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Hello! I just got a 1985 Sunrader and I'm not sure if the faulty rear axle has been replaced or not. It kind of looks different from other pictures I've seen, but the 5 lugs have me scared. If it is the bad axle does anyone have any leads on a replacement on the east coast? Thanks!

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In fact the recall documentation doesn't tie the problem to any length. Just that the problem occurred when using 'foolies'. No mention of length or weight.

How many 18 footers have you seen in the recall list? Not many I bet. How many 20-21 footers that WERE recalled were advised to just get single wheels installed instead of a full-floating rear axle? The OEM 5 lug semi-floating axle has a max weight capacity around 3300 lbs. The greatly off-set "fake" duallies just add to the problem.

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In fact the recall documentation doesn't tie the problem to any length. Just that the problem occurred when using 'foolies'. No mention of length or weight.

No mention of weight?? Note the mention of "overloaded." To me, in this context, that is a direct reference to weight.

1991 recall for 1986 Dolphin and 1985 Sunrader:

"Rear axle may fail due to a bending movement created by the aftermarket dual rear wheels from a variety of factors and especially when overloaded. Failure of the bearings creates stresses on the rear axle resulting in breakage of the axle."

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Yes (unfortunately) that's a 5-lug axle with 'foolies'.

Where on the 'East Coast'. It's pretty big.

Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. I'm located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, but we will drive anywhere within a 12 hour radius to get the right axle.

Edited by Lilalchemist
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JD, 'overloaded' isn't a 'weight'. A weight, in my books, would include 'lbs' (or #).

18' Sunraders were included in the recall and I'm sure had Sunrader been honest and asked if 17' should be included (if there was such a thing with 'foolies') the answer would have been 'Yes'.

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No, "overloaded" is not a specific weight. It carries the denotation of "too much" weight. As I recall (not meant as a pun) - the recalls included VINs. I suspect none of those VINs were for 18 footers but have no documentation to support that.

If you are disputing something I've said -I'm not 100% sure what it is. Dual wheel set-ups with an exaggerated offset puts extra stress on the axles when semi-floating design. Full-floating design puts NO weight on the axles. Putting more weight on an axle then it was designed to endure also creates unsafe stress. Put the two together (over weight and too much off-set) and maybe 1 + 1 = 3? I.e. adding the two problems together may result in more then a linear sum. One thing for sure. The Toyota semi-floating axle with 5 lugs is rated for around 3300 lbs. max and that is not a continuous-use rating. Easy to see that a 20-21 footer is going to be more apt to trash a rear axle then an 18 footer. Maybe someone can chime in with some axle scale-readings on the rear axles of 18 footers. I've seen measured rear weights for plenty for 21 footers that were unsafe - regardless if singles or duals.

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By the way. I've seen similar discussions about General Motors diesel engines that were (and still are) snapping crankshafts in two - from 1982 to 1991. Lots of proposed fixes and many assumed causes. Not a wheel or axle, but still an important piece of heat-treated metal that has a record of snapping in two AND leaving you dead-on-the-road when it happens. Like the GM crankshaft problem, I doubt any high science or controlled testing was done with rear axles used in Toyota RVs. What seemed at the time to be an acceptable fix to a known issue that affected a small number of people was proposed and time has showed it was a good fix. As to somebody stating with scientific certitude what specific RVs are safe and reliable and which ones are not - I doubt any such list has ever been reliably compiled.

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Well, if you're disputing something I said, I don't know what it is either. So it's a draw. :)

The Recall documentation makes no mention of length, however the Sunrader specific documentation does show that the were required to add the 18' Sunraders to the 21' Sunraders that were originally included. Sunrader, like all companies, would be expected to try to have the smallest number of units included and appear to have tried to only have 21' included but obviously were caught with their pants down.

Unfortunately, the link I have to the documentation doesn't work any more. I've read it through way too many times. If anyone happens to find a good link, please post it.

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I weighed my 86 sunrader on a highway truck scales in September, came up with:

Front = 1760lb

Rear = 3880lb

21 ft half tank of gas all other tanks empty no one inside

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I weighed my 86 sunrader on a highway truck scales in September, came up with:

Front = 1760lb

Rear = 3880lb

21 ft half tank of gas all other tanks empty no one inside

That's an overload on the semi-floating 5 lug axle regardless of what tires or wheels used.

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I've got a "Motor Home Test" article where they tested out a 21' Dolphin with a 2.4 engine. Done by National RV Incorporated. 21' 7" long RV. Looks like it was written in 1988. Has a full-floating rear. They weighed it with no passengers and NO cargo. Just a full gas tank, propane tank, and fresh water tank. Total weight of 5020 lbs. 3,360 lbs. on the rear tires - 1730 lbs. on the right rear tire and 1630 lbs. on the left-rear tire.

