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Everything posted by MontanaChinook

  1. 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.
  2. Boy this is a buggy new platform for this forum... Yes, I kept the solar.
  3. 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,
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. 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...
  9. 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
  10. 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 al
  11. 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
  12. 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-rout
  13. 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...
  14. I own a cast iron skillet, a wok, and a medium sized sauce pan. That's it for cooking stuff. Works great. Once the skillet it well seasoned, you don't really need to do much cleaning so yeah, it saves time and water. Same with the wok.
  15. Yeah I hear you. I have friends who are that way. I'm up early, and usually don't eat until I've been up for a few hours. And even then, all I do is boil oatmeal. I love cooking a big breakfast, but it's a rare thing, usually only if we rent a cabin with a few people or something like that. Dinner is definitely the meal I put more time & effort into. But...however simply and easily I might eat, I refuse to eat junk. For me, unfortunately, anything heated in plastic automatically becomes "junk".
  16. I've been talking about nothing but air bags, right? That's "what". Now you're found. Not having been there under the camper with them while they were trying to get them (air bags) to fit, I can't say exactly what they saw. I do know that a Newport version of the Chinook is not built the same as the traditional pop-top versions, so the best I can guess is that either a. my mechanics are incompetent or b. with the Newport/Omega models, there is something obstructing that space I guess there could be a c) which combines some amount of the guys in the shop just not having a lot of experience wit
  17. And a POR 15'd frame? It wasn't easy to find a kit that was built for the 78, and even when I did find one, there was no space to install it, because of how Chinook built the RV on the frame. I think the routing of the exhaust was the biggest issue. I had a shop try to do it, since I didn't have the shop space or a floor jack that could actually safely lift the RV. A regular, unloaded pickup truck with as much space under it as a 4x4 was way easier to work on than that low, wide, really heavy Chinook. But the guys at the shop said they tried it every way they could think of and just couldn't
  18. I'm all for people doing the easiest, cleanest cooking they can. So I like the post and the idea behind it. But it's not for me. I also avoid plastic as much as possible, especially hot food or drinks in plastic. I cook very simply in general. Usually noodles or rice with some either steamed or stir fried veggies, a simple sauce with some lemon, tahini and soy sauce or something similar. Done. Oatmeal in the morning. Different people cut different corners. For me, I like cooking. I like taking the time to cook, and taking the time to eat. It's a not a thing I want to just get through as fas
  19. The Chinook I had is obviously on the small side of Toyota RVs, but I never had issues with heat. I had all new cooling system components, but never "upgraded" components. Always OEM, stock parts. Like WME, I took the camper over Vail Pass (10,000ft), down into the southwest, all over. I don't know if I went over any crazy passes with temps over the 80s, but my temp gauge never climbed above its normal place, a little lower than half way on the gauge. No matter what I did, no matter the outside temps, my gauge stayed put. I'm sure some higher temps are normal under "extreme" conditions, but I
  20. A radiator as new as yours should work just fine. Unless there is something defective with it, or something has clogged it, it's not the radiator causing the problem. But there could be something defective, or something clogging it... I hope you aren't going to the type of mechanics who just start replacing parts on hunches and keep going till they finally stumble onto the right solution...That gets expensive. There are tests for all these components.
  21. That's some serious suspension back there! Looks really nice. I think airbags are the way to go. I couldn't find any to fit my 78 camper, but I just installed some on my 98 truck. Haven't hauled any loads yet but here's an idea of what they can do to an unloaded truck... At just under 10psi At 60psi Max psi is 100. I'm sure it would level out a bit with a load, but I was pretty shocked at how much lift these things gave me. Easy install, on my truck anyway. Not cheap...but what really is with these things? I do think you're going to have to just live with some amount of sway. It's a motorh
  22. Only thing I'll say, as a 98 Tacoma owner, about how "great" it is that the frames were built in the good ole US of A, is that from the first year they were built in the USA, I think 95 or 96, all the way through 2005, there are frame recalls. Frames rotting and snapping in half. Trucks in otherwise perfect condition, bought back by Toyota and sent to the crusher because of crumbling frames. I think 96-2000 they buy your truck back and crush it. 2001-2005 they replace the entire frame and any rotted suspension components and give you back your truck. Serious quality and toughness... Right. M
  23. I think that whether you like the term "play truck" or not, it's true that they aren't what they used to be. I just put air bags on the rear axle of my 98 Tacoma today, and was really surprised at the frame. Instead of being a full box like all my other Toyotas, it's just solid on the outside, with a top and bottom, but completely open on the inside. Not a full tube. Seems much weaker than the full frames of all the older Toyotas I'm used to. Not sure how much it'll matter in the scheme of things, but it can't be nearly as strong as a full frame. I saw a pop top Chinook on a Chevy S10, the ne
  24. Great! That's an easy, cheap fix. Temp gauge really shouldn't be climbing much on hills...but I guess if it stays in the normal range I wouldn't worry about. I've never had a Toyota that ran hotter going up a hill. They've always been steady.
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