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For $4,000, Don’t Be a Schnook, Buy A Chinook!

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Somewhat ironically, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chinook mini motorhome was named for a Native American tribe that was, strangely enough, not nomadic. Still, you'll need to say whether this one's price means potential buyers need to get a move on.

I like old Ranger pickups. In fact, for some inexplicable reason, I think they are my very favorite mini-truck of them all. I also really like the Mercedes turbo diesel five, due to it being an aspirational model for longevity and proper work ethic. Putting them both together in yesterday's 1984 Gulf Liveried offering was like biting into an eclair filled with happiness and sunshine. I guess quite a few of you agreed, and you liked its price too as it clattered away with a respectable 60% Nice Price win, our second this week.


Have you ever seen a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter? These big, tandem-rotor choppers are not only used for heavy lifting duties and troop movement, but with a 170-knot top end they're also pretty fast too. I once attended an air show at the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station where I was privileged to get inside a Chinook and talk with her crew.

While inside I noticed that the forward rotor is powered by a seven-section series of drive shafts that run from the combining transmission in the back to the forward gearbox. That seemed a tenuous connection to my uneducated eyes and so I asked a crewman what happens if the driveshaft in any way fails. He matter of factly said that in that instance you simply tuck your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye. I love military folks who have a sense of humor.


No worries about today's 1978 Toyota Chinook Newport suffering such a catastrophic and life-ending failure, it is after all based on the Hilux pickup. That's a Toyota with a rep for being about as sturdy a ride as you could ever hope to find.

The Chinook motorhomes were manufactured by Chinook RV, which was division of Trail Wagons Inc. Founded in Orange County CA all the way back in 1938 the company was known for making small-sized but high quality campers and motorhomes, just like this one. If you'd like a brand new one that's also just like this one you're sadly SOL as the company went out of business in 2005.


That means they ain't making them anymore and that makes this '78 mini-camper all the more desirable. Also, 4-speed stick motorhome? I'm there! That manual is hooked up to a 20R, not the most hirsute of mills but like yesterday's MB diesel, one that has a reputation for durability.

This one, and the camper to which it is attached, has done 187,000 miles and overall it looks pretty reasonable for having gone the distance. If you want the CSI on its condition check out the seller's most excellent video. Plus, epic beard!

Cadillac seats! Man, that's a victory lap of luxury right there. Oh sure there's some rattle can paintwork going on here, but there's nothing wrong with that. There's also 5 - count 'em, 5 - new tires, and wheel covers that look like they're off a Chrysler Laser. Classy!


On the inside you get a place to cook your vittles and a commodious dining area where you might then eat that grub. The table and benches convert to a bed and there's the over-cab mezzanine where you can also catch 40 winks. The only thing missing is a place for your poop, but then burning bags of it on the front porches of your enemies is always a good alternative.


Cool old mini-campers are getting ever rarer to find today, and typically they're not in as good of shape as is this one. In fact, a lot of times they look like Walter White has been in residence. That makes this Chinook something of note and now we need to decide how much someone should pay to sing that note.

The seller is asking $4,000 for it, which is seemingly down a grand based on the ad. What do you think about this home away from home for that much cash? Is that a price that should have a new owner eager to move in? Or, is that too big a price for so small a camper?


You decide!


New Jersey Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to el Dirty for the hookup!

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