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bajadulce

1995 3.4L 5sp 4x4 Bajarader (Put the sawzall down)

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Shorting the rear will reduce the weight on the rear AND add weight to the front axle. Narrowing would reduce weight on BOTH axles

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Any of you Baja travelers get to La Paz, we live here, have room for overnight visit for Toyhouses.

Wiley & Carol

87 Dolphin, 5speed, 456 rearend, Topside,seams all fibreglassed, and much more.

Wileys@prodigy.net.mx

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Any of you Baja travelers get to La Paz, we live here, have room for overnight visit for Toyhouses.
... careful some nutcase like me might take you up on that! :) So you live there full time? Nice city!
456 rearend, Topside,seams all fibreglassed, and much more.
What does Topside mean? Fiberglassed seams are a good idea. I take it dolphins don't come that way?

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All the roof seams, and wall to roof seams are fibreglassed, and front and rear seams. Now more like a Sunrader.

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All the roof seams, and wall to roof seams are fibreglassed, and front and rear seams.
Don't know the particulars of your rig, but could be a good move! :ThumbUp: Don't let the purists hear about this tho. For them, you have committed a sacrilegious crime against the sanctity that is a stock toy motorhome.

I did some more investigating in the forums, at it appears all the sunraders have the axles riding above the leaf springs. Even the bigger motorhomes? Weird.

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My 86 Escaper also has the axle on top of the springs. It looks like flipping the axle would give you about another 4" of frame clearance. Mite be a bit tippy in the wind if you flipped the rear and raised the front end to keep things level.

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I was just reading this thread and saw that you were interested in swapping your sunrader camper over to a newer chassis. I actually have done this. i put an older 18' camper onto a newer generation 4wd extra cab pickup. i lengthened the frame to do so and kept the extracab. For the rear axle i used an axle form a Toyota Tundra and run 31 inch tires all the way around. The Tundra axle is a nice width and offers a weight capacity close to that of a full floater. It also uses the same bolt pattern as all the older Toyota 4x4's so one spare will fit everywhere. The truck rides and handles great. It worked out far better than i ever imagined. If you have any questions let me know. I also have several pics from the swap.

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@ Monty: That looks tight. Nice Job. :ThumbUp:

I also have several pics from the swap.
Yes, I and the forum would be extremely interested in seeing pics of the swap. I'd especially be interested in pics of the shell's transfer from old truck as well as your frame extension. How did you support/lift the shell?
The Tundra axle is a nice width and offers a weight capacity close to that of a full floater
Sounds like the tundra axle is a good call with the extra width and higher GVWR. Did you use new leafsprings and curious what kind of tires are you running in the rear?
I put an older 18' camper onto a newer generation 4wd extra cab pickup. I lengthened the frame to do so and kept the extracab.
Looks great. What is the overall length of your camper now and how much did you extend frame? Looks like close to 20'. Wheel base? Obviously the driveshaft had to be extended and brake lines/parking brake cable. Weight?

I have started my project since my last post, but because I don't have the skills nor desire to extend a frame between wheels, I have taken a rolled extra cab and put a standard cab on the frame. This has yielded ~52" from rear of cab to rear axle. This means the shell will actually move forward a bit compared to the older "stock longbed" setup. I am also planning on shortening the sunrader's shell by about 2 feet. The bumper to bumper length should be around 16'.

here's some pics of the new "longbed" truck.

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$1,000 rolled 94 extra cab. Kids!

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... kind of rushed to get this back together, because we are in the middle of building the apartment/garage this is in!

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$300 cab, front support core, driver window + mirror, sway bar, knuckle arms.. they said I lived too far for delivery of cab.. oh well. smile.gif

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cab on drivetrain

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together again before I forgot where everything goes. All the lights, blinkers, sensors, and engine work.... well cept for the cab's heater/air fan? hmmmm?

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here's the new dimensions.

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bajadulce, to break away from your project I thought I would give you a link to a good book. This dude, Allan, use to be pretty cool but he recently went off on political rants and what not and got away from his surfing roots. This is a good read anyway if you haven't already, it's called "In Search of Captain Zero".

This guy use to live in Povrones, Costa Rica, I'm sure you've heard of it, in a beautiful place overlooking the break.

Ironically enough, I didn't always live in the woods here in Northeast Texas. I am originally from the Texas Gulf Coast and wasn't married. Live the dream, friend, I did, and now I have new dreams with my wife and little girl.

http://www.aweisbecker.com/books/zero/

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Here are some pics of the swap. I have a loader that i used to lift the camper off. For the springs i used the stock pickup leafs and added 2 3/8 inch thick leaves into the stack. I had a spring shop cut and bend them for me. It rides great and i have had it loaded heavy with no bottoming. By using the Tundra axle and single rear wheels it also allowed me enough room between the frame and tire to mount the shocks outside of the frame rails. I just had to cut the shock mounts off the frame and reweld them to the outside. Then flip the lower brackets around the other way. I believe this helped with the handling and it also made some extra room inside the frame for an auxillary fuel tank. I also installed an antisway bar off from a 94 Toyota 4runner. The dirveshaft from the 4runner also was just the right length for the frame which I lengthened 12 inches. The tires I used are just standard load 31 inch tires. They are rated for approximately 2200 pounds each. When I weighed the rear of the sunrader, it was approximately 2500 pounds so these tires should handle the load easily.

