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Cost of Conversion Matt 9-3-04  
I am looking at either puchasing a used motorhome or converting a bus. I can do the work myself in our shop. Can a bus be converted for $15,000 in parts if the labor is my own?
Re: Cost of Conversion JIm C 9-5-04  
Anything is possible, but before anyone gives you a real answer we have to know more information about how you want to use it.
If you are just going to throw some bunks inside an old school bus, or an old city transit bus, add a power cord and go from campground to campground and plug in your unit to the power pole the answer is yes.
If you want to camp without power poles, you will ned a batter bank, or a generator,That adds money very quickly.
If you have a battery bank, you will need a means of inverting the power from 12 volt to 110, and a means of charging the batterys, that also adds money.
Do you need just a porta potty, or do you want a full bath with tub and or shower, if you want the latter, you are talking holding tanks and water heaters,and pumps, that also adds money and quickly.
I had my mind set on building a bus conversion, I even went looking at shells. I happened to find a converted shell that was not finished that I really liked so I bought that instead of converting. I know I saved 10,000 to 15,000 by doing that over converting.
BUT, I feel I was lucky, I found one that was converted right. If you buy the wrong conversion it could cost you more down the road.
I suggest you go to some bus rallys and check them out, most are happy to talk about them and show them off. That way you get a real idea about what it takes.
the reality is:
If you build a quality conversion out of a quality shell(mechanically and cosmetically), and want to camp without power at times for a few days, you will be spending 25,000 to 50,000 (OR MORE)before you are done.
That is not too bad when you consider that the bus is much safer than most motorhomes, they are not built at the maximum weight for the frame and brakes, and motor. they are made to go millions of miles, not thousands
Jim
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