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BobBeery

After Toyotas are gone, what's the newer choice?

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Pardon my mentioning the unmentionable. I really like our Toyotas but they are getting older and in need of more repairs. I am getting older and less able to do the work and will probably have to keep working 32+ hours a week until I am at least 72, maybe 75. So I will not have the free time either. God willing, I'll be around long enough to need a replacement for my Dolphin. Is there anything coming down the pipe which will be a logical move-on-to platform that still has the size-cost-ease-reliability and charm of our Toyotas? I don't look forward to a big V-8 even if it has good fuel injection to make the mileage not as bad as they used to have. And my wife and I really really appreciate the headroom in the over-the-cab bed. Not counting the mattress it is 35 inches from the platform to the ceiling.

I have seen one unit in winter storage which at least made me curious but only one. It was a Winnebago Vista on a Volkswagon V-6 chassis. (There is a companion Itasca--I think Sun-Lit.?) These are 2002 to 2004 models. Their website archives say 2.8 liter front wheel drive, single tires in back, factory trailer hitch rated at 2000 lbs pull and 200 lbs tongue weight. GVWT 7200. (My Dolphin is 6000.) Photos of the interiors are virtually identical to 91-93 Winnebago Toyotas. Does anybody know anything good or bad about these units? Why are they not made after 2004? Exterior side photos suggest that we would lose 3 maybe 4 inches of headroom in the over-cab bed. I found a couple for sale on the internet this fall. Asking prices were 20,000 to 21,950, which is WAY beyond me now but in 10 years might be enough lower to get one. Opinions, anybody?

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The main issue of the Volkswagons is repair support. I have read several horror stories of folks

buying these new and not being able to find a VW dealership that will provide warranty service.

VW was supposed to guarratee that it had one dealer per state that would honor the warranty but

in appears that was only an average, that there was 50 dealerships in the US with some states

not having any support. I have read about a few lawsuits where owners have won in which they

were seeking VW to purchase the unit back at full price. From what you described on what you

are looking for in the future, it sounds like the VW chassis are not the way to go.

There is a company called Tiger (www.tigermotorhomes.com) that makes about the closest thing

to a Toyota that you are probably going to find, it is bascially a 19 foot version that one

has the choice of a chevy, ford, or dodge truck chassis and 2wd or 4wd. Also, to make the

truck part larger, one can get extended or crew cabs. The down side is that you are forced

to get a big V8 (6.0L) engine. I have talked with Tiger about a smaller engine, like the

4.8L V8 and they were a bit rude with me, stating that they believed that they have a near

perfect configuration and that they would not consider any engine changes. New ones are

quite a bit pricey, a few years ago they were $75,000 but today the lowest price one is

$90,455.

The other route that I myself will probably end up going is with a pickup truck with a

nice drop-in camper, and put in a large siding window (or remove it) to allow a larger pass

through into the camper from the cab. At least this way I should be able to find truck

chassis at any dealership and if the camper part requires too much repair, can always

swap it out for a newer one.

Dennis B.

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Also, the reason that I asked Tiger Motorhomes if they would make a version with a 4.8L chevy engine

is that I currently own a 2002 Chevy 1500 extended cab pickup truck that has the 4.8L V8 engine and

automatic transmission. I get 24.5 mpg highway, this is crusing at 70mph, two adults and three kids,

and about 800 pounds of gear in the bed. If I had the standard 5-speed manual transmission I

probably would be getting 26 mpg. I realize that with an extra 2,000 to 3,000 pounds for a full

camper shell, heavier rear axle and supension that I would not be getting 24 to 26 mpg, but probably

would be getting 15+ mpg.

Dennis B.

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Check out the Winie View's. Many mfgs are building the type using the Dodge/Mercedes van. They are the same price as the Tigers. They have been around since 2006 and there are a bunch for sale used in the $45000 range. In 10 years they be much better.

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Yes I see a Mercedes Dieesel in my future. Diesels are known for their long lasting engines and in 10 years I should be able to afford one.

I also have heard about problems servicing the Vw winnies. The chassis and many other parts were custom made for just this purpose so lots of things

can't be bought stock from parts places.

