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May 2010 Newsletter

From The President – Howard “Howie” Glenna
Greetings to all the Greater Midwest
 Classics members!

      SIOUX FALLS HERE WE COME!   It is time to get our GMC motorhomes up and running.  We will all be heading to Sioux Falls for our Spring Rally.  The rally dates are Friday June 4th through Sunday June 6th with early arrivals on Thursday June 3rd. Because this is prime time for the RV Park, be sure to get your reservations in early.  Our hosts will be Bob and Marlys Drewes and Jim and Anita White.  We can all look forward to a great time.  We will have much to discuss regarding our motorhomes. Those of us that went to the International Rally in Montgomery Texas have learned some disturbing news about the improper manufacturing and labeling of the seals used on the wheel bearings both front and rear in our coaches.  And as always our education continues.  Along that same line Bob Miller rebuilt the entire front end on his GMC using Dave Lenzi’s control arms and alignment information we have learned from Bob Drewes and Dave Lenzi.  After driving several thousand miles he will have much to share. It came to my attention that at one of our Rally’s we should discuss some of the common mistakes we have made servicing.

     Our last club event was our Christmas party in Rochester Minnesota hosted by Bob and Marie Mesarchik.  All those who attended will have to say “Good Job Bob and Marie”.   A fun afternoon with great entertainment including a short version of Lucy Weidner’s GMC show that was done for the International Rally in Pueblo, Colorado.

     It seems the gentleman who was making our name tags and coach plaques has decided to quit the business.  Sandi Renk our treasurer has spent countless hours keeping this on track and after all of her work it appears we will be starting over again.  So, to those waiting for your name tags and plaques we are in the process of finding a new source.We are putting together our summer rally for the first weekend in August:  Thursday, August 5th through Sunday, August  8th.  Put it on your calendar.  There has been some discussion to combine our fall rally with the International rally in DuQuoin, Illinois September 24th through September 29th, 2010.  We can discuss that in Sioux Falls.  We also have been looking at having a rolling rally around Lake Superior.  We would like to see what interest there is in doing something like a rolling rally. Midge and I are looking forward to seeing you in Sioux Falls.

     In Sympathy: Our thoughts and heartfelt wishes go to the friends and family of: Gayle Brodil who died April 4, 2010.  As many of you know Gayle was one of the original founding fathers as well as a strong supporter of the Greater Midwest Classic GMC club. Ray Stolzenberg a long time member from Austin, Minnesota died March 11, 2010.  He was 94 years old.

Vice President – Lucy Weidner

Greetings to all !  

A great time was had by all who attended the GMCMI rally in Montgomery, Texas.  Midwest Classics was represented by Howard & Midge Glenna, Wayne & Jane Hasek, Randy & Joe Johnson, Bob & Yvonne Miller, Jim & Anita White, Sandi Renk, John Smyrski, Rod & Brenda Gens, Larry & Jolene Johnson, Bob & Marlys Drewes, Jim & Teresa Dall, Tom & Connie Seversin, Keith & Kim Weeks and Larry & Lucy Weidner.  (Sorry if I forgot someone).  The men had good tech sessions, women had their sessions on good books, checking their energy level, driving their coach, and of course share and tell sessions, ably facilitated by Howard & Midge.  Lucy twisted a few club members arms and they joined her in another round of theater mayem.  While in Montgomery, a new VP for Administration was chosen for the GMCMI and Kim Weeks was chosen as the new VP.  Kim and her husband are members of the Midwest Classics.  A big shout out to her!!

The next GMCMI rally will be Sept. 26th – October 2nd, in DuQuoin, Illinois.  We’ll be looking to have another great showing of the Midwest people!  The theme for the theatrical production will be Rednecks, so keep an eye out for some funnies!

My thanks to the Drewes, Whites, Luebke's and Kreun's for hosting our spring rally in Sioux Falls, SD Please keep the following dates on your calendar for a summer rally.  We’ll be meeting August 5th to 8th at Camp Faribou Campground in Fairbault, MN.  More information to follow in the next newsletter..  Still working on future Rally dates and sites.  Talk to us about any ideas and/or sites. If you have items to share or if you have questions, just call me at 715-235-7422

2010 SPRING RALLY–Sioux Falls


     The Greater Midwest Classics will start off the 2010 season with a great rally at the Yogi Bear campground just East of Sioux Falls, SD on I-90, exit # 402.  The rally dates are:  Friday June 4th, Saturday June 5th and Sunday June 6th.  Early arrival night is Thursday June 3rd.    Friday night is pot luck, bring your own meat to grill.  Saturday morning starts with the “breakfast-in-a-bag” and a business meeting to follow.  There also will be door prizes awarded to those who attend the rally. The top prize will be a lighted entry door handle.  Saturday afternoon will be a wine tasting tour of a local winery, (non-alcoholic beverages available.). The Saturday evening catered meal will be served at the winery.  Sunday morning, there will be pancakes served by the Yogi Bear campground. 

