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About RaderNed

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1985 21' Sunrader, 22re
  • Location
    On the road
  1. Here is some info on camping spots along the west coast of Mexico, and a bit of inland central Mexico, from our recent five month road trip, completed in early April, 2017. Most of these spots are good for either tent, van or RV camping; we'll try to point out exceptions. We're in a 21' 1985 Toyota Sunrader rv for almost a year now (we'll do separate posts for our US and Canadian travels), which we've found to be pretty much the ultimate road trip vehicle, small enough to go or park anywhere, but spacious enough inside for two of us, and with all the comforts: stove, oven, 3-way fridge, double kitchen sink, bathroom with toilet and shower, water heater, furnace, etc. Mechanically, it's got the super dependable 22re, known to last hundreds of thousands of miles. We bought an International Travel Maps road map for Mexico, but found that Google Maps worked most of the time. A good idea is to download in advance a bunch of offline maps on Google Maps of the areas you'll be traveling through, which you can then use later even if you don't have phone/data coverage. Occasionally, when we chose the "avoid tolls" option on Google Maps, it would still send us on routes with tolls. Mexican tolls are expensive, sometimes as much as US$15, and frequent on the Cuotas, or toll roads. Both the Cuota and Libre (free) routes have decent roads, the main difference being the Libres go directly through towns, whereas the Cuotas skirt them, and the Libres have more frequent topes (speed bumps). Essentially it's just a matter of speed; if you have lots of time, take the Libres and save lots of money. Speaking of phone/data, we discovered that AT&T prepaid plans cover the US, Canada and Mexico. 8gb of data and unlimited calls and texts anywhere within those countries cost us US$60 per month, or $55 if you sign up for auto refill. We were surprised at how widespread coverage was in Mexico. It wasn't until we got down to more remote areas in Jalisco that there were patches of no coverage, and then in mountainous coastal Michoacan there was little coverage at all. In the following descriptions, all prices are in pesos. As is done in Mexico, the dollar sign ($) is used. Camping sites are listed from north to south along the West coast, with some central Mexican towns listed at the end. We crossed the border into Mexico at Lukeville/Sonoyta in mid-November. We chose this crossing because we were in Phoenix visiting friends, it was our first crossing into Mexico with an rv, and we didn't want the sometimes crowded and hectic conditions we'd heard of at Nogales. We spent the night prior to crossing at the rustic campsite at Gunsight Wash, about a half hour from Lukeville on the US side. There's a host in a trailer near the entrance, who we never saw. There is no charge but they do ask that you sign in on a clipboard. On our way out of Mexico, we stayed at Gunsight Wash again; this time no host or clipboard. First thing in the morning we headed to the border and crossed with no issues at all. There were only one or two others crossing at the time, the staff on both sides were friendly and helpful, making the whole process quite relaxed and stress free. There are insurance places in Lukeville, though we'd purchased in advance online. The office for getting your vehicle permit is not in Sonoyta but another 45 minutes (around 155 km) or so down the road just past Pitiquito. Again, the process was straightforward and relaxed. The road between Sonoyta and Santa Ana has just been redone and is very nice! On the way back, we stayed at what I believe is officially called Punta Vista rv park in Santa Ana. Really, it's just a dirt lot with a few hookups. But a good place to stop and the owners are nice. Just off the main highway on the south side of town, with big "RV Park" signs. Cost $150 without hookups, $200 with. On the way down, we had planned to spend the night at an rv park in Hermosillo, however when we got there just after dark, we discovered it had recently closed. We spent the night at a Pemex gas station just down the road. We asked the attendants, they said it was fine. No problems, but a bit noisy. We spoke with others later in the trip and Pemex stations seem to be a reliable fall back spot for overnighting anywhere. Day two we drove to San Carlos, first stop on the west coast. There appears to be only one rv park left there, Totonaka. It was only about 1/4 full, mostly with bigger rigs and fifth-wheels passing through on the way south. Strangely, it was cheaper for us to get a small room, with a.c. and a bathroom ($400 per