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Cadillac of RVs: 1978 GMC Royale Motorhome

Unlike most of the GMC motorhomes we feature, this Royale model actually looks quite tidy and has been extensively used as intended by its two owners. The GMC has been with the current caretaker since 1992 and has just under 100,000 original miles, with the seller reporting that 47,715 of those miles have been racked up on road trips covering the entirety of the United States. Detailed records and logbook accompany the front-wheel-drive motorhome, which is listed here on eBay with bids to $15,100 and no reserve.

The GMC is highly original, right down to its likely unobtanium spare tire cover. The seller notes the GMC has been garaged stored and treated to an exhaustive maintenance regimen which includes extensive work over the last 8,000 miles, including: rebuilding the front-end, steering and CV boots were repaired/replaced; new brakes; new engine coolant; new electric fuel pump; and new wiper blades, along with six new Firestone tires with just 600 miles on them.

The Royale models enjoyed upgraded finishes and kitchen / bath equipment inside, and this example shows those features as having been preserved to a high level. The wood trim appears to be in excellent shape, and the seller the home-away-from-home luxuries, including the side bathroom and rear-lounge/bedroom, along with the full assortment of cooking equipment. Newer appliances have been fitted, including a microwave and dual power refrigerator. The Onan 6000 watt gas generator is said to need servicing.

The original Oldsmobile 403 V8 engine is said to run excellent, and the driver’s cockpit is in exceptionally clean condition for what is ostensibly the highest traffic area in the entire RV. Some of the outstanding issues include the engine-driven air conditioning needing re-charging and the cruise control function being intermittent; as per the former, the seller notes the dual rooftop air conditioners are working. This is the one to buy if you’ve been hunting for GMC Motorhome that isn’t a basketcase.


  1. Avatar photo Russ

    There isn’t much that’s made of unobtainium on these RVs.

    Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking GMC Motorhome. I’d buy one if I knew someone who also likes to travel. Looking at the pics, it looks ready for whatever road trip one wanted to take. Pics don’t tell everything though. It’s what you don’t see, that which makes a vehicle operational, that matters the most to me. The only upgrades I’d give it are a 6.5 litre Turbo Diesel V8 engine and a good gearbox to match.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Joe

      The 6.5 TD would not be an upgrade.

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo Pete

        And with EPA regulations on diesel engines, a tier 4 final diesel engine would run about $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 and that doesn’t include the DOC exhaust system and the DEF system.

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Iggy50

      If you find a transaxle that’ll bolt to the diesel and line up with the front wheel drive system go ahead.
      The drive system is originally from an Oldsmobile Toronado.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Phil D

      As Joe said, a 6.5 would not be an upgrade, and it wouldn’t likely bolt up to the TH425 transmission (unless you can find and use a BOP to Chevy adapter plate that will work with it). A tranny change would be out of the question, too, as the whole motorhome is designed around the Toronado powertrain.

      Realistically, your only available engine swap options would be an Olds 455 (standard in these through 1976, after which the engine was discontinued) or a Cadillac 500. A big Pontiac or Buick engine would likely bolt to the TH425, too, but you’d have to fab your own engine mounts, whereas the Olds mounts are the same as the 403 and the Caddy engine could use Eldorado mounts.

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Maestro1

    If you live in the California Fire Zone this is what to have in your driveway when the flames sear the sky.

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo James Martin

    Not the Cadillac of rvs, but the oldsmobile of rvs. Get it right!

    Like 9
  5. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    If I could have a Motor Home this would be the one. I had a friend who had the smaller one and he let us use one time. I ,also had another friend ,that bought one of nicest ones,I have ever seen at Barrette-Jackson, we drove it to California and he sold it to a buyer from Australia, he would then have to change it to right hand drive ,to keep it there. seemed like a big project to me ,I would have liked to know how that all worked out. From my experience with these two I would like to have one, be careful :
    “What You Wish For”.

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Martin

    They are very nice but pretty cramped inside, not set up for a permanent queen bed, very little storage inside and out and the won’t pull much. They are also known to spin out on steeper hills so not great for boondocking. I really wanted one but too many negatives. I bought a Wanderlodge instead.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo bull

      The Wanderlodge is bigger, longer and heavier and nowhere near as KOOL! Hardly a good comparison to a GMC.

      The GMC makes a great day coach, travel coach or campground only coach. Yes you can sleep in it but why?

      The Bluebird Wanderlodge is a tank in every respect of the world. Big, heavy and a design the pre-dates even these Mid 70’s GMC’ coaches.


      They both are bad at off-road driving for Boondocking. One is bad due to low clearance and the other due to overall size and weight.

      Like 3
  7. Avatar photo Jasper

    Nice looking but I’ve got to gripe about the rounded off, wheelhouse trim. Might keep some crud off the sides but it just doesn’t look right. Spoils the looks, makes it look like a Bounder or other generic early ‘90s rig!

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Rich Southerland

    EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle!

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo PairsNPaint

      Just what I thought! Now I’ve got the theme song from “Stripes” running around my head!

      Like 0
  9. Avatar photo John L.

    These are very collectable, particularly the early 455 Olds powered ones. Most parts are readily available for them through several sources, some of which rebuild, and restore them. Current bid is $18,000. It will probably go for at least $25,000.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Bullethead

      It was close. My limit was $24K simply because of cross-county transport and upgrade costs. The last two minutes saw a lot of activity and with 20 seconds to go I was outbid. If the buyer is on the west coast, he did well.

      Will keep looking for one closer to home.

      Like 1
  10. Avatar photo cmarv Member

    I have always wanted one , a trip from Oregon to Eastern Pennsylvania would be an adventure . Maybe a 455 swap in the future . I’m dreaming but this seems to be one of my more affordable dreams .

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo JGM

    Not sure I would list “new engine coolant” as an improvement LOL.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo C.Jay

      Engine coolant can turn acidic as it ages (that does depend on what type and what metals it is in contact with). So as part of maintenance fresh antifreeze would be an improvement I guess.

      Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Pete

    And with EPA regulations on diesel engines, a tier 4 final diesel engine would run about $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 and that doesn’t include the DOC exhaust system and the DEF system.

    Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Jason

    The Olds 403 does not get the respect it deserves.

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo chrlsful

    liken the Vixen much better

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo DayDreamBeliever
  16. Avatar photo Jay Albright

    There goes another car nut molesting a classic with what he considers an upgrade. Where are the real collectors who still want matching numbers and keeping it as close to original as possible. Stop the Madness…what you think is an upgrade is garbage to collectors. Why not get a 1965 Ford Shelby and replace the engine with a Yugo?

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo bull

      These coaches were PROBLEMATIC when they are new. 40 years later they can look good and be junk! Any “Resto-Mod” upgrade you can do to these coaches will not only increase the owner’s enjoyment of the coach it will also significantly increase the value of the coach.

      Both GMC coach collectors in USA already own one so you market for that “Collector” is ZERO!

      Today’s market for GMC coach’s that run, drive, function and camp like a new RV is THROUGH THE ROOF!

      Not hard to figure which is the best way to go!

      Like 0

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