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GMC Motorhome

My husband and I were just talking about this motor home today, lamenting that we didn’t have any pictures of it.  Yesterday I downloaded all my Tulare County pictures off my portable hard drive, and by George, there were three pictures of the old GMC, Barbie and Ken, motor home.

Road Trip  Am I lopsided here ??

You may have guessed by now that my husband likes almost anything that has four wheels and a motor.  He is particularly drawn to a vehicle that says, “I’m special – unique.”  When he told me he wanted to buy a 1976 motor home, I about came unglued.  That he wanted to pay something like $20,000…  I don’t curse.  Really a 1976  motor home!!! – then I saw it.  You can’t really see the paint job on this coach, but it was cute, and quite modern – 1990s at least.  The inside was passable, having been redone in 2003, except that the swivel chairs in the “living room” tilted imperceptibly forward as if to hurry you out of them.  Since that was the only place to sit in the motor home except the driver and passenger seats, it wasn’t a comfortable traveling coach.

Remodeled in 2003. It had a little plaque inside the door, “Remodeled by…”

We used this coach at least 2-3 times.  One time we were driving across the soporific road to the coast, V in the motor home, and me following in the car so that we wouldn’t have to drive IT around.  I was about 3-4 cars behind him when I got a call from his partner at work.

“Are you guys going to the coast?” he asked.

“Yes?”  I wondered why Ruben would be calling me.

“I tried to call V, but he’s not answering his phone.  Ron and Valerie are behind him.”

“Maybe we’ll see them there.  That would be fun!”

“You don’t understand.  V’s sewer hose has come out of the back bumper and is waving back and forth across the road like a tail.  Nobody wants to pass him because they might get slapped by the hose.  Ron and Valerie are afraid it’s going to come off completely and hit the front of their car.”

I was mortified, and just glad I wasn’t in the car with him.  I tried to call him, and finally got him on the phone, and told him.  He pulled over and retrieved the sewer hose, but it was trashed.

I wish I could say that was the only sad thing that happened to our GMC, but I can’t.  The other story I will leave you with was on me.  We had just bought the GMC, and had driven all the way to Salt Lake City to pick it up – in November.  I was an experienced motor homer, and my husband was not.  SO, I thought I would help him hook everything up.  It had been a while since I had a motor home, and in all fairness my first husband did most of the hooking until he was too ill to do it anymore.  Then I did it once – that’s another REALLY awful story.

I hooked up the water, and turned it on – FULL BLAST.  I had forgotten that you need a pressure gauge so that the water pressure doesn’t blow out all the pipes.  And I blew out all the pipes.  We couldn’t stay in our drippy motor home the first night.  We drove all over Salt Lake City to find a hotel where we could actually park it.  It was too tall for one place, and the valet had to park it, and he had problems.  I already hated the motor home, and really it wasn’t the motor home’s fault.

Most of the time the GMC sat in our driveway.  V kept it pretty clean, and once in a while we went out to the driveway, got in the coach, and sat in the uncomfortable seats in the 110 degree heat, ran the air conditioner and turned on the 10 inch tv across from the chairs.  I bought some cute dishes, found a turquoise and brown poke-a-dot comforter, made some adorable curtains, and we showed it to everyone who came over.

Finally V decided that he could do without it because he wanted to buy a race car or a red Corvette, I forget which.  He sold it to a rich couple in Carmel for their “hired help” to live in.  Poor guy.  But it was UNIQUE!!!

Off we go.

Would you love to have Barbie and Ken’s mobile home?  Do you have one that has stories of its own?



26 replies »

  1. Have you seen the movie RV. Well I’ve seen or herd or knew someone that evryone of those things have happened to them, including myself. After 15 years we’ve just about seen or heard it all.


    • I’m sure you have. My worst stories I havent’ told, though. Maybe some day!!! I don’t think I saw the movie. I’ll put it on my list!!!


  2. Motor homes are not something you see very much here, though they are starting to make an appearance. People here tend to buy caravans and tow them all over the country. I told my husband we would never do that, he doesn’t drive, has never had a license, and I don’t want to drive one around. So nothing like that for us. Loved the story though.


    • A husband that doesn’t drive. That would almost be unamerican here. The distances we drive are tremendous. I have almost 170,000 miles on my 2006 car. My husband has about the same if you add up the miles on all his vehicles. We would be really isolated without cars in the Central Valley. It’s hard to fly anywhere. We are over an hour from the closest airport. Over an hour from the closest train station.


      • Here would be isolated as well in Central Florida. The mass transit is….well abominable. Bicycling is great, most of the roads are exquisitely set up for easy commuting via bicycle, but one tends to melt/vapourise whilst doing so. Now, motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, they are in grand numbers here. Little eco cars I see more and more of, as there are wealthy people that can afford them. Then there are many, many hybrids. Motor-homes, however, I do not see very many of at all. I’ve seen many more beetle-bugs and corvettes than motor-homes. Odd for FL….


        • I have been to your fair state. My mom had friends who lived in Punta Gorda who we visited in the SUMMER when we were kids. We were tiny then – somewhat vaporized, I think from playing outside in that heat! Biking here in the summer is not pleasurable to me either. The temperature is dry, but reaches past 110 on many occasions. 100 degrees is not riding weather. It is finally down into the 70s and 80s and I wish my bike tires weren’t flat. We see a fair amount of motor homes. You really see them in Oregon and Washington. The weather is perfect for camping. Not many bugs, temperate climate, lots of forests. Lovely.