nt) than it was to get a space with hookups ($420). We were able to park the camper right in front of our room, so could use its kitchen, etc, easily. Others told us you can also camp in the marina parking lot just down the road. There are some decent restaurants in the area, and a nice beach just outside town to the north. After a few days, our next stop southward was Huatabampito. You can't miss the one rv park on the beach, El Mirador, a fairly barren and sometimes windswept spot. Only three other, larger rigs were there when we arrived, which all left the next morning. The beach was decent, and the restaurant good, we had a beach front site with full hookups, so we stayed for a week for $350 per nt. Only a couple of other rigs passed through for a night while we were there. There is pretty much nothing else on the whole beach other than some empty holiday homes. The one other restaurant a few hundred meters north on the beach seemed to have no food available and only beer and soda. There are stores and petrol 15 minutes away in Huatabampo, and ten minutes away is the small fishing village of Yavaros. Next stop south was Hotel Mr Moro in Las Glorias, again the only camping spot on the beach. Other travelers had told us it was closed, but I reached them by phone and they said they were open. They were really just barely open. The grounds were quite well kept, but the rooms and restaurant were tired looking. The rv spaces were over grown, but still had power run to them. Some also had water and waste pipes. Only one other rig came through for one night in the week that we were there, and there were no hotel guests. We took a beach front site that had power (though I had to drive a new ground spike for it), and we used the water and waste hookups at a nearby site before we left. We paid $200 a night, and they allowed us to use the bathroom in one of the hotel rooms. There were a number of other restaurants down the beach, as well as vendors selling shrimp, clams, oysters and fish on the street. We twice bought fish direct from fishermen on the beach as they pulled them from their nets for 20 pesos each. Further south again we stopped at Celestino for a couple of nights. This area evidently used to have five rv parks and would fill up over the winter season. Now, however, after the 2008 crash and a shooting incident at nearby La Cruz between rival gangs, it's a ghost town. We stayed at the Celestino RV Park, but it was really on its last legs and I doubt it will be open by the end of this season. The night we arrived there was only one rig there, a Canadian named Rick who'd been coming there for 12 years. That same night, the full time caretaker, another former Canadian, passed away at the hospital. The park had no electricity, just waste pipes and running water. The toilets and showers worked but the whole place was overgrown. We paid $200 per night. If you stay three nights, the fourth is free. Of the other four parks, only one, Villa Celeste Resort, was still open. It looked pretty nice, with a small pool and restaurant, but only one Italian guest and no rvs. The local manager was very friendly and gave us lots of info on places further south. We skipped Mazatlan, as we did most other bigger cities and resort destinations. Lots of places to stay there, but very touristy and crowded. Another hop further south, past Mazatlan, we visited Teacapan. Online I'd found an rv park there, next to a restaurant. When we arrived, we discovered that the rv park had been largely washed into the lagoon in the 2015 hurricane (Patricia) and the adjacent restaurant, though intact, was closed. As Teacapan is off the main road a ways and it was late in the day, we camped the first night outside the fence where the rv park had been and planned on heading further south the next day. As we were leaving the town the next morning, a gringo on an ATV waved us down and asked if we were looking for a place to camp. When we said yes, he directed us to the beach just north of town, Playa Las Lupitas. This was a beautiful spot, with a number of seemingly man-made coves, palapas, and a crude toilet and shower block; no hookups. The Canadian, Bob, advised us to give the grounds keeper, Antonio, $120 a night. We enjoyed this spot a great deal, with swimming and kayaking. It is just a short drive or bike ride into the town. There were four other rv campers there, three for the season and one solo Canadian lady passing through on her way to Argentina. On the way back north We spent two weeks at Teacapan. This time, no one else was camping on Playa Las Lupitas. After one night there by ourselves as local lady in town warned is against staying there alone,a the last couple who had done that had been robbed at