LS

Check out the Winie View's. Many mfgs are building the type using the Dodge/Mercedes van. They are the same price as the Tigers. They have been around since 2006 and there are a bunch for sale used in the $45000 range. In 10 years they be much better.

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TOYOTAS GONE!!!!! NO, I CAN'T GO ON.

I was looking at a Sprinter the other day and really liked it. then I saw the price tag. $25,000 for a 2004.

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post-1246-0-17979600-1321568319_thumb.jp

These rigs are available right now, better gas mileage than our Toyota's too

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You're working 32 hours a week until you're 72 and you think you'll be able to afford a Sprinter or Vanagon or whatever the flavor of the week will be?

Be serious, if the cost of an occasional timing belt, valve adjust and brake job is beyond your finances, how do you expect to ever afford a "new" RV?

Hint: Maintain what you have. It will serve you well.

As for dreaming...that's fun.

Pardon my mentioning the unmentionable. I really like our Toyotas but they are getting older and in need of more repairs. I am getting older and less able to do the work and will probably have to keep working 32+ hours a week until I am at least 72, maybe 75. So I will not have the free time either. God willing, I'll be around long enough to need a replacement for my Dolphin. Is there anything coming down the pipe which will be a logical move-on-to platform that still has the size-cost-ease-reliability and charm of our Toyotas? I don't look forward to a big V-8 even if it has good fuel injection to make the mileage not as bad as they used to have. And my wife and I really really appreciate the headroom in the over-the-cab bed. Not counting the mattress it is 35 inches from the platform to the ceiling.

I have seen one unit in winter storage which at least made me curious but only one. It was a Winnebago Vista on a Volkswagon V-6 chassis. (There is a companion Itasca--I think Sun-Lit.?) These are 2002 to 2004 models. Their website archives say 2.8 liter front wheel drive, single tires in back, factory trailer hitch rated at 2000 lbs pull and 200 lbs tongue weight. GVWT 7200. (My Dolphin is 6000.) Photos of the interiors are virtually identical to 91-93 Winnebago Toyotas. Does anybody know anything good or bad about these units? Why are they not made after 2004? Exterior side photos suggest that we would lose 3 maybe 4 inches of headroom in the over-cab bed. I found a couple for sale on the internet this fall. Asking prices were 20,000 to 21,950, which is WAY beyond me now but in 10 years might be enough lower to get one. Opinions, anybody?

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A nice thing about the Toyhouses, They are reasonably inexpensive for a newby. i.e. My wife and I have never done this before, but when we were planning our Alaska trip, the Toyhouse was the natural choice. Small, inexpensive, good gas mileage (relatively speaking), and all the comforts of home.

In our travels, it was perfect, and fit our needs exactly as anticipated.

Although we haven't decided to keep it or not, I could easily see our toyhouse as having another 10-25 years of service, depending on how its stored during non use.

NOTE - During our looking, we looked at one brand new Class C, for 50k.

John Mc

88 Dolphin 4 Auto

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Toyota motorhomes are inexpensive now...but in 10 years they will be at a premium. I can't go anywhere but people ask "what gas mileage do you get?" and "what does a rig like this cost?"

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anything can last forever- just depends on how much repair you want?! I have seen alot of FJ40 series landcruisers that are well over 30-40 even 50 years old and those have seen more abuse than our toy homes do, with that said I am guessing with proper maintenance most toyhomes will still be around in 10- 20 years.

I know my 83 should be- the frame is solid and it only has a little less than 100,000 miles on it so with my math and the way I see it, my truck is 30 years old and has seen around 33,000 miles every 10 years before I got it and I am sure it wont get more than 3-5,000 with me per year so I am looking at 150,000 to 200,000 to be on mine in 10-15 years, thats nothing for a Toyota, I have driven the V6 in my 4runner to 345,000 miles before junking it for a V8.

If ny frame rusted in 2, I would buy a later model tacoma and swap the camper potion over worst case scenario. or even find a low mileage 83 2wd and swap it all over. (they are out there!)

