05/17/2010 02:54 PM
This is our Q&A and FAQ list !
We went through over 1000 of our latest
to answer the
most popular questions about our
Custom Coaches and Coach Kits
1. Can We Subdivide the Kit?
2. What is a Blank out Panel ?
3. What is a Raised Roof?
4. What are front and rear caps?
5. What is Walker A/C?
6. What is Walker Power?
7. What kind of generators do you
8. Can you level a bus using the existing
9. What is the Walker Extended Rear Clip?
10. How long is the Walker Rear Clip?
11. Is it feasible to raise the roof?
12. Can a 6' tall person live in a converted
13. Can big guys have big showers?
14. What's a Neo Angle Shower?
15. Can you use hardwood floors?
16. Can you use radiant heat in the floors?
17. Can you buy a bus for $5000 ?
18. Is a city or transit bus good for
19. What is a bi-fold door?
20. Do you have floor plans for a party bus?
21. What is a 1-piece side?
22. Do you have a 1-piece down to the bay
23. What's a cafe door?
24. Are GMC buses any good?
25. Are your coaches usable in sub-zero
26. Is an Eagle a good bus?
27. Do you make a kit for the Eagle?
28. What is an A-2 MCI?
29. Is the two axle coach MCI A-2 a good
30. Can you just buy the kit for the bedroom
31. Will your kits fit transit buses such as RTS?
32. What makes a better wheelchair designed
I was told to use a transit bus.
33. Will you have separate accessories
besides the kit?
34. Why move the MCI radiator?
35. Do bus radiators get the same airflow as
a truck radiator?
36. Is insulation for the roof/sides/floors
included in the kit?
37. Is a water heater included in the kit?
38. Is the water heater provided with
39. Is a furnace part of the kit?
40. Do you install propane?
41. What's the heating in a kit?
42. What size holding tanks do you use and
43. What does the galley contain?
44. What does the bathroom contain?
45. Is there a choice of floor plans?
46. What kind of windows do you use and how
47. Do you change the windows?
48. Are flooring and wall treatments part of
49. If I am going to buy a used bus, what do
50. What's the deal about your coach being
99% 120V AC power?
51. Do you have 12V DC?
52. Does your coach come with step-down
(i.e. 100 A, 50 A, 30 A, 20 A)?
53. Do you offer an amperage monitoring
54.Cabinets and Vanity
56. Why raise a roof?
57. Do you build Slide Outs for monocoque
58. What is an
59. What is a
60. What is the best
61. What's the difference between bus and
motor homes suspensions?
62. Polished skins or painted smooth skins?
63. Is it difficult to polish my own stainless steel or aluminum
64. Is it difficult to replace our own skins?
We are sorry but at this time in order to make the kit more economical, we have to
design it to be built as one unit. However, soon we do plan on offering modular
sections of our famous kit.
This is a solid panel of aluminum that spans the length of the
coach and is installed to cover where the windows used to be. In essence it's a
new wall. Some companies build this out of 10 ft sections; we use 1 solid panel
at 1/8th of an inch thick. It takes special machinery, but it is definitely
worth the investment.
A standard coach comes at a given height. The average is a
6'7" interior height. But when converting a passenger bus into an RV, it is
better to have a false ceiling that's been squared off so as to make room for
your overhead cabinetry. If you remember when you're standing in a passenger
bus, you need to lean over to look out a window. When standing in a private
coach, you should be able to look eye level to look out a window.
Where the front windshield area meets the roof line, there is a
smooth rounded area. This is your front cap. The same is true for the rear.
These caps are a given size built for that bus' application. When you raise a
roof, you need to redesign this front and rear area for the new
The Walker Air Conditioning system is a very simple 3 zone, 3
120 V 18,000 BTU A/C systems. These units are mounted on a shelf inside the back
of the bedroom area inside the rear fiberglass cap. Nothing is protruding
through the roof or the rear of the coach. Units mounted in this fashion give
you almost 5 tons of air conditioning, yet can be zone controlled for each area.
