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About bajadulce

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    Platinum Member
  • Birthday 01/11/1966

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  • Interests
    Surfing, Golf, Sandwiches. Not always in that order.

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  1. Hi All. Just checking in for old time sake. It's that time of year again for the annual retreat to the baja desert and need to start cleaning the cobwebs off the camper. I took a few pics of last year's trip, but never transferred them and they were lost There was a lot of rain last winter in baja which made for a lot of mud. I used the 4x quite a bit and darn near got stuck. Camper and truck is still going strong. Maybe close to 250K on it now? Have a small to-do list, but just haven't found time or need to do anything. I really like this camper a lot and probably will have it for years to come. I did upgrade the 15" wheels to 16" last year and it seems like a good change if just for the more readily available (and cheaper) LT tires available for 16" rims. The 96 t100 came with 16" as does the early tundras. There's a little bit of performance/power drop with the new wheels and a small hit to MPG, but psychologically, the truck just seems more sturdy/beefier. Still running the stock rear-end and haven't had any issues w/ the airbags. The truck itself has hauled tons and tons. Here's a pic of the new wheels @ the local SCruz landfill. I've been traveling to Seaside Oregon in June/July for a golf tournament now 2 years in a row and will do it again this year. So I now have 2 annual destinations. The rest of the year, it just sits in the alley. Here's a fun pic of the 16' camper comfortably entertaining 7 ppl @ Gearhart beach. Hope to see you on the road!
  2. Chinook Highway Speed

    I'm a little biased, but if you're going to be pulling a shell off, the best chasis imho would be an earlier 4x4 Long Bed Tundra with the 3.4L motor and 16" rims etc. I believe 1998 last year of the 3.4L in the full size toyota? The extra width sure is nice in terms of stability, the lines with truck and shell, and the longbed means your shell would bolt up without too much fabricating. We get 16 mpg with highway speeds of 65 (at least that's the speedometer is telling me) with the full "stand up" rig without much effort in the gas pedal. I would imagine a pop-up chinook would do even better. Great motor the 3.4L from my experience so far. just passed the 250,000 mile mark. Bought truck w/ 180,000 and haven't done a thing other than change oil and some brake shoes.
  3. Blah, Blah, Blah what is this RV community anyway?

