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Toyota Advanced Member
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About lopezg273

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  • Birthday November 17

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    Motorcycles (Touring), XC Mountain Biking, Golf, Snow Skiing, Travel. IG: hellatraveling

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1990 Toyota Dolphin / 1978 Toyota Keystone
  • Location
    MIA - LAX - PHX - SFO

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  1. There is a YouTuber couple that attempted something like this (actually, a bit simpler) and the biggest issue (out of a myriad of issues) as I recall was getting axle ratios to match. Basically, matching a 1/2-ton front axle to a 3/4-ton rear. I recall that after they finally put it together, they experienced a catastrophic failure on the freeway (the axle didn't fail, but one of the dualies came off the RV). Anyway, they drove it around for a very short time but were too scared after that so they finally sold it and I think they went back to a Tacoma or Tundra truck with a camper. Me, being the Debbie Downer I am, cannot understand why you'd want to take your house off-roading, but that's just me. And having lived in snow country know that 4-wheel-drive does NOT help in slippery conditions I don't think the expense of adding 4WD to anything is worth it. I also think, for resale value, keeping these old things as original as possible is the best way to enjoy the way they were meant and get the most value out of them. That's my definitely-downer 10 cents, but only today it's free! Merry Christmas!
  2. That'll buff right out. Only kidding, but what I was told by a body man when my mom's '88 Toyota had to have its bumper replaced is that the bumpers aren't really that tough. They don't have to comply with safety standards that cars do (like the 5MPH standard) and so they are mainly decorative pieces. Frame damage should not be an issue.
  3. My opinion is that to get a better... opinion... from the peanut gallery is that we need more information. How much oil do you have to add, and how often? Did the mechanic check for oil in the coolant (he probably did, but just asking). Oil can just really go to the following places: 1. Into the combustion chambers, and out the tailpipe as smoke* if your piston rings are bad. 2. Into the coolant, which then makes the coolant look all oily and stuff. Or sometimes the coolant goes into the oil, which makes the oil turn into mayonnaise (the inedible kind). This would happen if a gasket (typically, head gasket) was bad. 3. Into the ground, which then makes the ground all oily and stuff. This would be easy to see, especially if you place a piece of cardboard under the engine overnight to detect the drips. 4. The netherworld, in which case only wizardry is the answer ha-ha. My V6 90 Dolphin also runs beautifully but I have to add about a quart of oil after like 2-3K miles. This is normal. Adding a quart of oil every 2-300 miles would definitely not be normal. *note: You might not see a lot of smoke unless there is A LOT of oil consumption.
  4. The battery on my '89 Dolphin sits, for all practical purposes, right under the rear dinette seat. It's in it's own box but accessing it is quite easy from the inside, so I just spliced into the main + wire and a ground (that was harder to find because wood cabinets), but I found it. Then I bought this thing, and also this thing, and then some of this stuff , wired it using some electrical supplies (spades, connectors) and (I can't emphasize this enough), because I don't know what I'm doing half the time, I wired it in the only way I know will work, which is in parallel. You can watch YouTube videos on how to do this or simply google "parallel wiring diagram" for some examples. I really don't know the pros and cons of wiring parallel v. series. I then cut a hole and installed it on the front panel of the rearmost dinette seat (the space under your knees). I have two USB's, a 12V outlet (I can plug USB Adapter into it), and a voltmeter all in one shot. Works perfectly, I didn't get hurt, and it has not caught on fire so I think I did a fine job. I hope this information helps.
  5. I see people doing all sorts of math trying to decide how much power they should get, and then covering their entire roof in solar panels and having "battery banks" and comparing minutia like if it's better to have mono or poly solar panels, etc.. And then deciding whether a 600W, 12V system is good enough or whether they should go 24V, and the pros and cons. I agree with you, it's too much. I think having a 100AH battery with a 100W solar panel is enough and comprises just a basic system. I charge my electronics during the day so they're fully charged at night. My lights are all LED and really, are not the problem, they draw next to no energy. For me, the deciding factor has been boondocking in 28-degree weather overnight, with my heater set at the lowest setting (mainly to keep my stuff from freezing and having burst pipes or me getting pneumonia) and the heater fan and heater ignitor cycling periodically at night, enough so that I wake up with my battery at critical (because you don't really get 100AH from a sealed battery; you get half, usually). In other words, not having any reserve power at all. That's why I'm willing to spend the $$$ to get lithium and get 100AH "usable". I'm a sissy, I don't like getting colds, what can I say? Ha-ha.
