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Posts posted by 88WIT

  1. DC/AC inverter will charge the coach battery and run the fridg on AC while you are driving and if you get a large enough one you can run a microwave very easily (with the engine running). I don't think you will find one large enough to run an AC unit though :(

    This is a nice unit which seems reasonably priced considering it is full sinewave and 2000 watts (price is for a factory referb not new unit):


    I came across it while looking for a generator

    here is a pdf of the owners manual for this unit


    I have this model Xantrex in my Itasca and highly recommend it. I run the reefer and water heater on 110 electric while underway, and occasionally the roof air at a rest stop at fast idle. Will probably take a small microwave this year. I don't have any sensitive electronics yet, which this unit is designed to pamper, but I'm ready! It does a great job with recharging my golf cart batteries, with the charge rate and pattern selectable per manufacturer's spec, and temperature-adjusted. Very good price as listed in the link!

  2. You might also check the thermal circuit breakers if it has them. They're small rectangular affairs connecting the coach battery. Winnebago likes to use a ton of them. The points inside get corroded . They could let electriciity go in one direction and not in the other.

    I just replaced all of mine as a good maintenance practice. They're cheap enough and available in most auto parts stores.

    Ditto the thermal breakers. My Itasca has two of them in the battery compartment: one to the fuse panel and one dierectly to the reefer/propane detector, 60- and 30-amp, respectively. Had to replace the 60 a while back.

  3. Presumably the alignment will reveal any worn steering links, and it sounds like excessive play if you're talking about a struggle to keep it between the ditches.

    You might try tightening the steering gear adjustment with the set screw and locknut on the box itself. First season in my '88 I did that to get rid of the annoying micro-wander and I've never thought of since until now.

    There are hard specs on the tension adjustment which involves disconnecting the gear from the linkage and measuring torque on the steering wheel through a full wind stop-to-stop. I've never had that kind of equipment. So with everything intact, I tighten the set screw until it affects returnability coming out of a 90 degree turn on a road test. If you barely need to assist the return (after your alignment) you're slightly (quarter turn?) too tight -- the steering geometry must return you.

    Once you find the sweet spot you can fine tune it even on the staightaway. You'll feel the drag or play. The trick is to hold the set screw while cinching the locknut. During adjustment the locknut should be barely loose enough to let the screw grudgingly adjust. You must of course mark the original position....

  4. As Greg noted, the altitude sensor starts working and the processor doesn't forward the signal to a relay that operates a solenoid mounted on the transmission case.

    You can bypass the relay easily but I don't have my '88 with me presently to tell you exactly where it is. It's tucked up under the dashboard left of the steering column. It's got full-time 12 Volts and the relay (switched at the shifter OD button) lets that through.

    Upshot, you can use a toggle switch to bypass the relay.

    If you have a wiring diagram for your model it'll give you the color coding.

    I won't be able to give you a better description for a week or so until I get my unit back.

  5. With a Prosine 2000 watt inverter/charger, I've been running my reefer on 110 V while underway.

    Most of the time I remember to manually change to the gas function at camp.

    The golf cart batteries don't care about rest stops with engine off.

    I turn on the Hot Rodd water heater element (also 110V) when within an hour or so from camp, and have to remember to turn it off even for short stops, as it pulls about 50 DC amps.

    I've always assumed the 12V reefer function was intended only for underway use to save propane in the early days of small tanks, and was a holdover from the days of 12V/propane two-way reefers. I don't think safety has ever been an issue with underway propane use. Surely the manufacturers would've gotten onto that problem and prevented it with some kind of isolator/solenoid shutoff.

    By the way, does anyone still have a solenoid gas regulator wired to the propane detector? That was a useful function. I had one incident where my partner inadvertently left a cooktop burner on and left the coach. When she went back in she complained of a terrible sewer smell (rotten eggs). Turns out the old detector switch has an off function and wasn't beeping, so it wouldn't have shut the regulator anyway....

