What do you expect from your new sprinter?

dsmithy

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Oct 27, 2019
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Off to High Adventure!
We loaded our '73 coach on June 1st, with Va and I and our two big poodles, and headed to Big Pines RV Resort in Park Rapids, Minnesota, (north-central Minnesota) from our home in Lincoln, Nebraska, 500 miles. We played with the canoe/sail kit, bicycles and friends from June 1st to September 1st, then rolled over to Rollag, MN for the Western Minnesota Threshers Reunion, and after the reunion, picked up our car in Park Rapids and returned to our home in Lincoln. We lived in the coach all summer, using its bathroom, shower and Kitchen exclusively and put about 1200 miles on the coach.

After a week at home in Lincoln, we repacked the coach and drove east across Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana and north to Niles, Michigan, 690 miles each way. We spent a week looking for property, getting a mortgage, reconnecting with old friends and neighbors and generally making a nuisance of ourselves and left on our return trip to Lincoln. With all our running around in Michiana, another 1600 miles on the coach.

I had decided to replace the original toilet in our '73 coach and did so early in our stay in MN. But that, gas and oil, greasing the running gear, and a top-off of the power steering fluid was the only maintenance, repair, fussing with, or whatever, that I had in about 3000 miles with the coach. This is the kind of performance we have come to expect from our coach. We're both 76 years old and we won't tolerate fussiness or travel insecurity anymore. We cruise at 60-65 with occasional bumps up to 70 or 75. We've made our $30K investment in our GMC (includes storage rent) and we're perfectly delighted with it. We love to drive in it (fancy word is Tour) and we love to sit in it (Fancy word is Camp). And we are acutely aware of the compromises that enable both to be a success in a single vehicle.

We have had our GMC for nearly 30 years and have diligently looked for that long to find a new RV that performed the same tasks as well as ours. NADA. CRICKETS. Just this summer, new friends in a $125K, 26 foot class C toured our GMC separately and both independently cried out "How do you have so much more room and storage than we do?" We know some of the secrets. Credit the windows for validating "It's bigger inside!", and the drivers position above the engine (just about where school bus drivers sit) for making it so much fun to drive and sightsee in.

It makes no sense for me to be smug about driving a 50 year old motorhome and I get that, lots of my coach looks tacky. But to me, if the tool fits the hand and does the job well, nothing else matters, or at least, isn't as important. So, take this missive at face value and understand that, through 30 or so years of friendship, the GMC motorhome is an important part of our lives.
Safe Journeys!
 
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You should of went to our midwest rally the week after rollag to see the case 150. Great travel story.

My brother recently bought a gmc…. He wanted a sprinter, but realizes that is a massive amount of investment for time using. The gmc was 1/4 the price if a used sprinter.

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While we've not had ours 30 years, I can see a lot of the same benefits. My folks bought a Winebago Via 27 (Merc Sprinter Chassis) about the same time we bought our GMC. Even though their ground footprint was about the same, the GMC has SO much more usable room in it. Also felt a lot more substantial. They paid roughly 5x what we did for our GMC....although I've put a lot of sweat equity into my GMC to make it reliable and the Winny was perfect mechanically.

Recently, they upgraded to a Dynamax DXT Super C. Its a Giant rig...and its very, very nice. They bought it brand new and have had quite a few issues with its build quality. Enough so that they had to give it back to Dynamax for the factory to fix a bunch of stuff. They've had it about a year now, and they are finally getting the bugs eradicated. But holy smokes...Cha-ching!

My wife and are in in our mid 40's and its just the two of us. I really don't see the need for a bigger RV. Sure, there are some features in newer, larger, rigs that are nice...but really, when I'm camping, I'm outside. I want a place to go when it rains, a comfortable bed, and then I want to be outside, not hanging out indoors. Do you really need 4 slide-outs, 3 TV's, a washer and dryer, etc?
 
Mike,
"Do you really need 4 slide-outs, 3 TV's, a washer and dryer, etc?"
Totally hear what you are saying, Mike. It seems the definition of "camping" has moved quite a lot in a direction that I have little patience with. After coming up through every style of camping from backpacking, several versions of tent camping, canoe camping, VW bus camping, and finally GMC camping, my conclusion is that if I can shit, shower and cook I am happy. The GMC satisfies those basic requirements and adds great storage, comfort, a view, and an exceptional touring experience. Plenty-O-quirks, I admit, but if you have ever carried a sixty pound pack uphill for 10 miles in the mountains your appreciation for certain things changes. Different experiences, different rewards but the GMC fits into our lifestyle pretty well.
 
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Mike,
"Do you really need 4 slide-outs, 3 TV's, a washer and dryer, etc?"
Totally hear what you are saying, Mike. It seems the definition of "camping" has moved quite a lot in a direction that I have little patience with. After coming up through every style of camping from backpacking, several versions of tent camping, canoe camping, VW bus camping, and finally GMC camping, my conclusion is that if I can shit, shower and cook I am happy. The GMC satisfies those basic requirements and adds great storage, comfort, a view, and an exceptional touring experience. Plenty-O-quirks, I admit, but if you have ever carried a sixty pound pack uphill for 10 miles in the mountains your appreciation for certain things changes. Different experiences, different rewards but the GMC fits into our lifestyle pretty well.
My camping experiece are similar, though I never did the packpack thing. I grew up camping, but we used the smaller rigs more that the larger ones my folks had. My dad GOES after things when the fancy strikes him...and the bigger he goes, the less it seems to get used. Fishing boats were the same way. Family of 4 and we fished all the time growing up in a 14' blue fin with a 25 hp tiller motor. 14 became 16 with a single console, then a 17.5 sport fish, then a 20' lund, and culimnated with a 22.5 Lund Baron with a 300 Merc. It was a beautiful boat...that we took out 2x a year, vs 2x a month with the ol blue fin. Granted, as my brother and I got older the available time and interest changed too, but the bigger boat meant bigger fish and water...so what used to be going to spend a couple hours floating around fishing for panfish grew into multi-day trips, targeting a single species (walleye). Not bad, just different and more complicated.

Likewise, tent and pop-up camper camping was always easier and more accessible than anything bigger. Now, I don't like sleeping on the ground any more and appreciate having a bit more space to store stuff. But getting ready in a couple hours and having camp set up in about a half hour sure is nice. Plus, the small and "nimble" nature of the GMC is really appreciated in most campgrounds. It doesn't take a ton of room, its not tall, so trees aren't generally a problem, and the self leveling feature of the rear suspension is great.
 
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