Would you recommend a Toyota Chinook or Toyota Sunrader?

Which would you recommend for full time living?


  • Total voters
    7
#1
A little info about my situation:
I'm looking to buy a Chinook or 18' Sunrader to live in full time and travel around the US and Canada. I've had my heart set on the Chinook for awhile, but recently found the Sunrader and I like the idea of more space and having a bathroom built in. I also like that I can stand in a Sunrader without having to pop the top.

I thought I had completely changed my mind (to go with the Sunrader), but I recently talked to an RV dealer about it and he told me that hands down the Chinook is more reliable and will run forever (with the 20R engine).
I've read pretty much the same thing about the 22R engine in the Sunrader in different places online, and I'm also aware that I should be looking at Sunraders with an upgraded 6-lug 1-ton Full Floating Axle and that the 18' is a bit of a unicorn--especially the 4x4 model.

So my question is- what are your thoughts? Should I stick to finding a Chinook or go with the Sunrader? I've done a lot of research, but I understand I don't know everything. Any info helps.

Thanks in advance for your input!
Jon
 
#2
This is a great question. I have a recommendation . PM drlee , he recently sold one of the nicest sunrader 4x4' I have ever seen . He also coached me on a 21-24' coach to put a 4x4 on. I ended up with a chinook destiny and a Chinook concourse. drlee is a wealth of knowledge and one of the greatest people I have ever met. If anyone can help you it's him.
 
#3
This is a great question. I have a recommendation . PM drlee , he recently sold one of the nicest sunrader 4x4' I have ever seen . He also coached me on a 21-24' coach to put a 4x4 on. I ended up with a chinook destiny and a Chinook concourse. drlee is a wealth of knowledge and one of the greatest people I have ever met. If anyone can help you it's him.
Thanks for the guidance! I just reached out- so we'll see :ylsmoke:
 
#4
I just recently bought a '77 Chinook. I thought about the 18' Sunrader as well but I'm happy with the Chinook. It's small enough to park and drive with little effort. The engine is loud and the original seats aren't the best. But I just love this thing. I look forward to fixing it up and making it my own. Biggest issue so far, it's not very stealthy. I've had people walk up to me and ask about it when I'm at the grocery store. Good luck.
 
#5
Thanks for the reply pmorin35. Quick question for you- I'm planning to put 1 or 2 larger solar panels on the roof. How much give do the hinges/lifts (can't remember what they're called) have? is it going to be too much weight to add?

Thanks.
 
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#7
You can always convert a newer model camper to 4x4. You can find them pretty darn cheap.


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Can you give me a some examples? Happykamper gave me some ideas about newer Chinooks (non-Toyotas), but I really want a camper with more character. That's why I've been thinking the Chinook or 4x4 Sunrader. They're just cool as can be!
 
#8
Any Toyota based camper can be converted to 4x4 pretty easily now. Can do just the basic solid axle swap from all pro. Or can go really crazy with a custom cool over link suspension http://www.mayhemmetalworks.com/index.php/products/suspension/toyota-front-rear-link-kit
Junkyard 4x4 transmission and tcase! Bam 4x4!!!!! Lol really not a hard conversion and be super cool.

Problem with the Sunrader or any 4x4 camper everyone wants too dollar for them cause they are rare.


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#9
They're pretty sturdy. Mine doesn't droop. I plan on adding solar panels as well in the future. I saw a video of a guy that had a Chinook with solar on top and a surf board strapped to the inside and it held up.
 
#10
They're pretty sturdy. Mine doesn't droop. I plan on adding solar panels as well in the future. I saw a video of a guy that had a Chinook with solar on top and a surf board strapped to the inside and it held up.
I've actually seen that video too and that guy has a couple sticks that he uses as makeshift props since the weight actually makes it sag a small bit. :Mechanic:
Because of that video I've decided (if I go with a Chinook and it sags) to build an interior prop that will double as a cat tree as I'll be taking my cat, Reuben, with me. And boy does he love to climb.
So I guess it doesn't matter too much- I was just curious.
 
#14
I don't know how set you are on a Toyota based camper or your budget but Cruise America sells off their RV's on the ford chassis.

http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/rvd/5619280786.html

That one is pretty expensive but have seen them sell them for around $21k. Always do a Ujoint 4x4 conversion. If I didn't have so many kids I would have gone that route versus a standard E350 conversion.


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#15
As a Chinook owner, I'll throw in my 2 cents.

As a full-time rig, a sunrader would be the way to go. I absolutely love my Chinook, but having a bathroom and not having to pop the top just to stand up in the rear would be clutch for livibility. A sunrader isn't that much longer, and it's likely either one you choose will have to be converted to 4x4. Sunraders have more head room too, which for me would be a plus. My Chinook is perfect for my goals, a weekend/2week getaway machine. That said, a Chinook is cheaper, I've seen some as cheap as 2k, whereas a sunrader will run $5k plus. Of course, condition has everything to do with price.

I have installed three 60w panels on the roof of my Chinook and it has absolutely maxed the spring lift capability. In fact, one side sags a bit so I use a small length of wood to prop it up. I've seen others use an air lift support (think hood or rear hatch prop) to assist the spring. I plan to do the same to my rig.