Compromises Conversion Process RV Refrigerators The Mailbag

Classic Coaches
Which Coach to buy

     During my relatively short time being involved with coaches it became abundantly clear as to what coach to by. I used my previous experience working with, and restoring collector cars twisted a bit to fit the world of coaches. In analyzing anything old, desirable, and or collectable, the same rules seem to apply. Something which had a limited production run for whatever reason (usually the lack of sales)also has limited interest and of course parts availability later in it’s life or rebirth. I too looked at 4104’s because they seemed readily available in my price range. Upon further evaluation all that you mentioned George, showed up in either conversation or in actually viewing the coach and realizing what would be needed to put it in first class condition let alone the additional cost of the conversion!

For the above reasons, The Eagle to me had what I was looking for.

     Through the years it has not changed in basic design and construction. By continuously updating the coach it could for the most part start looking like a late model high end coach at an affordable price.

     Due to the fact that Eagle ownership has changed hands and gone through financial reorganization, the commercial carriers apparently have become gun shy on purchasing Eagles! The good news for converters is that there is an abundance for conversion and or parts. Many of the items needed are common truck stop, and GM parts.

     The rust that people talk about is not unique to Eagle. Anything made of steel will rust. The beauty part of an Eagle is that you can remove a section of siding and replace the rusted piece of frame underneath with new steel, and while doing so the coach will not break in half. It has sufficient support in being built like a bird cage, that one could probably make this type of repair without supporting jacks, however I would not recommend doing work on anything without safety precautions.

     Doing the math; an older good looking coach with little parts availability for somewhere around $8,000 to $15,000 verses an Eagle in the same range, then add another $20,000 for the conversion. Now what is the resale value and desirability?

     You can probably buy an Eagle entertainer with a poor looking exterior in the same dollar range during final negotiations. The plus’s would include, that you don’t have to do a lot of parts shopping in that everything has already been fitted. With luck it will contain a diesel genset capable of providing heat and air conditioning throughout the entire coach which is already installed. Consider that the coach may already have a raised roof, an $8,000 value for those so inclined, half bath facilities, holding tanks, stereo, TV, Microwave, refrigerator and sleeping facilities.

     The frosting on the cake is that with perhaps a good cleaning and removal of deteriorated carpet etc. the coach can be used now! The interior configuration is not perfect from a convenience stand point, but when you sell that old trailer or motor home it produces your interior funding! Most commercial converters build the interior’s outside of the coach and install after insulation and carpeting have been installed. The interior could be made in sections and during the winter month’s be installed. You still have heat and light sources available.

Well, enough of my two cents worth, let’s see some bus’s on the road!

Bill Phillips NY