RV Conversion Candidate: 1990 Prevost Bus

Do you like big projects? Projects that take up a lot of room and will require renting an entire spare lot or building to house it when not in use? Then you likely like somewhere that is free from the oversight of HOAs or the penalty of high property taxes, and for that, I salute you. Still, a retired motor coach may not be your first choice in a project, but the potential upside is huge if you ever wanted to become one of those delightful influencers who lives on the road and builds a custom RV in their backyard with no budget and seemingly no actual income. This 1990 Prevost bus is a stalled project that runs and drives and is listed here on eBay with bids to $5,100 and no reserve.

We’ve seen projects like these before and the listing usually has similar details about how the numerous individuals that have “won” the auction never find the time to actually pick up their rig. It’s a common plight of being able to buy something so cheap you feel like you just have to bid on it, only to realize the monstrous lift you’re going to have to do to get it home. An old RV, a bus, a tractor trailer – they all look like fun challenges for the bored hobbyist, but reality can be a cruel mistress when the auction is over.

It’s too bad no one has actually committed to buying this rig as it looks pretty darn clean inside for an actual bus that was used by the general public. The seller lists the key facts as follows: it comes with 8V92 Turbo Detroit engined paired to a 5-speed Allison automatic with a a jake brake and new front tires. The bus accommodates 46 passengers and has 763,000 miles. The issues are pretty minor for a tired bus, including a tag axle air bag that’s blown and a small air leak at the kneeling valve.

The air conditioning still works and the seller claims the drivetrain is solid. It also comes with four new batteries. The seller is moving so he clearly needs this thing gone; all told, the worst position to be in is knowing you have to get a project vehicle gone before a certain deadline. With bidders pushing it to over $5,000, I hope for the seller’s sake this indicates someone out there is serious about buying it. If you know buses, do you think this is a solid deal, and / or an ideal candidate for a custom motorhome conversion?

Comments

  1. Troy

    With the blown airbag can it still build air pressure? Wonder how much fuel it would take to drive it the 2600 miles home

    Like 3
    • Enzio Di Lapi

      The best you are going to get is 6 mpg I know; I drove for greyhound 27 years.
      Also, with this kind of mileage the engine is ready for a rebuild.

      Like 8
  2. Stan

    Alot of miles. Tired motor no doubt.

    Like 3
  3. sparkster

    The Detroit Diesel 8V92 is a V-8, two-stroke diesel engine, which boasts a displacement of 738 cubic inches or 12.1 liters. Launched in the 1980s. the Series 92 engines were an instant hit, as they boasted several applications, the most prominent of which was buses.

    Like 4
  4. Larry

    It will get about 6 to 7 miles per gallon

  5. Dave Sanford

    This looks a good bargain if you’re so inclined. 760,000 miles is not a big deal if in good mechanical condition and usable tired as these coaches were designed for a 3 million mile plus service life. Prevost is a top name in the highway coach field, being a major supplier to Greyhound, etc. One thing to consider is that since this is sold as a seated coach, your stayed may require a CDL for you to drive it home. Once the seats are out, you can license it as an RV, which doesn’t require a CDL. My two cents as a retired CDL bus driver.

    Like 13
    • Clarke Morris

      You are correct on the CDL. If it is licenced as a people hauler, it requires a Class A CDL, with a passenger bus endorcement. Once the seats come out and it is retitled and tagged as an RV, then you can drive it with no CDL required.

      Like 3
      • Enzio Di Lapi

        Wrong Mr. Morris, you need a CDL class B with passenger endorsement. Class A is for driving a semi.

        Like 3
      • Phil D

        The CDL information isn’t exactly correct. What matters is the usage, not the configuration. Anyone could buy this bus and drive it home, so long as their operator’s license is correct for this type of vehicle in their home state. Their state may require a Class B Exempt license to drive a privately owned and non-commercial bus or they may not, but as long as they’re driving their personally owned vehicle for private, non-commercial purposes no CDL is required, whether the seats are present or removed. The presence or lack of seats is only relevant for registration purposes, and for that matter, removing the seats alone won’t allow it to be registered as an RV. Until it contains the things that the state requires of an RV, even the empty shell is still a bus.

