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PseudoSport Dork
7/3/17 10:55 a.m.

Building Challenge and Lemons vehicles has lead to more bad ideas. Our team's most current one is Barth. We wanted an RV for Lemons so we had someplace to hang out and store all our stuff. Turns out Dave's boss was willing to sell his 1989 Barthmobile for $1000. Interior was in rough shape and some engine components had been removed with a sawsall but it still ran. Dave's boss had also installed new tires plus fuel/brake lines. Knowing absolutely nothing about RV's we all chipped in and bought it.

Look how majestic this thing is. How could we say no?

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Interior is definitely the worst part. The couch was in pieces, passenger seat was missing, table and other seats were missing, and it smells exactly how it looks.



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coexist New Reader
7/3/17 11:17 a.m.


PseudoSport Dork
7/3/17 11:30 a.m.

After buying this thing we realized we now have to get it home. I'm not sure when the last time it was on the road but there were a few things that need to be fixed. Step one was remove the smelly carpet.


Next was installing a transmission cooler. The old had been hacked out and the lines spliced together so it could be moved around the yard. We decided to install 2 coolers to give the trans a fighting chance.



Unfortunately in the prior owner's sawsall-a-thon the radiator was nicked and repaired with JB Weld. Its not like we can go down to the parts store and say "excuse me, I'd like one Barth radiator please..." so we we left this for now.


At least the generator still worked and we had power.


Last thing to fix was the headlights. There was a strong chance of something going wrong and we'd be stuck trying to move it in the dark. Fortunately it was only a wire that was pulled out of the fuse box under the dash. Only took us few hours to figure that out

With all that done we were finally ready to move it around but when we put it in gear it didn't want to move. Turns out there is a hydraulic parking drum on the back of the transmission. We though the linkage was frozen but it turns out the shoes were just rusted to the drum. Shifting from forward to reverse freed it up. It still made terrible noised but we were hoping that the drum would clean up one we started driving it. Since it was now dark we decided to wait another day before trying to drive it home

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/3/17 11:31 a.m.

"some engine components had been removed with a sawsall"

Only on the GRM forum

pres589 PowerDork
7/3/17 11:51 a.m.

Kid sitting on the driver's seat is wearing an expression that really seems to say a lot about this whole Barth thing.

PseudoSport Dork
7/3/17 12:14 p.m.

In reply to pres589:

lol, I'm not even sure who's children those are or why they were even in Barth.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/3/17 12:19 p.m.

Did you shoo them out or were they part of the package?

PseudoSport Dork
7/3/17 12:50 p.m.

Getting read to head out. Dave cleaned the windshield and added a few gallons of gas. The fuel gauge stopped working and but it currently ran and we were not going too far. I'm sure we'd make it back no problem.


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So this is what the side of Rt-495 looks like...



Things were going well till we ran out of fuel. Dave felt it loose power as he merged onto the highway. Of course we didn't even bring an empty fuel jug so we had to go buy one then find a gas station.


Bath didn't fire back up right away so we had to pour a little fuel down the carb. That's always a little nerve-racking but even more so when you are sitting indoors in the middle of your livingroom. Luckily we didn't have any backfires out the carb and we got it going again. We quickly found a Barth size gas station and added more then 5 gallon this time.


It was now getting dark but we made it the rest of the way without any more drama.


RevRico SuperDork
7/3/17 12:55 p.m.

This actually looks cleaner and like it smells better than a lot of houses, trailers, and apartments I've been in.

I've never even heard of Barth before, but it looks like a great little time capsule/race hangout mobile. This should be a fun one to watch.

PseudoSport Dork
7/3/17 12:59 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Did you shoo them out or were they part of the package?

We shooed them out then checked all the storage bins to make sure we didn't miss any.


Looking back we could have used the child labor to help push Barth off the side of the highway.

pres589 PowerDork
7/3/17 1:10 p.m.

Where is the drivetrain from? Is it based on some commercial chassis from an OEM or built by Barth themselves?

PseudoSport Dork
7/3/17 1:14 p.m.