gunpoint (a flare gun, but still...) and had their ATV stolen. We discovered that there is a second place to camp, towards the town a bit and just across a dirt road from the ocean. This spot, an open lot with three rv hookups and an open air toilet and shower (walls but no roof) is at the end of the road in the Los Cuatro Surcos tiny subdivision. The caretaker, Rafael, charges $160 a night. We highly recommend Teacapan. The next section southward, between San Blas and Puerto Vallarta, is fairly well developed for tourism. We hopped south, then north, then south again in this area, but I'll describe them from north to south. In the town of El Rincon, just south of San Blas and north of Aticama, we stayed at El Chaco, mostly a hotel (with pool) but also with 8 rv spaces with full hookups. We paid $350 a night. Canadian John was a long time returnee there and very helpful with info on the general area. A long walk or short drive or bike ride up the beach to Aticama takes you to a number of good restaurants and stores. Further south is La Penita, where we stayed at Little Rig rv park, run by Canadian couple Brian and Carol. This is a very nice spot for tent camping or vans/ small rvs. Right on the beach, only eight or ten spaces with good landscaping, a nice group of regular seasonal visitors, a small pool. We paid $280 a night. Across the street from a school which can be noisy during the day, but fairly quiet at night. It's very convenient to walk a few hundred metres up the beach to Rincon de Guayabitos, where there are lots of bars, restaurants and shops, then be able to retreat back to Little Rig where it's more quiet. There are two other rv parks in La Penita that we saw, one next door to Little Rig called Heaven's Gate, which was nothing but a large gravel lot with hookups and no guests, and the very large and better known La Penita RV Park, which was full of elderly seasonal guests with huge class A rigs and fifth wheels. Just south of La Penita is Lo de Marcos, a smallish town renowned for rv parks. There are at least 5 or 6 parks there. We stayed at Pequeno Paraiso for $280 a night with a discount for a week or longer. The local couple running the place, Nancy and Mike, were very friendly and the park had activities such as an open mic night and a potluck dinner for Christmas eve. A water truck (for bottled water), a propane truck and a veggie truck stopped in regularly. We glanced in at the other parks and they looked fine, too. There are a few restaurants and stores in the town, but only one bar run by a couple of somewhat surly gringos. South of Lo de Marcos is San Francisco, known to the locals as San Pancho. This is another highly recommended spot, well developed for tourism but still very relaxed. A nice, though slightly big-wave, beach, a number of good restaurants, a chill beach bar scene, great beach massage available, regular morning yoga classes, nice stores and coffee shops, local and young tourist artisans selling jewelry and such. There is a tent campground right on the beach and other backpackers were free camping elsewhere on the beach, but there's no official rv/van campground. We met two others, though, who had parked their small rigs on the town plaza said they'd had no problems; one had been there for three months. We met a friend there and stayed in an Airbnb on the edge of town. To the south of San Pancho is Sayulita, at one time famous as a hippy retreat. Now, sadly, the town has been discovered by the masses and is overrun with gringos, cars, ATVs, golf carts and just plain tourism in general. We had planned to stay here but, after checking it out for one afternoon, escaped to San Pancho as quickly as we could. There's decent nightlife in Sayulita, something rare many other places, but that's about all I can say in its favor. We skipped over Puerto Vallarta and stopped next at Perula. There are three rv camping spots in this town, all on the beach. Red Snapper is very basic. There were a couple of vans there and some tents. One strictly rv park (tent camping would be inappropriate) is associated with a hotel called Playa Dorado and consists essentially of a walled-in lot. The advantage of this place, I guess, is that you can use their swimming pool, if you don't fancy the ocean. We stayed at Perula RV Park, which had full hookups, nice toilets and showers, and a friendly group of seasonal regulars. There are only a couple of spots with direct views of the beach, taken by seasonal regulars, but palms shade many of the other spots. One of the regulars hosted free yoga classes three times a week. The park host, Henry, was a very nice guy. A propane truck and a veggie truck stopped in regularly. The nightly charge is $250 but that's discounted to $1200 for a week or $4000 for a month. South of Perula we stayed for quite a while at Playa Tenacatita. This beach has a somewhat sad history. In the 80's and 90's it was very popular with both gringos and locals. There were several dozen palapa style restaurants on the beach, a handful of concrete hotels and small villas, some with pools, an rv park and numerous palapas which individuals had built to camp in. Then, beginning in the late 90's, a Mexican businessman with connections to a former President began to make claims on the land, saying that the President's widow had given him much of the land which the locals had been using for decades. Finally, in 2005, this man, who conveniently owned a security company, brought in an army of his armed guards, waved an eviction notice a since discredited judge had signed for him, and gave everyone 15 minutes to leave. After the locals had abandoned their businesses, palapas and homes, the guards proceeded to loot and burn everything. There is video also of locals in the adjacent village of Rebalsito being terrorized and shot with rubber bullets. The access road to the beach was blocked with a gate and armed guards posted. The dispute has continued in the courts ever since. Two years ago, federal forces arrived and forced the security guards to remove the gate and allow access to the beach again. Now there are Jalisco state police posted there full time, and camping is again allowed. The locals have not been allowed to rebuild their restaurants and hotels yet, but a few of the resourceful ones offer tables and umbrellas and will shuttle food and drink orders on motorbikes from Rebalsito, just a few minutes away. The beach itself is very nice, the camping is free, and a truck delivers 20 liter bottles of water three times a week. A few of the long time seasonal regulars have returned, most notably Chile and Mary Ann, who have been coming here since the early 80's, and Bob and Betty, who first came in the early 70's. Both couples have been extremely supportive of the locals in their efforts to reclaim the beach and revive the town's economy. Sea turtles come up onto the beach to nest, but not in the numbers seen at Maruata (see below). In Rebalsito, a few minute drive or 20 minute bike ride away, there are a number a small stores, two carnecerias, and a gasolinera (where gasoline is hand pumped out of a barrel). A propane truck comes to town a few times a week and will pick up empties and return them full a few days later. After three weeks at Tenacatita, we drove an hour south to Melaque for a few nights. This is a slightly larger town with a thriving tourism business, including a fair number of seasonal gringos. We went mainly to have some work done on the camper. On the north end of town, Best Weld is a great place for muffler and exhaust work. Nearby, an auto shop called Cowboy does brakes and replaced our clutch master and slave cylinders. Both places did great work and each for about $800-900 total. We also had some minor body work and painting done at a place whose name I don't recall. It was directly across the road from the Pemex station on the far end of town. Did a good job, quickly and cheaply. There are four rv parks in Melaque. The first, called Playa, is smack in the middle of the town, but on the beach. It listed its price as $350 per night. On the north end of town also on the beach is Melaque RV Park, which we didn't look at. It was said to be without hookups, but later someone told us they had put in waste pipes. Don't know the price. A bit east of the town center and several blocks off the beach is Paradise RV, which we didn't check out. We stayed on the south end of town at Bungalows Laguna del Tule. This is a pretty large place with lots of hotel rooms, rv spaces and tent spaces. They had a good restaurant with live entertainment several times a week, and a pool with a swim up bar. Several good restaurants, stores and a lavanderia right near by, and just a 15 walk to the center of town. We paid $300 a night. From Melaque we headed through but didn't stay in Manzanillo, which has several large supermarkets, a Wal-Mart, AutoZone, etc. As an aside, if you need a new windshield, there's a national chain called Crisgaso that has good (Pilkington) glass, does a reasonable job and is very inexpensive. US $80 for a new windshield installed. They let us park overnight in front of their store near the port in Manzanillo, and did the installation in a couple of hours first thing in the morning. They get about an 80 percent on the installation, but good for the price (the equivalent of US$80). South of Manzanillo are several nice Michoacan beaches. Around 150 km south of Manzanillo is Ixtapilla, which is comprised of two