  6. I also didn't plan on driving around too much at night. I usually start looking for a boondocking spot way before sundown but after having to move from a Planet Fitness parking lot a couple of times at 2AM and other times where it's run into the evening before I reach a boondocking spot on a questionable gravel road I started to get an appreciation for how important good lights are.
  7. One wiring kit covers both headlights.
  8. I've had this little baby bookmarked so I can buy it when it gets down closer to $700. I've done a bunch of research on LiFePo4 batteries, there's a guy on YouTube who has a lot of info on solar, batteries, and such. His name is Will Prowse, and using some of his reviews and other information I think this is the best option/price for me. There are cheaper 100AH options out there, but then you're looking at some that are "built", and no probable support, no good circuitry and temperature protection, yada yada. I'd suggest you go with a 100AH MINIMUM, one that fits in the space you have, and a brand name so you can have some support. And don't forget a good BMS (Battery Management System), brand name batteries have them.
  9. I can give you some pre and some post-installation impressions myself, as I've ordered the parts to do it on my '89 Dolphin (should be the same chassis as yours). The lights I purchased were these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pair-5x7-7x6-Led-Hi-Lo-Beam-Headlights-for-Ford-GMC-Chevrolet-Jeep-Cherokee-XJ/162824101580?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 I would recommend buying some like this type (some go as high as like $200 per unit) because of the light pattern; and not buy the cheap ones which are just a collection of LED's without a pattern, you'll be blinding other drivers. I am NOT recommending that you buy the exact ones I did, but I am suggesting you buy some that have proper beam positioning; I won't know if these are really good or crap until I use them. I tried to install them, and they fit quite snug into the housing, but they did fit very tightly. When connecting the harness, only the low-beam worked (or it could have been the high beam, I don't remember, it was day time). Upon checking further, it appears that Toyota has a strange circuitry whereby aftermarket lights do just that, and require a relay and harness. Then, I bought the relay, I bought this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/H4-9003-LED-Headlight-Conversion-Harness-Wiring-Two-Relay-Design-Ceramic-Socket/163770325418?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 I checked the connections, and seems like the answer to the problem I had, so I will install these within the next couple of weeks and report on the effectiveness. I am not suggesting that you buy these specific relays, just be aware you probably will need them. Primarily, I wanted to make you aware of the harness issue Toyotas have, just so you can avoid the waste of time I encountered. I found I really needed brighter lights on a dark and stormy night where I could not see the road well over a combination of heavy rain, reflection from the road, and poor road signage; I think they are a must for our rigs. Good luck!
  10. As soon as I get to home base, I plan on removing the spare in my '90 Dolphin and not carrying a spare at all. I have an air compressor and a plug kit in case I get a flat. I don't really off-road my RV all that much (and I think you're silly if you do). I also have a PMS on the rear two tires and I'm meticulous as far as monitoring the health and pressure on my tires. I think I can catch and fix my own flats - how hard can it be? What could possibly go wrong? (I'm not very risk-averse) Anyone have any experience not carrying that lead weight on the back of your rig? Pros and cons? Thanks!