In reply to pres589:

Drivetrain is a Ford 460 and C6 transmission. Frame is made by John Deere. Our's is a Barthmobile Regal. There were a few different combinations that could have had a rear engine or a diesel.

Woody MegaDork
7/3/17 1:34 p.m.

That's not far enough over the top for use as a LeMons Lounge. Clearly it's going to need one of those free pianos that I'm always seeing on Craigslist.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
7/3/17 1:34 p.m.

Barth was founded by Bob Barth who started building all-aluminum travel trailers in 1963. Barth built motorhomes from 1973 to 1998. Barth also built some Class-C motorhomes and travel trailers.

Turns out there's a website devoted to these things: http://www.barthmobile.com/

conesare2seconds Dork
7/3/17 1:50 p.m.

I wholly support this bad idea.

ebonyandivory UberDork
7/3/17 7:40 p.m.

Where do you keep that thing? Not in your driveway, surely.

einy Reader
7/3/17 8:37 p.m.

With a rig like that, you gotta show up at the next event all dressed like Cousin Eddie !! I wonder how hard it is to find white patent leather racing shoes these days ??

B13Birk New Reader
7/3/17 8:44 p.m.

I love the look of this thing. I always have soft spot for RVs like this but the only RV we ever had was a nightmare. Im looking forward to watching this get finished.

ClemSparks PowerDork
7/3/17 9:09 p.m.
PseudoSport wrote: received_10210017666826632 Bath didn't fire back up right away so we had to pour a little fuel down the carb. That's always a little nerve-racking but even more so when you are sitting indoors in the middle of your livingroom. Luckily we didn't have any backfires out the carb and we got it going again. We quickly found a Barth size gas station and added more then 5 gallon this time. 2017-07-03_11-11-01

"I told you we should have put more than five buck's worth in it!"

Raze UltraDork
7/3/17 9:23 p.m.

Instead of ABarth... I'd like to recommend EhBarth

lrrs Reader
7/4/17 8:12 a.m.
PseudoSport wrote: received_10209976736683404

Two things.

First, the orientation of your transmission coolers. It was my understanding that these coolers should be mounted horizontally so air does not get trapped in the tubes peaks. I know that the one on my Class B RV is mounted in the same fashion as yours. Someday I'll get around to rotating it 90 degrees. I do have an issue of slow engagement of the trans just after starting the engine. I assume it's compressing all the air that's trapped in the Peaks. Once up to preasure there is no slippage.

Second, I hope this thing is going to be at nhms in October for the lemons. I'd love to see it there, hopefully it's there and I make it there to spectate. I also wish they would do a Concours d'lemons at nhms so I could bring my vintage 85 Xplorer Class B RV. I'd be honored the park it next to your rig. That thing rocks.

PseudoSport Dork
7/5/17 8:34 a.m.

In reply to lrrs:

Hmm, didn't think about that. We haven't noticed any issues with the transmission engaging yet. We normally have to wait a few seconds for the hydraulic parking brake to build pressure and release which probably gives the trans enough time to build pressure too. When we pull the radiator to patch that we'll look into remounting the coolers.

Plan is to have it at the Thompson race in Aug and NHMS in Oct. We've actually had it at 2 races so far but I'm about a year behind in updates so far. I'll post more below.

In reply to ebonyandivory:

Fortunately its parked in NH at Dave's house. I feel bad enough as it is my neighbors have to stare at all my other crap.

mndsm MegaDork
7/5/17 8:36 a.m.
coexist wrote: Obviously:

This feels more like a b-barth.

ultraclyde UberDork
7/5/17 8:40 a.m.

that thing's pretty cool. Never heard of Barth before but it looks like it was a sweet rig in its day.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
7/5/17 8:57 a.m.

If the Golden Girls were going on a road trip, they would have taken the Barth. Bea Arthur drove military trucks in WWII and would have piloted this beast to oblivion! It screams 1980's Florida Retirement Community, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Seriously though, it's like someone gave a 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz a Super Mario Bros mushroom.

Also, I can't wait to start my minibike off of Barth with the electric start!

Also, you missed one of my favorite parts of Barth: the fact that it was "designed" by some lady named Donna. Any time something goes wrong, just say "thanks a lot, Donna!"

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