    Hi Don! This is one of the best titled threads I've seen on here. Caught my attention. Everything that could possibly be discussed or problem encountered must have been covered over the history of this forum and then some. Some topics just seem to come up over and over and that can get a little stale reading the same questions. I very much enjoy reading the enthusiasm of the honeymoon stage of the acquisition while chuckle a bit, but with great empathy, for those that get in over their heads deconstructing their vehicles to a mere shell. Greg has to be commended for keeping this place going (even when over ambitious members accidentally delete entire databases... oops!) and it's always fun to stop in now and then and see the veterans still offering their genuine and sincere advice. The social media networks certainly have changed the way communities engage in conversation. Most things today are a simple "thumbs up" along with the occasional two or three word comment. Always nice to read a little more content in the old style forums such as this.
  4. Normal answer Linda made a good point about the floor and the fact that the structural integrity relies much on the underlying frame. Dunno if you're planning on redoing interior, but less weight inside would certainly make things easier. Paul (Toyoguy) also lifted his rig off his chassis. Like myself, he removed windows and lifted the shell in the rear by running a yoke through the now windowless rear openings. Supporting the overhead front requires a little more creativity. I don't really remember too much regarding how many screws, wires, nuts, bolts were involved, but it wasn't a 5 minute job nor a major "shop only" production. Good luck to you and may the force be with you!
  5. Here's an annual update: Went to same old place for months of Jan - March. ~ 4000 miles round trip. Truck drove great without any problems. Used the 4wd a half dozen times for the sand and once for some serious mud. Kept a mileage/fuel record... it's out in the camper, but haven't bothered to look at. Range about 300 miles for ~ 20 gallons. 65 mph freeways easy with extra power if needed. 260K miles on truck now. Nothing changed interior of camper since last trip other than addition of a 65qt Wynter 12v fridge purchased online through HDepot. Delivered to door for about $450. Worked fantastic (thermostat set at 35. Kicks on at 38 and off at 32. very quiet). Never bothered to take down the bamboo awning off the back as mentioned last year. Drove all the way home last year, sat in alley all year, drove all the way down and back with a bamboo rear window. Lots of looks. Drove 400+ miles on way out of Mexico. Left at 10 am and got to border around 10pm.. so 12 hours of driving for 400 miles.. sounds about right for Baja. From there to In-n-Out in Carlsbad arriving around midnight. Ran into Steve from San Diego who spotted my camper. Sorry couldn't talk more... was pretty exhausted and am sure I didn't smell all that great either. Had 8 people in camper at one time.. all sitting in a seat. The fridge is the same height as the bench seat passenger side and serves as an extended bench and/or place to lounge/put feet up. Some rear suspension work would be a nice project for the future... Air bags are OK for now. Never got around to adding some skirting/undercarriage boxes. Hopefully get some more chances to use before next year. Some generic pics. Didn't take too many.
  6. @ snake hiding under hood: I did a quick glance before starting the car a month or so later and it appeared to be gone... or hiding really well. I never bothered to check on it after seeing it the first time I took the 30 mile dirt road over the mountains at Chapala over coco's corner (baja 1000 stop see pic below) to the gulf. Road is now paved all the way to Gonzaga! 70 miles an hour straight shot back via San Felipe - Mexicali. A lot of guys are doing this route rather than going up through Catavina - Rosario - San Quintin etc. It worked out great for me as I was heading to Arizona. I did screw up though by not heading east to algodones border crossing. Was almost 2 hour line at Mexicali. Looked down at one point and the needle was damn near in red and so blasted the heater for a few minutes! HOT! COCO's CORNER baja ... interesting place to stop for a beer. Only stayed for one night on the gulf in San Felipe at a neat old school RV resort called Club de Pesca. Nice park right on the water and even had a little happy hour ($1 beers if I recall) with the park's locals and owner at the restaurant/store. One thing I have to say about the camper being completely sealed off from the truck is that it is virtually impossible for any mice to get into the camper. I'd have to accidentally leave the door open or they will have to chew through a slew of fiberglass. With the old pass through, there wasn't much you could do with mice finding their way in through the firewall. So that's a welcome change from previous campers. Not that it's a big deal, it's just one less nuisance to have to deal with. Interestingly enough, there's a small space on the back of camper's subfloor joist framing where it meets the flatbed. Sure enough when I got home and removed the camper, there was a small nest between the camper and flatbed! Those buggers! Edit: here's a video of how easy of a road it is over the mountains from the pacific to gulf via Chapala/Coco's Corner. This side route via the gulf will definitely be the way I travel down the peninsula in the future. If only just exiting.
  7. Derek: Never saw a single toy motorhome for the 2 months. Steve: I parked it on Jan 14th and never started the car till Feb 22nd. All the miles were put on when I got to Arizona for the remaining 2 weeks of the trip. Yes, lots of empty surf. Funny side note. Somewhere around the middle of January I inspected under the hood to make sure no mice were causing troubles and was greeted by a snake! I just left it alone as I figured it would be the best watch dog.
  8. Finally got around to getting back to Baja (It's been almost 9 years since the camper w/ the original 2wd 79 truck and 20r made the trip). About 3500 miles round trip. Jan 12th - Mar 3rd. Checked the oil once and washed the windshield a few times and that was about it. Never needed 4wd. Kept a gas log. 3,412 miles and 206 gallons ~ 16.5 mpg. Lots of slow 10 mph dirt road driving and lots of 70 mph driving on the U.S. highways from Arizona back to Santa Cruz. Brought 35 gallons of water and ended up giving 6 to another couple towards the end. Saw only one other toyota MH the entire trip back through Arizona and California. Lots of fun and a few minor "to do" improvements and luxuries/novelties to add. Hope next trip won't take 9 years to make and look forward to returning next winter. I took one picture. Doesn't really do justice to how remote this place is, but here it is. Ended up driving all the way home with the back window awning (bamboo & pvc) still attached. (folded down of course). Lots of looks on the highway as you can imagine. Hope to construct and install an awning of solar panels/aluminum hinge/supports for the passenger side sometime in the future years. It will just fold down and lock into position covering the window in a similar manner when in transit. Car has a lot of power and is very roomy. The 3.4l engine and 4wd chassis didn't get the same gas mileage as the 20r, but it has been extremely reliable these past years and lots of pep. Really nice truck and would like to repair some of the body work in the future. 215000 miles now and bought with close to 200000 if recall. Probably some motor work was done at one time... but who really knows. Doesn't leak a drop or burn any oil so I just drive it. Hope to add some future boxes under the flatbed as well as upgrade the rear suspension/drive train in the future. The airbags work great, but the rear could probably benefit from something a little more stable/beefier than just the stock springs etc. Didn't bother to haul the jacks down to baja and the camper is now sitting back on the ground in the alley in the back. Wife wants to borrow truck tomorrow for some sheetrock and some plants... Welcome back!
  9. That section of the cab sure is flmsy We had similar issues and the fix was a little over the top and a bit homemade looking, but we really enjoy our large hatch. Great access to roof/clean panels too. http://toyotamotorhome.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=206&page=14#entry19573 check out the sag in the roof as demonstrated w/ level. I could hear the roof pop in and out sometimes while driving under the right pressure/situations.
  10. Wife and I were playing in a golf tournament in Arizona using 100 year old hickory shafted clubs and made a side trip to GC. Yes, South rim. Walked down Kaibab to Tonto, across to Bright Angel and up leaving @ 10AM getting back @ dark. Our legs were shot, but it was amazing. Never timed it, but would estimate it takes 30 minutes to take off and close to an hour to put on and get all the bolts fastened down etc. One thing that would be nice about it living on a trailer, is I could move it around my alley fairly easily to clean. Also on a trailer, it will be very low to the ground; easy to get in and out of. Was thinking to copy the style of a 5th wheel where the overhead could extend a bit over the flatbed. Also frees up the bed of my truck for additional stuff as well. Again this would be an alternate mode. The primary being piggy back. Just thought that for small trips or cases where we need to use the truck a lot (our golf tournament and all the parties we went to), it would be convenient. Cons: My concerns are that the bouncing would put a lot of stress on the camper? Don't trailers tend to bounce around more? Also would probably want a pretty wide trailer so as not to have to cut wheel wells. And sturdy so could use for offroad as well. A lot easier to steal an unattended camper that has wheels. Parking and general mobility. Pros: Tad easier on truck? Pulling vs Carrying. Easy to hook up/remove. Low to ground. Frees up truck for extra goodies. @ solar system and getting your rig together: Fun! Maybe we'll plan a surf trip someday in the future!
  11. 1985 Dolphin Driving From California To Chile!

