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May 13, 2012 / birchaven

Cascaders Mayfest rally in Leavenworth.

Spring rally in Leavenworth is hard to beat, we went hiking, brought our bicycles and talked fuel injection, how could it get any better? oh yeah I forgot there was beer.

May 1, 2012 / birchaven

More photos

Please feel free to browse through these photos from the GMC western states rally at Casa De Fruta!

April 27, 2012 / birchaven

Alex Birch photo series

Alex Birch photo series

April 27, 2012 / birchaven

The Trip

Report given to GMC after Alex and Bea made the 7000 mile trek across the country in coach #5 off the line.

April 27, 2012 / birchaven

Warm Welcome

Yesterdays talk about Grandpa Alex was welcomed and somehow everything felt whole in the universe talking about the GMC and our family.

April 12, 2012 / birchaven

Getting ready for GMC Western States rally

Hopefully pops will feel up to the drive, Jerry Birch (my Dad) is recovering from cancer treatment, but would make a welcome addition to my talk about Grandpa Alex. Either way I’ll be making the thousand mile trek to Hollister in a couple of weeks to attend the GMC Western States rally, the largest rally I’ve been to to date! I hope it’s warm, should be a great time down South. I should have some entertaining stories and photos of growing up with a coach builder.

January 30, 2012 / birchaven

Bob and the screen door.

I was reading through my E-mails and ran across one from Bob Burkitt who is continuing and improving the screen door business started by grandfather Alex.  It was a great and heartfelt note that brought a tear to my eye.  We were discussing how to remove the hinge pins from a GMC door in order to install the screen door.  I’ve blasted them with PB blaster,  and tried a sledge but began mushrooming the end and stopped.  Bob’s method is much more surgical using an air chisel and forcing the pin out, I’m going to try that soon.

He also sent me this photo of Al installing a door.

if you look past him you can see that crappy yellow foam insulation that was sprayed on the door,  it’s the stuff I removed and replaced with dynamat that made a huge difference!  the road noise is greatly reduced.

Thank you Bob for sharing your memories.



January 23, 2012 / birchaven

GMC centennial

Jonathan Ward from ICON passed me a link this morning.




January 22, 2012 / birchaven

We made it….

After our harrowing travels through snowmageddon on I5 south from Bellingham the coach is finally thawed out.  The Firestone MT tires made a huge difference.  Weight on the front wheels forced traction so we were able to travel at 45mph on compact snow and ice comfortably.  Chains got us up to Baker,  but the snow tires got us home. I don’t think I’ll be making that trip again soon,  but Crystal mountain would be kinda fun…..

PS You’ll notice the coach parked behind our office,  we have a 180 degree view of the strait of Juan de Fuca and Victoria BC,  if you have a GMC you’re welcome to come stay awhile,  we have power and water.

January 13, 2012 / birchaven


  If the GMC motorhome is anything it is a good platform,  meaning at the core it is a good place to start building.  “A good platform”  is what the GMC shares with the Toyota FJ40,  and no one understands this more than Jonathan Ward  at ICON.  He has transformed the classic Toyota 4×4 into a modern balanced efficient tool.    Stainless fasteners,  mechanical access,  use of materials with careful planning and thought blended into a vehicle most worthy of hydrocarbons.     They are so beautiful fuel may just fall from the sky so it has the privilege of being burned in this machine.    Thought is everywhere,  small details that would go unnoticed make car guys like me cry. It is also what I want to do with the GMC,  massage it into something thought about…….

Thank you for your time and inspiration Mr Ward even if a little ICON rubs off into this project I will consider it blessed.

Check out ICON motors at