WHY:We bought a GMC RV

Rediscovering the Classic 1973 GMC Sequoia: A Vintage RV Adventure

Are you ready to take a journey back in time? Our adventure begins with a vintage gem: a 1973 GMC Sequoia. This motorhome is a true classic, boasting unique features that set it apart from the modern RV crowd. While it may be half a century old, it still has a lot to offer. Join us as we explore the quirks, charms, and history of this iconic vehicle.

Originally costing around $14,569.06 1973 which is about $100,995.41 in 2023

A Vehicle Like No Other

At 50 years old, the 1973 GMC Sequoia is a true relic. But what makes it truly stand out is its distinctiveness. Here's what you need to know about this legendary RV:

Uniquely American

The GMC RV is the only motorhome completely built by a major North American auto manufacturer. GM took care of everything, from the chassis to the interior design. This in-house approach results in a vehicle that drives like one cohesive unit, not just a truck with a box tacked onto it.

Front-Wheel Drive Pioneer

This motorhome was the first to feature front-wheel drive, with a Toronado Drive train known for its reliability. It's like the luxury muscle car of the day, but on a grander scale.

Built to Last

One standout feature of the Sequoia is its aluminum body panels. This choice of material has allowed it to age gracefully, standing the test of time and weathering the decades with style.

A Rare Find

Out of the 12,921 units produced, there are only around 7,000 still on the road. This rarity adds to its allure.

Innovative Leveling

Forget about the standard crank leveling system found in today's RVs. The Sequoia boasts an airbag leveling system, which takes only seconds to level the vehicle, a stark contrast to the hour or more that traditional methods can take.

Burning on the Go

An interesting quirk of the Sequoia is the option to use a VapooRizer or the Thermasan system to dispose of waste. It's a far cry from today's sewer connections and dump stations.

Heating and Water Heating Marvel

One of the unique features of the Sequoia is its propane central heating system. It's perfect for those crisp fall days. Additionally, the water heater is connected to the antifreeze system, meaning that while the engine is running, you're also heating up your shower water. This ingenious setup not only provides a comfortable warm shower but also helps save energy. Most standard RVs use an electric water heater that runs well over 1000W, and not needing to use one in the Sequoia is both energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Furthermore, the water heater can stay warm for several hours after driving, ensuring you have a steady supply of hot water for your needs.

Convenience at Its Best

Inside, you'll find a built-in vacuum cleaner (though we opted for a Dyson). Additionally in ours we have a solar system, and even a spice rack.

A Legacy of Modifications

Over the last 50 years, enthusiasts have fine-tuned and standardized a myriad of modifications for these vintage motorhomes. Some popular upgrades include automatic leveling, chrome parts, extra awnings, and LED lighting.

Our GMC: The Beast

Our adventure with the 1973 GMC Sequoia started when we stumbled upon a Facebook listing. After talking with them for a little they sent us a link of when they purchased it. Originally purchased for around $25,000 in 2016, we adjusted for inflation, putting it at over $32,060.42. However, the seller listed it for a more reasonable $22,000.

On average, these vehicles fetch around $5-10,000 if they don't run, $25,000 for a fully functional coach, and $35,000 -$100,000 for a beautifully restored one to one with all the bells and whistles like solar panels, EFI systems, and disc brakes.

Our Sequoia had undergone some of those expensive modifications, but it needed a little tender loving care. The previous owner had backed into something, causing damage to the ladder and awning. There was also some water damage around a window section. We had to replace all the window felts and give the engine some much-needed attention. To many, this may have seemed daunting, but my experience around old cars made it manageable. Compared to other engines of this vintage, it purred like a kitten and didnt have any frame rust, so we knew we had good bones.

After taking a closer look and a tour of the vehicle, we believed that anything below $20,000 was a steal. After four months of negotiations and waiting for the title, we managed to drive away with our beloved Sequoia for $19,000.

To get a sense of other options in this price range, you can check out some listings here: - 1978 GMC 26' Motorhome
- 1976 GMC Motorhome Bicentennial Edition

Our Sequoia boasts an updated interior, a modern water pump, upgraded airbags, enhanced brakes, a 30A solar system, a new dual fuel fridge, an improved 3 burner stove, a fresh microwave, new car/house batteries, a 3000W pure sine inverter, 200AH AGM solar batteries, and tires from 2020. Some of this ended up being an issue but thats for another time. Initially we viewed all of these as improvements.

In conclusion, owning a 1973 GMC Sequoia is not for the faint of heart, but it's a journey worth taking. Its unique history, distinctive features, and the community of enthusiasts who support it make it a classic like no other. Whether you're a vintage RV enthusiast or simply an adventurer looking for a unique journey, the Sequoia is a relic of the past worth rediscovering.

PS: As a 1973 vehicle you are grandfathered in with some of the neater features. Also just look at those windows!!! They are everywhere giving amazing views and breezes!

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