My husband and I were just talking about this motor home today, lamenting that we didn’t have any pictures of it. Yesterday I downloaded all my Tulare County pictures off my portable hard drive, and by George, there were three pictures of the old GMC, Barbie and Ken, motor home.
You may have guessed by now that my husband likes almost anything that has four wheels and a motor. He is particularly drawn to a vehicle that says, “I’m special – unique.” When he told me he wanted to buy a 1976 motor home, I about came unglued. That he wanted to pay something like $20,000… I don’t curse. Really a 1976 motor home!!! – then I saw it. You can’t really see the paint job on this coach, but it was cute, and quite modern – 1990s at least. The inside was passable, having been redone in 2003, except that the swivel chairs in the “living room” tilted imperceptibly forward as if to hurry you out of them. Since that was the only place to sit in the motor home except the driver and passenger seats, it wasn’t a comfortable traveling coach.
We used this coach at least 2-3 times. One time we were driving across the soporific road to the coast, V in the motor home, and me following in the car so that we wouldn’t have to drive IT around. I was about 3-4 cars behind him when I got a call from his partner at work.
“Are you guys going to the coast?” he asked.
“Yes?” I wondered why Ruben would be calling me.
“I tried to call V, but he’s not answering his phone. Ron and Valerie are behind him.”
“Maybe we’ll see them there. That would be fun!”
“You don’t understand. V’s sewer hose has come out of the back bumper and is waving back and forth across the road like a tail. Nobody wants to pass him because they might get slapped by the hose. Ron and Valerie are afraid it’s going to come off completely and hit the front of their car.”
I was mortified, and just glad I wasn’t in the car with him. I tried to call him, and finally got him on the phone, and told him. He pulled over and retrieved the sewer hose, but it was trashed.
I wish I could say that was the only sad thing that happened to our GMC, but I can’t. The other story I will leave you with was on me. We had just bought the GMC, and had driven all the way to Salt Lake City to pick it up – in November. I was an experienced motor homer, and my husband was not. SO, I thought I would help him hook everything up. It had been a while since I had a motor home, and in all fairness my first husband did most of the hooking until he was too ill to do it anymore. Then I did it once – that’s another REALLY awful story.
I hooked up the water, and turned it on – FULL BLAST. I had forgotten that you need a pressure gauge so that the water pressure doesn’t blow out all the pipes. And I blew out all the pipes. We couldn’t stay in our drippy motor home the first night. We drove all over Salt Lake City to find a hotel where we could actually park it. It was too tall for one place, and the valet had to park it, and he had problems. I already hated the motor home, and really it wasn’t the motor home’s fault.
Most of the time the GMC sat in our driveway. V kept it pretty clean, and once in a while we went out to the driveway, got in the coach, and sat in the uncomfortable seats in the 110 degree heat, ran the air conditioner and turned on the 10 inch tv across from the chairs. I bought some cute dishes, found a turquoise and brown poke-a-dot comforter, made some adorable curtains, and we showed it to everyone who came over.
Finally V decided that he could do without it because he wanted to buy a race car or a red Corvette, I forget which. He sold it to a rich couple in Carmel for their “hired help” to live in. Poor guy. But it was UNIQUE!!!
Would you love to have Barbie and Ken’s mobile home? Do you have one that has stories of its own?