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The 1990 Toyota Odyssey V6 4x4 that we call The Comvee (warning: long post with photos)


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On 7/30/2020 at 7:31 AM, Damien said:

I've loved reading through this post and all the pictures! This thing its awesome!! I can't wait to see the final product! You're gonna have so much fun in this thing! I'm big on taking your time and doing things the right way. I can tell you're passionate about this. You're going to have the most solid Toyhome on the road!! You've given me a lot of ideas for my own rebuild! I just bought a 91 V6 Dolphin and I've been working on taking it apart. The original plan was a complete rebuild so I could beef it up and have everything new, but the main reason I got it was to be able to take my grandma on a trip around the country to visit family. I decided to forego the rebuild for now and just fix it up good enough to make the trip this year with her while she's still able. I figured if I get good stuff for it now I can always use it again when I get to the rebuild. But anyways I'm getting off topic lol Looking forward to the next progress post on your rig! 😎

 

Also, as a fellow 90's baby, I love the Wild Thornberries reference 😂

 

Heck yeah, thanks for the encouragement! We are definitely putting our heart into this thing (lots of blood and sweat too). I've been itching to do a camper build for a few years and never thought I'd get the opportunity to own a 4x4 Toyota v6 RV! Having found this one, I am trying to do it how I want it, trying to do it right, and trying to ensure it lasts a long time and treats the owners after me well! 

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I've been neglecting this thread a bit but figured I'd throw a quick update on here. I'll be putting together a new video soon too for the youtube channel. The truck is coming along.

 

We just finished fabricating a custom rear bumper with all LED lighting, LED auxiliary reverse lights, integrated flush mount rear view camera, off-road tow hook mounts, and of course a super heavy duty trailer hitch to support the weight of the WR250X yet again. Don't mind the dirty rear wall, we are waiting for less humidity in Florida to get the filon installed. We also did custom wiring to the upper lights. Now you have running lights in the bumper lights and all 3 upper lights are running lights. The rear upper center is a brake light as well, and the upper corners double as turn signals. This thing is SUPER bright from the rear now.

 

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The massive leaf pack in the rear suspension didn't seem to even feel the weight of the bike on the back. 

 

We've also made huge progress on the interior. Custom formica wall panel installation, custom locking slideout mechanism for the Dometic CFX3 cooler install, and we just finished up building the custom Mahogany butcher block counter tops. They still need sealing but this is a test fit photo. 

 

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Plenty of the other work has been done light all the lighting, oven hood installation, dimmer switches wired up all around, etc etc! 

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On 9/27/2020 at 9:57 PM, linda s said:

As always beautiful work. I can't wait to see it all together. I think I'm gonna need a poster. I'll even take down Keanu Reeves

Yes I'm just a very old teenager

Linda S

 

I'm honored!! Maybe we can get Keanu to pose on the Odyssey

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30 minutes ago, charsono said:

Amazing! If you don't mind me asking, what do you plan on using to bond the filon to the wood? 

 Thank you! We will be using 3M 1357. 

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Still making lots of progress on the Odyssey! Here's a pic of the near completed overcab "bedroom". I still need to install a small 12v TV and power station.

 

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Edited by Odyssey 4x4
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Looking good, you going camping next summer?

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2 hours ago, WME said:

Looking good, you going camping next summer?

 

I'm hoping I'll have the camper done early 2021 time and money permitting! 

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Some more progress photos, I haven't been able to document the work done the way I'd normally prefer, so these will have to do! 

 

Overcab "bedroom" is about complete. 12V TV mounted on swivel mount to watch in bed or flip around to be visible from the rear of the camper. Custom power station for bedroom area also built with 115 and 12v socket/USB power outlets.

 

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98% of formica wall paneling is up, stained counters and sink set in place, and trim work is beginning. Cabinets have been carpet lined as well.

 

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We are about to do the exterior wood install on the overcab bend with a bendable plywood. Exterior filon will be installed soon as well. 

 

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Very nice job make it yours it's your toy have fun. I redid the interior in my old 87 the new owners were quite happy with it. It's so cool when pictures are taken from the back makes it look 30' feet long!

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If you EVER think about trades or selling, check out the $$$ on your competition.

https://newatlas.com/automotive/truckhouse-toyota-tacoma-carbon-camper/

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Posted (edited)

Work is always ongoing on the Odyssey! I wanted some indirect mood lighting for while at camp so I went with a set of Bluetooth rock lights and mounted under frame. They turn any color and are fully dimmable as well. I’m pretty happy with them! They even have a music strobe mode that plays with music off of your phone, and that should make some fun camp parties should they ever happen. They also make off-road night driving or backing into off-road  campsite situations much easier. 
 

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We finished the overcab bed area off with 1/8” radius bending plywood which did what we wanted. Concerned with the thickness of the wood and strength, we opted to go ahead and fiberglass the entire overcab as well. There’s still some sanding to do and then it will get whatever final top layer we decide on over the glass. 
 

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I also decided to update the headlights to full LED and the difference of brightness is exactly what I wanted. I don’t care too much for the look of most aftermarket LED headlights, but these were the least tacky I could find. They put off a really nice white light like modern vehicles and have the sharp cutoff line. I had to install a new H4 wiring harness for the lights as well as a corrector module to keep my high beam dash light functional. 
 

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We are soon to be applying the filon skin and once that is on there is all kinds of work we can finish up, windows, water heater install, exterior compartment doors, etc. There has been a bunch of other work done (I’m really excited to show off the slide out stainless grill setup), and I’ll be getting some new videos together for the channel soon. 

Edited by Odyssey 4x4
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As you must already know your build has me somewhat light headed. Mood lighting is perfect. 

I don't know if you've seen these yet. 

Builders of the BCT | TruckHouse

Fully optioned one comes in at just under $400,000. Yours may not be molded composite but I would guess yours is worth somewhere between  $100,000 and $200,000. Of course the value to you is priceless

Linda S

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2 hours ago, linda s said:

As you must already know your build has me somewhat light headed. Mood lighting is perfect. 

I don't know if you've seen these yet. 

Builders of the BCT | TruckHouse

Fully optioned one comes in at just under $400,000. Yours may not be molded composite but I would guess yours is worth somewhere between  $100,000 and $200,000. Of course the value to you is priceless

Linda S

The truck house is certainly a thing of art! I appreciate your very kind price estimate on my Odyssey! We are trying to treat this rare factory 4x4 “right”, and also build a quality product for myself as well as the future owners. As far as what price I would ask for it upon time to sell, I have no idea! 

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Wanting to bring the look of the odyssey to a modern style and higher quality than factory, we opted to give inlay upper cabinet doors a try. This was definitely a challenge since neither my dad nor I have ever really done cabinet work, let alone worked with fine tolerances in cabinetry. Anyways the first door is done (other than hardware and lift pistons), and we learned a lot. The remaining doors should go quicker now that we’ve got the rhythm down. 

 

We sketched up what we thought were the best dimensions, and marked our sides. We used a paint can for the rounded edges 😂. We then plunge cut into the 3/4” with a circular saw and carefully went as close as we could to the beginning of each corner. The hardest part was getting our cut as small and as perfect as possible so that we could use the cutout door from the same piece of plywood as the cabinet face. The gap between door and face is 1/4” so one little mess up and you hurt your door and need more plywood! The rounded corners were then cut with a jig saw. 

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We then put the rough face in place and mounted the door with 3 upper hinges. This was probably the hardest part since the door had to be open to mount hinges the way we did it, and then lower the door to see where it ended up sitting. The hinges allow a small amount of vertical adjustment, but no left/ right. With a few tries and a little sanding we were happy with fit. 
 

To match the interior of the rest of the RV, we finished the face and door with high quality Formica board. 
 

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Routed edges...

 

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Final cleaning of edges with a small file and sandpaper. 8AFA2604-E208-4555-B9A6-FAF63485462E.jpeg.3bfd7e6cec587f65de46b0715a061b50.jpeg
 

If you look close enough about half way into the 3/4” ply you’ll see the routed cut in the wood where the vinyl trim locks into place. This cut was done prior to Formica gluing. 

