Fourtitude.com - Hows about a little variety in TCL? Atl-Atl's 1978 K5 Blazer with period correct Four Wheel Campers "Blazer" on it!
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    1. Member Atl-Atl's Avatar
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      2018 Texas Dirt Taco 1978 Chebby Blazer
      05-26-2020 11:59 PM #1
      Ive had a few (relatively)popular build threads on VWvortex and other places. None of which transcended class enough to be TCL worthy, even with their collective 1 million+ views . Hopefully this one bucks that trend and doesnt get banished to the 4x4 and Offroading forum. I started my search for a K5 Blazer with a Four Wheel Camper almost exactly five years ago when I first came across them and wound up with a Four Wheel Campers "Hawk" that went into my Dodge Ram 2500 Here. Since then I have remodeled three campers(2018 Tacoma with 1986 Four Wheel Campers Fleet total gut job) two motorcycles, a house, made a major career change and moved to Phoenix somewhere in between. These Blazers are not rare, these Blazer campers from Four Wheel Campers are incredibly rare. A year ago I drove from Phoenix to San Francisco and nearly bought a non-running K5 with a camper that was in shambles, Im glad I waited.

      It has patina, it has a little rust, it has a crapload of character and without further ado(edit thanks to @tvrbob), we have my newly acquired (4/9/2020) 1978 Chevrolet K5 Blazer + Four Wheel Camper Blazer.




      Cheyenne trim level, 4x4, 5.7, auto. 350/TH350/NP203/10 bolt/12 Bolt for those detail oriented folks. Arizona truck its whole life. Picked it up Thursday 4/9/2020, drove it home from Tucson with no issues other than a little float in the steering. Cleaned it up and tested all the systems Friday (everything works!). Managed to kill the battery because I forgot to turn the camper lights off when I went to bed. Woke up Saturday morning, finagled my Tacoma out of the garage to jump the Blazer that was blocking it in and promptly drove straight to the Tonto National Forest for a quick "test run" with a good friend who takes great pictures and makes great videos. He's talking about moving to Austin and selfishly I want him to stay in AZ and document this build in a much better way than I ever could.

      Technically it has had "two owners" but in reality it is a one owner vehicle. It came with a plethora of paperwork including the original order card for the Blazer, the original order sheets for the camper(same guy!) and lots of maintenance records of years past. As far as I can tell its completely original and stock, except for maybe the wheels. They at least seem to be period correct.














      At the moment Im researching until my brain explodes every night. This is really helping quarantine but not my pocket book. I unloaded the second of my two motorcycles today in anticipation of this truck taking up all my free time and disposable income. My plan last year was to go crazy with a modern camper renovation, LS swap, long leafs, 40s etc. but this one is so nice and so original I dont know if I can bring myself to do that, at least not to the camper... For now the plan is to fix up the interior of the cab for creature comforts on long drives. Make the stock drivetrain as bullet proof as possible for long drives and start building some axles outside of the truck while I learn the ins and outs of the K5 platform. I camp 25+ nights a year and plan to do even more in this rig.





      Thanks for reading.
      Last edited by Atl-Atl; 05-27-2020 at 08:55 PM.

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    3. I’m not a loser. I’m a winnah!! patrikman's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 12:09 AM #2
      Hell yes! I love these things but I haven’t seen one in 15 years.
      this signature kills fascists.

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    4. You can't look at my avatar for just a second, can you? Just Another Sweater's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 12:17 AM #3
      Pretty cool to see a unique and rare build thread. I've never seen one of these. It kind of looks like a C10 Shortbed 4*4 with a cap.

      Looking forward to the updates.


    5. 05-27-2020 12:44 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Atl View Post
      It has patina, it has a little rust, it has a crapload of character and without further adieu, we have my newly acquired (4/9/2020) 1978 Chevrolet K5 Blazer + Four Wheel Camper Blazer.
      Love the truck.

      Side note: It's "without further ado." Adieu means goodbye.

      https://youtu.be/TgM885vDr74

    6. Member Dal97GLX's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 12:52 AM #5
      Nice. I bought a foreclosed house about 5 yrs. ago, the former owner had 4 or 5 70s-80s(?) Toyota campers left on the property. I wanted one so bad, he came and claimed them just before they became legally abandoned.

    7. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 01:45 AM #6
      Desert background and that trucks color work oh so well together. Nicely done.
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    8. Member elite.mafia's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 01:47 AM #7
      This reminds me of Breaking Bad for some reason. Are you cooking meth in there?
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    9. Senior Member LT1M21Stingray's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 01:59 AM #8
      Awesome!
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      Back when making your car faster and better handling was the big thing.
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    10. Member newusername's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 05:16 AM #9
      I’m loving this thing! A truck camper is on our list as a future purchase for much of our travel plans without the kids, I love getting to see some of the older units out there like this in useable shape after 40+ years.
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    11. Senior Member UncleJB's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 06:27 AM #10
      Cool project. I had no idea these existed.

