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What to look for - RV Inspection


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Hi Everyone:

I'm interested in getting a Toyota RV, and I want to make sure that I do my due diligence. I'm curious to know what those of you that currently own a Toyota RV have had challenges with in regard to repair and maintenance. Any "I wish I would've known this when I bought it" stories or anecdotes are welcome as well.

The RV is question is located here:

http://www.rvtrader.com/dealers/Sunny-Island-RV-Sales-%26-Service-2760036/listing/1985-Other-Toyota-HUNTSMAN-21-115695252

If you guys have a checklist of possible problem areas to look out for, that would be great.

Thanks in advance,

DD

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For starters. Overpriced and the first order of business is to ask them to remove the rear wheel covers so you can see if the axle has been upgraded. 6 Lugs and a protruding center hub is what you need to see.

Linda S

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You can also show the seller this link when negotiating purchase price.

As Linda said, the correct 6 lug rear axle is a must.http://eastnc.craigslist.org/rvs/5425791627.html

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Don't rely on the seller's word that all of the appliances work properly. You should check the water heater, furnace, refrigerator, water pump, cab a/c, roof a/c, etc. The refrigerator can cost over $1000 to replace.

I agree that the area over the cab has had water damage. Slapping some caulk on it does not fix the damage.

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Toyota RVs like that turn up for sale less then $2000. That price is absurd. I got my 1988 Minicruiser for $1800 and mine had the full-floating rear axle and 6 lug wheels in front to match. Last year I bought a 1984 Minicruiser for even less. That one also had a full-floating rear but on that one - the rear wheels did not match the front.

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Welcome to the forum.

The first reality check is these are old machines and require TLC (tons of labor and cash) But still cost less than the 1st year depreciation on a new one.

An RV of this age is worth what someone will pay for it. I agree this one is over priced, but if one has all new tires, brakes, radiator, water pump etc and a stack of receipts proving that all maintenance has been done, well maybe? Looking at the pictures this does not appear to be one of those units and the pictures do hint at some over the cab water damage.

The biggest offenders I see are tires, old, lot's of thread and slopped up with silicon to look shiny. Unless you have years of experience in the auto and tire field and are qualified to judge the condition and remaining life of tires without knowing their history, you should replace tires at 7 years. I edited this for JD. Learn to read dot date codes. A set of tires can run into many 100's of $$$$

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

Next is air conditioning, just needs a shot of gas! If the AC needs freon it is broke and is likely going to be expensive to fix!

Much of the decisions depend on your skills and willingness to tackle jobs, swapping out a rear axle would be too much for me, you might be able to do it in a day.

Best thing to do is go through the archives on this and other sights and see what people are fixing, that will give you an idea of what to look for. Jim

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The ceiling in the cabover pictures are enough for me to say stay away. I'm sure if you poked around there, you would find issues. Looking at any RV or trailer, inspect the roof closely as it is the source of many a headache.

I agree this one isn't worth $2k never mind almost $9k.

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It will be a cold day in H*ll when I replace all my tires when they hit seven years from the date of manf. That is silly. Much depends on the rubber compound the tires were made from and how much ozone they have been exposed to. Some tires are fine at 15 years and some are showing breakdown cracks at 10 years.

Note - I am certainly aware of the hazards involved with driving on bad tires. That being said - I've gotten 15 years out of many of my tires. My old plow truck got 18 years before the tires even began to show cracks. My brother-in-laws near-new Honda had sidewall cracks at 4 years.

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Here are some of the "bargain priced" mini-micro RVs I've seen that were close enough for me to actually look at. Some I bought and some I passed on. I've seen many more with similar prices in other parts of the country.

post-6578-0-98274400-1454772138_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-42752400-1454772142_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-50800500-1454772144_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-52725100-1454772146_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-15730000-1454772149_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-35241100-1454772150_thumb.jp

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Water damage, every thing else has replicable parts. All though it's looks pretty clean it's a good 2 grand over the top even if it's as good as it looks.

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Deep rust has no replaceable parts. Wood can always be replaced. If really rusty - it's ready to go to the junkyard. Like this 77 Chinook I bought for $275. Frame was broken in half, windshield frame rusted out - even the back bumper was rusted through. No fix for that.

post-6578-0-38180500-1454776067_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-84019300-1454776068_thumb.jp

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Deep rust has no replaceable parts. Wood can always be replaced. If really rusty - it's ready to go to the junkyard. Like this 77 Chinook I bought for $275. Frame was broken in half, windshield frame rusted out - even the back bumper was rusted through. No fix for that.

Deep rust has no replaceable parts. Wood can always be replaced. If really rusty - it's ready to go to the junkyard. Like this 77 Chinook I bought for $275. Frame was broken in half, windshield frame rusted out - even the back bumper was rusted through. No fix for that.

That doesn't even get an honorable mention.

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That doesn't even get an honorable mention

I have no idea what that means. My point is that there is no fix or "replaceable parts" in an RV that has been driven a few years on road-salt and gotten deep rust underneath. Sheet metal can be repaired or replaced. Not the frame or cross-members, etc. Especially the thin-wall box-frame used in the older Toyotas. Japanese steel from the 70s was well known for it's tendency to rust faster then US or British steel. Steel from France had the same problem. That's why Winnebago had so many rust problems with the Lesharo, Centuri, and Phasar. Like I said - wood can be replaced and worked with - without esoteric tools. Rusted structural steel is a whole different issue. For me - being rust-free is the #1 selling point.

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It seems odd to me that with all those pictures there's none of the drivers outside side ????

You lost me. Both pictures are of the "driver's outside side." Subsequently - I have no idea what you are referring to. Not unless you think this Chinook is from England with the steering wheel on the other side? Here are some photos of the other side - i.e. the "passenger side." Hard to see in the photos but the roof on the cab is also rusted completely through where the gasket sat on it between the steel skin and the fiberglass part of the cab-over bunk area.

post-6578-0-59283300-1454851491_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-15735100-1454851494_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-06722900-1454851496_thumb.jp

post-6578-0-66022000-1454851498_thumb.jp

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