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Old 03-08-2011, 05:56 AM   #1
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Unhappy GMC Motohome Chassis and brakes

Hi Guy's

I'm in the UK and everyone knows we have more rain here than you :( Anyway... I'm considering buying a 1976 GMC Motorhome based here in the UK. The vehicle has been in dry storage for about three or more years that I know of. One guy I spoke to said he saw it about 5 or more years a go when it was parked outside and stood in several inches of water which hasn't been kind to it as the chassis is very flaky, though still seems to have plenty of thickness to the chassis members. However where some long plates (folded sheet) have been bolted along side the main chassis members, they seem to have been forced apart by the rust, is that normal? and is it anything to worry about in a hurry?

I don't know how true it is, but someone suggested to me that new chassis' are still available. Though they're probably quite expensive to import in to the UK. Anyone able to comment on this please?

I've up loaded some chassis photos here -

Before the vehicle could ever be used again on the road, all the brake lines would need to be replaced, the hand/parking brake system re-established as all the cables are hanging around, The brake cylinders and shoes replaced. Not sure about the front callipers and pads. Where's the best place to obtain brake spares please (bearing in mind I'm in the UK)?

The internal furniture needs to be removed and started again, but that's a different issue.

Thanks in advance for any help and comments

Uncle Steve
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:15 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2!

We have some GMC fans here in the states and there are several web sites devoted the GMC motorhome,

If you Google "GMC motorhome" you will find those sites.

Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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Wow - with the level of rust seen underneath, on frame, running gear and suspension, even if that RV was a pure GIFT, the level of repairs and replacements will be staggering! THEN, to renovate the interior as well, combined with inevitable water damage - I doubt that the underside is the ONLY moisture related areas needed attention - you'd have to be pretty wealthy and really in love with that setup to rationalize all the $$$ and labor needed to get it ready for any serious road time.

Just my opinion...

Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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That vehicle has seen its best days. I would NOT buy that MH. Its NOT a classic, and it appears to be an 'unsafe' chassis, due to all the rust.

By the time and $$$ you will spend on getting it into a reasonably safe and useable condition, you could have bought a newer and better one, and been using it instead of working on the old one.
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:42 PM   #5
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Hiya Steve
Nice to see you here.
Hope you get more replies to help you in your decision.

See you soon (yet another in the UK)
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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Hello Steve, Welcome to iRV2.
I have owned two GMC Motorhomes and used them a lot they are Great MHs.
I have done all my own service during the time I owned them (a total of 15 years and in excess of 65k miles). When purchasing mine I looked at at least 35 different units all over the US. I have never seen a chassis as rusted as the one in your photos. I hate to discourage you but it is not only the Frame, but most probably every item going up from the ground to about 2 feet. That includes many many Unobtainable items. Many parts are available including New HD Frame rails. But the cost even here are very high.
Over at GMC Forums there are many members who can give you some very good honest advice. Here is the address:
Good Luck!
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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That one would be a PASS and move on.

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Old 03-08-2011, 07:22 PM   #8
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That baby looks like it was in a flood. Front cross members broke loose. Sway bars are broke.
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:23 PM   #9
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Don't just pass- run! Not a mechanic but that looks like way more than surface rust! That could turn into your money pit.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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I know this isn't what you want to hear but...
I would advise that you let this one go. It may seem like a good deal now, but I promise you will end up with a lot more money invested in this thing and will not get to enjoy it much.
I don't know how the RV market is in the U.K., but I would suggest that you be patient and keep looking, the right deal will always come by if you wait and look long enough.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:21 PM   #11
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Recommend that you pass this one up. Each GMC rear wheel assembly is independant attached to the frame - in this case the frame is bad. I bet the rear air shocks are dry rotted as well. Another common GMC issue is corrosion in the wiring (starting under the dash). The damp conditions you describe most likely contributed to hidden issues here as well.

GMC made a great motorhome and one in good condition is a real prize. However, judging the photos, this one doesn't seem to be the one.
Tom and Amy from Northern Virginia.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:33 PM   #12
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:01 PM   #13
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OK my '73 was towed to my place and pushed into my garage, and the rest of the family said it stunk up the whole garage. But where are the pictures of the good part of this MH?
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:15 AM   #14
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run to much work you can find a nother one
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