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Old 08-10-2005, 07:40 AM   #1
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UNITED VS NRC VS RENAGADE VS SHOWHAULER
I have looked at all and see alot of the same things, but I also see some major differences, especially underneath ! what do others see ? and how do people feel about spending $ 200k on something enclosed in FRP??
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:44 PM   #2
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......fastlap....FRP or not....I wouldn't cough up $200k for a motorcoach...no matter what-that's overpriced/way overpriced.......Not counting the truck and the mods to same, a vehicle is not worth $367.00 a sq ft.....No how-No way. Highline stick homes are now even close to that price....Even a New tractor is in the neighborhood of $80-95k out the door and over the curb...so what makes anyone think 8'X34' is worth anywhere near $350.00 a sq ft?.....Look around-shop and compare use everything you can to figure the cost of a major investment such as a Coach-including LLC -Trust -Corporate Ownership to beat the price down to a reasonable level....geofkaye
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:29 AM   #3
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If you don't do slideouts, you can get a nice new rig in the $100-$125k range built on a good condition used cab/frame/drivetrain.

My opinion is that slideouts stink. They reduce overall reliability (weaker frame) and introduce their own multiple "points of failure".

Another point: some makers are getting away from the original riveted aluminum skin on welded steel square tube frame. They shouldn't. I have an '88 built that way, a very early truck conversion and it's aged VERY well. GMC buses going back to the 1940s and prior were riveted aluminum on aluminum frames and are still going strong; Crown schoolbuses were riveted aluminum on steel frames...the company has been out of business for what, over a decade, school districts still run models from the '70s and prior.

Rivets don't look "modern". They don't look "Prevostoid/Marathonish". They look "commercial", like a semi tractor.

YUP.

They will also be firmly on there long after glued on "smooth sides" have gone to crap.

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The absolute best deals on used truck conversions is on http://www.racingjunk.com under "towing". Definately check that out.
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Old 08-12-2005, 03:45 AM   #4
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Fastlap,
We spent the entire year in 2002 looking at conversions. I took notes on every manufacturer that we looked at and test drove some of each. We traveled all over the country taking the time to visit with dealers and manufacturers and customers going over every aspect of the coaches. We choose to do a used truck chassis becouse I have been involved with trucks all my life and a chassis with over 500,000 miles on it did not bother me. We choose Show Hauler becouse of the treatment we got when we visited and becouse of the quality of the product. Don't get me wrong others have a good quality product, but some were not willing to work with our paticular wants on the floor plan. We were very pleased with our first unit and now have a 2nd. This one is even better than the first. We have been involved with the construction all the way.
We have less than $160,000 invested in the coach at this time. With our Monaco Bus motorhome we had alot more than that in it and 5 years later it was worth about 25% of the cost. Our 2003 Show Hauler sold on Ebay 18 months after purchase for 89% of the cost. We could have even less with some of the other manufacturers.
On a side note, if you do not know anyhting about the mechanical side of things go with a new chassis or deal with a dealer that will stand behind his truck.
So do your homework and take lots of notes. If you decide to have one built then stay on top of it and make sure you follow up on every little detail. Sometimes things will get lost in the shuffle and later on will be impossible to add back in. (a lesson learned from the first unit, we found out after the start that we could have gotten 6 more inches in height)

As for FRP, it has been used for many years in the trucking industry on van trailers and is very strong. the pro's are that it is smooth and easy to work with, and very durable. It has it's weaknesses as well. If it ever starts getting water in between the layers then you have major problems. If you ever damage it then it is difficult to repair and match the color.

Enough Rambling for now,
Wick
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Old 08-12-2005, 09:13 AM   #5
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Wick, I agree that your rig with a new cab and slideouts was worth $160. I remain convinced though that a good used cab professionally inspected and deleting the slideouts can net a damned fine rig in the $100k range or a hair over - and hold it's value even better than 89%.
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Old 08-22-2005, 08:45 PM   #6
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fastlap, we have a Renegade in our shop for service with 360,000 miles and I have seen plenty with 80,000 to 100,000 with the srtuctural integrity of a new model. The older FRP may fade, but it can be buffed out easily. If any of those manufacturers' coaches are damaged, it is not the easiest repair. I have seen a repair on a Haulmark gel-coat, they have a thinner FRP than Renegade, perfect match and very easy to do. All the coaches you are looking at are very well made. Good Luck!!

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Old 08-25-2005, 09:16 AM   #7
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NRC it is , they have the patience of a saint and after much recearch and thought .063 aluninum will work better for me ! (its not just the skin there is alot more that I found when I toured the plants ) They were about $8K more than the others @ around $70k for 15.5 feet behind the mid roof sleeper and a califorina Kingsize above the midroof of my 94 volvo S/A 525hp series 60 !
they are packing alot of stuff in a small space , we did not stretch the frame and will have about 7' from the rear tires to the hitch overhang !
This will make the coach turn shorter than a 2wd standard pickup truck ! This was the most important part since we race circle track (dirt ) and there is not enough room to get a huge coach in many of the tracks without parking a mile away! I would appreciate any comments or sugestions , the conversion should be complete in about 8 weeks .
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