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Thread: Small, Quick Class A Motorhome--Perhaps "Expeditionable"

  1. #1
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    Default Small, Quick Class A Motorhome--Perhaps "Expeditionable"

    NEW HOME FOUND FOR IT 3/29/11: Details at the bottom.

    ------------------

    Some people rescue stray dogs. James Lombardo and I have rescued a stray motorhome.

    It's a bit of a story, but I temporarily own a unique 1992 AeroCruiser Class A motorhome. Reimburse me the $4,900 I've invested so far in reconditioning it and it'll be yours.

    It's listed on Portland Craigslist and it'll probably get sold to someone looking for a cheap motorhome. But given that many of the inmates here at the Portal have outrageous amounts of mechanical and fabrication talent, it seemed like I should at least mention the coach here to see if someone gets inspired.

    The big appeal is that AeroCruisers are dimensionally about the smallest Class A motorhome made since the 70s. Itís 23 feet long and only 99 inches tall (in spite of having something like 6í2Ē headroom), and it weighs a remarkably light 7,900 pounds. It rides on SUV-sized LT235/85R16 tires with single rear wheels. Itís all fiberglass, including a one-piece roof, over a steel cage frame. Just 350 were ever made before the company, Gardner Pacific, which also made the Toyota-based SunRayder camper, went out of business in Ď92; this was one of the very last units built.

    This AeroCruiser could be whatever you want. The interior was never built out, and the vehicle was used as a mobile office rather than an RV. There were no cutouts for windows made (nor other holes in the fiberglass exterior), no plumbing, and no interior (aside from an easily removed partitioning wall, and a set of overhead cabinets on either side). This is sort of a blank canvas that might appeal for to a talented builder. Cut off the rear portion, hinge it, and create a mobile toy-hauler or workshop. Turn it into the ultimate support vehicle. Whatev.

    A major advantage over other small coaches like the GMC motorhomes is that the driveline and chassis components are from a Dodge D350 one-ton pickup and there are no issues with parts availability or finding competent mechanics. And, more to the point for this group, it seems to me (though I am not an expert) that it's a good candidate for a 4WD conversion using standard components. Maybe take a look at the nifty conversion G35Vortec454 did:

    http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=966138

    and think along those lines.

    The 'Cruiser's powered by a strong-running fuel injected Dodge 360 V8 that runs on regular-grade gas from a 40 gallon fuel tank. In getting it reconditioned, I bought brand new Michelin LTX tires, brand new batteries, and James gave it a top-to-bottom comprehensive tuneup. Very clean in and out, passed DEQ first try, and has new license tags. This is a great coach, and a unique opportunity for someone with a bit of creativity. And with only 31k miles on it, it's got a lot of life left.











    This link has a lot of info on Aero Cruisers:

    http://aero-cruiser.fl-ink.com/

    Please check it out and see if this coach might work for you. If you are interested, send me a PM and I'll reply with a comprehensive description that provides all the detailed information you'll need to decide if this is anything you want to look into further.

    EDIT of 3/23 . . . About 5 dozen more pictures can be had at:

    https://picasaweb.google.com/mhiscox...uiserMotorhome

    Mike
    Last edited by mhiscox; 07-13-2011 at 01:26 AM.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter
    1996/2002 Honda XR600R highly-modded
    1978 Honda CT90


  2. #2
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    Mike --

    You certainly do fall into ownership (or possession anyway) of some interesting stuff!




  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esmi View Post
    Mike --You certainly do fall into ownership (or possession anyway) of some interesting stuff!
    You should talk.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter
    1996/2002 Honda XR600R highly-modded
    1978 Honda CT90


  4. #4
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    626
    Quote Originally Posted by mhiscox View Post
    You should talk.
    It does my heart good to know that my "Sanford and Son" antics even catch the attention of a collector like you!

    Best of luck re-homing the motorhome.




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Scotts Valley, CA
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    ugly as a mud fence, but very interesting. you think 10-12mpg? how's the condition of the top? was it stored indoors or covered, do you know?

    like the idea of being able to customize to suit specific needs/tastes.
    Mark (aka "Griff")


    Past LRs: 1998 D1; 1997 D90; 2004 DII G4; 1995 LWB; 1961 SII 109 LSW

    1993 NAS D110

    Looking for DD

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCRover View Post
    Ugly as a mud fence, but very interesting.
    Hah. If you think this is ugly, you should see the competition. Sadly, this is what passes for sleek in a late-80s-designed Class A.