However, this type of system mainly works with a raised roof coach. The duct
work would be running through the ceiling.
Years ago, we used to purchase our generators and we found that
there were many variations of the generating unit coupled with a different
diesel powered unit. We have a very popular manufacturer to build our unit using
Isuzu diesel engines with other top name-brand genset units. We now can offer a
very good quality 10-24 kW generator at a normal price with a good
There are many size generators to choose from. Some do it yourself Bus friends
have started with a lawnmower engine
connected to a small alternator and produce 3kW. Then they move to a
portable contractors generator you can buy at home depot.
We've found over the years that a
generator in a motor home actually runs more than any portable or contractor's
generator. So when you pick a power plant, you want to pick one that's designed
to run 24/7. The most efficient one would be a diesel. Diesels do cost a little
more up front, but the average one will last four times longer than the other
types. We've tried them all, and the best system we've come up with is a company
in Connecticut that is famous for their durable marine diesel Gen Sets.
With their engineers we've co designed the best RV Bus
Conversion generator by using an Isuzu 3 or 4 cylinder engine. This is the same Isuzu pickup truck
engine that's proved its reliability over the years. Couple that to a top name
alternating unit, add a good cooling system, good electronic gauges, and a way
for it to breath and exhaust itself, and you now have a great and reliable RV
generator. We had them design us a entry level unit along with top quality ones
too ... check our prices and see.
Yes, you can. We make an adaptor kit that you can add to your
present suspension system and level your bus from that manifold kit.
As buses have grown older and technology has advanced in the
later model engines, it's more economical to install a larger engine in an older
shell. However, you have to adapt that shell for the larger engine. When we were
adapting the larger engine to get 10 miles per gallon, we had to extend the rear
about 9 inches. At this time, we realized for a minor investment, you can remove
the radiators from above the floor and reinstall them beneath the floor. This
makes for a much more efficient space inside the cabin area. Over the years,
we've improved on this method to the point of designing a complete rear kit that
comes out of a jig and is completely assembled. This rear clip comes in 1, 2,
and 5 ft extensions and will enable you to be able to install up to 600 hp
engine system. With a special transmission, some buses are getting all the way
up to 16 miles per gallon. By removing the radiators above the floor to down
below, that adds almost 3 feet back to usable space for additional room in your
They come in pre-built sections at 1 foot, 2 foot, 3 foot, and 5
Absolutely. A raised roof coach is so much more in demand that
if you attempt to sell a non-raised roof coach, it would go for approximately
25% less. As a rule of thumb, when building a coach and you have the roof
raised, that amount of investment should double if not triple towards the total
equity value of your coach.
Yes. The average height of an MCI 9 is 6'7". If you do not
raise the roof, this should be more than enough room. The average bus converter
usually raises the coach 8 inches. This is so you can install a squarer ceiling
in order to accommodate A/C duct work, recessed mirrors, and lighting and makes
an overall nicer appearance with your cabinetry.
With a raised roof MCI, you don't have any problem installing
36" or 42" straight shower or Neo Angle shower, full height, without
trimming the top. This is as large, if not larger, than a standard home shower.
This is a shower that permits you to enter from what would be a
corner so the door is actually at an angle to the back of the wall. The shower
is shaped more like a triangle with a door facing the center of the room.
Yes. There are all types of hardwood floor kits that can be
installed. It is not recommend to use heavy tongue in groove type but you can
use a lighter tongue in groove like Pergo etc.
Yes. There are different manufacturers and different methods,
but it has become more and more common this past decade.
No, not really. You can probably buy one for $3000, $4000, or
$5000, but it will be a very old coach. The technology won't be as advanced and
you'll end up spending the same, if not more, to bring that older bus back to
specifications for a comfortable motor home.
As a rule, a transit bus is not as good as an over the road
coach to build a private coach out of. Keep in mind, a transit bus is designed
for local trips and stopping and going and stopping and going constantly all
day. It stands to reason, that this bus will be a heavy passenger bus with a
reinforced breaking, suspension, rear end, and assorted steering components.
