This is an original 1990 Gardner-Pacific Aero Cruiser, it was one of the more advanced motorhomes back in the 1980s and 1990s, with a fiberglass body resulting in a low weight of ~7,900 lbs, and it was powered by a simple to maintain Chrysler 360 V8.

Just 350 examples of the Aero Cruiser were made between 1988 and 1992, they’ve largely avoided the rust issues suffered by many of their peers due to their fiberglass shells, and as vanlife becomes ever more popular these retro homes-on-wheels are becoming quite desirable.

Fast Facts – The Gardner-Pacific Aero Cruiser

  • The Gardner-Pacific Company is perhaps best remembered for two vehicles, the Aero Cruiser and the Toyota-based Sunrader motorhomes they produced in relatively large numbers.
  • The Aero Cruiser entered production in 1988, it was built on a steel chassis with a steel body frame clothed in a lightweight fiberglass body.
  • Both 23 and 29 ft versions of the Aero Cruiser were offered, typically powered by a Chrysler 360 cubic inch V8 sending power to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission.
  • The Gardner-Pacific Aero Cruiser you see here is a 1990 model that has air conditioning, self leveling jacks, and the desirable Gear Vendors overdrive unit for better highway mileage. It’s being offered for sale out of Lake Mead Rancheros, Arizona on Bring a Trailer.

Gardner-Pacific Motorhomes

Gardner-Pacific first made a name for themselves building the Sunrader, a 21 ft motorhome mounted on a Toyota one-ton truck chassis. Thanks to their reliability and low running costs some have called the Sunrader the best RV ever made.

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Image DescriptionThis 1990 Gardner-Pacific Aero Cruiser benefits from a recent refurbishment including a beautifully styled interior.

The company’s next offering would be the slightly larger 23 ft Aero Cruiser, followed by the similar 29 ft model that offered a little more room at the expensive of more weight.

The Aero Cruiser was originally called the Amera Cruiser however Greyhound had already copyrighted this name, and as a result only the first few made carried Amera Cruiser badging before the name changed over to Aero Cruiser.

The company would eventually succumb to bankruptcy in 1992 but not before they had built approximately 350 examples of the Aero Cruiser, and a few hundred of the earlier Sunrader.

The Gardner-Pacific Aero Cruiser

Weight and size are the two biggest drawbacks for many RVs and the engineers at Gardner-Pacific sought to minimize them as much as possible. As many other companies were building ever larger and heavier motorhomes Gardner-Pacific went in the opposite direction.

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Image DescriptionThe motorhome has a bathroom with a hot water shower, as well as a fully equipped kitchenette and air conditioning.

Both the 23 and 29 ft Aero Cruiser has a steel ladder type chassis and a steel body frame for strength, the entire body and roof are made from moulded fiberglass which both saved weight and eliminated any chance of body rust.

Although some diesels were made almost all Aero Cruisers had Chrysler 360 cubic inch V8s mated to 3-speed automatic transmissions, which could be optioned with an overdrive unit to notably help with highway mileage.

A number of different internal layouts were available including Rear Bath, Rear Bed, and Twin Bed options. Inside you would find all the amenities you’d expect from a modern motorhome including a full kitchenette, a bathroom and shower, wardrobes, cupboards, a bedroom, and a forward livingroom area.

Both the front seats could swivel which allowed them to become additional livingroom chairs when the motorhome was parked up for the evening.

A slew of options were available from the factory including air conditioning, a gasoline generator, self-leveling jacks, a towing package, an overdrive unit, a color TV and VCR, a side awning, cruise control, side docking lights, and an AM/FM stereo/cassette radio with 4 speakers.

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Image DescriptionThe two captain’s chairs up front can be swiveled back 180º to become additional living room chairs when the vehicle is parked up for the evening.

A significant number of the 350 Aero Cruisers have survived to the modern day thanks to their fiberglass construction and the thriving owner’s group that arranges meet ups, and offers help with repairs and parts sourcing as well as model specific information.

The 1990 Gardner-Pacific Aero Cruiser Shown Here

The Aero Cruiser you see here benefits from a recent refurbishment which included a new air conditioning unit, a refurbished interior, and a range of other updates and repairs to being the vehicle back up to road-trip-ready specification.

This vehicle has its original Chrysler V8 fitted as well as the 3-speed automatic transmission and the Gear Vendors overdrive unit, which will be appreciated by anyone considering prolonged highway cruising.

It’s currently being offered for sale out of Lake Mead Rancheros in Arizona on Bring a Trailer and you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Published by Ben Branch -