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BMC (Bluebird Motor Coach Unique Issues) If you have a unique issue with your BMC coach and it can't be answered in one of the other forums here, then this is where you can list it.....List your BMC Parts here too.

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  #11  
Old 12-24-2009
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peteaeonix peteaeonix is offline
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With a steel body (even with the fiberglas end caps) a BMC is likely to crush most everything in its path, much like a Wide Body PT. The steel body (and 'house' frame) gives exceptional strength to the coach.

Pricing out a highway coach chassis -- around $300K -- vs. a Spartan chassis explains a lot of the lower cost to the BMC. Take out some of the amenities, and more of the lower price is explained. McGInnis is probably correct that some of the materials used in the interior are lower quality -- indeed the switch from an expensive AquaHot system to a propane furnace is one example. It is also likely that things like carpets and wall coverings were shifted from top grade to mid-grade products (not cheap or cheesy, but not top-of-the-line either).

The key component difference -- the chassis -- reflects most of the cost difference. School bus (and the Blue Bird highway bus chassis for the wide body models) were built to last a very, very long time. The Spartan chassis -- while solid and well respected, is probably not built with the same planned life nor heavy duty service as the bus chassis. That's not to say the BMC is "sub standard" or anything negative. It is no doubt a solid, true Wanderlodge -- built with a marketing goal of expanding the company sales into a slightly lower price point.
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2009
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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I've never heard of a BMC in a serious crash, so I think we have no data. The mid 80s still had steel front and rear caps. Later Wanderlodges also have the fiberglass front and rear caps (as do the BMCs).

I would "guess" the older all steel units would fare better in heavy crashes than the fiberglass front/rear cap units?

The Wanderlodge PTs and later are heavier coaches with a heavier frame than the BMC. One advantage of our BMCs over stick builts is we have no slides reducing the structural integrity - which should hold it together better than a slide unit. In a heavy crash, I worry more about loose items (chairs, stuff in cabinets) flying around than the BMC dis-integrating.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Mehr View Post
OK the one thing I need to now is If by chance there is a impact does a BMC blow apart like a stick and staples. Or Does it simply crush every thing in its path like a mid 80s wanderlodge.
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2009
USAFFlyer USAFFlyer is offline
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Default Excellent Information - More questions though!

Gents,
Thanks so much for the lively conversation and great information. I'd like to steer the post into a slightly different direction if I may. Let's not compare the BMC with the Wanderlodge, let's compare the BMC with say, a 1995 Monaco Dynasty. We've owned a Monaco before and had good luck with it, so it's kind of easy for me to use that as a baseline so to speak. I know what I want, I want a big 40' Wanderlodge with steel construction and a 5 million horsepower engine. But, I'm honestly scared of that 8V92! I was blown away by the poor gentleman who lost his 8V92 down south and had to sell his PT for a great loss. (That coach was recently in the "SALE" section of this website). I'm more comfortable with a Cummins 8.3, and just one rear axle. The 8.3 is very common and seems more forgiving than the Detroits. So, with that being said, if I was contemplating a choice between say a 1995 Monaco Dynasty 36' and a 1995 BMC 37' which do you think is better and why? I'm thinking the BMC is a better choice although about 20K more to purchase. The steel body is a BIG plus. Any more thoughts? Thanks - Tom
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  #14  
Old 12-24-2009
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As a 1997 37' BMC owner I can tell you I am impressed with the build quality of the coach and chassis. The chassis is very heavy duty and designed to be used for a long time. It has the same over the road parts/components as other chassis. Spartan builds chassis for: fire trucks, motorhomes, heavily armored vehicles and ambulances. They have a large network of servicing centers around the country. The body is a steel Bluebird body. It has fiberglas caps just as the later Wanderlogdges do. Just a guess but I think that started around the late 80's for the Wanderlodges.

