Below are a few pics of the '78 Chieftan that I went to see this past Monday. Not bad for a yard relic and you can tell this has not been abused other than not being kept in a barn.
Most normal people would drive right by this beast without even a second glance but when you get hooked on that retro RV vibe it's hard not to have a sense of nostalgia (my oldest quickly referenced Disney's Witch Mountain from the '70's) and for the younger crowd maybe there is a feeling of things being much simpler back then. Yes, they were in many ways for technology but in a lot of other ways not so much.
Getting back to the weeks-old CL ad and waiting to hear a reply to the question, "is this still around?" took a couple of days but in the end I got to at least take a tour of what is a basically an RV time capsule. Everything is original in this rig, the cushions, appliances, even down to the Code of Ethics laying on the back couch is there. The visit started with me traveling down from work in Penn Yan to the RV site in the south part of the county. Sam, the son of the owner, shows up and we talk a bit and he starts walking through the snow to get into the RV. Unlocked, we get in and I gotta say the fear you have of an old RV is that the "stench" will get you right away. Other than the smell of old shag, plastic and just sitting around that was it. Good sign. No pets, no BAD PETS.....
Now the question remains: the drivetrain. The engine is the 440 V8 with the 727 3 speed Tourqueflight transmission. Not a bad combo for the year. The engine has a 4 bbl carb (looks like a Carter). and all the bits look like they have not be abused at all.
With this trip if a vintage RV can get some new life on the road then that's terrific! Too many of these rigs were sold and owners dreamed of all the road trips only to have life, family and jobs rob them of getting out there and experiencing what is not always an 'incident free' vacation. Hey, sometimes it is the bumps in the road that build character!!!
Have a great time planning, fixing and dreaming of that next trip and remember that it's not the destination but the way you got there that really counts.....
The Vintage RV'er.
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