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Reasons I Bought My Bluebird This is the place to list the reasons you decided to buy a Bluebird and direct others to who are considering a Bluebird.

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  #1  
Old 03-04-2009
bwinter1946's Avatar
bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is offline
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Default Reason we bought our BMC

My wife and I are nearing retirement (I actually just retired) and we have camped our entire lives. We love the RV lifestyle. We started with a van conversion, then a pick up with camper, and then a 34 foot gas Bounder motorhome. We enjoyed them all however, build quality was not something I had been impressed with. All functioned well for their purpose, but if we were going to see the USA I wanted something more substantial and safer, like a bus. In addition, I was tired of all the issues with fiberglass side walls, rubber roofs, and delaminated skins I had seen on other brand coaches.

I started checking out Bus Conversions. Bus conversions were ruled out fairly early due to their perceived issues. Ones we could afford, were pretty old and needed a lot of work. I was also a little leary of the old drive trains 6V71s and 8V71 were getting a little long in the tooth. Some of the aluminium coaches had corrosion issues. In addition, many were one off coaches so repairs were an adventure. In addition, build quality ran the gamut. So, while there are well made conversions and very nice coaches out there, they were not a good fit for us.

Then a friend suggested Newells. I checked them out for a long time. They are a very nice coach. I liked them a lot and still do. However, once again they did not seem to fit us. They are a custom build and therefore all are unique. While this is nice, it can be difficult for a limited skilled person such as myself to work on if everything is unique. I also discovered that Newells have no NADA or Bluebook value. Their price/value could not be easily determined and that was a deal killer for us because we would need a loan to purchase. While that can be worked around, we decided to move on.

Then I stumbled onto a Bluebird Wanderlodge at a car show. Wow! What is this? It was the coach that Hemmings Motor News used to tour car shows and swap meets. It looked nice so I started checking into Bluebirds. I found Bruce and Ernies Yahoo website. I started reading the threads. I was impressed by what I read about the coaches and the support available to the users of the forum. Wow, these things are made from steel!! Amazing!! So I spent a long time reading and learning. All of the different style coaches seemed of excellent quality. All had their good points. All had top notch equipment installed by the factory also Bluebird had their "Bluebox" which is a big help for a guy like me. I studied the FC, PT, SP and finally the BMC.

However in the final analysis, the BMC seemed to be the best fit for us. Excellent quality, reasonable size (37 foot), reasonable mileage (8 MPG), Cummins 300/325 HP engine, Allison 6 Sp trans, good size fresh/waste water and fuel tanks, good storage, well equipped when compared to other brands, priced within our reach, tough steel body, large generator etc. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of the Wanderlodges and it is built on a Spartan Chassis that is fine for us. I did check out the Spartan Chassis before purchase and they seem to be a good foundation. Some of the early BMC chassis did have a silent recall for the rear axle but no failures were found so we were not concerned about that. Ours is a 97 so it has the bigger engine 325 HP, axle, and brakes. It also has the Banks Stinger kit and it runs well. So far, we really like it. We have taken a couple of short trips so far. Our first real trip will be this summer. Hopefully all will be well.

Overall impression of the BMC is: It is a great coach and a great value. The very first time we camped with it we had people coming by asking about it and they could not believe it was a 1997. They thought it was newer.

So with that, I look forward to learning more about Birds on this site and maybe get a little advise from time to time.
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Brad Winter
Madera, California
1997, 37' BMC
1999, Jeep Cherokee, Toad
1970, VW Baja Bug, Alternate Toad
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2009
fxdwg fxdwg is offline
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Default

Sounds like a coherent well thought out decision. I expect you'll find you like your bird and become more convinced you made the right decision every time you take her out. I know I do with mine. Now ask away!
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96 WTOS 42'
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2009
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Brad,you will not regret buying the BMC.
and we have some of the best BMC owners on this site to give you a hand if needed.
welcome to our sandbox!
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2009
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Brad ,
Welcome and good luck with your new Bird.
enjoyed the write up, ask away....?????.....
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2009
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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I sure like our first build year 1994 BB BMC 37'. Like Woody, I like the cummins 8.3 and allison 3060 6 speed tranny. It has fewer bells and whistles than the 97 BMC or the wanderlodges, but luckily ours had all the silent recall factory upgrades under a previous owner (rear axle, rear hood vents, upgraded dash AC.).

