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  #11  
Old 09-07-2016
wonderlust22 wonderlust22 is offline
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What are the strengths of BMC 37 Brad? I will be solo most of the time and hoping to boondock up to 1/2 the time. (Ok, realistically probably 1/3 of the time). I'd also like to maneuver campgrounds without too much difficulty. Thx for your input. Where the **** is Madera? Just kidding I can Google it...
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2016
Harold,Cat&Sam Harold,Cat&Sam is offline
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The BMC has an 8.3 Cummins engine with a 6speed Allison tranny . The engine is non-computerized , however the tranny is . The engine and tranny have proven themselves to be very reliable and durable . There are also many mechanic shops that are familiar with them and parts are readily available. Plenty of power and good fuel mileage . I get 7.5 mpg loaded with the granny running and hauling the jeep on the trailer . I can get 10 mpg without the trailer .
The house systems are simpler to maintain and operate than the Wanderlodges . It is also a wide body with plenty of headroom . Most people that come see ours cannot believe how much room we have without a slide out . Navigating it through campgrounds and traffic is relatively easy , handles great . Don't get me wrong , the Wanderlodges are awesome machines , but we love our BMC . Like all Blue Birds , it is built like a tank .
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold,Cat&Sam View Post
The BMC has an 8.3 Cummins engine with a 6speed Allison tranny . The engine is non-computerized , however the tranny is . The engine and tranny have proven themselves to be very reliable and durable . There are also many mechanic shops that are familiar with them and parts are readily available. Plenty of power and good fuel mileage . I get 7.5 mpg loaded with the granny running and hauling the jeep on the trailer . I can get 10 mpg without the trailer .
The house systems are simpler to maintain and operate than the Wanderlodges . It is also a wide body with plenty of headroom . Most people that come see ours cannot believe how much room we have without a slide out . Navigating it through campgrounds and traffic is relatively easy , handles great . Don't get me wrong , the Wanderlodges are awesome machines , but we love our BMC . Like all Blue Birds , it is built like a tank .
X2
And she loves to run 70.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2016
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bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is online now
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FYI, Madera is 2 1/2 hours south of Sacramento via Hwy 99.

I agree with all the above. It is a simpler coach than the Wanderlodges but that can be a good thing. If it isn't on the coach, it can't fail. However, do not assume they are not well equipped. BMCs changed over the four years they were made but all are nice coaches. Made on a Spartan Chassis that is still in business. C8.3 Cummins engine and Allison 6 speed transmission with an exhaust brake. The generator is a 10KW Power Tech. We are happy with ours as it is a good compromise for size, equipment, and cost of ownership. Not stating as fact, just our opinion.

The Vintage Birds History section can help you look at differences.

http://www.vintagebirds.com/
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Last edited by bwinter1946; 09-08-2016 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Wording
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2016
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just drive a LX.......

these babies like 80+ i gotta always watch it 7.3 mph over the 130,000 miles
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  #16  
Old 09-08-2016
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderlust22 View Post
Thanks John. I might take you up on that. My Dad lives in Eugene and I go up quite a bit to check in on him. Will touchbase with you before my next trip. Thanks!
We will be in Sutherlin Oregon near Roseburg for one month starting later today if you want to check out what a BB BMC 37' is like. If you are going to Eugene to check on your dad during that time we are on your route.

We will also be going down the I5 corridor through CA in Oct.
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2016
wonderlust22 wonderlust22 is offline
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Dan, if I don't make it up before, I would definitely like to see your coach when you come down I5. One question I have about the BMCs...how is the clearance for boondocking? Also, maneuverability in smaller campgrounds? Thx for posting. Looks like a well-cared for and maintained coach.
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  #18  
Old 09-08-2016
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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BMCs are a great coach,Carol and I really like them.
The 37 footer has a great engine/tranny package,a great generator and they get awesome mileage.
They drive well,and if you have big feet they have more room in the foot well area.
Tires are smaller,which means cheaper.

I have driven one for 500 miles,towing my jeep,and it ran really well.

I have a report from an old friend that had one,he was running with a 45' prevost and they raced up a mountain in Ca.
The BMC made it to the top first with time to spare.
The Prevost owner finally admitted that the BMC out ran him.

The power to weight ratio on the BMC is impressive.
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  #19  
Old 09-08-2016
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderlust22 View Post
........ One question I have about the BMCs...how is the clearance for boondocking? Also, maneuverability in smaller campgrounds? .......

These are my opinions - others can chime in as well if they differ.

Ground clearance for boon docking:

I have only owned and driven a 83FC35, and a 94 BMC 37'. The BMC has more ground clearance than the FC, due to the side mounted generator on the FC being lower than the rest of the coach.

NO Bluebird is intended for off road. A good gravel road, or well maintained forest service road, or flat desert that is well packed should be ok (best to scout ahead in a tow vehicle though). Most campground we visit are dirt and gravel, we are not paved city/urban campers.

Maneuverability in smaller campgrounds?

All Bluebirds except for the M380 (38') and the M450 (45') have beam axles with 38 degree wheel cut. M380 and M450 have independent front suspensions (IFS) with more wheel cut (around 55 degrees?)

Only wheel base length will determine the turning radius and maneuverability on the beam axle coaches. The M380 with IFS front end should out turn all other Bluebirds (to best of my knowledge). A FC 31 and FC33 probably turn pretty tight due to shorter wheel base.

We camp in many rural tight campgrounds. (tight roads and tight due to trees, actual camping spaces are usually very private due to vegetation). Thousand Trails, state parks, etc. Many of the roads in these campgrounds are narrow with trees and rocks to maneuver around, especially on tight curves and when backing in between trees.

We normally drop the tow car near the entrance, and scout ahead in the tow to look at roads and pick a site. Better to not drag a tow into those type situations in case you need to back up and/or do a multi point turn (and so you don't block the road as long until you get backed into your chosen spot).

You will have to go to a sticks and staples coach (some other brand (SOB))with IFS to get better maneuverability. (in my opinion).

So, FC31, FC33, M380 probably turn tightest of the Bluebirds.

Next level for tight turns : FC35, SP36, BMC37'

All this is my best opinion based on following Bluebirds since 2001. Others may have a different take.

Opinions from others??
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Last edited by AC7880; 09-08-2016 at 11:14 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-08-2016
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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One follow up on boon docking in ANY coach.

Arrive in daylight. Too many potential hazards you won't see after dark. Better to spend the night in a Walmart, rest stop, truck stop etc after driving after dark, then go to the prime spot in daylight hours if it is "off road".

I "almost" made a big mistake the 2nd night ever camping in my 83FC35, backing into a site with a significant drop off behind me. Never again after that.

Of course now that I am a retired man of leisure I very rarely drive in hours of darkness at all.
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