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About softmachine

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1986 New Horizon Nova Star
  • Location
    Portland, OR

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  1. Okay so there are a few issues I want to address that might indicate structural damage somewhere. The roof sags almost an inch at the A/C. This causes water to pool in the center of the roof. There are some water stains on the ceiling here but no rot that I could see. Surprisingly it seems the aluminum frame has bent down from the weight of the A/C. Most of this water damage was probably caused by the gaping whole where the TV antennae used to be. I'm gonna remove the A/C tomorrow and fill in the hole with fiberglass. To correct the sag I am thinking I'll lay plywood across the floor and ceiling and press the roof back up with a bottle jack. More puzzling is the issue with the countertops. The lower cabinets on both sides seem to be lifted up about half an inch in the front. The screws holding them into the walls have been pulled into the wood. Here's the passenger side counter: And the driver side: Lastly, and I wonder if this is related, the floors are a bit soft in some places. They have been replaced with engineered wood but apparently whoever installed it didn't address the subfloor. I have been under the rig and the steel frame for the coach is in good shape. I can't imagine the subfloor swelled to push the cabinets up a half inch but I can't seem to think of how else it happened. Any thoughts on how to proceed?
  2. Thanks for the info, I'll try posting it on craigslist. Free offer still stands for folks on here, especially if you want to help me remove it!
  3. I'm gonna remove the A/C on my motorhome here pretty soon weather permitting. I was wondering if anyone wants it. It is a Coleman 6700 series unit off a 1986 Nova Star.
  4. How big are the water tanks on these? Does anyone have a link to the brochure for this model? I saw it in another thread but the link was dead.
  5. There are plenty of small towns with great outdoor access, I've already got a list! Cities are awful for my mental health and I can't wait to leave Portland. I'm not trying to knock the use of A/C and I apologize if I came off that way. I'm sure for some people it works great. Just knowing myself I don't think it's that big of a benefit. I have lived in a van before (in the desert without A/C) so I'm not entirely new to this.
  6. Thank you both the reply. I hear what you're saying and I do value the original and unmodified character of this rig. I do plan to use it as is to inform what, if any, modifications I would like to do. Resale value is not a concern to me as I plan to keep it for a while. I figure if I am in a scenario where I really need A/C I can pick up a portable unit for temporary use. It really doesn't benefit me to lug that thing around and bump my head on it for the 99% of time when I can't or don't need to use it. On a philosophical note, I believe in adapting to the environment rather than trying to change it. If it is 100 degrees out I'd rather be forced to find a mountain to climb or a river to play in rather than sit inside an RV blasting 1000 watts of A/C. At worst I'll go visit a friend or hang at a library. I am more than happy to sacrifice some level of creature comfort for the lifestyle I wish to live. Noted on the fridge, I know they can be crazy expensive and this one works great so no need to change it. I mostly was referring to removing the oven for a 2 burner like you suggested. Again, this would be sometime far in the future. I've seen some plans for homemade composting toilets that look very doable. I definitely do want to keep the shower so I guess I would need to look into replumbing it to the gray tank. I am going to take this slow and I don't want to scare anyone that I am set to desecrate a rare vehicle. I really do appreciate the advice.
  7. Hey folks! I am the very proud new owner of this 1986 New Horizons Nova Star, recently rechristened Delilah Jones. I am going to do a bit of work to it so I thought I'd start a thread here to ask questions and update progress. This is my first RV and I just know how knowledgeable these online communities are so I am here to learn. Here are some pics: I've been hunting for a Toyota motorhome for about a year. I knew I wanted fiberglass so I was looking for a Sunrader, and I wasn't even aware of this model until I saw the ad. It's basically a sunrader with more headroom and an aluminum frame! I bought a plane ticket within an hour of seeing it for sale. The previous owner is an incredibly cool guy. He picked me up from the airport for the 45 min drive back to his place. Really above and beyond stuff considering the dozens of other interested people and other offers above asking price. He also took great care of the rig and fixed a ton of issues that would have given me headaches. It was all ready to go for the 7 hour drive back to Portland. About me: I am a 28 year old student in the medical field. My goal is to have an in demand job where I can do short term contract work at small hospitals around the country, traveling and outdoor recreating between gigs. It makes a lot of sense for this lifestyle to be on wheels so I plan to live in the Nova Star on and off for maybe the next 10 years. The last year of my academic program starts in October and is a pretty intense 5 day/week schedule. I plan to camp part time in the parking lot at school for as long as I can get away with it. The final 3 months of the program are working at a hospital out of state and we are required to find our own housing. DIY experience: My mechanical knowledge is pretty much limited to rebuilding dirt bike engines. I'm excited to learn the ins and outs of the 22re. I built out a Chevy Astro as a small camper so I have installed solar and have an okay understanding of electrical systems. I've also renovated a food cart and done your standard home maintenance tasks over the years. I can sort of weld. I've never worked with fiberglass. Build goals: I want to preserve the original character of this rare model as much as possible while recapturing some interior space with more modern appliances. I would like to pretty up the exterior enough to avoid some attention being parked on campus. As it stands everything works in the RV so I will just live in it for a bit to inform what I want to do, but I think these two things would make it a lot more livable in the short term: Remove the rear AC: I will very rarely be plugged in and I would much rather have the headroom over the kitchen and roof space for solar. Composting toilet: again, I'm not planning on campgrounds or RV parks so a more off grid set up would be ideal. Bonus points for weight reduction and environmental benefits. With school and other projects I don't have much time to work on it right now, and I am backpacking for 3.5 months over the summer, so even these two tasks might be more than I can do anytime soon. Updates will probably be slow, but I wanted to establish a connection here to make use of this great resource. It's great to be here and thanks in advance for the help.
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