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zero

Toyota Advanced Member
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Everything posted by zero

  1. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    The day is never going to come (I hope) when I start replacing tires because they are six-years old as a routine practice. I think consumers ought to complain more instead of acquiescing about short tire lives. I've had many tires last 20 years before showing any cracks and I just had a set (on my boat trailer crack badly after 3 years. It is a crap shoot. Remember when tires used to get recapped and reused? Many a very old tire-casing was reused. What we have today is a mix of tire origins and a mix of rubber compounds. As far as I know, there is no way to predict what tire is going to last how long. I DO know a general assumption is - rubber actually made in China, as well as plastic, is the worst quality in the world. Not all tires made in China though, use Chinese rubber. Some states are in "talks" about proposing 10 year tire-date laws. We will see what happens. That is 10 years though, not 6 or 7. At least none I've heard of. New York has been talking about a 10 year law for years now, but so far it has not happened. Many tire companies say 6 years and that is no surprise to me. I am well aware of the recommendations for companies that sell tires, to get new ones every 6 six years. I don't blame them after fiascos like the Ford-Firestone mud-slinging (on Firestone and Ford and not on consumers). It is also good business for those companies. There has been an effort at the Federal level for 15 years now - to come up with some sort of test that is "accelerated." Like - sticking a new tire in an oven for a few weeks and then predicting how good it will be in 8 years. I've read likely hundreds of boring pages on this subject and so far - there is no 100% accepted accurate test for predicting tire life. That is, except the real world tests of actually using tires for X amount of years. Subsequently, it appears no one really knows what tires are going to last 15 years and what tires will fail in 3 years. I am fine with "taking my chances" and using tires until they show signs of degradation.
  2. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    Seems many have bought 195/75-R14 tires because that is what came OEM on many new Toyota motorhomes and that's what the owner's manual says to use (with some makes) There are also tire-size databases - like at Walmart that will only offer that size for a newer dual wheel Toyota.
  3. zero

    Totally new to RV Ownership

    Here is some info from the Toyota 1990 cab & chassis manual with max specs. 5600 lbs. for a single-wheel truck and 6000 lbs. for dual-rear-wheel. I think 1990 is the first year of this highest GVWR rating.
  4. zero

    Totally new to RV Ownership

    No, but close. Weight is not going to be even on all four tires so you cannot just multiply the rating of one times four. Besides there always being more weight on the back axle then the front, there is also "bias" when the weight shifts back and forth depending on inclines, turns, etc.
  5. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    I should of added that it seems most of us here use 185R-14C tires. Not much difference from the other size I posted but the 185R-14C carries slightly more weight at 1850 lbs. and is slightly smaller diameter then the 195/75-14C. Many newer Toyota RVs call for 195/75 and maybe it's because it is a slightly more correct diameter? The 185R-14C is what many Volkswagen camper-vans use and I suspect that is how it became a popular HD choice for Toyotas.
  6. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    Any tire that can handle the weight in back is fine. In Europe - on the newer HD Toyotas rated for over 6000 lbs. gross-vehicle-weight - they use single-tires in back in these sizes and do fine. In the USA, you can buy a Yokohama Y356 in the size LT 195/75 14D and be fine. It is the correct diameter and has a 1710 lb. rating. That means two tires gives a max rating of 3420 lbs. in the rear. Here's an example of a guy in a 4-Runner that had his rear axle on one side snap right off - likely from a bad wheel bearing. "Back in November 2009, I was driving my Toyota 4Runner 3rd generation SR5 and the left REAR Axial fatigued out while going 20 MPH on an entrance to a parkway. As the Axial fell off, I lost control of the vehicle and saw the whole wheel fly off to the other side of the entrance to the parkway "
  7. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    In the context of this forum, I know I am being redundant. But - just in case some of this info is new to you - I will repeat. The same semi-floating rear with 5 lug wheels that Toyota began to use in 1975 is the one many are calling the "death axle." It is still in use all over the world and nobody seems to have any issue with it when used with HD trucks and GVWRs over 6000 lbs. Note though that they do NOT put dually-adapter kits on them. It is just the greatly offset adapters RV makers used that put undue stress on the rear-axles. I'm sure many also overload the RVs and that just compounds the issue. Get rid of the adapters and duals, put on single tires, make sure you have two good wheel bearings and all should be fine. The rear-axle itself has a 3300 lb. safe, continuous-use rating. If unsure - just check your weight on the rear wheels when loaded. On an added note. The Toyota 5 lug semi-floating rear axle is very close in design to what Ford used to use in 1/2 ton pickups. For all I know, Toyota copied it. On either the Toyota or Ford, you do NOT have to break an axle to have it fall out with a wheel attached to it. All that holds an axle in is the wheel-bearing. It is just a single sealed ball-bearing. If it runs dry and falls apart - the axle falls out. That is why it is a good idea to always make sure the bearings are in good shape. If you buy a vehicle with unknown miles - or unknown repair history - it is a great idea to just put brand-new rear wheel-bearings in and then have some security.
  8. zero

