Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Rebel_way

Toyota Chinook. Buying My First Camper. Need Help.

Recommended Posts

So yes. Im thinking to buy my first Toyota camper and I want a Chinook.

I found one not far from me, didnt go down to take look at it yet. Owner has replaced 20r engine with 22re. Saying that it will have more power now. I wonder how much more power will it have and what is the MPG going to be.

Also what I should be looking at when I will be checking it out? Special rust spots,leaks, cracks?? This will be my First camper and oldest car I have ever driven.

Owner told me it is rust free and it is 1983 And I thought that last one was produced in 1978 or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you buy it, you must realize that even with the 6 cylinder engine, they are slow and underpowered by todays standards.

You also need to check it to see if it has a 5 or 6 lug rear axle. If it has 5 lugs, it need to have the rear axle replaced because the 5 lug axles are not safe with the loads that are put on the backs of that 1/2 ton truck.

I have an '88 Escaper that weights in at about 5800 pounds. It has a 22Re with automatic tranny, I average 14 mpg while driving 55 mph. If the seller tells you that he is getting 20 mpg, he just lied to you.

I have never run out of power on hills but I have topped many hills in first gear with the engine spinning at 4500 rpm's. The first modification I did to my RV was to add a tachometer. I was also the best mod that I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bob this is a Chinook. Doesn't need a full floater and can in fact get 20mpg. Pop top, tiny, and very light for a camper

Linda S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that is one that I have never seen. Most of the Toyhouses we see in WI were stick built (or aluminum frame) from Indiana. Sorry for the misinformation on my part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the stock 78 20r was rated 96 hp as I remember . your saying 22re that is efi I whould think more likely the 22r which is a carb type not shure the rated power I think is around 105 hp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before you buy it, you must realize that even with the 6 cylinder engine, they are slow and underpowered by todays standards.

You also need to check it to see if it has a 5 or 6 lug rear axle. If it has 5 lugs, it need to have the rear axle replaced because the 5 lug axles are not safe with the loads that are put on the backs of that 1/2 ton truck.

Chinook zips right along with a 2.2 much better then any 20-21 foot, high-roof Toyota RV with a 2.4 or 3 liter engine. Night-and-day difference in power-to weight (or wind-resistance) ratio.

As to the FF rear axles versus the semi-floating 5 lug rears? Even on the big 20-21 footers, the 5 lug axles have worked fine in Europe and Australia up into the 2000s.. It's just here in the USA (and maybe Canada) where a big deal was made out of it and the BS flew. It appears the failures had little to nothing to do with the weight-bearing integrity of the rear axles. The problems were from uneven stress on the rear-axles from dual-wheel add-on kits that did NOT center the dual wheels and spread the load-stress evenly. Also, since semi-floaters have bearings that cannot be lubed and must be replaced now and then. A worn out bearing can cause the loss of an axle and have it leave the vehicle with the wheel - just like the older Ford F100s and F150s used to do.

Neat thing about the Chinook is how light and simple it is. In fact, when driving, the steering feels just as easy as the power-assit in my 1988 Minicruiser.

As to gas mileage? Mine gets around 17-18 MPG on highway drives @ 55-60 MPH. Load it with a lot of weight and it gets 14 MPG. That with a 2.2 engine. L42 manual 4 speed trans., and a 4.10 or 4.11 to 1 rear (I forget which). The rears change from 4.10 to 4.11 but I don't remember when.

My big Ford truck is broken right now with a bad trans. So yesterday, I loaded my 1978 Chinook with a lot of weight. Almost up the ceiling with heavy parts including two Toyota transmissions, three doors, a rear axle center section, and much more. I drove it 80 miles at 55-60 MPH. Power was fine. In fact I could of done 75 MPH easily. All flat northern Michigan roads. I got 14.2 MPG (with the top down of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what a Chinook looks like with a full-floater dually and 6 lug wheels front and back. It's the ugly orange one on the left in the photo of three of my Toyota RVs. Not that it needs the FF rear.. Chinook (1975 and newer) is also factory rated for trailer towing, whereas none of the 20-21 footers are.

post-6578-0-74482500-1436445525_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-04445500-1436445639_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-64738000-1436445640_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So yes. Im thinking to buy my first Toyota camper and I want a Chinook.

