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About AtlantaCamper

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1988 Sunrader on a 1987 Toyota 22re EFI
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    Atlanta, GA

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  1. I'm posting an update to this old thread in order to give some follow up info and an application idea for using the Marine Tex to repair gel coat. I'm using the Marine Tex White plus powdered mica pigments to make it match the gel coat color: Marine Tex: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014419V0 Mica Pigment set: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08HJX1ZHB I used a 50:50 mix of the 'golden' and 'yellow' mica powders from the $6 kit above and added it to the Marine Tex (before hardener) to get a good color match. It will dry a little darker than when wet. The key thing I want to share here is a handy application method that really made it easier to get a nice smooth application with good feathering into the original surface with very little sanding required after drying. The Marine Tex is rather sticky and it can be difficult to get a nice smooth even surface - and this can require a lot of careful sanding after drying. It's easy to cut through the gel coat and mess it up when trying to sand down a Marine Tex patch repair. But what I found is that if I use isopropyl alcohol (70% fine, 90% better if you can find it) as a lubricant then I can very easily smooth out and shape the Marine Tex before it dries. I use a purple nitrile glove and either wet a finger or drop the alcohol onto the surface and then rub it to get the Marine Tex shaped and smoothed the way I want. Don't use too much or it will start to absorb into the Marine Tex - just enough to make the top surface pliable and smooth. Add a little more alcohol if it dries out while working. I use the Zep wax and I strip the area I'm working on down to the gel coat to do the patch and then apply the zep wax over the finished patch. I've done small chip and hole repairs this way and I can hardly see the repair in most cases. I even did a large 6" diameter patch on the roof where I removed a bathroom fan. (I wedged a wood circle up as a backer and put 2 layers of fiberglass down and then Marine Tex over the top in a thin (~1/16") layer. It's been holding up just fine.) In one particular 2 square foot area I had some "flaking" of the gel coat where it was lifting off or delaminating from the fiberglass in small flakes with raised edges. not sure what caused it but I was able to make a good repair over this area by applying a carefully color matched batch of Marine Tex and then aggressively rubbing it into the flakes to fill (again using the isoproply alcohol trick) and then I was able to feather the remaining Marine Tex out to a nice thin well blended layer with excellent color match. Even as a very thin layer it bonded well to the clean (roughened) gel coat. Once dry and re waxed with the Zep it looks quite good - vastly better than the chipping gelcoat that was there before. It's been about a month and all of the repairs using the isopropyl alcohol method are holding up great with no noticeable impact of the alcohol on the dried Marine Tex.
  2. Hi All, I've had trouble finding a cover that fits reasonably well, but I found a decent option that I believe will work for my 21' Sunrader. I'm posting the info in case others may want to try the same. I've attached images. This is the cover: SKU# 80-412-151001-RT Classic Accessories Over Drive PermaPRO Class B RV Cover, 20'-23'L x 117"H (Model 2), Fits 20’-23’ RVs Amazon link ($272 currently) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072K7J7VT The cover is for a Class B Sprinter Van and the width (~85") is a good match to the Sunrader width. The key issue in terms of fit is the front where the Sunrader is a bit longer with the cab over bed but the Sprinter slopes off. You can see in the pictures that this is where the cover stress point is, but it's not bad. I will be reinforcing the cover at all of the contact/stress points with adhesive cover repair patches. I had a Classic Accessories Class C cover previously (didn't fit well at ALL) and it tore at the stress points after 3 years but the rest of the cover was ok. The customer support person said you can get a lot more time out of the cover by adding the patches at the specific stress points (corners) where heavy UV is expected. I have a low profile AC unit but I think this would go over a regular AC too, it would just rise up a little more on the sides at that point. The cover doesn't go all the way down to the edge of the fiberglass body, but that's ok. It rides a little high like highwater pants. I like having the bottom open to keep air flow up. With the straps connected on the bottom and the nice tight fit (there is elastic on the bottom) the wind won't be an issue. It also has a well placed zipper so I can get in and out the rear door. Since I have to park it under a tree that likes to drop a lot of junk this is a good option for me (cant' build a carport right now).
