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


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Having owned a Sunrader 4x4 I think the fiberglass shell weighs a lot. More than one would expect and more than a typical panel type construction. It would be interesting to know how much just a 18 ft sunrader shell weighs. We weighed ours loaded for a 1 week trip and I was amazed at the number. It was no where near 10K but close to 7k! Good suspension is the key to happiness.

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I clock in near around 7000 or over with my 21 and that will vary with how much stuff we have.

I have done axle, and the 1 ton hub and brake caliper upgrades and I still am scared as heck on highways when the mergers come in. Can't go left from all of the angry traffic blowing by you and the mergers never ever accelerate even though they will be in an Escalade or Corvette. I am not scared of the suspension; I am scared of braking.

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Lets not forget that a 4x4 is raised making the center of gravity higher which greatly affects drivability. Dual rears help greatly but add stiffer rear springs and good gas shocks. I say dual rears because singles have too much sidewall flex which adds to the "it drives like a boat" scenario. Weight distribution is also key. Pack with most of the weight just in front of the rear axle as low as possible.

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Sage advice Greg, and I would add we have bilsteins and I have tried to find springs multiple times including some calls to contacts posted on this site. for me Springs are the unicorn; having buku problems getting them. The thing that added the best handling in my case was adding the sway-bar kit. changing the Rooftop AC to the ultra low watt efficient model also helped dramatically as it weighed half of the standard one.

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Unfortunately I don’t have the proof in photos. We weighed it at a weigh station in Oregon before the renovation and later on in Florida at a CAT scale. I’m wildly curious what it would have been as a shell. The 5,800lbs figure was dry but with almost all our gear. Safe to say it would be around 6,000lbs wet (I believe our water tank was less than 20 gallons).

 

It still impresses me with how light these trucks are. Modern trucks are so much heavier. Our current vehicle is a Tundra with a flatbed four wheel camper and it’s close to 9,000lbs (wet and with gear).

 

Thanks for the condolences for Luna. She is deeply missed. When we come back to Florida this winter I’d love to see the Odyssey! 

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Something to be said about driver awareness owning one of these motorhomes. Awareness of the mechanical shortcomings including small brake system considering the weight of the machine, notorious lack of power, and an ability to expect the unexpected considering the age of the machine. AAA and very large space cushions between vehicles is how I roll. Hope for the best but plan for ... We get there, have fun, and do get decent gas mileage along the way. 

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1 hour ago, Scott iv said:

Something to be said about driver awareness owning one of these motorhomes. Awareness of the mechanical shortcomings including small brake system considering the weight of the machine, notorious lack of power, and an ability to expect the unexpected considering the age of the machine. AAA and very large space cushions between vehicles is how I roll. Hope for the best but plan for ... We get there, have fun, and do get decent gas mileage along the way. 

 

100%, also a member of the top tier AAA RV membership club, luckily ive never had to use it on the RV, but the reassurance is nice knowing the cost of an RV tow. I drive my RVs the same way I drive my motorcycle, calculating every single car that could cut you off or slam their breaks, etc. it’s called the, “everyone on the road wants to kill me” game, I’ve done okay so far! 

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For rear springs I installed a add a spring. Can't remember but I think it had power brakes. Handling and brakes were never a problem. I could easily cruise at 65 plus and it felt completely stable. An emergency maneuver though might have been a different story. Being turbo charged with an automatic tranny was great on the freeways but sadly at high elevations I found one day that I could not get enough power to pull up on some leveling blocks in reverse low. I could pull forward onto the blocks but not reverse. Just could not get enough rpm to spin up the turbo. Poor turbo engineering on Toyotas part. There were several issues with those turbo 22r engines. Some of the turbo guys have installed different turbos that start to spin as soon as you crack the throttle. Only mods I did was to install a larger diameter down tube and 3 inch exhaust. Never got to test it though at high elevations. I believe Roadmaster has some spring kits for the toyotas. I am running a Roadmaster kit on my 4x4 F150 work truck. The truck is a crew cab with a metal heavy rear work top and a lot of tools. Huge difference. 

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Like I previously mentioned, the leaf pack on the odyssey is probably the biggest I’ve seen on a toy home as well as 89 Toyota pickup, looks like the RV company did this one right. I also put Bilsteins in the rear and a heavy duty sway bar. If I see need, I’ll add some airbags down the line for comfort and leveling. 
 

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Many here have successfully used the Old Man Emu springs . CS010R and CS020R. They are designed for a 4x4 but because our springs on 2wd go under the axle instead of on top that compensates for some of the extra lift. Very reasonable prices too. A little over 100 bucks each. Atlanta camper put the CS020R on his full sized Sunrader and had to remove a leaf so I think the CS010R would be enough for just about anyone. Very long thread if you want to read more

New leaf springs - Engines - Transmissions - Drive Train - Suspension - Chassis - Steering - Exhaust - Tires - Etc. - Toyota Motorhome Discussion Board

Linda S

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6 hours ago, linda s said:

Many here have successfully used the Old Man Emu springs . CS010R and CS020R. They are designed for a 4x4 but because our springs on 2wd go under the axle instead of on top that compensates for some of the extra lift. Very reasonable prices too. A little over 100 bucks each. Atlanta camper put the CS020R on his full sized Sunrader and had to remove a leaf so I think the CS010R would be enough for just about anyone. Very long thread if you want to read more

New leaf springs - Engines - Transmissions - Drive Train - Suspension - Chassis - Steering - Exhaust - Tires - Etc. - Toyota Motorhome Discussion Board

Linda S

Checking on the CS020R now...

assuming it’s the correct total replacement option..

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2 hours ago, WME said:

Don’t tell anyone but I’ve always wanted to do a low rider toyhome that lays frame on airbags. 

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