EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Rate the Bus Converters  (Read 20673 times)

ryand

  • Posts: 1
Rate the Bus Converters
« on: September 12, 2005, 05:00:09 PM »
Hi All,
I'm pretty new to bus conversions and want an unbiased opinion. I'm looking for a big name converter and narrowed it down to 3: Marathon, Vantare (or is it Featherlite?), Liberty. I also heard about Parliament, Millennium ( small operation here in Central Florida) and Royal by Monaco (are they still making those?). Please let me know if I'm missing one. Any information on the following topics would be great!

1.) What are these converters known for? Liberty is  the most expensive, does that mean they're the best? I heard they 'hardwire' their coaches. What is Marathon and Featherlite known for? Does one have any exlusivle bells and whistles that will actually do something for me? Do any of them stick out as better service-providers (customer and technical)?

2.) Are there any horror stories about these coaches? If you talk to the dealers they all say their coach is the best and the others fall apart after a year. Any first-hand experiences?

3.) Who has who? My wife is fairly style-conscious. She doesn't want to be stuck with 'a bunch of rich rednecks.' What stereotypes are each converter associated with? Does anyone know if the younger crowd tends to buy a certain coach?

4.) VIP Clubs: Who has the best party? I don't know if people choose their coach by this criteria, but right now they all look they same to me.

Any other info would be helpful.

Thanks in Advance! -Ryan

Gasser

  • ---
  • Posts: 173
  • 2005 Newmar KS 3910 DP
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2006, 07:38:23 PM »
 ??? ::)

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 8125
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 08:15:28 PM »
I'm with you Gasser, even the lure looks fishy.....
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44710
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2006, 08:56:11 PM »
Gasser and Lou,

The post was a genuine request for help from someone who was looking for a bus conversion company. Unfortunately, nobody responded.

I was previously only familiar with Marathon Coach as a Prevost bus converter. But I became familiar with the others he mentioned while attending the recent FMCA rally.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2006, 09:28:27 PM »
Tom   I too have heard of the types you refer to, but having no knowledge of Conversions expect those done by individuals, I thought best I zip my lips and fingers and that's mighty hard for me to do.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44710
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2006, 10:44:06 PM »
Hi Shayne,

Yes, some conversions are done by individuals. Here's a couple of articles dealing with conversions by individuals:

[edit]Link update[/edit]
« Last Edit: April 08, 2007, 01:23:55 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Gasser

  • ---
  • Posts: 173
  • 2005 Newmar KS 3910 DP
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2006, 10:21:10 AM »
I don't know.  I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way because it came across so pretentious.  I also live in the south and the red-neck comment also rubbed me the wrong way. 

On edit:  Maybe I am just a red neck at heart! ;D


Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2006, 10:24:05 AM »
There's at least 2 of us then  Gasser
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44710
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2006, 11:33:15 AM »
I missed the "rich rednecks" comment.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Shayne

  • ---
  • Posts: 4326
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2006, 01:02:03 PM »
Yeah, but I'm on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to being rich. but on the Top of the pole at being poor. Still a Redneck tho.  I prooved that with the junk I haul in my trailer.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2006, 12:19:54 PM by Shayne »
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Wendy

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12487
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2006, 04:20:48 PM »
Isn't "rich redneck" an oxymoron? I always thought part of being a redneck was being poor. ???
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Woody

  • ---
  • Posts: 917
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2006, 05:19:05 PM »
Isn't "rich redneck" an oxymoron? I always thought part of being a redneck was being poor. ???

Hi Wendy,

If you visit Dale Hollow Reservoir on the KY side and look at some of those 80+ foot houseboats with hottubs on the stern and a couple of Ski-Doos hanging from davits with KY registrations you will see a bunch of rich "rednecks". Of course that wealth may have something to do with the green leafy vegetation they're growing down there now in place of tobacco.    :D :D :D

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 8125
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2006, 07:26:16 PM »
Tom,
I accept your reprimand and apologize for my comments.  I will even apologize to RYAND (and his status conscious, rich redneck avoiding, wife) if he so desires.  I was just a bit offended as I too live in the south (NC) and may qualify as a rich redneck, since I have had TWO used RV's parked in my drive on more than one occasion. 

