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Toyota Advanced Member
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About FredNewell

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    I like to fix leaks!

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1984 Dolphin
  • Location
    Fortuna CA

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  1. FredNewell


    I'm not certain, but I think the new owner may have registered on this board. Maybe they will announce themselves.
  2. FredNewell


    Sold the Dolphin to a nice young couple. I uploaded a video tour - six videos. They are to show the new owners how things work. The Youtube channel is GroovyDolphin. Take a look. I'm gonna miss the Dolphin. Fred
  3. FredNewell

    I probably need a seal overhaul, but how

    The photo helps. Is that a rubber roof (rubber membrane looks like thin canvas on top)? There are products that will seal the front seam. Hard to tell from here. If it was mine, and I am a bonehead/fool who gets in deep sometimes... I would 1) remove the rear window and re-set. I might find rotten wood. Might consider something to stop the rot, see the RotDoctor website. Might just go in and replace wood. But, I'd hope for the best and just re-set the window. 2) cushion foam can be purchased on Amazon. Figure a hundred bucks can do a lot of repair. We had a neighbor in her late 70's who did reupholstery work for car show guys. She helped us. RETAIL price would have been high, taking 12 hours to do the job. We bought a bolt of chevy upholstery fabric and used the old foam. I doubt that stinky/moldy foam can be reused. Depends on what you discover. 3) If it is a rubber roof, and it seems sound, it can be coated for a couple hundred buck in materials. EDPM product made just for that. IF there is roof rot, then look up RotDoctor and do some reading. 4) The red circled seam... I'd get a putty knife, and dig into it. IF THE ROOF IS RUBBER, NEVER NEVER USE SILICONE - IT IS NOT COMPATABLE WITH EDPM RUBBER ROOF FABRIC. See what you find, and figure out a seal job. There is tape called Eternabond or something like that. See Youtube. Maybe the tape is all you need. Cannot tell from here. Home Depot sells a tape that works, but is shiney metallic, and is cheaper than Eternabond. I had a roof hatch blow off in a Tennessee thunder storm, and patched it up... glued it down, with the Home depot stuff. Replaced the parts later after getting home to Calif. If you're only going to have the MH for a few years, and don't care to make it perfect, then the cheapest fix may be the best. A little hidden rot really might not matter. Before I got all of my roof work done, I kept a blue cheap tarp over the rig to keep it dry. Now it is all fixed and weather tight. Guess what... last night my water pump (coach water) started leaking, 65 dollars and one day Amazon delivery, and it should be fixed so we can start our trip Thurs morning. These things always present something to fix. That's part of the RV life. Make it a labor of love. Enjoy it. Many would envy the fact that you even have a Toyota MH. If you tend to do messy work, know your limitations and set your expectations accordingly. If you are a skilled perfectionist, well good for you. Either way is fine if you are satisfied with your results. It's your rig. Do it your way. Just be grateful and love what you do. Ask questions.
  4. FredNewell

    I probably need a seal overhaul, but how

    Dicor makes two types of sealant. Leveling (for the roof where there are bolts/screws) and non-leveling (on the side of your rig). The over cab leak... might just be the running lights that are over the window. Get a ladder, climb up and look. Maybe your window is ok. Maybe it is not the seam. Been there done that. Silicone is difficult to remove. Silicone is not the preferred goop according to the many online experts. Silicone may be there from a previous owner, or the original factory stuff. Go online and you can research this. Lots of youtube videos out there. Yes you can pull a window out, clean up, replace wth butyl tape. You could even get the window tinted while it is out. Butyl tape should be enough, to stop the leak. Other's opinion's may say add a bead of non-leveling decor - AFTER cleaning off any old silicone. Good luck getting 100& of the silicone off. Online guidance may help with the silicone issue. Careful about scrubbing and damaging the paint. Keep it pretty. DICOR is not silicone. Maybe silicone isn't evil, maybe this is just my preference. I just don't care for it. Good luck, you can do it if you don't mind putting some tunes into you ears, and doing bonehead labor for an afternoon. The labor cost??? if you don't want to DIY, check around. When I bought my dolphin, the previous owner had just replaced the roof a/c with a used unit. The work was done by a shop in Stockton CA. It worked fine, but the bonehead installer didn't use the proper seal between the a/c unit and the motorhome roof. It should have had square gasket that cost like $15. The dealer used silicone glue instead. What a mess, and what a leak. I removed the a/c, hung it off the roof with a rope for my wife to guide to the ground. She twisted her knee and we took our 30 day vacation with her in a knee bandage and a cane. She is ok now.. but I'd like to tune up the guy who installed the a/c wrong. My point... Don't let stupid people repair your rv. Get as smart as you can. Youtube is your friend. At least if you are smart, you can know if the guy you hire is smart, or just a bonehead. Did I say "bonehead" again?
  5. FredNewell

    Toyota class C review by builder

    Dolphin as late as 84 had gloss painted aluminum skin, and an aluminum roof. A little later, Dolphin had a fiberglass skin of some sort. I don't know if Dolphin ever went to rubber EDPM roofing. Yes, the Dolphin is wood studding and roof joists. Yes they rot if water is introduced. The sticks and staples with aluminum skin can be ok. Can be repaired up to a point.
  6. FredNewell

    Why a Toyota??

