Chinook Campers

The Chinook Camper was a lesser known alternative to the VW Camper. The Chinook was named for a Native American tribe, that is often now confused with the Chinook Helicopter on Google. The Chinook Camper was billed as a modern mid-century space age vehicle. The company has under gone changes of ownership, and the Chinook has greatly change in appearance over the years. The Toyota Chinook is most distinctive looking model. The camper was built on top of chassis of either Toyota, Ford or Chevy. The ones created after 2000 are much larger and more expensive, looking like modern RVs. The bigger models lack the cuteness of the vintage Chinooks, and don’t seem like the same vehicle. The price of new Chinooks was expensive, but they lacked reliability, and broke down a lot. The fiberglass body was light weight, and therefore better for fuel economy, but over time fiberglass tends to collect mold that grows from the outside in. Algae, lichens, and mosses may begin to grow on the body. If you have one, you really need to keep it in the garage and away from all types of moisture. This is why the Chinook is the cutest camper, that you can’t own due to the impractically. You will need to be able to fix the Chinook yourself or have unlimited funds to own a vintage Chinook. My favorite models are from the 70s.

With a pop up top
The model feature orange and white a popular color for RVs in the 70’s.
GMC Chinook
Here is a brand new looking GMC Chinook
Vista Chinook 1976
Chinook Vista 1976 in Avocado Green popular color in the 70s.

From The Tin Can Tourist

“The first Toyota-Chinook Mini-Motorhome models sold in 1973-74 were built on a Toyota long-wheelbase half-ton truck chassis, powered by Toyota’s 18R motor with a standard rear axle. Since 1971, the company had manufactured one-piece molded fiberglass shells consisting of gel coat, ceramic shield and a single polyester skin laminate with plywood-stiffening panels.”

Toyota Chinook
This is a Toyota Scat. It looks more boxy than the Chinook.

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