The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #47+ Friendship addendum.
From Boise, ID, Hi Everyone!
This is to fill you in on the interesting new friends I met on my last trip. The first was the Boyd family from Truckee, CA. I met them at an RV park in Reno, NV, when I saw this 23 foot GMC motorhome sitting next to a trailer house. I wanted to see if I knew them so I went up to the door and introduced myself as a fellow GMCer. It turned out that we had more in common than the GMCs. Mike Boyd was on an errand and I was talking to his wife Dawn, his mother Betty and a daughter. When I mentioned that I had retired from Naval aviation Betty’s eyes lit up and she told me that she had been a pilot in WW2. I remember hearing about the women pilots that flew the fighters and bombers from the factories to the air bases. This was the first time I had talked to one and I enjoyed listening to her tell of her adventures. And, of having to bail out of a malfunctioning fighter plane.
When Mike showed up I had a nice visit with him. He was an Air Force Pilot and is now flying 747 Air Liners. I invited him to the rally in Ukiah and he told me he would be flying to Korea during that time period. He had come down with the GMC to tow his mother’s trailer house back up to his house for the summer. He is a very busy man, he is building a house on the south shore of Donner Lake about 30 miles west of Reno. He invited me to stop by on my way west for a cup of coffee. I punched in his address and told Keith to take us there and when I arrived, there was snow in the trees and Mike was working on a boat he is restoring. So, he is restoring a GMC Motorhome, a boat and building a house. In his spare time he pilots a 747 and he is an artist. He showed me some of his art work and I was impressed. He is building his kitchen around a bright red antique propane range and he found a bright red kitchen sink to go with it. I wish them well and hope to see them at a GMC rally in the future.
My next two friends I met at the rally. They each have a one of a kind GMC motorhome, the first one is Manuel “Manny” Trovao & his wife Deo, who live in San Jose, CA. I guess that Manny saw all those big motorhomes and trailers with sideouts and he said to himself, “I can do that”, and by gosh he did it. The wall behind the drivers seat with the sofa, slides out two feet right into the high speed traffic lane if he pushes the button while he is driving down the freeway. He also decided that he needed a drivers side door in the cockpit and there it is, it even has a step so he can climb up into the drivers seat. Next, he thought he needed a light weight tow car. Yep, he made one, so light that he can, by himself, lift the front wheels right off the ground. The only problem I saw with it was every time it rains the roof leaks. I wonder what he will think of next? The second one is Bill Hubler with his wife Betty, who live here in Caldwell, ID. Now Bill believes in the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” but he has added another line, “Just tear it all apart and make it better.” This he has done with his GMC motorhome. There was nothing wrong with it when he bought it about two years ago. He took a perfectly good Olds. 455 engine out of it and put in a GM 6.5 Liter Turbo Diesel engine with a 2.73 final drive & an Allison torque converter. He had to make some modifications to the engine and it’s mounts to get it to fit in the space without raising the cockpit floor. He said it looks like it will get around 14 to 15 MPG and it climbs mountains like a mountain goat. He went with the Hydoboost Brake system and, to have a generator compatible with diesel fuel, he replaced the Onan with a 3750 watt diesel gen. that can be hand cranked if the batteries are dead. Who said a GMC motorhome couldn’t be made better?
Bill & Betty run a crop spaying service in Caldwell with several aircraft that Bill made better by replacing reciprocating engines with turboprop engines to give them more power & higher speed. (The engines on the two crop-dusting planes came from the twin engine plane after it was confiscated from a drug bust.) He even extended the wings on one to give it more lift. He just can’t leave any thing as it is. They use GPS navigation to spray crops at night when the honey bees are sleeping. Bill & Betty and their friends Carl & Pearl Westphal, who live here in Nampa, ID met me at the drive-through tree and invited me to spend the night at Roland & Ruth Wilbers’s place at Leaburg, OR. Carl is a longtime GMC owner and mechanic and is Retired from the railroad where he was an engineer and mechanic. We all spent the night at Roland’s place and we stayed up half the night visiting, he had a lot of adventures to talk about.
Roland Wilber has been a GMC motorhome fanatic since 1973 when they first came out. He has worked on them for 27 years. He is now crowding 90 years of age and has to slow down. He has a garage filled with GMC Motorhome parts that he will sell. He has engines, including a Cadillac fuel injected 500. He has transmissions, final drives, axles, knuckles, a-frames and everything connected to them. If you need anything found on a GMC, he probable has it, he may even part with some of his tools. Give him a call at: 541-896-0073
That’s it for now, but I’m sure that just a little further down the road; I’ll find some more interesting friends.

Till next time, Dallas or Dad, if it fits.


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