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Best Bus to Buy

Discussions regarding bus to motorhome conversions are welcome here.

Best Bus to Buy

Postby Plod » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:28 pm

Hi everyone, I'm new to this so would appreciate some assistance. I want to fulfill a childhood dream and convert a bus to a motor home so I can cruise around the country whenever I want and stay put whenever I want. I'm interested in a 1988 Denning Landseer Highdeck tag axle coach which is listed for 19K. It has a GM 6V92 diesel engine and a rear mount, 6 speed Spicer manual crash gearbox. Does this sound good value and is this particular bus a good, reliable one for me to consider. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks...Pete
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby Denv12 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:25 am

Plod wrote:Hi everyone, I'm new to this so would appreciate some assistance. I want to fulfill a childhood dream and convert a bus to a motor home so I can cruise around the country whenever I want and stay put whenever I want. I'm interested in a 1988 Denning Landseer Highdeck tag axle coach which is listed for 19K. It has a GM 6V92 diesel engine and a rear mount, 6 speed Spicer manual crash gearbox. Does this sound good value and is this particular bus a good, reliable one for me to consider. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks...Pete


The vehicle would be a great buy.The reliabilty factor should be good as its a Denning coach.Check the service history too.
There are plenty of high deck coaches out there,custom coaches Hyliner,PMC Apollo High Deck,Volgren Twin Deck,Austral HD1 High Deck,etc.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby Plod » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:26 am

Thanks Denv, appreciate your help:)
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby Denv12 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:13 pm

Plod wrote:Thanks Denv, appreciate your help:)

You're welcome.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby landseer1 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:08 pm

Howdy
I recently bought a landseer..... The cheaper ones are desirable due price however I found the more seriously I looked rust in the frame was usually the biggest factor. All will have rust but some are really bad, If your not planning to do an extensive frame rebuild for the conversion I'd be putting this as my highest priority.
Mechanically they are very reliable (and most parts are easily obtained from the shelf) but unless you can get a written engine and drive train warranty it would be a lottery, take a Detroit specialist to have a look if your serious about the purchase....

I looked at few seriously however was VERY frustrated with the in accurate descriptions of the condition. I flew to Melbourne to look at one and didn't even bother getting out of the car. It was described as been in excellent condition......

Good luck
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby Denv12 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:50 am

I forgot to mention the magazine "Motorhome & Caravan Trader.". It comes out every month.Anyone who is trying to sell their bus/coach/motrorhome,etc can advertise it in there. Its a good place to find something you're looking for.You might find one thats already converted or just find the right coach to start your conversion.There are plenty of used coaches for sale so you have plenty to choose from. There are a lot of people who are selling their motorhomes too for whatever reasons.You might find something to suit your needs thats move in ready and had all the work done.Most newsagents sell it.

As for books to buy you can buy books on RV's. RV's are also considered motorhomes.There are several books out there.Just have a look online for books on RV,bus conversions,motorhomes,etc.There are plenty to choose from. You can also join motorhome forums too.Here are a few links that might be of interest to you:

https://www.cmca.net.au/
http://caravanandmotorhomebooks.com/
http://caravanandmotorhomebooks.com/useful-links-2/
https://www.magshop.com.au/motorhome-caravan-trader
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php
https://www.busconversions.com/
Last edited by Denv12 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby bagmaker » Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:02 am

Caravancampingsales online has lots as well.
The common issue with Dennings and Australs is rust, some you can see, some you cannot but most have it.
Further to the good advice above, take your time as bargains do come up, usually from fellows who have just had the thing sitting in their yard mid-conversion for too long.
Converting properly is a long and expensive process, if that is your gig and then a rewarding process but if its not.............. :(
Have you done much other touring, Plod, is your heart set on this?
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby qbb469 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 5:21 pm

Just putting it out there.

Given you're looking at old machinery. Look at buses that will be able to be the end product you want. Spending big $$$$ for a brand name when you can have the same end product for less is rather illogical.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby rustbucket » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:45 pm

Just came back from Sydney in our Austral, Vanishing Point. Sat on 110 wherever there was no roadworks, 17 tonne with a 4.5 tonne trailer. Pissing down rain, just loved the drive, ready to go again. Corners like on train tracks, left most of the cars for dead (till we got to significant hills)

This after 4 years and a bigger bucket of money than my wife likes to talk about so think long and hard, there are many half done conversions out there, people take it on without a clue of just what is involved, it is way more than stringing some hippie curtains on the window and filling the floor with mattresses, like my first conversion, "The Marijuana Information Bus"

However we now have a jaw dropping conversion professionally valued at $200K plus the trailer and Suzy, so it can be done but it ain't easy. If you have the balls, a strong marriage and a bucket of money, go for it

Rustbucket
(Cause I bought a Tourmaster, but Dennings are usually much the same)

BTW I think it was in 91 that they started using galvabond, that solved some of the rust issues, but not all.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby readyflowers » Mon May 30, 2016 11:14 am

Awesome Idea mate, I'm planning to build one for me. It's one of the best to travel with comfort
When it comes to surprising your love ones; Fowers Perth is the best way to express it.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby menimerc » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:02 pm

Well I have joined the club!
I have had the dream of mobile off grid gypsy living for over 10 years now and recently decided to go with the bus idea.
As soon as I decide to go for it, almost the same day I find myself standing in front of a bus with a friends dad who was going to convert it into a cafe, but has too much on his plate........ and presto I am a bus owner!!
The bus is a 1980 Mercedes Benz 030577B ex Sydney transport white and blue with the red livery.
I founds its old info online. Fleet number 2485
It seems like people decide on a bus to convert then buy it..... It also seems like people tend to take way longer than expected to convert and cost more than expected. Sigh
Anyway I guess you have to start somewhere, why not start with the bus?

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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby qbb469 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:43 pm

That depends on how much you do yourself. But yes expect it to take time to get it the way you want it.
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Re: Best Bus to Buy

Postby rustbucket » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:19 pm

You will quickly become amazed at how easily the new "money pit" swallows, and the satisfaction is not instant but maybe years down the track. Stay the course, it is worth it in the long run, otherwise you will become another of those "gunna does" (maybe like the person you purchased it from )?
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