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I love the pic of the rader strapped to the front bucket of the loader! Great looking rig and gjob on your project.

Thnx for sharing the info and pics.

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Same guy there BD. It's a good read about a search for his old smuggling partner, while trekking down Baja and on into central America while surfing the whole time.

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I found the axle at a junkyard. Any Tundra axle should work fine. You will just have to change the gearing in it. The spring saddles also have to be cut off and rewelded to the correct width. Other than that it wasn't too bad. I do think I had to cut off the mounts for the parking brake and reverse them so that the cable would go to the right side of the truck, but it hooked up nice to the truck once I did that. The 2500 pounds was the weight on the new chassis. If I remember right the total weight was about 5100 and it was about half and half between the axles. There were a few things that I added to it since then though so Im sure the weight is up some.

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Monty. Where and how did you splice your frame.

I would like to build a Tonke style camper just to see if I can do it. I would want to add 2/3ft on the frame. possible? Drive shaft problems?

Steve

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I had a piece of frame from another Toyota truck. I added 12 inches just in front of where the frame starts to curve upwards. I then welded in a longer piece of 1/8 in steel along the inside of the frame to add more strength.

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Edited by monty

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My Escaper has a factory extended frame. They used two pices of L shaped sheet metal.

The Toy frame is sorta a C shaped. The frame was extended 12" the metal plates are 18" long. One plate is welded inside and outside to the frame (4welds). The other is just welded on the outside. So togather the extension is a boxed frame.

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Update/a bit of humor for all my supporters! Sorry I've been so inactive. Lots of nice looking rigs coming through the forums again.

I finally found some time to work on the project.

I am also planning on shortening the sunrader's shell by about 2 feet. Ultimately, the modified camper will portable and come off the truck as well.
Yep, this is the route I finally insisted on. To pull this off it was easier to just start from scratch again and axe both the floor and roof and beef those up. Skirting has been removed as this will sit on a flatbed. Front windows were never used and were always leaking and we never opened the curtains there anyways. The biggest loss however is going to be the walk-through cab, but plan to add a window there at the least for ventilation.

Anywho, here's some pics of the current state. Hopefully things can move forward faster now that the apartment project is almost done.

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16" removed from center. I guess this is now a 16.5' sunrader?

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view from above. What does it weigh? dunno, but I can move around the 2 halves pretty easily. I'd say about 500-600#'s maybe? It will be interesting to weigh the rig off and on the camper.

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The old roof and floor sitting on the new truck frame. The truck will be street legal once I get the flatbed built + rear bumper + lights.

~peace

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Looks like some thought was given where to make the cuts. What are you going to use for windows in the smaller openings. Glass or plastic?

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The old windows are going back, that's why I cut the cab where I did. The openings will just be expanded.

Not sure where the gas tank filler will go and what's legal. Haven't worked out how the camper frame will mount/secure to the flatbed as well? Kinda just designing this as I go..

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Very cool!

Are you going to make all the frame out of aluminum? I think Northern Tool has some trailer fenders that could be incorporated into the framing. Our conquest has nylon plastic fenders internally. I would put down sheet aluminum on top of the frame then foam insulation then 3/4 ply. Something like the original but more beefy with the 3/4 ply. The original on ours was bottom - aluminum, then foam core and 3/8 ply all glued together with the shell fiberglass-ed to the flooring. There is not much cross support in the original sunrader design. You have reduced the overall weight so much that a little beefy weight in the floor might be good. One thing though is frame twist when 4 wheelin. You don't want that to transfer up into the coach, could start it to crackin'. My envision would to have the coach and frame free floating on polyurethane bushing mounts so things could twist a bit.

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Are you going to make all the frame out of aluminum?
There are 2 frames involved in this design. The camper floor frame and the flatbed frame. Aluminum would be the professional choice for the flatbed, but I don't have any way to weld aluminum so prob will just be steel tubing for truck bed and redwood 1x's + plywood for camper.
I think Northern Tool has some trailer fenders that could be incorporated into the framing.
Thnx, I'll check that out. Pre-fab wheel wells for the flatbed would be great as I don't have much experience with bending/fabricating sheetmetal.
Our conquest has nylon plastic fenders internally.
I saved the fiberglass wheel boxes from the sunrader and will be putting those back on the camper half. Tho with the single-cab swap on the extra cab frame, the wheels are actually further back from the rear of cab than the original sunrader. I suppose this is a good thing? The rear axle would seem to carry less weight from the camper shell, but would now carry a bit more weight of the front of truck (i.e. cab + engine)?
I would put down sheet aluminum on top of the frame then foam insulation then 3/4 ply. Something like the original but more beefy with the 3/4 ply.
Some decent plywood sure seems like a good call and plenty durable especially if it gets a few layers of fiberglass. Unlike the original sunrader, this floor will sit on a honeycomb of floor joists (it has to support itself while not on the truckbed). So with the floor joists, should be able to get away with 1/2" plywood and still feel plenty solid. Definitely leaning towards redwood 1x's for floor honeycomb. The underside of the camper is of course easy to get to for maintenance (occasional painting) when off the truck. The shell's floor is also shielded from the road via the flatbed deck.

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I was thinking the flatbed and coach frame would be one in the same (only one frame to build), and would be attached via the polyurethane bushings to the frame. That would keep the coach section rigid and allow some flex for the frame. Polyurethane though might actually be too rigid. Rubber bushings would allow more flex maybe.

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