There are no practical areas to use for your utilities (i.e. holding tanks,
pumps, heating, hookup connections, etc.). This bus has a chassis, very heavy
steel channel system going through the floor to the rear. An over the road coach
is built from a monocoque design, which means it is built from many
pre-assembled sections and pieces attached to create a very good chassis. This
system is much lighter, but just as strong. The most common monocoque design is
used in an airplane fuselage.
Most transit buses use a bi-fold door (rather than sedan doors) which means two doors in
one that separate to permit entry and exit. An over the
road coach has a salon door or cafe style door that swings on one side and opens
at a 45° angle. The better door is the salon door because you're only dealing
with one set of seals that are pulled in tight to the bus as the door locks. On
a bi-fold door, the door doesn't pull in as tight. This system is designed for
many, many thousands of openings and closings, so they have a tendency to wear
the heavy rubber seals down and they always have air leaks. We are designing a
stainless steel kit door to replace the bi-fold door on MCIs. Call and ask about
Yes we do have different styles of floor planning. We have
several of the average RV motor home, day coach, and a party bus. See Floor
Plans for more details.
When you blank out the side of a coach (covering the windows),
most converters use thin flexible aluminum in 10-15 ft sections or can be done
in a roll fashion in one piece for the whole side of the window area. Our
concept is to have a special 1/8th inch tempered aluminum panel design and made
for us. It is delivered on a 53 ft flatbed. We hang this as one large heavy unit
and install it over the window area so as to give a one smooth, seamless look
with out a lot of distortions. This section goes from underneath the roof to
down to the trim beneath the windows. However, this can be extended to go from
the roof line down to the luggage bay doors.
Yes. Our concept is to have a special 1/8th inch tempered
aluminum panel design and made for us. It is delivered on a 53 ft flatbed. We
hang this as one large heavy unit and install it over the window area so as to
give a one smooth, seamless look with out a lot of distortions. This section
goes from underneath the roof to down to the trim beneath the windows. However,
this can be extended to go from the roof line down to the luggage bay
A cafe door is another name for the main salon door or sedan
door for a standard over the road coach entrance door.
GMC was the king of buses at one time. However, those buses
went out of production back in the 60s. Naturally technology and deterioration
has made this beautiful coach somewhat obsolete. Be careful, there are some
later model GMC transit buses, but don't get them confused with over the road
coaches or intercity buses.
Yes. AS a rule, as in most RVs, you build your insulation
package around an average given temperature which is approximately 30° F for
the low side. However, you can order the option super insulation package that
would insulate your coach and your vulnerable plumbing down to -15° F.
Yes,... The Eagle originally came from Germany in the late
50s-early 60s, and was a well designed coach. The biggest problem they had when
this beautiful coach became Americanized was the engineering was not upgraded to
keep up with competitive technology. In the 70s, rust was a serious problem with
all coaches. In the 80s, MCI was the first to address the problem with stainless
steel construction; others followed along in the 90s. Eagle never did and they
failed and went bankrupt in the late 90s.
At this time, our kits are mainly designed around the most
popular bus currently being sold, which happens to be an MCI model 9. However,
the Eagle interior roof line does happen to be very similar, but not exactly
like the MC 9. We are presently designing a system for the Eagle. Hopefully by
the spring of 2002, we should have that completed. We have a program going on
through the winter for some Eagle owners. If you would like to contact us, and
perhaps we could work together in a prototyping program with a tremendous
MCI built coaches for many years and used model numbers (i.e. 5,
6, 7, 8, 9). In the late 1980s, they changed what would normally be a model 10
and called it an A. The model number would be designated by the bus' size and
type of axles that unit would have, i.e. a 96 A-3 means is it 96" wide A
model with 3 axles. Then you would have a 96 A-2, which means this is a 96"
wide A model with 2 axles, meaning no tag axle.
The MCI A-2 was an experiment: they wanted to know if they could
build a lighter coach to handle certain routes. It turns out, the coach, without
a tag axle, ended up being too light to carry full passengers and freight.
