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My Toyota Motorhome


  1. I am sad to be moving on from my camper adventuring days, but optimistic that this gem can get in the hands of someone else that can enjoy it to its fullest!The "Ponty" is a 1977 Pontiex Pont-X SR-2. The model is somewhat similar to the slightly more common Toyota Chinook. It is very rare and unique and I have only found four other ones in my extensive internet research. The camper company would buy truck cabs from Toyota, build out the campers and then resell them. Its total length is 16.5 feet. Which means you can have what feels like a pretty spacious living area and still fit into a normal parking space!The camper is 40 years strong. It has been on trips all over the Western US and driven across country. In the transitional period as I look for a more practical car, it is has been my daily commuter. Here's a bit about the truck part:To start off it's on a Toyota Truck cab. They were pretty common and you still see a lot of them on the road. They are mechanically straightforward and easy to work on and get parts for still. The truck features the well-regarded 20r engine. I recently rebuilt the heads and the engine is in top shape. The odometer reads 28,000, but only reads 5 digits, so my best guess would be that it has 128k miles on it (possible 228k). It was a 4 speed manual that I upgraded to a 5 speed. Top speed is about 65mph on the highway, more like 45mph going up a hill (depending on how weighted down you are). Not the best vehicle if you're trying to get anywhere in a hurry. I've have been averaging about 17mpg. Pretty good for a home on wheels! Up front it has a cassette player that I never felt the need to upgrade because it has an AUX input, a house speaker hooked up to the radio, seats and dash in pretty good condition for its age (some cracks on the dash and in driver's seat). I recently replaced the carpet in the cab so that is looking pretty spiffy. There are two batteries, a car battery and a house battery with an isolator that keeps the house battery use from draining the car battery. Both batteries are less than 2 years old. The Camper:On the port side there is a table that seats four tightly and drops down for a bed. Underneath one of the benches is a storage space and a water tank under the other. On the starboard side there is a closet with many drawers and storage. The kitchen features a three burner propane Coleman stove with an oven (pretty rare to have an oven in a camper), an icebox fridge (could be upgraded to a mini-fridge but I generally did 6 day adventures at a time so I just got a block of ice), a sink with a pump that brings water from the tank below one of the benches and drains into a grey water tank underneath. There is a fuse box where you can flip a switch to plug straight into electricity if you're at home or at a campground or you can run off the house battery. I put an inverter in so that you can run a laptop and other electronics through it. I also put in a Fantastic Fan Vent that works really well for controlling temps. It has a sensor that closes when it senses rain. Above the cab is another sleeping space or space for storage. You can slide it back and remove a cushion to create more open space. There's also an open flame propane heater. One of the defining features of this camper is its HUGE windows. The full fiberglass shell means that it is safe from much of the leaking damage that many older campers see. Upgrades that have occurred in the last 5 years of ownership• 7 new tires (duallys and a spare)• Rebuilt engine heads• Upgrade from 4 speed to a 5 speed w50 transmission• Clutch• Alternator• Rear differential• Brakes• Rebuilt rear axle and u-joints• Interstate batteries for house and car• Custom carpet in the cab• 350 watt inverter to run electronics• Fantastic Fan Vent for ventilation• Many other small upgradesUpgrades currently undone:• Gas gauge is broken (I never fixed it is because the needle pops up from the other side when there is a few gallons left, plus I have a 5 gallon reserve tank so that always worked for me)• When starting, the engine typically turns over a bit longer than normal, especially when it's cold. It always starts so I haven't looked into it yet but I suspect it could be a carburetor cleaning or rebuild.• The blower in the cab works but doesn't blow heat. Haven't looked into what it needs to work properly.• Some rust showing on the rocker panels and on the hood of the truck (It lived in Nevada and Colorado for all of it's known life. I only brought it to Vermont last year and did not drive it through the winter.)• Lots of little things that could be done if desired to add a personal touch (New curtains? Cushions? Radio/sound? Paint? Solar? Etc.)I'm really looking for the right buyer for this amazing vehicle. I have been burned on internet car sales before and I want to make sure that the buyer has every piece of information they need and walks away happy. Feel free to contact me with any questions, more pictures, etc. $8900. I am looking to upgrade to a Toyota Tacoma and would be willing to consider trades. I'm in no rush to sell so no need to send low-ball offers. It hasn't been updated in a while, but if you want to read about some of this camper's adventures you can check out my blog: https://pontxadventures.wordpress.com/Thanks for looking!Mischa
  2. Hello everyone, Ive recently purchased a 78’ Sunrader knowing nothing about them really. I’ve only owned Toyota’s so I’m familiar with the truck. My plans include: 4x4 conversion, motor swap, pull the camper and deal with any rust before I start the interior remodel. I have gutted it due to a leaky roof and water damage which will need some attention. I’ve done some research now and have seen quite a few different models. The short short ones like mine that I’ve seen all have the door in the far back with the flip up panel. And I believe they don’t have a shower.. Does anyone have any info on the models of Sunrader in the late 70’s? Mine is a front dinette rear door with a shower and toilet. Also looking for input on motor swaps. I’m gonna keep the rear 1 ton duality. Fj80 front axle and I think I want to go with the 5vzfe. Any input?