Vinyl edge trim used on door edge and cabinet face edge. We had to make sure to space the vinyl routed cut enough outward to let the edge trim slightly cover the edge of the Formica to prevent catching/ cracking in future. 

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Interior visible wood will be painted or have felt applied. 

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And finally, our door in place (minus hardware). 

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We even successfully kept the “grain” aligned for a nice professional looking finish. 
 

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And now only 4 more doors to go! There was 2 days of work into this first door since it was our “test and learning” door. Hopefully the next few go quicker! I’m definitely happy with how it came out. 

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I'll be the guy that says this looks awesome but asks - has it been weighed>?

A trip to the scales fully loaded with your entire crew in, gear and full resources is in order.

I have been asking this more and more as my family grows (in weight and age) and I watch the GVWR start to look like the national debt.

It all makes sense till the minute the guy in the merge lane decides "yeah I am gonna make you brake hard" as your rig is so loaded its incapable of revving past the jerk in oncoming combat maneuvers.

I have also been asking it as we have seen amazing 4x4 builds in this forum that fail to even be drivable after insane amounts of effort and money invested in them but hey they got the video for youtube and the subscribers to cover the new Mercedes based winnabago afterwards.

 

I have also noticed I love traveling without my family from the performance perspective. I typically can go faster and brake much better without the 4 ipads, phones, charges, matching outfits that range from sahara hot to siberia cold rated and the other 250 lbs of other family grabbed miscellaneous gear thats literally so useless and is packed in places it often isnt found until we shut the thing down for the winter. Most recent trip driving to go to fish camp on the Maumee I had road combat ensue when a star studded millennial whom was glued to their phone watching a ticktok video decided they didnt need to speed up on merge and was left to engage extreme defensive braking as well as evasive action. super glad I was alone.

 

edit:

my comment is because I always focus in on the materials being used. No one is using balsa and ultra lightweight cabinetry, fascia and finish as they should and as the OEMs did in the 80s. Linda mentioned the entire accompaniment of factory gear was supposedly 200 lbs for OEM water heater, stove and fridge. To me even that is too heavy when one considers the insanity of a 53 lbs full mini oven, a fridge that takes up 20% of the camper and the fact there are tankless propane water heaters that heat on demand and weigh in at less than 5 lbs now. cutting that all out will allow for more finish but the minute I see 8 layer marine grade ply, ovens and fridges I start to think man, how fast can I stop on the road>?

In the event of an unlikely crash everything you have will be coming up into your backside or imploding into the crew of the back.. methinks balsa would feel better.

Edited by Totem
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1 hour ago, Totem said:

I'll be the guy that says this looks awesome but asks - has it been weighed>?

A trip to the scales fully loaded with your entire crew in, gear and full resources is in order.

I have been asking this more and more as my family grows (in weight and age) and I watch the GVWR start to look like the national debt.

It all makes sense the minute the guy in the merge lane decides "yeah I am gonna make you brake hard" as your rig is so loaded its incapable of revving past the jerk in oncoming combat maneuvers.

I have also been asking it as we have seen amazing 4x4 builds in this forum that fail to even be drivable after insane amounts of effort and money invested in them but hey they got the video for youtube and the subscribers to cover the new Mercedes based winnabago afterwards.

 

I have also noticed I love traveling without my family from the performance perspective. I typically can go faster and brake much better without the 4 ipads, phones, charges, matching outfits that range from sahara hot to siberia cold rated and the other 250 lbs of other family grabbed miscellaneous gear thats literally so useless and is packed in places it often isnt found until we shut the thing down for the winter. Most recent trip driving to go to fish camp on the Maumee I had road combat ensue when a star studded millennial whom was glued to their phone watching a ticktok video decided they didnt need to speed up on merge and was left to engage extreme defensive braking as well as evasive action.