    My other motorhome is a 35' FC Bluebird Wanderlodge. To own a Wanderlodge and maintain it, runs around $300 per month, even if you don't use it much. That cost includes most of the work being DIY, and includes tires every 5-7 years ($4000 give or take), and replacement batteries ($600-$1000) which may only last 2-3 years. Filling the fuel tank can put a major dent in a $1000 wallet. The Dolphin is much more rustic, less luxury, goes just as fast, is just as much fun, is better for the Oregon coast and mountain camping. In comparison of build quality, the Dolphin is sticks and staples... the Wanderlodge is solid steel. I lived in my Wanderlodge for 3 years, and it is quiet, and just plain cool. They both have their place, but for my big trip this fall, I'm taking the Dolphin. I'll save at least a grand in fuel costs. Both rigs attract attention. You can buy a really good Dolphin for $8000. A really good Wanderlodge for $15-35 grand, depending. You can buy both for the price of an almost new Honda Accord. The new Dolphin probably cost $25-30,000 in 1984. The Wanderlodge cost $300,000 back in 1989. I bought it 5 years ago for a song, and it was in excellent shape. Drove it home from Cadillac Michigan... and the first fill-up took $700. But the tank lasted 1400 miles. Yes, 50 cents per mile for fuel at 7.5-8 mpg. The view from the driver seat is the same. "Toyota" is what makes the Dolphin good. Otherwise, it is just an old camper.
  7. FredNewell

    84 dolphin ready for new tires

  8. FredNewell

    Lug Nut Torque

    Well, I'm about to torque the rear dual wheel nuts. I was going to ask what torque since the original 85# sticker seems to be for the original factory arrangement. I'm going ahead with 150# plus a little dry without lube.
  9. FredNewell

    Got a photo of what's under the siding?

    Well, after a bit of procrastination (procrastination is a nasty nation) and my trademark analysis paralysis... I did the work on the driver's side. Dolphinite's photos show what I had to do. I did not go back with 3/4" plywood, but used 1/4" primed and painted with house paint to back 3/4" pressure treated (1x4 lumber) and some 1x2 not pressure treated. I pulled the water heater because the wood rot had affected the framing to which the WH is secured. All new and ok now. For tools, I needed the following... 1) a place to work - concrete pad 2) wheelie stool to sit on and scoot around - makes it easier https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000COC67E/ref=od_aui_detailpages02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 3) cheap tarp to cover up when away from the job 4) oscillating multi-tool from amazon (WEN brand 25 dollars) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005UKGKYK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 5) tape measure and square 6) 2 cheap clamps from Walmart to hold pieces in place. like these...https://www.amazon.com/MegaDeal-Too-5230-Clamp-Spring-opening/dp/B00CPSJCB8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1502738919&sr=8-7&keywords=clamp 7) Gorilla epoxy glue 8) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BD0B2FC/ref=od_aui_detailpages01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 staple gun to re-install siding. Shoots skinny nails which was handy. Trick and tips... when moving the long pieces of siding, they could flop and bend/crimp... therefore clamp it to a piece of 1x4 lumber to carry... keeps it safe. This was quite educational. Later I think I'll do the bottom edge of the back behind the bumper, then the other side, to include rebuilding the door. Then replace interior floors/subfloor where there is a soft spot.., now that I have the tools and greater confidence. Also had to remove the outer wheel to get working space.
  10. FredNewell

    Little Bit Of Rot!

    Wow. Exactly what I wanted. Thanks.
  11. I considering selling my rig, but am seriously considering a diy wheel well repair job and keeping it for another few years. The wood behind the aluminum paneling, just before and after the wheel wells, is rotted. This repair probably is not too difficult, but I'd like to know just what I'm going to see when I start removing the existing siding, in terms of what the framing and wood structure looks like. This would be for the entire wall. By chance is there a photo of the bare "naked" exterior wall? This is a 1984 Dolphin, wood sticks and aluminum siding. Thanks
  12. FredNewell

    My New Refrigerator. No More Propane

    Thanks - great post.
  13. FredNewell

    What Seat Covers To Get

    I bought Wet Okole, blue and tan with a dolphin insert. I submitted a photo and they knew which pattern to cut from. They are higher priced but fit perfect. I'm not saying Wet Okole is better, but we like them. Since then, we've seen other brands online that looked good too. I've spent too much money on RVs in my life. I'll probably spend more. or as some say... "throw away more".
  14. FredNewell

    I Like It When....

    I love it when I have to work on it... and it's a Toyota... and it's easy.
  15. FredNewell

    Use As Daily Driver?

    " My Dodge GrandCaravan with AWD and a 3.8 engine gets 22 MPG loaded with crap and people. MUCH better for that sort of thing." Off topic, but what year is yer dodge AWD Caravan? I have a 2000 T&C I have way too much money into, but I like it. Never thought I'd like a minivan.