Jump to content

To rebuild, or not to rebuild? A Dolphin's life in the balance.


Recommended Posts

Hey all, I have a 1985 Dolphin  with 60,xxx miles that I've owned for a couple years and  I put half of that mileage on. This rig has been the most reliable vehicle that I've owned and have driven it coast to coast 6 times. I am an experienced tradesman and I recently endeavored on some minor repairs. Well you can guess what happens next...I have totally gutted this vehicle to find that practically every popsicle stick they put it together with is going to need to be replaced, and I was hoping to elicit some inspiration from stories of recovery from the brink of death, or when it was finally time to put an end to a motorhome's suffering. By the way, it wouldn't ever go to the junkyard, it would be turned into a badass flatbed truck. If anyone has done the latter, have you had any issues registering the MH as a flat bed? 

DSCN4115.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me that's a little weird as my registration says "Toyota Cab/Chassis" on my registration. Doesn't mention what is on the frame at all. I just assumed they were all like that. Maybe I am wrong.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a bit old now and my get up and go got up and went, if I were 10 years younger and had more space I would rebuild it, with some improvements.  I have converted a bus to a motorhome and it is very time consuming and expensive.   Those multiple trips to the big box stores for misc add up quickly, then the ideas that don't work and have to be ripped out.   Good luck

 

ceiling.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Post some pics of what it presently looks like! If you have the interior walls open why not add new studs next to old. Glue and screw the new studs to the old and to the outside (no screws just glue) skin. Re-insulate. You can re-skin the inside with 1/4 inch luan plywood. When installing the luan make paper templates. Glue the luan to the studs. I think the finish staplers do a good job of stapling the luan down. The ends of the staple pierce in opposite directions and leave a small hole.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Converting to a flat bed may be as simple as going to your local title office and have the name changed, this is done often in the VW world when a beatle is made into a dune buggy. I was going to make a flat bed work truck out of this 85 dolphin, but it is VERY slowly becoming a flat bed toy hauler, but that's a story for another thread when I have more computer time.

DSC04734.JPG

DSC05125.JPG

DSC02361.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, wonderabout said:

Converting to a flat bed may be as simple as going to your local title office and have the name changed, this is done often in the VW world when a beatle is made into a dune buggy. I was going to make a flat bed work truck out of this 85 dolphin, but it is VERY slowly becoming a flat bed toy hauler, but that's a story for another thread when I have more computer time.

DSC04734.JPG

DSC05125.JPG

DSC02361.JPG

This build I wanna see! Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gulfstream Greg, That is exactly what I started doing in the rear of the coach before realizing the extent of the rot...Looks like I'll be doing it throughout. I think that this will live on as a simplified version of what it was. RedEmerald, I have mine registered in Oregon and it currently says "motorhome" I am guessing if any state is lenient on the definition of a "home" it is probably OR. JJRBus, beautiful work, although I am in a bit of a time crunch so I think my masterpiece will have to come later in life. Redskinman, looks like fun!! I will get some pictures up tomorrow for y'all. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, workingsurfbum said:

Gulfstream Greg, That is exactly what I started doing in the rear of the coach before realizing the extent of the rot...Looks like I'll be doing it throughout. I think that this will live on as a simplified version of what it was.

The plus side is that it looks like it has the full floating rear axle. Here in Calif, flatbed Toyota trucks with full floating rear axles are in high demand by landscapers etc, maybe true in other states as well. Even the rear axle is worth something for the guy who wants to convert his bad rear axle Toyota. Something to think about. Maybe you would have a use for a flatbed. Save the appliances if you can and re-purpose them or offer them for re-purpose. Imagine building a small home using the appliances that can be powered by propane!

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Gulfstream Greg said:

The plus side is that it looks like it has the full floating rear axle. Here in Calif, flatbed Toyota trucks with full floating rear axles are in high demand by landscapers etc, maybe true in other states as well. Even the rear axle is worth something for the guy who wants to convert his bad rear axle Toyota. Something to think about. Maybe you would have a use for a flatbed. Save the appliances if you can and re-purpose them or offer them for re-purpose. Imagine building a small home using the appliances that can be powered by propane!

Good point about the axle. I definitely have more use for a motorhome at the moment than I do a flatbed, so I began taking the steps to do a rebuild from the roof down. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/26/2017 at 4:59 PM, wonderabout said:

Converting to a flat bed may be as simple as going to your local title office and have the name changed, this is done often in the VW world when a beatle is made into a dune buggy. I was going to make a flat bed work truck out of this 85 dolphin, but it is VERY slowly becoming a flat bed toy hauler, but that's a story for another thread when I have more computer time.

DSC04734.JPG

DSC05125.JPG

DSC02361.JPG

 

On 2/26/2017 at 4:59 PM, wonderabout said:

Converting to a flat bed may be as simple as going to your local title office and have the name changed, this is done often in the VW world when a beatle is made into a dune buggy. I was going to make a flat bed work truck out of this 85 dolphin, but it is VERY slowly becoming a flat bed toy hauler, but that's a story for another thread when I have more computer time.

DSC04734.JPG

DSC05125.JPG

DSC02361.JPG

Would you be interested in selling front facing window frame & inside trim? Trying to fit a 12 1/8" x 59 1/8" x 7/8" hole in 91 Winnebago. Thanks. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 years later...

I know this conversation is a few years old but I am in a tricky situation and looking at all corners of the internet for help! I have a 1984 Toyota motorhome that suffered water damage but insurance wouldn’t cover it. So now I’m at a crossroads...to rebuild the motorhome from the floor up or tear it all down and make a toy hauler? It would be perfect for my couple of dirt bikes and I know it would sell around here for the same reason. What would you do?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Krislee, I am in the middle of a renewal project of my Dolphin 86.  My vote for you is start the demolition of the junk parts.  Even if it becomes a toy hauler you will need to get the wet out.  You can decide, when it's dry and sealed, how you want to use it and rebuild it to suit.  And if that exhausts you, there are people who would pay for a good working gutted ToyHome.  Save them the trouble of the yucky part, ya know?  But I suspect that once you get that far you will be excited by the possibilities.  Take lots of pictures along the way!    My follow up question, which might be yours as well, is it better to work from the top down?  Or does it matter if it's all coming out?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how extensive your water damage is but a few years ago there was a toy hauler motorhome combined for sale made out of a damaged Toyota Dolphin motorhome. They kept the overhead sleeping area and a small portion of the living area and the back was all an open flatbed. Just the ticket to get your bikes to where you want to off road and stay comfortably for a couple of days too. Keep the water tank but hook it up to an outside shower so you can get the mud off. Just an idea.

Linda S

Oops didn't look at the rest of the thread. That is what your already looking at. I think it's a great idea

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...