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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. I'm not certain, but I think the new owner may have registered on this board. Maybe they will announce themselves.
  2. 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. I listed it on CL, Humboldt California. If it sells, then ok. If not, then who knows... might run it there and back again. I have one of those 7.5 mpg diesel coaches, and every time I take the trip in the Dolphin vs the big dog, I save a grand. Late Entry... Sold it.
  4. Made it home last night. Drove 7800 miles on our vacation. Part of this was in a rented minivan, but 5500 was in the Dolphin. No troubles with the Dolphin, except that there developed a pinhole leak in the radiator. I dumped in a small blue bottle of "stop leak stuff" and the leak did stop. Added a half gallon of anti freeze mix. Needles CA to Fortuna CA in one day (800 miles). We pushed it because of the smoke from the Camp Fire that has filled California. Rather than breathe the stuff all night, we went for the coast where the air is clean. Thinking about selling.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Started it up, first time with new vac hoses. Wow, it really runs smoother. I also had some after market spark plug wires that would slip off the plug every 1000 miles or so. Ever climbed the rockies on I-80 using only 3 cylinders? I went back with oem wires from a Toyota dealer. They stay on, and don't slip. Also cleaned and re-attached all of the ground to body connections on the electrical. Makes evil things go away. New side view mirrors. Bigger to park easier with. Ordered from Mill Supply.
  10. Thanks Darrel. You use yours, as do I. Fred
  11. Darrel, How would you compare the Winnebago to the Dolphin? Choke issue? Not checked out yet. I still have my can of start fluid, just in case. We hang a thick sleeping bag off of the bunk in order to separate the cab from the cabin. It makes it much much quieter. Taking my battery into Oreilley's for a test today. Bought it last month and it doesn't seem to hold a charge. Old motorhomes always have something that needs fixed. Fortunately, these Toyota MH's are relatively cheep to fix. Actually, new rigs require attention and require skills/cash all the time. It must be something you really like, and can afford.
  12. Leaving in one week. Humboldt County CA/Minden NV/Alamo NV/Gallup NM/Tumcumcari NM/Alma AR/Smyrna TN/(car trip without motorhome to Madison WI, Chicago, Branson MO, Madison WI, back to Smyrna TN)/Return route in motorhome will be based on weather. Be home for Thanksgiving. I may have lost count, but this is probably our 7th or 8th such road trip in the Dolphin. We usually get stopped by cops under some false pretense because of our Humboldt County CA plates and checked for "whatever" transport. TN, ARK, OKLAHOMA. One we were in a health food store watching out the window while cops parked behind our rig and had their flashlights peering into our back window. Creepy to say the least.
  13. Here is how I (improperly) start my 22R engine when it is cold. Pump the gas twice, then at half way on the gas pedal, I crank the engine, and it usually won't start. Buy a can of starting fluid, and insert a skinny tube at the spray part of the can. Loosen the wing nut on the air cleaner, and give a shot of fluid into the carb. Tighten the wing nut. Start the engine... pump the gas twice, hold the pedal half way down, crank the engine for no more than 10 seconds. It usually starts. Now I know this ain't how it should be. Anyone care to set me straight. I seem to have forgotten how to start a carb'd vehicle.
  14. Changed the vacuum hoses. 22R. Went to Oreilleys auto parts. Bought 15' of hose, sized to fit the plastic fitting from the truck. Used all but 7'. $9.60. Beware there is a 3-way fitting in front of the engine 2" away from the distributor. You could easily remove this to take it into the parts store just to make sure the hose fits. Then when you get home, you don't know which way to go back, not realizing it is a check valve, not just a splitter. Fortunately, I have a photo of my engine compartment... been there, done that... Be gentle. In my case, all of the hoses went onto metal parts, except for the 3-way. If you break something, good luck finding the part to replace. Might get relatively expensive. There were seven hoses on my California equipped truck. Easy job. One hose at a time. Not "remove all hoses then wonder where each goes". Just saying. First hose change since 1984. 'Bout time. Yes, the wisdom is to use 3mm hose, but the one I bought fit the fitting best. No I did not use silicone. Didn't use Amazon because I wanted to do it now/today.
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