Presenting The Wookie, a 1973 Dodge Chinook. We would have named him The Nookie, but that was taken. Wookie is just a temporary name, we threw it and don't know if it'll stick yet.
The obligatory mug shot. We added the fish hood ornament, but the lei hanging from the rearview came with it.
The obligatory ass shot. The thing about Chinooks is the camper part is entirely built of fiberglass, which is nice, it means they leak less than your usual old RV, and it's a great size. Not too huge, but plenty roomy inside.
This is the model I think, meaning he's 18 foot plus. There seems to be lots of Chinook models. I havn't found very many pics online, but the few I've found all have different layouts.
Ours should be called the Diner Nook layout, since it's basically a diner nook on wheels. That bed on the right with all the tools is a bunk bed, and when we unhook those straps, it folds down into a couch. So it's basically a 360 degree diner nook. The Diner Nookie?
Looking towards the rear. Note the 3 burner stove and oven, and that's a propane fridge next to it, which works if you let it get a running start for 6 or so hours. But it makes ice eventually. We're thinking maybe it just needs a freon recharge?
Inside the fridge. In theory it works on DC as well, but I think that would take ridiculous amounts of power.
But we obtained these 4 deep cycle batteries that once powered a UPS system at Apple Computer, and we plan on getting a 75 watt solar panel, so maybe we'll be fine power-wise.
The sink, with two luxurious basins to pile dirty dishes in. It's pretty deluxe, the thing has a hot water heater which works fantastically well. And I've never had an RV with the pressurized water tank, meaning you turn on the water pump and it keeps the tank pressurized, so you turn the faucets like in a house. Nice water pressure, nice hot water. I'm not sure how big the water tank is, but I'd guess 20 gallons, maybe 30. It goes the whole length of the driver side couch.
The "Master Control" panel. It works too: when Sam starts pissing me off, I press that button on the bottom left and he shuts right up. It also gives a rough estimate of how much power we're drawing, though the scale goes up to an absurd 40 amps, so it's not that precise. It also shows how full our grey/black water tank is, and shows us whether our water pump is on, which is nice because when it's actually pumping it takes 7 amps. And in theory it shows how much drinking water we have left, but that guage isn't working yet.
The shower. Originally we thought we'd convert this to storage, but I have to say it's really nice having it. For one thing there's plenty of water pressure, and plenty of hot water, so it's a non-useless shower. For another it's got a moonroof so it would make a hell of a place to dry wetsuits.
There's a little toilet which pulls out below the sink, which we were also thinking we'd never use. But maybe it'd be nice to be able to take a piss when driving? But one thing is for sure: nothing more solid than piss will ever see the bowl of that toilet ever again.
I bet you wanted to see the rear view again. The wall paper will go, it's all crumply.
That's looking up from the sink Note the orange circular thing, that's an LED truck brakelight. It's super bright and very low power, great for mood lighting at night. I installed a bunch of LEDs, as soon as I have my tripod back I'll take some night shots to show the oh so cool lighting.
But that's a couple of weeks into our Chinook ownership. Lots of work to do:
- solar panel
- new curtains
- faux fur on the cushions
- new carpet
- fix the front end
- new tires
- roof rack
- paint the ugly 70s brown wood panelling
Whenever I feel like I have a lot of work to do, I check into the parallel universe at Birdsong Guitars, where he bought a Chinook just a month before me and fully gutted it. Behold.
Mojo came barking frantically in the morning and wanted to show us something. We followed him and found..
A flying Chinook.
Jerry (on the right) helped us get it flying, and rebuild the front-end, change all the tires, fix all the brakes, change the front rotors, and change the tranny and engine oil.
When it was all done the Chinook was sporting chrome spinner rims.
Sam dodging the dripping tranny fluid.
Mike dodging working on the Chinook. (Sorry Mike, I had to make some crack).
Brakes were a dripping.
Mojo was a sniffin.
Sam was a wipin.
All that work tore a couple of holes in Sam's shirt.
Jerry telling us we did it all wrong as usual. Biggest possible thanks to Jerry for all the help.