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  #311  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Steelwheels's Avatar
Steelwheels Steelwheels is online now
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Can anyone give a comparison of the BMC and the M380, some things I’m wondering about is power, reliability of the engine and other systems, braking ride quality, interior layout ? I love the layout of the fc, you have all your spaces living, cooking, sleeping well defined even without slides or length I never feel cramped.

Also are these the only two late model BB’s under 40 feet ?

Are there any issues getting these two models into places the Fc35 can go, mainly being campgrounds that say max length 35feet ?
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  #312  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
twiisted71 twiisted71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthollis View Post
Feel free to call me on the phone sometime if you want more info.
Very nice of you, thanks. I appreciate it.
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  #313  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Harold,Cat&Sam Harold,Cat&Sam is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Default BMC

The BMC is a simpler machine . The mechanical 8.3 is just about bulletproof as is the transmission .It cruises down the highway pretty good . The brakes are not the best , but Mr David has made some good improvements in that department .
It is built with the same great quality of construction , just without all the bells and whistles . The house systems are easier to work on , in my opinion .

Here are a couple pictures of the one we sold in February .
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Harold n Cat McMullen
Sam 10 year old min schnauzer
Mooringsport, Louisiana
318-553-4186
1994 BMC 37' "Sold"
2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
1986 F150
KE5WCW
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  #314  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Steelwheels's Avatar
Steelwheels Steelwheels is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold,Cat&Sam View Post
The BMC is a simpler machine . The mechanical 8.3 is just about bulletproof as is the transmission .It cruises down the highway pretty good . The brakes are not the best , but Mr David has made some good improvements in that department .
It is built with the same great quality of construction , just without all the bells and whistles . The house systems are easier to work on , in my opinion .

Here are a couple pictures of the one we sold in February .
Is that a fireplace in the first picture to the left ?

Love the Alf on the couch.
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  #315  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
twiisted71 twiisted71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold,Cat&Sam View Post
Here are a couple pictures of the one we sold in February .
WOW!!! love the open look in the second pic! We aren't entertainers and very seldom used our dining table, looks perfect for us. I have a busted up back and am WAY more interested in a big comfy couch.
Is that your washer or dryer in the basement shot? If so are all BMCs set up so? That has to be about the smartest placement of them if so. Years back when we were full-timing one of our neighbors had a big swanky looking Monaco and they were complaining about the humidity when they used their dryer. Being inn Key Largo they'd just been writing it off to location. I was curious and looked at it one day and lo and behold the dryer vent had torn almost in two and was pumping out loads of hot humid air, not to mention all the lint the filter didn't catch. 20 minutes and a cheap vent hose and they had a much more pleasant winter! I always wondered why manufacturers used up an entire closet vs putting them below. Maybe if its arctic cold its worthwhile.
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Last edited by twiisted71; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:57 PM.
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  #316  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Harold,Cat&Sam Harold,Cat&Sam is offline
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Default Fireplace

We removed the extra couch and installed the electric fireplace . We removed the original table and chairs and added the thinner table under the window . Those two changes really opened up the entire area.
When we bought it , it had a washer/dryer combo in the closet . We removed it and bought a hand crank washer , electric clothes spinner and a 110v dryer . I'll attach a link on that . Cat uses the hand crank washer and the spinner all the time in the house , she loves it . This link talks about the clothes washing .

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...ad.php?t=22196
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Harold n Cat McMullen
Sam 10 year old min schnauzer
Mooringsport, Louisiana
318-553-4186
1994 BMC 37' "Sold"
2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
1986 F150
KE5WCW
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  #317  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Steelwheels's Avatar
Steelwheels Steelwheels is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold,Cat&Sam View Post
We removed the extra couch and installed the electric fireplace . We removed the original table and chairs and added the thinner table under the window . Those two changes really opened up the entire area.
When we bought it , it had a washer/dryer combo in the closet . We removed it and bought a hand crank washer , electric clothes spinner and a 110v dryer . I'll attach a link on that . Cat uses the hand crank washer and the spinner all the time in the house , she loves it . This link talks about the clothes washing .

https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.c...ad.php?t=22196
That looks great, real cozy. Sams cute as a bug.
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  #318  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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NoGas NoGas is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Default Biased Answer Why An M380 Would Be My Choice

We get regular queries about our coach, so I put together a montage of coach pictures that includes shots of several upgrades. Coincidently, I uploaded it to YouTube yesterday. Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/XPOp2u25HHM

