Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Blazer wannabe looking at a "Chalet" model

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by stevew, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. stevew

    stevew Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    I just looked at a 1976 Blazer with a Chalet camper on top. It has the normal 400 CID engine and an automatic tranny, both of which seem to be in great shape.

    I want this vehicle for some light-to-moderate wheeling and serious camping, and it seems like the perfect mix. Any thoughts on this?

    The chalet camper is a bit taller than I would like (i.e. higher center of gravity), but at least it has some room. The departure angle seems a bit pathetic, but I've been wheeling long enough to understand the limitation here (won't be running even Fins & Things in Moab with it).

    The trails I would like to venture with it here in Colorado would range from Tin Cup (no concerns there) to Pearl Pass, Hancock, etc.

    With that 400 CID engine, do you think it would be a good tow vehicle for my 5,000 lb froader? The specs say "no," but I'm wondering if anyone is doing this.

    Any thoughts on what gas mileage I'm looking at? I was hoping for the low teens, but another website I found, blazerchalet.com, warned it would more likely be in single digits.

    I live in Denver, so about every wheeling/camping trip I take involves a couple hour drive into the mountains.

    Thanks!

    Steve W.
     
  2. anatomiczero

    anatomiczero 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Posts:
    418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Washington
    Re: Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    I get 8-10 mpg on my stockish Jimmy with a 350, I HIGHLY doubt you'll be in the teens with a Chalet.
     
  3. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 31, 2000
    Posts:
    10,384
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    Re: Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    There are at least a couple of members here that have Chalet K5's. K5 NUTT and dremu (I'm pretty sure that dremu is the owner of the blazerchalet.com website. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif ) I think they're very cool rigs. Although camping in one will be a little bit on the cozy side for more than one person, a fully tricked out one has a fridge, stove, and furnace, so it's definitely better than tent camping. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I think with a small lift and 33 to 35-inch tires, you could get to a lot of great places with one. Pearl Pass is pretty rocky, so it may test a few of the body panels, but Tincup and Hancock are easily doable, though you'll have to bypass that stretch of Old Tincup. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Stock 400's were never noted for their fuel effficiency. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif A stock K5 weighs in around 5,500 pounds, and I'm sure that the Chalet package added quite a bit to that. One thing to certainly watch out for is the axle ratio. GM was falling in love with 3.08's in that time frame, in a quest for mileage. However, if you plan to go with larger than stock tires, 3.08's totally suck, especially up here in the Rockies. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif Between the altitude and the long grades, you'll be shopping for gears (or better yet, heavier duty axles with better gears) after the first run up I-70.

    The options list is usually found inside the glove box. '76 might even be old enough that it's written in plain english, /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif but if it just has the 3-digit codes, here's a list to decipher the ones for the axles;

    GU2 = 2.73
    GU4 = 3.08
    GU6 = 3.42
    GT4 = 3.73
    GT5 or GT8 = 4.10
    G80 = Gov-lock

    But on a rig that old, it's possible that the axle ratio no longer matches the as-built sticker, so you may need to pull a diff cover and check it yourself.
     
  4. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    7,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Re: Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    Welcome to CK5

    Engine is only part of the Equasion when towing. Wheelbase is as important as engine. The more the trailer weights the long the wheelbase is the general rule of thumb. Lifted trucks and towing is again not a good combination. Factor in the extra 800-1000lb for the Chalet and the truck frame is pretty burdend already. Then there is the issue of getting a hitch on that booger with the camper hanging out behind it.

    I personnaly would't recomend towing more then about 2k on a utility trailer with a Chalet little lone a modified one. STOCK blazer on 31's ...yeah 5k is doable without much problems.

    K5Nutt Has a homing beacon on "Chalet" and "Casa Grande". He has a lot of experiance with these vehicles. He currently putting FI on his and he has done some other major upgrades. I'm sure he will share some of his personal thoughts and he's the guy to listen to on these.
     
  5. stevew

    stevew Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    Just wanted to thank you all for your quick and helpful feedback. While this Chalet is definitely a very cool version of the blazer, I still haven't decided yet.

    Love the K5 blazers, but I'm just afraid of that 2 extra feet of rear overhang from the Chalet. I've seen quite a few blazers for sale recently from the same era with the Four Wheel pop-up, and I think I'm going to keep my eye out for one of those.

