Marine & RVs

Do #VanLife Like Prince – Purple Rain Style

Ok, I know we do this three to four times a week, but I think this time we have actually found THE end all, be all, of #vanlife dream vans. It may not be the most practical or best in any measurable way, but it is the best camper bus in our hearts. Full stop. Prince’s Purple Rain Tour bus is officially going to be auctioned at Mecum. Yes, THE Prince. His royal highness of Minnesota. The Master of Minnetonka. The Premiere of Paisley Park. Prince, y’all. Prince. 

Do any of the specs even matter? 

Usually, on this type of camper van/RV piece, we would run down the list of features showing how capable the unit we picked is; that feels a bit unnecessary here. This was Prince’s tour bus. And not just any Prince tour bus, the one he lived and toured in for the Purple Rain tour from 1984-1985. I mean, I’m gonna go into it, but not because it’s necessary, but because it’s fun. 

Prince 1984 Purple Rain Tour bus camper conversion
PRINCE, Prince performing on stage – Purple Rain Tour | Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Prince’s Eagle Model 10 conversion bus

Like everything that crossed paths with Prince (including himself), Silodrome reports that his Royal Highness modified the Eagle Model 10 motorcoach before ever taking it on tour. For one, it couldn’t not be purple. 

Prince 1984 Purple Rain Tour bus camper conversion
Prince 1984 Purple Rain Tour bus camper conversion |

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The cabin can sleep six people in total, but of course, Prince had his own private en suite bedroom in the back of the converted bus. As you may have guessed, the exterior is not the purple you’ll find on the Royal transport. It is lined with purple neon lights in the ceiling and the entryway, along with heavy purple curtains for the windows. To be honest, it isn’t quite as over the top as you may have guessed.

The finest in 1980s features 

The Royal tour bus features captains chairs plucked from a private jet, because, why not? It also has the best of the best (for the time) bathroom, kitchen, sofa, and guest bed. Unfortunately, in pure 80s fashion, it’s got some really nice carpet. That’s not exactly what you want if you decide to use this as designed and do some adventuring. Might get a little muddy, but don’t be surprised if the carpets turn any stain purple. 

Prince 1984 Purple Rain Tour bus camper conversion
Prince 1984 Purple Rain Tour bus camper conversion | Mecum

Of all the Prince Tour buses, this is the most quintessential one

While the bus is still mostly just a bus, the fact that it was home to Prince during the first peak of his career takes it into full-blown music history. Silodrome points out that “Purple Rain” was Prince’s first album to reach No. 1. Not only did it hit No. 1, but it stayed there for an incredible 24 weeks. This cemented the album forever as a masterpiece and pop classic. 

Regular tour bus features

The Eagle 10 is powered by a Detroit Diesel 6V92 turbocharged engine producing 737 lb-ft of torque at 1,400 rpm and 270 hp. The Prince mobile has been privately owned since it left Prince’s ownership. The owner has made some tasteful upgrades like flat-screen TVs and onboard Wi-Fi. The bus has also been fitted with a PowerTech diesel generator that can feed off the main fuel tank to power all the cabin features. 

Like any good camper/conversion bus, Prince’s tour bus has a giant Aqua Heat system. This water system can be run off of normal shore power or the bus’s diesel engine. 

The kitchen comes with a fridge/freezer, microwave, convection oven, and stovetop. Of course, the bus also comes with a bathroom as well. 

Prince, y’all. Prince

The list of features goes on and on. At the end of the day, there is only one feature that matters here; this bus belonged to Prince during the height of his career and his most famous period of work. It is cool as a bus on its own, but with the Prince piece, it is a bonafide piece of rock and roll history.