting bringing the grand kids for even a weekend trip it got small real fast. Started at ages 4 and 7 and got worse as they got bigger. Once we upgraded to once with slides felt like it was 4 times bigger. Didn't have to squeeze by someone to get to the other side or stepping over toys on the ground, etc. Like you said comfort for 2 but any more people and its a necessity especially when your talking high end motor homes.
 

outboard_256

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Eh its not mine... yet. Im def looking forward to the planning stage once I get dimensions. We def have a "look" we're going for thats away from the typical RV/camper look. More home'ish cabinet,floor,fixtures wise etc.

View attachment 930706 View attachment 930707 View attachment 930708

As far as how big it is, I feel like its a good platform to start with. Like someone posted above, its a solid chassis, solid floor, high ceilings. LOTS of storage. We have been on a bunch of camping trips so far, we have joined with family and friends, we've rented our own. Its something I def enjoy with the quick getaways. Theres things I love and hate about all the configurations we have experienced. We kinda have our minds made up on what we think we want, full size beds, full size fridges, a real shower, etc and none of that is going to happen in a small trailer. Our family and friends all do it and we're just waiting to hop on the wagon with them and enjoy that lifestyle in something thats our own. Being able to share that experience of building it with my kids I hope will make them appreciate it that much more. Typical Dad dreams I guess. :)
With the full body stainless steel chassis prevost is the best for conversions and adding slides. They are probably the only chassis you could add slides in with out major structural engineering. Those chassis are so strong they will outlast the engines. And for the license, I have had several friends convert school busses and others busses into crawler haulers where they just back deck the last 15 feet, and got them registered as RV's and no special license needed from dmv. It was pretty simple after the conversion was done to get the RV tag, once they see the bathroom, shower, sink, fridge, etc.
 

monkeyswrench

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@ka0tyk , not really experienced in owning one, but driven a few and worked on some more. Depending on miles, and where it was used primarily, look at the windows. More to the point, look at the edges and check for water intrusion. The leaks may be minor, but can lead to snaping screw heads off. Not to mention, you want it squared away and weather tight before you start. With it being a passenger bus, look into tow hitch designs for the model. Things get odd, as there really isn't a whole lot of structure on them. If it has good records, check all the brake and airbag stuff. Changing little stuff isn't a little job on them. As for a slide...or three...gut it and throw some tape lines down for a floorplan. If there isn't enough space, then pencil out some ideas. I've seen guys do slides, and having them done would be the way to go. Not just from a mechanical outlook, but the sheer size and weight. If you have access to a forklift though, I'm sure it could be done.

I say go for it. I want to build a toterhome, so I'll watch and learn ;)
 

lbhsbz

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Eh its not mine... yet. Im def looking forward to the planning stage once I get dimensions. We def have a "look" we're going for thats away from the typical RV/camper look. More home'ish cabinet,floor,fixtures wise etc.

View attachment 930706 View attachment 930707 View attachment 930708

As far as how big it is, I feel like its a good platform to start with. Like someone posted above, its a solid chassis, solid floor, high ceilings. LOTS of storage. We have been on a bunch of camping trips so far, we have joined with family and friends, we've rented our own. Its something I def enjoy with the quick getaways. Theres things I love and hate about all the configurations we have experienced. We kinda have our minds made up on what we think we want, full size beds, full size fridges, a real shower, etc and none of that is going to happen in a small trailer. Our family and friends all do it and we're just waiting to hop on the wagon with them and enjoy that lifestyle in something thats our own. Being able to share that experience of building it with my kids I hope will make them appreciate it that much more. Typical Dad dreams I guess. :)
House plants in the motor home = winning.
 

2FORCEFULL

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Came into a situation where I can grab a Prevost h3-45 bus and was thinking about doing an RV conversion on it. Other than the normal mechanical things to look for in any vehcile, ie leaks near motor/transmission, air lines, bags, air brakes, etc... anyone have experience with these things? Detroit 60 with an Allison B500. Theres a LONG list of maintenance that was done to it, has new tires, and has the CA DPF retrofit already.

I already have a place to store it.

The plan is to upgrade to a class b non commercial and then changing the reg to a "RV" once the conversion is finalized. I've been spending the last few weeks researching and it seems the general consensus is that they're a very well made vehicle and a great platform to start on. 45' is no joke obviously. I think it'll be a fun next project for me. Even more surprising, the wife is on board after showing her some of the conversions. We were looking into getting a small trailer, but were met with a bunch of obstacles. Have joined a few RV/Skoolie/Conversion forums etc to get details on water/sewer systems, inverters, generators, etc... theres some pretty good sources of info, and theres a LOT of scary hacks.

