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2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380

Our 4th RV is a 38-foot double-slide Blue Bird. We liken it to our Safari Zanzibar, only built right. Like the Zanzibar it is aluminum-skinned, but in this case the rib cage is tubular steel instead of lightweight aluminum. 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 pictures include some before purchase in March, 2013, and various changes we've made since.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
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.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380 living area front to back
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
The dash is not as complicated as on our prior Blue Bird. One addition is the tire pressure monitor at the top left.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380 dash area
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
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 light-weight 39-inch LCD, below right.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
Similarly the heavy CRT in the bedroom was replaced with a 24-inch LCD, below right.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
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. In the case of this and the replacement of the kitchen table everything was kept intact to be restored for any eventual owner.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
These are a couple of views from the bedroom, looking forward through the bathroom area.
2004 Blue Bird Wanderlodge M380
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
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
Trace inverter
Xantrex SW3012 inverter
Xantrex SW3012 inverter
Digital thermostats
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.
Roof antennas I mounted include a Datastorm G74 which is not currently being used for internet, but has DirecTV HD LNBs on an offset mount.

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 a Verizon USB modem in a Cradlepoint router. 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
Roof antennas
Removing old muffler
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
Welding top pipe to muffler
Installing new 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
Electric water heater
Water tank on platform
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
50-inch JoBox
Drawer after installation
Drawer after installation
New sink fixtures
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.

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