  3. So, hey guys.New to the forum,but not new. been lurking for a while to get ideas. My lady and I got a stock 78 toyota chinook (early) Newport, and drove the s*** out of it, down through mexico, and the mountains of CO. The engine died on us a year after her resurrected glory (re-did the interior and put a weber on, rear seals, etc, etc) Anyway, since it is now dead, instead of spending 3k on a rebuilt 20r, I have found a rolled 91 extra cab (SR5). Runs great, very well maintained for $900. I am now in the process of taking the cab and bed off in the hopes to put the whole 78 shell and cab of the Newport on. Here are some photos of both: I'd love any feedback from anyone, but certainly from other cab swapper/chinook fabricators out there. I can use just about all I can get. not actual, but same model/yr - will get some pics of interior/etc soon: actual 91 extra cab: Thanks
  4. I found this photo with a custom toyota FJ Cruiser Chinook. Someone has done a wonderful job with this build in my opinion. It looks to me like a 78 Chinook cabin attached somehow to a Toyota FJ Cruiser. I think that it is absolutely awesome! I would love to see more of it.
  5. Ok guys. I need tires for my chinook Newport. It has 14 inch rims in front, and 15s in the rear. Currently on the front is a oddball size- 27x8.50R14 Rears are 235/75/15 He has load range D all terrain goodyears on the back right now. I can't seem to find a load range D anywhere online. Only light truck tires with 108 load rating. The fronts I can't find load range D at all! Will 185r14 fit in front? Do you think the all terrain tires that are on it now are slowing me down a noticeable amount? What should I do? Haha
  6. I just bought a '75 Toyota Chinook, and I'm about to embark on a cross-country trip, taking it from San Francisco back home to Maryland. I'm looking to connect with others who can give advice and practical tips for my journey! And..... recommendations for awesome Toyota mechanics along my trip in case anything goes down. The truck is in great condition, with lots of work to the engine over the last 2 drivers (and records for past 10 years). I have some super basic maintenance skills. Knowing that this is a 40year-old truck, and knowing that I haven't owned it that long, I'm predicting I'm likely to get into situations over my head, mechanically. But armed with a AAA premium membership and a lot of stress-reduction training, I'm going to attempt the journey. Are there any mechanics you know who are great with old trucks? Do you have ANY OTHER ADVICE for me before I leave on this foolhardy adventure? General Trajectory: Sacramento -> Tahoe -> 80 through Nevada and Utah -> Denver -> Black Hills, SD -> Minneapolis -> Chicago -> Detroit -> Pittsburgh -> Silver Spring, Maryland
  7. Hello; the journey continues. Bought an old Chinook. Love the thing but it's been through the wringer. It needs a new fuel tank throat. It looks like someone lost the key to the original and used a pry bar or something to get the cap off. So the entire throat is torn to shreds and currently they're using a wad of heavy-duty paper towel as a "cap." Top on my list of things to fix. Does anyone know of any sources for something like that, or does anyone have a non-functioning Chinook they'd be willing to sell the fuel tank throat and cap from? I have a feeling this is going to be hard to find. Thanks in advance.
  8. Hey everyone. I purchased a Chinook a few months back which wasn't in the greatest shape. Nevertheless it's a dream come true, as I've always wanted one, and don't mind the project. Anyways, I've been under the impression it's a 1976, and all the paperwork I have says it's a 1976. In CA where I live, 1975 is the cutoff for smog. I took this thing in to get it smogged and the tech told me he couldn't do it because the VIN on my paperwork doesn't match the vehicle. But it does. However, it appears to have two dates of manufacture? Below is a picture of the VIN plate in the door jamb. What year is my truck? In any case, the VIN on my paperwork is the same as what is here. Is there another VIN location on the vehicle? What am I missing?