View attachment 930624
(not the picture of the actual unit, but similar. no graphics plain white)
Here's my take...you won't be able to go anywhere but on the 5 and 15...you won't get into rv parks, for the fact that there is no way to back or pull in... no side roads, and a must will be a toad...those are made to get you from town to town limited...we had a 40'r down by the beach in huntington... some side roads where as narrow as the coach so you need both lanes,,,look at greyhound.... they pull in to town and straigh to the depot... even rest areas.... truckers hate rv's... they figure you are taking a spot for a tired trucker to rest,...you'll need to have a toad to go to most any store...cause finding a place to park even for a moment will be miles away,... now if the plan is to take off and go to the east coast and back on main hiways,..great.... but the 4 or 5 mpg will get old quick... only being able to fuel at truck stops does also.. those are designed and built on people miles, thats where they shine.. the more people they can put in the better... you can pretty must scrap any back high ways off the list, the suspension is designed for flat smooth roads

gonna also say this,... the most time you will spend in that coach is doing the build...and if you are not a master coach builder it will show in the finished project.... this could take a guy and his wife working every spare moment a year or more if you are lucky, but at the same time,... not knowing, and yes you will learn as you re do stuff, doing over will add a lot of time.....just think as a consumer,... do you want a coach that was built buy some one that never done it???

and as said,... you will never find a good enough reason to head out in that big of a coach and find your self sleeping in your truck....now if the plan was to haul a band or a junior league across country yes...

I hauled part of a "AAA" ice hockey team around, we went straig to the rink, as others know, get there with a 40' coach is tough....I think it was hockey giant we were trying to get to, lol ,... "HEY there it is, an hour later we finally found a spot big enough to turn around
 

2FORCEFULL

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and also I wanna add this, I don't know what the fuc is with people, be a nice guy and try to use turn signals,... that means for them to hang on the side to block, or speed up to make sure you can't change lanes..
 

2FORCEFULL

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oh, and wanna have a good heart test, try coming down cahon pass with little lowered honda's zipping across 3 lanes while on their phones and hitting the brakes to make another lane change...

and how bout a trucker thats going 5.2 mph pulling out in your lane, passing one thats going 4.7 mph.....
 

fishing fool

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I talked to my wife last night. She said, you can sell the seats and the windows. I guess there is good money in doing this.
 

Sleek-Jet

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Doing one from scratch is impressive. Personally I'd also consider a clean older MCI conversion with a mechanical Detroit in it and use that as a base to remodel. Don't know about slides on those, but they are also Monocoque construction and all aluminium.

My dream RV is a 38DP Bluebird. They had tag axels and the shorter wheel base.
 
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Wheeler

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I did... and it worked well. I used it to make a lot of things, like the wainscoting in this room. I didnt need the best tools to get the job done. Ive since moved on to other tools, like you should from this thread with your pessimistic attitude.

View attachment 930644
Let's see some before and after pix of your boat project. 👍👍
 

Royally PO'd

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I know you are talking about the Prevost, (which in my estimation, is top dog) but I would stay away from any Detroit, other than the 60 series. An MCI Renaisance(sp) is also a good base for conversion. The older models are a money pit and not much return. I built one in the early 80's , that was high tech at the time, ( I could run the nuker without the engine running, or a power cord, but it was broken into in Mexico and stripped and never got it back to original glory.
 

Royally PO'd

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I should have added I built homes, and it was different and a challenge to have that small space to put usable systems into.
 

Hydroman55

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I know you are talking about the Prevost, (which in my estimation, is top dog) but I would stay away from any Detroit, other than the 60 series. An MCI Renaisance(sp) is also a good base for conversion. The older models are a money pit and not much return. I built one in the early 80's , that was high tech at the time, ( I could run the nuker without the engine running, or a power cord, but it was broken into in Mexico and stripped and never got it back to original glory.
You are correct 60 series only! Pre 60 is a 2 cycle oil leaking SOB.
 

Outdrive1

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Nothing like the sound of a 2 stroke Detroit. Its like 2.5 260 outboard. I love the sound of both, but will never again own either. Lol.


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welldigger00

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I’m with OD1. I love the sound of an ol 8v92. And, the 5’ tall stainless band all the way around the whole bus. I’d want the horses mural on the rear, or down the sides above the stainless.


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mash on it

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With your skills, and a pallet of cash, do it.
Meanwhile, get a slide in camper for your dually, and still be able to tow your boat.

Dan'l
 

jones performance

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thats my goal in the next 3 years. either buying a used prevost or newell, or converting one myself. id prefer to just find a nicely maintained used coach and update things as i see fit. as mention earlier hit up bordur coaches, also check out andrew steeles youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ansautodetail/videos, he does alot of tours thru high end coaches and you can really get alot of ideas that way and see how different floorplans look and work etc. slides are nice, but they do add some complexity to the build.
 

HALLETT BOY

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What about these older buses being emission compliant ? Will you have to retrofit them later ? Could be a major concern .
 

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What about these older buses being emission compliant ? Will you have to retrofit them later ? Could be a major concern .
He should be more worried about what 2FF touched on. A lot of RV parks have length and model year restrictions. My parents struck out a lot with a 38 foot coach that's a 1994 model year. Both the length and age disqualified them from entering about half the rv parks.
 
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