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Converting a MCI bus into an RV...

Singleton

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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.
this.
Most higher end RV parks are requiring RVIA certification and limit is 10 years of age.
 

BajaMike

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It’s too huge. You want drive that huge bus around the country? Get a job driving for Greyhound. Just kidding, but that monster looks like work to me.
 

MK1MOD0

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My prior coach was a 43. No real issues with size. Sure, there were a few times we needed a smaller coach, but traveling was awsome. Hundreds of trips to Glamis, Gordon’s, Dumont and all over AZ and Nevada. We did tons of dry camping, but most higher end RV resorts will accommodate a 45. Really, 38,40,45..... really doesn’t matter on the road. Anything over 36 pretty much puts you in the Large category Anyways. Btw, the big tag axle coaches simply drive amazingly. when towing, you don’t event feel the trailer back there.
 

2FORCEFULL

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My prior coach was a 43. No real issues with size. Sure, there were a few times we needed a smaller coach, but traveling was awsome. Hundreds of trips to Glamis, Gordon’s, Dumont and all over AZ and Nevada. We did tons of dry camping, but most higher end RV resorts will accommodate a 45. Really, 38,40,45..... really doesn’t matter on the road. Anything over 36 pretty much puts you in the Large category Anyways. Btw, the big tag axle coaches simply drive amazingly. when towing, you don’t event feel the trailer back there.
Good post,...as you say, you pretty much figure out where you can and can't go...kinda like in &out and del taco,... can't get a taco at innout, but you can get a hamburger or a taco at del taco.... but you won't go to either with a 46' buss..
 

DRYHEAT

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Good post,...as you say, you pretty much figure out where you can and can't go...kinda like in &out and del taco,... can't get a taco at innout, but you can get a hamburger or a taco at del taco.... but you won't go to either with a 46' buss..
Del taco in Barstow has truck parking. 😊 That’s the only Dell taco he should ever stop at. 😂
 
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Royally PO'd

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With a decent Prevost or MCI, you look like a real baller and won't get flak even overnight at a truck stop and should be able to dry camp for many days without park services
 

RiverDave

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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.
That is a primary reason why I bought the one I did.. Because if we roll I want to be able to hit all the different parks and plug in etc..

RD
 

catmandu

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Hey kaOtyk, I would make sure you have an AZ address to register at. I have been dealing with CARB bullshit for a while, and just had to pull 2 of my trucks off the road that had 15,000 mufflers on both trucks. According to people I have talked to at CARB, they will be targeting RV's next. I am thinking of buying something in Fort Mojave just so I never have to pay the state of CA another dime for registration.
Please do some more work to your red truck, I look in the truck section everyday hoping you've posted some of your work. Love the look and the work you have done,very clean.
 

merc_400r

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Did you end up getting the bus? Where is the build thread?
 

ka0tyk

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Did you end up getting the bus? Where is the build thread?
I haven’t gotten it yet. There’s some good info here in regards to length. I did find there’s a prevost h3-41 41 footer and also some MCI options as well, some newer with Cummins motors. Want to make sure I get a good starting point that will fit where we are trying to go.
 

lbhsbz

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I haven’t gotten it yet. There’s some good info here in regards to length. I did find there’s a prevost h3-41 41 footer and also some MCI options as well, some newer with Cummins motors. Want to make sure I get a good starting point that will fit where we are trying to go.
Just get a trailer to tow behind yore dooley....then you won't need to maintain an extra hardly used drivetrain.
 

1tonfun

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My toterhome is 43' overall length without the jeep behind it. Been all over the western US in it, plenty of back roads and have only had one campground say no because it was a 2007. As for campground length limit, most national parks and state parks have about a 35' length limit. There are plenty of private campgrounds outside most national parks that offer pull through spots 55' and up.
As 2FF sated, you just can't pull in anywhere to grab a bite or get fuel, plan on a toad to get around when you get to your destination. There are a number of RV apps available now to help plan your route. I'll spend a couple of evenings on google maps planning our route if I'm going somewhere I haven't been before. Half the adventure is getting there, I enjoy the drive as much as the vacation.
Another thing to remember, watch your height when hitting the local gas stations. Many of them don't have canopies above 13'6" which is the legal height for a semi. I usually limit my fueling to truck stops for convenience.
 

petie6464

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If you have way above average skills in all trades than to me this would be a lifelong dream project and probably take that long to complete. A huge project and one not many can pull off, if you can do it I commend you on your abilities.
 