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Might have to change expectations and look for inspiration overseas. Hopefully at less than the $100k+ prices (as seen with the Winnibago current 'small' efforts).

http://www.newzealand-motorhomes.com/

http://www.sellingpr....au/rv/0007.jpg

http://www.camperman...om/forsale.html

http://canada.motose...php?a=2&b=72710

http://innovan.com.au/

Time to think outside the box!

This one looks particularly interesting. Wonder if they'd be interested in exporting the 'house' only to be installed on a North American pickup? I also wonder what the finished weight would be and how they get away without dual rear wheels/1-Ton axle!

http://www.explorerm...co.nz/index.htm

BTW, NZ$110,000 = US$84,000

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5 cylinder turbo diesel infamous for engine fail. Thats why kenworth/Mercedes/Dodge moved it to a 6 cyl.

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5 cylinder turbo diesel infamous for engine fail. Thats why kenworth/Mercedes/Dodge moved it to a 6 cyl.

Well the main reason was to pass emissions the 5 cyl MB has an outstanding reputation and is still used in Europe in the Sprinters but it could not make the cut with the US emission standard they also did a good bit better on fuel then the 6. MB has been making 5 cylinder turbo diesels since the early 80's

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Wasn't the Ark powered by a non-Turbo version of the OM617?

The OM617 engine family was a straight-5 Diesel automobile engine from Mercedes-Benz used in the 1970s and 1980s. With some Mercedes-Benz 300D/300SD diesels already exceeding 500,000 miles, it's considered to be one of the most reliable engines ever produced (Along with the equally famous sister engine OM616).

http://en.wikipedia....nz_OM617_engine

This might be useful if someone wanted to build a veggie oil, MB powered Toyota:-

http://www.transmiss...es%20diesel.htm :ThumbUp:

A pity we can't buy motorhomes based on the VW Crafter. Might be a bit cheaper.

http://www.australianmotorhomes.com.au/_webapp_433728/Talvor_Campervans_-_Euro_Tourer_VW

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So true a Euro van Diesel. My dream MH a Winniebago Via 25.5' class A, MB diesel 15+MPG with a diesel generator!

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Not a Eurovan. The Sprinter is a Crafter with a Mercedes engine.

http://en.wikipedia....kswagen_Crafter

Perhaps Fiat will bring something in that's suitable for Chrysler to sell, now that they no longer have access to the Sprinter.

http://www.fiatcamper.com/en/home

http://www.gizmag.com/ducato-motorhome-base-vehicle-award/11440/picture/74878/

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Not a Eurovan. The Sprinter is a Crafter with a Mercedes engine.

http://en.wikipedia....kswagen_Crafter

Perhaps Fiat will bring something in that's suitable for Chrysler to sell, now that they no longer have access to the Sprinter.

http://www.fiatcamper.com/en/home

http://www.gizmag.co.../picture/74878/

Yes you are right I was thinking Realta VW Euro frame with a diesel I think the only thing in the states is the 2.8 gas engine.

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The '60% Rule' might explain why Hilux motorhomes 'Down Under' are somewhat different to here! I think we're over 60%, just not sure by how much.

http://innovan.com.a...%20-%20Sept.pdf

I dont believe so, they dont stretch the frames out (some of our motorhomes have a frame rail added in to make them longer- most 83,84,85 trucks I have seen are stretched in this manner) on any of the Land cruiser or pickup based 4x4s like our motorhomes, with that said even the factory 1 ton cab and chassis are considerably longer between the tires front to back (wheelbase) I will measure my 21 footer and see what the percentages are of the overhang as opposed to the wheelbase and post the numbers up

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The longest Factory wheelbase I know of is 137". So 60% would be 82.2" from the rear axle to the back end.

Edit: On top of the 60% rule, I seem to remember reading that they also have a minimum 'Departure Angle'.

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Darn I was so sure my bitty Sunrader would come under those limits but it doesn't. 112 wheel base would mean the rear of the camper couldn't

extend more than 67.2 inches but it's 71.5 inches. The Nissan is a little closer cause 60% would be 69.6 inches.Rear overhang is the same

probably because the nissan has a roomier cab

LS

The longest Factory wheelbase I know of is 137". So 60% would be 82.2" from the rear axle to the back end.

