GMCforum
For enthusiast of the Classic GMC Motorhome built from 1973 to 1978. A web-based mirror of the GMCnet mailing list.

Home » GMC » GMCnet » Belated trip report (10,000 kilometers in a GMC)
Belated trip report [message #326817] Wed, 06 December 2017 18:02 Go to next message
gibsongo is currently offline  gibsongo   Canada
Messages: 92
Registered: October 2012
Location: Montreal West, Quebec, Ca...
Karma: 0
Member
Belated Trip Report

First trip of any significance (i.e. over 500 miles) with my coach - a 1976 23" Norris Upfit with "new everything" (frame, motor, tranny, Honda EV6010, fitech, etc. etc.). Montreal to Elkhart IN for the GMCMI rally (could be the subject of a long post in itself), across Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana and up to Calgary Alberta, where I picked my wife up at the airport, then north to Jasper to visit my son who was working there. Back to Montreal through Edmonton AB, Manitoba and Ontario. All in all, 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) in just under 30 days. Temperatures ranging from the 80s in Illinois and Indiana to a few nights of-10 C (14 F) in Jasper. Thankfully we had good sleeping bags!

I wish I could say the trip was completely problem free, but.....then it wouldn't be a GMC would it? But by and large, things went very smoothly. I did need a tow in southern Minnesota a stuck thermostat after gassing up resulted in most of the coolant spewing out 5 miles down the road. Good Sam told me that since it was after 8 PM the best they could do was tow me to the next rest stop then I would have had to start the process over the next day - guess which membership I am not renewing next year! Luckily a friendly state trooper gave me the name of a local towing company that came quickly with a truck that was borderline too small (a bit scary but we only had 6 miles on back roads to go) and dropped me at a small garage total cost $120 ($60 for the tow, $60 for the thermostat and coolant). In Northern Alberta, I started getting some hesitation just after refueling, but I was really filling to the brim because service stations were few and far between. Once I stopped doing this, the hesitation disappeared. Other than that, some bearing noise that that surfaced in Minot ND and was with me for the rest of the trip, which turned out to be the differential the only component that didn't get rebuilt in the initial restoration process. Those big bearings are expensive!

Some observations. The engine that Frank Borrmann built (Borrmann's Garage, Bluevale Ontario) an like a top less than a quart of oil burnt in 10,000 KM. The MAC dash looks great (I have the big one the NGMC), but driving with hands at 10 and 2 mean that both the oil pressure and water temperature gauges are obscured, as well as a few other less important ones not great for the regular scan. Good thing I was using the Fitech monitoring panel which allowed me to catch thermostat problem in time and not lunch the motor. I will be giving some thought to this over the winter perhaps a digi-panel, perhaps relocating a few critical gauges and replacing them with ones that also have an alarm function.

Then finally there's the question of heat. I found that even though the AC on this coach apparently works very well compared to its peers, temperatures in the mid 80s are about as high as I can bear and still drive with a smile on my face. I know many will recommend it, but tooling down the pike with the genny running to power the roof AC is not something I want to do. My question is: how effective is window tinting at mitigating the "goldfish bowl" effect in the cockpit? Having been back from the trip for almost 2 months now, the itch of Tucson AZ in April is something I am thinking of scratching, but I'll admit that the desert has me a bit scared.

Finally, Jasper Alberta is spectacular. Jasper National park is a 10,500 sq. km. area where development is carefully controlled to preserve the stunning beauty of the area. Lots of tall snow-capped mountains (at the end of September at least), lots of wildlife (moose, elk, mountain sheep, black and grizzly bears and even the odd wolf)...and no McDs encroaching on the scenic vistas. Go you'll enjoy it!!!


Gordon Gibson 1976 23" Norris Upfit Montreal West, Quebec, Canada
Re: Belated trip report [message #326818 is a reply to message #326817] Wed, 06 December 2017 18:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Scott Nutter is currently offline  Scott Nutter   United States
Messages: 349
Registered: January 2015
Location: Houston/San Diego
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Gordon,
Sounds like you have a very nice coach.
Do you have the curtains behind the driver and passengers seat that you close to trap the cool AC air in the cockpit?
If not, they are a must.
Scott.


