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Prevost

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.

Pre-Owned Prevost Or Class A

I really enjoy Andy’s videos. And his website, The Gadget Guru.

He did a segment on why someone should consider a used Prevost over a new Class A. Some interesting observations on the differences in engineering philosophy.

Of course, highlighting the 2 million mile design specification of a Prevost bus is a testament to the lifespan of the brand. Although I do see many older Class A motorhomes still on the road even after 15 or 20 years.

But I have not come across any specifics comparing the lifespan of a Prevost vs a quality Class A coach. Nor have I come across any specifics on the total cost of ownership over the long-term, say 20 years of ownership.

My suspicion is that the Class A coaches would not hold up as well in terms of depreciation over time. Whether the cost of operating the coach including depreciation equals out over time between the two is really a guess.

Interesting discussion though. We have given some thought as to whether we will continue in a Class A coach or trade for a used Prevost sometime in the future.

Rock Safaris

Rock Safaris. They take care of getting you there.

If you are a musician and your label is not quite ready to provide you with your own bus, well, you can rent a 9-12 bunk Prevost Entertainer Coach from Rock Safaris.

A Prevost Entertainer Coach?

Yes indeed.

From the Prevost Entertainer Coach website:

The Prevost X3-45 VIP Entertainer is designed to suit the demanding and rigorous needs of traveling entertainers and their crews. The unmatched Prevost ride comfort is the pinnacle attribute, providing headliner acts with unparalleled stability for sound sleep and serene lounging while on the move.

Rates are between $375 and $1,110 USD per day. Driver rates are around $250 per day. Add in fuel, 13 cents per mile surcharge and you have maybe $10,000 – 15,000 per week to run a band in a sleeper coach.

What got me here?

This fellow’s YouTube video on what life is like on the road as a touring musician (and yes, he does travel in an Entertainer Coach).

So Many Buses

This is our coach, the Castaway. We are in our second year with the coach and we love it. It is a beautiful machine inside and out. Travelling through Canada and even through much of the U.S., we often stand out in a crowd especially if we are in a mixed park. And by that, I mean a park with other types of RVs like travel trailers and 5th wheels.

At Hearthside Grove, our bus would be in the middle of the pack between older Class A coaches and the high-end motorhomes. Hearthside Grove is a Class A park and they request coaches be 10 years of age or newer. Although they will accept Class A coaches in good condition that are older than 10 years. There are many older Class A coaches in the park right now.

I have never seen as many Prevost coaches in one place. Ever.

Some date back 10 or 15 years. Most are relatively new. The new ones price out in the $2 million range. The buses do depreciate relatively quickly however even a 10-year-old Prevost will fetch upwards of $750 thousand.

Without further ado, here are some of the Prevost buses at Hearthside.

First up, a convoy of Prevost buses leaving the resort for a Prevost rally in Quebec City. Yes, indeed, Canadian buses are the best. However, there are no conversion companies in Canada. If you want a Prevost motorcoach, you will be dealing with companies like Marathon in the U.S.

Here are a number of other coaches hidden away on various sites around the park. I have included a Newmar coach made by the same company who built our Dutch Star. The King Air is Newmar’s top of the line and easily crosses the million-dollar mark when purchased new.

A few more Prevost buses.

Prevost Motorhome Expo

My friends at Hearthside Grove sent me a nice invitation:

Hi Richard,

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.