THE DEADLINE FOR RESERVATIONS IS MAY 15TH, 2010.  YOU MUST CALL AND MAKE YOUR OWN RESERVATIONS!! Tell them what nights you will be staying. Call 1-800-638-9043 and tell them you are with the GMC rally group.

Bob and Marlys Drewes, Jim and Anita White, Martin & Karen Luebke and Darwin and Marlene Kreun  are hosting as wagonmasters!!

 AN AIRBAG FOR THE FUTURE     With Firestone discontinuing production of the replacement airbag for the GMC motorhome’s rear suspension, owners have been faced with the choice of paying a premium for one of the few bags remaining in stock or making larger investment and moving to a four airbag system.  This was the case until now.
    Zeb Frady and his sons, at Southland Motorhome in Buford, Georgia, have been in the process of developing an alternative solution.  The Frady’s have been installing multi-bag systems since 1996 and have always felt the concept was good.  However, they also feel it stiffens the ride as a by-product of it’s design.  In addition, there is a sacrifice to ride height and leveling capabilities, Matt Frady says, “We realized that one of the things which made these coaches so special was slipping away.”
    With this in mind, Zeb and his sons have been at work over the past year conducting research and developing a design for a replacement product.  Following are the goals they set out to achieve.  First, they wanted to go back to the cone-and-bag concept.  Second, they wanted to get as much ride height and leveling variance as possible.  Third, they wanted a bag that could hold the maximum weight of the coach.  Finally, they were looking for a bag that wouldn’t be discontinued for some time to come.  They felt if they could do all that and get the price into a reasonable range they would claim success.  Matt goes on to say, “After hours of phone conferences, expo talks and design work, we were blown away at what we developed.” 
     In talks with Firestone they found there were two different types of bags as they pertain to a GMC.  One is the “sleeve” bag (which is what the original system is) and the other is a “double convoluted” bag (which is on the mullti-bag systems).
     The quad system does add a level of support and drive control superior to the original system.  The reason is that a convoluted bag is designed more for stability rather than ride control.  It has no roll point, making its primary purpose that of lifting rather than absorbing. A cone-and-bag design has a sleeve.  This makes it ideal for absorption.  The bag rolls over the sleeve (cone) creating a dampener while allowing both arms to flex in and out.  This maintains the integrity of the original plan which is the concept that made consumers and competitors stand in awe of the design.
     Zeb Frady,Sr. says the original bag was designed as a motor mount for high-end industrial generators and that GM was the only one to develop an automotive application for it.  The Frady’s set out to find a replacement bag being used in applications close to the original implementation.  They found a single cone bag used in over 30 different automotive applications worldwide whose sleeve is about 8 inches deep.  This 8-inch, single-sleeve replaces the original bag’s 4-inch dual sleeves.  There is almost as much travel as the original bag.  (Travel is roughly 5.25 inches on this new bag).  Another positive thing about the 8-inch sleeve is that it sits further inside the airbag providing more support through the center – keeping the airbag from “hot-dogging” over time.  Southland also found that by utilizing one cone they were able to reduce the needed air pressure by roughly 15 PSI compared to the original bag. In essence it provides a ride comparable to original. Finding the airbag wasn’t the only challenge.  It had to be adapted for the GMC.  What they patented is a kit that ended up enhancing the lifespan of the bag.  It is designed to connect to the original arm mounts.  For maintenance the airbag can be rotated 180 degrees annually to help preserve the shape.  The air line is protected by traveling within this kit and not on the outside.  Finally, the sleeve has a larger bottom brace which protects the bag from the blowouts.  The kit is a one-time purchase and can be reused for years to come.  According to Matt Frady, installation of the new system doesn’t take any longer than replacing an original bag. Perhaps the best news about this development is the price.  A new bag and kit will cost less than an original replacement bag alone. Information for this article was supplied by Matt Frady.  He may be contacted by phone at 770-271-7502.

Editor:  You can contact me in Harpers Ferry, by phone:-563-586-2554 or cell 319-240-2460   

     Midge Glenna is sunshine lady so send her the name of anyone needing a little sunshine and Midge will send them a card.  Her phone # is:  715/426-5650.  (Keep Sue and Dean Witwer in your thoughts as they both battle major illness. 

     Mailing address or Email change:  Please notify Treasurer, Sandi Renk, 1116 Rushmore Drive, Burnsville, MN 55306-8604

Web site: has great information about our GMC club and how to join.  Visit it often and share with perspective members.  Bob Drewes has done an excellent job with our web site.  News, photos (look at the new ones from the Fall Rally), For Sale items, Rally’s etc.



Greater Midwest Classics is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization

Page Header Image Credit: 1978 GMC Motorhome from bnsonger47)

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