Rare Chalet Camper: 1977 Chevrolet Blazer

Here’s another new one on me, a 1977 Chevrolet Blazer Chalet. There have been other limited production, camper variations that have surfaced, so finding a new one, such as this example, is always an education. This camper is located in Aurora, Colorado and is available, here on OfferUp for $15,000.

Briefly, the Chalet was available on the rear end of a Blazer or a GMC Jimmy in model years 1976 and 1977. the website Blazer Chalet contains a wealth of information, also claiming that there were about 1,835 produced. The 1976 Blazer sales brochure states, “Go Ahead. Move in. Live a little. Here’s the new Blazer Chalet.  It combines the toughness of a go-almost-anywhere 4 wheel drive Blazer with a spacious home away from home camper unit. Chalet has a fiberglass reinforced plastic camper body over a rigid steel frame. It accommodates up to four with dinette table, stainless steel galley, LPG stove, and an icebox“. I suppose that icebox is actually an icebox and not just an old-fashioned way to refer to a refrigerator.

The camper body on this Blazer, to my eyes, looks like a lump of concrete. Nothing appears to be out of sorts with it, and I guess that shows its ability to withstand the test of time, and it does blend in with the hue of the truck body. Speaking of which, other than some potential rust under both front-wheel opening moldings, and a flat finish, looks to be in sound shape. The seller does suggest that the rocker panels will need attention. The front-mounted spare tire is probably a later add-on as early Chalet images don’t illustrate such an arrangement. Of note, the pop-up top is claimed to be operational.

The lone image of the camper interior doesn’t present a very inviting image but that’s how these things were outfitted 40+ years ago. It looks to be in reasonably good condition, however, though the image is not comprehensive and there are no others included in the listing. The seller states, “according to the previous owner the stove/sink & heater works in the camper.” That’s a red flag, this camper is probably a flip, not that that’s an issue, but the statement sounds a bit like plausible deniability.

The driver’s compartment looks worn and dirty, particularly the driver’s seat and the carpet. The mileage is not disclosed so that would be something to investigate. Beyond what can be initially spied, there isn’t anything else observable.

Power is provided by a 165 net HP, 350 CI V8 engine connected to a three-speed automatic transmission. There are no comments made regarding this Blazer’s operating prowess though the installation of a new master cylinder is mentioned. The engine is dressed with an open-element air cleaner and non-OEM valve covers but appears unmodified beyond that. Of note, the A/C compressor is missing.

There are quite a few unknowns surrounding this camper, items that more thorough imagery would help answer – and then there’s the question of its mechanical state/mileage. But if a truck bed style camper is your thing, and you like retro designs, this Chalet could be a good source of transport and camping while en route to and from your real Chalet, right?

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Comments

  1. RC

    This is Chalet #1412, built in 9/76. We designate these by the last 4 digits on the little rectangular serial number plate on the back, right near the back door. I used to own Chalet #1747 and am the current caretaker of the VERY old blazerchalet website (I pay the bills to keep it online, and added the scant few update lines in it after 2010). It should be noted that the creator of the website long ago said there were 1,780 made, but that the highest serial number he knew of was #1835. This doesn’t mean there were 1,835 actually made, since it seems like the Chinook company got a bit arbitrary toward the end of production, slapping on whatever plates were laying around, where the later build dates didn’t necessarily correspond with the serial numbers. The highest serial I’ve seen myself is #1799 built in 12/76, while my own #1747 was built in 1/77. Go figure.

    The reason why the camper unit on this particular one “looks like a lump of concrete” is because it has apparently been rattle-can dust coated by some prior owner with what might be a bedliner spray, it’s definitely not a factory original appearance (the stripes are missing), and that along with other problems really hurts its collector value. Meanwhile, I track these things for my mega-spreadsheet list of all I can find in existence, and yes, indeed, this one is not only a flip sale, but may quite likely be a double flip after the Phoenix seller sold it around mid June to another Phoenix area buyer (that’s what he told me), and now we have it offered by a Colorado seller. I won’t get into pricing values here, some guys get mad when they are presented with reality. The unfortunate thing happening lately in this little niche market is that some guys with more dollars than sense are inadvertently creating artificially high pricing expectations all around when they pay the asking prices without doing more research about them.

    Like 30
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Your website was very helpful, thx for commenting!

      JO

      Like 5
      • RC

        You’re welcome, I’m really more of the caretaker of the site; one day, the original co-creator and I will bring it into the 21st century, but available time and a lack of money intervenes at the present time. I can be contacted for way more info at the contact page there via my ‘spam filtering’ email address, along with random background info on some of the ones for sale when I have prior info on them.

        Like 1
  2. local_sheriff

    While the Blazer Chalet/ GMC Casa Grande indeed was a limited production, quite a few have surfaced here on BF – last year we saw 5 and only 1 in worse condition than this one.

    As I’ve mentioned before I’m a big fan of K5s but I don’t like the idea of a seemingly top-heavy snail shell slowing them down. Its OE seats are gone and (as with so many other decades-old RVs) I can literally smell trapped odor through my screen. Since I was denied access to the ad I don’t see other pics than those in the write-up, but it’s all up to the condition of the Blazer body itself. Chalets usually led more pampered lives than regular K5s + Colorado vehicles seem to survive better. IMHO $ is hideous as it sits, if its body is sound I’d simply drop the Chalet top and re-Blazerize it

    Like 4
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Five, really? I guess I should start reading my colleague’s posts as I missed them.

      JO

    • nlpnt

      Here I was thinking if a Blazer Chalet is this far past original it might as well be rebuilt onto a later Blazer, one of the last squarebody models that were built concurrently with GMT400 pickups circa 1988-91, with factory EFI and other mod cons.

  3. Howard A Member

    I’ve mentioned before about my old mans auction exploits, and this was one of them. He got it cheap, it had been rolled, a common problem, they are incredibly top heavy. The camper part was ruined, unfixable, and he thought he could just put a K5 rear top on,,no deal. When they mounted the camper, they cut the top above the driver, and the top wouldn’t fit. I think he junked it after that. Limitations aside, a squarebody is unaerodynamic as it is, a square camper won’t help. High wind warnings should be heeded lest a blowover will result. Happens all the time out here. Nice find, but there’s better 4×4’s and better campers, but as a package, this is pretty cool.

    Like 4
  4. Ward William

    Nope. Too much ugly for the money.

    Like 1

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