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About RiggerRob

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  • Birthday 07/26/1960

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1986 Toyota Sunland Express
  • Location
    Asheville, NC

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  1. RiggerRob

    What am I getting into?

    Just wanted to add a couple things. I do all my own work - including mechanical - so take into consideration how much you are willing to pay someone to do the work if you are not 'handy-inclined'. Also, check out the chimney in your fridge and hot water heater. I had birds nests in my fridge chimney compartment and the metal chimney is pretty corroded. Speaking of that watch out for wasp nests when you are replacing plastic roof covers (learned from experience)! Fortunately I found a great RV repair guy who has salvage parts for cheap - he had a like-new A/C shroud for my Coleman Mach II for only $20.00! If you can find a guy like this make him your buddy. A lot of the light covers are very hard to find and locksets for the rear door are almost impossible to replace new. I mentioned that I replaced my interior lights with LEDs. If I had to do it over - And I think I will - I would just replace the whole fixture - they're only about 15 bucks on eBay and you can find the link for them here on this forum. Search function is your friend - I'm off to search for the fix for fast blinking LED turn signals, see y'all later! -Rob
  2. RiggerRob

    What am I getting into?

    86 Sunland Express full timer here. Expect to replace everything made of plastic, especially anything on the roof. I had a lot of rotted rubber hoses - vacuum lines, transmission cooler lines, radiator hoses, etc. My master brake cylinder was bad, as well as my coach battery and converter relay. I have been upgrading/replacing/repairing stuff on this thing constantly, including a new timing chain at 170K (this is a ticking time bomb in 22R engines) and you can also expect idler pulleys, harmonic balancers, belts and other spinning things to be at or close to replacement time. Your shocks and springs will probably be shot, too. I am getting ready to replace all my exhaust components from the engine back because of rusted out studs and a giant exhaust pipe leak - as mentioned by others, pretty much what you can expect on a 30-year-old truck. I replaced all the running lights, interior lights, tail lamps and turn signals with LEDs. I just finished a bunch of work on it yesterday - tough to find time as I full-time and travel out of state a lot for work - and my brand new Bilstein shocks and airbag kit just arrived. I'm putting 6 new tires on it as well - my rig came with great tires but if you full time expect to get 2 to 3 good years out of a set (YMMV). Being my first RV, I went through a steep learning curve about backing up and parking and running into stuff and ended up breaking a lot of things that were good when I got it (i.e. awning, black water tank, side mirrors, etc.). Truth be told, I'd have been completely lost if it hadn't have been for this forum and the helpful folks on it. But I wouldn't change it for a thing. It's a sturdy rig and drives like a dream, and most of all, it's my little home! That is a great looking rig in the ad. I love the big back window and it looks clean and well kept but $9900 is far too high for this kind of camper. You can score a 89-92 era 6 cylinder model for that easily. I paid $3400 cash for mine with good tires and pretty much everything working. Good luck with whatever you choose to do - I've seen other Sunland Expresses come up for sale so keep looking.
  3. RiggerRob

    Info On 86 Sunland Express?

    86 Sunland Express owner here. Linda S - I thought the Sunland was an aluminum frame build but I could be wrong. Very solid quality, mine is burgundy red inside, kind of a nice break from the duff brown and grey interiors. I have a 6 lug rear axle, pretty sure all of them had it by this time. I've been full timing in this for almost 2 years and am so happy with its driveability and reliability. It's a little different in appearance from Dolphins or Sunraders of the era so I get a lot of positive comments on it. With a 22REC - the first of the fuel injected Toyota four bangers - it ain't no powerhouse but I've taken it up to Mt. Pisgah (6000 ft plus) any number of times and the original owner took it out west and put the first 130,000 miles on it. You won't be going anywhere in a hurry in this guy so I would advise the "Blue Highway" approach - these rigs aren't really designed for long term 80 mph cruising on the interstate (imho) so enjoy the slow ride! The roof is solid aluminum for the most part - watch out for the "luggage rack" on the back - they catch on tree limbs, break off and can cause leaks. I have a dorky rotatable VHF TV antenna up there that I still haven't really figured out what to do with. I replaced all the old running lights with led's as well as the interior lights, and am getting ready to install my first solar panel. Biggest things to look out for are tire condition, obvious water damage, drive train and cooling system (VERY important) condition and coach battery condition (my original one was crap). this has a 30lb horizontal propane tank - I've had no problems with my gas system but I have been turned down at one place for a fill (Tractor Supply, grrrr) because I couldn't verify the age of the tank. Keep in mind that these RV's are going on 30 years old so even if they are well kept there are going to be a lot of little things to fix. In particular, all the plastic stuff gets really brittle from continuous UV exposure. I think the overall quality might be a little higher than other RV's of this period but I'm a little biased.... Ask me anything about it and I'd be happy to post current pics. There are also a couple other Sunland Express folks on here - and a gold mine of info you won't find anywhere else - but I'll let them speak for themselves... -Rob
  4. RiggerRob