        Now, if there’s even one passenger along for the ride that has so much as offered to kick in a few bucks for fuel, all bets are off. Then they’re commercial and operating out of classification.

        Like 6
  6. Dave Sanford

    Finger trouble, I cut my typing finger, “tired” should read “tires” and “stayed” should read “state”.

    Like 4
  7. Dusty

    NO CDL required if its registered as an RV. When I bought my bus (40ft Crown supercoach), before I even drove it home I registered it as an RV even though it still had the seats in it. Put my new plates on it and drove it 2500 miles home no problems whatsoever. That’s how its done. This is a nice bus, somebody is going to get an incredible deal. These Detroits can be resleeved in frame for about $4k in parts (if you get the good stuff). $2k if you get no name parts. If you do it yourself (I did mine and never touched a Detroit prior), you will have a brand new engine. It’s all in the manual, so anyone can do it. Just subscribe to BusGreaseMonkey on YT and start watching. A new Detroit long block costs about $20K, and pulling the 6500lbs engine/trans out of these things is a bear. Would need a forklift minimum. So in frame rebuild and a summer’s worth of weekends and evenings – and you have a strong runner for less than $10k. A great deal that will make an incredible RV.

    Like 2
  8. Enzio Di Lapi

    If the new owner registers this vehicle with Commercial plates, he/she needs a CDL class B with a P endorsement.

    Like 3
  9. peter k

    I had a Wanderlodge with an 8V92 motor in it. It was a solid 6 mpg x 300 gallon tank. The best thing this coach has going for it is that it sits on an aluminum chassis. The motor requires straight 40 wgt oil to the tune of about 4 gallons (if my memory serves me). They don’t like to start in the cold without a block /oil heater. Set up as a motorhome it will weigh out at about 40000 lbs.
    On the licensing side, if it stays as a coach the driver will need a CDL.nin the event is swapped into motor home living the driver could get away with a class C license or what your state tells you.

    • Enzio Di Lapi

      Wrong peter K a CDL class C is limited to 25000 lbs max. A class B has unlimited weight.

      • Phil D

        Class C licenses aren’t limited by weight in some states, Enzio Di Lapa, only by usage. Many states allow non-commercial private operation of both former buses and truck-tractors on Class C licenses. Only in states that offer upgraded non-commercial licenses (Class A & B Exempt) is there a weight restriction on Class C operators.

        Like 2
  10. Jay E. Member

    And don’t forget to bring along gallons of oil. These engines actually have a planned consumption rate. It is rare that you just add a quart. It is getting harder to find qualified mechanics for Detriot engines.

  11. Enzio Di Lapi

    Sorry Phil D you are wrong. All CDL licenses have the same rules in every state in America. If a vehicle is registered as a commercial vehicle, then it has to comply to ALL CDL rules and regs.

    • Phil D

      Yes, that’s true IF the vehicle is registered as a commercial vehicle, Enzio, but I very clearly stated that if the vehicle is registered as a non-commercial private vehicle then the CDL licensing doesn’t apply, so I wasn’t wrong despite your claim to the contrary. Also, removing those seats would have nothing to do with how it’s registered, either. If the ultimate purchaser is only going to use it for his or her personal use, and it’s not going to be in revenue service, then it can be operated without a CDL. If you continue to maintain otherwise, then it’s YOU that is wrong.

      If you question how or why I know these things, I own and operate a “retired” truck tractor as a tow vehicle for our fifth wheel trailer, and have for fourteen years now. The former tractor is registered as a Motor Home, in compliance with state law where I reside, and I hold a Class A Exempt (non-CDL) operators license, also in compliance with state law. i could also legally operate that bus just as it sits (which only requires a Class B Exempt license here), so long as nobody pays me to ride along.

      Like 1

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