    12. I need new ones NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 07:21 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by OBDlll View Post
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    13. Member
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      05-27-2020 08:06 AM #12
      I was looking for an older truck/camper combo and came across a few of these. They were always in rough condition. Yours looks way better than anything I found. Great score.

      The 40's idea seems like overkill for this. I'm with you on keeping it stockish. I'd think hard about an overdrive trans and pepping up the 350 since there is so much stuff out there for them.


      Edit - My last "vintage" camper. 1984 Dodge W250 with 1984 FWC Grandby. This was a 1 owner estate sale find for $1800 about 12 years ago. I sold it that fall for $2500. In hindsight that was a mistake. I'd love to have it now. Gave up the search for another vintage unit and bought a new slide-in camper for the Tundra. FWC's have gotten expensive!

      Last edited by PoorHouse; 05-27-2020 at 08:23 AM.

    14. Member tip's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 08:39 AM #13
      In for the madness
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    15. Senior Member
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      05-27-2020 08:49 AM #14
      Badass setup, can't wait to see the build

    16. Member x(why)z's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 08:50 AM #15
      I absolutely love this. I can't wait to see where it goes.

    17. 05-27-2020 08:53 AM #16
      Excellent purchase! In for updates.

      I first learned of these 2 years ago with this Chalet example; would be a nice small camper package if one needed that setup.

      https://bringatrailer.com/2016/08/08...eyenne-chalet/
      https://www.motor1.com/news/272831/c...mper-for-sale/

    18. Member
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      05-27-2020 09:20 AM #17
      Awesome I can get lost in some of the Expedition Portal threads. I remember your other builds, are they all gone? Looking forward to seeing your progress!

    19. Member uberR32's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 09:26 AM #18


      I love that bird finger cactus
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    20. Member
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      05-27-2020 09:39 AM #19
      Yaas, in for this.

    21. Member 2 doors's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 09:54 AM #20
      AWESOME! I had a 1985 K5 as my first vehicle that I bought at 16 in 1991. I scrapped it in 2016. Mine suffered from east coast/Michigan rust and probably looked as nice as yours for only a couple of years - it certainly was in worse shape than yours at only 6 years old. I remember a sticker in my cap saying specifically that you weren't supposed to replace the top with a camper shell. I know there was a "factory" version offered, but I never knew there was a 4 wheel camper specific version.

      Looking forward to this!
      Last edited by 2 doors; 05-27-2020 at 09:57 AM.

    22. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 09:59 AM #21
      Definitely in!

    23. Member Atl-Atl's Avatar
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      2018 Texas Dirt Taco 1978 Chebby Blazer
      05-27-2020 09:10 PM #22
      Thanks for all the comments and compliments everyone. The next few posts will be catching up to current so they might seem a little disconnected.

      My steering is pretty loose, more like really loose. Ive gone through the list of causes so I started diagnosing today. I definitely have play at the steering shaft bearing, not a ton but enough that I ordered a new bearing retainer for it. Then I had my girlfriend turn the wheel back and forth while I looked over all of the steering components. There is definitely some movement of the entire box on the frame. Gotta get a brace on order. Tomorrow Im hoping to check a few other things like wheel bearing nuts which apparently are a super common cause of loose steering in these trucks. The last thing I noticed was the front leaf spring bushings are definitely toast. There was visible back and forth movement in the bushings as the steering was going back and forth. That will hopefully be remedied soon with new suspension.



      Then this evening I went to the auto parts store and left with $85 worth of light bulbs, only to find that a number of my lighting issues are not bulb related. A lot of the wiring on this truck has been messed with in various horrible ways. My front right turn signal doesnt work and my rear right tail light doesnt work. I decided to tackle the rear right first. Someone in the past did a really shoddy job wiring in a trailer plug but the truck doesnt have a trailer hitch. Interesting. Also being from Arizona a lot of the wiring is super dry rotted, cracked and has exposed copper. I removed the trailer harness, vampire connectors and cleaned up some of the exposed wires and surprise surprise, rear right tail light and license plate lights work again!



      This is the real reason my tail light wasn't working.


      Works!

    24. Senior Member Iroczgirl's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 09:48 PM #23
      That's just awesome, congrats!
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    25. Member MotownSVT's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 10:31 PM #24
      Holy s**t... this is awesome. I remember someone in my little town growing up had one of these camper K5s in the early '80s and my dad had 3 Blazers when I was growing up ('78 Jimmy with a snowplow for winter money-making during his annual layoff, and then an '83 and '87 Chevy K5)... love love LOVE these things.

      I f**king hate camping and I'd buy one of these in a second. Can't wait to watch this thread.

    26. Member VR6GURU's Avatar
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      05-27-2020 10:35 PM #25

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