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Old 04-23-2003, 06:03 PM   #1
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Today I got a very interesting E-mail from Sam Walker, the big cheese at Walker Bus Conversions. I had been checking their website for a while, and one thing that intrigued me was their "Interior Conversion Kit". HMMMM. E-mailed them about it. Turns out they are in the process of redesigning the kit "modules" to allow rapid installation into not only buses, but also freight van bodies like Supreme, Morgan, etc. The prices are VERY reasonable. It will still be a few months before they are ready, but think of the possibilities! We tightasses can do our own truck conversion! Just thought some of you might be interested in this. Gary
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Old 04-23-2003, 08:47 PM   #2
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your post got my attention! Gary...geof
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:06 AM   #3
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It might be tricky to get financing for a kit and even trickier for the future buyer of your conversion. If they ever do get listed in the NADA the trucks would have a reputation as a DIY rig w/ unknown quality. I'd think the savings up front would be lost in the end in resale value. Just my .02
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:57 AM   #4
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Walker:

Guys stay away from Walker or at least check him out carefully. Go to the MAK publishing busconversion forum, there have been several postings about Walker and none of them positive.

Just an FYI

Chuck
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Old 04-24-2003, 07:40 AM   #5
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Here, financing is not a problem-if your credit score is reasonably high-the problem in most cases with financing is the individuals Fair credit score is too low....If that happens, then the lending instutition can refuse-raise rates-require larger down payment-more insurance-co/ signers-and a many other hoops to jump through....one of my business partners who does re-finance and new financing, has about 50% of his current business with people who have a Fair Credit score of less than 350....they pay an ungodly interest rate....some in the double digits to own real property-cars-adult toys etc....It's kinda a shame that the people that really need financing have to pay such high rates-"but that's business"...the lenders have to cover their backsides as the risk increases....geof
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:08 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Patrick:
I'd think the savings up front would be lost in the end in resale value. Just my .02<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Resale is the least of my worries. If I were concerned about resale, then I would plan an RV that would appeal to general tastes so it would sell. I'm planning MY RV for ME, and nobody else. Resale is only a concern if you desire to sell the unit within the next few years. I don't.
Chuck-
Boy! Just when I thought I'd struck the Motherlode of cheap-RV-hood, reality rears its ugly head. Thanks for the heads-up on Walker. I'm gonna check out the site you posted and see what's what. Thanks to you all! Gary
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Old 04-26-2003, 10:08 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by chuck:
Walker:

Guys stay away from Walker or at least check him out carefully.
Chuck<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I did just that, and got it straight from the horse's(Sam Walker's) mouth. It seems when they sold off the Walker Invader coach manufacturing division to a large corporation in 1997, the buyers were not forthcoming with the funds. Two years later, after a lawsuit by Sam Walker to collect his funds, the corporation went belly up, and nobody owed money by them got paid, including Sam Walker, who says there were no claims against him or companies under his ownership. At least this is what he tells me. It sounds believable, but I'm keeping my eyes open. Right now it sounds like he has too much on the ball to be any kind of outright fraud. Check out the Walker Coach website. E-mail him and HE will answer you, probably the same day, or late at night.
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Old 04-27-2003, 06:37 AM   #8
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Hi Guys, Ive been lurking also. I have just sold an MCI Bus Conversion that I converted in 2001. I'm going to convert a Truck this time, Probably Volvo. Enough about that now.

FWIW I dealt with Heartland Coach in Arcadia , FL and had a terrible time, almost had to the legal dept. Had a fire on the way home. Poor workmanship. Heartland (management)has since been taken over by the owner since he fired all the "managers" that I dealt with. These managers have now opened Horizon Coach in Arcadia.

Reason for all this is, of interest, the Original Owner of this Company, - bought by Heartland was Walker Coach.

This was told to me in the early stages of negotiating the sale.

After we repaired all they did, it turned out great.

I bought it shelled out, outside finished, I finished inside. Thats what I'll do again.

FWIW

steve
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:28 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clyoga:I dealt with Heartland Coach in Arcadia , FL and had a terrible time. Heartland (management)has since been taken over by the owner since he fired all the "managers" that I dealt with. These managers have now opened Horizon Coach in Arcadia.
the Original Owner of this Company, - bought by Heartland was Walker Coach.

steve<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ok, just so I understand this, you had trouble with Heartland Coach AFTER Walker Coach had sold it? If so, that jibes with what Sam Walker told me, that AFTER he sold Walker Invader Coach(and put himself out of the picture) is when the trouble started with them. OR, was it Sam Walker himself you had trouble with during your dealings with Heartland Coach? I really would like to sort all this out, as it could benefit a lot of people looking for a way to build an RV.
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Old 04-27-2003, 04:58 PM   #10
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No - after he left. He may be OK but if he is anything like the people (employees) he left - TROUBLE. Im not accusing him of anything. There is just a lot of fleas in that bed.

steve
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Old 04-27-2003, 06:46 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info, Steve. I'm keeping my eyes open. You mention you would be converting a truck, maybe a Volvo, this time. Would this be for pulling a 5th wheel, or are you gonna put some sort of coach body on the chassis(this the direction I'm heading)? Fill me in, either way it sounds like you've been around this stuff before and know some of the pitfalls one can get into. Tell it all, brother!
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Old 04-29-2003, 03:33 PM   #12
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Does this site have enough room for what I went through with Heartland ( Old management ). Just about everything that they did I had to redo. I called and asked them if they had ever heard of teflon tape or thread sealer - leaks everywhere. I let them mount the roof ac's, they left the owners manual in two of them, didnt tighten the one up front down and when I came throught one of thosa Fla summer storms - I got soaked inside.

Enough about Heartland, the guy that owns it ( and runs it ) is Tom Curtis. He apologised for all that happened before. I actually let him list my coach to sell as a broker. This is a bad time to sell. Oct Through Feb is the best season. Yankee Snowbirds in FLA have the money to buy. At this time I have brought my Bus home to use through the summer, Im still gonna let tom market it via internet. soon as it sells Ill start the truck.

I plan to use the truck as a motorhome with a 40 k hitch and a large engine, 450 to 500 hp.

Ill let a converter build the box, install the tanks, jacks, gen, finish the outside so it will look finished fron the outside. Then well finish the interior ourselves.

If you would like to check it out go to www.heartlandbus.com look at coaches for sale and look at # 409 . It is the red bus on their conversions page and the picture of the shelled bus with the 10 Inch roof raise is the way it was delivered to me, thats my bus.

I should be easier to convert a truck body because the inside is reasonably square. Not like the rounded roof of a bus. Cabinets should be more straight forward to install. Also a bus floor slopes 3 inches from the rear to the front - another challenge.

Happy Converting

Steve
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Old 04-29-2003, 05:12 PM   #13
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Steve-
Sounds like you've got a good plan for your new RV, having someone set up the inside for you to "furnish and finish", plus finishing the outside. I'm thinking of doing something similar with a freight van box. I'm hearing from all sides how much easier it is than a bus because of the flat floor, straight walls, etc.
Does anyone have any experience with Vanture Coach in Denver, CO.? They convert just about any vehicle thrown their way into whatever the customer wants, no matter how little or how much.
Also, just out of curiosity, does Tom Curtis know Sam Walker? If so, I might want to call Tom and find out what I can about ol' Sam!
Take care. Gary
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