  9. I currently have a 78' Toyota chassis that used to have a camper shell on her, but the previous owner tore it off. Looking to buy a new camper shell for her now that the restoration process is almost complete. Please contact me if you can help me out. Thanks a lot
  10. I have a 1976 chinook. Well two actually. The first was removed from the original pickup and mated to a 1996 land cruiser. The 2nd has been sitting for awhile but will eventually be mated to a newer drivertrain. I have been trying to restore the windows and other parts. Does anyone no the trim part numbers for the window seals, gaskets, etc.? Do you also know if the rear brake light gasket is available?
  11. 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.
  12. Hello! new to the board but I've been searching for the right Chinook for some time now. this one came up yesterday, it's a 5 hour drive for me, but they don't come up often in my area so I'm willing to go the distance. Was just curious on any thoughts and advice anybody might have before I go and purchase it. $2000 usd = $2600 cad (which is what I'm paying ) less than 100,000 miles , everything works, no smoke, no oil leaks, no water leaks
  13. My lovely neighbors have side swiped both sides of my Chinook knocking all the glass out of my side view mirrors. I found a place that will cut replacement glass, but i would like to replace the whole mirror. I haven't been able to find anything online. Any suggestions?
  14. My wife and I recently purchased our third Toyota motorhome, so are now the owners of 2 Chinooks and one Sunrader, all running and in fair to good condition. We are interested in having someone install a new interior, in a 1977 Chinook. Currently there is nothing inside the motorhome. Walls and floor are carpeted, but that is about as far as the interior amenities go in the motorhome section. Has anyone ever worked with a business that does this type of work? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. We understand this could be a bit expensive but would still like to pursue this. Thanks for any assistance/recommendations. djfres
  15. Hi all! So excited and happy that this forum exists, I have been all over the web to find resources about Chinooks to self-educate. I'm a 30-yr-old lady who just bought a Newport model. Are there any other active RV/Chinook/motorhome forums that you like? I wanted some advice: After doing all that reading, I'm worried about my back axle breaking. Should I be worried? It's the original 5-lug. according the the title she weighs in at 3,450 lbs. Do you have any advice for me as a new owner? Anything I should watch out for, rip out right away, absolutely leave alone etc? The inside is in pretty good condition for 37 years old, but i plan to take out the carpeting and reupholster the cushions.
  16. Hello everyone- Yes like maybe a lot of you I have always wanted to build a 4x4 chinook. Four years ago I rebuilt a 89 pop top jayco truck camper as a graduation gift to take a trip to the ocean. The project was fun and I learned a lot, but I sold the big ford diesel 7.3 and camper and down graded in life for a few years so I could finally start a 4x4 chinook build. I am trying really hard to document every little step of the way so maybe it will help someone else or just for a good read. Most of this build project will be done by myself and faithful sidekick Woodrow (dog). At times I need some help with lifting, transporting or keeping motivation high, so those friends and family will all get to go on some sort of adventure when its done. Enjoy the photos. I plan on keeping this post updated until finish project. 1978 chinook "clam shell" camper bought in Kalispell, MT- $300.00 - picked up in state wide snow storm in a field! 1980 toyota pickup with rebuilt 22r 4 speed manual, good runner, bought in Columbia Falls, MT- $1,300.00 towed home (bozeman) Everything must go, roof leaked, front windows leaked, basic fiberglass work, all new stuff, bigger windows. O ya I should tell you I grew up in an auto body shop, so I have some basic knowledge of this stuff, but I'am always learning. Thankfully my dad is still painting cars so he will get his time to shine when it comes to final paint job! Big plans for this one hope people enjoy watching this build. if you don't like it move on and hate somewhere else Let the fun begin!
  17. Hi! We have a '75 Chinook and were wanting to tow a 300lb motorcycle ('68 Honda CD175) behind it but can't tell if it's a good idea or not so smart... Any advice on if it can be hitched on the rear, towed, or neither without modification? And, if it would need to be modified, what might that entail? Have seen some threads on Toys needing welding and substantial reinforcing to the hitch and not sure if that applies. Ours has a ball hitch already, but we're not sure if that's an after market addition or original. There's no sticker stating or indication of what it can pull and it's not in the owners manual. Any help would be hugely appreciated ! (Thank you)
  18. My wife and I just started a road trip in our 1976 Chinook from Dallas Texas to Key West Florida and then on to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. Will post updates as we get them written!!!