beaches. It's too rough to swim, but while we were there, in early to mid February, turtles were hatching by the hundreds starting at just before sunset and until dawn. An amazing sight. Even a big rig could dry camp at this beach. The cost is $50 per person. About 10 km south of Ixtapilla, El Faro de Bucerias, La Manzanillera, and Palmas Sola are all within a few minutes of each other. They are all beautiful, though El Faro has the best swimming. Tent camping is possible at all of them and dry camping with a van or small rig is possible at El Faro and Palmas Sola. They each have at least one restaurant, El Faro has several as well as bucket showers and toilets. We camped at El Faro for $40. Around 30 km south of El Faro, Playa Maruata was probably the highlight of the trip. Lots of palapa restaurants and places to tent camp, a long (2 mile?) sandy beach to the south and two beautiful coves to the north. Stunning rock formations, sea caves and tunnels, gorgeous views from atop the hills in and around the coves - all around fantastic. Sea turtles came up onto the beaches every night we were there to lay their eggs, which was amazing to watch. There are no real rv parks, but at the end of the paved entrance road to the big beach there's a palapa spot (Bruno's) with a couple of flat parking spaces for vans or small rigs like ours. Behind the middle cove there is also a place down a hard packed sandy road with a couple of spots where something slightly larger could park. Both places offer electricity (bring your own long cord) but no water or waste hookup. Bruno's had a hose we could fill our water tank with. Both also had showers and toilets (though Bruno's were pretty rustic - we didn't look at the facilities at the other place). Both places charged $150 per night, including the electricity. Our furthest stop south was at Playa Pichilinguillo, about an hour and a half south of Maruata. This spot was scenic, comprised of two adjacent beaches in a well protected cove (Playa El Tunel was the other beach). The beaches are small and there are several concrete buildings with rooms and restaurants behind them. There was a level, dirt spot behind and above one of the buildings where we could park for $50 per night, and showers and toilets to use (supposedly for a fee, though no-one ever collected), but the entrance road is very steep and there was a lot of rubbish in the water, on the beaches and all around the buildings, even on the roofs of the palapas. There is one small palapa on Playa El Tunel for tent camping. After several months on the coast, we headed inland. Next to Lago Chapala, Roca Azul rv park was nice for $300. Outside of Morelia about 20 minutes is San Juan del Lago rv park. It's the closest rv park to Morelia and has nice facilities and a great view over the lake. It's a couple minute drive to the adjacent village, easily walkable or bikeable. The owner, Arturo, is a very friendly and helpful guy. The only drawback to this place is that the entrance road up to the camping spaces is extremely steep. If you've got a van or a camper on a pickup, no problem. If you've got a big rig, or something with a small engine, like us, getting up the hill could be an issue. We ended up parking at the bottom of the hill with no hookups and walking up to use the facilities. Arturo assured us that a different, less steep access road would be completed by next season. The normal rate here was $300 per night. In Patzcuaro, we stayed at Villas Patzcuaro. This place is very well located with full hookups, nice facilities and decent Wi-Fi. It's easy to take the collectivo vans to all the little villages around the lake from a stop a five minute walk away, where there is also a large grocery store. It's a 20 minute walk up onto the center of Patzcuaro town, where there is an active plaza and market scene. We paid $300 per night. In San Miguel de Allende, we stayed at San Miguel RV Park and Tennis Courts, a small enclave about a 15 minute walk from the center of this interesting but heavily gringo populated town. Full hookups, facilities and Wi-Fi. $300 a night. In Aguas Calientes, we stayed at the Hotel Medrano. The hotel is primarily just that, a hotel, but they do have a handful of spaces around a garden courtyard, with full hookups and Wi-Fi. This is a pretty practical small city, a good look at typical, non-touristy Mexico. They do have thermal baths about a 20 minute taxi ride from the hotel. We paid $250 a night. Tent camping would likely not be allowed here. In Zacatecas we stayed at Hotel Baruk, which is perched above the town. They don't have true rv spaces, but do let rvs park. If you want an electrical hookup and use of toilets and showers, the cost is $350 per night. If you just want