What's a bus conversion?

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Jan 13, 2005
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    There is a problem with the definition of Bus Conversion.  You indicated in your definition that it was any coach built on a Bus Chassis.  Actually, in my mind there are (2) different types of coach's here that are different.  Those that were designed to be motorhomes from the start and those that became motorhomes as a conversion.

    For instance, the Blue Bird Wanderlodge and the Newell are both built from the ground up as motorhomes and would be Bus Type Motorhomes.  All Prevosts, GMC's, MCI's, Eagle, Van Hool, Flexible, Neoplan and Setra and numerous lesser known models would be Bus Conversion Motorhomes.

    These definitions may not mean much to the average RVer, but the distinction is important when it comes to warranty issues, service and product support.    It is important because in the Bus Type Motorhome, there is single source support and much standardization of systems.  One owner is in a position to aid and receive aid from a fellow owner when he has problems.  With the Bus Conversion Motorhome, each is a unique product with little or no standardized systems making support very difficult by comparison. 

    What makes both these coaches desirable is their construction and roadability.  Bus chassis are built to go at least a million miles with limited replacement of components with proper service and maintenance.  Today, there are coaches on the road with much more than that mileage and date back to the 50's and 60's.  Most owners that do a lot of traveling as opposed to sitting for long periods of time prefer this type motorhome.  There is no free lunch however.  Most of these coaches are much more expensive than the normal Class A Motorhome.  There are exceptions though as can be seen with some rather economical do-it-yourself conversions on the road today.

Ron From Big D
Thanks Ron, good points. I'll edit the description to clarify the distinction. So, would you put the Bird in with the rest of us motorhomers, or are you suggesting there should be a separate classification?
Personally I would consider the Wanderlodge a motorhome as it was built as a motorhome from the ground up as are the Newells, Monaco, American Coach, Country Coach (except their Prevo Conversiobn)  My diffinition of a conversion anything originally designed as a Bus or Truck for some other purpose then converted to a recreational vehicle  by installing components to make it a recreational vehile that can be lived in.  Like Ron mentioned the Prevosts and the like are converted from a bus design to a motorhome by adding the necessary motorhome components.

That makes sense Ron. But what about the guy who converted a Divco milk truck? Surely we wouldn't class that as a bus conversion.  ;D  Actually, I don't know what category I'd put it in. Here's the article on his conversion.
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Whether it be a bus conversion or a truck conversion it is a conversion. Not to imply that a conversion is substandard by any means.  Maybe we should just call it CONVERSIONS.  Have seen some pretty big conversions from 18 wheeler tractors to basically a class C configuration.

Presumably you wouldn't include a van conversion in that (?)
I don't know Ron. I've always thought of a van conversion as being one of the smaller vans, but that's about as reliable as folk lore.
I generally think of van conversions to be generally a class B size van. However, I have seen UPS type vans conversions too.  You choose.(BG)

    I would classify the Bird and the Newell as Bus Type.  They are truely built on the same chassis as a bus and are built as a motorhome from scratch.  It is not a conversion in any way.

Ron from Big D
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