What-Is-a-Chevy-P30-Chassis-(Specs-,Manual,-Parts,-Problems)

What Is a Chevy P30 Chassis? (Specs, Manual, Parts, Problems)

The word is that while this chassis may have been put on some Chevy trucks, it was a GM product. The parts for it came from GM. But since Chevy is owned by GM we will not split hairs. It is going to be called a Chevy chassis when it is on a Chevy brand vehicle.

This is the forerunner of the Workhorse chassis. The former was built between the 1970s and 1995ish when it was upgraded to the workhorse model. That upgrade did not last too much longer as it was replaced by chassis made with better technology.

To learn more about this old chassis style, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about. It may be hard to get parts for it these days but it is still a great chassis and it had a good run. There just may be a towing issue you have to work out.

What is a Chevy P30 Chassis?

What-is-a-Chevy-P30-Chassis

The first thing is to describe what it isn’t. it is not the step van truck that has been used for catering vehicles, delivery vans, and so on. It is a chassis that is strong enough to hold good motors without any problems.

If you look up the P30 chassis in your search engine, you may come across websites dedicated to the vehicle and not the chassis. This chassis was placed on the GM or Chevy motor homes when it also carried a Chevy engine.

This chassis was used in the early 80s and 90s but was replaced about 1995 for an upgraded version called the Workhorse. There were some issues about handling during those years, hence the upgrade to a better chassis model.

Also, it was not the perfect chassis to have under you when a strong wind came across your driving route. There were issues with how it performed under those tougher conditions. Things got worse as these chassis got older.

There may be a few still around but parts may be hard to come by. It may be in your best interests to upgrade the chassis to a more modern version if you own an older RV.

Who Makes The P30 Chassis?

Everyone calls it a Chevy product because it was holding a Chevy motor and placed on different RVs, and trucks. Those trucks were made by Chevrolet but the chassis seems to have been built by GM.

GM is the parent company and does supply different parts for Chevy cars and trucks. Even though Chevy did make a motorhome called the P30, the chassis was still most likely a GM build. At least that is where the parts came from.

In 1999, Workhorse took over the chassis building duties for Chevy and GM but it is said that they never made a P30. They came out with their own upgraded version called the workhorse.

We talked about the Workhorse company in a separate article. You can read that article at this motorhomes with Workhorse chassis link. In the early 2000s, different RV makers like Winnebago and Fleetwood used a Workhorse chassis and not the Chevy P30.

You will find that many people will refer to the Workhorse chassis as the Chevy Workhorse chassis. It can get confusing for some people when they are trying to find out which chassis they have holding their RV together.

Chevrolet P30 Motorhome

Chevrolet-P30-Motorhome

Believe it or not, there are still a few of these models around today. They are not selling for a lot of money and you can get into one for under $10,000. The motorhome was made in 1986 and 1993 plus years in between.

What is surprising about this RV is that it can be overhauled and re-purposed more than once. One model served as an x-ray lab and when sold, it was turned into a pre- 2000s toy hauler. It had a garage built into it so the owner could haul his vehicle with him.

Plus, it had all the modern conveniences of its time including air conditioning in the sleeping and bathroom areas. A wall-mounted t.v. was not uncommon either nor was the electric cooktop.

Under the hood, there was a 454 c.i. V8 engine that provided the motor home with lots of power. However, we do not see or did not see many of these RVs for sale. They may be the last of a nice breed of RVs that tried to meet the camping needs of the original owners in its day.

You may be hard-pressed to find one today that is in top condition and don’t even think about parts.

1996 Chevrolet P30 Motorhome Specs

This was a US-made RV that seemed to come with all the bells and whistles that era could supply. Under the hood, so to speak, there was a 6.5L V8 turbo diesel engine and it came with rear wheel drive.

The 1995 model came with a 7.4L V8 16 valve motor and was a rear wheel drive. For this model and the 1996 one, the source for the specs did not have complete information. There was no record of mpg, transmission, and so on.

This is to be expected as you are trying to look back 27 years and not many people keep the specs for almost 30-year-old vehicles. You may have to check other RV brands to get the full specs.

Different RV brands used a Chevy, Ford, and Dodge motor back then and the chassis they used were also from those companies. Also, the 1999 models would use chassis from the 1998 year. This can confuse some people as they may be thinking they are looking at a P30 chassis when they are not.

The best thing to do is contact some RV companies that used the P30 chassis and talk to them, that is if they are still around today. There is little information available about this old RV.

Finding P30 Chassis For Sale

Finding-P30-Chassis-For-Sale

This may be more of a treasure hunt than an easy task to do before breakfast. There are different websites that deal in older parts but so far our search has come up empty-handed. This may be a hit or a miss type search.

If the part is there when you are contacting the company then you are lucky. If not, then you have to move on to the next place on your list. Frankly, probably the best places you should look would be the salvage and junk yards.

This is a 27 =/- year old part that may not have been that popular when it was installed in RVs. While there were plenty of P30 trucks built, the chassis could have been upgraded long ago and replaced by a newer version.

There are P30 trucks being made today but it is highly unlikely they are still using the old P30 chassis. Buying an old P30 truck or RV would be paying too much just for the chassis.

