Monday, January 4, 2016


This blog is dedicated to the restoration of RetroActive,  a 1968 Bluebird Wanderlodge motorcoach.

I found a post on the Wanderlodge Owners Group website which stated that a Bluebird was free for the taking, but it needed tires and brakes.  This is not a trivial need,  6 new tires cost about $2500 and the cost of the brakes can also be significant, depending on exactly what is wrong.

I considered for a few days, during the busy holiday times and decided to give the provided number a call to see if the coach was still available.   It was available and I asked the owner to send me some pictures, which they did:

In speaking with the owner, he said the rig had been sitting 10 years, which is never a good thing for any vehicle.  I was intrigued by the overall condition of the body, that all the glass and trim appeared to be intact and the fact that this was a Bluebird.

The significant thing about a Bluebird relative to most other motorhomes is that the Bluebird has an all stainless steel frame and body.  Most modern motorhomes are made with aluminum or wood framing bonded inside fiberglass panels with foam insulation and an inner wall of a wood laminate.  The Bluebirds are all stainless  steel, which makes the basic "bones" of the coach very strong and long-lasting.  Another point about the construction of the Bluebird is that the interiors are mostly screwed together.  This means that they can be unscrewed apart without destroying the wood components making up the interior of the coach.  Most modern coaches are glued and stapled, except for the  very high end coaches.     The idea of taking apart the inside of this motorhome and rebuilding it exactly as I wanted began to form in my mind.    I have owned two previous motorhomes, both of which were the glued & stapled variety.   I worked on each of them in the course of normal maintenance and was never impressed with the quality of construction or design that went into them.  The idea of building a motorhome my way began to grow stronger in my mind.

The next post will continue with my trip to see the coach for the first time.

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