Remember, Greyhound at one time handled small freight packages until UPS & Fed
over. The biggest negative is that this coach has a much longer tail swing
because there is no tag axle; therefore stretching it would not be an option.
The GVWR is also less, so there is an easy chance you could be in the overload
area when carrying or towing. Some people feel that without the tag axle, the
coach would handle better; that is a misconception. The model with a trailing
axle actually has a tendency to steer straighter and ride more smoothly under
different conditions. The final answer would the A-2 is a great coach to convert
to a motor home, unless you plan on a lot of towing and the tag axle model does
seem to handle a little better.
At this time, in order to keep our price down, we cannot
separate the package. But don't be too discouraged, because we are doing a
modified bathroom kit and probably will do a subdivided kit sometime soon.
No, not at this time. We had to design our kits to fit the more
popular buses first, so at this time, only some parts will fit transit buses
(i.e. holding tanks, plumbing, wiring, etc.). Keep in mind though, this does not
mean that we cannot help you if you are converting a transit bus. There are many
items that can fit either coach.
A transit bus does have a lower floor, but this type of coach
just does not make as good a conversion as an over the road coach. We offer
several floor plans for physically challenged families. We have a patented
design wheelchair lift that comes out of the stairway that will fit and MCI 9 or
102 models. We are presently looking for persons who would like to co-design
more floor plans for physically challenged persons using wheelchairs.
Yes. There are always optional accessories available to design
and decorate your coach to look more modern with up to date technology.
Back in the 50s, MCI installed radiators in the back of the
cabin structure above the floor. This idea was to prevent an ongoing problem of
leaves, dirt, and debris being sucked in the low slung radiator. Over the years,
all manufacturers install their radiators next to the engine on the left side.
The main reason is roads are far superior to what they were 50 years ago and
there is not as much debris on the highways. In the mid 90s, MCI did install the
radiator down below the floor level beside the engine with the MCI Renaissance.
Now all bus manufacturers install the radiator beside the engine. It just seems
to be an easier way of maintaining and allowing more useable square footage
above the floor.
No, they don't. A bus radiator is on the side of the coach and
the cooling fan has to pull air through it. On a truck, as soon as you get up to
35 MPH, air is pushing its way into it. The front radiator is a far superior
design for a truck that works much heavier carrying an average weight of 80,000
lbs., where a bus seldom carries more than 40,000 lbs. The side radiator design
for a bus is very adequate for that engine.
No. The shell has to be prepared as a separate operation before
you install the kit. Part of the preparation is insulating, sealing, and then
ply-wooding the interior so as to have a completed interior wood skin.
Yes. There are other optional heaters available as well, i.e.
faster, larger capacity, etc.
Yes. There are other optional heaters available as well, i.e.
faster, larger capacity, etc.
Yes. There are other optional heaters available as well, i.e.
faster, larger capacity, electric, diesel, etc.
Yes, we can. Most of all our coaches are full electric with
diesel heat, but we can install propane if needed.
You have a choice of electric and diesel fired heating. These
come in forced air or heat exchanger systems.
Webasto info :http://www.webasto.us/am/en/am_rv.html
The holding tank system consists of three tanks with different
sizes. Fresh water: 100-200 gallons. Grey water: 40-60 gallons. Black water:
The galley kit includes a two burner electric stovetop with
glass surface, a sink with all fixtures attached. A refrigerator is optional
because this is a heavy item that can be bought locally.
A 30" vanity, an RV porcelain toilet, a small broom closet.
The shower we let you purchase locally.
Yes we do have different styles of floor planning. We have
several of the average RV motor home, day coach, and a party bus. See Floor
Plans for more details.
We recommend a company called
Peninsula Glass . they build custom RV slider style windows. Their
quality is superb and their warranties are great. They have single and dual pane
All the commercial bus windows are a good, heavy grade window.