Scott Nutter 1978 Royale Center Kitchen, Patterson 455, switch pitch tranny, 3.21 final drive, Quad bags, tankless water heater, everything Lenzi. Houston, Texas
Re: Belated trip report [message #326828 is a reply to message #326817] Thu, 07 December 2017 08:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SONICJK is currently offline  SONICJK   United States
Messages: 549
Registered: April 2015
Location: Bell Buckle, TN
Karma: 1
Senior Member
sounds like a good trip!

As for keeping it cool in the cockpit, it's a bear!
A good working AC helps but will never be enough in any real heat.
We took about the same length trip this summer and it was brutal when it was 100+ outside.
We just ran the generator and the front AC kept us nice and cool. Gas mileage suffers a bit but 100% worth it.
Out of curiosity what's your aversion to running the genset?


Justin Brady http://www.thegmcrv.com/ 1976 Palm Beach 455
Re: Belated trip report [message #326833 is a reply to message #326817] Thu, 07 December 2017 09:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Carl S. is currently offline  Carl S.   United States
Messages: 3380
Registered: January 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ.
Karma: 5
Senior Member

My son in law was telling me about a ceramic window tint that blocks UV rays and keeps the inside of his friends' Jeeps much cooler. Like the GMC, the Jeep Wranglers tend to have a lot of glass, so I'm thinking something like this might help. I don't know the name of the specific product, but I could probably find out.

Living in Tucson, and using the GMC in all kinds of, mostly warm, weather, we run the generator (Onan Power Drawer) and the roof air while driving quite frequently without issue. Other than isolating the front cab area with a curtain, that is the only way to keep cool in the Summer. A few Summers ago, we took a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and ran the generator/roof air almost the entire time. We always do that on our Summer trips and generally in the late Spring and Early Fall as well.


Carl Stouffer '75 ex Palm Beach Tucson, AZ. Chuck Aulgur Reaction Arm Disc Brakes, Quadrabags, 3.70 LSD final drive, Lenzi knuckles/hubs, Dodge Truck 16" X 8" front wheels, Rear American Eagles, Solar battery charging. GMCSJ and GMCMI member
Re: Belated trip report [message #326836 is a reply to message #326817] Thu, 07 December 2017 09:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gibsongo is currently offline  gibsongo   Canada
Messages: 92
Registered: October 2012
Location: Montreal West, Quebec, Ca...
Karma: 0
Member
Justin - Guess I'm a bit "old school". Running the generator to power the AC may be something I will grow to accept over time, but for the moment, I like to be able to monitor things just in case there is a problem. With the generator at the back of the coach I would never hear if something went wrong in time to stop the thing before serious damage happened. I also worry a little about a fuel hose splitting and fire breaking out - I wouldn't be aware of it till the rear of the coach was engulfed in flames. For the same reason I would never run the generator overnight while sleeping, but since I am in the north this hasn't been a problem. Just paranoid perhaps.

Scott - it was a pleasure meeting you at Elkhart - we folded laundry together the last night. The curtain sounds like an option although I do use the rear view mirror from time to time to determine with certainty when I can pull back in after passing.

I usually have the shades on the side windows down and the windows cracked a little while driving on sunny days, and was wondering whether a moderate tint to the front windows might help. I'm also following the current Bounds series of daily posts on AC with interest. I know Applied GMC sells an add-on AC unit. Does anyone have experience with these?


Gordon Gibson 1976 23" Norris Upfit Montreal West, Quebec, Canada
Re: Belated trip report [message #326839 is a reply to message #326817] Thu, 07 December 2017 10:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Scott Nutter is currently offline  Scott Nutter   United States
Messages: 349
Registered: January 2015
Location: Houston/San Diego
Karma: 0
Senior Member
Gordon, it's all coming back to me now!
The trip to the laundry room did get me out of the dog house and put me back in good standing!!
And it was a pleasure talking with you.