    My Maiden Voyage in My New Sunrader

    How can you "get away" with a smaller engine? We are (I think) talking about an RV that gets driven mostly at highway speeds. It takes X amount of power to send a Toyota high-roof RV down the road at 60 MPH and an engine like a 2.2 or 2.4 already has all it can handle without climbing far out if its torque curve. A smaller gas engine with less power could not do the job and be fuel-efficient. The advantage to being a hybrid with a gas engine plus electric motor plus electric generator is . . . there would be lots of captured brake-energy in reserve to send you down the highway. Not going to happen in an RV being driven for hours. Not unless I am missing something here. Now - if your RV spends most of its time just stopping and going - then yes, may be some gain. That is why UPS has done it with their local delivery trucks and not their open-highway trucks.
  9. Kind of interesting that the road-test shows virtually zero payload capacity once the RV has any passengers in it. Yet, the 1992 and 1993 ads advertise it with up to a 1700 lbs. payload. How the heck is that accomplished? Note that although this 1993 ad shows a full-size truck along with the Astro, the 1992 ad only shows Astros and still claims "up to a 1700 lb. payload." From what can tell, that is not possible unless the van is ordered empty with no fixtures inside? Or is it possible that somebody found a way to beef up the Astrovan in 1992-93? Seems the heavist-payload Astro ever built by GM is listed at 5600 lbs. The Provan Tiger with two passengers weighs around 5400 lbs., so I don't get it.
  10. zero

    My Maiden Voyage in My New Sunrader

    What use is a hybrid for an RV that spends most of the time cruising? The big advantage to a hybrid is recapturing brake energy when a lot of stop-and-go driving is done. UPS has hybrid trucks right now that do NOT use batteries. Hydraulic-pressure storage instead. So, I guess if someone has an RV that gets driven like a UPS truck - find a used one and convert it.
  11. The RV museum in Elkhart, Indiana has a research library and free camping in their parking lot. We are hoping to take a trip this fall when the weather starts getting lousy and being outdoors is not always fun.
  12. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    I don't buy the "death axle" myth. I've yet to see any evidence that anyone has ever been killed due to an axle snapping in two on the rear of a Toyota motorhome. I WILL note that axles have broken on bare pickups and rear-wheel drive cars too. It is not just a Toyota RV thing. I've also had it happen with a 1/2 Chevy pickup.
  13. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    Fred Heath here recently put a USA full-floater in the back of his Toyota Champion Galavan. He gives a lot of info on his install.
  14. zero

    New owner here! 1981 Sunrader

    The single-tire Toyota trucks overseas still have the same 5 lug wheels and semi-floating rears as those had here in the mid 70s to mid 80s. Those are still sold new today and have gross-vehicle weight ratings over 6000 lbs. Single rear tires in sizes e.g. 195R-14C, 205/70R-15C, 205R-16C, 255/70R-15C, etc.
  15. Could be? If so (that is . . .that the one Mirage iss not relate to the other) - then what was 2nd, "new" Mirage coming out that was low enough to drive into a garage? Not a rhetorical question. All I know about it is what he mentions in that announcement. I hope to find out more when I get to the RV research-library.
  16. zero

    My Maiden Voyage in My New Sunrader

    Who the heck is going to scrap good batteries out of a hybrid unless they want big bucks for them? I starting to see many hybrid cars for sale now, cheap - because the original batteries are dead and considered too expensive to replace. Roadtrek is using batteries to run AC in their E-Trek. Roadtrek’s newest technology is a Boondockers dream as it enables the user to become completely energy independent and gives you the ability to use 90% of available power before any voltage loss will occur. This cell protection system is optimized for all weather and electrical demand situations. The module will charge and discharge at very high rates and be optimized thanks to Roadtrek’s proprietary climate system. It charges from any available source due to the companies’ existing proprietary E-Trek charge control, which harmonizes the vehicle alternator, Onan, engine generator, solar and shore power as required. There are many more advantages to the lithium cells included in the EcoTrek power module, such as weight savings, faster charging capabilities, increased life up to 3000 cycles, increased safety and no production gases for a more environmentally friendly option. Lithium cell construction using iron phosphate is the safest battery chemistry on the market today. No acids, no residual gases, no trouble. Roadtrek has done vigorous safety testing including nail penetration, crushing and drop tests and the EcoTrek power module came through with flying colors. “Roadtrek has a very complex and detailed R&D team that developed our new EcoTrek, and VoltTrek ground-breaking technologies using our in-house labs and working with external academic sources to do detailed validation testing.” states Jim Hammill, President and CEO of Roadtrek. “Our focus is to make the use of the unit easier and let people go anywhere they want, without a cord.” The EcoTrek power module is available in 200, 400, 800 and 1600 Amp hours and can also be combined with their mass solar systems ranging from 200 to 600 watts depending on the size of the unit, and the proprietary VoltTrek system that gives an owner piece of mind. Roadtrek backs these items by a six year warranty on parts, labor and manufacturing defects. Contact Roadtrek sales at sales@roadtrek.com for more infor
  17. That Ebay Provan looks like a good deal for someone. Price is kind of high, but I've certainly seen higher. I still kick myself for not buying the one that was near me when I had the chance. If I owned one, I'd beef up the rear.
  18. Looks like they are from the same company. I came across this today in the April, 1978 edition of Recreational Vehicle Retailer publication. The Mirage in Costa Mesa was only incorporated for 2 years. Kind of looks like Jerry Weis moved the business to Elkhart, Indiana. From the description of his announcement of the "new" Mirage - it sounds like the streamlined fiberglass version.
  19. zero

