Volvodemort - A Volvo B10M Motorhome Project

A few notes on bus hunting...

This can take a while! We inspected coaches and/or motorhomes based on Austral, Bova, Denning, Domino, Hino, Leyland, Mercedes, Scania, even a Silver Eagle, before buying our Volvo. In all, we spent over a year inspecting coaches and motorhomes across a fair fraction of Australia — from Perth to the Sunshine Coast (the running joke at the time was that by the time we found our coach we'd have seen most of the country anyway!)

The worst problem with long-distance converted coach-hunting is that the fitout always looked better in the photos. After a particularly disappointing inspection (in Perth, as it happens) we just about gave up on other people’s conversions (especially if they claimed to have done it themselves), and started looking at just-being-retired coaches instead. There's more of them, and sometimes they even come with a service history (an idea that doesn't seem to have really taken off with converted coach owners, for some reason).

We used a spreadsheet “database” to track approximately 280 motorhomes and approximately 300 coaches during this period. We found this useful for several reasons:

In no particular order, our mandatory requirements were:

Things that would be nice (but we didn't really think we were in the running for) were:

All this refinement of our search criteria eventually meant we ended up concentrating on 1980’s era Austral Tourmasters (they met all the other criteria, and can just be stood up in), and became, briefly, very minor experts on the rear-mount 2-stroke Detroit Diesels nearly all of these Australs are fitted with. Dennings in general had not quite enough headroom; just slightly less than the Australs, so were less favoured (even though they are a much prettier bus IMHO!)

And then we bought a mid-engined Volvo that no-one can work on unless they have a pit, a humungous lift, or are 6 inches high. Cause it had a “downstairs” kitchen with rear door, a mostly flat floor, and (very important, this) is, except for the chassis, constructed almost entirely of aluminium. Woo-hoo!

Some coaches we didn't buy

Bus, Coach, Motorhome Search Links

This 2008 list below of Australian links is just a starting point and skewed towards large, heavy vehicles or motorhomes. As conversion of a working coach to a motorhome was one of our options, the list included purveyors of Recreational Vehicles (RVs), motorhomes, used coaches, plus bus lines that had coaches for sale links.

For Motorhomes/RVs the best sites were CMCA, eBay, RVPoint and the Trading Post.

For unconverted coaches the standouts for us were Jeff Nance, Greyhound, Omnibus and RVPoint.

Heavy Vehicle/Bus/Coach/Motorhomes for sale websites:

Bus companies that list from time-to-time: