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Found 12 results

  1. Hey all, I have a 1985 Dolphin with 60,xxx miles that I've owned for a couple years and I put half of that mileage on. This rig has been the most reliable vehicle that I've owned and have driven it coast to coast 6 times. I am an experienced tradesman and I recently endeavored on some minor repairs. Well you can guess what happens next...I have totally gutted this vehicle to find that practically every popsicle stick they put it together with is going to need to be replaced, and I was hoping to elicit some inspiration from stories of recovery from the brink of death, or when it was finally time to put an end to a motorhome's suffering. By the way, it wouldn't ever go to the junkyard, it would be turned into a badass flatbed truck. If anyone has done the latter, have you had any issues registering the MH as a flat bed?
  2. After a spur of the moment purchase, engine work was done and a cross-country drive from the West Coast to the East ensued. During the drive, we didn’t actually use the “home” part of the motorhome, as we planned on gutting her and having all the electrical and other vitals checked and updated first, and remodeling her before using. She made the drive with minor issues considering her age! We’ve begun the work to get her roadworthy and appreciated the many posts on this forum with all the sage advice! So far we’ve removed and cleaned all the windows and are replacing all the gaskets before sealing and reinstalling, including making two new gray plexiglass wraparound windows and just got the new gaskets for those! I just finished replacing all the old clearance lights (look honey—the RV LED marker lights we are looking for are all on clearance! Me: Sigh~ No dear, that’s just what they are actually called...) Not Classic Sunrader clearance lights, but they certainly stand out! Next will be the tail lights—thanks for everyone’s posts on these! Will post pics of those once complete.
  3. I recently purchased an 86 dolphin. We are renovating it currently. Our model has the two club chairs and small table in lieu of a dinette. Has anyone done this before? Any reason not too? To me a dinette seems more practice than the club chairs. Here is a picture of what I'm dealing with lol. I have both the chairs and the base box out now. Everything is currently stripped to the plywood. Any input is appreciated. Thanks!
  4. Hi all, After spending a lot of time and effort rebuilding my old sunrader, it's time for me to let it go and put some money into a house that isn't on wheels. I made a post about it last fall showing the remodel and the work done on it. I'm just curious what everyone thinks a fair price would be to ask for it after the time and money that I put into it. Here's a link to the original post with pics Thanks!
  5. Well everyone, my daughter moved to Tucson and I purchased this for her. She lived in it for 6 months and loved it. We drove from Charlotte to Tucson then to LA and back to Charlotte. Ran like a new vehicle. Absolutely the greatest vehicle I've ever owned. The owner had the engine and trans. completely overhauled - new heads, new cab AC, new belts, hoses, new tires brakes - all completely re-done. But the camper portion was heavily water damaged. I knew that if the engine and trans was good for crossing the country back and forth, I could gut and remodel the inside and outside. I did a quick repair on some plumbing as well as a new hot water heater and leak repair - making it nice and cozy for my daughter's 6 month residence. Now I'm going to begin to overhaul this beauty inside and out so that my wife and I can enjoy it together. I will post pictures and my comments as I go. Hopefully I will get most of the work done before September, 2016. QUESTIONS: 1. ALUMINUM SIDING: Advice on restoring the aluminum siding from those who have done it. What is the best way to repair fairly significant hail damage? If I need to replace some aluminum siding, where do I purchase it? 2. SHOWER DOOR: I'd like to install a shower door to replace the curtain. Has anyone made one of these or retrofitted something? 3. INSIDE DECOR: Should I try to restore the inside original or gut it and go with a contemporary look? 4. BUNK AREA REBUILD: The bunk area is completely rotted from water damage so I must rebuild. Any suggestions here - pitfalls, things to do, avoid etc? As in the above question, where do I purchase the aluminum under-siding. It is rusted substantially with many rust pinholes etc.... 5. ADDING WINDOW: Does anyone have any experience cutting a new hole for a window and adding one? I'd like to add a window in the bunk bed area for better ventilation.
  6. Hey All, I've been really, really happy to have found this forum. I haven't asked a lot of questions here as the search feature seems to answer every one I've had! I wanted to share my progress... First of all, when I bought this, I didn't want another project. Unfortunately, it's become one. On it's face, the camper was in good condition when I bought it. I knew that I was going to want to resurface the cabinets and put in a new floor. The prior owner had only had it a couple of months. He'd bought it for the rear dinette setup - but really wanted a u-shape in the back. He ended up finding what he wanted and put this one up for sale. When I went to buy this one, he had two sitting side-by-side. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that the prior owner couldn't have known what lurked below - neither did I. When I got it home, the very first thing that happened was that the roof leaked - badly. It destroyed the ceiling inside of the camper. I had inspected the roof when I went to buy the camper. It had a lot of sealant on it, but I didn't see any water damage inside. I figured that I could get around to fixing that at my leisure. That ended up turning into a 2 month job where I replaced all of the roof components with the exception of the AC. I scraped, sanded, cleaned, and eternabonded the roof a la Back East Don's posts. What a pain in the neck. I still need to get the coolseal up there, but I have been busy on the inside since I rendered it watertight. When I started to pull up the flooring, I found that there had been a lot of other water intrusion. That required a whole lot of dryrot removal and rebuilding. I decided that since I needed to rip everything out of the rear of the camper to fix the problems that I'd just build in a u-shaped dinette as it would be a better fit for my family. So - here are the photos. I love looking at photos of people's work. My wife calls it my "porn." BEFORE: As you can see, it looks pretty nice. The cabinets however had been slopped with polyurethane and needed fixing. The floor was peel and stick parquet - and I am not a fan of parquet. WORK IN PROGRESS: I didn't take any photos of the roof work. But, since I had all of the roof vents off it provided easy access for me to be able to run wires for updated electrical, lighting and AV stuff. You can see the wires hanging out of the ceiling. Then I found the rest of the problems on the floor. I found that the battery door on the driver's side and the propane door on the passenger side were the culprits of the leaking in addition to a roof leak that had run down the rear corner on the driver's side. Both of the side doors were poorly installed at the factory. An undetectable leak waiting to happen - and had been happening probably since the mid 90's. Upon discovery, the language may not have been safe for a sailor. Tearing the inside out was not what I had planned to do: After the dryrot removal I had to put in a new floor and built the bottom for the u-shape dinette. I gained a lot of extra storage here. I installed some outdoor speakers and motion sensing porch light: I also installed a microwave over the stove. The camper was wired for one over the sink, but that cabinet is very large and my wife wanted to keep it for kitchen stuff. Happy wife, happy life. The microwave was rewired and installed on the other side: I refinished the cabinets using Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation product. It was A LOT of work. I am only marginally happy with the results. They look better than they did, but not as good as they should have with the amount of work that went into them. If I had it to do over again, I'd have just used my sprayer with a good paint. I'm also a little concerned with the durability of the product for RV use. I've also installed a headliner on the ceiling after repairing the damage from the leak. I've still got a lot of work to do, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I quit counting how much money I've spent as I think it would make me ill. My wife and I are dying to get it back out on the road. All of the help I've found here has gone a long way toward getting it finished, so thank you all!!
  7. Well, the project begins. Probably should have started when it would be warm a little longer but all this last week we've been pulling stuff out. So far we've taken 360 lbs worth to the dump with easily twice that much weight in the garage in more trash, appliances, and four deep cycle batteries. Not entirely sure where we're going with this but we've decided we'd like to start with a clean slate. From the pictures, you can see I've had a little help. I've gotten some more done but don't have pictures yet. We've got a bit of snow that's slowed the process a bit. I pulled the shower/bathroom stall out in one piece through the back window opening. I'm going to end up cutting it up to use to fill old window/accessory holes we're not going to use anymore. The tear down should go relatively quickly. It's the build back that's going to take forever.
  8. Finally! We're at a point in which we feel pretty good about the interior of our 1990 Dolphin V6. Now on to the exterior. (PS - The photo on the fridge is from a month ago when our daughter tried her first lime!)
  9. My girlfriend and I are a few months into a road trip attempting to drive as far south as roads can take us. Currently we are parked on the beach in Mazatlan waiting for Carnaval before turning our wheels south again. I would love to hear anyone else's experiences, tips, blogs or even if you have some gringo job connections. We're not retired so we plan on working along the way. We did a spruce up/remodel on the old girl's interior, beefed up her suspension, added solar panels and countless other things. We've been trying to document every step of it. All the info on what we did and where we have been is at http://www.followthewind.net/ Update - Trip turned a little nasty after a car accident outside Tepic, MX. We're re-rebuilding the old girl. Hopefully be back on the road again soon. http://www.followthewind.net/blog/2014/3/7/oyota-dolphin-accident-mexico
  10. If you were starting over with the gutted interior of a 1982 Sunrader 18' what would you do with it? What would you put in it? What would your layout be like? (Existing layout is house door forward with rear dinette) What materials would you use to make everything? And how would you do everything so it is AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE? Here are my parameters... -Full time living and traveling for one human. -BATHROOM: I'm going to build a simple cheap "compost" toilet and I'll have a small sink. The entire bathroom must be waterproof so I can take showers and probably in the same location (behind the drivers seat) since the tank is there. I will install a small opening window with screen to air out the bathroom. -HOT WATER: I'm considering one of these two options: Install an instant on-demand propane hot water heater...or use a garden sprayer with a metal tank and a modified shower head that I can place directly on the stove top to heat the water and paint it with Rustoleum High Heat paint so I can heat it in the sun on hot days. I'll have a spot on the corner wall of the bathroom I can mount the garden sprayer for showering. -COOKING: Counter space to prepare stuff, Storage for eating/cooking utensils, large sink with manual foot pump, BIG fridge (7 cubic ft), 2 burner stove (probably a Coleman camp stove if I can figure out how to make cookies and pizza on a stove top). Drinking water will be in 1 gallon jugs. -WORKING: I need desk space to work and space for my 17" Macbook Pro with a 25" external monitor. -SLEEPING: I'll probably use the overhead for sleeping with a twin and put some light storage forward of that in plastic bins. -HEATING: I'll use one of those little portable propane heaters. (I think its called "Mr Buddy" or "Mr Heater") -BOONDOCKING: I will be stealth city camping as needed but plan on boondocking for extended periods of time so energy efficiency is key and preferably renewable. -FLOORING: If I can make the sub-floor smooth enough I'll probably install vinyl. If not, then probably laminate flooring. -WALLS & CEILING: Thin plywood panels painted with semi-gloss white that can be easily removed to access stuff behind (although I plan on having as little of the hard-to-access stuff as possible!). -INSULATION: Probably some closed-cell foam stuff from Home Depot. -CEILING FAN: Maybe a Fantastic Fan or equivalent?? -LIGHTING: LED and probably individually self-contained with their own little batteries so I don't have to run wires. -INTERNET: I'll use my cellphone as a hot spot when I can and install a multi-directional WIFI signal booster to sponge off of open networks. -MOVIES: I'll get one of those external hard drives with the built in wireless network and load it with a terrabyte of movies so I can watch movies with my iPad. -TV: I might have a UHF antenna to pick up local stations and watch that stuff on my computers external monitor. -FRONT CAB: I want to change out my front seats for something more comfortable that I can buy used on Craigslist. Does anyone know what other seats fit an 82 Toyota with minimal modifications required? -EXTERIOR: I'll probably use reflectors instead of the existing DC wired clearance lights. On the top I'll probably build a low profile aerodynamic lockable box to store surfboards in in with solar panels mounted on top of it. I'm going to spray the entire vehicle with almond Rustoleum paint (i.e. "The $50 paint job"). I've done countless camping trips all over and surf safari's into deep baja so I know how to poop in a hole and live animal style, but for full-time living thats not how I choose to live. So my plan is to have the creature comforts required for full-time living but make their systems as simple and as energy efficient as possible. Anywhooo, a lot of you have used your Toyota motorhomes a lot and have learned a few things along the way so I will greatly appreciate any of your ideas and input. Seriously - anything! :-) Thank you. Steve
  11. 1987 mini cruiser Going to start cab over remodel today Not sure where I can find the ?seam trim? that goes around the roof and bottom of bed in the cab over walls.... Please give me a link or where I can find it Thanks Guys!!!! P.S. I wished I would of took pic of home depot run I had to stack all my repair supplies on rv roof 2x4 up to the top of ac unit then 3 sheets of luana board 1 sheet of 3/4inch ply board and 2 foam sheets.. tied down w/ the free twine that home depot gives you it was a very slow ride home (2 blocks) worked perfect and got the job done
  12. I just bought a 1984 Toyota Sunrader 21'er. Its a fixer-upper. I plan on gutting the inside to make it the way I want. I have lots of experience with woodworking and fiberglassing (both epoxy and polyester) and plan on avoiding holes through the coach roof if at all possible (well, maybe one hole for the solar cell wires). I'm doing as much of the work myself so I can do it right and also to same money because cost does matter. I have some questions please... 1) Can I step anywhere on the roof without cracking it? I weigh 190 and heard a few slight crunchy sounds as I carefully walked on it. 2) Do I really need those little lights at the top of the coach? They seem like more places for leaks and would rather get rid of them. (I plan on glassing over a few of the existing access doors, etc. so will need to repaint the coach anyway.) 3) What is the purpose of that goofy little railing on the roof near the back of the coach? If it doesn't serve a good purpose then I will get rid of that too. 4) Since I'll be re-painting the coach, I plan on pulling all the windows out and recaulking them. What sealant/caulk will last a super long time in the tropics? Some of that stuff used on boats?? 5) In the area where the back of the Toyota cab meets the Sunrader coach, there is a little piece of trim. In my case that trim is cracked and funky. Can that trim be replaced without separating the coach from the front cab? If not, any suggestions what I could do there? 6) Any suggestions for a simple, cheap, durable, easy to set up awning? (I would rather glass attachments in place than drill through the coach) 7) I have no keys for the side door of the coach and the Toyota doors. Is it possible to have all three locks use the same key? If not, can I buy a replacement lock and key for the side door at a motorhome place (or eBay)? 8) I'm going to tear out the carpet in the front cab area and want to replace it with thick durable rubber material. Any suggestions for durable stuff that I can cut to fit as if it came from the factory? It would have to go under the seats too. 9) I want to remove that funny looking Sunrader trim on the side. Should I fill the channel with Bondo? 10) If I was to remove and glass over the two vent holes in the roof, do you have any suggestions for a cheap and simple way to move lots of fresh air through the coach - and even while raining hard? Thank you very much! Steve
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