  19. Well, I might have to change my username. Because after a year of obsessive searching, I finally purchased a 1977 Chinook pop top!! Actually a friend of mine on the west coast purchased it for me in April, and in about 3 weeks I’m going to go pick it up and drive it 2,400 miles back from California to Georgia. My friend has test driven the vehicle, and the word from him and the guy I bought it from is that the Chinook is in great mechanical shape except for idling way too high. (My friend reported he had to ride the brakes a lot, and that after a couple hours of city driving the engine was on the verge of overheating.) (Ironically, there is another ’77 for sale in California right now with a similar problem.) The previous owner blamed the high idle on the carburetor, which had already been converted to a Weber (I'm assuming 32/36, but I'm not sure) before he bought it. My goal is to get this camper on the road and back home ASAP. Therefore, I’ve been planning to buy a new Weber 32/36, bring it with me to California, and swap it with the old carb as soon as I get out there. But before I buy the new carb, I thought I should ask a few questions of folks here. 1.) Could anything else be causing the high idling besides the carb? (The engine was supposedly rebuilt recently... Some Weber distributors recommend adding a fuel pressure regulator... Aside from those possibilities, I don't know what else it could be.) 2.) The easier it is to install the new Weber, the better. So when it comes to deciding between an electric or manual choke, I figured I’d just go with the same set up it has now – I just need to find out what that is. Can I tell which choke it has now from photos my friend can take of the carb? What should I be looking for? 3.) If the Weber that's in the camper now turns out to be a 38/38 will I have any problems switching to a 32/36? Aside from that, any other advice (well, aside from telling me to bring bus fare with me as a fallback plan.. ) is greatly appreciated! I've attached a couple pics of my new ride. I should have more from my friend soon.
  20. Does anyone have any experience with solar panels on a pop top? I have a 76 chinook that I would like to put a couple small solar panels on but I'm concerned about the added weight causing issues with raising and lowering the roof. Any thoughts?
  21. Hey everybody, I've been using this forum as a resource a lot so I figured I would start a thread on my project in the hopes that you folks have some suggestions and maybe it will help somebody else out down the road. I bought this 1976 Chinook about a month ago from the third owner. Body is straight, looks to be well taken care of and claims to have a rebuilt engine. Odometer says 880000. Trucks running great so aside from some regular maintenance I'm gonna jump right into remodeling the cab. The cabin is water tight aside from a small leak under the cabover windows and where the seal between the cab and cabin is coming apart. The original seal between the cab and camper on the exterior which I understand was made from a garden hose is also missing and the flashing down the side is starting to degrade. The guy I bought it from did a lot of the work getting the thing stripped out as well as throwing in some hastily constructed benches and doing some questionable floor repair. Here is the mating between the cab and camper that needs to be resealed. I'm not sure how I'm going to do this, it looks like the fiberglass was sandwiched in between the cab of the truck and a steel band with a strip of butyl or maybe some sort of sulfur based sealant tape in between. I would be hard to get a new strip of tape in there so something that oozes out of a gun is probably more likely to work. The camper is stripped now and I'm just doing dealing with the rust on the steel frame and getting ready to wire and insulate it after fixing the leaky seals. Still deciding on what I'll use for insulation and flooring and designing the interior. Pretty exciting project though! Oh here is the stupid thing I did today. This is the floor of the camper when you step into it. There is exposed sheet metal under a loose piece of plywood I took out to clean under it. I forgot to put the wood back and then stepped on it getting out of the camper.
  22. Hi all! I have a 77 Chinook with external latches for the pop top roof. The piece attached to the roof was mounted on wood which has become rotted. I found this out the hard way while driving on the highway yesterday. The latch pulled free from the mounting piece and the front end of my roof lifted about a foot at 60mph! I pulled over immediately but it was too late. Of course its can't be just a matter of fixing the latch because I now have two bent arms (one on each side) on the scissor spring hinges that push the roof up. It is the arm mounted in the front leading back to the roof slider that is bent downward making it impossible to close fully in the front or even pop up fully in the rear. Has anyone had to work on these? Does anyone have a set for sale or know where to look? Any ideas on straightening the arm without taking the whole thing apart? I'm really at a loss here and cant drive (my daily vehicle) in this condition. Please someone help me figure this out.
  23. I am looking for detailed pics of Toyota chinook bunkbed option (side pull out cots) and overhead extension for sleeping two kids above the cab. My 1978 has neither of these options but I would like to fabricate them myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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