descent gas mileage out of a gmc motorhome...possible?

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  • July 29, 2008 11:54 PM - 7943 Views
    BigAlBre I have been thinking for years now about getting a mid 70's GMC motorhome and traveling the show circuit. Since it is a conventional 455 Olds front wheel drive I'm looking for ideas on how to get descent gas mileage out of one. Any ideas? turbo charging, different engine or trans..... anybody have one of these?

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  • Comments
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    July 30, 2008 12:11 AM
    Hey Al, good to see you back brother!

    Talk to Don da34guy. He has had at least one of these (maybe more) and has some really good info on them! Set up correctly you could get 15mpg or better... is that decent for a motorhome?
  • housrace Info - spfld., Illinois
    July 30, 2008 06:36 AM
    are you talking about the Bill Murry, Stripes movie Urban assault type vehicle? Aren't they the ones w/ the Toronado front half for a drive line?
  • Crazyhorse Rod Shop Rides Ads Info Website - bluff dale, Texas
    July 30, 2008 07:11 AM
    Crazyhorse Rod Shop
    aint gonna happen al. your talking 4-6 mpg maybe 8 with newer tech.
  • pwhaley Info - miamisburg, Ohio
    July 30, 2008 08:36 AM
    The only way t oget good gas mileage is make sure you travel down hill both ways.
  • Crazyhorse Rod Shop Rides Ads Info Website - bluff dale, Texas
    July 30, 2008 08:37 AM
    Crazyhorse Rod Shop
    only way a motor home gets millage is setting in the driveway.
  • da34guy Rides Info - marlow, Oklahoma
    July 30, 2008 08:40 AM
    First off ---WELCOME BACK Al.

    Second --- Shine . I beg to differ with ya.

    Have had 3 of em over the years.

    A stock 1 will get 8-10 driven right.

    On the other hand my last (got rid of it 5 yrs ago) would get 13-16,out on the interstate, cruisin@ 65 -70 mph.

    1 of the tricks is ,get rid of the OLDS, swap in a 500" Cadillac thats been warmed up a little.

    Ya know- good rebuild, balanced, cam good intake, a turbo, and a good flowing exhaust system.

    Also changing the final drive ratio. (It's a kit available from sum turbo 425 guys in San Diego)

    The last big trip I took in my last 1 was over 6500 miles and I averaged over 14 mpg with it, and that was both flatland drivin and mountian drivin. The first leg of that trip was from Parker AZ (0' elevation) to Gettysberg South Dakota which took me over the continental divide (8000" elavation) down thru N.M. up the Raton pass, thru Denver (5200 elevation) into Wyoming and acroos the flats into central So. Dakota.

    ITt can B done Al.

    Kruzin in AZ

  • Crazyhorse Rod Shop Rides Ads Info Website - bluff dale, Texas
    July 30, 2008 09:09 AM
    Crazyhorse Rod Shop
    our 30ft class a did good to get 6 to 8. bbc. plus if al is going to haul the 36 he is sol. guess it depends on size. hell my 1ton only gets 14 and its diesel .
  • jimmothershead Rides Info - huntingtown, Maryland
    July 30, 2008 09:15 AM
    Hey, Al.......welcome back.
    We dreamed the same thing ever since that neat RV came out in the 70s. Still do. Prices have gone down in the past 5 years...about $13K or less for a nice one.
    As far as milage, how much for a turbocharger installed? How many miles required for payback?
    As Rosina said the first time we filled the 134 gallon tank on our 30 foot/454 Chevy boat "you play big, you pay big". OUCH !!
    Nuff said, Jim
  • pwhaley Info - miamisburg, Ohio
    July 30, 2008 09:27 AM
    Gas mileage will depend on weight. How much stuff you put into your motorhome and if you tow a car or trailer. Driving habits are also a factor as well as the speed you drive. I got a lot better mileage at 55-60 than I do at 65-70. 8 to 10 MPG is all I got out of my Ford V-10. I have since moved up to a diesel.
  • BigAlBre Rides Info - palm harbor, Florida
    July 30, 2008 09:52 AM
    Don, that's what I wanted to hear... I don't plan to tow the 36 and... I'm thinking a turbo charged 500 inch caddy would be the ticket.... any suggestions on transmissio... diesel vs gas etc...In fact I will probably have to sell the 36 to do this project... RVwil be tricked out rolling office for src
  • hotrodgene Rides Info - saint petersburg, Florida
    July 30, 2008 10:01 AM
    Hi Al,I have had 4 motorhomes and one was the GM.They all get appro.same mileage except my last one which was a 40' with Cummins with 6 speed Allison.It got 13 at any speed,and the others were 7mpg.I also found it didn't matter if it was towing a car or not.I will also say I disliked the GM the most because it was not as roomey inside but I knew that before buying.Talking with other owners at travel parks and such they all agreed you don't buy one for gas mileage or to save money,if you figure the upkeep,tires,parking spaces(when going or not using)gas,insurance etc you will find you could have stayed in most expensive hotels cheaper.Also glad you are back.
  • Crazyhorse Rod Shop Rides Ads Info Website - bluff dale, Texas
    July 30, 2008 09:59 AM
    Crazyhorse Rod Shop
    hell al, just get a 48 bluebird and drive it in.
  • da34guy Rides Info - marlow, Oklahoma
    July 30, 2008 10:22 AM
    Now yer talkin Shine !