  6. Shoprat;

    If you're in California, go with the replacement 26 gallon. Footnote #9 (on the website)states the gravity feed is illegal in the state. You'd probably get popped at inspection time. I think a transfer feed is likewise verboten.

    If elsewhere, knowltondata has a point. Just yesterday I glanced at the frame extension weld on the '86 Sunrader. It's not much of an overlap. You've got three or feet of distance from the bumper but it wouldn't take much to snap those welds and get the accordion effect. You could make a structural cage behind the tank.

    The replacement 26-gal. has its own issues, like depth below the frame and running gear (it presents a nice square face to oncoming projectiles, and should have a skid plate) and fill tube routing (possibly four offsets to the Sunrader gas cap -- opportunity for pinching and chafing).

    Many of us, I'm sure, thank you for the reference to the website for the replacement /

    auxillary tanks, as the Transfer Flow source has effectively dried up. I'll certainly use it for my '88 Itasca soon.

    Hasta la vista, twin Jerry cans,

    Steve R.

  7. Tucker;

    Thanks to your good offices I am now the new registered owner of said 4X4 Sunrader.

    I saw your note and called the seller immediately; I was first to drive the next morning while the phone went crazy. Ironically, I had cash in my pocket because a different deal had fallen through two weeks earlier. One door closes and another opens.

    I haven't responded until now due to personal pressures here, and the sense of impending doom if tell anyone about my acquisition -- "if it's too good to be true then it probably is." -- even though it was smogged, tagged, insured, and stored within twenty-four hours. Now I've got another major project at a difficult time -- much of the coach must be stripped and restored just to permit a brief walk-through.

    I'm choosing to send you my thanks in the discussion forum, rather than private message, to emphasize to readers the impact these forums on this site can have for those interested in the Toyota chassis. In this case, the instant email notification of a new discussion topic is what put me in first position to buy the Rader -- that and a member's consideration of other members' interests. I hope to return the favor in the near future.

    I'll post this unit's particulars in the Gallery and 4X4 forums soon.

    Is there something you need, Tucker? I'm good with upgrading batteries, holding tanks, electrical, and plumbing. How about some secret hideaways out West? Then there's wine, theater tickets, home remodeling, exotic vacations. Feel free to private message me and we'll work something out. I won't get too extravagant because it'll be a long time before the verdict is in on the overall viability of this project in my life. It may be the death of me.

    I must also make a generous gesture to the seller who held his price in the face of overwhelming advice to withdraw the offer. A certain kinship between us was apparent. It's now my responsibility to 'keep it in the fold.' The seller bought it in '87.

    Drop me a line, sir.

    Steve R.

    San Francisco

  8. Great info. I posted here asking about the fuel gauges reading low and got only one reply. I heard that they read low because the pumps will burn out unless completely immersed. I have a hard time believing that. Can any one verify that?

    I made that comment from my Ford literature which states the pumps are designed for immersion cooling. It's pure conjecture on my part that the guage is calibrated to help ensure this. I replaced both pump assemblies twice in my twin-tank F150 in the first four or five years, and once in a co-worker's Econoline. We tried to maximize the number of long commutes based on our gallonage. After I spotted the Ford information, I've had no problem for about eleven years.

    It may not be a burn-out that occurs, either. There may be a check valve and a bypass valve in the assembly. I recall those were a bigger problem than the actual pumps quitting. Seems the pumps were being starved because they didn't get their allotment of return from the injector rail, and performance suffered. It appeared Ford's strategy ('92 - '96) was to use the returned fuel before the tank fuel, probably to avoid having a tank full of very warm gasoline.

    Maybe Toyota's mounting position in the tank would allow a truer calibration of the float arm. Ford's would not -- the bouyant material nearly touched the tank at factory setting.

    Until I get into a V-6 and upgrade to a 26-gal primary tank (Transfer Flow?) and maybe a little transfer tank tucked away somewhere, I've contented myself with running another twenty-five miles or so after the guage hits a certain point near E. Works fine except when I snap out of road hypnosis and ask: now just when did that needle get down there? Hopefully I wrote mileage on the last receipt and can calculate the remaining fuel. On true road trips I carry two Jerry Cans....

