The Toyota Chinook was once a very common fixture here, as it was a classic “Eugene-mobile”. I’ve shown you several over the years, including one that was encapsulated in spray foam. But they’re finally getting scarce too, so this one had to be documented.
It’s also got something a bit peculiar going on, with that hose across its windshield.
Looks like a drain line. Maybe that vaunted Chinook fiberglass roof isn’t quite as watertight as it once was?
Or maybe a urinal in the upper berth when the top is popped?
The inside has seen better days, but it’s still mostly intact. That plywood bed doesn’t look stock; I seem to remember something like a dinette on that side, which folded down into a bed.
The cab looks to be in be in pretty decent shape; it’s still got its door cards!
These really could have used dual wheels or just a wider rear axle. But they always get there, eventually. Just don’t be in a hurry.
When did that plate expire?
Caulking all around those two windows visible. Have a friend doing some work on his restored 1976 Celica which he calls a notorious leaker. My 91 Mazda, leaks through one corner of the sunroof if the car is not perfectly level so I have a bucket in the front seat during the rainy season. Drain is open but overwhelmed. The 2004 LeSabre leaks past the bottom of the driver’s door if it also isn’t perfectly level. Found out when there was a swimming pool behind the front seat in the rear foot well. Have to drape a towel under the door, over the rocker, to direct water outside. Where it parks it leans slightly towards passenger side and that is how it is.
Looks to be at the cross roads of life:
– Fix up camper (may not be worth the time & effort considering age)
– Strip off the camper and use it as a flat bed truck
– Sell as is, someone may want it as a project car
– Junk it all if engine is busted
My vote is to let it go if the family can find the title!!
These is a company in England called Nu Venture which converts Ram Promaster City van (Fiat Fiorino) or Ford Transit Connects into RVs.
If they were available here in the US, they’d make a great substitute to the above Chinook.
That hose is actually the seal between the cab and camper. It was a pretty low-tech way of joining the two together. You can see in the photos that they wrapped it in vinyl to make it look better, but it’s still just a hose.
This Chinook looks like it has been to hell and back. I agree with the poster above, its at a crossroads. That shell looks like it has taken a pretty good beating in the back. Who knows if the frame is even straight. I guess the good part is that the back frame is just a bolt on extension of the true truck frame so could be repaired or replaced, but it’s hard to find people willing to spend money on these old trucks.
Compared to my neck of the woods the cab looks like it’s in pretty good shape, but you never really know until you lift the carpet.
As someone who has owned a Westy, these always had an allure for me. The Toyota Dolphins looked like they had too much house spilling over the truck, but the Chinook? It looked like it might have just enough power and amenities to serve as a good turtle shell for the weekend adventurer.
This one looks pretty sad, and it’s a wonder that it’s still roadworthy. But it looks pretty original, too, and I hope it can keep on ticking for awhile.
There’s more than one of these in my town. Several provide full time housing.
The later models that used the extended-wheelbase DRW chassis look a lot less sketchy than this.