They still are not the best for RV use. For one reason, most of the seals are
old and cracked because they have to be escape windows. RV style designed are
slider designed, so therefore you have a more modern technology and a more
Most wall treatments are included in most design kits. A good
quality linoleum is included in the kit. There are many optional floors
available to you, i.e. marble, tile, wood, etc. Snap
together wood flooring
As you probably know from your research, a commercial passenger
bus can make a tremendous lifelong RV motor home. As you research, the biggest
factors are age and corrosive deterioration. Some buses did not address the
corrosive problem, so therefore, they may not be the best candidate. Some
coaches addressed the corrosive problem, but then weight is a factor (i.e. Van
Hool, Neoplan). It seems that MCI was the first to build a coach using aluminum
stainless steel and a monocoque chassis which translates into a tremendous
savings and a corrosive preventative program. buses for sale
"See our new
Online RV Catalog "
In the old days, most all motor homes offered a 12V DC
electrical system for lighting. That day has passed. With newer technology, you
can install a quality inverter which takes DC battery power and converts it into
AC home power. This also makes it easy to design and decorate your coach using
common accessories and fixtures available in most home improvement stores.
Yes. There are a couple outlets by the driver for 12V
Yes. It does depend on what your coach was designed for; the
average is 50 A. But yes, the kit will have adapters so as to be able to plug
into a standard RV 30 A.
Yes. As an optional feature, there is an electronic panel
available that mounts next to your controls. This monitors how much amperage
you're drawing and can be set with an alarm to notify you when your amperage
draw is nearing your connection limit.
The most important part of your entire coach is your interior
finishing. If you skimp here, your beautiful motor home will always look like a
do-it-yourself home built. Be careful. Most cabinet companies do not understand
the way a coach is built. Most cabinet companies will charge you more than if
you simply buy the kit that we offer. For example, if you went to Home Depot and
bought a vanity and put it in your coach, the first thing you would notice is
that the vanity leans to the right and is not flush with the back wall. The side
walls on a MCI are bowed out in the middle 1" - 1.5". The floor is
raised 3" in the rear of the coach. When you design and build to accommodate
these tolerances, it can be somewhat challenging. Also, a cabinet built heavier
and thicker actually supports a better riding coach. You don't have the squeaks
and twisting noises you would with a pre-made, stapled together cabinet.
Solid woods might not be as good as you think. Most coaches,
even the high end coaches, use veneers over an MDF (multi-density fiber) or
plywood type base. The reason for this is that your bus is a sealed box that
reaches temperatures over 130°F in extreme conditions. The water that is stored
inside your coach, i.e. sink traps, shower traps, toilet, even the evaporator
tray underneath the refrigerator, adds moisture to the inside of your coach. On
a very hot day in a parking lot, your coach can convert into a steam bath. Most
solid woods can't handle this in time. We have addressed these problems in our
kits. This is the main reason that laminates have become so popular in the last
decade. A wood interior coach has a lower value than a laminated coach.
Throughout the history of the bus conversion industry it has
been a common practice to raise the roof so as to have ample height of your
windows. You want the height in such a manner so when you're standing in the
middle of the coach and looking out, you don't want to have to bend over to look
out the top of your window. The higher ceiling has become so popular that almost
95% of all converted coaches are raised roofs. It also gives the ability to have
an attic for sunken mirrors, recessed lighting and more space to run wires for
sound systems etc. A coach with a raised roof has a much higher resale value than
a non-raised roof.
In the last 10 years, there has been a trend to have more and
more space in your coach when parked. Instead of going longer, they started
making them adaptable to be wider. This trend has also bled over into the bus
conversion industry. Whenever considering adding slide-outs to your chassis,
with an MCI monocoque chassis, you want to be sure you have an expert to install
this for you. The average expense usually is around $1,000. - $1,500 per foot.
Depending on who's designing this for you, you can have as many as four units
installed almost doubling the size of your coach when parked.
Ask about our
Rack and pinion System using new two heavy steel rails. We use a unique
system designed 18 years ago just for the MCI chassis. If one rail moves
1/4" the other rail has to move 1/4"' ..
These two rails are synchronized with a
axle that can not let one side out without the other, It can not tweak ..
