Royale - GMCMI


Coachmen, Jimmy Motor | A GMC Transmode Motorhome Upfitter

>> The GMC Royale and GMC Birchaven

Jimmy Motor Homes, a division of Coachmen Industries, Inc. produced and introduced the GMC Royale (26 foot) and the Birchaven (23 foot) in 1976. While the GMCs (1973 and 1974 only) offered the four models in both 23 foot and 26 foot using the same model names for both lengths, 1975 to 1978 23 footers were only made as TransModes and none were upfitted by GMC, but by other companies.

While the exterior is the familiar silhouette of the GMC motorhome that we have grown to love, the interior is not as familiar. The Royale and Birchaven were distinct in styling and beautifully engineered.

Both offered side and rear bath models which were lavishly appointed with spacious fully-equipped interiors. They featured rich solid wood cabinetry, cedar lined closet with light, separate tub/shower, (Birchaven had side wet bath) and beautiful window treatments. The kitchen included double stainless steel sink and optional microwave and food blender.

The GMC Motorhomes front wheel drive, air suspension, tandem rear wheels and cruise control provide a quiet, smooth and responsive ride. The exteriors of these motorhomes, from 1976 to 1978, ranged from white, gold and then tan. Exterior colors were coordinated with the interior to Coachmen’s specs.

Regarding pricing, the Royale and Birchaven model retail prices were somewhat higher than the equivalent models of the Palm Beach, Eleganza II and Kingsley. Due to their interiors they also weighed more than equivalent models.

No doubt there have been changes made to these original coaches, as has happened with many GMC motorhomes over the years. But the beauty of the solid wood and the creative interiors will be long remembered in the GMC community.

1976 Royale Brochure (Source: Bill Bryant)

1976 Royale Brochure (Source: Bill Bryant)

1977 Royale Brochure (Source: Bill Bryant)

1978 Royale Brochure (Source: Keith & Kim Weeks)

 >> Please Help Us!

GMCMI along with GMC Motorhome Historian Bill Bryant are working on compiling additional information on the Transmodes. If you currently or previously owned a Transmode and have documentation and/or photos, we ask that you please do share them with the GMC Community. Please contact us at or 612-501-4600. Thank you.