A dream come true.
Dad finally bought what he's been dreaming of for years: a 1975 Travco model 270 Class A motorhome.
That' right, 1975.
No, the thing is not exactly new...
The beast needs quite a bit of work. So I created this blog to document all the work Dad is going to put in his new toy.
But first, some explanations: why would someone go through the pain of restoring a 30 year old motorhome? You need to know my father:
The Project Manager
My father is a trucker. Now retired, Dad worked in the trucking industry most of its life. He's a pretty good mechanic, he's maintained his truck for many years. He does most of his car maintenance and repairs by himself, I can't remember the last time he had to bring one of his vehicles to a shop. Dad tends to keep his vehicles a bit longer than most people usually do: to give you an idea, his current vehicles are a 1981 Dodge van and a genuine 1982 Renault 5 car. Both vehicles are in pretty good shape, and he often gets offers for his Renault. His snowmobile is a 1968 model (that he bought new back in '68) wich still rides perfectly and is used every winter to go to our cottage. My Mom's 1997 Acura 1.6EL is the "new" car of the family (why, it's only 10 years old!).
Tool wise, Dad's garage - wich could be called "the miracle shop" - is pretty well equipped. Dad has pretty much all you can think of, including air tools and compressor, welding equipment, etc.
There isn't much Dad has never done on cars or trucks. The "miracle shop" has seen it all, from regular maintenance and repairs to complete engine rebuilts to paint jobs, utility trailers construction, etc. plus Dad's numerous inventions. Dad's a real handyman, he can fix just about anything. He's gifted with a sense of how things work, he can turn a piece of useless scrap into an essentiel tool or fix something with it (hence the name "miracle shop"). Dad never does anything hastily, he hates botched jobs, he always takes his time and does it right the first time. When he fixes something, it's usually fixed for good.
This is not his first motorhome rebuilt. Dad has completly rebuilt a Class C motorhome that he bought in 2001. This was a small 21ft Class C motorhome built on a Dodge chassis. This motorhome was the RV version of "The Money Pit" movie: not that it cost a fortune to fix, but just about everything on this motorhome had to be repaired, rebuilt or replaced: body repairs, plumbing, electricity, drivetrain, etc. The only thing Dad didn't fix himself was the transmission, wich he took out and sent to a transmission shop to have it checked. Bought in March for a planned trip to the canadian west with friends, Dad worked on this motorhome about 7 days a week until early July, tearing the motorhome apart. When everything was finally ready, he went for a short road test (in fact he went about 2 km away to fill up at the local gas station) and declared to Mom that "everything is fine". They packed up and went all the way to Alaska, and never had one single issue with the motorhome on this 20 000km trip.
My parents still have this small motorhome, with has been used every summer since 2001. But Dad wasn't satisfied. The Class C is small, has no permanent bed, it's a hassle to turn the dinette into a bed every night and back into a dinette every mornig to have breakfast.
Travcos are to motorhomes what old Airstream trailers are to trailers. Travco motorhomes are made of a fiberglass shell over a steel frame. They are extremely durable. The fiberglass shell is very sturdy and doesn't rust, the mechanical components are heavy-duty, reliable and easy to maintain. There are many Travcos around, especially in the US, some from the 1960's proudly rebuilt by their owners, just like some have done with their old classic Airstream trailers. Owning a classic Travco is not like owning any other motorhome, it's like owning a Harley-Davidson, there is someting special about them.
Dad has been looking at Travco for years. Back then, Travcos were among the first Class As on the road. They were the equivalent of today's large high luxury Class A palaces. Those being way too expensive, a used Travco is the perfect match for a handy man like my father. Dad's been watching the classified for years, looking for a good deal on a Travco. Last month a 1975 model showed up for sale on the web, and Dad bought it.
The Blue Whale
The day Dad brought the Travco home, Mom sent us an email stating: "the blue whale is home". The Travco is indeed blue and gray. These are not the original colors, it's been repainted, and not with the best color choice in my opinion. But first things first, the paint color is quite low on the priority list for now. However I believe the "Blue Whale" name will stick.
A few pictures of the Blue Whale the day it arrived home:
6 months ago