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2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380

Our M380 will be for sale in late 2018, price to be determined. Before that we will be taking one last loop around the US before we hang up our keys.

This is a 38-foot double-slide Blue Bird. It is aluminum-skinned, on 1x2 stainless ribs. It has a 400HP Cummins 8.9L ISL with jake brake and Allison World 6-speed transmission. The slides have inflatable air bladder seals.

The first two pictures were taken before we purchased in March of 2013. The next two were on travels later that year, both on the Oregon Coast (Bandon and Winchester Bay). The two in the third row were taken in West Virginia in the fall of 2015, and at the Bonneville Salt Flats enroute to the Eclipse rally in August of 2017.
On the left below is how it looked at purchase, with a table and chairs. On the right the table has been removed, replaced with a desk and office chair. The table has been stored, and will be replaced when we sell the bus.
The dash is not as complicated as on our prior Blue Bird. One addition is the tire pressure monitor at the top left.
The coach came with a 37-inch Plasma monitor, below left. Sounds nice, but very heavy, no receiver, and not full HD. Replaced with a 40-inch Samsung Smart TV, below right.
One of the undersink cabinets was converted to a catbox area for Sam. A couple of remnant doors we picked up a number of years ago from the Safari cabinet shop were cut and joined. Again, the old door was stored for replacement before we sell.
These are a couple of views from the bedroom, looking forward through the bathroom area.
Changes and upgrades will be a forever ongoing thing. The rear-view monitor was mounted flush with the dash, not pointed at the driver, so it was hard to see in bright conditions. I mounted it on a gimble so that it could be pointed directly at the driver. Gimble-mounted rear-view monitor
For better operation of the electronics the orignal Trace modified sine-wave inverter, below left, was replaced with a Xantrex SW3012 3000-watt pure sine-waver inverter, including an auto gen-start module.
Trace inverter Xantrex SW3012 inverter
Digital thermostats The bathroom area has two thermostats, one controlling two electric baseboard heaters and one controlling the Hurricane hydronic heating radiators in the bathroom and toilet areas. The original ones were analog, and were replaced with digital for more precise control.
In 2017 I replaced the Datastorm (internet/TV dish) with a new Winegard TV dish, which is more user-friendly.

There are two antennas mounted vertically just behind the front air conditioner, which protects them somewhat from low-hanging tree limbs. One is a Wilson cellular antenna which is connected to an AT&T Mobley device. The other is an Engenius WiFi access point which can be used to broadcast an internet signal, or more commonly as a client router to receive internet from open access points or RV park WiFi.
Roof antennas
Removing old muffler Most Blue Birds beginning in 1991 have their exhaust through the roof, like a city bus. This has good and bad points, with the bad mainly being the risk of fire. This is higher in an M380 than in other models because the space around the muffler is minimal. We followed other M380 owners in having our muffler replaced with a smaller-diameter stainless-steel Magnaflow unit. This was done at Redlands Truck and RV, in Redlands, CA.
Welding top pipe to muffler Installing new muffler
A short video of the coach with the new muffler. A little louder, but not a lot.
The M380 uses a diesel boiler both for inside radiators and for hot water. This is somewhat of a pain, particularly if we are plugged into AC power, so I installed an 11-gallon electric water heater next to the water tank. Either it or the diesel can be used. Electric water heater
Water tank on platform Unused space in a motorhome is a waste. The water tank sits on a platform, with open space below the platform. Combining a couple of ideas used by other M380 owners I installed a JoBox aluminum tool tray in that space.
50-inch JoBox Drawer after installation
The Green strip in the picture of the water tank, above left, is a sensor for the See Level II system I installed. The display is located below the kitchen pantry, as seen at right, above the front slide control panel. See Level II
New sink fixtures Installed an in-sink soap dispenser, left, and a drinking water dispenser, right. The center tap is an instahot, which was stock in the M380. The drinking water dispenser is connected to a Culligan RC-EZ4 water purification filter below the sink.
In January of 2018 I replaced the pitiful stock headlight bulbs with LEDs. I also figured out how to make the low beams continue to operate when high beams are on. The picture on the right was taken at Quartzsite to show the coverage with all lights on.
LED Headlights LED Headlights
Interior bullet light bulbs were replaced with LEDs also. Much brighter.
LED lights LED lights
An important consideration for any prospective M380 owner is whether the front ball-joint boots have been replaced. Originals will almost certainly be torn, and with no grease fitting it is easy to damage the joints. On ours I have had both upper and lower boots replaced, and zerk fittings added on the bottom.
boots boots
Miscellany: The coach is equipped with an Air Force One braking system. A used car-side Air Force One system will be provided for installation by the next owner. Tires: replaced 1/28/17 Michelin XZA2 Energy. Steers 315/80 dated 4816, Drive tires 295/80 with varying dates in the 3016 range. Batteries: 4D AGM house batteries (3) new in November 2015. Start batteries 1 new in 2014, 1 new in 2015. Gauge added to dash to show both Aux Air and Slide Air pressures.

The M380 sales brochure PDF can be downloaded here. The full owners manual PDF can be downloaded here. Note that both of these are for 2003 single-slide versions - Blue Bird did not produce separate versions for 2004 or the two-slide model.

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