  3. The link Linda sent for the "Torsion Bar Set – 84-95 Toyota Pickup 2WD" is what I bought and I'm very pleased with them. $222.88 shipped. The website will say 'backordered' but if you call on the phone they will manually check the warehouse and likely find a pair. The lady on the phone said that the online database isn't linked to the actual reality in the warehouse. I received mine in less than a week. They were pretty easy to put in.
  4. I use the same exact house battery. I keep the receipt taped to the battery itself. If I ever do have a problem then a Walmart is sure to be close by for easy exchange if I'm on the road. This is a key reason I use this battery. The performance has been good so far. The first one I had was worn out after two years and I got a free exchange at that time. I replaced that one with new after 4 years and this new one has been doing well 2.5 years later. So over 8.5 years I only had to buy two batteries. Cost effective, functional, easy replacement on the road. The ~90 amp hour capacity is moderate, but it's been fine for my purposes.
  5. I hope it has all worked out well for you. Hopefully after the break-in period (not long, mine settled in <40 miles) you will be sitting at a good ride height that keeps your fridge level enough while driving but also let's you put a little air in the air bags too.
  6. I have not found a simple voltage reading to be a reliable way to determine the state of charge. In my experience this chart is only relevant if the battery is at a state of equilibrium, which of course it never is when you want to measure it. The chart works fine if you always let the battery sit for an hour or so before reading though... If you charge and then immediately measure, it's an artificially high reading. If you have a heavy draw and then read, it's artificially low. It's a fine way to get a really general estimate but I prefer the current reading via shunt battery monitor as it is really accurate regardless of draw or equilibrium. Only issue with these is that you have to calibrate and reset the 'full' reading periodically.
  7. Is there a relatively simple way to bypass the valve and find out how it does if you go equal and full force to the front and rears? It might be as simple as installing a barrel connector instead of the valve? Then you can find out what kind of grab you get in front and back but still be able to easily return to stock if it give unexpected results. I still have the LSPV but it's wired to go 'full to back'. I get decent balance between front and back which I monitor by checking brake/hub temps after using the brakes hard. I get nice even temps all around.
  8. Where are you located? I don't suppose you are any where near Georgia? Cause this one is available: https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/pts/d/lithia-springs-1987-toyota-rv-parting/6984285844.html You can find a decent used 4.1 3rd member pretty easily if your axle doesn't come with one. This is the one available at that link above and will give you an idea of all of the "extras" that ideally would come with a used axle (this one has the drive shaft available too and I'm pretty sure it's a 4.1):
  9. I did not. I had replaced my brake hoses a while back and I may not have stock ones any longer so YMMV.
  10. An update on the installation of those replacement cargo box clips, uh, I mean Jeep hood latches... The new replacements are not exactly the same size. As far as I can tell all of the available ones are this same size. The new ones are about a quarter inch longer in terms of clamping distance: The mounting holes all exactly lined up, which was nice. My original blind rivets used to install them were 1/4" rivets. This is a large size rivet and it takes a 'heavy duty' rivet gun to install them. If you have a standard size rivet gun (far and away the more common) then you will have to upgrade rivet guns to install 1/4" rivets or use nuts and bolts. I had to stick with blind rivets because I can't easily get to the back side of the fiberglass to put a nut on a bolt. In my case the height/length of the new clamps was an issue because the latches were already a tad loose and a direct replacement would have left the box rattling back and forth. On this picture you can see that this actually created a problem over time because the box was moving back and forth slightly and rubbing fiberglass on fiberglass (box to body). This resulted in the worn spot you can see just above the rubber bumper I installed to correct the issue: I bought some inexpensive "truck trailer rubber bumpers" and sanded them off a tad and bolted them to the box so that they would hold the box about half an inch from the fiberglass body. This solved not only the box to body rubbing problem but also forced the hood latches to stretch a bit and this provides a much stronger 'hold': This is what my red-neck engineering looks like all installed and clipped. Note the worn part on the body corresponding to where the box was rubbing. Maybe my cargo box was just installed incorrectly/poorly? Anyway, the latch-hold power is much stronger than before and I'm happy enough with the result because any movement will be absorbed by the rubber bumpers. Hopefully if you need to do this latch-swap task this post will help you plan accordingly.
