Motorhome Columns | Family Motor Coaching

Chapter Spotlight

Vintage Birds

“It’s not old; it’s vintage!” is the motto of these owners of Blue Bird motorhomes.

BY PEGGY JORDAN, ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Do you recall the beautiful bus-style Blue Bird Wanderlodge? If so, you may also remember that these motorhomes were built at the Blue Bird plant in Fort Valley, Georgia.

Today the Blue Bird name is applied only to factory-fresh school buses. But from about 1963 to 2009, it also was put on motorhome models such as the Wanderlodge LX, LXi, BMC (Blue Bird Motor Coach), M380, FC, PT, and WB.

FMCA’s Vintage Birds chapter members own a sampling of coaches from those years. The oldest in the group is a 1975. Chapter president Jim Miller said, “My wife loves the look of our 1986.” He added: “They are built to last, with true commercial chassis and drivetrains.

It’s like a large version of a classic car you can live in.”

Chapter members believe these classics are “worth keeping up,” Jim said. “A lot of the members do their own work: changing radiators, brake jobs, exhaust systems, and updating electrical systems.” Many of the 30-year-old coaches also have new inverter systems and LED lighting, he added.

Vintage Birds members gather at rallies two to five times each year, depending on the volunteer hosts, and in locations all over the country. The fall annual business meeting rally usually is in the Southeast, Jim noted. In the past, it’s been in Nashville, Tennessee; Panama City, Florida; and Gadsden, Alabama. While rallying, the group likes to attend events such as air shows and swap meets, and take tours and trips to places such as Talladega Superspeedway or Civil War battlefields.

A meaningful location has been picked for this year’s fall rally: the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Georgia, where Blue Bird used to hold its annual owners’ rally. “We are calling it ‘Return to the Valley,’” Jim said. “If you own a Blue Bird, you should join us in Perry this fall, October 22 to 28.”

Before then, Vintage Birds are also taking part in a joint rally in Oswego, New York, July 27-30, with three other FMCA chapters. They’ll attend the Oswego Harborfest, a four-day event in Oswego, New York, along Lake Ontario. It features several kinds of live music, fireworks, and much more.

The Wanderlodge may no longer be built, but because Blue Bird motorhomes were solid, they’re still very popular. The Vintage Birds chapter has 172 families. If you’re a current owner or even a former owner of a Blue Bird Wanderlodge or BMC, you’re encouraged to join. See the chapter’s website, www.vintagebirds.com, for more information, or contact Jim Miller at (607) 898-4701; email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For general information about FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you would like your chapter to be featured in Chapter Spotlight, contact FMC associate editor Peggy Jordan, (800) 543-3622, ext. 212; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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