 

edit:

my comment is because I always focus in on the materials being used. No one is using balsa and ultra lightweight cabinetry, fascia and finish as they should and as the OEMs did in the 80s. Linda mentioned the entire accompaniment of factory gear was supposedly 200 lbs for OEM water heater, stove and fridge. To me even that is too heavy when one considers the insanity of a 53 lbs full mini oven, a fridge that takes up 20% of the camper and the fact there are tankless propane water heaters that heat on demand and weigh in at less than 5 lbs now. cutting that all out will allow for more finish but the minute I see 8 layer marine grade ply, ovens and fridges I start to think man, how fast can I stop on the road>?

In the event of an unlikely crash everything you have will be coming up into your backside or imploding into the crew of the back.. methinks balsa would feel better.


of course weight is always a consideration! Has it been weighed and loaded? Considering the build Is not complete, no. We shedded weight in multiple areas (the odyssey came with a huge refrigerator OEM that I scrapped, we scrapped multiple heavy doors (closet/ bathroom), multiple heavy old school batteries that will be replaced with significantly lighter lifepo4 batteries,  and of course we added some weight in other areas for a stronger build. I’m hoping it should break about even with the weight that it was when purchased. 
 

Will I be driving this off-road leaning at 45 degree hardcore trails? Of course not. I’ve had multiple RVs, multiple off-road vehicles we’ve built over the years, and many motorcycles (including country wide multiple month travels living off of them). I’m familiar with all types of driving. The 4x4 in this is simply reassurance for back service forest roads, snow, light mud, etc. Not to mention the cool factor and rarity of a factory 4x4 v6 toy home, if you know these rigs you know what I’m talking about. And If you think you’re taking this rig down a hardcore trail, you’re a fool. 

 

Saying you’ve seen 4x4 builds in this forum that “fail to even be drivable” Is a pretty dramatic statement. I’ve seen several 4x4 toy homes do surprisingly well in off-road conditions being driven by folks I’d consider partly brave and partly crazy considering the roads they’ve done. If you’ve ever done any off-road driving, you know the advantage a 4x4 can give even going up a slight hill with some sand over a 2wd stock ride height vehicle. Not to mention the ground clearance provided by 4x4. Also, keep in mind that this is a factory built 4x4 truck, I did not convert this.

 

And of course once again referring to weight and safety, these are super overloaded from every RV builder and the factory brakes are less than adequate. This is where the skill of the driver comes into play. Maintain your safe driving distances and stay vigilant. I don’t drive interstate when I travel in a toyhome (for obvious reasons), and I prefer the background travel and sight seeing regardless. This odyssey is built on the 4x4 v6 chassis which means the braking system is slightly beefier than the 4 cylinders, but a smart driver is still the best bet. 
 

And no family here friend, just me and my pup! Thanks for the concern  

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The build I refereed to in this forum was literally exactly like yours.. same truck everything, except it was a sunrader - and very recently done I might add except they even used lightweight materials.

They literally did an amazing job. No complaints from me on how it looked. They even had replaced the lead batteries with LifePO4...

for some strange reason they did all that and when they went to drive it it was no bueno. I am hoping to see yours outperform theirs and am fully rooting for you.

I respect your choice of road preferences also, similar to my stile also. I can count on 1 finger how many times mine has been on a turnpike.

That said, getting it weighed (assuming its drivable presently)  and hitting the local scales is still advisable periodically on builds like this and its where they went wrong.

I kept thinking to myself as they added this, added that, used ply, and how great it was looking... hmm theres 8 lbs theres 20 lbs etc.

Don't get me wrong the rig is great and I am sure it will all work out; but sanity checking a build on something like this can save k9 lives and money.

Beefy brakes or no, if your rig comes in at 8900 lbs the only beef about it will be replaced by having to stock cheetos in the cabinets instead of steak in the freezer, which is an awesome add on btw love that low volt fridge; super curious on that and am considering it also.

edit-

as for offroading, my fun truck is an old l6 cummins ram thats been gutted and set upon 5 inch properly done full lift on 35s with decent fox, basically has no original anything under the frame and I have blown mutiple steering pumps, ball joints and geometry and had to add braces, kits etc to it. Pay to play, I gotcha. ended up just bedlinering the whole thing because I got sick of calico replacement bodyparts. My home is on michigans largest offroad park and my deer camp on the second largest one and even my massey furguson is overloaded just as bad as my sunrader so no judgement just asking if it was weighed. I weigh my rv all the time.

