Chinook RV Forum

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 9:04 am 
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Joined: December 1st, 2015, 11:02 pm
Posts: 13
Hi all.

I'm new to this board, own 2 Vanagon Westfalias
but currently have my eye on a 1977 Dodge 360 Chinook.
http://vancouver.craigslist.ca/pml/rvs/5332148106.html
Will view it soon. Hopefully the window seals etc. aren't leaky!
That said, it seems the Chinook "one piece" design is likely less
prone to rain water leaks than other motorhome platforms.

This board looks like a great resource for Chinook info.
I hope to find more info on potential leak points and 360
specific info.
Neil.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 10:11 am 
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Yea man.. Let us know what you think of it after you see it. There's somethings I like more about the older units than my current one. (Then again, there's things I like better about my newer style too).
Personal preference I suppose. I like those 360's, but I'd retro fit an efi system on it from affordable fuel injection.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 10:27 am 
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For sure Manitou
I like the retro look and sofa bed looks like it might suffice
for FT living. Another similar thread here suggests
bed might be too short for 6' 2" person though.

I swapped a Jetta engine into my formerly air cooled Westy.
Putting EFI on a 360 would make sense, parts price notwithstanding,
and I think I could do that retrofit.
An overdrive and/or different R&P might be good too.
But it's all just money right? ;)


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 10:54 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Hi maybe, and welcome!

Yep, a fiberglass shell (presuming no major failure), with only have leak points where fittings and such are installed (windows, vents, etc.) These still need to be properly bedded, but at least you don't have panel seams to worry about (and in some rigs these are seams between panels of differing materials that expand and contract at different rates - can be a pain).

I would think in that age of rig, the main "problem" to worry about would be the aging out of the chassis. In other words, the Dodge engine/system. If you are happy with the level of simplicity/sophistication of the cab and engine, and are the sort of person who is happy working on older rigs (or paying others to do so), then I think they're a great platform. (OTOH, some other brands should have such problems; if the body construction tends to leak, they never get to the point of worrying about the chassis/cab "aging out.")

If the sofa is not comfortable, it can be modded relatively easily (meaning that I presume anyone who's comfortable with an engine switch can mod a couch with their eyes closed - it's nothing like rebuilding a carb or etc. :D ) The sofa bed in my '99 was torture for me to sit or sleep on. Modded it, and now it's very comfortable for sleeping and also comfortable for sitting (the way I use it, which is lengthwise with legs up, leaning back on and end "wall"). Funny thing is that the sofa/beds in the older rigs look like they are probably MUCH more comfortable than the later Flexsteels that were made to look "cushy" and were thus sort of overstuffed/rounded and hence tended to make you feel like you had to hang on to keep from either rolling off the side or into the "abyss" between sections (mine was like that).

One feature I think is great on (some/most/all?) the older rigs is the lack of a "top wedding cake tier" on the roof. I'm sure this extra "tier" is wonderful if you are 6'4", but if you aren't, it makes it a lot harder to tidily mount solar panels. I'd love the roof of my '99 to be flat across the top!

BG

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 11:39 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Looking at the ad photos, I'd say that's very likely to be one of the "comfortable bed" couches already. See how it looks "flat" vs. the "triple hump puffy" look of the later Flexsteel? (Which, those humps not only made me feel like I was constantly falling from side to side, but they are only supported by an arch of what I call "crib springs" - not thick foam.)

1977:

Attachment:
1977 couch bed.jpg
1977 couch bed.jpg [ 24.26 KiB | Viewed 729 times ]


1999:

Attachment:
couch.jpg
couch.jpg [ 59.4 KiB | Viewed 729 times ]


You can kind of imagine by looking at the above photo that it's not very flat when made into a bed.

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 2:45 pm 
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I agreed about the bed style.. The length might not work though. Some day I'll remodel my rig for 2 long flat style beds.. Some day.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 4:01 pm 
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Blue~go. Yes. The bed caught my eye; some of what I've seen hasn't really made sense.
And ya you'd think that modding a bed would
be simple. But. I have to laugh at myself b/c when I reupholstered the Z bed on
my Westy, I somehow managed to put 4" foam in place of the OEM 3". ha ha.
It worked out.

A buddy of mine suggested that working on the V8 in the Dodge van isn't as easy as one would think.
But then he's quoting a mechanic buddy of his; 2nd hand info.

Good to know re: top. I installed solar on my Westy.

The interior height of this Chinook should be suitable for a 6' 2" person?
I"ve never set foot in one.

Thanks,

Neil.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 6:29 pm 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
maybeachinook wrote:
The interior height of this Chinook should be suitable for a 6' 2" person?
I"ve never set foot in one.


What I don't know for sure is if the "second tier" of the roof (which is the wider, flat area, not to be confused with the third tier in the center which is only on later ones after early 90's) on the Dodge would be the same height as the second tier on my '99 Ford rig. But just because why not have that data point, mine is about 73-1/2" to the second tier, and 76-1/2" to the top tier. The "about" is due to the thick carpet and pad.

So IF the Dodge based roof is equivalent to the Ford based roof, you'd have around 73-1/2" of headroom. Maybe someone with that era rig will comment - we do have a few folks here with them. In fact, if you haven't done so already, you may want to have a peek at these links:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=9&hilit=dodge

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=164&hilit=dodge

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=75&hilit=dodge

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=10&hilit=dodge

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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 6:34 pm 
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Roof a/c place havoc with the standing head room too. Only 1 way to really be sure man.. Check it out and let us know what you find (please).


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2015, 6:39 pm 
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Although it doesn't look like it has a roof AC. Also I don't see a generator (which would be fine with me).

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