    The BIGGER the BETTER>
  • Crazyhorse Rod Shop Rides Ads Info Website - bluff dale, Texas
    July 30, 2008 10:28 AM
    Crazyhorse Rod Shop
    if i ever get to it this will be our next motor home. will have a box on back with a fold out couch and mini frig. shower/potty for the bride.
			shine mccarver (shine)
  • blade58 Rides Info - apopka, Florida
    July 30, 2008 11:50 AM
    Al glad to see you back ,some people seem to like the diesel better for mileage on a motor home,maybe you can have a Duramax engines put in those that have them love em
  • lenbeal Rides Info - harrogate, Tennessee
    July 30, 2008 11:57 AM
    Big Al welcome back. I have a friend that has one of these. Don't know much about them. But their is a club for these motorhomes. A little search and mabe some good info out their. I would use Jay Leno Toronado Car engine, I bet it will do the job. Iam thinking its built to go Fast.
  • orphans2 Rides Info - stewartstown, Pennsylvannia
    July 30, 2008 12:38 PM
    Welcome back, Al!!! You want good gas mileage in an RV. Try mounting a mast on the roof with a genoa sail and a spinaker. Great for when you have a nice strong tailwind. LOL At 6 - 8 mpg, I can race you with the 57Olds for best mileage. LOL
  • flagator79 Rides Info - west monroe, Louisianna
    July 30, 2008 12:42 PM
    Al, good to read you back on the site.I hope that your rehabbing is going well -- it is very important that you do what they tell you to do. When you do get a rig, got to camp in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina - georgeous country and some good bluegrass music all around you.

    God Bless you my friend.

  • artie Info - ozark, Missouri
    July 30, 2008 01:52 PM
    pull it behind something else good to have you back Big Al
  • amswuod1 Rides Info - union, Kentucky
    July 30, 2008 05:45 PM
    Al, glad you're back!

    Consider also the price of gas vs diesel while you think of engine type and mileage.

    Gas has gone way up, but diesel has skyrocketed! Don't see it coming down to reasonable any time soon either.

    Bob D.
  • Starfire Rides Info - weimar, Texas
    July 30, 2008 07:15 PM
    Believe it or not there are RV Parks/campgrounds that will not allow an RV over five years of age to enter their facilities. Don't know how that would affect Al's intentions or use, but it is something to think about and consider. For me, camping out is a motel or hotel without a 24 hour restaurant.
  • blade58 Rides Info - apopka, Florida
    July 30, 2008 07:18 PM
    the plus for diesel is the biodiesel i work with a McGyver he has to vehicles that run on his home brewed fuel he claims his fuel cost is $1.47 a gallon, he buys diesel vehicles and sells them with a kit to brew your own fuel ,anybody interested i will give you his phone # he has been doing this for over a year now
  • dixie Rides Info - dade city, Florida
    July 30, 2008 08:37 PM
    AL your old enough to know there's no motor homes out there that get great milage . i run a bbc in the last two i mite average over all 8 mpg towing at 60 to 63 mph get any higher it starts droping. with the turbo motor had alot more power but it takes fuel to make hp so you have a trade off. friend runs a 40 ft with a 350 cummins get around 9/10 mpg but he always has the hammer down,u better just keep that little ford, i'll sell my 94 dolphin cheap i'm getting out if it sells.
  • Tony57 Rides Info - hillsboro, Missouri
    July 30, 2008 10:02 PM
    I have seen some old school bus's made in to a camper and flatbed for the car.
			Tony Jones (Tony57)
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    July 31, 2008 11:55 AM