Again, you can join different discussion forums that focus on the P30 and see what they know and where you can find one. Our search did not turn up anything solid. You can also try auction yards that sell usable parts but other than that it may be a hard search to do.

Buying P30 Chassis Parts

We will guess that the parts are as hard to find as the chassis are, at least for the older chassis. Since there are still P30 trucks operating today and being made today, finding parts for those vehicles will be one of the easier tasks you can perform.

There are parts stores online that sell parts for the more modern vehicles. Whether they will work on the pre-2000 models is another story and has not been verified as of yet. We will provide one link that may have parts for the older vehicles and chassis but you would have to confirm with them if that is so.

The link here takes you to a web page that lists older model years and you have to click on the year you want to find any parts. We clicked on one but we will say do not hold your breath.

There are other parts outlets that may be of some help to you as well. Just use the search term ‘Chevy P30 chassis parts for sale’ to get a look at the different stores that may carry those parts.

Some may be in the area near you. That is something that only you can determine.

P30 Chassis Rear Air Bags

P30-Chassis-Rear-Air-Bags

It seems that this is one of those parts that is still being made and sold today. There are different companies that seem to stock them and one would be Airlift says the 57203 and 88203 kits would be the ones to use when you own a 1983 Winnebago with a P30 chassis.

However, that information comes from a 2017 thread on one discussion forum. There is a British firm that has an ad for them but the ad also states that the air bags are out of stock.

You can check directly with Workhorse or Chevrolet to see if they have any airbags for sale. If not, they should be able to tell you where you can find them. It may be difficult to find if you have done any after-market upgrades to the suspension.

Winnebago or any other RV maker that used the P30 chassis would be a good lead as well. Just send them an e-mail and see what they say. There are pre-1990 motorhome kits you can look into as well. Different repair shops have them listed for sale right now.

One price we were able to find had these kits listed at almost $100. They are reasonably priced but it is a good bet that that price does not include installation. That is something you have to find out for yourself if you can’t DIY it.

P30 Chassis Upgrades

There is supposed to be a P30 suspension upgrade but we do not know that much about it. It looks to be something that is made for more modern vehicles and not the pre-2000s RVs. The website that mentioned this upgrade also said it may not be worth it depending on how much weight you are carrying.

There is the Supersteer Bell Crank upgrade but the information on this option is 9 years old. It was an upgrade that tightened up the steering quite a bit and replaced the OEM component. But whether or not it is still available is not known. That is something you need to talk to a repair shop about.

You can also try sway bars and see if the more modern ones cut down on your sway. One member of a more recent thread said that you should have the tires aligned before you start making any upgrades.

The technician may be able to find the right flaws before you start just hunting and fixing any old parts. It can save you some money doing it this way. Upgrading is a matter of choice and personal preference. It might be a good idea to walk through your RV with a mechanic friend and see what can be done if you can find the right parts and how much they will cost.

P30 Chassis Brake Problems Repair

P30-Chassis-Brake-Problems-Repair

There are different braking problems associated with the P30 chassis. The issue will be complicated by the fact that the chassis may not be a P30 but named that because it is installed in the P30 truck. That truck’s issue will be a bit different as the P30 chassis for RVs stopped production in the mid-90s.

There were 3 issues reported that may be common issues. One was the service brakes failed. Another was just that the brakes failed and the last one was a problem with the anti-lock braking system.

The failure seems to come with the automatic transmission locking the gear shift in park. The other problems were due to a pressure plate malfunction and some wires burning up.

If you have faced these or similar brake problems, just about any RV repair shop should be able to handle the work. They should have compatible parts if the original ones are not available.

On a 1997 P30 chassis, the brake pads would bind and overheat. This situation caused the ABS sensors to be damaged. The source of this problem is possibly the rubber brake lines. They do wear out over time and can lead to this problem.

If you are experiencing this issue, look to those parts to solve the problem instead of your master cylinder. The former parts are cheaper and easier to fix. Then there is what is called brake fade and which takes place when the pressure in the braking system is not fully released.

Again, a good RV repair shop should be able to diagnose and repair these little brake problems. But the older the RV, the more difficult it will be to find RV mechanics who are familiar with that braking system

Downloading a P30 Chassis Manual

This is not a hard chore. There are different websites that seem to have this manual ready for download. The first place to look would be this website. It looks like you can look at different pages before downloading as well.

Just click here to see if the manual they have will work for the chassis. For the chassis itself, you can try this link. It is from GMCI directly and should give you what you want to know.

Finally, this link will take you to another website that has several manuals you can look at. Finding manuals in this case seems to be a lot easier than finding new pares for the chassis or the RV.

If these websites fail, then we suggest you talk to Chevy dealers or service centers. They may have leads on where you can find a manual for this chassis. Or go to the different P30 groups that may be on Yahoo or the different RV discussion forums. The members of both should be able to help you out.

Our few links are just meant to get you started on the right path to success in your search.

Some Final Words

The older an RV gets the harder it is to find parts or replacement chassis. Then, the same label may be placed on a chassis even though it is not a P30 model. The original P30 chassis were stopped being produced in the mid-1990s but the P30 truck has a continuous run for at least the past 40 years.

It may be a bit of a treasure hunt to find what you want or the help you need. It is an old chassis that has been upgraded over time.

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