Motorhome Voyager is growing – not just the number of our followers and readers – but also in size too! We are now the proud owners of a Scania Irizar tri axle coach. Long overdue, it is time to follow our dream of owning a motorhome coach conversion. Like many motorhomes, the coach comprises two main parts. Firstly, we refer to the chassis (base vehicle) – so this is the equivalent of a Fiat, Mercedes or Ford on a coachbuilt motorhome. Secondly, we refer to the Irizar, the coach body. (The equivalent to the habitation area of a coachbuilt motorhome, such as Swift, Hymer or Autotrail). Our previous motorhome was a Fiat Swift Kontiki. Motorhome Voyager now owns a Scania Irizar Century.
Motorhome coach conversion – the chassis/base vehicle.
Our beauty, known in the short term as “Big S”, is a Scania K series with a powerful 124 engine. The “12” refers to twelve, yes a twelve litre engine whilst the “4” is the fourth series. Unsurprisingly, “4 series” replaced the “3” series. This twelve litre engine is rear mounted and pushes the coach along with ease. The seven speed gear box is a manual and is known as a “comfort shift”. The gear knob is similar in size to that on a car.
Motorhome coach conversion – the body
The body is a Spanish “Irizar”. At the time of her build, the Irizar was available in two different forms. Firstly, a single rear axle model – known in the coach trade as “4×2”. This is due to there being four wheels at the rear and two on the front. The four rear wheels are on the same axle. However, our Irizar is a tri axle and is known as a “6×2”. We have six wheels at the rear and two at the front – so eight wheels in total. The centre axle has four wheels, whilst the rear axle has two. “Big S” is a Century model and we call it “super high”. The body stands 3.7 metres high, 12 metres long and 2.55 metres wide.
Known in the trade as a Scania Irizar, this combination is fairly unique in that all Scania dealers – there are plenty throughout the world – are able to order Irizar parts. Each Irizar part has a Scania part number. Easy!
Motorhome coach conversion – her past life!
Our Scania Irizar may look similar to many coaches on the UK roads. However, she has one big difference. Her working career was spent as a sleeper bus – sometimes called nightliners or band buses. You may see such coaches at concerts, theatres or sporting events. Do you wonder who is behind the privacy glass?
In her day, she has carried stars and celebrities from venue to venue. Consequently, there are some features that are not found in standard coaches. Noteworthy of a mention – the dropped floor. The internal floor is around one foot lower than on a standard coach. As a result, head room is more than generous. The compromise is a reduction in belly locker space. However, on the super highliner, this is not an issue. The Irizar features air conditioning, privacy glass and a manual nearside front door. This door is operated by a push button and is held on hinges.
Virtually all coaches on UK roads have a power operated entrance door. This operates on an air system. However, all coaches will lose air when parked for extended periods. The same is true of our Irizar when in residence at a campsite! There is then the possibility that the door may open without cause. This will not happen with our manual door. When previously looking at coaches to convert, the air operated door was an issue.
Motorhome coach conversion – her history
- Built as a sleeper coach. Originally painted in banana yellow. Operated by Phoenix Bussing
- Repainted into metallic green as above – the present colour of the stunning Phoenix Bussing fleet
- Change of owner – to Fastway UK – another band bus operator. A repaint into bright red
- Change of colour into the stunning blue
- Change of owner – now operating as a motorhome for the Motorhome Voyager
Motorhome coach conversion – the future
The first journey has been done – from her previous owner to us. Our maiden camping weeking is due soon. The rest is similar to a wedding vow. We will treat her to lovely holidays. We will modify her to suit our requirements and most of all, we will love her! There are some modifications to make. The first involves fitting the now famous kitchen roll holder that prevents the roll from unfolding on the move! Click the link below to order one – you will not regret it!
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A small selection of the Irizar’s interior is available on our post – click here for a read!