Coast Resorts Open Roads Forum: Bus Conversion - pros and cons to buying one v TT
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  All

 > Bus Conversion - pros and cons to buying one v TT

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next
jukes

Asheville

Full Member

Joined: 10/06/2008

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 01:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,
We have been thinking to buy a Travel Trailer and have an Excursion 7.3 Diesel to tow one. Our budget is around $8000 and we are 2 adults and 3 kids.
But I noticed a Ford B700 bus converted in to an RV for sale. This has sparked my interest [emoticon] It's a diesel. Sleeps 6. So meets requirements.
From what I gather, these can be great deals, so much cheaper than a motorhome.And solid engines and vehicles, this one has done 50,000 miles and is a 1989.
One concern is insurance, not having a car when we get to destination, upkeep and length, it's 40ft.
I know some of the more upmarket Motorhome parks don't allow these, but that doesn't matter to us.
We plan to travel locally within Western NC where we live and also down to Florida, and hopefully cross country soon.
I love the idea but maybe the reality is different?!?!?! Bus v TT??

robatthelake

Vancouver Island

Senior Member

Joined: 08/24/2003

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 02:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That sounds like a Homemade Conversion!
It may be well done and serve You well or it could be a virtual nightmare!

Proceed with caution.


Rob & Jean
98 Dutch Star Diesel Pusher ..07 Honda CRV AWD


jukes

Asheville

Full Member

Joined: 10/06/2008

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 02:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

robatthelake wrote:

That sounds like a Homemade Conversion!
It may be well done and serve You well or it could be a virtual nightmare!

Proceed with caution.


Yes, it's a B700, (school bus!) converted by previous owners... has double bed in bedroom, twin bunks over kitchen area and sofa's convert to 2 singles.
Has A/C units. etc etc.
Not looked at it yet, but it has caught my curiosity.
But I worry about the upkeep of anything with an engine!! compared to a TT... but it is within our small budget of $8000.

hershey

Albuquerque,(fulltime) NM, USA

Senior Member

Joined: 06/04/2003

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 02:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My experience says: You will never, NEVER, stop working on it and spending more and more money on it and in the end you can't give it away. Really think about it carefully.


hershey - albuquerque, nm
Someday Finally Got Here
My wife does all the driving - I just get to hold the steering wheel.
Face Book Group: All About RVing and We Fly RC's
Expedition - Chevy Equinox


soren

Northeast, southeast, the great plains

Senior Member

Joined: 05/12/2002

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you spend a few hours on any site devoted to "alternative" RVing, such as utility trailer conversions, Van dwellers, Schoolies,etc.... I think it's safe to say that you will reach the conclusion that the vast majority of these projects fall in two categories. #1, they were a pipe dream, started by somebody who didn't have the skill set, or drive, to see the project through to the end. These rigs are often for sale and generally priced somewhere between scrap value, and "I am going to be single if somebody doesn't drag this piece of junk out of my yard soon", prices #2 they are a rolling wreck with horrendous workmanship, and are going to be nothing but a headache for the next sucker. Now the interesting part is that a TINY portion of this mess is the diamond in the manure pile. There are some really special rigs out there, built by master craftsmen, and being sold for a fraction of the material costs and none of the labor cost that they spent to build these road yachts. If you found one of these, the next issue, as Dirt Harry once said is, "do you feel lucky". At that point it's all about risk tolerance and how fat your wallet is. Are you willing to drop six figures into a new motor if yours blows up? Can you leave it hundred of miles away, for weeks, while big expensive issues are being repaired? Are you fine with buying and maintaining something that may get very pricey to own, yet has very little resale value?

If you want to follow some real life experiences in this department, spend a bit of time on the technomadia blog. After a LONG search, these folks bought a really sweet bus conversion for $8K. They spent an equal amount making it road-worthy. After a few years of fairly reliable service, they are in MT. parked for the last month plus, while they drop $20,000+ to rebuild the motor that puked and left them stranded.

Custom and hand made conversions are an adventure. If you have a high risk tolerance, an outlook that anything and everything is an experience, not a disaster, and you have a nice healthy reserve fund so you are not selling the thing by the pound, after it puked a motor or trans, half way through a trip, then go for it. If you want a cheap, stress free RVing experience, buy a trailer.

* This post was edited 07/29/13 05:45pm by soren *

AdequateRV

Northern Illinois

Senior Member

Joined: 01/16/2006

View Profile



Posted: 07/29/13 03:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hershey wrote:

My experience says: You will never, NEVER, stop working on it and spending more and more money on it and in the end you can't give it away. Really think about it carefully.


+1

Unless you are very mechanically inclined AND you like to work on these things as a hobby, run away as fast as you can. On top of the mechanical issues, I would be worried about how it handles on the highway, and what kind of storage it offers.

good luck with your decision!

rgatijnet1

Florida

Senior Member

Joined: 06/22/2009

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 07/29/13 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll just keep this basic since I can't comment on the quality of the conversion.
The Ford B700 bus is a SCHOOL bus, which are not known for a smooth ride or built for long trips. If this was a long distance passenger bus, like used by Greyhound and Trailways, etc, than I would be more inclined to consider it. I feel that with the B700 you will have something that will not be comfortable for any kind of a long trip. I would pass.

Dale.Traveling

Newport News, VA

Senior Member

Joined: 12/16/2010

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member

Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

soren wrote:

"I am going to be single if somebody doesn't drag this piece of junk out of my yard soon".
Love that one.

Get a trailer. You already have a formidable prime mover with the Excursion. Plenty of TTs available that will fit your budget and camping plans.


2006 Hurricane 31D aka 'Moby' the Whale
FCC(SW) US Navy Retired 1980-2003
Stella my Navigator
Bogart the All American RV Dog
and
Cocoui waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge


Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

Senior Member

Joined: 07/22/2007

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 03:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

$8000 equal TT. [emoticon]

jerem0621

Tennessee

Senior Member

Joined: 05/17/2009

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 07/29/13 03:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buy a TT.... Trust me on this... Buy a TT.


Tow Vehicle- 2014 Town & Country, Pentastar V6-69k miles
Pro Series 550 Round bar hitch
Draw-Tite Intella Stop Brake Controller
Fantastic Van

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes  >  All

 > Bus Conversion - pros and cons to buying one v TT
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Class A Motorhomes


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2017 CWI, Inc. © 2017 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS