The Sports Car of RVs: 1978 Ford Chinook Concourse
Somebody (who we will call Mike for the sake of anonymity) offered me a free Winnebago conversion RV the other day. Totally free. Just needs some title sorting at the DMV and off I’d go camping and stuff…but the only problem is that if I brought home a free RV, my wife wouldn’t be pleased and I’d probably end up living in that funky smelling camper…so I passed and it was snapped up by some other soon to be single man (or woman). Anyway, I bet she would have a different response if the RV was as clean as much as this next thing. Find this 1978 Ford Chinook Concourse offered for $8200 in Tacoma, WA via craigslist. Tip from Zach.
From the seller:
1978 Chinook Concourse Ford Chassis B+ Camper. 351 Windsor V-8 with 2 barrel carburetor. Almost 92,000 miles on this classic, not many Ford chassis units this age (I have never seen one, most are Dodge), full fiberglass shell, big windows. Got it with about 83,000 miles in late 2007. This rig has been awesome and served our family well but we’re ready to get something bigger. Have been updating and upgrading throughout the years and this has been a great project with still allot of life left to make it your own. Since I have owned it: new brakes, new master cylinder, wheel bearings, tune up, radiator flush, rebuilt carb, exhaust, shocks and leaf spring bushings, starter, battery, New BFG class E kevlar tires (installed at 83,750 miles) with powder coated 16″ rims (swapped out the 16.5″ rims; these are the special Ford coined rims, even have a spare, over $2,000 in tires and wheels alone), new passenger side exhaust manifold last year, front end alignment, fantastic bathroom fan, kitchen faucet, windows re-sealed, special made manual slide out couch that turns into a double bed with Futon mattress (easily sleeps two and works with fitted sheets), new upholstery done on captains chairs, re-freshened/finished counter tops and walls with stainless, aluminum and vinyl, new Tarket flooring, recently installed a new DSI water heater system (auto gas and electric, less than a year old, starts in any mode with a flick of the switch), just finished installing a new house water pump, optional little kid fold down bed or overhead storage above cab, pioneer stereo with remote and amp, fully functioning bathroom/shower, much more.
Still left to do is to get some new front seat covers (unless you like the leopard print, it was a bit of a joke for camping last year), interior trim, cabinet stain, re-do some of the kitchen sink exit plumbing, seal around the new fan vent, vent covers, polish and clean up, wax, some exterior finishes, and a few more odds and ends. I have allot of spare stuff like trim, aluminum and carpet that will go with this for you to finish, customize and make it your own. This camper is ready to go at full electric sites and almost ready for full dry camping; needs what I believe to be, a thermocouple for the heater (but have not verified) to dry camp in the cold, but otherwise just fine for dry summer camping when warm. Fridge works great. This rig is made for the newbie that wants to get their hands dirty and learn about RV’s or a veteran camper that appreciates the quality, value, and ease to work on. Text or email works best as I am unable to answer phone calls regularly. Willing to negotiate, but not in a hurry to sell…will negotiate less as I continue to fix and tinker. They used to call Chinooks the sports cars of RV’s. Camping season is here, get on the road and enjoy the stay!
See a better way to go camping? firstname.lastname@example.org
Perfect for those of us who choose to live down by the river.
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For the price of a years property tax one could live free. I don't think I could handle my kids living with me in this though.
The kids have to get their own.
Tents. Put the kids in tents. When I was a kid, my best friend's parents had a '64 VW Camper. I went camping with them a couple of times. The parents slept in the camper, we slept in tents.
My buddy, Joe, buys and sells RV's. His comment: "I never buy an RV or travel trailer that's over seven years old. After that, they start to leak at the seams. They all do. Then dry rot gets in, and you're done. Most of 'em are low mileage, cos they're only used on vacations. But those miles are hard miles, so don't be fooled by so-called low mileage, cherry vehicles."
You're not wrong. However, these are all fiberglass construction and the roof cap fits over the top and runs down the side, so they are a little more robust than your typical RV.
Another reason that they are low mileage is that they sit a lot. Engines like to be used. Many Cs blow an engine around 40K because of this.
There are definitely days where this sounds good.
Way too much brown………but otherwise a good size.
The couch/bed is recovered. Add a properly garish 70s color and pattern to brighten up the interior…
Low tech and basic American mechanicals that you can keep on the road relatively affordably. Actually, probably a really good option for someone joining Nomadland
FYI, "Nomadland" is a study of the subculture of folks who have dropped out of the mainstream economy, and now live in a variety of vehicles, as they follow seasonal employment around the USA. Many are the core of Amazon's peak-season workforce. The book makes interesting if unsettling reading.