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Iconic Camper: 1972 Winnebago Brave

This 1972 Winnebago Brave 20RD motorhome is said to be in fine shape, certainly an outlier when it comes to vintage homes on wheels. The Brave has just over 60,000 original miles and is said to run well and have clean confines for the four warm bodies that can sleep in it to enjoy. The Winnebago is listed here on eBay with bids to over $5K but with the reserve still unmet. It’s located in Monument, Colorado.

This Brave model has more than a few things going for it, including the 20 foot length and 440 V8 power on board. The wheelbase is a slightly subjective quality, but it just seems ideal both proportionally and for parking in random parking spots while on the road. Some of these came equipped with 318s which were likely pretty gutless when responsible for motivating something this large, so the 440 should remedy that while being just as easy to work on.

The interior is in fine shape, and provides some comfort that the low mileage may, in fact, be genuine. The straightforward controls should be pretty simple to master if you’ve never driven an R/V before, and that reasonable wheelbase will again be an asset for getting over any first-time voyage jitters. The seller notes this Class A motorhome runs and drives great, so presumably, some maintenance has been done to keep it in tune.

The cooking equipment and living accommodations seem quite clean, impressive considering they look to be original to the Winnebago. Water intrusion can be an issue on any old R/V, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem here. Demand for vintage campers is all over the map, with some listed as free to get them off of private property to others being fully restored and demanding six figures. This one is happily in the middle, and could be a good deal if the reserve is fair.


  1. Howard A Member


    Like 2
  2. Howard A Member

    Ok, then, some may notice the red “member” dealybob again, that’s right, and now that I’m a member, I’m going to say,,,you can agree or disagree with me and that’s cool. I get a lot of my info off Wiki, and if it’s incorrect, please, politely let me know, and I’ll try to do the same. We’re all bozos on this bus.( Firesign Theater 1971)
    On to the Winne, my parents had a small Winnebago just like this. It was my dad’s 1st motorhome after the travel trailer, and all those fiascos. My dad liked it because, it was load and go. It was crude by todays standards. Handled like a whale, rode like a truck ( it is essentially a straight truck frame and drive train) gallons per mile fuel economy, and some tense moments will be had in a stiff crosswind, but negatives aside, these ushered in a new age of camping, the motorhome. They were all Dodge, as the dash is right out of an A100. I’m a bit surprised at the bidding, most of these end up at monster truck shows, and with bidding over $5g’s, I doubt that’s what will happen to this. People are chucking it all, and actually living in these things, especially here in Colorado, and you know, for $5 grand, and apt. rentals topping 4 figures/ month, it might not be so foolish.

    Like 9
    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Yes, for whatever reason, folks of all ages are deciding that living in one of these things is where it’s at. I still think it’s a case of seeing someone else doing it on TV or social media and suddenly deciding it’s for you despite never having driven one.

      It’s like my mechanic says about folks spending six figures for a 21-window Type 2: It’s all fun and games ’til you drive the thing and realize it can’t go up hills and you’ll be dead if you rear end anything bigger than a Prius at speed.

      Like 16
    • On and On On and On Member

      Welcome back as a member Howard, I somehow knew it would eventually happen. It’s a good deal for all BFers …….Now, on to the Motorhome. I’ve toyed with the idea of buying one to have up on my land in far N.W. Wisconsin. I have over an acre and I’m in a county and township that would allow this parked on my land year round. Not for me to live in per se, but for visitors to enjoy or to take ON SHORT TRIPS ONLY up to Lake Superior or the UP. As far as a living quarters it’s an interesting idea, and I think a single person or a close couple could do it. Are there places in Colorado you could park it for a time that’s reasonable? I know in Wisconsin you could find them, I’ll bet folks with acreage would love the idea of getting some cash for a parking place with a plug in…………….

      Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Hey Gregg, you know the old saying, if you can’t beat them, join them. You know, with as busy as it is out here, there seems to be a surprising lack of campsites. You can camp in the mountains for nothing up to 2 weeks, but no facilities, state forest has few, $30 bucks/night plus a sticker,and the campgrounds that are here, fill up quick. With taxes and maintenance, and nothing in the winter, it probably doesn’t pay.

        Like 1
    • Robbie M.

      Spot on Howard. I had one of these (a 76 if I recall) about 20 years ago. Was in very good shape and we had some good times in it but I HATED driving it. Drove it up and down I-75 here in FLA a number of times. We thought we were going to wreck every time the wind blew or a semi passed. Ended up selling it to a guy who lived in the woods and was going to use it as a mother-in-law suite. Much better suited for that than today’s highways.

      Like 2
  3. Bear

    “Mini Winnie” :-)
    When I was a kid a neighbor of ours had one of these.
    A big advantage was that it was small enough for him to be able to park it in his South San Francisco tract home driveway (typically not known for having large/long driveways). As opposed to SO MANY of the larger motor-homes that will require you to rent a parking space at a storage facility. (& in the SF Bay Area that parking space rental ain’t gonna be cheap!!)