RiverDave

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My toterhome is 43' overall length without the jeep behind it. Been all over the western US in it, plenty of back roads and have only had one campground say no because it was a 2007. As for campground length limit, most national parks and state parks have about a 35' length limit. There are plenty of private campgrounds outside most national parks that offer pull through spots 55' and up.
As 2FF sated, you just can't pull in anywhere to grab a bite or get fuel, plan on a toad to get around when you get to your destination. There are a number of RV apps available now to help plan your route. I'll spend a couple of evenings on google maps planning our route if I'm going somewhere I haven't been before. Half the adventure is getting there, I enjoy the drive as much as the vacation.
Another thing to remember, watch your height when hitting the local gas stations. Many of them don't have canopies above 13'6" which is the legal height for a semi. I usually limit my fueling to truck stops for convenience.
interesting I didn’t think about the gas station aprons.. I just assumed they were all tall enough. Lol.

Seems like all the ones around here are
 

BajaMike

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Are there pics somewhere of the new coach?
 

fmo24

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interesting I didn’t think about the gas station aprons.. I just assumed they were all tall enough. Lol.

Seems like all the ones around here are
Most have a posted height. The other problem with regular gas stations is maneuvering 60 ft of vehicle. If you tow flat like a Jeep you cannot backup to get out of a pickle. You have to unhook and do some shuffling lol. Been there done that
 

Universal Elements

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Most have a posted height. The other problem with regular gas stations is maneuvering 60 ft of vehicle. If you tow flat like a Jeep you cannot backup to get out of a pickle. You have to unhook and do some shuffling lol. Been there done that
And the pumps at a regular station are slow compared to a truck station.Those pumps are like on steroids. Get in and out quick.
 

Waterjunky

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interesting I didn’t think about the gas station aprons.. I just assumed they were all tall enough. Lol.

Seems like all the ones around here are
DANGER!!! DANGER!!!!

Dave, serious here on this, you need to get an exact height on the top of your rig! Take an actual measurement to the tallest thing. I cannot overstate the importance of this. depending on a few variables the height of your rig can be a few inches different than the manual. If you do not pay attention to this, you will eventually find out the hard way on something a few inches short. That can get stunningly expensive in about 0.002 seconds. Had a friend do this in his cabover and lifted truck.

This is a real deal for me because of all the bridges in the delta. I am a little under 13' 2", one of the main bridges I cross is labeled at 13' 4". For normal gas stations, 12 something is not at all uncommon for a height. Its kind of like towing the boat, you start looking at gas stations a little different now. You may not go to the one that is cheapest because it is always a pain to get in and out of while towing. This is just one more thing to be aware of. You will find you will start looking for printed heights on all the stations .......
 

ka0tyk

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And the pumps at a regular station are slow compared to a truck station.Those pumps are like on steroids. Get in and out quick.
haha i notice that with our RR diesel. if its a green pump attached to the rest of the gas pumps its slow. if i go to that standalone diesel pump out in the middle of nowhere it fills up in like 30 seconds.
 

Universal Elements

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haha i notice that with our RR diesel. if its a green pump attached to the rest of the gas pumps its slow. if i go to that standalone diesel pump out in the middle of nowhere it fills up in like 30 seconds.
Two words of advice with those standalone pumps. One make sure that the clip that leaves the pump handle on is deactivated. I have had one that wasn’t and I hit the little plastic button on the pump And all hell broke loose. The truckers usually Know how much to put in their tanks And a lot of times it doesn’t click off because they don’t go to full tank. Second one is..... If you’re going to fill up your tank on your truck to the top make sure and not have those pumps on full blast. You could have a shooting fountain of diesel coming out when it comes to the end.😂 Oh and when installing those nozzles in a regular diesel truck don’t shove it in all the way down because you’ll get It stuck inside the neck and I’ll be a real hard time getting it out. The nozzles are a lot bigger in diameter standalone pumps. Just things I’ve learned over the years through trials and tribulations.😆
 

spectras only

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^^^
When you get one, will you leave the greyhound without the writing logo, intact? ;) :D

Friend [ I took my airbrake course with ] is a instructor, teaching truck drivers/nus drivers, has millions of miles under his belt, driving trucks in Europe, charter buses in Canada/US. He tried talking me into getting a bus with tag. Nothing rides like a Prevost, he says. ;) 👍 He can back a B train into tight spots with only inches to spare on sides. Amazing driver.
 
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wishiknew

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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)
So how much for this bad boy read whole thread did not see price for this anywhere
 

lbhsbz

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They’re cheap... tour bus companies are dumping them for <$10K because they can’t run them as commercial anymore.
 

rrrr

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They’re cheap... tour bus companies are dumping them for <$10K because they can’t run them as commercial anymore.
Cheap like a cheap boat.
 

