Live Auctions

Short Wheelbase Project: 1976 GMC Motorhome

As we’ve talked about before, the classic GMC Motorhome is an excellent choice for a “starter” RV if you’re looking to get into cross-county travel. The more compact proportions and ease of finding spare parts from the GMC catalog (and the legions of owners who keep these things on the road) makes it an easier sell than most other old-school RVs that can be found littering craigslist sites everywhere. This particular GMC is listed right here on Barn Finds Classifieds and is being sold out of an estate. It hasn’t been used in five years but was still started up and moved on occasion before the batteries went dead. It’s listed for $8,500 and located in Oklahoma City.

The GMC Motorhome will likely go down in history as one of the coolest long-haulers ever built, and I particularly love the shorter proportions this one has. The body looks to be in fine shape, and hopefully, the dry, midwest climate has helped to keep it as well-preserved underneath as it appears to be up top. The seller notes that like so many of these motorhomes that are left to sit, the tires will likely need to be replaced – and there are a lot of them. But in this case, they’re not cracked and dry-rotting, just very old. The spare tire cover is usually one of those items that perish quickly if left out in the sun for years at a time, so it’s mildly encouraging to see it one piece.

The interior also looks quite clean, which is never a given for a used motorhome. Seriously, spend any time wandering through junkyards or simply looking inside one that hasn’t been preserved for the long haul and it’s often bad news. So, when you hear that one has been left outside or simply not used in several years, you tend to expect the worst. Fortunately, this GMC looks quite nice inside, which suggests that when it was in use, it was kept in good order. The floors, carpeted surfaces, and dash array all look quite clean, and while the seat upholstery seems a bit out f place for a light-colored cabin, it too is in very good order. The captain’s chairs also look comfy as all get-out.

Mileage is said to be just 60,000, which would suggest this GMC has lots of road-trippin’ miles left to give. The interior really does seem like that of a low-mileage vehicle, as the cushions all appear to still be structurally “tight” and the wood paneling looks amazingly fresh considering this camper has apparently spent some time outdoors. The seller notes it was sold new in Oklahoma City at Jackie Cooper Oldsmobile/GMC and has just one owner up until the next caretaker takes over. As a bonus, the airbags even worked the last time the motorhome was fired up – perhaps they’ll still work when the new batteries are installed, which would certainly be a good omen for anyone considering taking this slumbering giant on as a new project. Would you?


  1. midwestjeff

    I have one little angel on my right shoulder saying “Just pass this by. This motorhome will cause you misery in renovation and repair costs.” I have one little devil on my left shoulder saying “Buy it. Buy it NOW!”

    Like 15
    • Ralph

      My other little voice is saying “at least you will have somewhere to live if the wife kicks you out for buying it.” Could be a “win, win” situation? Merry Christmas. This one does look clean and savable.

      Like 9
  2. Daisy Duke Inspector

    The interior looks nice because it is not the original interior, which is fine, just mentioning that. You should never drive an RV with tires that are more than 5 years old, regardless of tread. This is a good price, bit don’t be fooled into thinking you won’t be spending a lot of money on it on the future. But at that price point, you’ll be ahead of most.

    Like 4
  3. Abi



    These units burn fast as in fire. I witnessed such at a Midas shop years ago. It was in for repair of some kind and caught fire and the shop was able to push it outside but it was toast when the fire dept arrived. Maybe the tech used too much heat underneath.

  5. smtguy

    I like it, but would rather have the Alfa Spyder!

  6. Sam Shive

    THAT’S A FACT JACK. Looks a lot like the EM 50.

    Like 1
    • Al

      Why wood anybody buy an EM 50 Urban Insult Vehicle?

      It just sounds disrespectful or scornful, it must be a Karen vehicle.

