1970s Champion TransVan

Nothing says “mid-1970s” like a compact motorhome built on a full size van chassis. I spotted this retro camper and unfortunately did not have my real camera with me. So I have just one photo of this groovy cruiser.

TransVan was a line of Class B motorhomes produced by Champion in the 1970s and 1980s. You could get a Dodge-based model with a 360 V8 or a Chevy-based model with a 350 V8. They came in 17, 19, 21, and 23 foot lengths with two different interior configurations each. This particular one rides on a Chevrolet G30 chassis with dually wheels in the rear.

The TransVan was pretty basic when it came to amenities. There were sleeping accommodations and a sink and 2 cu-ft refrigerator in the kitchenette. A toilet was optional and there was never a shower on board.

Still, the TransVan offered a compact size that was easier to live with than a giant motorhome rig.

I can only imagine how many 8-tracks were played and how many joints smoked in the back of this thing. It’s probably all fake woodgrain and shag carpeting inside. It’s probably got 200,000 miles on it and gets 12 miles per gallon. The swirling stripes and the round bubble window on the back are pure 1970s design.

This thing is so awful that I actually kind of like it. Its design and styling are such a great example of the era that it deserves some appreciation. I only wish I had taken more pictures of it!

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3 thoughts on “1970s Champion TransVan

  1. My folks bought a Trans Van (by Champion) in the early 70’s. The entire family used it often and enjoyed it greatly…folks even driving it to AZ for a vacation. Engine ran on either gas or LP; a toggle switch made the change in mid-stride when needed! Had a furnace, sink, stove top, closet … and the AC unit was on roof. A deep-cycle marine battery was under one of the seats of the snook and provided power for tv, radio or AC when vehicle was at rest. The pole supporting the table would be put on the floor and the table top dropped down to close the gap between the two seats. The back cushions went on the table to make a bed. The bench seat back had hinges on either side allowing it to be pivoted–one full rotation–to fill the aisle space. So now the entire interior was a bed and could sleep four comfortably! Curtains in back, on sides and at front provided privacy. Heck of a vehicle; easy to drive, park, maneuver. I used it a few times when attending golf tournaments. Parked it at club, which was kind enough to allow me access to an outlet at night for juice. Folks sold it in mid-eighties. Saw it around area for next fifteen years, but nothing since then.

    • I recently bought a 1977/78 Dodge Transvan.
      84k miles &win great shape! I am trying to locate any info I can for this rig!
      Any ideas on sources.
      tHX, Gil

      • Gil, I purchased a 1977 transvan back in 1997. It sat in storage until recently. I am beginning the restoration process and am also having a hard time finding any information on the vehicle. If I do I shall share on the website.


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