I couldn't resist the comments, but I do appreciate your position.  'nuf said, lou
'97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Wendy

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12487
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2006, 08:08:19 PM »
Hmm, when I think of a 'bus conversion,' I think of an old school or city bus that's been, well, 'converted' into a motorhome...still has all the windows, usually been painted a color other than school bus yellow, may look great, may look tacky.
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Karl

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 5154
  • No Brett; no sweat. A QB's not the whole team.
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2006, 08:57:11 PM »
I guess you could call a Prevost a 'bus conversion', but not in the presence of the owner ;D

Back in the 70's, there were lot's of conversions; mostly brightly painted with flowers and peace symbols. Some were even said to trail clouds of a strange smelling substance ::)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Wendy

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12487
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2006, 09:13:51 PM »
Back in the 70's, there were lot's of conversions; mostly brightly painted with flowers and peace symbols. Some were even said to trail clouds of a strange smelling substance ::)

That's exactly what I think of when I think of 'bus conversions.' There's still a lot of 'em, mostly in the southwest/west U.S., painted green, taking tourists, mostly students, around the country.  Used to come into Hovenweep occasionally. I believe they're looking for driver/tour guides. ;)
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7675
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2006, 10:04:22 PM »
Gasser and Lou,

The post was a genuine request for help from someone who was looking for a bus conversion company. Unfortunately, nobody responded.

I was previously only familiar with Marathon Coach as a Prevost bus converter. But I became familiar with the others he mentioned while attending the recent FMCA rally.

Tom,

Country Coach is one of the premier Prevost conversion companies. They have won awards for their exterior paint schemes.
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44710
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2006, 10:21:27 PM »
Tom, I accept your reprimand and apologize for my comments.

What reprimand  ???  All I did was explain that the post was from someone looking for an answer.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44710
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2006, 10:23:10 PM »
Understood Jim. Monaco attempted to be in the bus conversion business with their Royale Coach, but they didn't sell very well. They were hauling the remaining few Royales around the rallies in an attempt to get rid of them.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2006, 10:34:07 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Jim Dick

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 7675
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2006, 10:28:12 PM »
Tom,

I've seen two of CC's conversion up close and personal as have others on the forum. Terry Nathan had two of them. I like the fact they were not as glitzy as many. It is possible to buy a Prevost conversion that does not look like a rolling bordello. :)
Jim

Titusville, Florida
U.S. Navy Veteran
2000 American Dream 40' DP
2012 GMC Terrain
2006 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Motorcycle
http://photo.net/photos/jimdick

Gasser

  • ---
  • Posts: 173
  • 2005 Newmar KS 3910 DP
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2006, 11:24:26 AM »

Gasser

  • ---
  • Posts: 173
  • 2005 Newmar KS 3910 DP
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2006, 11:30:19 AM »
Tom, I did not take your comment as a repremand but I do apoligise about starting a post that had this type of slant to it even though the original post did strike a cord with me.  It is just that the original poster struck me kind of odd as almost every RVer I have met is very down to earth, polite and friendly and not the "Exclusive club member" type of person no matter their income level.  I am a physician and by no means rich compared to many out ther but I am not poor either.  If anybody parks next to me at a camp ground in a 10 foot TT you are welcome at my table any time.  ;D

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44710
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2006, 11:55:04 AM »
Understood Gasser and thanks for the clarification. This (online) medium makes it too easy to be misunderstood in our communications (the story of my online life).

FWIW the original message was posted in Sept 2005 and the poster hasn't checked in since Oct 2005.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18087
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2006, 12:00:53 PM »
Hi All,
I'm pretty new to bus conversions and want an unbiased opinion. I'm looking for a big name converter and narrowed it down to 3: Marathon, Vantare (or is it Featherlite?), Liberty. I also heard about Parliament, Millennium ( small operation here in Central Florida) and Royal by Monaco (are they still making those?). Please let me know if I'm missing one. Any information on the following topics would be great!

1.) What are these converters known for? Liberty is  the most expensive, does that mean they're the best? I heard they 'hardwire' their coaches. What is Marathon and Featherlite known for? Does one have any exlusivle bells and whistles that will actually do something for me? Do any of them stick out as better service-providers (customer and technical)?