Edit: On top of the 60% rule, I seem to remember reading that they also have a minimum 'Departure Angle'.

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Darn I was so sure my bitty Sunrader would come under those limits but it doesn't. 112 wheel base would mean the rear of the camper couldn't

extend more than 67.2 inches but it's 71.5 inches. The Nissan is a little closer cause 60% would be 69.6 inches.Rear overhang is the same

probably because the nissan has a roomier cab

LS

Only important if you were planning to export it to Australia for resale!

I don't know if I could drink enough coffee to keep me going reading through the Australian ADRs.

http://rvcs-prodweb.dot.gov.au/

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I've been off the board for a while.  Sold my Dolphin.  Wondering if the new owners are on this board.  I did recommend it.

 

Anyway, we got hungry for another small MH.  We considered many options.  We had money down on a 2008 MBZ Sprinter 6cyl diesel until we learned the drive train can "eat you alive".  Then we tried to deal on a 2007 with the 5cyl diesel.  Turned out the seller hadn't disclosed that it was a rental, and man did it look dismal compared to the photos... and rusty to boot!

 

We ended up with a 2002 Winnebago Vista, on the VW chassis.  Private party, 44k miles, new generator ($4000), roof repair ($1500), Continental tires updated to 2020 dates along with some general work (another $1500).  Looks like a new one.  All that came to just under $25k.

 

I know this may not be the "target" for this board, but I'll update to let you know how it goes.  There are good repair shops here in Eureka, Los Osos, and So Cal that specialize in the Westy van chassis and welcome my business.  

 

The biggest risk could be the transmission - would be a $7500 hit.   5-10% go bad but the others work well given righteous servicing.

 

Otherwise, the MPG is the same as the Dolphin, and it is easily a good driver.

 

Give it 10 years and 70,000 miles, we hope.

 

 

 

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oh buddy, from a toyota to a VW Eurovan... good luck brotha

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A Vista is not a Eurovan. It's a small class C motorhome and they are really nice. 

Linda S

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The Vista is a Euro van on the VW C&C. The vans were shipped in a push me, pull you mode and cut in half at the Winnebago factory. When they were shipped as a single unit Winnebago cut off the rear end and made a new one.

The Winnebago View is the one on the MBZ and is a very nice, $$$$ unit to maintain.

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14 hours ago, defrag4 said:

oh buddy, from a toyota to a VW Eurovan... good luck brotha

 

 

Hey thanks!

 

My Toyota experience was very positive.  The dolphin "coach" did the job nicely.  We sold it because we wanted a change to something updated.  The dolphin was an '84.  

 

Even so the "new" rig is 18 years old.  

 

I intend to notate my experience with this, in terms of how it compares to the Dolphin experience.

 

So we'll see how this goes.

 

We'd like to take it up the Oregon Coast very soon, then cross country in the fall after the weather breaks.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Does yours have the expando shower?

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Posted (edited)

Rialta has the expando shower.  The Vista has only one floor plan.  Rear bath, side dinette seats 2, jacknife sofa, cabover queen.  Door is just behind cab.   Step up and in, pass dinette and sofa, thru kitchen - stove & sink to right opposite of fridge and tv shelf, then rear bath.  No oven, just microwave and stove top.  Model is 21B. No slider.  Feels like a nice Toyota MH but with a bigger driving area.  Only has 4 wheels - no duals.

 

Then Winnebago started another Vista line with a big breadbox Class A with a slider.

 

 

 

02Vistabro.pdf

Edited by FredNewell

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Well... here's something...

 

From this website, I downloaded a pdf file that told me everything I needed to know about Toyota repair, to "keep it running forever".  It was free but valuable.  I printed it out and sent it to the new owners in a nice binder with an index.

 

The only worthwhile VW Eurovan repair manual is published by Bentley/VW.  The used ones are offered for my year are very expensive.  You could buy a roof air conditioner or a couple of new tires for the price of a Eurovan repair manual.  

 

 

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