    I'll check my mostly-pictoral Toyota-authorized 3-volume set to see if there's any mention of strategy.

    Steve R.

  9. If they are that rare, they probably bring pretty good money. If you could find a 4 banger at a good enough price, it might be worth looking into an engine swap.

    Next question is, if you are gonna go through that headache, do you really want the toy v-6? No one in the universe makes a better 4 than the 22R, but, if you want a v-6, you might look real hard at the gm 4.3. Better yet, shoehorn a small block chevy in there. Image the looks you'd get passing those big v-10 C classes at 80 mph up hill. And don't forget a set of wheelie bars!!!!!

    You're right about the sweetness of the 22RE; Every time I start it I ask aloud "are you really gonna let this go?" It has done right by me.

    Packaged with the 18-footer it might be plenty, and better yet with a five-speed manual. I've yet to drive one that's up for sale, much less loaded for a cross country run. I would hate to invest the time and effort in another four and find I'm still not satisfied with hill climbing and wind resistance problems. I will be running at the weight limit. The degree of uncertainty is enough to put my focus on the best stock horsepower option, the V-6.

    Many moons ago I put the finishing touches on Volvo B-16 running gear dropped into a '57 Morris Minor that was supposed to rocket away, but it was geared way down. I sprained my ankle at basketball and had to drive home and later to the hospital with improper clutch leverage from altered dimensioning. I'm cured of the extreme conversion bug.

    I want to hold top gear in level flight, and keep about two-thirds of my road speed in the long or steep grades. As far as impressing people, I'm impressed with the basic chassis and that's about as far as I need to go. Where I've gone in the Itasca, the heartland, it seems no one is impressed with the Toyota under any circumstance. It's like being invisible to hunters, veterans, and at family campgrounds. Some very cool receptions. No one has refused service, but the room gets a little quiet when I ask to fill propane and it takes three gallons....

  10. I was looking at that one too. There are also a couple on Craigslist around San Francisco (santa clara and apato).

    The Ventura unit was badly misrepresented, which I had an inkling of. But it was intended to be a learning trip anyway, and it was well worth the prop hop to Santa Barbara. I neglected to take sharp measurements for the three holding tank areas. I even got a little (drifting) sand under the tread of the rental car at two of the coastal campgrounds at the start of Highway 1.

    Gotta find dirt every trip. Hawaii on April 1 (no fooling)....

  11. My Wrangler HTs on the front (185R14) are rated at 1610 psi dual, Load Range C. The Signets on the rear (also 185R14) are rated 1765 dual, but 8-ply-rated, putting them in Load Range D.

    The Wranglers appear to be longer-wearing, better traction rated. The Signets are very sturdy, M & S rated but without an aggressive tread.

    The Signets (Korean) were less than half the price of the Wranglers (American), $50 vs. $120, four years ago.

    Road noise minimal in both cases.

  12. Thank you, Nolan;

    That's about what I figured the level of effort would be. First I've got to get a keeper coach, if not the whole motorhome. I took a peek online for donor 4X4s of the '90 - '93 vintage and there seem to be plenty of good-quality choices. Are all the 4WD axles the same weight rating?

    I also need the space, having lost mine when the Navy called in its leases up here at a local base that's being turned over to the city.

    Then I need the time, after going over my stick-frame abode. I've got a fine welder on my side. I installed the hydronic heating in his concrete house. Frame graft sounds more appealing than frame stretch.

    Thanks again,

    Steve R.

  13. Turbobob, and everyone;

    I see in an old posting under engine swaps was a mention of 4X4 conversions offered in the future. Has that come to pass?

    Has anyone performed the conversion, or have any links to offer?

