Half a century ago, GMC helped reshape the motorhome industry when it released its Motorhome. The GMC Motorhome was a rare departure from the norm established by the RV industry. It wasn’t a brick flying through the wind but a sleek and futuristic home on wheels that drove like a car. But for how awesome the GMC Motorhome was, what it couldn’t do was haul a vehicle inside. Some people have rectified that problem by turning their GMC Motorhomes into toy haulers. Here’s one of them and you can buy it for a reasonable price.
This first-year GMC Motorhome was sent in by reader Jacob R. It isn’t the first time I’ve seen a vehicle inside of the back of a GMC Motorhome, but it sent me down a rabbit hole searching for more of them. The first build like this I’ve seen was the 1977 GMC Motorhome below, which stored a 2009 Smart Fortwo inside of it.
Both were really rough and looked like a Burning Man build gone wrong. A YouTuber tried to save the Smart, but the previous owner ruined it so bad it had to go to the scrapper. Anyway, This 1973 GMC Motorhome sent in by Jacob showed me that turning GMC Motorhomes into a toy hauler wasn’t a one-off anomaly. Others have turned their GMC Motorhomes into toy haulers and they, unlike the one above, don’t have to look like junk. Check this one out!
This 1973 GMC Motorhome started life as a regular RV with the Glacier trim group, which gave the interior cool blue surfaces and blue shag carpeting contrasted with white walls and with a dash of simulated woodgrain trim. That alone would make for a pretty classy rig, but it wouldn’t stay like that forever. The seller says that his brother, who sadly recently deceased, took the Motorhome and turned it into a toy hauler for vintage Minis.
A GMC Motorhome That Hauls Minis
Before we launch into this custom build, here’s a quick reminder about why these are so great. This is courtesy of our wonderful Daydreaming Designer, the Bishop:
The state of RV design in the early 1970s was crude, even the good ones like Winnebagos: corrugated metal, pink insulation, boxy, curve-less designs on heavy chassis. They were charming, but crude as hell.
GM took a clean-sheet approach, and attempted to make something that was better than driving a giant shed, and at least attempted some degree of aerodynamics. The company took its tidy front-wheel drive V8 powertrain from the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado and plopped it down in a bespoke chassis with a nice low floor, no driveshaft, and plenty of room for fuel, fresh water, and disgusting water tanks, and then dropped on that an extruded aluminum frame covered with fiberglass and aluminum body panels.
The rear had twin axles with independent air suspension, and the result was something roomy and comfortable and not horrible to drive.
Part of what makes the GMC Motorhome brilliant is the fact that it drives more like a van or a car than the typical Class A coach. Those, which were and are still often based on a truck chassis, drive like bricks trying to fight wind. A GMC Motorhome’s air suspension, low floor, and the Oldsmobile Unitized Power Package all help it drive a lot better. Something I hadn’t considered is that the low floor would make the Motorhome a decent candidate for a toy hauler.
According to the seller, the motorhome was gutted from the side door and back. In doing so, the bedroom, bathroom, and about half of the kitchen were lost. Along the way, all water storage tanks were also removed, so while the coach’s sink remains, there isn’t any running water onboard.
The gutted parts were transformed into a garage that’s sized just right to haul vintage Mini Coopers. Photos included with the listing show that there was a lot of work put into the garage portion of the Motorhome. The car parks on a metal floor and are secured in place using metal wheel chocks on both ends.
The floor also has D-rings to secure the vehicle further. I could also see those being used to perhaps lock down a motorcycle or perhaps a side-by-side. I love how the hatch for the garage incorporates the rig’s original bodywork. That detail makes for a far cleaner look than the basic ramps and doors I’ve seen with many school bus hauler conversions.
The garage measures 68.5 inches tall, 74.5 inches wide at the top, and 64.5 inches at the wheel wells. No length is provided, but the compartment appears to be large enough to fit classic small cars, Japanese kei cars, some UTVs, or a modern city car. A Smart Fortwo will fit, as can a modern Fiat 500 if you’re careful. A Can-Am Maverick X3 can fit if it’s parked on the wheel wells.
Also in the garage area is a bed on a lift. The bed lifts up to make clearance for the toy in the garage, then comes back down when it’s time to go to sleep for the night.
It’s Still A Camper, Sort Of
At some point in the rig’s history, it was also given a partial restoration. There’s a newer refrigerator, new cabinets, and a new couch. The Glacier interior trim appears to have gotten replaced as well, but the new trim seems to be closer to green than blue. That partial restoration also saw the 455 cubic inch Oldsmobile V8 powertrain getting rebuilt. It should be making around 265 HP and has driven 26,000 miles since the rebuild. The restoration also swapped out the factory instrument cluster for aftermarket gauges.
The seller says that this camper would make a great restoration project, but honestly, I’d keep it as a toy hauler. Toss a container into one of those cabinets and you can make that sink work again. Store a microwave and a camp stove into those cabinets and you’ll have a working kitchen again.
The lack of a toilet could be solved somewhat with a cassette toilet (or shitcase, as our readers say) and a portable shower can keep you clean. These aren’t perfect solutions, but this really isn’t a coach you’ll be going off-grid with, anyway.
I can see someone cramming a side-by-side or a pair of motorcycles inside and then enjoying a full-throttle weekend with their friends. Sure, you could buy a purpose-built toy hauler and get a real kitchen and bathroom, but it won’t look as cool as an old GMC Motorhome does! The seller of this 1973 GMC Motorhome Glacier wants $14,500 for it, which seems reasonable considering what appears to be quality work. I love this coach because hauling small vehicles is exactly what I would do with an old Grumman LLV if I could ever find one of those for sale. If you happen to have some tiny cars or maybe a motorcycle or two in need of transportation, this GMC Motorhome build can be yours from the seller in St George, Utah.
(Photos: Seller, unless otherwise noted.)
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