to dry camp, it's $100. It's about a ten minute, steep downhill walk into the heart of town. Tent camping is likely not allowed. In Durango, which had no rv parks, we opted to stay at the Motel Villas Aragon. Others online had said they got permission to stay for free here, though now they charge you the same as a room, $300 a night. So we took a room, and parked the camper out front. This place was very noisy the first two of the three weeknights we stayed, with someone playing boom-boom music very loudly out of their car in the parking lot until well after midnight and a lot of questionable female traffic in and out of nearby rooms all night. For some reason, the last night was much quieter. Not a whole lot to say for this town. Others online said they were allowed to park overnight at the Hotel City Express free of charge, and at the Wal-Mart. From Durango, we returned to the west coast and worked our way back north, staying at places I've mentioned in previous sections of this write up. We highly recommend a Mexican road trip adventure. Friendly people, beautiful scenery and very affordable (with the exception of gasoline, which ran the equivalent of around US 80 cents per liter)!
  2. Sunrader cab-over replacement windows

    Yes, I reused without a problem. The seal and the locking bead we're both still really supple and the removal and reinstallation were pretty easy. The wrap-around corners took a little wrestling but the whole reinstallation, once the new window was properly trimmed, took less than an hour. The locking bead had stretched a bit so I ended up trimming off an inch or two. We're up in Seattle now (rain!), so just to be safe, I've clear silicone caulked both the inner and outer edges of both cab-over windows.
  3. FYI, I recently found a plastics shop which can fabricate replacement, wrap-around cab-over windows for the Sunraders at $175 each. Q&I Plastics, 445 Portal St #9, Cotati, CA 94931; (707) 795-0612 The owner's name is Rick. My passenger side window ('85, narrow profile) was cracked badly but intact. I dropped it off at this place and within a few hours Rick had the new window done. I took the rv back and he helped me install it. It had to be trimmed a little bit, but once in fits perfectly and looks fantastic. Rick's got my old window and could use that as a template, or if you've got an intact one you could send it to him. HOWEVER, Rick is very conscientious and would really prefer to have the rv there to make sure the finished product is perfect. If you are willing to reassure him you're happy to do any trimming yourself, he'll likely be willing to ship a finished product to you. (Rick uses a dremel mounted to a work bench to do his trimming)
  4. Thanks for the tip. Did the master and slave cylinders a short time ago as had a slight leak. Has anyone used just a normal kit, not HD, for their rig and if so, how'd it fare? Figured out I've got the W46 tranny.
  5. I'm thinking of installing a new clutch kit in my 1985 Sunrader, 4 cyl 4-speed manual. I don't think it's ever had any tranny work done, so it's likely got whatever tranny they normally came with. Would it just take a standard 1985 toyota pickup kit or was a different tranny used due to the weight of the rig? Any recommendations as far as manufacturers? And, since the rig weighs in at around 6300# fully loaded, is a heavy duty kit recommended? Thanks for any advice from those better versed than me.
  6. Jump converter to house battery?

    Thanks for the additional info. The info on the inside of the converter cover says this one (B-W 6325, circa 1985) has both a charging rate and maintenance rate. I take it, though, that history has proven that's not the case?
  7. Jump converter to house battery?

    Curiosity got the best of me and so I took the converter out and apart to look it over. The ceramic resistor which is mounted to the back of the converter box had broken loose and one of its wires had snapped at a connector lug. Fortunately, the body of the resistor was fine and I was able to remount it with a bit of gel superglue and some tape. I don't have a soldering iron with me but was able to crimp on a short jumper wire and reestablish the connection. The battery charging function is working fine again now. A new question: while the thing was disassembled, I also found the variable resistor which controls the voltage to the house battery charging function. It was only feeding 11.7v. What is the proper voltage for charging a partially discharged battery (as opposed to the maintenance level voltage)?. I have it set to about 13.1v right now. I've got a slide in replacement converter on order, but won't be able to get it until I reach a friend's house in Phoenix at the end of March.
