Updating the GMC as we live and learn

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When we made the decision to emphasize travel once we retire we took a lot of information from fulltime RV’ers, various books and movies too. We didn’t have a large list of ‘must have’ but there were certainly a few requirements from the get go, size being a major component. While deciding the type or size of your vehicle must be based on the square footage of your driveway may not be the top of everyone’s list, it was certainly important to us. We knew we would be getting a used RV and it would need, at the very least, some restoration if not many modifications. While we are DIY-ers, it certainly makes it easier to DIY if you don’t have to drive to a storage unit back and forth with tools and whatnot to get the work done. So while we certainly had a few rv/motorhomes in mind, marching out to the driveway with a tape measure did weed out a number of options. Size was also a consideration because we want to be able to easily park wherever we decide to travel.

A little elbow grease

When we found our 1975 GMC Eleganza 2 and got it parked without impeding the sidewalk or interfering with anyone’s line of sight, we were quick to invite the neighbors over to see the before and let them know our vision – making them a part of the team in a way so there would be less chance of any grumbles. I think it helps that it’s a vintage and quite unique RV and to most over a certain age they know it looks familiar in some way and when you nod and say…. ‘Stripes and Bill Murray’ their eyes light up. While the outside has really only needed lipstick and rouge (new wheels, tires and a spit shine) the inside was… well, it needed updating.


Many people choose to leave the GMC stock and keep the look of the 70’s which I can appreciate. Everyone has their opinion of the right and wrong way to do it and it can be a pretty vocal group when you want to do your own thing. I knew I wanted our GMC to be a surprise when you opened the door – the outside giving the illusion of the EM50 Project but the inside would feel like a vacation at the beach. Our Caribbean vacations have always given us joy and living in a beach cabana isn’t a bad fantasy to have! It was fun to go overboard with pink fishing line and puka shell bracelets to use as curtain holders. I knew the pink fishing line would eventually go because moving it every time I opened the pantry was annoying, but the small touches of items we bought as holiday ornaments from tropical travels throughout the home make me happy. So what started as purposely a bit garish is now a warm and bright place for us to hang our hats.

While I have written many previous posts going over most of the restomods and replacements we’ve done in detail, for the next few weeks I will be writing about some of the updates/modifications we’ve done lately. Although we haven’t been able to go out as often as we’d hoped, what with travel restrictions and we have limited vacation hours, we are learning what we thought would be perfect could use some tweaking – or completely changed all together. This week I am going to focus on the bedroom. What started as a sitting room is now a full-size bed with a cozy mattress, sumptuous pillows and ample storage underneath in addition to the original cabinets. We have a small smart tv that is attached to the front of one of the cabinets and the remotes for the fan and tv are attached by Velcro above our heads under the other cabinet. Under the bed we have two camping chairs, our Blackstone Grill, tool boxes and bags, gizmos and gadgets and there is room for more. There is no basement (outdoor) storage so creating space was a must. We have the Quickzip sheets that made removing the sheet for washing so easy – you can see the bed is wall to wall so making the bed is a work out. We left storage at the foot of the bed for spare blankets, pillows and there is room for more. I found a bag to hang with command hooks on the wall to hold phones and a book or any other ‘nightstand’ items, it’s actually a bath toy organizer – you have to think out of the box sometimes for some of these ‘modifications’. The photo of the bedroom isn’t the greatest shot, but you get the gist of it.

Here are links to the ‘before’ youtube video and to the ‘after’ (at that time) video:

Oh – I did finish Mt Kilimanjaro last Friday! The medal arrived this week and I have to say, I was just as goosebumpy this time as I was with the first. I’ve walked 150 ‘extra’ miles since the beginning of 2021, not sure where my next virtual journey will take me.

#gmcmotorhome #eleganza2 #restomod #diy #vintagerv #tinyhomeliving #doityourself #makeaplan #teamwork #beachcabana #mydream #em50project #stripesrv #myvirtualmission #setagoal #followthrough @quickzip.com @lucidmattress.com @blackstoneproducts.com

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