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Mepps

New to Toyota motorhomes Have some noob questions

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Hi all, My son just bought a Chinook and I'm helping him spruce it up a bit. manufacture date on the truck is 12/78 camper is 1/79. vehicle is titled as a 79.

My most pressing question is wheel/ tire size. Fronts are 14 inch rims with 205/75 on them and they seem okay. Rears need replacing, we have two 15 inch rims and one 14 inch rim between what is currently on the rear and the spare. The door tag gives the specs of what came on it, said 7.5 by 14 tires all the way around(what size does this translate to in the xxx/xx/R14 format, J14 x 5J rims on the front and J14 x 5T rims on the back. I don't know what the rim designation (5J vs 5T) means, but it looks like the rims for the rear would not clear the drums if not correct.

What do you guys think about tire size, gas mileage and power wise. If we use the 15 inch rims, what size tires should we mount on them?

Also what about the generations of body,engine and camper shell for scrounging parts at junkyards, I found a 76 at the junkyard with the same camper and have seen alot of trucks with the 20R motor. What year trucks have the same vehicle body, same camper shell, and same engine?

BTW this is a "gazelle" model camper, I have seen different ones in the same era. a 78 at the junkyard that was labelled "newport" and it was an entirely different camper.

That's all for now, will have many questions later I am sure. The tire issue is the most pressing.

Thanks,

and I would like to add, This is a cool sight and these are really cool vehicles. I have been into old Subarus for years, and really apreciate another group of folks who keep the oldies but goodies rolling down the road.

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Sounds like one of your biggest issues is a 1/2 ton rear. The tires are 185X14 load range "D" as standard. If you have to use a size I would say you are best off with the 14's the spedo will be accurate and your overall final drive will be what it was intended to be.

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Hi!

I, too, like the oldies but goodies. My daily driver is a 86 Toyota Camry, in near perfect condition with 104k mi. I never drive it in snow. It was my Mom's car and she was so proud of it. They are very reliable and get great gas mileage, just like our ToyRVs. It is too bad that they quit making the Toyota motorhomes. There is no equal.

Good luck with your project! :ThumbUp:

Tudy

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Hey Mepps, welcome and have fun with the project.

Your sighting of a Chinook Newport at a junkyard caught my eye. Where is it?! I'm remodeling one and need some door hardware.

Keep the questions coming, this place is a great resource. Listen to Maineah, he knows his stuff!

Kevin

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Okay thanks for the replies,

now I am wondering about the heater. Guy who sold it to him said the heater works, but runs off a separate battery, pretty cool I have always wanted to set up a second battery for lights on one of my Subarus, maybe i'll model it after this thing. So how's it work? I looked under the hood, the auxilary battery had the neg cable disconnected, I dunno if that was an error, or if you don't want it charging for everyday driving, perhaps only before an actual camping trip (my son is actually planning to live out of this thing, so hows that play into it?) Also the propane. In all honesty, I have never filled a propane tank in my life, what's involved, where do you get it, what does it cost. does anybody have a factory service manual they could scan pages from? How long does the heat last battery charge and propane.

He wants to take the sink out, finding more sensible to just keep a jug of water. what about the fridge. what is more econamical, running the fridge on propane, or removing the fridge for space and keeping a cooler with ice? All opinions are welcome.

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Another quick question, I was told this chinook is based on a 1/2 ton chasis, we also looked at an odyssy (sp?), of the same era and was told it was based on the 1 ton chasis, is this all correct?

Also today a tire guy told us of a dolphin rim that was one rim, two tires!(for use on the one ton chasis) anyone running those? got a pic of that rim?

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Another quick question, I was told this chinook is based on a 1/2 ton chasis, we also looked at an odyssy (sp?), of the same era and was told it was based on the 1 ton chasis, is this all correct?

Also today a tire guy told us of a dolphin rim that was one rim, two tires!(for use on the one ton chasis) anyone running those? got a pic of that rim?

Well they had a welded rim that was dual rear tire set up it was an attempt to make up for the lack of load carrying ability of the 1/2 ton rear it may have been worse then one tire. They were fitted to the 5 bolt rears not a true full floating 1 ton rear. Sorry can't help you with the frame maybe one of the other guys knows I thought they all were based on the 1 ton frame work.

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Okay thanks for the replies,

now I am wondering about the heater. Guy who sold it to him said the heater works, but runs off a separate battery, pretty cool I have always wanted to set up a second battery for lights on one of my Subarus, maybe i'll model it after this thing. So how's it work? I looked under the hood, the auxilary battery had the neg cable disconnected, I dunno if that was an error, or if you don't want it charging for everyday driving, perhaps only before an actual camping trip (my son is actually planning to live out of this thing, so hows that play into it?) Also the propane. In all honesty, I have never filled a propane tank in my life, what's involved, where do you get it, what does it cost. does anybody have a factory service manual they could scan pages from? How long does the heat last battery charge and propane.

He wants to take the sink out, finding more sensible to just keep a jug of water. what about the fridge. what is more econamical, running the fridge on propane, or removing the fridge for space and keeping a cooler with ice? All opinions are welcome.

The heaters use a fair amount of battery so if it's really cold it's going to need a recharge pretty quick. Most of the campers had two batteries and they should recharge from the truck engine or 120 volt (running the heater when it's plugged in is no problem). There are a few different propane setups so maybe if you stopped by a campground that sells propane they could help you. I would say hands down the propane fridge is the winner over ice they use very little gas.

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The heaters use a fair amount of battery so if it's really cold it's going to need a recharge pretty quick. Most of the campers had two batteries and they should recharge from the truck engine or 120 volt (running the heater when it's plugged in is no problem). There are a few different propane setups so maybe if you stopped by a campground that sells propane they could help you. I would say hands down the propane fridge is the winner over ice they use very little gas.

So what about the auxilary battery on the drivers side front of the engine bay? Should that be hooked up always? like I said, the negative terminal is disconnected. Then there is the power pack behind the drivers seat in the camper, can anyone explain how this works?

Does anyone have anyone have an electrical diagram for the chinook?

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So what about the auxilary battery on the drivers side front of the engine bay? Should that be hooked up always? like I said, the negative terminal is disconnected. Then there is the power pack behind the drivers seat in the camper, can anyone explain how this works?

Does anyone have anyone have an electrical diagram for the chinook?

Mepps, I may not be able to answer your questions completely, but I will say, an auxilary battery needs to have the ground connected to work and to be charged. You'll have to figure out if it's wired correctly and whether that battery is good or not. Test it and review posts on battery conditions on this site. Make sure it's an appropriate battery ( i.e. deep cycle) It should have been charging off the alternator, but with the negative (ground) connection off, I don't think it has.. How long has it been disconnected (on the ground side?) You have a lot of questions about 12 Volt, propane issues that might be answered by checking out past posts on this site. Photos almost always help the folks on this site give you better direction on resolving issues. As far as the "power pack", you have to figure out what that is. Is it an inverter? If so, they suck a lot of juice from the auxilary battery. This whole 12 volt process is a matter of input and output. One auxilary battery can only supply a certain amount of power before it's exhausted. Lights, water pumps, heaters all suck juice from that battery, you or your son will need to learn how to calculate your amp usage and balance that with your battery capacity. You need to replace that energy somehow whether it's by driving and charging off the alternator, solar or a generator. Batteries need specific charging requirements. Photos would certainly help.

Good luck and keep the questions coming. I have found this site a great resource for problem solving.

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