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About roadtriprachel

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    Artist ~ Photographer ~ Massage Therapist ~ Urban Farmer ~ Baker ~ Cook

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1984 Toyota Sunrader 21ft long
    22R 4 cylinder 5 speed manual
  • Location
    Central Cali Coast

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  1. Boondocking anyone?

    Hi Sandie! I’m a newbie too, and VERY new to owning a Toyota mini motorhome (bought an ‘84 Sunrader in Feb). But I traveled / lived in a 1979 Ford van off and on for 18 months and 25,000+ miles... (2016-2018). I LOVED staying at truck stops - I felt safe and always had access to showers/restrooms/food (my van just had a bed and a cook stove). My last cross country trip I had an 8ft trailer on the back of the van (17ft van) and I would skip the regular pkng lots and park alongside the 18 wheelers! Ha. Probably not “legal” but I did it a bunch. My only issue with truck stops / travel centers was how noisy the car pkng lots could get. Parked in a public (car) lot in front of a Denny’s or fastfood or gas station part of the lot (the only option in some travel centers) meant sleep was elusive. So many folks coming and going at all hours. Especially on a Fri or Sat in a rural area where there was no where for [young] people to hang out... But if you’re a heavy sleeper or can use ear plugs it works. Rest stops were sometimes great, sometimes sketchy. It all depends on the rest stop. I’m a solo female traveler so I had to be extra careful. I only stayed once in a totally deserted rest stop (somewhere in SD or WY). I was falling asleep at the wheel and had no choice. It was ok in the end but I wouldn’t suggest staying over in an empty rest stop, for anyone... there’s safety in numbers. But I typically loved rest stops as I could set up my cookstove and make coffee/bfast before hitting the road. Never had trouble with noisy / rowdy folks. (I have overnighting in Walmarts). I do wish I had planned ahead a little better and searched for open rest stops along my route. Sometimes the closest rest area is hundreds of miles away and then it’s CLOSED. That happened a lot to me out West... I found that Walmarts in CA - from Rhonert Park to Central CA to SoCal are impossible to boondock at. Many of them hire private security that make you leave / will not allow sleeping over. This has been true for me in Oxnard, NorCal - literally every CA Walmart I tried. (I have driven all over most of the US and found this is a California thing. I never encountered a WalMart in any state that made overnighting illegal UNTIL I drove into CA...). In CA when driving long distince I go find a Kmart. If traveling through / near BLM &/or National Forest land, look into “dispersed camping”. I learned about that when I started my journey and landed in the National Forest in MO. The rules vary from state to state and even regionally (within the same state), but dispersed camping is FREE. And typically peaceful and beautiful... here in Morro Bay the “dispersed camping” is literally the cut outs / shoulders of the road along the 41 Highway. Unless it’s on someone’s land (signs posted). Again all my experiences are based on “vanlife”, but it still translates. I therefore can’t speak to the dumping question. Good luck to you! And please share your route once you decide how to get to TX and back; I am going to VA from the Central Coast in late May and am beginning to plot my course now. Still open to different routes (although driving through the Mojave and through Needles is not a fave of mine).
  2. Bought a Sunrader - SO STOKED!!

    WME - if there’s rear axle problems with a 5 speed conversion (even with the floating 1 ton dually 6 lug nut), can I simply avoid 5th gear until I can afford to swap out axels? As I didn’t realize she could go into 5th, she never has (on my watch).
  3. Bought a Sunrader - SO STOKED!!

    Hi WME - I’ve been tryin to review this thread since I posted the discovery of the 5 speed vs four: weirdly the post you made (and a few replies frm other members) is perpetually covered by pop up ads. I keep cancelling the ads then refreshing to read the hidden text underneath, and a new ad pops up in its place, blocking the text...
  4. Bought a Sunrader - SO STOKED!!

    Maineah I never found receipts for timing chain repairs - so it’s good to hear again that the 22R is such a beast. (Still trying to decipher the second sentence - haha! But I’m definitely not a gearhead, learning as as I go - 1st from my ‘79 Ford van, now the Sunrader). I need to keep hearing this over and over though - how solid this engine is - as my family back East keeps saying “You bought WHAT?!! It’s HOW old?! Do you really think it’ll make it to VA in June?!”
  5. Bought a Sunrader - SO STOKED!!

    Hey guys, it IS a five gear manual afterall!! Haha. I KNEW the seller said that back in Jan... but there was so much covered I second guessed myself. Esp w/ the knob showing only 4 gears... I had to call the seller about something and he reminded me it’s a 5 speed manual - that he added an extra gear when he did some repairs.
  6. Bought a 1990 Sunrader

