Junkyard Find: 1967 Chevrolet P20 Adventure Line Motorhome

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1967 chevrolet p20 adventure line motorhome

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, quite a few Midwestern RV manufacturers would take new Chevrolet Step-Vans and build them into motorhomes. Most spent productive decades ferrying retirees between Michigan and Florida, then settled into long-term retirement in driveways and dirt lots, serving as homes for many generations of raccoons, possums, and wasps.

Here’s a Kansas-built P20-series RV in the San Francisco Bay Area, giving up some of its components while awaiting the cold steel jaws of The Crusher.

I couldn’t find much information online about the RVs made by the Adventure Line Manufacturing Company in Parsons, Kansas, though there is a bit of firearms-forum discussion about the AR-15 magazines made by the company a few years after building this vehicle.

RVs are always the most disgusting vehicles found in the inventory of self-service wrecking yards, invariably packed with hantavirus-saturated rodent detritus and bottles full of crank piss (or worse). I have spent far too much time in junked RVs, ever since I made the stupid decision to heat my garage with a Winnebago propane furnace.

The engine is gone, but it would have been a pushrod straight-six ranging in displacement from 194 to 292 cubic inches with an output between 120 to 170 horsepower. That’s right, this massive steel box got its motivation from an engine making horsepower very similar to that of a 2017 Corolla (though the 292 did put out 275 lb-ft of torque). Think about that next time you complain about modern econoboxes being underpowered.

I couldn’t make out the price on this tattered FOR SALE sign, but I’m sure it was nowhere near low enough.

Coming down the hill from Donner Summit with these brakes must have been exciting.

Made when men were men and California families vacationed in hoppy, clattery, leaf-sprung delivery vans.

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2 of 28 comments
  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on Mar 24, 2017

    Great pictures

  • Triman95 Triman95 on Apr 25, 2017

    The Adventure Line Manufacturing Company was founded and owned by Chester Charles John (Known to friends as "CC"). The name came from a tour boat he used to own and operate in the Hawaiian Islands that he named "Adventure Liner" after WWII. He eventually sold the company and moved to the Midwest where he founded a company manufacturing camping equipment. As the company grew to large for his garage he moved it to Parsons KS. There he expanded to manufacturing camping trailers, pickup slide in campers, and motorhomes. He also looked into the feasibility of aluminum cookware. When he discovered the benefits of government contracts he began manufacturing bomb casings, and then the aforementioned M16 magazines. He sold the company and retired to Florida in the early 70s. The building he constructed in Parsons (following a fire in the original building) is still used for manufacturing today by the Ducommun Aerostructures company. CC John was also a Pearl Harbor survivor, a Navy Vet, he served in the Merchant marine, and was my Grandfather.

  • NotMyCircusNotMyMonkeys for that money, it had better be built by people listening to ABBA
  • Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?