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Old 03-29-2022, 10:06 AM   #1
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Revcon Owners' Resources

I recently purchased a 1985 Revcon King 33'. I love this bus, and it's been a lot of fun going through it and learning the systems and everything. I've been scouring the internet and making a list of all the resources I find for future reference. There are (or were, anyway) a lot of really knowledgeable people that had really good history and knowledge of these cool old coaches, but a lot of the forums and pages are defunct or no longer maintained. They are still gold mines of info, and are valuable resources to have access to. Here's what I have found so far:

Tin Can Tourists' Revcon page - mostly brand history/info, with some photos and details, mostly of the flat-nose style

Revcon.org - private blog site with some interesting background/info

Old classified ad for an '84 Revcon - I had saved this one because it has a bunch of pics of a slant nose coach (similar to mine) and those seem tougher to find info/pics on.

Police Interceptor Revcon page - private page and defunct forum with a lot of discussion specific to Revcons

Revconeers page - used to be a chapter of FMCA, no longer exists as far as I can tell but the chapter page is still viewable via the Wayback Machine...some good technical discussions in the (defunct) forums section

Revcon Slant Nose - another private blog page, with some good slantnose pics/info discussing engine swaps. Also a small (defunct) discussion forum section

The coach we bought was the first time I've ever seen one of these...I'm a sucker for unique old machines with very little support, parts availability, or active vendors or aftermarket presence, apparently, so I was immediately smitten. I don't know how many owners of these things are still around. I'll add to this thread when I can to keep building a list for future refence. Hope it helps, and feel free to share other resources if you have them.
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Old 04-02-2022, 06:31 AM   #2
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Just stumbled on your post. Owned an '83 Revcon for 16 years. The Police Interceptor forum is still live, but not a lot of activity. I still assist moderating the site, but haven't been checking it for a couple of weeks. The exciting group of Revcon_Curious was ruined by lack of moderation and then eventually lost due to Yahoo dropping its forum. All the posts from that site still exist on the Police Interceptor forum, but searching for info from there is a little difficult.

The difficult problem we face is that the generation from the Yahoo forum has aged. Many don't travel as much, or don't have the motivation to dig into the coach as much. We all learned what we needed to know, and the number of new owners to keep the excitement has dwindled. Not sure if we will ever see a new wave of buyers in the market, like we did 15 years ago.

I sold my coach about 4 years ago, but still keep in touch with the current owner. Being that I'm not in it regularly, I'm starting to forget what I once knew. It was a really fun coach to own and I do often miss it. Put about 80K miles on it, and never once was left stranded. I can't make that claim for my current coach and I've only had it for 4 years.
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Old 04-02-2022, 10:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveinet View Post
Just stumbled on your post. Owned an '83 Revcon for 16 years. The Police Interceptor forum is still live, but not a lot of activity. I still assist moderating the site, but haven't been checking it for a couple of weeks. The exciting group of Revcon_Curious was ruined by lack of moderation and then eventually lost due to Yahoo dropping its forum. All the posts from that site still exist on the Police Interceptor forum, but searching for info from there is a little difficult.

The difficult problem we face is that the generation from the Yahoo forum has aged. Many don't travel as much, or don't have the motivation to dig into the coach as much. We all learned what we needed to know, and the number of new owners to keep the excitement has dwindled. Not sure if we will ever see a new wave of buyers in the market, like we did 15 years ago.