Expensive does not necessarily mean the best or even the most desirable.  Basically I would say it is what YOU or your WIFE like best.  Some conversions use MCI while others use Prevost.  Which converter is best I can't tell you.  The biggest thing that turns me off with many of them are they are too glitzy and as Jim mentioned looks like a rolling bordello.  I have seen some that are very nicely done.  Now would I be interested in one NO I am not that impressed with them, but then that is just my opinion.

Quote
2.) Are there any horror stories about these coaches? If you talk to the dealers they all say their coach is the best and the others fall apart after a year. Any first-hand experiences?

I have no practical experience.  However I would never want an all electric coach.  I think many non conversion coaches have more storage space.  

Quote
3.) Who has who? My wife is fairly style-conscious. She doesn't want to be stuck with 'a bunch of rich rednecks.' What stereotypes are each converter associated with? Does anyone know if the younger crowd tends to buy a certain coach?


I think it is up to the individual to choose who they associate with whether it be the snobs always trying to impress others with their latest purchases, Bunch of drunks or worse, or just great folks like you will fine here on the RV Forum.  Who you associate with is completely your choice.

Quote
4.) VIP Clubs: Who has the best party? I don't know if people choose their coach by this criteria, but right now they all look they same to me.


Depends on what your criteria is for a party.  For us we just had a great time at the RV Forum Moab rally.  Great people, great activities including off roading, boat tours, hikes, and dinner out from time to time.  We also had a great time out on the Arizona desert South of Quartzsite at another RV Forum rally.

When you find what you think will work best for you then think about it ask questions do your research then if you feel good about it go for it.

Happy Shopping.

Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

McCord

  • Posts: 4
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2007, 11:13:08 AM »
I own a 1969 40' Eagle, converted to a Motor Home in '92.  It had the old Detroit Diesel 8V-71 in it
and going up some of the hills in New Mexico, I was down to like 30 MPH, over as far as I could
get to not impede other travelers.
I had the 8V-71 taken out and put in a 8V-92 Detroit, and it storms up hills now.  It has the 740
Alison Automatic Transmission, Jacob's Engine Brakes, 10KW Kubota/Wrico diesel Generator, etc.
What I like about my Eagle that none (I don't believe) of the others have is it's Torsilastic Suspension,
which makes it not lean going around corners.
The 'big time' Stars demand Eagles so their entertainers aren't thrown out of their bunks while sleeping,
going from one 'gig' to another whenever the driver has to make a turn.
Some of my friends have bus conversions with Air Bags, and are always having trouble with them.
I have over $160,000. invested in my Eagle, but my wife wants Slide-Outs, so I am going to sell it or
try to trade it in on a 40' with at least 3 slide-outs.
The only predicament on trading it in, very few people who sell the beautifully painted, plastic bodied
RV's on truck chassis, know the quality of Eagles, and I have no doubt I'm gonna get 'Screwed'.
You Never see Eagles broke down on the sides of the roads like you do the fancy new ones.
These Eagles are made to run Millions of miles without a wrench being turned on them.  After a
million, they overhaul it, whether it needs it or not, and it goes another million.
I'f you know anyone interested in a Damn Good'un, l'll sell my Eagle outright for $65,000.00, and it
 is in Very good condition, and Ready to Roll.  Even has Harley racks on front & rear bumpers.
Thanks,
McCord,  830-257-8450, Kerrville, Texas
oldphart11@windstream.net

DR

  • ---
  • Posts: 7
Re: Rate the Bus Converters
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2009, 02:08:59 PM »
I know this is a little late but thought I would add our perspective. We had a Marathon built in 1999 and in 2003 moved into Liberty and and again bought another Liberty in 06. We now have a 08 Country Coach bus. All had there pluses but in my opinion Liberty was the best built and certainly had the better components. Marathon had a great coach but as of late I have watched them become more of a mass producer using roof airs instead of basement units also the fit and finish is not what it was. We wanted  more room so we moved into a Country Coach Magna four slide coach which was the biggest mistake of our lives and as the result of details I won't go into we ended up in a Country Coach Prevost. We did not go into a Marathon 4 slide because the slides are third party and not supported by Prevost which is a big negative in my opinion. I often wish I had kept our 06 Liberty as it was by far a much nicer coach then this new Country Coach Prevost.

 

Hosted by Over The Network