  11. I'm not an expert but I've done a bunch of research and resealed my 1990 Dolphin roof as follows: - I used Dicor 501LSW lap sealant on all the joints (that's where you'll get a lot of the leaks) on the ROOF (it's important, because this uses gravity to cover, so it does not work on vertical applications). It works fantastic; you have to clean the area thoroughly, scrape any old sealant, then apply and this stuff sinks down and covers really well. I bought a bunch on eBay, for like $10 each (I bought a case). It goes a long way, I ended up not using as much as I thought and re-sold the rest on eBay. I only needed about three tubes on my 21-foot RV but your mileage may vary, depending on how thick the beads. Just remember that when you apply, say, a 1/2" bead, by the time it settles it will become a 1" bead, so apply accordingly. - I used Henry's Tropicool Silicone White Roof Coating ($60 from Home Depot) on the entire aluminum roof (the type of roof you have dictates what you should use). It works fantastic, though it makes a silicon coating on your roof that reflects heat and makes everything quieter but it's not so good to walk on (you should walk on the roof only if absolutely necessary). I used one can for the entire roof and there will be others who think you should use more (give it more coats), so how much is entirely up to you. Be sure and buy the right product, some people buy the "Seam and Repair Sealant" and then are ticked off that it's too thick and unusable for roof coating, but they should have bought the "Roof Coating" - link here: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Henry-0-90-Gal-887-Tropi-Cool-100-Silicone-White-Roof-Coating-HE887HS142/206029976 - And speaking of the "Seam and Repair Sealant" (link: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Henry-0-90-Gal-885-Tropi-Cool-100-Silicone-Seam-and-Repair-Roof-Sealant-HE885142/206030020 ), a friend used it for repairs of big gaps on his RV, including the corners. I myself have not used it, but for him it worked. Don't apply gray truck bed liner to your roof. You can go to campingworld.com and click on the "RV and Outdoor Gear" link to access their store. There you'll find fancier ($$$) sealants and more specialized RV stuff WAY cheaper than the Camping World stores, in case you want to shop. Neither my aluminum roof nor my fiberglass sides have any damage so I have no experience with repairs; someone else can opine on that. It looks like you have aluminum sides on your Dolphin from the pictures, but again, when you research repairs or sealants, be sure and look for stuff that works on your particular material. Depending on the condition of your roof, it's a weekend project; not so much because of the amount of time it will take, but because you have to allow for curing time on any of these products, MINIMUM 24 hours, and don't wait until it gets too cold, because then it takes even longer. That's my 2-cents worth of advice, but today, it's free ! $$$$
  12. I have an LED one that I purchased on eBay for like $15 and works just fine. I have a Renogy Wanderer solar charge controller with bluetooth and an iPhone app and when I check battery charge using that, it always shows the same voltage as my $15 eBay volt meter, so....
  13. I'll have to look. I thought the same, that maybe there was like a rod or something, so I looked at holes up above on the coach itself but didn't see anything obvious.
  14. I'm working on restoring my 1978 Toyota Keystone Micro Mini. This bracket is mounted to the rear bumper. Can anyone tell me what goes there?
  15. It's like buying a house AND a car at the same time. You'll save a lot of money if you yourself identify what you need and take it one step at a time. My recommendation is to start with the "car" part. It will probably need at the very least: A battery, all fluids changed, tires (look for the code to see how old they are, in case they look good they may be old and dry-rotted), belts, brakes, coolant, spark plugs, wires, air filter, all that stuff. For that, treat it like a car and just have someone handy look into it and buy parts for a 1980 Toyota truck (there is no need to buy "special" RV parts at this point). I'd start with the car because once your RV is mobile, you can take it wherever it needs to go to get stuff fixed, it will make it easier if you can drive it safely. Once it drives, stops, runs, does not overheat, and works as a "proper" car, then tackle the "house" part. You should have some safety stuff at the ready, like a fire extinguisher (if you don't need it now, hopefully, you will want to have it with you anyway). Start by identifying everything that pertains to that: Refrigerator, furnace, stove, LP tank, water heater, fans, AC, water tanks, faucets, etc... Try to turn EVERYTHING on (but not at the same time), to see if it works or not. Smell around, especially for gas, rot, "electrical" smells, anything weird. Point your nose to where the smell may be coming from and take appropriate action. You'll likely need a deep-cycle battery to test some of this stuff out, be very careful working around electricity, AC or DC (but especially AC). Plug it in to an AC outlet at some point and see what happens, be careful as you do all this. Fill the water tanks, LP (very careful with this), and try running what works (faucets, toilet, etc...) and note any leaks. You'll need make a list of everything. My recommendation is that you use your smartphone's "notes" application (rather than paper) to make a note of everything and ADD pictures of stuff, and especially write down numbers of items that you see, they will help you find stuff on the internet by looking by part numbers. Then tackle one thing at a time, come to the forum, search for what you may need help (example: "toilet smell", or "coach battery", things like that), and if you don't find and answer, post specific stuff and people will help... a lot! That's my 2-cents worth of advice, but just for today, it's completely FREE!
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