  8. Jump converter to house battery?

    Thanks for the answers and ideas. I will be heading into a reasonably large town next week and will see if there's somewhere I can pick up a cheap battery charger. Regarding the relay that Maineah mentions, is this something that might have malfunctioned so that the battery charging side is not working and, if its just a simple relay, might I be able to fix it?
  9. Jump converter to house battery?

    I'm currently dry camping on the west coast of Mexico. I don't have solar but have been using a generator for a couple hours daily to charge up the single deep cycle house battery. This worked fine for many months, here and elsewhere, combined with a few hours of charging off the alternator while driving once a week or so. Now, however, it seems the battery charging aspect of the power converter, an old B-W 6325, has ceased working. This appears to be the case because while the generator is running, the power to the 12v circuits in the coach is at around 13.2v but the power at the lug connected to the house battery remains at whatever voltage to battery was at before firing up the generator. Correct me if I am misdiagnosing this or testing incorrectly. I'll install a replacement converter when we get back up north, but in the meantime I'm nowhere near anywhere for another month or two. My question for someone who knows more in this area than me: since the converter is putting out 13.2v to the house circuits, for lights, pump, etc, would it be possible to put a jump wire in from one of these house circuits on the DC fuse board to the house battery lug? I could easily disconnect the lead that is going to this lug from the converter, just to prevent any weird loops or feedback, but is there some other aspect of the power to the house circuits which might damage the house battery? Perhaps too much amperage? (I don't have an amp meter with me so no way to test what that is.) The only other solution I can think of is running the engine, which works fine to charge to house battery but burns a lot of fuel. Thanks in advance for any assistance or suggestions.
  10. 89 Sunrader Plexi Window Replacements??

    Thanks, I'll give them a call, we'll be passing by there on our way to Seattle in a couple of months anyway. Has anyone ever tried making their own jig and fabricating a window for themselves out of a standard sheet of plexiglass?
  11. 89 Sunrader Plexi Window Replacements??

    Are you still offering these windows? If so, what thickness plexiglass are they using?
  12. Fuel tank volume

    Would it help to drain the tank (there are several drain plugs on it)? That might get some of the "gunk" out, and would also indicate how much fuel remains in the tank when the gauge reads dead empty. The only thing it wouldn't help with is knowing how much of that additional fuel is accessible to the pump and hence usable.
  13. Fuel tank volume

    Okay, thanks again. I think I'll just keep some extra fuel onboard and see how far the tank will go.
  14. Fuel tank volume

    Thanks for the confirmation, Linda. Now, can the sender just be adjusted to read correctly? I imagine I'm going to have to drop the tank and pull the bracket and pump anyway, just to figure out what the issue is. I have a feeling someone may have put the bracket and sender from a 17 gal tank into this one. If that's the case, can it somehow be modified, perhaps by extending the tube/sock below the pump? Another question: I have access to the portion of the top of the tank where the bracket/sender is mounted (thanks to a metal -plate-covered hole in the floor someone prior to us made). If the ventilation is good (like a windy day with all windows and doors open), still too dangerous to pull the bracket without dropping the tank? And full tank vs empty?
  15. Effect of weight on fuel mileage

    Does anyone have any figures or experience with the effect of additional weight on fuel mileage? I'm trying to figure out if a recent loss of a couple of mpg could be due to weight added (water, food, equipment, etc) or whether I need to hunt down a possible engine issue. Not burning oil, no suspicious sounds, but earlier in our four month trip we were getting 18-19 mpg, now we're getting 16-17. We have added "stuff" along the way, maybe 2-300 lbs worth.