    If I'm going to have a keeper Toyota motorhome, it's my intention to cover both the highway and backroad callings. In five seasons, averaging about 3,000 miles per trip, I've found myself three times staring into the distance when forced to acknowledge I was at the limit of 2WD in beautiful country (I have a highway set-up). Maybe five other times I was able to complete a run off-pavement, including a nice stagecoach passage in central Nevada and a thrilling climb out the back way from Sun Valley.

    After coming to these forums, I have to say that I'm honing in on an 18-ft. V-6 Sunrader to convert. It would solve the problem of power (weight, for highway viability) and clearance (length, for effective ground clearance and city parking).

    Anyone been down this road? Even if it was only conjecture or a dead-end I'd appreciate your thoughts.

    Steve R.

  14. My experience is the same with the 17 gal. tank; I pump about 13.5 gals. when I'm near E.

    My theory is, this is intentional by Toyota with the inside-tank pumps for fuel-injection. I learned the hard way with my '92 F150 twin tanks because I ran them nearly dry, and a couple times completely dry, to establish accurate mpg. Well, after replacing each due to failures a while later, I read in fine print that the internal pumps depend on the fuel bath for cooling and Ford recommends filling at 1/4 full....

    I've only come close once in the Toyota to running dry because I now carry ten extra gallons. I'll have to relate the story of that fillup in the trip forum -- very bizarre...

    I like the note in one of the forums about the 25-gal. Transfer Flow tank with a built-in spare pump.

    Winnebagel. Very nice.

    I'm off to to my task, huh?

  15. I have seen a V6 18 footer but it was not for sale. I can not recall seeing one for sale. You might have to wait a long time but then one might pop up tomarrow. I think they are as rare as a 4x4.

    Thanks. I'm headed to Ventura to see an '89 4-cyl. Gotta get my feet wet.

  16. I'm hoping to look at an 18.5 ft SunRader this weekend, where the owner states both front plexiglass windows are cracked. He states he had a quote around three or four hundred dollars for a plastics shop to fabricate and install replacements. Is that possible, and accurate?

    I've seen it noted in several ads where the sellers state these windows leak generally, and have even removed them and filled in the void. are they chronic leakers?

    Steve R.

  17. I'm a (Winnebago) Itasca 319RB. Same GVWR as all the chassis of the period.

    41 of those gallons are in play, maximum, at any one time, distributed among the three tanks. Rare and brief exceptions.

    You're ahead of the curve on the composting, but maybe not by much. Waste products are becoming a commodity. San Francisco generates income with its trash composting program (+/- 25% of the trash stream). Dairy farmers are forcing the utility to buy their methane-produced electricity.

    Political fights are under way around RV street parking, numbers and sizes of rigs in parks, and now waste volume. Most states are shutting down their rest-stop dump stations, with Texas, I think, a notable exception. As the commercial side of the industry grows, resistance also grows. As leach fields clog and bulk tanks deteriorate, maybe we'll soon see collection points for an RV wing of the compost trade. Readers here might one day say, 'I was there when 86rader started the revolution.'

    If you do proceed, I suggest a threaded cleanout on the side of the black tank for cleaning. It's not easy to get anything throught the neck at the floor.

    My upgraded tanks are standard catalog-issue purchased over-the-counter (special order), carefully selected by dimension. Coast is the name of the wholesaler I referenced when researching. The online retailers will have the tanks, but I don't know about the specs. You might try www.bretzrv.com as their catalog closely paralleled Coast, although that was five years ago. Camping World can order their stuff and probably any RV repair facility.

    Of interest to you, I think, would be one of the thin and tapered tanks that might fit outboard of the frame and rearward of the wheel well. I've no clue to the 'rader floor plans or outside configuration, but even if you have to pump it there it would improve the livability for a family of four. There was room between the frame rails (rearward of the differential) for an extra grey and larger black tank in my Itasca. I sacrificed the undermount spare tire carrier, which was no sacrifice at all.

    If upgrading, you might consider a combined grey and black tank (there goes the composting) that increases total capacity. That's assuming the two tanks now are close together. It sounds like you've looked at shifting the black tank already.

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