I love Marathon coaches. I would never spend $3 million CAD to buy one new. Even when they are 15 years old, Marathon coaches can get pretty close to half a million Canadian dollars.
Desert Shores is at the top of our list. It is a stunning RV Resort and it is priced accordingly.
Perhaps this is why some of the conversion companies host special events at places like Desert Shores.
Marathon was out in full force for an event called Desert Stock. This event, likely a play on the Desert Shores name along with a not too subtle reference to Woodstock, took place on Saturday evening.
Marathon brought seven coaches out to the event. One was a bare chassis, the others were all for sale.
Beautiful coaches. I really liked this one.
But, at roughly $2.5 million CAD, this coach was just a wee bit out of my range.
There were others. Certified, pre-owned coaches. Like this one.
Unfortunately, not pre-owned long enough. I’d have to look at something that was pre-owned for a heck of lot longer. Takes a bit of time for depreciation to work its magic on these coaches.
It was fun to look though. They were all lined up and thoroughly detailed for the event.
The event started at 1pm. At a nearby stage, bands would soon be playing hits from the 70s and 80s. Classical music from the Bee Gees, Eagles and the Rolling Stones.
Although I would never spend the money to purchase a Marathon coach, I do appreciate the Canadian business that builds the chassis.
Marathon had a bare Prevost chassis coach on site. It was all white on the outside as Marathon paints their coaches, and nothing but a driver’s seat on the inside. It was interesting to see what a million or so adds to a bare chassis.
I did not buy a Liberty, Marathon or Millenium Prevost conversion at the show. Somehow, Lorraine was warned about my intent to pick one up at the show, special deal prices after all, and she went ahead and shut me out of our bank accounts. I found out the hard way when I tried to charge a Marathon coach to my American Express card that there is actually a preset spending limit even though the price of the coach was only $2.4 million.
As we entered the Florida RV Supershow yesterday, these Prevost conversion coaches were front and centre.
I did learn a few things about the conversion companies and the chassis builder, Prevost, from a Prevost employee at the show.
Prevost was founded way back in 1924 and the company was sold to Volvo in 1995. Volvo buses, or Prevost buses if you prefer, are part of the Volvo Group, a massive conglomerate with over 100,000 employees worldwide. Who owns Volvo Group? Everyone and no one. The way it goes these days with large corporations. Large corporations are owned by other large corporations.
Prevost has roughly 1,500 or so direct employees. And the main chassis of choice for the conversion companies is the H3-45.
The chassis is ordered by the conversion builder as a fairly complete outer shell. There was one on display at the Florida RV Supershow. A surprising amount of plywood.
The chassis comes complete with slideouts. Prevost builds them and they seem to be very well engineered. Here is a shot of a slide motor assembly.
The show chassis I walked through had been purchased by Millenium. Much to my surprise, the body was painted at the factory. I thought all of the conversion companies did their own paint. Marathon does, at a paint facility in Oregon. From the Marathon website:
Our exceptional and unique paint designs are all created by hand, produced by the nation’s finest exterior paint artisans. Our modern facility houses four full-service painting booths, making it one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. Doing everything in house gives us complete control of the entire process from the prep and body work to the design and color creation. The superb craftsmanship of the M Exteriors Creation team has caught the attention of motorcoach enthusiasts worldwide.
Looks like at least one conversion company prefers to have Prevost do the paint work.
I love the look of a Prevost coach.
When we went through the coaches, we had to remove our footwear and there were numerous signs everywhere reminding people not to touch anything: Please do not push buttons, please do not open doors, please do not take pictures — oops!
I was allowed to take some interior shots and some without the glaring signage. All I had to do was sign a thick legal document.
A few bedrooms.
A shot of one of the living areas.
Loved the details around this half-bath sink.
A design theme carried over from the kitchen, which, amongst other things, featured high-end appliances like a Viking microwave.
Prevost has been running Volvo engines since 2008. Those belts look a wee bit complicated to me.
Aside from the stunning interiors, the bays contained impressive design elements as well. Check out the water filtration system in this bay.
Enjoyed the walkthroughs on these fine motorcoaches.
Tomorrow, I’ll share a few thoughts on the experience walking through the booths at the Florida RV Supershow and how we got a great deal on an essential product for the motorcoach.
This was Marathon’s first 2018 coach built on the Prevost X3-45 chassis. A very classic look.
We have been looking at a 2007 coach built on the XL II chassis. Not seriously mind you. But looking at one just the same. Hard to tell that the coaches are a decade apart. Some minor differences on the front and rear caps and around the tag but otherwise remarkably similar.
The Marathon #1261 features the following floorplan:
Here is the video tour of the Marathon #1261:
The 2007 built on the XL II chassis? Well, somewhere around the $500k USD range.
These coaches are engineered for a long service duty. Not sure that it is much of a compromise to buy a used one. Even if it is ten or eleven years old.
My friends at Hearthside Grove sent me a nice invitation:
As 2017 begins, we are kicking off our schedule of events happening in and around several locations in Florida. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to catch up with you over the next few months.
Stop by the booth at the upcoming shows and ask about the new lots we are constructing and the new finished 1100 sq. ft. bungalow and garage currently being built.
The first two stops are next week.
January 16-17 – Prevost Motorhome Expo – Tampa Convention Center
January 18-22 – Florida RV Supershow – Supplier Building B – Booth # B123
Unfortunately I won’t be in Florida this week but a friend of mine might be there. If you are reading this post, I hope you dropped in on the Prevost Motorhome Expo. They should have had a lot of Prevost coaches on display. The tentative list of coaches can be found here.
When we dropped by Hearthside Grove last year, there were dozens of Prevosts around the resort. Hadn’t seen so many of them in one place before.
The Marathon coach, pictured above, is always a crowd favourite. It lists for around $2.5 million USD which is well over $3 million for Canadians. Now that is a really, really expensive motorhome.
More pictures of the Marathon here.