    Not Your Average Toyota

    Awwwww... Jdfrost, would love to see the progress on your Sunland Express and share suggestions and tales of wonder and woe. I'm currently full timing in my rig which makes major overhaul and repairs a challenge. My current project list - install my new 3-row brass radiator (thanks, Linda, for pointing me in the right direction for that) and install my new 100-watt solar panel on the roof. I'm blessed in having gotten one in fairly new shape - I've done more damage to it from backing in to crap than it previously had its whole life... Hard to find a lot of info on them as there don't seem to be lot of them out there. Any of you guys want to meet up at Earth Fare or Katuah Mart (one of my new favorite hang outs, great off street parking and free internet) and compare notes, I'm up for it any time. Hope everyone is staying warm, we're looking at temps in the teens by tomorrow night...
  5. RiggerRob

    Not Your Average Toyota

    Mine's the Sunland Express with the red and silver trim - I'm at Earth Fare a lot, and see the World Happiness Party one all the time. Glad he finally painted it, it looked hideous before he did. Doctor Dave, the mechanic on Haywood Road, has an '84 Sunrader and we just met up in West Asheville for the first time the other day. The other one is parked by Blue Mountain Pizza in Weaverville, which was my old haunt when it used to be called the Cafe Raven Moon. Someone left a note on my windshield last year claiming they've been full timing in a Sunland Express in West Asheville but I've yet to lay eyes on it. Time for an Asheville meet'n'greet?
  6. Dream version of my '86 Sunland Express - looks beautiful BUT - minus the cool solar panels, low mileage (I had 150,000 original), almost identical to mine and I paid $3400.00 cash... Seems a little expensive to me but YMMV... ;-)
  7. RiggerRob

    Do You Think I'm Hooked?

    Yeah, as a former Navy ET with 4 years of sea time it reminds me of the same thing. Like Linda, I've been wanting to write a long, gushy post about how infatuated I am with my baby. I have to say I have never had a relationship with any other wheeled vehicle quite like this. I've been in it 8 months and the magic still hasn't really worn off.
  8. RiggerRob

    Door Rear View Mirrors

    Just had my driver's side mirrors involuntarily removed during the last snowstorm so I got the 6x6 1/2 replacements at NAPA. Re-used the old loop brackets, glad I kept all the busted pieces. Good as new now - NAPA has chrome and white for around $20 a pop, both flat and convex.
  9. RiggerRob

    Winter observations from the field

    Thanks, Linda - got a solid offer to stay in tonight and I'm taking advantage of it! I'll get on the reflectix thing, got lots of Velcro. God bless that little engine, still kicking over with no gas pedal at 5F... I'll head back out when the mercury gets back above 20F on Wednesday...
  10. RiggerRob

    Winter observations from the field

    Holy moley, it's gonna get cold here in Asheville, NC tonight. -2F with wind chills of -35F tonight. I'll be interested to see how the little furnace in my Sunland Express holds up on a night like this. Trying to find leeward parking to stay out of the wind - my biggest challenge has been dealing with the cold leakage that comes around the window frames, especially from the big front window in the cab over. I haven't had the money, weather or time to do a fancy insulated panel for up there so I just throw a pillow against the window near my head to keep the draft off my face. I have a super heavy fleece blanket that I use as a mattress pad, a heavy sarape on top of that, and a combination of goose down and fleece blankets to roll up in. I wear sweats and an under armor too and usually stay pretty snug. worst case scenario - I have one of those Vietnam-era marine sleeping bags that's good down to -35F, but I find that too confining (slept in a tent in it all last summer). The furnace keeps up pretty well and is easy on the propane as long as I keep the thermostat at 60. It seems like I could keep a lot of the heat from escaping from the coach if I could throw some heavy blankets against the big windows behind the venetian blinds. Also I need to come up with a covering for the bottom of the vent fans - they let in way too much light and probably let a lot of heat out, as well. Just found out I have an option to stay indoors tonight if I like and I just may have to sit this cold-behind night out indoors...
  11. RiggerRob

    What's your rig and where's it at?

    Proud new owner of a pristine 1986 Sun Land Express with 151,000 original miles, here in Asheville, NC...