Edited by Totem
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The cabinet looks great. Hopefully you get the machine on the road soon! Taking your hobby to the next level. Hope you have another motorcycle carrier on board. I'm still using mine derived from your Escaper design. 

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12 minutes ago, Totem said:

The build I refereed to in this forum was literally exactly like yours.. same truck everything, except it was a sunrader - and very recently done I might add except they even used lightweight materials.

They literally did an amazing job. No complaints from me on how it looked. They even had replaced the lead batteries with LifePO4...

for some strange reason they did all that and when they went to drive it it was no bueno. I am hoping to see yours outperform theirs and am fully rooting for you.

I respect your choice of road preferences also, similar to my stile also. I can count on 1 finger how many times mine has been on a turnpike.

That said, getting it weighed (assuming its drivable presently)  and hitting the local scales is still advisable periodically on builds like this and its where they went wrong.

I kept thinking to myself as they added this, added that, used ply, and how great it was looking... hmm theres 8 lbs theres 20 lbs etc.

Don't get me wrong the rig is great and I am sure it will all work out; but sanity checking a build on something like this can save k9 lives and money.

Beefy brakes or no, if your rig comes in at 8900 lbs the only beef about it will be replaced by having to stock cheetos in the cabinets instead of steak in the freezer, which is an awesome add on btw love that low volt fridge; super curious on that and am considering it also.

 


Agreed, the little weights add up quickly in materials. I’m curious if the build you’re referencing is the sunrader built by “bound for nowhere” that they sold soon after due to mechanical issues they didn’t want to tackle. If so, that was a whole different story with their issues and rear axle swap. 
 

The Dometic fridge is great and they have been tested true by the overland community. I’ve only used mine in my house as of now but it kicks butt and my beer is nice and cold. Low power draw, able to handle getting banged around off-road trucks, etc. I also like the idea of the top opening lid so you don’t lose all the “cold” when opening the door. As well as all the groceries inside from driving around! 

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10 minutes ago, Scott iv said:

The cabinet looks great. Hopefully you get the machine on the road soon! Taking your hobby to the next level. Hope you have another motorcycle carrier on board. I'm still using mine derived from your Escaper design. 


you mean like this? 😁 

 

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I built a hd hitch into the rear bumper build and still managed to be lighter than the original rear bumper that was on this thing! 

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Love that bike rack!

yes it was BFN on the other build, but frankly to me it wasnt the axle swap, or the type of truck etc. It was flat out they put too much stuff into it to make it nice and I guarantee that thing weighed in at over 10k.  Taking the rear fooly and replacing with a standard single wheel probably was not wise with that weight. I get where you are going here.. that your truck is all factory etc etc. Weight it for us though. weigh it for yourself.

I saw other 4x4 remodels in here that the owner sold immediately also and cannot help but wonder what they came in at.

 

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Lite weight is readily available all it takes is $$. 2'x4' 1/2" balsa end grain panels are "just" $35 ($30 if you buy 10)

Ready to skin with what ever you deem correct.

If your feeling frisky you can skin them in carbon fiber for that COOL look and ultimate strength.

 

Of course you could just take a hole saw to the plywood door panel to lighten it up before skinning. AND save a bunch$$

 

 

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Bound for Nowhere's Sunrader weighed no where near 10,000 lbs. That's just crazy. No way you can take a camper with an original curb weight of 5200 lbs, remove the bathroom and holding tank for it and half the cabinets and a heavy wheel on each side and double the weight. Unfortunately they were not mechanics. Someone else did all things mechanical and that person forgot to torque down their rear wheel causing the lug nuts to break. What else did they do carelessly.  

The Front Range full float adapter is more than enough to handle the weight. That's what full floats are for. To handle higher weights without putting the load directly on the bearings. Also foolies are especially not a good idea for the stress of a 4x4. 