I sold my coach about 4 years ago, but still keep in touch with the current owner. Being that I'm not in it regularly, I'm starting to forget what I once knew. It was a really fun coach to own and I do often miss it. Put about 80K miles on it, and never once was left stranded. I can't make that claim for my current coach and I've only had it for 4 years.
I've seen a number of posts about your old coach...that thing sounds like its one BA bus. Reading about it is definitely putting ideas in my head.
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Old 04-02-2022, 11:07 PM   #4
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Anything is possible, and not all that difficult. Yes it takes effort, but no crazy hurdles. I did it because the 454 had a noisy crank and a bad valve. But if I had another Revcon with a perfectly good motor, I'd likely make the effort to do it again. If it steers like a car, it should accelerate and stop like one too. I'd probably start with the disc brake conversion. That I can't say enough good things about it, particularly compared to how poor the OEM braking is.
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Old 03-17-2023, 08:36 AM   #5
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Anything is possible, and not all that difficult. Yes it takes effort, but no crazy hurdles. I did it because the 454 had a noisy crank and a bad valve. But if I had another Revcon with a perfectly good motor, I'd likely make the effort to do it again. If it steers like a car, it should accelerate and stop like one too. I'd probably start with the disc brake conversion. That I can't say enough good things about it, particularly compared to how poor the OEM braking is.
Hi Dave! I have read a lot of the pages over on policeinterceptor and have enjoyed getting to learn so much from your knowledge and experiences. Did the guy from Austria move into other forums as well? I enjoyed his experiences, videos and repairs/upgrades as well.

There are considerably more GMC sloped front motorhomes out there than Revcon sloped fronts it seems, but how would you compare the two side by side? My take on the two, from what little info I can find on the Revcon, is that on the 1978 Revcon that I found is 30í which is 4í longer than the typical GMC at 26í. It has leaf spring suspension on the rear axles, a dry bath, and I think it has aluminum interior with wallpaper covering over it. So, the question is, which is better, and if you had to decide between a Revcon or a GMC of similar floor plan which would you lean towards and why? Also, how would the ride vary with the Revcon leaf spring compared to the GMC airbag system?

Besides the engine cubic inch differences (like a 403, 455, and later Revcon using the 454, is the drive train and front end pretty much identical or comparable, or are they different? (The Revcon I am looking at has a 403 cu in., would that be a good fit or a little under powered?)

Ok, that was a lot more than just one question, but you seem to be one of the few people that have had the experience of owning one.
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Old 03-17-2023, 06:14 PM   #6
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So... The flat nose and the Slantomobiles use the same Olds drivetrain. Handling wise, while the flatnose tandem rear axles and the Slantmobiles are going to handle very similarly. The single rear axle flat noses, may not quite be as good, but are light enough, the difference is not that pronounced. Since these are on the Olds drivetrain, the front end is a little more narrow, but still handle well. The later 454 version uses a custom drivetrain. Rather than have the transmission next to the engine like the Olds, the trans is behind the engine. They use a transfercase with a driveshaft running forward into a Dana 70, running in reverse. The ends of the axle are cut off, so there are half shafts running to the outer wheels. This allows it to still have independent A-frame type suspension. This drivetain has a higher load rating than the Olds did. Everything is a bit beafier up front. It also has a wider track. I've not drive any of the flatnose units, so I can only make an assessment based on design.

I have driven a GMC, and of course my own '83. I felt the GMC was a little sluggish getting up to full freeway speed. Yes, it had no trouble getting there, but seemed to take a lot of throttle. It rode good, especially in the rear end. It was a long time ago, so there is not a ton I remember about it. Since then I had a guy who had rebuilt 3 different GMCs take a ride in mine. He was totally flabbergasted by the handling. I had made an aggressive lane change that I was normal for me, and he was like oh my word. I'm like what? He was like this thing is bigger than the GMC, but yet handles way better. Now I will say that I had done some improvements - primarily Koni shocks and a rear trac bar. But that is about all for handling, unless you include disc brakes on the rear.