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I've got a "Motor Home Test" article where they tested out a 21' Dolphin with a 2.4 engine. Done by National RV Incorporated. 21' 7" long RV. Looks like it was written in 1988. Has a full-floating rear. They weighed it with no passengers and NO cargo. Just a full gas tank, propane tank, and fresh water tank. Total weight of 5020 lbs. 3,360 lbs. on the rear tires - 1730 lbs. on the right rear tire and 1630 lbs. on the left-rear tire

Not possible. Even National RV says it's motorhomes weighed more than that. By those numbers it weighs less than my 18 foot Sunrader. Don't believe everything you read.

Linda S

Well I did find those same numbers but I can't imagine how it could be true.

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Where did they say this? Their brochures only list the GVWR.

I must have remembered wrong because I did find one thing in the toyota campers site files section which stated the weight the same as JD. Funny, I have driven several Dolphins when helping others find an RV and they sure seemed a lot heavier than my little Sunrader. I really have a hard time believing that a full sized Dolphin weighs the same as Jerry's tiny pop top Bandit. Engine weight difference only accounts for 83lbs.

Linda S

And the Dolphin has a 137 inch wheel base. Jerry's Bandit and my Sunrader only have a 112 inch wheel base. Lots of extra weight in just the empty chassis on the Dolphin.

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Not possible. Even National RV says it's motorhomes weighed more than that. By those numbers it weighs less than my 18 foot Sunrader. Don't believe everything you read.

Linda S

Well I did find those same numbers but I can't imagine how it could be true.

I don't believe "everything" I read. Not from a printed source and not on this forum. That being said there is such a thing as "preponderance of evidence" and real-world experience to compare with. When I see something that makes sense - I assume it has some merit until proven otherwise. My 1988 Minicruiser weighed out near the same on a New York State certified scale. I'll believe that scale over conjecture. How often does an RV get weighed with NO cargo, no passengers,and just a full tank of gas, water, and propane? Probably not often.

And for Erik never seeing anything showing "wet weight" for an RV? Seems your reading must be very limited. I've read many test reports on "wet weight" for RVs and several specific to Toyotas.

These two are for a 21 foot Dolphin "wet-weight" and a 21 foot Winnebago "wet-weight." Note that the Toyota measured 21 feet, 7" but they called it a "20 footer."

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My 21 foot dolphin with v6 was weighed at annual mot test. came in at 2.8 tons empty apart from i think 1/2 tank of fuel. have since carried out some weight removal. camper air con unit, fold down bed/sofa and several cupboards but doubt it even comes to 200lb total. conclusion is chassis is way over loaded. so happy mine has a ff axle.

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And for Erik never seeing anything showing "wet weight" for an RV? Seems your reading must be very limited. I've read many test reports on "wet weight" for RVs and several specific to Toyotas.

I'm not sure who 'Erik' is, but I'll assume it's me.

If you go back and read my post mentioning 'wet & dry weights', you'll see that I'm saying I've never read any published by National. Have you?

I can assure you that I do lots of reading, as do you apparently. Might I suggest you add this to your list?

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328305948l/12176421.jpg

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My 21 foot dolphin with v6 was weighed at annual mot test. came in at 2.8 tons empty apart from i think 1/2 tank of fuel. have since carried out some weight removal. camper air con unit, fold down bed/sofa and several cupboards but doubt it even comes to 200lb total. conclusion is chassis is way over loaded. so happy mine has a ff axle.

Yeah 6240# US.

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I don't believe "everything" I read. Not from a printed source and not on this forum. That being said there is such a thing as "preponderance of evidence" and real-world experience to compare with. When I see something that makes sense - I assume it has some merit until proven otherwise. My 1988 Minicruiser weighed out near the same on a New York State certified scale. I'll believe that scale over conjecture. How often does an RV get weighed with NO cargo, no passengers,and just a full tank of gas, water, and propane? Probably not often.

And for Erik never seeing anything showing "wet weight" for an RV? Seems your reading must be very limited. I've read many test reports on "wet weight" for RVs and several specific to Toyotas.

These two are for a 21 foot Dolphin "wet-weight" and a 21 foot Winnebago "wet-weight." Note that the Toyota measured 21 feet, 7" but they called it a "20 footer."

If you add the weight they allow over GVW it comes to 6140#

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i just checked on the National RV archive site. the org brochure shows the wt to be 5,950, i take that to be dry unloaded.

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Bottom line is hilux chassis must be over engineered but rear axle not to same over engineered spec.

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