K5 Camper: 1977 Chevrolet Blazer Cheyenne Chalet Camper

I must admit, when I saw this my reaction was “that’s a nice slide-in camper” but after a second look, I realized this is something different. Here we have a 1977 Chevy K5 Blazer Camper conversion that is the product of a collaboration between GM and a camper manufacturer. This is definitely worth a second look. Check it out here on eBay in Lakewood Washington with bidding up to $8600 at the time of writing.

 

For 1976 and 1977 GM teamed up with Chinook Mobilodge Inc to produce the Chevy Blazer Chalet and GMC Jimmy Casa Grande camper conversions. Check out this great Hemmings article about these unique trucks. The Blazer is a good platform for a camper because the cab is open in the back which allows for full access to the living area. The Chalet camper was custom built for the Blazer. Constructed of a fiberglass body over a steel frame, the camper was permanently mounted to the Blazer and not designed to be removed. The pop-top allowed for a tall adult to stand up and there are sleeping accommodations for 2 although an optional upper bunk was available.

The interior is very clean and looks like its ready to use. This Chalet is equipped with a table, sink, stove, and refrigerator. Optional cots are mentioned, so this may sleep 4 people. The ad has an ample amount of pictures, although the angles make it hard to get a good idea of the dimensions inside.

The conversion looks well built and this one is very well preserved. Little details like matching blazer taillights in the camper and a step below the license plate make a difference. The graphics are worn, I assume replacements will be hard to find but it wouldn’t be impossible to get some made.

The driver’s compartment is standard K5 Blazer. The bucket seats have been redone and the carpet has been replaced. The seller just purchased the truck from the previous owner of 25 years. It’s obviously been well cared for with original paint and no rust. This truck is equipped with an Automatic, 3 and 4-speed manual transmissions were available.

The small block 400 runs great, with 122K miles on the odometer the engine has probably never been overhauled and should be good for a while with proper care. These trucks are rare, approximately 1,800 were made. With the popularity of campers now, and condition of this one I am interested to see where this will go.

 

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Comments

  1. Big_Fun Member

    The wheel and tire combo on this Chalet really make the colors pop – and give it a more purposefull look overall that I like.
    Question: Do the body mounted tail lights work in tandem with the camper mounted tail lights?
    Thanks in advance.

    4
    • Russell C

      Yes they do. Except when the Chinook wiring splice into the truck wiring is not happy. When I owned Chalet #1747 (we designate these by the camper serial number found on the little plate by the back door – this one is #1513 built in Jan 1977), I could never get one of the taillights to behave, even with a new bulb in it.

      2
  2. local_sheriff

    I’m definately amongst the ‘Blazerholic’ crowd however as I’ve mentioned before I really think GM missed the boat on the Chalet/ Casa Grande by making them permanent campers only. OK; you get a decent camper for occasional weekend sleep overs, but you’ll have to drag around with that bulky snail shell the rest of the week.

    Now, the good thing about them is they come with beefier drivetrain and cooling capacity than base K5s and they’ve usually lived more comfortable lives than regular Blazers. So IMO a Chalet/ Casa would probably make a good vehicle to re-Blazerize if the price is set right. As for the Chalet-specific graphics a reputable company making advertizing decals for vehicles could probably be able to help?

    5
    • Russell C

      True on the basic Chinook camper design flaw of a permanent camper. When these are laboriously taken off, they aren’t self-supporting at the front, and when left sitting, they start to collapse inward at the lower front. When I had my Chalet #1747, I wish I could have taken it off in order to make use of the Blazer to haul a few really bulky items around. I always try to encourage guys who find an orphaned gutted camper unit to not only fit it with lighter weight modern amenities, but to also do serious engineering to it to make it easily removed and re-mounted, and then to do a big magazine writeup of the whole procedure.

      3
  3. Jamie

    Question:::: can the shell come off of these things if you wanted to go somewhere without the camper but don’t want to clean up your campsite ? I don’t see anything like legs or something like an aftermarket shell. I want to purchase one , but this is my main question

    • local_sheriff

      Yes it can be removed, but it’s a LOT of work. Its bumper will also be too far behind. That was my point in the post above ; it should’ve been designed to be fitted with an ordinary top when you’re not camping….

      3
      • Russell C

        And a person with usable electrical wiring skills would have to invent a connector system for the camper wiring harness to be detachable from the truck wiring, since it all came as a permanent taped together splice from the factory.

        2
  4. Marko

    One of the nicest Chalet’s I have seen offered lately.

    Kind of a North American version of a VW Westphalia camper.

    Awesome.

    2
  5. Big Al

    Check that frame very close, seems like some spray paint has been carefully applied ,I’ve seen frame rust on these blazers simply cobbled up,smoothed out and painted, sold to some unsuspecting buyer,then damage found first time off road,…may not be the case here, but looks suspect ,must inapect frame very,very close!

  6. TonyBook

    Looks like the real deal to me.
    Nothing wrong with the decals just shows it’s original. This thing does 25k plus on bring a trailer.

    • Russell C

      Yes & no on both counts. That’s more than the usual amount of decals left on these rigs, and a little less than usual fading/cracking, but the diagonals on the back should be continuous, not divided. Chinook did not use very good vinyl, and on my own former Chalet #1747, the diagonals were also divided at that ‘beltline’ step area since it is a particular area prone to peeling. But on mine, a former owner cut the lower line of the break into a rounded shape rather then the straight line seen in this one.

      Regarding prices, well, from all my tracking of these since 2005 via printouts from ebay and Craigslist, the top end sale price for fully restored ones is more like in the $18k range, and the megadollar exceptions (Chalet #s1385, 1203, 0414, 1683 and 0653) were basically unrestored really shined up rigs with major restoration faults that were bought by buyers with more money than sense who probably thought they were buying the last Chalet on the planet. The ebay winner of #1203 was unaware that his rig’s roof was glued down and that its interior was totally nonoriginal, while the #0414 one was described as having a mint interior when it was actually missing the passenger side closet and had a months-old set of incorrectly reupholstered dinette seats. Whoever got #1683 for allegedly $30k could have saved the cost of a $14k wax job if they had consulted me a year earlier when I could have directed them to the classic car dealership where it had been languishing unsold for $16k for a couple of years.

      3
      • Scott Allen Staff

        Russell, Thanks for your input! Your knowledge base is impressive, I’m always amazed at the amount of knowledge gathered by people that are fans of esoteric vehicles like this one. Thanks for reading!

        1
  7. Ike Onick

    Looks like a wedding cake

  8. Russel the muscle

    Russell C
    2005 prices are different than 2020 . I should have never sold my blah blah blah

  9. Small block

    I wonder if any of these every appeared in any TV shows or Movies of the day. Does anyone know?

  10. Jamie

    Alaskan Bush people. The older kid had a blue one

  11. Tonybook

    I called the guy said he sold for $20500

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