For handling the big thing that Revcon has over GMC is that the design is more exotic. The interior walls are aluminum (coated in plastic). The cabinetry is Wilsonart laminate over a wood frame. The cores between the skins are a thin honeycomb. Where the GMC is using pressed wood, and wood paneling, so it has a higher center of gravity. I know my coach will slide long before it would roll - I've unintentionally proved it. The only thing I will say is the suspension must be well maintained, otherwise it will not handle good at all. Seems FWD tends to exaggerate any issues. It does well at high speed too. I have a photo of the speedo when I broke the 100 mph barrier. Later when I looked at the photo, I noticed the reflection of my camera in the dash. I could see both hands were on the camera. I was driving with my knee - at 100 mph. At the time, I didn't give it a second thought, because there was nothing bad happening, and I had no real perception of speed.
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Old 03-18-2023, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thank you Dave for your insight and reply. I was kinda hoping you would say, as others have, “If you see a Revcon, run away as fast as you can, forget you ever saw it, and move on!” And I only say that because of people that have said if you break a windshield, no replacement can be found and you have to scrap it. Or that numerous parts were custom made and now rare or obsolete.

So, the 1978 Slantmobile I found has the 403 Olds in it, so that means the Toronado tranny etc. (I haven’t physically looked at it yet, since it is 3 hours away from me.) I also figure those parts (Toranado parts, etc) are getting more rare and expensive as well.

I keep trying to put ‘78 out of my mind and walk away, but I am fascinated by it and it keeps calling me back to look at more pictures and research. I think my only way out is if someone else buys it before I decide. Then I can move on and not keep looking back.

Unfortunately, I also stumbled onto a 1985 31’ Prince with the whale tail and the 454. Not nearly as good of shape, and the whale tail just looks wrong to me, but at $3500…. but not nearly as appealing.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experiences.
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Old 03-18-2023, 03:30 PM   #8
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I don't knw what " not as good of shape" means, but I'd probably be more inclined to get the whaletail. in 1985, they widened the coach by 6 inches, so you have more interior space. 82 to 84 were the glory years for sales. With the money they were making, they moved to the former Apollo plant and bought Apollo. '85 was really the last of the gun ho years. At the end of '85, they went bankrupt. No coaches were built in '86 and some in '87. '88 and 89, they kind of came back, but couldn't make ends meet and closed in '90. In some ways, I think the '85 might be the better coach for the wide bodies. It is a heavier coach than the earlier models.

Personally, I like the whaletail body style, due to its representation of the flamboyancy of the company. I remember seeing one at an RV show back in '85. It was pretty cool inside, but I remember thinking who do they think they are, not realizing what I was looking at. I overheard a factory rep from a third party chatting to a potential customer who was trying to decide between a Bluebird and the Revcon. The Revcon was considerably more money at the time. The discussion was that it was lighter weight, but was that worth the extra money.

A lot of people are scared of the later version due to the fact that the drivetrain is basically custom. Having spent 16 years and 80k miles in one, that doesn't scare me much. You can find the parts, once you know what you are looking for. The only show stopper I'm aware of is the chain in the transfer case. These do not exist. If you blow a chain, you are going to be customizing an Atlas gear case, so you can replace the existing Borg-Warner. Doable, as the back of the trans is still a common GM TH400, but you might be doing a little playing around getting everything to bolt up. It would not scare my to do it, but I would not be planning any trips for a few months if it happened. The custom 4WD industry is pretty solid right now, so I have no doubt there are guys out there who could make it happen. The existing transfercase is strong, so it is not like you could expect it to break. There have been a few stretched chains, but even my coach running twice the HP from factory, and not being all that nice to it, mine still held up fine.

The differential was another story. This is a known weak point, however there is a guy out west who rebuilt mine, and I defy anyone to be able to break his build.

So every problem is solvable. You just got to be willing to dive in head first and not be intimidated by it.
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Old 03-19-2023, 07:31 AM   #9
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Thanks Dave, yes, for my comment about not being as nice was a little vague. I should have said that the coach has been sitting outside for quite a while. It has some algae growing on the side, or at least some staining going on.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge on the later models. I didnít realize they had a wider footprint. That really would add to the stability of it.

I guess maybe I will have to take a closer look at the olí Prince. At 1/3 the price of the í78 model, it is looking a little more appealing. And it might polish up quite nicely.
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