There are a lot of you out there that feel a 36ft motor home is
all you could ever want to have. However, and thank goodness, there are a lot of
you out there who want the most space bang for the buck. If you're considering
buying a used coach, and it happens to be pre early 90s, there were no 45ft
coaches at that time. So to keep the budget within tack and to keep a fully
converted coach under $150, we've taken the famous MCI 9 stainless steel
aluminum chassis and modified it. The MC9 has the shortest rear end behind the
last axle. If you ever want to upgrade the power plant to a larger engine, you
need to add to the rear. Not to mention, I was never a fan of the two split
radiators with the big blower box above the engines. Many years ago, we
converted those radiators into one large truck radiator and put it right beside
the engine. Over the years, we have perfected this to an art. Now, we can
install a Cummings 400-500, series 60 Detroit or any other large engine for that
matter, in this new location. By moving the radiators down below the floor
level, it automatically adds 2.5 ft upstairs that you didn't have. So it stands
to reason, if you're going to move the radiators and add 6 inches so you can put
a larger motor, add 3 ft. This gives you a total of 5.5 ft above floor that didn't
All this said and done, you've now extended the bus 3 ft, 4 ft,
or ever 5 ft for that matter. But even at 5 ft, you still have less overhang
than most much shorter motor homes. It just makes good sense to extend the rear
and upgrade it. Whenever you extend the coach, this is the perfect time to throw
away those two small access doors in the back of the bus and on the sides of the
engine. We now install two large side doors, 3 ft in length and the rear is one
complete large tailgate that lifts straight up, very similar to the new Prevost
H3s. You can imagine the expression on an old MCI mechanic when he goes to the
rear and swings this very large tailgate straight up. They always make a comment
about how much more space is there than before. It makes the engine extremely
easier to service and yes, you can still tow whatever you wanted to tow
We have been building high-end and entry-level coaches for over
30 yrs. A lot of your high-end coach companies go tremendous detail with hand
woods and hand crafted textures and upholsteries. You can imagine the amount of
time spent going in and out of the coach. Years ago, I took notice of that and
came up with a plan to save the tremendous amount of wasted labor. What we have
been doing, we try to pre-build as many of the large items as possible. Over the
years, we've gotten quite proficient at this to where we were almost assembling
these as if they were in a kit form. For many years, friends and customers have
been asking us about kits because of our modular philosophy. A few years ago, we
offered a very light kit, but very difficult to assemble. It wasn't much more
than simply plans and light drawings. Over the years, we've perfected this idea
to make it a little easier for the average skilled person.
Now, we are pleased to announce that we have perfected our
newest kit for 2005 to be almost completely built here. You literally buy a sink
base with the sink and fixture installed with a Corian countertop already
attached. This sink base has all the doors and drawers already assembled. Most
buses have a inclined floor, meaning its 3 inches higher in the rear of the
coach, along with a swollen side wall, where the side wall is as much as 1 - 1.5
in wider than the floor. You can imagine where this could give the average
cabinet worker a heart attack. One your shell is prepared and insulated properly
to the Walker coach specifications, our kits are now so simple you literally
open up a box with the base cabinet and sink in it. Lift it up and bring it
through the windshield, set down where you want to mount it, slide it up against
the wall, and attach the screws. You now take a panel with your beveled mirror
already installed, set it on the back of your sink, install that to the wall,
then your overhead cabinet that is completely assembled with all lighting and
switches simply slides down, meets that mirror panel, and simply attach to the
Now that you're standing in front of your sink admiring your
craftsman ship, you see the sink base, beveled mirrored panel, and overhead
cabinets on top of that, you now notice directly above your head is raw plywood.
Now we have a fixture that is your new ceiling. It could be a panel of
upholstery, a recessed lighting box, approx 5 -6 ft x 3 ft wide. You simply
attach this to your ceiling above your head and you ceiling is installed. Now
continuing down, you install another overhead set of cabinets that will match
flush with that unit. You notice these are shaped in a peculiarly different
manner, but this cabinet is designed to site above the refrigerator. One
installed, your new 22 cu. ft. side by side refrigerator will roll in just
beneath that space. As soon as your fridge is installed, there is a small broom
closet that mounts just beneath those cabinets you just installed and this now
gives the impression your refrigerator is flush mounted with your wall. This
broom closet/pantry is designed to have a laminated surface or beveled mirrors
on the face facing the front of the coach.