Plus when they were all done they still had a little 4 cylinder engine. 

Anthony's build is completely on another level

Linda S

 

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I agree with Linda, if anything they likely weighed less than when they started. Like she said, it was all about mechanical issues and not knowing their rig themselves. They’ve since moved to a brand new tundra with a 4 wheel pop up camper, I don’t think the work required for the old

Toyota was their cup of tea and losing their rear wheel was the final straw (understandable). The odyssey is newer, much heavier duty (not just the v6, but also bigger brakes, a stronger built more modern differential/ rear end, and a massive aftermarket rear leaf pack). 
 

Bound for nowhere wanted a ready to go reliable rig with minimal maintenance. We all know these 20+ year old (mine is 30 years old and not my first toy home) machines require all kinds of work and maintenance. I do all my own maintenance and mechanical work including building engines from the crankshaft up, so keeping the rig going is just another part of being it’s owner and an accepted duty. 

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32 minutes ago, Scott iv said:

Love it! Cycle is on before the windows are in. 

Priorities right?! 

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Agree to disagree. There is a reason when you tear out all that stuff that its held in there with such light things, staples wood furring, balsa paneling etc. Its the same reason none of the "re-modelers" will weigh their rig and show us where they stand. I wasn't advocating for foolies (obviously) rather stating that step one is full floater.

In order to meet the game the manufacturers had to cut weight. Everyone agrees on that. Yet oddly no one steps on a scale after gutting and upgrades.

I do agree that this build is far better foundation etc and look forward to seeing its weigh in. In closing I would add that this build started at the mechanical level and then moved to the remodel, which is correct. Well done Anthony!

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So just out of curiosity, you’re sticking with the bound for nowhere sunrader being over 10,000 pounds? 

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Well I just checked a friends old posts and his completely gutted 18 ft Sunrader he rebuilt with all new interior and still had a bathroom weighed in at 5440 lbs. 

Linda 

 

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20 hours ago, Totem said:

Love that bike rack!

yes it was BFN on the other build, but frankly to me it wasnt the axle swap, or the type of truck etc. It was flat out they put too much stuff into it to make it nice and I guarantee that thing weighed in at over 10k.  Taking the rear fooly and replacing with a standard single wheel probably was not wise with that weight. I get where you are going here.. that your truck is all factory etc etc. Weight it for us though. weigh it for yourself.

I saw other 4x4 remodels in here that the owner sold immediately also and cannot help but wonder what they came in at.

 


Our Sunrader was 5,500 lbs before our build and was still under 5,800 lbs after (with all our stuff). Yeah, we still creep around on here 😉
 

On a separate note, I have been really enjoying this build and look forward to seeing it get all done. Lots of great information in here for people in the future. Haven’t seen a build this good since Matt’s Sunrader (Yotahome4x4) who is now making the Truckhouse that Linda referenced up there. Thanks for sharing al your hard work!

Edited by Boundfornowhere
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Hey it’s the duo themselves!! Of course you still creep, the Toyota family is a solid one 😆 

 

thanks for the kind words and sorry to hear about Luna 💕 

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At last we get a weigh in posted. My apologies for my hyperbole at 10,000 lbs and I am assuming that the sunrader was a shorty then and not a full 21 correct?

I haven't been on that thread in a while and had thought it was a 21. either way, thanks for showing us that it went up, if even 300 lbs.

Was that weighed in empty or full of gear tanks etc? (Be careful, because these clockwatchers have the dry weight in old microfilms I am sure of the original ) :)

 

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1 hour ago, Odyssey 4x4 said:

So just out of curiosity, you’re sticking with the bound for nowhere sunrader being over 10,000 pounds? 

No need. It went overweight by 300 lbs post op and was a shorty (would have to be in the 5k before range.)

These things are usually over gross specs when stock and I would love to start seeing some people show them on the scales, not that I am calling anyone a liar. Why would I say this? because my 21 weighed in at over 6500 lbs stock before any changes. Call me crazy but I doubt that extra 3 feet equates to 1000 lbs. man I miss getting these discussions going in here lol.

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