Started out thinking we wanted a BMC. First M380 wife saw changed that. Many similarities but difficult to compare the two. Length of M380 combined with 54° wheel cut allows cornering & maneuvering like no other BB ever built. Campsites designated for 22’-25’ trailers aren’t an issue. Steers like it’s on rails with little to no course correction needed when passing or being passed (rare) by 18-wheeler trucks. Huge disk brake rotors on all four corners can stop the coach fast. Engine has more power than anyone should need and the Allison 3000 is smooth. We love the slides, but realize they can mean a love hate relationship for some. Wouldn’t own a coach without them. Bells and whistles without purpose are a waste. Have upgraded and modified many things on our coach. These upgrades provide capabilities no coach past or present can match, and they do so without causing undue complexity. About the only drawback to an M380 vs a BMC is cost. However, if that obstacle can be overcome I bet you too would never look back.

If desired, the M380 can be turned into a coach that passes for brand new. It can also be modified to make off-grid campground stays or boondocking a non-event. It’s nice to have all the luxury’s while everyone else is roughing it or running their generators all the time. And finally as mentioned above, it drives and runs like no other BB. It can out accelerate, turn sharper, climb quicker and rides truer & smoother than almost any other coach on the road. I’ve never driven a Prevost Conversion like a Marathon. But I have talked to a former M380 owner who now owns a rare 40’ Marathon. He told me there are lots of things he misses about the M380 - driving it was just one.

M380 - “Problem” areas are:

1) The exhaust can develop leaks, heat up the rear closet walls and cause a fire. This issue is easily monitored and fixed if a leak is found, but if not it can cause severe damage or complete loss of the coach. I’m running a straight pipe and continue to enjoy the extra decibel or two. I also installed a automatically actuated foam fire suppression system in my engine bay. With a Volcano heat tape wrapped straight pipe, my closet walls (opposite the vertical exhaust chase to the roof) do not heat above ambient, even when climbing. I did a YouTube video 4 years ago that described this project - https://youtu.be/em5apEFKfP0. One of these days I’ll get around to installing a shortie Magnaflow muffler that I bought several years ago before I decided I like the sound produced from my straight pipe!

2) Boots on front upper and lower ball joints eventually need replacing - it’s a fairly simple job with the split boots Ryan developed a couple years ago. When I did this job, I also installed Zerk fittings top & bottom such that the joints can be lightly greased to flush out any contaminates.

3) The engine has a history of head gasket failures which can ruin the head if not fixed immediately. It can be a very expensive engine issue. Mine was fixed to the tune of a complete $23,500 in-frame rebuild by Cummins (paid for by the PO since it was not under warranty). A new pre-emptive gasket can be fitted for around $5K. That I know of, no M380 ISL engine that has had a new gasket installed has ever had this issue again. BTW I suspect driver error and a BB design error in many of the engine head gasket problem coaches. When originally delivered and upon actuation, the Engine Brake could be engaged directly into 4th gear at high-speed and this could cause an engine over speed. I believe inadvertent damage was cause to some M380 engines in this manner. The fix is easy - when the engine brake is engaged, Allison can reprogram the transmission to go into 5th or 6th gear rather than 4th. This, along with driving the coach like a car (which is too easy to do) are likely contributors to many head gasket problems, IMO. Finally, the Cruise Control system will give you what you ask for and that can strain the engine. I DO NOT use my Cruise Control on hills steep enough to take the Engine Load & boost to 100%. The CC will try to maintain the speed you set and will give you everything the engine can provide trying to do that. It will also downshift multiple times in it’s quest for that set speed. Instead, I climb big hills/grades differently and definitely without using the CC! I try to maintain way less than 100% Engine Load (60-70 % desired) and I downshift as necessary to stay at that reduced Load. This results in a slower climb and cooler running engine, which is fine with me. On level terrain running < 60-70% Load is easy at nearly any speed with 30-50% Load. Engine Water Temp stays at or below 180°F for all but the steepest climbs in very hot conditions.

4) The latest issue is obtaining front and rear disk brake rotor/hub replacements. I had to replace all four of mine 5 years ago shortly after purchasing the coach (possibly due to the PO’s poor driving technique). So it’s unlikely I’ll ever have another issue with the brakes. Owners who need new rotors now are working on sourcing the hubs and rotors from Meritor. This manufacturer of the suspensions and brakes is running behind schedule on providing these.