    Hi! I’m not an expert by any means - totally new to the RV world. But I wanted to welcome you. This forum is amazing and the folks here are really helpful. I too just bought a Sunrader (in Feb, it’s an ‘84), and am also a photographer!
  7. WME I had so little trouble with the Bilstien shocks and all the other parts ordered - these tires are definitely a lesson in who to ask about realistic arrival dates; as you said - the SHIPPER. Argh. Linda I hear you, but my point of contention lies with how clear I was about my repair timeline at the time of purchase. I asked if these would arrive when I needed and was told YES. According to FedEx (and my tracking info), the tires didn’t even go out until the day AFTER I ordered them. There was no way I could have gotten the tires when I needed them. Add in the apathy of the manager and it’s beyond “not great customer service” - it was dishonesty and rudeness, in equal amounts. (Though I do agree with you that in general, bad customer service is the new normal.) Derek up North - the tires were <$400 but to someone like me that is a LOT of money. (My budget for the Sunrader purchase was $3000 max - I ended up spending $2400). Every penny counts in my world, which is why I’m so steamed... so far the tires are the biggest single purchase and tires.easy.com could care less. I guess it’s chump change to them... haha So the point of my initial rant, is when I make a large purchase, like 6 new tires, I expect a modicum of appreciation for my business. Not being clear about the shipping when that’s part of your job is unacceptable to me. So I’m pretty salty about it.
  8. Tire update: I bought tires from tires.easy.com. Last Tuesady. The tires still are not here. The salesperson said the tires would arrive Saturday (3.24), Monday (3.26) at the latest. I checked the tracking Sat when the tires never came: the shipment’s not arriving until Tues (3.27). Which means I have to reschedule the front end repair (for a third time - from Sat, then to Tues morn, and now to Tues afternoon if my guy can squeeze me in). I called tires.easy.com to get to the bottom of it and encountered lots of rudeness: the salesperson today said the delay was due to snow out East and they have thousands of customers and no way to update when shipping arrivals are changing. I asked to speak to a manager. She never came on the line and didn’t return my call... I called FedEx: they said the order went out the day AFTER my purchase, and the company used “Ground”. No way possible for the tires to arrive Sat (in CA / shipping from PA). All of which tires.easy.com would have known at the time of my purchase. I called tires.easy.com again, insisting the mgr take my call. She was pretty condescending. Said it’s an estimate, that I should rely on the tracking info (“Didn’t you check the order tracking number?”), not salesmen’s words, that they have no control over weather, FedEx, etc. I said I understand that it’s an estimate, that they can’t control certain variables, but there is a constant in this equation - FedEx Ground - and that sales ppl shouldn’t lie about arrival times just to make a sale - especially when FedEx assured me tires.easy.com is fully aware of how long it takes when using “Ground”. Because had they been honest about the actual arrival date I’d probably have gone elsewhere. The manager’s reply to my frustration? She said it could have been worse; they could have shipped freight. She said she’d communicate my experience to her staff, but “I really don’t know what else you want me to do”. No mention of a discount, or future coupon, or anything. Not apologetic about the miscommunication regarding the arrival date. No regard for how it’s affecting my life/repair schedule. I spent HUNDREDS of dollars on 6 new tires. Apparently they could care less. So I’m sharing this experience, in case others use tires.easy.com so you’ll be fully aware of what to expect. At least, what I’ve encountered thus far (it ain’t over till my order arrives & is accurate). Cheap / discounted tires. Yes! For sure. However, they arrive whenever they get there with no exact / promised / garunteed dates (FedEx Ground). Lackluster customer service. Possibly more to share about it whenever the tires do get here. (Fingers crossed they are what I actually paid for / ordered...). Just a long FYI / PSA about my tire shopping experience.
  9. Cruising the 101 at Paso

    Hi there! That RV isn’t mine, but I do live in the county you posted about! My only trip so far was to Ventura and Avila - 48 hrs quickie road trip back in Feb to test her out. Didn’t clock mileage though. Was just thrilled she made it there and back! Ha! I’ve been hoping to connect with other Mini Toy owners here on the (Central) Cali Coast. I don’t know the ettiquette: I see other toys parked in Morro Bay and want to knock on the RV door and say hi but always feel rude. So I skip it. I’m in MB with an ‘84 Sunrader. I saw a Dolphin here @ the beach late in the day yesterday. Was on my bicycle. Rode over then stopped short - just felt so creepy coming up and knocking on the door...
  10. Hahah. Yep. Totally explains the Sunnys! Haha. And OH MY that website!!!! No excess of funds (plenty of paranoia though, so extra rubber on the 195s makes up for no excess $). But that website! One day...
  11. Chiming in regarding the stripes: if someone places a group order, holler at me please! Or if the shop gets an etsy or some way to distribute, I would support thier business!! Although I’m weeks and weeks away from that part of the process with my Sunrader.... Love the progress Boundfornowhere!! So impressive. You guys rock. And thanks for sharing it all. I’ve only just started the journey of fixing my Sunrader but it’s nice to see what’s possible.
  12. Thanks WME for further clarification... at some point in this thread my brain froze (somewhere around lug nuts) - I was grappling with getting a tarp over the RV by myself in the wind (gave my neighbors some comic relief w/ that) plus pricing shocks (and 5 thousand other things). I appreciate everyone’s patience on this particular learning curve. I used the link you posted WME but bought 6 “Sunny” tires, not Hankook (tight budget here). But I DID get Bilstein shocks today (yay!). Linda that sounds scary as hell - 250 miles on a spare!?! The rear axle of the Ford van snapped in 2016 - that was terrifying. Fortunately I was slowly approaching a red light. About to get on the freeway though, so I was VERY lucky. Tire tips from everyone are appreciated, and I may dip back in here if getting them put on proves hard (they’re shipping out now). Otherwise, see y’all on the next query!
  13. Thanks for the info Linda! But what about the difference in lug nuts? Wouldn’t I want to keep a spare for each set of lugs? One spare for the rear dually 6 lug then 1 spare for the 5 lug nut wheels up front?
  14. Thanks Derek up North for the clarification! fred heath - grateful you asked that question! The front tires are 5 lug nuts, the rear 6... All of the tires are OLD - 2010 is the date code as far as I can tell... I just got home from physical therapy and am feeling spry so I’ll try to climb under and see what’s there. But such a good point about needing 2 different spares...