As far as safety, a gentleman frequently heard from around here posted this: "I remember when the BMC's were new,and a chevy van got airborne somehow and crashed into the living room window of a new BMC, 2 people in the van died, the BMC was repaired and is still on the road today.
No one in the BMC was injured.
any questions?
Randy "

I would not be concerned about build quality on anything that had the Bluebird name on it. You can rest assured it is far better than any stick and staple coach. In my opinion, the BMC is a better value, better coach, with better equipment than the other more "popular" brands. Investigate for yourself and check features and the equipment. For example, check the generator size on these other coaches. I have seen 40 foot pushers with 7 KVA generators.

In addition, look at the construction. One of the reasons I wanted a Bird was I was tired of rubber roofs, stapled construction, minimal structural construction, and delamination in the walls of fiberglas walled coaches. Check out the "Why I bought a Bluebird" section of this forum for other reasons.

For example, my 1997 37' BMC has the roof rails, 2 roof A/C units, Aquahot heating, separate icemaker, very large Dometic Refer, large storage bays, Alcoa wheels, 100 gals fresh water, 75 gallon each black and grey water tanks, 325 Hp Cummins with a Allison 6 speed trans, 10 KVA Power Tech generator, 150 gal fuel tank, ABS air brakes, etc.

You can learn more at: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/BlueBirdBMCowners/

and in the history section at: http://www.vintagebirds.com/

Have fun and ask questions..........
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Last edited by bwinter1946; 12-24-2009 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Added info and paragraph
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2009
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If my choice was a Monaco vs. a BMC -- I'd buy the BMC in a New York minute.
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2009
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a monaco is not even in the same class as the BMC.
I would be willing to bet that the BMC used the same skin and roof metal as the wanderlodge and the million school bus's that BB built.
The plywood was all cabinet grade birch,the dash says Wanderlodge on it(the later ones anyway)
Smaller engine and tranny,and a smaller gennie and things like no battery slides made the BMC "less expensive".

And yes,an Astro van drove into an almost new 37 BMC,it did kill two people in the van,the BMC was driven to Ft Valley for repairs.

If you don't think an 8.3 will perform,ride a few hundred miles with Woody!
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  #17  
Old 12-24-2009
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Tom, I have appraised several Monacos for insurance updates and I can say there is no comparison between the two. I would say Monaco is a nice coach for the money but no way is it anywhere in the class of a BMC. It is a high production run coach, BMC and Wanderlodge were one at a time units, Monaco were put out by the hundreds per year. Delamination, sub standard cabnetry, pressed wood flooring & plywood subflooring, are just a few of the reason why I would stay away. They look good but they don't hold up like the BMC or the Wanderlodge.
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  #18  
Old 12-25-2009
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Default BMC's

I just discovered this thread and as all of you folks know, I am super happy with my 1995 BMC. However I am also happy to see you Wanderlodge guys get behind us when someone questions our creds.

Now how about showing some of that same respect at the BB Rallys. I'm tired of parking in the back.

By the way John, Poorer quality my ***. I'd stack my Black Walnut cabinetry up against anything in any Wanderlodge I've ever seen.

Best,
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  #19  
Old 12-25-2009
rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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As a newbie, when I expressed some concern about buying my 15 year old Blue Bird, a knowledgeable person asked, "Would you rather drive in a 15 year old Blue Bird, or a 15 year old (fill in the sticks and staples brand)?" Suddenly there was no further concern. It became clear in a flash.

Since then I have come to appreciate that question as an understatement, especially as I look at the older s&s brands, and even those much newer, with delam issues, floppy thin plywood walls, dash assemblies that move when pressed, cheap cabinetry. Gentlemen, there is NO QUESTION!!!
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  #20  
Old 12-25-2009
Mike Brody Mike Brody is offline
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Randy

I'm sure you were referring to the 37' BMC when you stated that we had smaller trannies.

My 40' has the Allison 4060 which I believe is the same as yours.

The M-11 puts out 400hp, but can be tuned up to the same output as the series 60. Unfortunately with the same fuel use as the 60!

Mike
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