    Lake superior

    What is it with Michigan ladies and running around naked? Some people bought 20 acres of woods next to my 40 acres (where we live most of the time). We are one of the few that live here full-time. Most properties around here are hunting camps or summer-time four-wheeler camps. I'm in Hawks near Rogers City, surrounded by woods and swamps. Anyway - the land "next-door" got sold and I assumed some hunters got it. One day, me and my little boy were walking through the woods, on OUR land - and there's a woman laying on a blanket - totally naked. She saw me, threw a towel over herself and ran away. Did NOT even stop to say "hello." Ends up it was our new "neighbor" and I guess she did not know where the property lines are. That was a year ago and we've never seen anyone come back. They had cut in a driveway and hauled in a camper-trailer and not it's all over-grown. Maybe she thinks she has a pervert for a neighbor. Or thinks I'm some troll who lives in the woods and only comes out when there are naked ladies present? I've got to spend a full day in your area next week. That is, an entire day in Petoskey. My 80 year-old mother-in-law has to have some skin-cancer removed and it seems nobody where she lives in Alpena can do it. So she has been referred to get it done in Petoskey. You guys must be more civilized then we are here. Last specialist I had to see was also in Petoskey. McLaren Northern.
  20. zero

    Rear brakes sticking

    That Toyota part # crosses to the hoses I posted. Can swear any #s are 100% accurate. Pretty easy to verify with a tape-measure.
  21. zero

    Loud Generators

    For fans - why re-invent the wheel? We have a Fantastic vent-fan and we love it. But sometimes - we just use little clip-on fans from Walmart. They work great. Paid $13 each. Nice thing is - each person who wants a fan can have one without blasting everyone with the Fantastic fan on the ceiling.
  22. zero

    Rear brakes sticking

    This is the correct hose as I recall. 17" long.
  23. I'd love to have an Astro Provan Tiger. I regret passing one up last year for less then $2000. I cannot see how there is any doubt about the rear axle being inadequate though (by US standards). The same rear-axle as used in the Provan was also used in Sunraders, Dolphins, etc and were considered unsafe by people at the NHTSA. No remedy offered for a fix though, like they did for the Toyotas. I suspect one reason being they were built in low numbers. If I got my hands on a Tiger, I'd upgrade the rear axle. Maybe like the guy with the S10-Mirage is doing right now as described on this forum. Provan Astro Tiger weighs around 5000 lbs. with NO cargo and NO passengers. So seems fair to expect it to weigh 5600 lbs. or up when used. It has a GVWR of only 5400 lbs. Also - the rear is a little lighter and smaller then was many have removed from their Toyotas (or kind of condemned by the NHTSA). To be fair - the same axles that were considered "dangerous" here in the USA are still used on heavy Toyota trucks in the rest of the world. Not with duals though. So who knows? If the Australians get along with the light semi-floating axles in trucks with over 6000 total weight ratings - then it seems a well taken-care of Astro might do all right here. Again though, the rear-axle in an Astro is lighter then was used in a 1978 Toyota pickup truck. Smaller axles, smaller wheel bearings, and smaller ring & pinion.
  24. zero

    Lake superior

    Yes, me and my "new" bride who I found a little over 20 years ago. She is 12 years younger then me and it all evens out since we all know how much mature women are compared to men. Right? I still have hair and it is not grey yet (unlike my wife) - so it provides me with the illusion of being younger. I think even my daughter is grey but she won't confess and colors it (I think).
  25. zero

    Lake superior

    That dirt road you speak of, with all the wash-boarding, is where the chimney broke off from the burner on my refrigerator on my Toyota Minicruiser. NOT a great road for a Toyota RV and I know exactly what you mean. I have a special attachment to Paradise. Maybe because of the paradoxical name since it can be so miserable there. Or maybe because I read a series of books based on a retired-cop-character and sidekick Indian that is focused there. There is a nice rural state campground just outside of Paradise on the way to Whitefish Point and the roads are all good going there. I know what you mean about spell-check. It helps to make many of us not only get dumber, also looked dumber. I waste a lot of time fixing my spell-check errors. When I was a kid in school - my name often got spelled wrong so it became "Marias" and then got pronounced MARE-EE-behind,with an emphasis on the behind. Quite different from the way it is supposed to sound - i.e. "MARE - AY" with the silent S. In Quebec, it is spelled "DESMARAIS." While in the general area - do you ever stop at Oswald's Bear Ranch? He has quite a few Toyota RVs on site. Kind of neat place.
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