          • Haha! Florida summers. Glad you have some easy childhood memories with Florida. I hope you met the chiming warm waters of the sea and found bliss cavorting with some lovely sharks, or the toothy sheepshead fish. Oooo maybe you met some velvety sea-hares! Of course, I definitely hope you met a manatee or two. Ah, lot less development back then, too. Must have been exquisitely beautiful, as it still is. Summers here actually are not very much like what they once were. The drought has definitely changed things. Cooler summers, if you can believe that. Less of those fantastic boiling cumulonimbus clouds, far fewer incredible lightning shows on the sea, and no more regular afternoon downpour- ooo miss that. It is STILL Florida however, and to walk two feet in direct sun on a summer day is a bit of a challenge, and then come the whirling bicyclists zipping by this melting hag (that would be me) as she stumbles toward the shade of a lissome palm-tree, and there they go, scintillating sunglasses, alien-helmets, black spandex….right….but still I manage to go on my beloved hikes all summer long, and am about the only one batty enough to do so, but NOTHING will keep me from my precious alligators.

            Oh I can just picture those majestic woods of WA and OR….so much solitude to find in those two beautiful states, I imagine. We are actually planning to move out there to WA, though I will greatly lament my FL. I am in love with the university out there, in Seattle area. I also have silly ideas of weaseling my way into Berkeley one day, and Oxford a day beyond that, har har. One can hope.

            I seem to have babbled on and on again, oh dear….


          • My dear melting hag hahaha,
            It’s been a long time since I was 13, my last summer trip to FL. I distinctly remember my brother being stung by jelly fish. I also remember swimming in the river that ran behind our friend’s house, coming out for lunch followed by a 5 foot long rattlesnake. that caused some excitement!!!

            There are lots of hikes just waiting to be had in Seattle and Berkeley. I am going to have some of them in Seattle in November. Only I don’t have your lexicon to be able to write with such poetry. And your photos!!! I still have a lot to learn!!!!

            I will always welcome your babbling, the more the better.


  3. This was quite an enthralling story. I was gone the moment I began reading “You may have guessed by now that my husband likes almost anything that has four wheels and a motor.”

    Too many grins to count as always.


    • And I forgot that the motor has to make loud noises. Hybrids are not appealing. Electric cars – even if they go fast will only live at our house if I buy one. Right now they are not in my budget.


          • Let’s see I just visited a lady who designs t-shirts. Maybe we should talk to her. OH yes, we’re over 2000 miles apart. That’s 1000 each of us would have to drive, just to meet in the middle! Oh why do I have to be SO practical!! But spiffy, yes indeed!!


          • Practical, sober, logical. Very excellent attributes lass. I think I shall have to do a comic of it. The fun of comics is what is impractical in life, is always easily attainable through comics, aye!


          • My experience DRIVING a motorcycle happened years ago when our grown up neighbor kid – then about 10 or 11 drove up on his motorbike and asked if I wanted to drive it. I thought he was nuts. I was much too BIG for his little motorbike. He assured me that his MOM drove it, so I should be able to. (Never mind that his mom could be my daughter) But he kept insisting until I gave in. He showed me how to put on the brakes and press the gas, and out of my driveway, I screeched into the block long street. I couldn’t contain my giggles. I drove down the block a ways. So much fun, then I never tried it again! BUT I’m RETIRED now! Hmmmmmm I mean VROOOOOM


  4. MASSIVE grins lassie! That is such a GRAND story! Oh I cannot wait to find out what that feels like. I’m still in the read books about “finding the right motorcycle, and knowing how to maintain it” stage, as well as trying to master manual (in zee automobile). hmmmm I mean VROOOOM was TOO good 😀


    • Yeah and swinging my canon around my neck with that flying behind me as I go 120 mph down the freeway because, according to J, the cops ignore the motorcycles. I’ll be riding on the Autobon next thing you know in my Honda 250, that I don’t have yet. Actually he wants me to go lower than that to a Zero. That’s a real bike – electric. Too expensive, but it has great potential.


  5. Hi Marsha, thanks for sharing your fun stories. We don’t have any to tell (yet) but its my husbands dream to own a motorhome and live in it / travel full-time one day, so I’m sure we’ll have some tales to tell then! We have holidayed in one a couple of times – for a week on our honeymoon, then for two weeks about 5yrs later when we travelled around Northland (the top part of New Zealand). I tried driving that one but the size of it put me off. Having our own would be a big learning curve. 🙂


    • I drove one that was the size of a large pick-up truck, but I never drove the GMC. Never really wanted to!! Good luck with your adventures. I know I wouldn’t want to live in one – much too cramped – even without kids. AND I like a place to come home to. I think to be on the road 100% of the time with no base would feel a little strange. It would be an adventure, though!


      • I would prefer to have a base too. Sadly we can’t afford both a decent sized motorhome and a house – unless we buy a smaller house than we have now, and rent it out. Then we would need to negotiate with the tenants when we wanted to come back. We’ve talked about it so much over the last few years though, that we couldn’t *not* give it a go. Its just a case of when & how… it would give me some interesting adventures to blog about I’m sure! 🙂


  6. Hi Marsha, I always wanted one but suspected it would be more trouble than it was worth, and would get less use than I would imagine. Still, just looking at all the little nooks and crannies in one of them makes my fingers itch to feather that cute little nest and hit the road. I did travel with my sister in her Eurovan, but it was kind of fiddly. I guess it is the idea that I love more than anything.





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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