    What a fantastic trip of a lifetime. If I have to walk the entire way, someday am going to make that trip! The ultimate to be sure. Sorry to hear about your accident. Hope your rig can be repaired and it's all just a minor set back. Bien viaje.
  12. Just got back from a near 2K round trip to Grand Canyon. Should have took some pictures, but didn't. Should have kept a fuel mileage record as well. Truck drove great 60-65 mph easily with plenty of pedal left if needed. 55ish on the big grades passing every motorhome in sight! Got around 300 mile range per 20 gallons. Never saw another Toy motorhome entire trip. Left on a Wed night of torrential rains and no leaks to report w/ driving in what amounted to 5 hours of nonstop rain to 1st stop in Santa Barbara. Checked the oil level several times, but it never changed. Am very pleased w/ 3.4L engine's performance. Left the 100+ pounds of camper jacks at home as decided was never going to take camper off seeing as this was more of a touring trip than a park and stay excursion. Got to thinking how fun it might be to build a trailer for the camper for small weekend type trips rather than have to jack up and put on the truck everytime. Basically the camper would have a dual setup and use the same mounting brackets for both flatbed and trailer. Trailer for shorter or touring type travel and piggy back for extended stay trips. What do ya think?
  13. 1990 Sunrader Remodel

    Woah! Crazy stuff man!
  14. 2013 Indian Summer Rally Oct 11 - 12

    Pismo would be a great place. Haven't been to that State Park since was a kid in the 70's. Always had fun sliding down the sand dunes w/ cardboard! Moro Bay State Park is a tad off the faster 101 route, but nice. I like can play golf and stop at camper off 13th hole for a drink! Moro Strand is pretty desolate, but you are right on the beach if you want to experience that. A tad out of your way as well if sticking to 101. Stayed one time at Lake Santa Margarita Regional Park. Was cheap for California (20 bucks if remember) and could park basically anywhere on the shore of polluted lake. If just needing a place to crash for the night off 101 other than Pismo/Avila, this might be an option if those parks are full for whatever reason. No ammenities if I remember. San Simeon and the Big Sur (Plasket Creek etc) areas are definitely out of your way unless you're in no hurry to get here and are in to traveling Hwy1 from SLO to Monterey and then onward to SCruz. SoCal to Plasket Creek/Sand Dollar beach tho is quite a big drive for one day. Big Sur to Santa Cruz an easy 2nd half of drive if you should park it there. Be safe, take your time, and happy travels.
  15. The "political asylum" forum has now been abolished. (Still there just invisible should Greg decide differently) Political views and opinons are an important part of society and without question need to be expressed and fought for... Just not on a site about motorhomes. This site needs political neutrality (i.e. no politics). As members, this is your forum and this seems to be in everyone's best interest as a whole. Political discussion seems more a detriment to the board than good, even if it is quaranteened to a specific little corner. Eventually it spills out into the other areas of the board and detracts others from joining/participating in what the primary purpose of this board entails (toyota motorhomes). It just makes sense to maintain a no-politics policy like any other non-political subject matter forum.