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MontanaChinook

Toyota Advanced Member
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About MontanaChinook

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    On The Road

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    Tacoma pulling a 17' Bigfoot Trailer

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  1. 1976 chinook gaucho- does any one have the interior cushion dimensions ? mine are missing and I'd like to make some. thanks!

  2. Yeah maybe I will post some updates over here. I'm with Linda on that one: it's a fiberglass camper, powered by a Toyota, so it qualifies! New axle with new brakes/bearings/leaf springs goes on next week. This will also give it a 4" lift. New battery yesterday. When the weather is right, I'll be resealing all roof vents and installing the fantastic fan. Then I'll try to just use it for awhile before I throw anymore money at it.
  3. Boy this is a buggy new platform for this forum... Yes, I kept the solar.
  4. I know! Scary. Once I realized this is going to be a slightly longer-term thing, that stuff started to sound nice. Won't get used much, but when I need it, it will be so nice to have it. Now I just need to keep reminding myself: Everything works in this camper. Nothing needs to be done. Because it's so tempting...replace the roof vent with a fantastic fan/vent (already ordered)...new power center...already ordered a new axle with new brakes, springs and hubs...Surprisingly cheap compared to a motorhome axle! The Chinook had it's problems, but all the appliances were brand new, and I had added everything I want to it. On some level I'm starting over, but starting over on a much more luxury platform. And this one doesn't need to be gutted
  5. Thanks. Yeah I'll fill it up fast. But I've been working pretty hard on getting rid of things lately. I can actually fit everything I own in the back of my truck. The upper bunk is nice, but I'll probably never use it. Who knows. But yeah, not having to make the bed up every day would be cool. Now I have to learn all the systems...I never had a hot water heater, bathroom, water pump and all that before.
  6. You mean in the photo of just the truck? The nearest town is about 50 miles, I think and it's Lima, but 35 of that is dirt road and takes about an hour in a regular vehicle. Closer to two hours in a camper. Nearest true town with a grocery store is Dillon and it's 2 hours by fast car. I'm back out of there, though. Only a couple people in the whole valley stick around for the winter... 6,700ft at the valley bottom.
  7. Well I figured I'd come back for the final installation of the series. Was looking VERY closely at Casitas and Scamps, and had pretty much decided on getting a 17' Casita, or if the right one came up close enough, a 16' Scamp. But then I started really looking close...Once I have a real home and just use a camper for camping, that's what I want. But for the next couple years, I'll be living in it for 6 months or so at a time. So the space in a Bigfoot started to seem really, really nice. And so there you go...
  8. I post because I feel I have relevant information which would help the person who started the thread. I'm sure we all remember him. Dealing with you is not fun, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to post if I feel I can be of some help to the person with the actual question.
  9. Marlin L52HD was specifically designed to address a problem caused by using 5th gear. A problem which would be amplified by the heavy weight of an RV. Most people buying them have 22R engines. Last I knew, lugging wasn't something that went away with a weaker engine. If anything, the weaker the engine, with an improperly geared transmission, the more lugging you'll get. I'm sure that after digging through all this worthless trivia, he'll find the info he needs...
  10. Well maybe we're just getting into useless trivia here but I guess depending on what transmission you find, it might matter... The "L-series" 5 speed transmissions (L52) had a weak 5th gear. If they had a "common" issue, it was with 5th gear. Something with how it was geared and the size of the input shaft bearing or something...it's stuff that's beginning to fade from memory now that it doesn't matter anymore. But basically if you were to shift into 5th at 55mph and drive there for hours, you were essentially lugging the engine, putting stress on the input shaft bearing. However it was geared, it shouldn't be shifted to 5th until a higher speed. Which is why Marlin Crawler came out with the L52HD, or heavy duty. I would think this would get magnified in a motorhome with all that extra weight and bulk. So...maybe avoid the L series 5 speeds.
  11. Well sometimes a "direct swap" isn't 100% a direct swap. Any transmission bolted to an "R-series" engine (20R, 22R/E) will bolt right up to any other R-series engine. But sometimes the driveshaft length will need to be modified, and often the shifter hole in the floor of the truck will need to be modified. My 78 Chinook had a 5-speed swapped in before I bought it. I'd post the picture but am not on my computer right now. But when I pulled up the old carpet in the cab, I found the old shifter hole had been covered with an old license plate, and they had cut and peeled back the floor metal to allow the new shifter to come through. I guess that extra gear added some length to transmission (another reason it's common to have to shorten the driveshaft, also). But if you found the right person to do the work, it'd still be cheaper than a rebuild. Assuming the used transmission is in decent shape...
  12. I guess it does depend on what your mechanic means by the "shifter". There's really nothing that can go wrong with the shifter itself...It's just a long piece of metal. The linkages where it connects into the transmission could be damaged. It'll be tough to find something for such an old truck. My personal opinion is to ask your mechanic what specifically he thinks is wrong. "Shifter" doesn't seem right to me. Like I said, it's just a metal stick, going from the cab down to the transmission. I would personally not go with Marlin Crawler, unless you live in southern California. They do put out very good products, but I kind of doubt they even work on trannys as old as yours, and they are expensive. I bought a transmission from them and it was during a time that for whatever reason they put out a cluster of bad transmissions. I had one, and didn't really like how they dealt with the issue. On top of that, you're ordering a transmission from across the country. So if there's something wrong with it, you find out by installing it (no small job), driving around, realizing something isn't right, pulling the transmission again, shipping it across the country, then they look at, either fix it or tell you you're making things up, and ship it back. Meanwhile you're without a camper for easily over a month, and the whole process of getting it "right", from start to finish, could be a year. In the winter, no big deal, I guess. But still. Granted this is worst case scenario, but it happens. I know. I would find, IF it turns out you need a rebuilt transmission, a local shop with good reviews to do the work. They can do the installation, and if there's an issue, they're right there in town. Another route is to find a later model 5-speed transmission, used, and swap it into your truck. You aren't going to have an easy time finding parts for a 76.
  13. Unless your friend's Chinook is the "full size" version like mine, it would not be the same set up, so you can't really compare the two. If you look really close in the upper right hand corner, you can see how the exhaust was routed. It goes right across the opening between the upper and lower bump stops, which is where the airbags install. The fiberglass body of the Chinook stuck down where the exhaust would normally be routed, pushing the exhaust another couple inches out towards the outside edge of the camper, way too close to fit an airbag. Someone doing this work at home could re-route the exhaust and maybe have it come out from under the camper in front of the rear tire, and that would take care of it. But the shop was working with what I presented them with. Anyway, it's not important to the install of your airbags. Good luck!
  14. Those are my thoughts on it. For $30, once every...I don't know...5 years or something if not longer, I'm happy to just use Toyota Red and forget about the whole debate. I can see people being more concerned about engine oil and stuff you change regularly. But I'm cool with skipping the whole argument and just using the Toyota stuff. It is pretty crazy how much they charge for it, though...
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