Top 4 Common Chinook RV Problems & How to Fix Them


Like other RV brands, Chinook RV problems exist. From a “cramped” interior to lackluster RV battery performance and everything in between, functional and “aesthetic” issues can discourage a buyer from purchasing this vehicle.

Here’s a glimpse of common Chinook RV concerns and their solutions.

Chinook RV Issues Solutions
Generator vibrations ● Use premium-quality oil

● Tighten loose bolts, mounting plates, and brackets

● Replace damaged plugs and wires

Small interior ● Use space-efficient fixtures and furnishings

● Declutter and organize

● “Think small”

Battery issues ● Use premium-quality RV batteries

● Replace damaged battery components

Freshwater dribbling ● Replace damaged freshwater tank and components

● Drive on even roads

Knowing these problems and their fixes should help you stay on course to a splendid RVing experience.

Please read on.

Common Problems with Chinook RVs

Chinook remains a trustworthy brand among old-school RVers and 21st-century folks who want a sports car-like motorhome. However, Chinook also suffers from some RV quality issues. After all, even the most expensive and technologically-advanced vehicle can have flaws.

So, what problems can you expect from a Chinook RV, and how can you address them?

1. Generator Vibrations


Power generators are essential to any motorhome. These devices transform mechanical energy from the RV’s drivetrain into usable electricity, charging the RV’s “house battery” to run different electrical appliances in the motorhome.

An often-overlooked function of the RV generator is its ability to produce a magnetic field. This invisible force grows stronger the nearer and faster the magnetic coils spin.

Unfortunately, the faster the coil rotates, the higher the risk of dislodging loose components from their positions and generating sounds in the camper.

Poor quality or insufficient oil can also cause the RV generator to vibrate, producing an unsettling noise.

Vibrations can also come from a faulty spring mechanism between the RV generator and its mounting plate. The mounting plate can also loosen, causing the generator and plate to rattle.

In some cases, users may experience engine issues (i.e., fuel ignition problems) or have a loose exhaust bracket, both of which may produce knocking or rattling sounds in the RV generator.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

Here’s how to troubleshoot and address vibrations from the Chinook RV’s generator.

  • Check the manufacturer’s oil recommendations and use only high-quality products to lubricate the engine and generator components.
  • Inspect the generator’s mounting plate and spring mechanism if you can. Secure loose bolts fastening the mounting plate, or replace the broken spring.
  • Assess all electrical wires and plugs for signs of deterioration or damage and replace them as necessary, including the spark plugs and their cables.
  • Check the exhaust system bracket and tighten it if loose.

The first and last solutions are easy. Unfortunately, assessing the generator, electrical system, and engine piston (including the fuel ignition system) can be challenging for some Chinook RV owners. Consider a mechanic for the job.

2. Small Interior


Some RV enthusiasts consider Chinook the “sports car of motorhomes.” And if that is an accurate description, it would be unwise to complain about its “cramped” interior. After all, have you seen a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Bugatti without sufficient space for a family of five?

A Chinook RV interior isn’t the most spacious but offers enough amenities to make camping and road-tripping enjoyable. Unfortunately, most RVers don’t find it suitable for their adventures, especially on long trips.

For instance, you cannot expect to put full-sized tables, beds, and other furnishings in the vehicle. The kitchenette is cramped, and the commode can be a tight squeeze. There’s no bathtub to immerse your tired body after a day of trekking.

Ventilation and natural lighting can be an issue in a tight and cramped space, contributing to mold and mildew growth. The musty smell can only complicate the feeling of suffocation, especially for claustrophobic RVers.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

Sadly, you cannot make a Chinook RV bigger. However, you can observe the following go-arounds to address its space limitations.

  • Consider a sofa bed you can convert into a lounge during the day and sleeping furniture at night.
  • Ensure adequate airflow to the Chinook interior by opening all windows, regardless of size.
  • Use space-saving items and furnishings to maximize the RV’s cramped space while ensuring optimum comfort.
  • Declutter and remove everything unnecessary for an RV trip.
  • “Think small.”

You can buy a larger Chinook RV model or a different brand if these fixes don’t solve your problems.

3. Battery Issues


Batteries don’t last a lifetime. Hence, these issues on the Chinook RV aren’t exclusive to the brand. Battery components can corrode or wear out over time.

Driving in extreme weather conditions can also impact battery operation. Excessive heat can “melt” sockets and wires, shorting the electrical circuit. The battery could freeze and become unable to receive, hold, and deliver a charge.

Improper RV operation can drain the battery faster, while “parasitic drains” can shorten the unit’s lifespan.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

Here are a few solutions to Chinook RV battery issues.

  • Turn on the RV’s ignition and listen for a clicking sound. You have a battery issue if you hear the “click.”
  • Check the radiator fan for optimum function. This RV component “cools” the engine compartment (including the battery).
  • Inspect all battery components (i.e., terminals, cable clamps, bolts, wiring, mounts, belts, and fuses) for corrosion, faulty operation, and signs of damage.
  • Observe the correct procedure for charging the RV battery.
  • Ensure to turn off all electrical devices (including headlights and room lights) when leaving the motorhome.

We recommend hiring an electrician to check the Chinook RV for parasitic battery drains.

4. Freshwater Dribbling


A freshwater tank is a crucial RV component, delivering clean water to the kitchenette and toilet. Hence, water dribbling from this tank isn’t exclusive to Chinook motorhomes.

Water dribbling from any tank indicates poor-quality materials and construction. For example, less sturdy tanks can crack, allowing water to seep and drip. These compartments are also prone to heat-related damage.

Sometimes, water dribbling can be due to lack of oversight (i.e., forgetting to close the freshwater tank valve), or RV chassis issues (loosening and displacing water pipe joints).

Troubleshooting and Solutions

Dribbling from the freshwater tank isn’t complicated to address, unless the issue relates to a bent chassis. A mechanic is better suited to realign a “disturbed” chassis. Otherwise, the following troubleshooting techniques and solutions should help.

  • Inspect the fresh water tank for cracks, dents, holes, and other integrity-busting signs. Replace the tank with a sturdier model because these signs often indicate poor-quality materials.
  • Assess the water pipes and joints for signs of damage because the dribbling might come from these locations. Connections might also loosen, requiring you to remove them before reconnecting and tightening.
  • Make it a habit to check the freshwater tank inlet and outlet valves after refilling the compartment with water.
  • Plan your RV adventures, avoiding uneven terrains and bumpy roads. Impact forces against the freshwater tank can damage it, causing the dribbling.


Chinook RV problems aren’t a big deal because they can also occur in other brands. Issues not mentioned here might crop up as one goes on a regular RVing adventure.

Wear and tear can hasten mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and aesthetic problems. Hence, we recommend driving your Chinook RV as carefully as possible, considering it your prized possession. Maintaining it will allow you to use the motorhome for decades to come.

So, what about other brands? Let’s explore the issues can find in other RV brands:

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