    Remember, the Christmas holiday is coming.
    I’ll bet that many of you have a cousin named Clark that you’d like to surprise with an impromptu visit for the holidays!?!
    (Just be sure to check with your cousin’s neighbors before emptying your septic tank into the storm drain!) :-P

    Like 10
    • Gaspumpchas

      LOL Bear…$hitter’s full….


      Like 10

    😲69 TRAVCO MDL 270 M300 DODGE CHASSEE,20′ 318 2BRL 212hp, 4.88
    DANA 70, 😎

    Like 1
  5. Chris

    Check out the Youtube channel Fuel Injection Sucks. They put a turbo LS in one of these. The build was really interesting, and it hauls.

    Like 3
    • Andy

      My Class B has a 351 Windsor, it gets about 9 mpg on a good day and did about 50 mph getting over the Rockies. I think all the time about what an improvement a modern engine would make.

      Like 1
  6. Andy

    I spent a chunk of this year seeing the USA in an ’89 Class B on an Econoline chassis. A 20 foot Class A is mighty tempting, more spacious than my van for sure, and this one looks to be in great condition. A steering damper and sway bars, if they’re not already on board, would help a lot. But I won’t go anywhere without my Yamaha 200 out back, and hanging even a bike that small so far behind the rear axle seems sketchy. Anyway, if it’s as good as it looks, $5k sounds like a great deal.

  7. Dean

    Brings to mind that short-lived TV show, Johnny Bago

  8. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Way less utility for the originally intended use than a car of the same vintage. Seriously, rainbows are interfering with the vision of anyone bidding with the thought of using it for extended travel.

    I just sold a short (27′) low-miles 1985 Itasca a couple of months ago. I bought for $5K, and spent a couple of weeks and quite a few $ getting it ready for a real road trip. My son took it from Michigan on a 9000 mile route through national parks, and up into Canada, with others joining for parts of the journey. It was a BBC (replaced by a PO), returned between 6 and 9 mpg, depending on the terrain and wind direction. It had so many features not included in the Winnie.

    That one WAS capable of long-term travel/living. This one is to me not much more than an interesting showpiece that could be slept in occasionally.

    BTW, I own a 36′ diesel pusher from 1991. I can take it anywhere, during warm months anyway. A real issue with all rolling homes is the potential for frozen water systems, which will damage pipes hidden in walls and behind cabinets.

    Like 1
  9. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    This is a neat little rig that seems to have been well taken care of. A little Spartan maybe considering the amenities the newer ones have but I think it would work well for short trips. I don’t think I’d care to spends weeks at a time in it though. Myself, I prefer travel trailers to one of these. I had a 23 footer that I could easily pull with my ’72 F100 with a 302 and three-on-the-tree. I liked that if I wanted to, I could unhook and tool around the local areas in a little pickup that got better than 7 or 8 mpg and I didn’t have to look for a truck stop to park it in.

    Like 1
  10. mike

    call me Heisenberg

    Like 3
  11. Keith D.

    Anyone remember the 70’s Saturday morning kids TV show SHAZAM!

    Like 2
  12. PairsNPaint

    I see this and all I can think of is Walter White & Jesse Pinkman.

    Like 2
  13. djjerme
  14. Richard Gugenberger

    My Brother Dan had a Winnie just like this , a motor home from hell, went on a fishing trip to Mass with it , over heated , roof AC crapped out , dash air crapped out ,(90 degrees out ) , lost the brakes and the steering column pulled out of the dash , what a trip!! He came home and traded it off on a new coachman class C , Now that was nice trouble free rig !! Always had a sour taste for these after that !!

    Like 3
  15. John

    Richard G., this is exactly why a well-maintained older unit does bring more money. There are many cheap older motorhomes available but many have gone beyond the point of no return and are true money pits. For those that are interested in parking an RV as guest quarters, I would definitely say buy the travel trailer. The drivetrain maintenance challenges on older motorhomes that don’t get used are a significant item and space dedicated to cab area is underutilized space. Travel trailers require only the maintenance of house/camper systems and give better living space utilization.

    Like 4
  16. sluggo

    We own a cabin up at a small private vacation community and many people we know sold their homes do varying versions of RV’ing and snow birding. Some do the 5th wheels, some toy haulers, Some do the Pusher luxury tour buses and a few try these old hulks.
    I dont see the value in something like this,, I see a lot of them for free or nearly free. The main value is the plates, vin and frame for a tiny home. Many people scrap and repurpose them into a tiny home build. These conversions wont ever drive anywhere and effectively a fixed home but they get around zoning and the rules by using a vehicle. Research how this works in your area but its wildly popular in many places.
    Conversely,, Here in Oregon and the west coast we have an epic homeless crisis and derelict zombie RVs are a blight. Many dont/cant run and are a serious problem.
    Reality is many deaths, fires and other problems. Most of these have shoddy wiring, the propane to run the fridge and cooking, heat is a fire hazard, poorly insulated,as well as sewage issues. The local fire dept rolls on fire calls for RVs like this at least once a week and one caught fire last summer up the street. Did a lot of damage to neighboring structures and the “Residents” fled when the fire started because they had warrants.
    But Id give you $200 for it for repurposing it into a tiny home. Thats all its worth.

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