    You think 10-12mpg?
    12 mpg or better falling off a cliff; otherwise, I'd guess 8 to 10 mpg. Figure 10 mpg if you're doing 55 or 60 mph; more like 8 mpg if you run her with the the car traffic, which she'll do easily. (BTW, the Land Speed Record for a Class A motorhome appears to be just 102 mph. Hint, hint.)

    How's the condition of the top? Was it stored indoors or covered, do you know?
    Stored outside in the blazing Oregon rain. And sun; the tires needed replaced from weather-induced sidewall cracking. Some of the rubber molding isn't the best, and there's surface rust on some of the lower-grade hardware. However, the one-piece fiberglass top is a huge feature so there's been no leaking, and the fiberglass sides, though highly oxidized, look like they'll polish up just fine. The striping is tape and you'd want to remove /replace it.
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter
    1996/2002 Honda XR600R highly-modded
    1978 Honda CT90


  7. #7
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    Sep 2005
    Location
    Snake River Plain,ID
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhiscox View Post
    ... (BTW, the Land Speed Record for a Class A motorhome appears to be just 102 mph. Hint, hint.) ....
    I think it's 106 mph. Set in 2007 at Bonneville. My bro-in-law and his bunch of "Grumpy Ol' Men" hold a current speed record, and I think this GMC set this record the same year their car did. Anyway....

    more to the point. You mention that this 'shell' of an RV has no plumbing, etc. Is there any indication that the infrastructure is in place, i.e. place for the water, black water, grey, propane, etc? I'm guessing from your description and the looks of it all this substructure would have to be built.

    I showed the photographs to Diana who said, "Well, we could just camp in it. At least, there's no tent to erect." Isn't that a great attitude?

    Plenty of room for Rooney the gun-dog, too.

    Allen R
    "I'm ahead of the game and can afford to take chances." --Theodore Roosevelt
    '11 Mini Cooper Clubman, '04 Dodge Dakota 4X4

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flywgn View Post
    You mention that this 'shell' of an RV has no plumbing, etc. Is there any indication that the infrastructure is in place, i.e. place for the water, black water, grey, propane, etc? I'm guessing from your description and the looks of it all this substructure would have to be built.
    There's a water fill curbside connected to nothing and, even odder, a dump valve in place, also connected to nothing. There's room under the chassis for flat water and grey tanks (and black if you went that way). However, there is a sizable propane tank connected to a seemingly fully-functional furnace, so the heat's in place. Also, the electrical is well along, with shore power cord, AC plugs and a converter to run DC lighting. And the shore power seems to run the roof air just fine. So there's cooling.

    I showed the photographs to Diana who said, "Well, we could just camp in it. At least, there's no tent to erect." Isn't that a great attitude?
    Highly practical, too. Use cots, pads, a Porti-Potty, camp stove, chest fridge, and folding chairs and you have a completely weatherproof camping setup. (Also, at 23 feet, it's good to go in most all BLM and NFS campgrounds.)
    Mike Hiscox

    2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon XV-JP motorhome
    2003/2014 custom Sprinter 2500 mid/tall motorhome
    2002 Toyota Sequoia Limited 4WD
    2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter
    1996/2002 Honda XR600R highly-modded
    1978 Honda CT90


  9. #9
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    This thing is super cool, if it were a little smaller I'd be all over it! Love that 80's retro look!
    Heidi - KF7CKI
    1985 Vanagon GL Diesel Convert

  10. #10
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    Southern Alberta - or where the truck is parked
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    Wow talk about ugly!! That being said would work great for my business as I could put signs on the thing and no windows to get in the way - can you say full vehicle wrap! Add to that the fact that you could do anything inside and you only have a door to worry about and wow could you make a great inside.

    Okay I have to go before I buy it................
    2002 GMC 2500HD - 1992 Northern Lite Truck Camper

    Paterson Photography Ltd. offering photography workshops, classes, expeditions and adventures around the world.
    Take time to learn how to operate your digital camera so you can get the best images possible!

    http://www.firstchoicephoto.ca

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