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And we thought it would be a fun simple project -87 dolphin

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Well guys, we’re in deep here- Ill let the pictures do the talking 🤦🏻‍♀️ Im going to keep this post updated- but we’re still in the middle of ripping things apart, and at this point we’ve decided to just completely gut the dolph because we kept finding rot everywhere- I don’t want to even get into the exterior yet- that’s another mess in and of itself- but, pray for us, send us good vibes, send help, send parts, send money, send a coffin- I don’t know what I need at this point- 😂  thanks for stopping by - 

 also accepting tips and tricks- we are scouring the blogs and forums, but never too much info! 
















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Hey Gandolphin,

Love the pictures. They absolutely remind me of what my rig/yard looked like. Have faith and hang in there....  You are hooked into what is absolutely the best information resource for what you are taking on.

Some input/things. Try not to rush too much, planning and research will pay quite handsomely in the future.   Another thing, sometimes you gotta give up the buck to get the good stuff that will be buried and unaccessible later, other times you can get on the road with OK quality and upgrade later, (if the part's not buried too deep behind/under what you're rebuilding). You seem to have good help, tools and tunes, that's really half of it.


Making prioritzed punchlists worked for me, (sometime two, difficulty/time req'd and $) that way you can minimize hardware store trips, keep track of progress (and crossing stuff off the list feels good).  I have a few lists that I kept, and they now reveal how much more productive I got about 1/2 way through after settling in to the old addage "plan the work and work the plan".


When it's all done and you're looking out the back window at the morning rain, in a warm coach with a hot cup o joe, you'll be glad for all your effort.

You will also be capable of leaping tall buildings and performing at least two minor miracles per week, - that's what I tell people who ask me about my project and want to start a total rebuild. :)


PS Sorry no money to send, spent it all on the gut and re-do of my rig.


Best regards,


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While we haven't dug into the Toyolet yet, we spent months gutting a shuttle bus - redoing the entire subfloor frame. What a mess. I was thankful we had the use of a shop to work on it. It has an entirely different structure than a camper. It's amazing a camper stays upright with how lightweight they are built. I know the bottom edge of the outside of the Toyolet is rotted, can't wait.. lol.. 


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An 87 Dolphin was our first Toyota motorhome.  We encourage you to keep at this until it is well done.  


Here is some info I learned rebuilding the shower enclosure of a 90 Dolphin that we later owned.  First is about rot.  After you remove anything that is falling apart or 'pukey' you can kill the fungus with a borate solution.  Identical products are available from homedepot.com where is is called Board Defense, 1lb of powder is $35.90 with free shipping to store.  And from systemthree.com where it is called EndRot Borate Powder.  1lb is $23.95 but you also pay shipping.  Mix with water until dissolved and apply by spray bottle or brush as much as the wood will absorb.  Try to apply everywhere within 18 inches of visible rot. 

Second is about the inside finished surface.  You can use very thin plywood like some crafters use for woodburnings.  Cover with wallpaper or paint.  But I was doing a shower so I used fiber-reinforced panels (FRP) put up with an adhesive specific for FRP that works on any porous base.  I found two styles at big-box home centers.  One had a smooth white surface and the other a pebbled surface like a basketball is pebbled.  I wanted to apply the adhesive outdoors and carry the panels into the shower so after I had the panels cut I practiced carrying them in to make sure I could get them to the right position without touching any adhesive to any part of my Dolphin.  Results were very good.

Best wishes on your project.


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