Over the years, Detroit has been the most successful engine when
used in passenger buses. Recently however, companies have strived to meet
ecological standards. Most recently, Detroit that had the famous 6V92 in all
MC9s, now offers their 4 stroke series 60, 300-500 hp engines. This is a great
engine, but it's fairly new; less than 10 years in popularity, and is also one
of the most expensive ones in the marketplace. They average between $18,000 -
Our research has shown the best bang for the buck in an MCI
upgrade is the Cummings Big Cam 400. Of course they have their other electronic
versions in the 400-500 hp class.
We use the BC400 because it's easier to retrofit in an MCI
9, and the prices are the most competitive. Prices can vary from $4500 for a
used up to $8000 for a rebuilt and $15,000 - $18,000 for a brand new. They are
easier to match with an average Allison transmission.
However, don't discount this very famous Detroit DDEC 6v92
engine. With the invention of the DDEC (Detroit Diesel Electronic Control),
coupled with the ATEC (Allison Transmission Electronic Control), these engines
have proven themselves to be a good investment.
An average motor home manufactured in the US is usually a heavy
duty truck chassis, modified to run a little softer, with a large box (the RV)
mounted on top of it. Technically, this is a suspension, but made from a
modified truck chassis.
An over the road passenger coach (or commonly referred to as a
tour coach) is designed to carry passengers 24/7. It's design facilitates easy
maintenance. It also has a very soft airbag suspension, which is one of the
softest rides we can make. A tour coach in particular MCI, is a monocoque
configuration, meaning the chassis actually flexes with the suspension. This
method has been a proven system for many, many years. Not to mention, this type
of chassis is designed for thirty years and millions of miles. So obviously, a
coach chassis would be a much better candidate to make into a motor home than an
When the American bus manufacturers started building our buses,
someone came up with the idea of a heavy gauge, stainless steel skin with ribs,
also called flutes, applied every three of four inches. The Europeans, however,
always liked a flat skin painted surface. In the past decade, that trend has
come to America. I'm partial to the mirror
finish polished skin bus myself; nothing is more beautiful than that solid
chrome-plated look with detail graphics painted above. This truly designates a
highly crafted private bus conversion. However, some of the most beautiful bus
conversion motor homes out there are the flat
skin, fully painted coaches. Our concept at Walker Coach has been to offer
both the painted and highly-polished mirror skins.
There are two types of skins on passenger: aluminum extruded
skins with an anodized finish, and heavy gauge stainless steel in a brush finish
or polished finish with ribs. The aluminum extrusion with an anodized finish cannot
be polished. The anodized coating is designed to be a matte finish and cannot be
changed. Many have tried, but to do any changes, you're only left to painting
On stainless steel skins, you're dealing with a metal that
is built of nickel and other alloys. It is somewhat tempered and brittle. It's
very easy to polish one, but it is not very easy to polish with an even shine
unless you have some experience. It does usually require a lot of elbow grease.
If you'd like to attempt, we'd be happy to walk you through it and tell you
where you can find materials and equipment.
Well, it all depends on your skill level. This is something that
needs some skill. If nothing else, at least call us and let us walk you through
some things that you need to be aware of, i.e. rivet vs. glue, tricks on heating
larger skins to pre-stretch them, and tricks on how to pre-level all of your
stringers to not have a wavy side. When you remove your rivets you need to be
aware of the dimples you can make in the metal stringer that holds the rivet. If
you don't bring that back flush, and you go to rivet your skin back, you'll see
a sunken spot when the rivet pulls tight. When traveling down the highway, it
becomes somewhat of an interest with my family and employees that you can tell
were made by a do it yourselfer who did not address that issue on the skins or
on the trim.