    My wife, though, is pushing for the bigger Chalet camper -- and it's still possible I could get talked in to it. Suuure do like that interior size for camping.
     
  6. K5 NUTT

    K5 NUTT 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Junction Colorado
    Re: Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    Okay...finally back home after watching my uncle's place for 1.5 weeks...he went to Kentucky for the 50th anniv or the corvette run at the factory...point is that his old puter with aohell at 28k is aggravating for me...

    Dremu (Aaron runs/owns the site...i am more or less the tech end of the site and add input and brochures we scrounge for...

    Grimy...the chalet is TBI'd...ran really sweet...untill the engine got to 238 degree's on the test run with the scanner to monitor things...good news is i found my vibration....bad news is she is down again until i can go buy another crank for a 400sb...spun numbers 5-6 rods...so since my spare motor went to the machine shop monday for the rod knock in the burb( got it cheap cause of this) the chalet is on the back burner for right now... or at least until i can get enough o/t for motor work money on the chalet...which is a real pain because for a few minutes i thought we can clearance to run down and explore the San Juans...oh well...better to break in the drive way...

    Steve...is your last name really wright? To funny as its my last name...hope your not the steve wright from my high school days...;). Anyways...are you from colorado and where abouts? The chalet really can get the job done when it comes to the trails...yes the camper is taller than the pop ups...which are really hard to find in good shape anymore...i have seen more than 4 running around town this year (grand junction)..but i am biased towards the chalet as i have the outdoors experience running trails with them. They 4wheel rather well due to the weight over the rear axle...mine will actually pick a front tire off the ground and keep right on motivating thru some rather nasty stuff. Departure angle is an issue...and i have a slightly bent bumper to prove that theory...however it can be helped out by building a custom rear bumper or beefing up the rear bumper area and adding wheels on non swiveling casters like some of the big rv's do...a tought i have yet to do something about since most of my time recently has been occupied with the tbi swap and getting some oem low backs recovered and installed...i also have some video footage of the chalet in action in az heading out to one of my old haunts (columbia az.)...the trail out there gets nasty'r ever year and the chalet can handle it quite well...allthough it grates on you nevers the swaying to and fro and the clanking of pots and pans...but hey..look at what you are doing. Since your profile is not filled out....shame on you...i will assume that you are in colorado or utah...my cel number is 970-250-3800...call if you wish to talk at length about the chalet...or want to bring the wife by to check it out...your more than welcome. Seems odd some one to hand out there number to a stranger...but thru our site this happened once before...and now i have a chalet in WI with a loving owner who takes his dogs everywhere in it...goes hunting...fishing..sleding...and sends me videos of his trips...and calls to chat from time to time...Hal Leedy is his name....he was once in your shoes...to chalet or not to chalet...he chalet'd and is glad he did!! Plus it would be nice to have a fellow owner here in colorado to go explore the rockies with...and of course any help you need working on her is fine by me...lol. Trying to not get the over whelming urge to buy a no motor or trans 77 Casa Grande for $1500 in silt colorado...the rarest of the rare..but with 4 K5's...1 Chalet and 1 90 V2500 burb its time to stop aquiring K5's for a bit...lol.

    Doug Wright
     
  7. stevew

    stevew Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Posts:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Re: Blazer wannabe looking at a \"Chalet\" model

    Thanks for the great response, Doug. And yes ... we do have the same last name. Don't remember a Doug Wright from H.S., though. I live over the hill from you in Denver.

    Anyway ... I just tried to call you but decided not to leave a V.M. (I'll try again later). Since you're a Colo guy, maybe you know the specific trails I'm concerned about.

    I definitely wouldn't take this rig to Holy Cross city, though I might have my wife drive it in the "short" entrance and then I would meet her with the built rig to complete the trail. Then just use the Chalet for camping out after tackling French creek and etc.

    The other set of trails I was thinking about was the whole Taylor/Pearl/Schofield loop. I like to run these trails about once a year, but because of the length I usually camp out. In this case I'd want the Chalet to run them all the way through. There's a specific obstacle on Taylor that can give open axle vehicles some trouble even though most of the trail is easy. With all the weight in the back the Chalet might actually do better.

    TTYL ...
     

Share This Page