5) Some have had slide issues. Only issues I’ve had are a) converter for rear slide went out. Replaced inop one with inexpensive 55 amp unit obtained via Amazon, which is about 10 amp larger. And b) Rear slide electric motor went out. May have been related to the converter since both happened at the same time. Replaced with brand new motor from original manufacturer in NJ. No other problems encountered over past 5 years. Realize the slide seals will eventually need replacement. But they are working fine just as BB built them 15 years ago. The slide systems are complex. However, once an operator understands their operation, slides are reliable and function as designed. Several owners have made modifications to their slide controls. Since mine work as designed, that has not been needed.

6) M380 owners are VERY active on the WOG. It’s likely that ANY problems experienced by new owners have already been addressed and solutions found. The M380 WOG knowledge pool is large so it’s likely another owner has experience with issues new owners may be having AND we are willing to share!

Lastly, many of the mods I’ve done to my M380 coach over the past 5 years are fully described on the WOG. One has but to use the WOG Search function with my “NoGas” handle and they can see that list. Here is a description of some:

1) Ernie installed a natural maple wood floor throughout. Love it!

2) Off Grid capability is now limited only by tankage and food needs. This is provided by an M380 All Electric Conversion that included: a Pure Sine Magnum MS2812 Inverter/Charger with remote and Auto Gen Start, 1260 Ah AGM Battery Bank, 1,500 watts of solar, Magnum PT100 Solar Charge Controller with lightening arrester and extensive BMK monitoring, removed the LP bottle, created a new battery/inverter bay where the LP bottle used to hang, added a 120V inverter powered 6 gallon electric water heater, added Quick Hot water for the hot side in the Lavatory and Shower, the front roof AC now has a Micro-Air computer start for the compressor. This allows that unit to be powered by the Magnum inverter and coach batteries (when supplemented by either the engine alternator or solar power assist). When this mod was done, the Load Meters above the front entry door were also rewired to correctly display L - AC Volts from Shore/Gen and R - AC Volts from the inverter (or Passed Thru power when on 50A Shore power with both L1 & L2). Lastly, all inside and exterior light bulbs have been replaced with low energy use LED bulbs.

3) New 40” LED TV’s Front and Rear. Rear TV is on a Lift at the foot of the bed. 27” TV mounted curbside on bay swing out. Roof mounted Winegard Travler sat dish up front and disk style off-the-air antenna. Connection added in L1 bay for for a Winegard G2+ portable satellite antenna (used when roof antenna is blocked by trees). Coach also has a WeBoost 4G-X cell boost box with stubby antenna on the roof.

4) Replaced old rear camera with Rear View Safety Camera system that includes L/R turn signal/reverse activated screen and L/R side cameras

5) TST TPMS for all tires on the coach and toad. It auto powers when ignition key is turned on, and this also activates a repeater in the rear near the rear view camera.

6) Updated the BigFoot leveling system with their newest control panel and controller. All four jacks lowered several inches to provide automatic leveling when up the coach is up to 8” out-of-level. SnapPad “slippers” added to all four jack pads.

7) Kitchen - includes updated SS single handle faucet, SS convention-microwave, backsplash mirrors replaced with tile, Kenyon two burner induction stovetop, SS 18 Cu Ft Samsung Refer (soon to be replaced with either a GE or Fisher-Paykel unit due to failure to defrost the refrigerator compartment coil). A new more modern SS light fixture above the dining table was also added. The InstantHot water heater was removed (kept in storage) and its ON/OFF Switch was repurposed to control power to the Induction Range. Lastly, a paddle light switch controls power to the microwave to eliminate that Phantom Load for off-grid use.

8) Bath - SS Lavatory faucet and Oxygenics Shower Head installed. A push button activated Quick Hot system (described below) was added to provide instant hot water at each faucet. Both Lavatory faucet and shower head replaced to match brushed nickel/SS theme.

9) Double pocket doors between bath & bedroom were fixed to work correctly (they initially were constantly coming off their tracks dueTo a too short hanger bolt).

10) Rear bedroom TV/AV cabinet plastic doors were replaced with matching Cherry Wood doors.

11) The old bedroom Sony tube TV was removed and that space is now used for storage with matching cherry cabinet doors. The TV is now mounted on a lift that raises the TV up out of the cabinet at the foot of the bed. When not in use, it disappears completely into the cabinet, below the right side bedroom window.

12) The bed has a top quality queen sized foam mattress with leather covered headboard. Of particular note are the two reading lights above the bed that were converted to bright LED.

