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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Greenlight 1973 Winnebago Chieftain

Greenlight has made huge strides in the RV business with the first all thanks to the TV series "Breaking Bad" and the 1986 Fleetwood Bounder.  Since then the Bounder has taken on a more modern 2016 look and also has a few more competitiors coming.  One of them is Winnebago, a well-know RV company that is so popular that the definition of an RV would have Winnebago in it, and just like the first Bounder this Winnebago also has ties to another TV series from AMC, "The Walking Dead".

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Founded by John K. Hansen in 1958 he was encouraging the small town of Winnebago City, Iowa to buy into the travel home business to keep the city alive during an economic downturn.  What he created was RV's that were priced lower than rivals and affordable for the working class.  Since then his RV's have been world-famous not only on the roads but in countless TV and film appearances.  The 1970's Winnebago's were also noted for their Native American tribe names and one of them was the Chieftain.  The Chieftain was one of Winnebago's first full-size motor home and not just a home attached to an existing vehicle.  The shape had a roof that canted inward at the bottom and some aggressive styling touches.  The ladder frame is powered by a big-block V8 that produces a range from 250-400 estimated horsepower through a two-speed automatic transmission.

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The beige RV with tan lower stripe and famed W logo has no mistaken for any other RV than a Winnebago.  Even more neat is the amount of details that this Walking Dead version has, and will offer later on (it's the first RV in Greenlight's series to tow a boat and offer rooftop accessories).  The front has large chrome eggcrate grilles on a slight forward nose that has round headlights next to smaller signal lights, and a lower bumper with tow hooks.  The split windshield has a large crack on the right side, while just above is the Winnebago name with running lights and Georgia RV tags.  On the left-side is a fading stripe that leads to the chieftain name, along with air vent panels just behind the rear wheels, white 5-spoke wheels with dually's in the rear and nice rust spot details, chrome exterior mirror, and some odd gauge stickers on the side window.  Just above the driver is an A/C unit to keep the driver cool, while uptop there's two more A/C units for the rear, the bathroom exhaust vent, and a classic spear-shaped antenna in the fold down position.  Access to the top is granted by a rear chrome ladder and chrome bars along the rear of the roof.

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On the right-side is where the awning would come out along with the ports for water and fuel.  Just below the passenger window is the name Dale and Irma Horwath the owners of the RV and the characters on the show.  Out back is more detail with square taillights, Georgia plate, more Georgia RV stickers, chrome hooks on the bumper, and Pill Box on the roof I guess indicates that this was the refugee spot for humans and the cure-all for any incoming zombies.  The base does not show much aside from the drivetrain, fuel and battery tanks, and a rear compressor motor.  Now it would've been nice for me to get some interior shots, but the problem is its impossible as the base construction is secured by the front and rear bumpers a'la Bburago.  The good news is that the butterscotch interior has the proper layout with sofa, bed, chairs, kitchen, table, bathroom, and rear sleeping area that one expects in an RV.  Getting into the front seats requires a climb but once in there the driver gets all sorts of controls right at his or her fingertips.  The layout is basic and analog so no fancy digital stuff here.

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With more RV's on the way it's nice to see Greenlight diversifying brands and having the Winnebago brand is one of the most important of them all.

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