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Speaking of RVs, is the Revcon (and the GMC Motorhome) really all that?

34378 Views 40 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  Sporin
Upfront disclosure: I have absolutely no need for an RV. Even if I did, I have absolutely no place to store an RV.

A year or so ago, one of my co-workers bought a 1979 Revcon. For those who are like I was and have no idea what this is, the Revcon was a fancy Class A RV designed around a FWD Oldsmobile Toronado powertrain (455 V8 & Turbo 425 transmission). I'm told GMC more-or-less commissioned Revcon to prove the concept was feasible/practical for production, and the Revcon went on sale in 1971. Satisfied with this proof of concept, GMC went all-in and built their own equivalent which was launched for 1973. GMC pulled the plug on their own model at the end of the 1978 model year; at this point, Revcon underwent a slight restyle (along with a switch to Chevy 454 power) and continued being produced through 1990.

The early Revcons are easy to identify; they have flat noses and a single rear axle:

The GMC Motorhome had a sloped nose and four rear tires:

When the GMC was dropped, Revcon copied their sloped front end as well as the four rear tire arrangement:

Revcon and GMC shared some common design elements, such as extensive use of aircraft-grade aluminum for the exterior skin, interior skin and the fully-boxed frame. I'm told they used high-density fiberglass insulation in the walls and extensive plastic paneling throughout. This all means that these vehicles don't absorb moisture and rot like typical RVs, thus allowing them to live significantly longer lives and/or be easier to restore if one were so inclined.

So, why do I bring this up? Because I am intrigued. As I said, my co-worker bought one for peanuts simply because he learned about them and thought it would be cool to have one. That turned out to be fortuitous, as last month he suddenly found himself between apartments with no place to live... so he's been living in his RV for a few weeks now. It's no Taj Mahal, but OTOH you can't drive the Taj Mahal from one place to another as the mood strikes.

Anyway, does anybody here have any experience with these things?
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No experience to share, but I do love me some GMC Motorhomes!
There is one (GMC) parked in a driveway down the street from my parent's house. It looks kind of rough. Perhaps they were built like tanks, but they are 40 years old now.

That's all I got.
I've always liked those.

More to read here:

Oh man, it's like someone is speaking to me from outer space.

I _so_ wanted one of these as a kid. I daydreamed endlessly about my parents selling the house so we could live in this exact tenement-on-wheels. Cherry on top in my dreams was some Kawasaki dirt bikes strapped on back - for some odd reason, this really appealed to my young mind. My parents were more logical than I so we kept the house. :D

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. :thumbup:
The chassis packaging was very good. The three speed auto made the powertrain fairly compact. The fresh/black tanks were flattened and fit neatly in between the chassis rails. The rear four wheels had an air suspension in a bogie configuration that gave a smooth ride.

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I never really narrowed down what these things were. Now I know what they are, they ARE super cool!

That dual rear wheel setup is awesome.
Yes, they are all that (the GMC ones).

I had a Matchbox one when I was little, and have always thought they were awesome (in the same way I think Airstream trailers are awesome, but have never used either, and probably never will :( )

I have an elderly coworker. He's in his mid 80s, but everyone assumes he's about 70. He has no concept of his own mortality, and shops eBay daily for obscure tools/airplane parts/etc. that he "might need someday" :laugh: He has a hangar and a 'shop' building to store all his various vehicles, which I knew included a motorhome. He bought some gigantic motorhome off eBay several years ago, because he drives to the big EAA airshow in Oshkosh WI every year. :screwy:

One day he was rambling on about his giant motorhome and casually said "it's got more room than the GMC but the GMC is designed and built better and really drives nice. I just need to replace the brakes on it, I think it's got a stuck caliper, haven't driven it in a few years..." :eek:

I was like, "wait, you have a *GMC* motorhome?"

"Yes I do!"

I grabbed my phone and googled quickly as I asked "THE GMC motorhome?!?"

He grinned, realizing that I knew he had something cool, "Yes, THE GMC motorhome!"

"Like this..." (showing him my phone with GIS results)

"Well, that's a long chassis, mine's a short chassis with blahblah paint scheme and color that was only offered in xxxx year, and such-and-such cabin configuration that was a special model...."

...and then the next half-hour was lost as he explained every nuance of the thing. I want one like I want an old Citroen.... just because, and not that I'd actually ever use it.
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Ok I feel better knowing I'm the only one that loves these things! :beer:

I love the idea you could restore one, and live in it at the same time. :laugh: :thumbup:
There is one just sitting on a side street near my house, it's been there for years. Sorta sad seeing just sit. The air suspension is on the ground and the back curtains have water damage on them.

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Reminder of the fact(for you young guys/gals) that GM was once the leader of the pack rather than their current status.
Reminder of the fact(for you young guys/gals) that GM was once the leader of the pack rather than their current status.

And what do you think their current "status" is?
Reminder of the fact(for you young guys/gals) that GM was once the leader of the pack rather than their current status.
/looks at GM car that I own
//looks at GM cars that you own
///disregards your "opinion"
And what do you think their current "status" is?
/looks at GM car that I own
//looks at GM cars that you own
///disregards your "opinion"
Are you guys more offended that he suggested they're not the leader of the pack currently, or that they once were?
The second owners of my Vanagon Westfalia replaced it with a GMC. Bought it for cheap and have put quite a bit of money into it over the last decade, mainly for mechanicals. Two negatives: Unlike the Vanagon, they can't park it in their garage; it gets worse MPGs than the Vanagon. Despite those, they've really enjoyed it and do regular road trips with other GMC owners. :cool:

I don't know that I'd ever own one, but the GMC does have a nice interior layout and is a good size for a motorhome. :thumbup:
The fwd setup, and the way the chassis was designed allowed them to be lower than most motorhomes in overall height as well.

All these were missing was a diesel, and since all GM had was the 6.2, its good that never made it in them

Someone should build retro motorhomes that looks similar to these things with matching interiors.
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