BTW, I have the foil/insulation from Home Depot. I have cut it to fit and placed it against the window above the drivers side couch and both rear bed side windows. I keep the drapes closed on those windows so I don't have to look at the silver insulation. And that is a big improvement in the Texas summers.

Scott


Scott Nutter 1978 Royale Center Kitchen, Patterson 455, switch pitch tranny, 3.21 final drive, Quad bags, tankless water heater, everything Lenzi. Houston, Texas
Re: Belated trip report [message #326848 is a reply to message #326839] Thu, 07 December 2017 13:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Carl S. is currently offline  Carl S.   United States
Messages: 3380
Registered: January 2009
Location: Tucson, AZ.
Karma: 5
Senior Member

Scott Nutter wrote on Thu, 07 December 2017 09:47
Gordon, it's all coming back to me now!
The trip to the laundry room did get me out of the dog house and put me back in good standing!!
And it was a pleasure talking with you.

BTW, I have the foil/insulation from Home Depot. I have cut it to fit and placed it against the window above the drivers side couch and both rear bed side windows. I keep the drapes closed on those windows so I don't have to look at the silver insulation. And that is a big improvement in the Texas summers.

Scott


Yes, I do the same thing. It also helps keep the warmth in on cold winter nights while dry camping.


Carl Stouffer '75 ex Palm Beach Tucson, AZ. Chuck Aulgur Reaction Arm Disc Brakes, Quadrabags, 3.70 LSD final drive, Lenzi knuckles/hubs, Dodge Truck 16" X 8" front wheels, Rear American Eagles, Solar battery charging. GMCSJ and GMCMI member
Re: Belated trip report [message #326855 is a reply to message #326817] Thu, 07 December 2017 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Scott Nutter is currently offline  Scott Nutter   United States
Messages: 349
Registered: January 2015
Location: Houston/San Diego
Karma: 0
Senior Member
I also use the jumbo car window shades (the ones with the wire sides that are a bear to twist and fold up) to put in my big window over the dinette and the front windshield at nights.
For me it is easier than trying to finess the original blinds to the down position.

Gordon- if you do decide to go with the curtains, I went inexpensive. I'm using a cloth style shower curtain that is hemmed at the bottom, and I used fishing line to sew the sliders with. It's very lightweight, but works great.

Scott.


Scott Nutter 1978 Royale Center Kitchen, Patterson 455, switch pitch tranny, 3.21 final drive, Quad bags, tankless water heater, everything Lenzi. Houston, Texas
Re: [GMCnet] Belated trip report [message #326884 is a reply to message #326855] Fri, 08 December 2017 06:13 Go to previous message
Margie Van Winkle is currently offline  Margie Van Winkle   United States
Messages: 30
Registered: March 2012
Karma: 0
Member
Consider using clear shower curtains behind the cockpit.

On Dec 7, 2017 2:57 PM, "Scott Nutter" wrote:

> I also use the jumbo car window shades (the ones with the wire sides that
> are a bear to twist and fold up) to put in my big window over the dinette
> and the front windshield at nights.
> For me it is easier than trying to finess the original blinds to the down
> position.
>
> Gordon- if you do decide to go with the curtains, I went inexpensive. I'm
> using a cloth style shower curtain that is hemmed at the bottom, and I used
> fishing line to sew the sliders with. It's very lightweight, but works
> great.
>
> Scott.
> --
> Scott Nutter
> 1978 Royale Center Kitchen, Patterson 455, switch pitch tranny, 3.21 final
> drive, Quad bags, tankless water heater, everything Lenzi.
> Houston, Texas
>
> _______________________________________________
> GMCnet mailing list
> Unsubscribe or Change List Options:
> http://list.gmcnet.org/mailman/listinfo/gmclist_list.gmcnet.org
>
_______________________________________________
GMCnet mailing list
Unsubscribe or Change List Options:
http://list.gmcnet.org/mailman/listinfo/gmclist_list.gmcnet.org

Previous Topic: [GMCnet] Suburban NT-34SP Heater
Next Topic: Frosty Cool sale
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Wed Dec 13 16:41:41 CST 2017

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.02968 seconds