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1977+Birchaven+with+...


20-09-2010 05:31 AM
1


Last fall, in a weak moment, I bought another GMC from a local friend. The
husband died, and she didn't want to keep the motorhome, so I agreed to
buy it if it wasn't sold by the end of the summer. It wasn't, so I did.

This summer I reworked the most-needed problems, starting with getting rid
of the leaks from the roof vent that caused more damage to the ceiling and
cabinets.

- Roof vent replaced with Fantastik vent
- Ceiling panels replaced in main section (fiberglass panel with vinyl
cover)
- Overhead cabinets refurbished
- New light fixtures under overheads
- Entry door refurbished
- Water fill access door replaced
- Battery contactor replaced
- Water system leaks repaired

It still needs some minor repairs here and there, but it is usable as is -
I spent Labor Day weekend at a Bluegrass festival in this coach. However,
I am tired of working on it now, and would like to sell the motorhome
before I have to store it for the winter. Asking price is $9500; however, I will
consider any serious offers if you are interested.

I have posted pictures at:
http://www.gmcmhphotos.com/photos/showgallery.php?cat=5592

Here are some other details:

- Engine is 455 CID; runs good; carb. may need some work - starts hard
when cold
- Passenger side front hub, axle, and bearing replaced in 2002
- One air bag new in 2004
- One windshield replaced in 2005 (driver side)
- Front shocks replaced 2006
- Air compressor replaced in 2005
- All upholstery new in 2007, including front seats
- Water heater new in 2002, gas/electric with electronic ignition
- Zip-Dee awning
- All appliances work OK except: toilet stool (flush slide works OK but
water valve not working,)

What still needs to be done:
- Carburetor needs work - starts a bit hard when cold, OK when warm
- Tires are in good shape, but should be replaced soon due to age.
- Other minor repairs typical of any GMC motorhome

We will be at the GMC Rally in Illinois later this week, and all of next
week, but we will have access to email there (assuming they get the WIFI set
up). If you want to call me, send an email, and I will mail you my cell
phone number. Or maybe just see me at the Rally ?

Erv Troyer
1095 E 200 S
Lagrange, IN 46761
74 Sequoia (headed for Duquoin Wed morning)
77 Birchaven (for sale)

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20-09-2010 11:08 PM
2


Erv Troyer wrote on Sun, 19 September 2010 18:31
> ... Asking price is $9500; however, I will
> consider any serious offers if you are interested.
>
> I have posted pictures at:
> http://www.gmcmhphotos.com/photos/showgallery.php?cat=5592
>
> Here are some other details:
>
> - Engine is 455 CID; ...


Just something to note:

While this coach has the same "furniture" as my Birch, (and every other RB Birch I have ever seen) it is a different layout. It LOOKS like it was built that way from the factory. (At least in the pictures.)

If this isn't a ONE OF A KIND coach, it is very close!

Due to increase visibility (to management) with a "one of a kind coach", I would suspect the workmanship to be a bit better that the average Coachman coach.

Comments on the layout:

Getting the dinette closer to the kitchen looks to be a plus. I am not sure how the couch makes into a bed with this layout. (It looks like it is to close to the dinette.) The large window on the curb side would make the coach easier to drive in traffic.
--
Mike Miller
`73 26' X Painted D.
`78 23' Birchaven
Hillsboro, OR
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21-09-2010 04:52 PM
3


Mike Miller wrote:
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Just something to note:

While this coach has the same "furniture" as my Birch, (and every other RB Birch I have ever seen) it is a different layout. It LOOKS like it was built that way from the factory. (At least in the pictures.)

If this isn't a ONE OF A KIND coach, it is very close!

Due to increase visibility (to management) with a "one of a kind coach", I would suspect the workmanship to be a bit better that the average Coachman coach.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Yes, I noticed that reversed layout when I first saw this coach in 2002. I have several notebooks of Coachmen drawings for the 76 model conversions, and this floor plan does not appear in any of those prints. When I was reworking the ceiling and overhead cabinets I could not see any evidence that this was not the original factory layout. But I also don't believe the workmanship was any better than the average Royale or Birchaven. Getting those overheads out was a big project in itself due to all the "hidden" screws I had to find.

The couch has a kick panel that hinges up to make almost a full bed, but there is no walking space left in the aisle when this is up. When I used this GMC a few weeks ago I was alone, and I just used the couch in its original width - worked for me.

The upper bunk (above the couch) is the same as the regular GMC units - the back of the couch folds up and out, and is suspended from the ceiling with straps.

Another difference I noticed - the dinette table is the same one used in other Coachmen units, but it is not attached to the wall - it is mounted to the floor with two pedestal legs.

I wish I could bring this Birchaven to Duquoin, but if it wouldn't sell there it would be a pretty expensive trip.

