Woodalls Open Roads Forum: The mother of all TCs, made by Ford in 78
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 > The mother of all TCs, made by Ford in 78

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Neverhappy

Europe

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Joined: 11/07/2003

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Posted: 10/18/05 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone got a real cool TC for 1500 $


Y2K Silverado 1/2 ton...Whipple Supercharger,SuperSprings Airlifts (I know...)
97 Bigfoot 15C9.5FS ,FastGuns, 2 x 75w Solar
77 Chevy 1 Ton C30 (I love this truck)
2000 Chinook concourse (uncomfortable , badly designed rv ,must get rid of it :-( )

Mr. Tree

Cincinnati, Ohio

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Posted: 10/21/05 09:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In 1973, after my first pickup camper, while off the truck, was rolled 3 times across the yard by a tornado in Georgia, I used the insurance settlement to purchase a new Ford American Road Camper. Unlike the one on eBay, mine does not have the roof ladded or the Suburban furnace. Lenght is 11.5 feet. It is fully self contained with 30 gals of fresh water, 25 gals of grey, and 12 black (shower drains straight to the ground), and 2 20-pound propane cylinders. Dry weight is 2900 pounds. Fully loaded on my 1985 Ford 250HD 6.9/4-speed Diesel Supercab the rig weighs 9500 pounds and stands 10.5 feet tall. Ford asked people who had purchased heavy duty pickups what they wanted in a pickup camper since Ford wanted to improve their first attempt at making campers, the Gold Line slide in. Ford's plan was to build 2000 American Roads for sale through Ford Dealers and began selling them in June of 1973. They stopped after making 825 because of the Arab Oil Embargo which ruined the camper market; many makers filed for bankruptcy including Winnebago. The American Road was made to Ford's specs by Starcraft in Indiana and the fiber glass exterior proved very expensive to make. Mine has proven to be a marvelous camper and we still use it regularly. We have visited all states but Hawaii and all of Canada, spending 6 weeks in 1986 driving the Alcan all through The Yukon and Alaska. It'll make that trip again!It has been on 3 Ford trucks for a total of 450,000 miles. I have also lived in it for two years while changing jobs. One such stay was in Cincinnati during the winter of 1979 when temps dipped for 4 days to minus 25. I cramed foam into the 2 roof vents, put plastic film on the inside of the windows, kept the drapes closed, and ran my 1500 electric heater and stayed very warm.A hundred watt bulb under the exposed black water tank and valves kept things flowing perfectly. I have never experiencd the gassing problem mentioned a couple of times here; I know the Gold Line did have those problems. The American Road is rounded front to back and top to bottom, thus, letting it slide through the wind and virtually eliminating the slap of wind pushed by passing big rigs. No jacks to tear off in rough country since they store inside behind the dinette seat under the rear window. My truck has all the springs possible with no air bags, etc. and only once did I have a swaying problem which was due to bad tires. I now run Goodyear 235-85R-16-E industrial tires (steering tread up front and drive tread in back)at 85 pounds rear and 60 up front. The camper,except when I was living in it, is almost never off the truck. I routinely get 14 mpg in town while taking it to work daily and 16 on the road at 60 mph. Don't mean to brag, but I've never seen a better pickup camper and will keep mine as long as I can. I almost cried when I read that one Forum menber had paid $50 to landfill his. I would have paid him a bunch more for parts; for example I could use both rear light assemblies. So if any of you good folks know where I could get parts let me know. I've bummed around the used camper parts stores all over Indiana. One thing the eBay site did not include was a copy of the excellent owner's manual. It shows everything, for example, the location and color of every inside and outside 12 volt system wire, same for the 110 volt system, how each jack plate is mounted, how to remove the frige, water heater, etc. I've contacted the seller on eBay and asked him to forward my offer to give the the purchaser my extra copy of the owner's manual. I've enjoyed reading this forum for a year or so and this is my first attempet to contribute my 2 cents worth. Hope to see y'all soon on the American Road !


1973 Ford American Road 11.5' Camper with 500,000 enjoyable miles.
1985 Ford 250HD, 6.9Diesel/4-speed/3.54 limited-slip axle, Supercab, SRW. Consulting forester, Supervisor of SWCD, and NRA Life Member.
A city without trees ain't fit for a dog!


jmcgsd

San Diego, CA

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Posted: 10/21/05 10:38am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Neverhappy wrote:

Someone got a real cool TC for 1500 $

Maybe they'll join the forum and keep us informed!


'09 Pacific Coachworks Tango 276RBS

'91 F350 Dually 2WD CC 460 Gas
AirLift Bags, Reese Titan hitch, Rancho 9000X


btggraphix

Golden, CO

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Joined: 03/08/2005

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Posted: 10/21/05 11:01am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cool post Mr. Tree. Glad to hear of a camper lasting that long and working so well for somebody.

I guess that cold spell was the same one where Cincy played SD in the playoffs at about -15 at kickoff time. I built an snowcave (of sorts) at my parents house in Indiana and slept in it just to see if my sleeping bag was as good as advertised (I was about 14 at the time.)

edit: Actually, must have been a different cold snap.....the one I referred to was in 82 I think.

* This post was edited 10/21/05 11:17am by btggraphix *

Sublime

Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

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Posted: 10/21/05 11:13am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mr. Tree,
When you send off that owners manual, write a note for the owner to post here on the forum so we can see how that camper is holding up.


1999 Ford PSD Auto Trans. 4x4 SuperCab
2004 Lance 835
"Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late"
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Neverhappy

Europe

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Posted: 10/21/05 02:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mr Tree, thanks for your most interesting & inspiring post . I really enjoyed reading it. Maybe you can treat us to some pics? ...Please Mr. Tree...
I also join Sublime regarding the new owner of the Ebay steal

Ron

Rubiranch

Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort

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Posted: 10/23/05 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thanks Neverhappy, I would have liked to bought BUT!! We just bought the truck with a camper and already have a TT. I'm sure I would end up sleeping in one of them.

forddude

Kennewick Wa

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Posted: 10/22/05 07:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It would be neat to see one up close. Anything that has FORD on it can't be bad.


2004 Keystone Cougar 280BH powered by Yammie EF2800I all hauled w/ '76 F250 sc 4x2 with 3.55/1 Limited Slip somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Rubiranch

Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort

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Posted: 10/22/05 09:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator



That old Ford camper would look nice on my new Ford truck.

Neverhappy

Europe

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Posted: 10/23/05 04:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rubi, great truck & pics, thanx for sharing, you really should have bought that 1500 $ Ford TC, it was a perfect match as seen on the period sales brochure.

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