Ballsdeep

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Interesting thread, curious do these already have generators onboard and wired in?
 

Sleek-Jet

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It's worth keeping in mind that these are commercial vehicles designed to be maintained by a corporation with a maintenance budget and manpower. Prices for parts and hourly labor rates reflect that.
 

ka0tyk

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It's worth keeping in mind that these are commercial vehicles designed to be maintained by a corporation with a maintenance budget and manpower. Prices for parts and hourly labor rates reflect that.
Thats what I'm looking at as well... buying someones privately owned coach maintenance is usually done "as needed" if something breaks. Maintenance is a guessing game if its ever been done because its costly if you dont have the skills to do so... and logistics. Whereas being part of a commercial fleet theres schedules, etc. The one I'm interested in is part of that schedule, has new tires, DPF retrofit, new airbags, etc. Its also extremely low mileage for a "million mile chassis."
 

yz450mm

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DANGER!!! DANGER!!!!

Dave, serious here on this, you need to get an exact height on the top of your rig! Take an actual measurement to the tallest thing. I cannot overstate the importance of this. depending on a few variables the height of your rig can be a few inches different than the manual. If you do not pay attention to this, you will eventually find out the hard way on something a few inches short. That can get stunningly expensive in about 0.002 seconds. Had a friend do this in his cabover and lifted truck.

This is a real deal for me because of all the bridges in the delta. I am a little under 13' 2", one of the main bridges I cross is labeled at 13' 4". For normal gas stations, 12 something is not at all uncommon for a height. Its kind of like towing the boat, you start looking at gas stations a little different now. You may not go to the one that is cheapest because it is always a pain to get in and out of while towing. This is just one more thing to be aware of. You will find you will start looking for printed heights on all the stations .......



Sent from my SM-G988U using Tapatalk
 

wishiknew

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Thats what I'm looking at as well... buying someones privately owned coach maintenance is usually done "as needed" if something breaks. Maintenance is a guessing game if its ever been done because its costly if you dont have the skills to do so... and logistics. Whereas being part of a commercial fleet theres schedules, etc. The one I'm interested in is part of that schedule, has new tires, DPF retrofit, new airbags, etc. Its also extremely low mileage for a "million mile chassis."
how much does it cost ?????
 

Sleek-Jet

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Holy crap! That's like the RV Trader from hell! Cool stuff, on my "someday" list ;)
My wife asked me what I was looking at on my phone. As usual I told her "nothing". She said I had "that look on my face" and we weren't buying anything.... 🤣

I bet I spent two hours browsing the ads, some really cool older non-slide RVs on there.
 

monkeyswrench

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My wife asked me what I was looking at on my phone. As usual I told her "nothing". She said I had "that look on my face" and we weren't buying anything.... 🤣

I bet I spent two hours browsing the ads, some really cool older non-slide RVs on there.
Yes sir, heard that more than a time or two 😏
 

QC22

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DPF retrofit
Before you pull the trigger, do some more research on this. What year model is the coach? My belief, and I do this for a living, is that this engine will not be legal for registration in CA after 2023. The DPF addition was something to buy some time, but most trucks and busses must have 2010 equaivalent emissions by 2023. Not the same thing as adding a DPF.

Edit: I did some more research and there is a motorhome exemption. I would still be careful as this chassis would not be exempt as registered today since it was commercial. Might be a headache, dunno. The exemption is on page 2, #10:

 
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ka0tyk

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Now that is a much better project than the one you are looking at....... Lower miles on the running gear most likely, already has the slides and expensive parts, just needs a gut and rebuild the interior.
A salvage title coach? Nah I’m good on projects that have caught on fire... been there done that.

0432AA2B-B3B0-47B6-9663-60030857C8AA.jpeg


7F601967-21ED-4C3C-B9C5-0A5D67646BCA.jpeg
 

ka0tyk

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Took a peek at a budget mci e4500. It was pretty beat up. Will have to see what price the guy would be willing to go for. It’s got a lot of exterior damage but running gear wise it looks all original... I didn’t see anything hodge lodge with the wiring, motor, etc. it’s just been sitting for a long time.
B4820E42-8F1D-4C0A-9040-C315158A3BD8.jpeg
3C5142FC-97F6-4CC4-8298-705C8A2B3B32.jpeg
 

4Waters

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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)
Check out "Extreme RV's" season 4 episode 8, they followed a Marathon conversion build like what you are thinking about doing. I just watched it on "Destination America" channel.
 
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