I found one not far from me, didnt go down to take look at it yet. Owner has replaced 20r engine with 22re. Saying that it will have more power now. I wonder how much more power will it have and what is the MPG going to be.

Also what I should be looking at when I will be checking it out? Special rust spots,leaks, cracks?? This will be my First camper and oldest car I have ever driven.

Owner told me it is rust free and it is 1983 And I thought that last one was produced in 1978 or so.

Chinook did not make them in 1983. 1979 was their last year and the 79 was a very stripped down version. If it's a genuine Chinook RV coach - check closely for floor rot and slump, and also roof sag.

The floor is unique and made from a sort of honeycombed carboard glued to 3/8" plywood. At the perimeter of the sides there is weight bearing down on it from roof and wall supports and there is nothing under the floor to support it. So once a little rot gets in, it slumps something awful.

The roofs on Chinooks are known to sag in the middle pretty bad. In fact, some owners put props inside to support the roofs when in storage. Take a close look at it. Or just take a garden hose and spray some water on top. If it all runs off, the roof is fine. If it forms a pond up there, it is slumped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you good people for the answers! The chinook I was checking out was a complete pile of junk that was actually taken apart when I arrived to check it out. Owner was saying he was about to make a 4x4 coversion? but the part what he had for conversion were a complete junk as well. shell was bad on the top and I dont even talking about inside where I hade to strip everything out and install all new and even fix the shell.

Edited by Rebel_way

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been on many wild goose chases looking at trucks and RVs that were not anything like described on the phone or by email.

This Chinook was supposed to be in "good shape" but just had been sitting a few years. Seller was asking $1000 for it. I wound up buying it for $275 and stripping the parts from it.

post-6578-0-42016500-1436631304_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-57367000-1436631305_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard that the 20R engine is actually more powerful than the 22re?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming you mean HP, that's incorrect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_R_engine

Thanks for that link. I did not know that the pre-1985 22R-E is quite a different animal than the later 22R-E.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been on many wild goose chases looking at trucks and RVs that were not anything like described on the phone or by email.

This Chinook was supposed to be in "good shape" but just had been sitting a few years. Seller was asking $1000 for it. I wound up buying it for $275 and stripping the parts from it.

Ya Baby! I need some parts for a 1976 Chinook I just traded for. If you still have parts you don't need, I need the cover for the propane tank cubby, the rear door latch (if it works and you have key), also the metal thing in the floor to put the table into (mine's broken). May need other things if you want to make a deal and help me out? I will try and get pictures up soon.

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The words "ya baby" are just something the forum kicks out as a weird kind of status designation for how often a person has posted. Its not member's screen name. I have no idea who creates this type of name game award stuff in various forums but you see it all over the internet. As in this case most often they are pretty dumb sounding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I don't like it but can't change it. If you want to find some parts you can send a direct message to the person who posted it by clicking on his screen name to the left

Linda S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need the cover for the propane tank cubby, the rear door latch (if it works and you have key), also the metal thing in the floor to put the table into (mine's broken). May need other things if you want to make a deal and help me out? I will try and get pictures up soon.

Nick

The flush-mount plug-in that goes on the floor for the table is generic and you can buy new for $7-$10.

I might have an extra tank-compartment door. I'll have to look next trip over to where my parts are. I'm not making any special trip over there since most people who ask me for parts never follow though.

No good on the Keeler door lock. I have two and won't part with them. VERY expensive. They show up on Ebay and are often over $100. Airstream makes a kit to change your door lock over to another brand that IS available. Costs around $60.

I'll be over to where my parts are in a few days. I'll post if I find an extra door.

Airstream kit to replace your Chinook lock is the "KLR" kit. Uses a Fastec latch assembly.

post-6578-0-70821800-1442060761_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-47227400-1442060763_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-94685100-1442060798_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depending on the dimensions of your extra-tank compartment door, I may be interested in buying it from you. I am looking for a replacement for my 18' Sunrader. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×