A conversion bus, also known as a conversion shell or motor coach conversion, usually isn't your average bus. A conversion bus will look like a bus on the outside, in shape and size, but inside, you never know what to find.
Conversion buses have been made for a huge number of purposes. Some conversion buses are used as mobile classrooms, complete with desks, running water, and bathrooms. Others have been turned into rolling clinics. Some conversion buses have even been turned into fearsome Mobile Command Centers, bristling with communications and equipment, for law enforcement agencies.
But conversion buses take more enjoyable forms as well. One of the most popular forms of bus conversions is the recreational vehicle. Recreational bus conversions often have more interior space than normal recreational vehicles, allowing room for all the comforts of home in one huge, luxurious vehicle.
Bus conversions can also take the form of executive offices, creating a fully outfitted office (complete with executive washroom) that can be taken on the road. Party buses, or limousine buses, are also another popular and exciting form of bus conversion. These fun vehicles are party rooms on the go, often featuring lush couches, flat screen televisions, advanced stereo systems, and well-stocked bars.
The fun thing about conversion buses is that they can adapted to suit almost any purpose imaginable. Almost anything you can imagine on wheels can be put into a conversion bus, if you have the inclination and the financing to do so.
There are many companies currently producing conversion buses. Prevost Car, a division of the Volvo company, is a longtime maker of quality motor coaches. Prevost motor coaches are easily recognizable, with their tall windows and extra headroom, and are often sold as recreational vehicles.
Motor Coach Industries, or MCI, is an American-based manufacturer of speciality buses, including conversion buses. Like Prevost, MCI buses are popular and easy to recognize, and can be adapted for nearly any need.
Krystal, a noted manufacturer of luxury vehicles, including limousines, offers a lower-cost series of motor coaches, keeping costs down by building custom motor coaches on commercially available chassises, such as the Ford E-series. Krystal motor coaches tend to be either passenger motor coaches or limousine buses, and are usually smaller in overall size and capacity than Prevost or MCI motor coaches.
Eagle buses, a popular form of motor coach from the 1960s and 1970s, have been making a comeback as well, becoming choice vehicles for conversion buses, largely thanks to their signature stainless steel shine.
The average cost for a bus conversion is rather steep, and can be anywhere from $120,000 for a small conversion bus to over $500,000 for a complete conversion on a Prevost or MCI bus.