I have also done many upgrades myself such as a computer/dining center that replaced the dining table, redid all upholstery, stripped out the wall paper and textured/painted the bath walls, 7 AGM batteries and a battery combiner that can be set in 3 positions, remote battery monitoring system, three 100 watt solar panels w smart controller & remote, smart charger/convertor w remote monitor, replaced HW heater, replaced propane furnace, tire monitoring system, 2 12 volt fans over the dash, GPS ant on the roof, XM ant on the roof, built in surge protector w hi/low voltage/hertz, built in internet w antenna, amp, and modem/router for total wireless network inside the coach, flat screen HD TVs & dvd player, vented washer/dryer to replace unvented unit, fire/theft resistant safe, additional fire extinguishers, PMMI clock over the bed like the early FCs had, computer fans in the fridge chimney to move air, better mattress, upgraded and remounted to be silent fresh water pump, new external tank monitors so "crud" does not affect readings, marshall brass external feed for the propane grill and more.

One more project to do - install the progressive brake system I have in hand into the coach and tow car.

All the work on the coach is paying off as we sold the house and are now fulltime in the BMC.

Prices are WAY down from when I bought in 2003, but it gave us 2 vacations per year, and time to do the upgrades in the meantime.
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Old 03-05-2009
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bwinter1946 bwinter1946 is offline
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Wow, Dan that is a lot of work and upgrades!! Very Impressive!

I only have a small portion of what you have: solar panels & smart charger and the newly installed EMS-50C voltage monitor/surge surpressor. In fact, I believe you sent me images on your install of the EMS-50C while I was on another forum. Thank you for that as they were helpful.

By reading your profile at your website, it would appear we have in common some military service. I just retired after 36 years full time from the ANG as a SMSgt. When I retired last month I was the Pro-Super on our F-16 aircraft.

I would be interested in hearing about the progressive braking system you are installing. Which system you selected and why.

Thanks,

Brad
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Madera, California
1997, 37' BMC
1999, Jeep Cherokee, Toad
1970, VW Baja Bug, Alternate Toad
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2009
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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Hi Brad,

Congrats on your ANG retirement!

http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...ighlight=brake has some info on tow brakes.

I went with the UTB-1000 part no 94-7500 unified tow brake, purchased on sale from ppl MH http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...-tow-brake.htm

http://www.usgear.cc/unified_tow_brake.htm

The sales pitch says:
Has 12V charge line to towed vehicle
It utilizes towed vehicle’s own power brakes
All elements in towed vehicle out of sight/out of way
The only progressive and proportional braking system
Controller in cockpit of motor home allowing you to monitor and adjust for changes in road conditions and terrain
Does not tamper with the braking lines of either vehicle
Gain and manual override control in the motorhome
Breakaway switch included
No assembly or disassembly required after installation
Visual and audible warnings if any problem occurs
Includes charge line from coach battery to towed vehicle battery

I also ordered the optional module from US Gear http://www.usgear.cc/magazine/utb_pm6002.htm
(provides a visual and audible alarm in the coach when the towed vehicles brakes are applied and they shouldn't be.)

I want simple set up and take down, even if the install is tougher to get to that point. I also want to monitor what is happening from the drivers seat of the coach. I checked user opinions on several forums, and almost everyone was happy with the brake system.

I have some photos of some of the projects at: http://community.webshots.com/user/ac7880

I just need to energize to get the brake system installed. My last USPS day is Mar 6. Wife works until Mar 20, then we will start traveling. House is sold and we are fulltime, temporarily in a KOA in Albuquerque NM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinter1946 View Post


I would be interested in hearing about the progressive braking system you are installing. Which system you selected and why.

Thanks,

Brad
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2009
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RAGster RAGster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC7880 View Post
I went with the UTB-1000 part no 94-7500 unified tow brake, purchased on sale from ppl MH
I just purchased the UTB-1000 for the same reasons as Dan and because Monoco Coach was blowing them out the door last week at $350 with shipping included. Mine was delivered this past Tuesday, one day after Monoco reportedly closed their doors and terminated their employees.

Dan...I'm still undecided on the PM6002. From my understanding, the PM6001 provides visual when the brakes are activated. It seems to me that the PM6002 provides additional feedback if the brakes are activated but you did not "request" brakes. Is that your take on the difference?

Thanks,

Glenn
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2009
AC7880 AC7880 is offline
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That's how I understand it. The original module shows when you apply the brakes, the new module also shows if the toad brakes are applied, but you did not "call" for braking.

Only works on vehicles where "Compatible on towed vehicles where brake lights function when the ignition is off."
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