  11. An excellent point. If you run with one tire on a rear axle then you are going to be asking a more of that tire than it's designed for. This idea of 'to carry a spare or not' is a matter of how much risk you are willing to accept. It's ok to exceed the specifications on a tire for a short run, but be aware of when you are pushing the envelope. Go slow and carefully for a reasonable distance and you will be fine. If you push it and over-burden a single on the rear then you can end up stuck with a problem. I tend to be on the more conservative side of things when it comes to risk of being stranded. I have not only a spare tire, but a spare of pretty much everything that I have determined to be a critical liability. One day on a back road I had the fuel pump fail and I would have been in some real trouble except, by sheer dumb luck, a fellow took pity on me and drove me a long ways back and forth to a part store so I could buy the tools and parts I needed to get going again. If he had not come along I would have been in trouble for who knows how long. It takes one bad experience to change your viewpoint. I like to be self-sufficient, even it it means a little extra weight since I do like to take dirt roads and get out there where nobody would know where I am... So, I'll keep my spare on board.
  12. Would you go to the 65 psi max rating for the tire if you ran as a single or would you go higher to like 70 psi while driving to a place to get a new tire?
  13. With dual tires on the back it is certainly possible to manage without a spare. You have to be willing to carry the proper jack(s), tools and air compressor needed to swap or remove a tire should something go wrong. One consideration about the risk of leaving the spare behind in your case would include the quality and age of the tires and how carefully you maintain them. When I first got my rig it had seven different tires on it with different age and tread wear. I would swap out with a new one as they went down. And they did go down - like three times I had to change a tire on the side of the road. I had enough of that and now I have seven new tires that I monitor carefully and take care of. While I do have a spare (it's tucked up underneath - out of sight out of mind I suppose) I have enough confidence in my tires now that I could manage without one. Like Linda said, with the same rim on front and back you can drive on one tire in the back to get to a shop where you can get another one should a tire go down. I'd guess that you might put higher air pressure on the rear tire that is running as a single if you had to drive this way to a tire shop. You can generally catch a problem before it gets serious. Pressure monitoring will help there, but one of the most common tire failure causes on these light truck tires is from a tire getting 'out of round' or developing a bulge from delamination. You can feel this by simply being aware of when a vibration starts. A tire about to go down from delamination (which can happen to old ties that sit for too long without moving) will be hot to the touch and have a speed dependent vibration.
  14. Is that price for just the parts? FYI, for anyone on the east coast looking right now, there is a nice complete axle upgrade available on craigs list right now (link below). These are all the parts you want: https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/pts/d/lithia-springs-1987-toyota-rv-parting/6984285844.html
  15. Old Man Emu Leaf Springs are an option. They don't list our vehicles as a "correct fit" but there are two models that do indeed fit and function well. There are two options with the difference being the total 'lift', CS010R and CS009R. The CS010R springs will get more lift than the CS009R model. These springs were designed to lift a truck with regular loading about 2" and so with our heavy load then end up being close to stock height. The CS009R springs have one less leaf (6-leaf like the OEM springs) and will be about 3/4" to 1" lower, but are otherwise identical to the 7-leaf CS010R. Cost is ~$230 to $250 for two springs plus you have to buy bushings (I suggest a poly set rather than rubber). The safe option is to buy the CS010R's and install and check height (it will settle about another 1/2" after break in). If it's too high then remove the extra leaf and check again. Remember that you can also adjust front height a little with the torsion bars to match where your rear ends up. I'm assuming you have a 21' rig like mine and thus similar weight. I started with the CS010R's but ended up removing a leaf. But I have air bags to compensate and fine tune ride height so it's hard to say what would work best for you. Here is an overly long thread with way more than you wanted to know about leaf springs and ride height:
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