      Like 4
  7. WayneS

    According to the VIN displayed this coach was originally a “Transmodal” without an interior which is very obvious from the custom solid oak cabinets and tile floor. Too bad it the pictures don’t show the Service Parts Identification Label as well as the VIN label. That would show the specifics of the suspension level Standard or Heavy Duty for mini-bus or special application use ie a police or paramedic response unit.

    Like 2
  8. Steven Craig MacDonald

    Sideways pics don’t help. As easy as it is to rotate using free software it’s hard to understand why anyone would present their vehicle like this.

    Like 1
  9. doug edwards

    Lots if you tube videos on rebuilding these RV’s. Originally built to last 15 years. Will need LOTs of work. Immediate fuel lines & tires before you go anywhere.

    Like 1
  10. Matt

    Tiles curled and coming off the floor, normally thats a sign of a moisture problems.
    I’d love to look at it if it wasn’t so far from me though, if its just a crappy old installation it would be a relatively easy fix.
    Worth 6 though,,,,,,,might throw it out there and see if they’ll take it.

    Like 1
  11. Claudio

    The following on these is cult status

    Any old rv will require mountains of work and time but this model can actually be resold at a decent price

    I have seen some go for over $60 k

    It is a proven combo but a front wheel drive toronado set up from the seventies can be a headache
    Good luck to the buyer

    Like 3
  12. Steve Clinton

    “Project” and “Motorhome” in the same headline means trouble.

    Like 3
  13. chrlsful

    everything but brandy new isa project.

    This is the M/M to have – may B not specific vehicle. Rialto & Vixen are the others. Small inexpensive easy to drive, maintain (bigger = bigger troubles).

    When I C these I all ways think 12v & allison (performance = power & MPGs).

  14. George

    Sort wheelbase? Does that mean this is 23’?

  15. Matt

    Well, got on their site and left a message even offered them six grand. Not all they wanted but they could have atleast answered no reply at all so im out.

    • Gary J Lehman

      I think if they wanted to sell it for $6000 they wouldn’t have priced it at $8500. What do you expect?
      You can’t be OUT because you were never IN.
      Plus an offer on voicemail isn’t credible to most folks.

      Like 2
      • Matt

        Well Gary, that comment is about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard on here or anywhere else. I’m sure you’ve paid full price on every car, boat, motorcycle or anything else.
        EVERYONE hagels on stuff and if you think I or anyone else would expect to pay full price for that your just nuts.
        Thanks for your input though, I really appreciate it.

  16. Gary J Lehman

    Matt–if that’s about the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, I feel sorry for you.
    There is a lot of difference between paying full asking price and a lowball offer.
    My point was that I wouldn’t respond to a 70% offer on a car either. That’s all.
    I have been in retail car sales for over 50 years. I can count on 2 hands the number of times that I got an offensive, lowball offer and ever ended up selling that person a car. Several times I called their bluff and said I probably could get it sold to them for their stupid offer. Those guys would stutter and stammer and leave the lot as quickly as they could.

    Like 2
    • Matt

      Dear Gary. Your just a dick that likes to see his name on here and expound the dumbest stuff out of his mouth you can think of to try and make yourself look smart or informed.
      I’ve bought and sound hundreds of old cars, motorcycles, boats and campers over the years and have NEVER started higher than a 70% offer and normally at 50%. If you do your just showing what a crappy buyer you are and have never bought for a car lot anywhere.
      Good luck in your future buys and I mean all the ones you’ll pay way to much for.
      Leave what answer you deem necessary to make yourself feel better. I won’t answer again so I feel free to make yourself feel good.

      • Gary J Lehman

        Your spelling and English day it all.

        Like 1
  17. Claudio

    Yes , Gary it days it all !

    Like 1
  18. Gary J Lehman

    C’mon Claudio, I was trying to get Magic Matt to respond. :)

    Like 1
    • Claudio

      My bad …

      • Gary J Lehman

        Actually it was my bad for getting into a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

        Like 1
  19. Mike

    This is an awesome car lovers site and is no place for petty personal attacks!

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