    I think my BS meter just pegged.
			Eric Hibbs (31tudor)
  • cr55 Rides Info - dover, Delaware
    July 31, 2008 12:07 PM
    great meter Eric, I sure could use that every now and then. Sometimes I have to look on my hat to see if it says. " go on and Bull S@@t me "

    Al, I don't think any motorhome gets good mileage. I have never owned one, but I have rented quite a few. I've had mostly late models to use. The first one was a carburated Ford with a 460 in it. It sucked gas like it was free! The last one I rented was a Ford again with a V10 and fuel injection. It got about 12 to 14 miles per gallon towing a car and trailer. If you want one I say go for it! You only go around once in this life so get it if you want it! My 2 cents.........CR
  • Tweety37 Rides Info - bismarck, North Dakota
    July 31, 2008 05:37 PM
    Starfire is right about some RV parks not allowing older RV's to enter. Our family owned several RV's over a 30 period and subscribed to a number of monthly magazines devoted to that lifestyle. I saw more than one ad that was very specific about the age of RV's that would be allowed into their facility. These were usually upscale resorts. If you don't belive this, check with a member of the Airstream club. Some of these guys have spent a fortune restoring the old aluminum trailers and then been denied entrance to a desired facility.
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    July 31, 2008 06:18 PM
    I'm truly surprised, but a five year cut off??? Most RV's are still nearly new at 10 years!
  • reneg8d Rides Info - thoreau, New Mexico
    July 31, 2008 06:22 PM
    I've got a '79' 26 ft Fleetwood Jamboree with only 25,700 mi on it... I can relate Eric
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    July 31, 2008 06:39 PM
    I saw one of these cruising down the highway about a week ago. Laughed my butt off. I wonder what kind of mileage this thing gets? Must be a big big BIG block looking at the blower, injection, and pipes!
			Eric Hibbs (31tudor)
  • dixie Rides Info - dade city, Florida
    July 31, 2008 06:42 PM
    Dam i though my 94 was new guess i can't add to good , i'll just have to use the walmart parking lot.
  • artie Info - ozark, Missouri
    August 01, 2008 08:56 AM
    Starfire is correct. Some sites in Ca cost over a $100.00 a night and have room service. I saw this on an rv show. Those people are the one's with million dollar rv's and would'nt look twice at us.
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    August 01, 2008 10:50 AM
    Oh, so the only one here who has to worry is Starfire. The rest of us have "older" model RV's UNDER a million. Maybe that should have been clarified in his first nugget of wisdom.
  • bigdude Rides Info - three rivers, Michigan
    August 01, 2008 11:36 AM
    As in Butt Nugget?
  • Ghengis Rides Info - schofield, Wisconsin
    August 01, 2008 04:02 PM
    These show how Jay Leno and his buddy got fuel milage out of an old bus, they didn't use a toronado but its still pretty cool , ,
  • ol bear Rides Info - crown point, Indiana
    August 01, 2008 04:47 PM
    ol bear
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    August 14, 2008 11:34 PM
    Hey Al, check out this bad boy!!! Convert THIS SUCKER into a mobile office and you can roll in STYLE baby!!!
  • BigAlBre Rides Info - palm harbor, Florida
    August 15, 2008 10:38 PM
    Eric, now you're talking... a sleeper behind the cab and the 36 in the back.... works for me I love these old cab overs... and I'm considering going that route...
  • BigAlBre Rides Info - palm harbor, Florida
    August 15, 2008 10:49 PM
    I'm feeling really good guy's.... I'm able to walk half a mile for exercis... I couldn't do that before because the poor circulation in my legs was too painful... guess the new pipes fixed that.... and losing 36 pounds has helped
  • DaveHughes Rides Info - seaman, Ohio
    August 15, 2008 11:06 PM
    keep it up Big al- thats great news.. keep up that walking and I willl bet you will feel better everyday..
  • daddio211 Rides Info - saint george, Utah
    August 16, 2008 11:35 AM
    For the price it looks like a good start. I say you pick it up and start building! Do you still have the BBC you pulled outta the 36?
  • BigAlBre Rides Info - palm harbor, Florida
    August 16, 2008 11:59 PM
    Eric I sold the BBC... wish I had kept it... the new frame would have handled it fine... I may get another one some day... I've always liked big blocks....
  • BigAlBre Rides Info - palm harbor, Florida
    August 18, 2008 04:45 AM
    those new tall vans that Dodge sells have turbo charged V6 diesel engines in them... anybody know anything about those? Mileage, will they pull an enclosed aluminum car trailer?
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