Chinook RV Forum

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2014, 7:30 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2014, 6:20 am
Posts: 51
Blue~Go wrote:
chinook440 wrote:
I,m running a 12volt compressor boat style fridge so the vents previously used for the fridge i can use for the a/c.


I think this would call for a new thread


Yes a new thread under appliances is a good idea . I gotta run for now , if i don,t see one later , i,ll start one up.


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PostPosted: December 15th, 2014, 5:43 pm 
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Joined: November 27th, 2014, 7:03 am
Posts: 4
Hi there. Looking at the same year as yours and appreciate any advice, warnings(?), or tips you can share. Thank you! :)


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PostPosted: December 21st, 2014, 10:58 pm 
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Joined: July 30th, 2014, 7:06 am
Posts: 34
Location: Santa Rosa, CA One hour north of San Francisco
I would say to check the carburetor since they warp if overheated after too many years. I had to buy a new one.
Check the wheel size. They came with 16.5" but tough to find tires in a pinch. Converting to 16" is probably a good idea, but I haven't done it yet.
Of course, check for water leaks. Run a hose over the top and see if the windows are water tight. Also, check the rear door, as they tend to get water logged and the inside of it starts to disintegrate.
Check the engine to see if any oil leaks. The front and rear seals and perhaps the valve covers can be repaired easily. Mine burns oil and eventually I'll have to rebuild or replace the engine.
Make sure the front suspension is safe. I had my front end rebuilt due to the wandering I got driving down the road.
Finally, have an RV place go over the RV systems to make sure they work.
I like mine so far, but I've noticed that it can get a bit cramped during long periods. I'm 6'1", and the sofa is a little too short.
I added a headlight warning buzzer so I don't kill my battery if I forget to shut lights off.
I would like to add an after market power window and power lock system to the front doors. Perhaps even power mirrors some day, if I keep her for long. Then a small genset or even solar.
These have less maintenance and system complications versus the newer Cjhinooks. Mine is much more simple.

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1978 Dodge Sportsman 360 Chinook Concourse De Elegance MH/20 Club Lounge Edition


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PostPosted: February 13th, 2016, 7:06 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2016, 6:26 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
Just found this forum and registered, thought I'd try to add a couple of pics of my 77 "work in progress".

I'm hoping I'm almost done with the mechanical and can start on cosmetics. 1977 with a 360 4 bbl, A518 overdrive automatic and 4.10 gears. I've done the brakes, brake hoses, wheel bearings, front suspension, shocks, all rubber hoses (fuel and coolant), and upgraded to 16" tires and wheels. I've also replaced the water pump, fuel pump, radiator, u-joints and what seems like several hundred other small parts.

Inside I've replaced the stove/oven, toilet, most water lines, upgraded much of the wiring and replaced most of the green shag carpet with laminate flooring.

The front cab has been updated with an overhead console with gauges, new upholstery and PT Cruiser leather seats (which bolted directly to the original seat bases!).

Outside I've replaced the rear door and upgraded all the lights to LED.

Future plans include updating the interior and making the exterior look a little better.


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2016, 5:42 am 
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Joined: August 1st, 2014, 6:20 am
Posts: 51
Hi Dave , nice to see another old dodge on here.

I,m curious what,s that compartment on the lower front passenger side of the coach body ? I never seen that before .

I,m also curious where you got your new rear door ? and what kind of gas mileage you get with the 518?

More pictures are always welcome. :D


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2016, 7:57 am 
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Joined: February 12th, 2016, 6:26 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
The original owners manual says the compartment on the passenger side is where the factory installed a generator. It's where I store my BBQ, wood leveling blocks & other odds and ends now although I do have a Honda EI2000 portable generator that will just fit in if needed.

The rear door was ordered from a local RV dealer and was a simple "bolt in". Not sure of the manufacturer's name but its a 24x72 with part number 60197. Looked at fixing the old door but it was rotted so bad there wasn't much to work with. The new door is foam filled so lighter and no wood to rot out again.

Gas mileage is awful - about 10 mpg CDN or 8.5 US. I've done a complete engine tune up, ran a cold air intake to the air cleaner and everything else I can but it doesn't change. At 60 mph with the overdrive it runs at about 2400 RPM. Changing gears in the diff to 3.54 or so would bring the rpm down and would probably help but would be expensive. Carb/intake will probably be next. One of the previous owners had the engine/trans conversion done and as near as I can tell the engine is a 1979 360 but has a GM Rochester quadrajet 4 bbl on it. Considering a change to an Edelbrock carb hoping that might help.


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2016, 4:20 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2014, 6:20 am
Posts: 51
8.5 is pretty bad if that,s most highway. Do you know what your ignition timing is set at ? the stock settings /advance curve back then were pretty bad for power and mileage and were aimed at reducing emmisions as much as possible.

With the overdrive trans i don,t think you,d gain anything with a milder rear end gear. It might even be hurting you already with lugging the engine .

hope you don,t take my comments the wrong way, just making conversation and trying to help.


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2016, 5:13 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2016, 6:26 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Saskatoon, SK Canada
I appreciate your comments, any help or advice is appreciated!

I've advanced the timing as much as possible and have replaced a bad vacuum advance on the distributer. It does seem to lack power when I get into any kind of hills but running without the overdrive has it revving just above 3000 rpm which is pretty high for good economy.

I know these old 360 Dodges had an issue with the cross-over in the intake plugging up but not sure if it makes much of a difference in fuel economy although my neighbor claims he increased mileage 10% on an old Dodge pick-up after he cleaned his. Not sure whether to believe him or not..........

I could do cam/intake/carb/headers etc but for all the miles I drive it the savings in fuel wouldn't pay for the changes. Might make it more fun to drive though :D


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2016, 9:43 am 
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I know what your saying about spending $$$ for little gain and the little usage etc. 10 mpg overall is about the most you could expect to get out of these old rigs and your not far from that.

In a cold climate a clogged crossover could possibly make a big difference. the hot air helps heat up the intake and atomize the fuel . You can feel the intake under the carb. after running for a few minutes to see if it feels like its warming up . It should get pretty HOT fairly quick if it,s not clogged up.


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2016, 5:48 am 
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Joined: February 17th, 2015, 1:57 pm
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Location: Marysville, WA
Back in the late 70's my buddy bought a brand new Dodge Ramcharcher with a 440. He always complained about his best mileage being 10mpg. I doubt you can do much better. I get around 12 mpg with my 2004 Premier with a V-10. The best mileage I have gotten was 14 a couple of times. My previous motor home was a Tioga with a Ford 460. 10-11 mpg was the norm.

As they say YMMV. ;)

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2004 Premier V10


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