Erv Troyer Lagrange, IN
74 Sequoia (headed for Duquoin tomorrow morning)
77 Birchaven (staying at home, and for sale)

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21-09-2010 06:49 PM
4


Erv Troyer wrote on Tue, 21 September 2010 05:52
> ...
> I wish I could bring this Birchaven to Duquoin, but if it wouldn't sell there it would be a pretty expensive trip.


While it my be to late to change your plans, I would take the Birch for a couple of reasons:

Just to show it to others. Any buyers would still have to "come get it." Even if the ones who where able to see it where not "buyers," they would be good word of mouth advertisers for it.

Rolling coaches, (ones that are being used) are worth more, and sell better, than "hanger queens."

Besides, it would save mileage on your "keeper" coach. :twisted:

Just my two cents.
--
Mike Miller
`73 26' X Painted D.
`78 23' Birchaven
Hillsboro, OR
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21-09-2010 06:57 PM
5


Mike Miller wrote:

While it my be to late to change your plans, I would take the Birch for a couple of reasons:

Besides, it would save mileage on your "keeper" coach.
Just my two cents.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for your "two cents" Mike, but our keeper coach has a full bed in the rear - so it is going to be at Duquoin no matter what.

In fact, if it were not for that full bed we would consider selling the 26 footer and keeping the 23 foot Birchaven. It has a lot more storage space, and it drives like a hotrod compared to the bigger one.

Now I have to go wash the "keeper coach" and put on some Rainex...

Erv Troyer
Lagrange, IN
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21-09-2010 07:45 PM
6


Erv Troyer wrote on Tue, 21 September 2010 07:57
> ..
> Thanks for your "two cents" Mike, but our keeper coach has a full bed in the rear - so it is going to be at Duquoin no matter what.
>
> In fact, if it were not for that full bed we would consider selling the 26 footer and keeping the 23 foot Birchaven. It has a lot more storage space, and it drives like a hotrod compared to the bigger one. ...


I know what you mean. I have both 26 side bath and a 23 rear bath. If my 26 was in better shape I would be using it more than the 23. But compared to the 26, the 23 is much more of a "hotrod." (A 455 in the 23 would only make it more so.)

I am still looking for a 23 foot "shell" or core (side bath) to make into a "keeper" coach. I want to find the "right" coach and rebuild it "right." I plan on driving it 30 years from now.
--
Mike Miller
`73 26' X Painted D.
`78 23' Birchaven
Hillsboro, OR
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21-09-2010 09:01 PM
7


[quote title=mike miller wrote on Tue, 21 September 2010 10:45

I am still looking for a 23 foot "shell" or core (side bath) to make into a "keeper" coach. I want to find the "right" coach and rebuild it "right."

I plan on driving it 30 years from now.[/quote]

Mike,
That's a pretty long time to rebuild one --

Dennis :)

--
Dennis S
73 Painted Desert 230
Germantown, TN
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21-09-2010 09:22 PM
8


Might have to find a used RV warp drive...
--
CBWood
77 Kingslay
MWC OK


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22-09-2010 06:26 AM
9


Dennis S wrote on Tue, 21 September 2010 10:01
> mike miller wrote on Tue, 21 September 2010 10:45
> > I am still looking for a 23 foot "shell" or core (side bath) to make into a "keeper" coach. I want to find the "right" coach and rebuild it "right."
> >
> > I plan on driving it 30 years from now.
>
>
> Mike,
> That's a pretty long time to rebuild one --
>
> Dennis :)

Good point.

About 5 years to rebuild, unless I hit the lottery.

I plan to be STILL diving it 30 years from now.

Maybe it is time to start a new thread, but what type of fuel do you think will be available in 2040? E-85? Bio-Diesel? Straight alcohol? What modifications would be needed to run these fuels?
--
Mike Miller
`73 26' X Painted D.
`78 23' Birchaven
Hillsboro, OR
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22-09-2010 04:02 PM
10


Mike,
Long term projects -- such as the 5 years you are projecting -- are difficult when it comes to the changing technology but also shelf life of materials. Even with our older coaches, by the time you finished some new innovations might be obsolete. And tastes change -- thirty years ago GMC interiors were "in", designed by/with House and Gardens they were the latest and greatest.

Perhaps planning an evolving project coach --- just accept that whatever you build will not be current when it is finished.


Dennis Sexton
73 GMC
Germantown, TN
USA



-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Miller <>
To:
Sent: Tue, Sep 21, 2010 9:26 pm
Subject: Re: [GMCnet] 1977 Birchaven with rear bath for sale

About 5 years to rebuild, unless I hit the lottery.

I plan to be STILL diving it 30 years from now.

Maybe it is time to start a new thread, but what type of fuel do you think will
be available in 2040? E-85? Bio-Diesel? Straight alcohol? What modifications
would be needed to run these fuels?
--
Mike Miller
`73 26' X Painted D.
`78 23' Birchaven
Hillsboro, OR
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