13) Outside -

A. Headlights have been modified. The fiberglass fairings were cutout and professionally painted to expose all four lenses. Exposing lenses rather than blocking them with “clear” plastic significantly brightens the driving lights. Then, the four bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs. Lastly, the high beam setting has been rewired such that all four bulbs light when using the Hi-Beams. Stock headlights on M380’s are marginal at night. This upgrade makes night driving easier and safer

B. The 12v electric Air Pump (Bay L1) can supply air to the slide seals without using the main 120V AC pump. An On-Off Switch was added to this 12V pump so it can be turned Off (rather than unplugged). To eliminate leaks and enhance off-grid capability, ALL push-pull air fittings in this bay that tend to leak with age, were replaced with brass compression fittings and all tank connections were sealed. Lastly, a ball valve was installed that allows separating the slide air needs from the rest of the coach. Again, this enhances off-grid ability and reduces the need for air when running solely on the 12V air pump

C. Added, two switches that permit depowering the electric slide controllers (front and rear). This saves power when off-grid

D. When the coach batteries were replaced and moved to the new rear (former LP bottle) compartment, half of the forward electric/fuel tank bay was opened up. A 6 gallon electric water heater was added to part of that bay. It or the diesel fueled Hurricane system can be used for hot water, depending upon how two valves are set. The 120V AC electric hot water heater is powered from the inverter & controlled by a 12V DC switch on the kitchen control panel, inside. The remainder of that former battery bay can hold four large plastic storage bins.

E. All bay light bulbs have been replaced with brighter LED bulbs.

F. A 4’ long aluminum pullout tool drawer was added below the fresh water tank. This eliminates need to carry a separate tool box for commonly used hand tools.

G. The water & waste bay was completely redone. The water filter was replaced, a portable water softener was added, a hand shower head and bucket fill faucet was added, and a thick slanted plastic “floor” was installed such that any spillage drains out of the coach not into the bay behind. Lastly, the water bay mounting panel was polished and sealed. A special storage basket was added to the bay behind the water bay. This basket holds the sewer hose and fittings to keep them dry and separate from the fresh water bay. A second waste tank wash/sprayer was added to the Gray tank and a three-way valve was installed to allow flushing of either the Black or Gray tanks. A short SS line can be used from the wet-bay fresh hose bib to the tank inlet flush port. This allows flushing out both tanks using water from the fresh tank. Rarely do National Forest/Parks have tank flush lines with garden hose fittings that will work with the M380’s tank flush connection. Lastly, a special QuickHot system was added to take Cold water from the Hot lines at the Lavatory Faucet and Shower, and return it to the supply tank. A button is pushed with the water pump ON, and this system opens a valve till the Hot water gets hot. Works great and eliminates wasted water (and unnecessarily filling the Gray tank) while off-grid. Lastly, the roof vents for both waste and gray tanks has been replaced with 360 Siphon Vent caps. These reduce odors when the coach is parked

H. Once a year I take 3 days and do a full wax/buff with CSI Clear Coat Polish. Touch up for dings and rock chip areas is also done.

I. All carpeting was removed from the bays to expose the corrugated SS floors. These were polished to a mirrored finish. Plastic storage bins are used in the bays. Considered pullouts but they used too much space vs the benefits they provide.

J. Tires are Michelin ZX-Energy’s all around, 315’s in the front and 295’s in the back.

K. The Winegard Traveler automatic satellite dish is mounted in front of the forward AC unit. It’s set up for Dish and works well. There is a backup off-the-air disk antenna just aft of the forward AC and for tree covered sites, there’s a Winegard G2+ portable automatic sat dish on a 50’ cable that plugs into a port in the forward L1 electric air pump compartment. The old KVA in-motion sat dish was removed to make room for the 5 flat-mounted city solar panels

PS - Sorry our coach isn’t for sale
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2004 M380 DS & 2013 Fiat 500 Pop

Last edited by NoGas; 4 Weeks Ago at 05:06 AM.
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  #319  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Harold,Cat&Sam Harold,Cat&Sam is offline
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Wow , that was an impressive write-up
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Harold n Cat McMullen
Sam 10 year old min schnauzer
Mooringsport, Louisiana
318-553-4186
1994 BMC 37' "Sold"
2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
1986 F150
KE5WCW
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  #320  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
al perna al perna is offline
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Van , You left out your closet upgrade after your washing machine was stolen at Q
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