If residents of Chippewa Falls, Wis., feel like they’ve seen a strangely large number of 1970s motorhomes streaming through the city lately, they aren’t wrong. As reported by the Chippewa Herald, a quick drive by the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds will reveal the astonishing number of old GMC campers congregating there.
Running through Thursday (Oct. 2), GMC Motorhomes International is holding its annual fall convention at the fairgrounds. The organization, which boasts around 1,200 members, expected around 250 people to arrive in 135 motorhomes by the time the convention formally kicked off Friday night.
The convention features enthusiasts from across the country. Friday afternoon the official tally showed attendees had come from 27 states, with others from Canada and even a person from Australia.
All of them love their GMC motorhomes. Just ask anyone at the convention what makes these campers so special and they’ll be quick to tell you.
“They were the only motorhome built from scratch,” said Robert Miller of White Bear Lake, Minn., who has been attending the group’s conventions since 1987.
Just shy of 13,000 of these campers — called coaches by the enthusiasts — were manufactured between 1973 and 1978. Unlike other RVs, GMC didn’t just put a different body on a truck chassis.
GMC’s design incorporated front-wheel drive and an air-ride suspension in the back. Both features keep the vehicle close to the ground which coupled with the campers relatively small size, allow it to handle more like a car than a bus.
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