The following is a post received from one of our roving GMC enthusiasts. I think you can read in the lines that they are having the time of their lives with their vintage coach. This is the attitude, you should aspire to have this much fun with your coach!
In retrospect, as soon as that GPS read the great big N, we were done… The N compounded by the rain all the way from central Cal to Blue River BC repelled any enthusiasm we tried to generate. We planned for a week of repairs but didn’t need it so booted home. Crossing the boarder was anti climatic, no questions, pretty well waved us through. Lou slept poorly the night before in anticipation of having to surrender her sticks. Moses on the other hand didn’t even wake up as we crossed (they are quite different that way… Moses is very chill).
Here are some stats:
- Over 10,000 miles
- 46 days on round 1 to Deluth/Myrtle Beach/ Orlando, 52 days on round 2 from Orlando to home via LA and Vancouver
- GMC turned over 150,000 miles and seems ready for more-I am told these engines can get 500,000 miles (that would be about 3 more wives…)
- Boondocked 48 nights (read walmart primarily)
- Average of $14 / night camping fees per night (10-46 range )* over the full time period
- Only stayed in one private park, rest were state parks
- Averaged $52 day in fuel (did not count how much gas Moses burnt)
- Range of 100 – 800 miles per quart (low was due to valve gasket, have no idea why we got 8oo miles on the last run home-the cold? Lucas oil additive?)
- 130 kph highest cruising speed (Blue River BC to Saskatoon)
- 10 mpg average at 100 kph
- 0 marital conflicts started by me
Do it a second time ? No, but VERY pleased that we did it this time. Do anything different ? No, the route, the coach, the size of the coach, the sights, the allotted time, the miles (well, you have to do the miles to do the trip so mileage is really not a factor), our mileage (read age), the season (west coast spring/ late winter was problematic) even the partner I would consider reasonably worthy. So, no I’d do it as we did it. Next time we would do a smaller region.
Biggest thrills: passing newer rigs (a rare experience though on the flats there is no upper limit for the GMC as the gearing is high), finding the perfect free camp spot ( I am so cheap), seeing other new vehicles on the tow truck ( I am so perverse), going places no one else would dare go ( I am so cocky), entertaining the 100’s of comments and questions about the GMC ( I am so self absorbed), going into a parts store and picking the part off the shelf even when the 12 year old clerk has no idea what a Toronado is — it is the chassis of the GMC( I am so smug), having one of the big boys come over and lament the problems of his rig ending by saying he wished he bought or kept his ole GM (I am so self righteous), being stopped by another rver who asks with an incredulous tone “whats in that thing anyways ?” ( I am so vain).
Perfect RV for this trip? There isn’t one. There were countless times I craved my old VW pop top van (maneuverable), there were times I craved a big pusher (when ever stationary). There were times I swore at my folly for driving old equipment (when ever at a shop) and there were times I laughed at the Big Boys , as I call them( like now when my fully depreciated coach sits idle for an indeterminate time).
Charleston , Savannah, and New Orleans are must see cities. California coast is a must drive coast. Blue Ridge highway very worthy experience. Gulf coast most pleasurable camping (weather /beach) though Oregon /Washington have best campgrounds. California most expensive fuel and camping. Met some of the nicest people, had not a one security threat (other than hand gestures).
Best device, the GPS . What a lifesaver , I mean wife saver. I would have gone through a half dozen wives had it not been for the GPS.
Things I witnessed on this experience that I just don’t get:
- Why one would put garbage bags over rear view mirrors when camped.
- Why one would teach your dog to read flash cards.
- Why people insist on lighting little tea lights in the rv for every meal (…guess it is a good way to check for propane leaks)*
- Why one would place safety pylons at the back AND the front of a stalled vehicle when on a one way road
- How one could enter a State Park vista view area, where there is at least an acre of parking , and ONE vehicle, only one, yet the motorist was compelled to double park BEHIND one said vehicle to use binoculars thereby hemming in the motorist*
- Why RVers persist on washing their coaches , despite Park laws forbidding the practice as it muddies up the campsite for the next guy, WHEN IT IS RAINING*
- Why rvers would buy a nice out door patio rug (made of a plastic material) then never use it for fear of it getting soiled*
- Why rvers even travel with dogs, especially big dogs*
- Why motorists would drive to the top of a scenic look out the READ A PAPER WITH THE VEHICLE PARKED AWAY FROM THE LOOKOUT.
- Why rvers would drive a round and around a 4 acre area in a BC winter determined to find a camp site when the snow is 4 feet deep covering even the picnic tables*
- Why wear full serious rain gear, in the rain, complete with a rain hat, AND SUN GLASSES!
- Why motorists fiddle with their GPS and reducing their speed by 10-20 mph – cannot they do two things at once?*
Many have inquired about Lou , that was very kind of you. I should do that I suppose , but I am an only child. I think she fared quite well, haven’t really asked her, but she did come home with me. She says she wants a trailer next time. I am busy looking at cool trailers on line since we got home. I am somewhat restricted as the GMC is front wheel drive so I have to be attentive to what kind of trailer I put her in. She does go on about this need for space so I think the best solution would be a utility trailer with a lawn chair and of course a tarp to cover her in inclement weather.
So on a parting note, don’t worry, I will not subject further drivel on you again. I cannot imagine an experience warranting such a strain on a relationship worthy of writing to you about. It was a blast, thank you for sharing it with us. Lou is using her out door voice to summons me to turn in the plates on the GMC and put the car battery now in the GMC back in the car where it belongs. She can be so picky…
Den and Lou
Love and Slobber from Moses
If you didn’t pick it up, Moses is their dog. Hey, pets love these machines too! Anyway, thanks Dennis for the mechanical as well as social report. It all wraps up to be a great experience.