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1972 Winnebago Brave With LS Swap and Modern Interior Is a Restomod RV in Disguise

The Winnebago Brave isn't the largest and roomiest RV out there, but it's a fun vintage camper to own. It's easy to maintain, it provides room for a small family, and, at 18 feet long (5.5 meters), the Mini-Winnie is not that difficult to maneuver and park. However, this RV won't get you anywhere in a hurry.
1972 Winnebago Brave RV with modern upgrades 22 photos
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Granted, traveling is not about roaming the highway at high speed, but even so, one owner decided he's had enough of the original 318-cubic-inch (5.2-liter) Dodge engine and swapped it out for a modern LS. The Winnebago is now a 2010 Chevrolet Express van underneath, sporting a 6.0-liter V8 that mates to a 6L90E six-speed automatic gearbox.

There's no info as to how powerful the LS is, but Chevrolet Express vans from the era had almost 300 horsepower to kick around. And that's a significant improvement over the old Dodge mill, rated at 212 horses when new.

But it's not just the extra oomph. The Winnie also gained the van's fully independent front suspension, as well as a new aluminum driveshaft and Dana 70 rear end. Power disc brakes provide stopping power, while power steering makes turning the RV in tight spaces a breeze.

You can also forget about all the headaches that come with an old vehicle, as this Winnebago now uses modern factory wiring, fuse panels, gauges, heating and A/C, and a steering column.

A hot-rodded camper that will cruise comfortably at 75 mph (121 kph), the Winnebago hides a brand-new interior under the shell. It comes with soft close cabinets, new carpet and dash upholstery, new flooring, new couch upholstery, new curtains, and new LED lighting.

The sink, toiler, water pump, water heater with electronic control, and the roof-top A/C unit are also new. In addition to all these upgrades, it also comes with a full-size stand-up shower that was installed while the roof was redone. The original insulation was also replaced in the process.

Oh, and to make life on the road easier, the Winnie sports an in-dash touchscreen unit with a stereo, GPS, and backup camera. I bet you didn't expect to see that in a 50-year-old camper.

So given that the interior is brand-new and that power comes from a modern van, how come this Winnebago looks as if it needs some TLC on the outside? Well, the owner simply opted not to restore the bodywork to achieve a sleeper look. But even so, the original paint looks pretty good apart from a few dents and the slightly worn-out yellow graphics.

A unique Mini-Winnie that's vintage and modern at the same time, this 18-foot motorhome is looking for a new owner. Auctioned off by eBay seller "johnnycash247," it has reached a high bid of $30,200 with four hours to go as of this writing. But there's a "reserve not met" status still in place, so the owner isn't willing to let it go for cheap.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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