What It’s Like Living in a Toyota Motorhome RV and Why They Stopped Making Them

What It’s Like Living in a Toyota Motorhome RV and Why They Stopped Making Them

it’s time for show-off Sunday, where
everyone has a chance to show off their own car, and here’s this week’s winner, well hello there we’re gonna look at
this motorhome right here this is my motorhome it’s a 1986 Toyota sunraider
Motorhome and as you can see it has a fiberglass
molded fiberglass coach on it it’s an automatic 2.4 liter four-cylinder Toyota
engine and do a little walk around here you can see it does have a air
conditioner unit on the top we’ll start right here this is like the grab handle
for the for the side door and it has a light for it and this is the fuel and
this right here is freshwater fill for the freshwater tank and this is the
propane and it has a little gauge there right now it looks like I’ve got
three-quarters of a tank this is the water heater
this right here is fresh water inlet like if you’re in an RV park you can
hook up freshwater here so this a space for a generator,
there’s no generator in here right now this compartment here is the house
battery as a battery underneath the hood for the truck and then this runs
everything in the coach it’s also charged by the alternator and if you
decide to hook up to a RV park or Shore power and this is the
that’s the cord, this is the back of the refrigerator, refrigerator runs on
propane or 110 Shore power this is a furnace outlet right here and that’s the
exterior just a little bit of history on the Toyota motorhomes, the very first
Toyota motor homes were made in probably the mid to late 1970s and they
were quite light and they were maybe 16 foot long 17 foot long and they had a
regular Toyota axle the motorhome manufacturers got their cabin chassis
from the dealers and they were very popular and as time went on the
motorhomes got longer bigger and heavier and when they did around 1979 they the
manufacturers put two other wheels on the single wheel axle they weren’t
really a dually axle so what happened was it was a little dangerous because
the bearings would wear out and axle would fail and this brought some
lawsuits and some concerns and so what happened was is they had a recall and
the manufacturers had to split the cost I believe it was split the cost with
Toyota to replace the axles which was called a full floating rear axle this is
what a full floating true dually axle looks like you can always tell by the
big hub right here so if you decide that you want to buy a Toyota motorhome make
sure you look for that if it doesn’t have that big hub there I would advise
you don’t buy it, eventually in 1986 Toyota was supplying the cabin chassies directly to the coach builders the motorhome, the Toyota motorhome builders and they all had full floating axles, model here
is in 1986 and so it has the full floating good axle on it because of the
axle recall a lot of the manufacturers maybe ten or so something like that they
dropped out and they closed their doors let’s look on the inside, as you come
into the side door here, this is here it has a toilet and a shower and it also
has hot water and it has a exhaust fan right here and this is the cab area and it has a
cab over bed and that insert right there is part of the mattress and you can
shove it in here, so you can have I think it’s considered a full-size bed has a
curtain right here and lights on both sides, coming over here is the kitchen
and we also have a monitor panel there’s the power and then it has the battery
condition and freshwater tank monitor and black water tank and gray water tank
and hot and cold running water in the sink, this is the sink here it has a cover and
then we have four burner stove right here and this this is a match light and
you can see the controls are here and also this is all like a stainless steel
and then this is the oven here you see it in there okay,
also you can pull out this little thing here for an extra counter space and
range hood this is a refrigerator here it’s a dometic and the model number is RM 2400 gas electric and it runs on gas and
electric, this is it here and I have a little temperature gauge there and it
has racks here and they have the instructions like glued down here
permanently so you’ll know how to light it that’s how you light it right there
and your fuel selection you can put it to gas or off or electric so you can
hook this up to a campground and it does have a little freezer here too, here’s the
freezer and it has a lock so while you’re going down the road you can lock
the door if you think it’s gonna come flying off flying open and right here is
some drawers and that’s the furnace down there and here is the control it’s all
automatic you turn it on right here turn it on and this is the current
temperature and then you switch your temperature here and it’ll just
light up and go automatic, I do have a little TV here I guess that’s a 9 inch screen now this is
the inverter that I have it’s just a basic inverter and I installed this
myself so I can run the TV or charge laptops or run other stuff now it does
have a few outlets here but those will work if you’re if you’re hooked up to
shore power and that’s like a cigarette lighter 12-volt outlet and that’s always
hot so you can always plug in 12 volt as you can see there’s cabinets all the way
around here and there’s like a little shelf back there in the rear that’s the
window and clock, cabinets here and also and also there’s like a little closet
here that you can hang your clothes and it has and believe it or not it has like
a little light and the dinette and the dinette can seat four people will
actually turn into a bed and now it’s a bed, now one big turning point, but in
1989 something happened Toyota started putting in a three liter 6-cylinder in
their pickup line so that was a big difference it’s a lot more power because
this sunraider here I mean this Toyota motorhome 18 foot it runs out
pretty good you know on flat land but if you get on Hills you’re gonna have to
gear down now this one isn’t automatic it’s a three-speed automatic it actually
has an overdrive but it’s not advisable to use the overdrive you won’t get
better gas mileage because it’s a true dually full floating axle but it’s
kind of like loaded down so you don’t really want to use the overdrive you
won’t get better gas mileage and it won’t help as a matter of fact it might
hurt the transmission if you use overdrive so just use it without overdrive, in 1989 the six cylinder came out and it had a better automatic transmission now
all the Toyotas motorhomes they also made 5-speed manual but when
that came that was a big difference and sunraider was only manufactured
between say like 1977 and 1991 I think the axle recall kind of did them in but
you know Winnebago and some other ones they still made toyota
motor homes they were real popular and the 90s they were still making them and
they usually made like a 21-foot this is 18, Sunraiders were made 18 foot and
21 foot so they got the six cylinder they got the whole axle thing straightened
out so everything was good right, wrong there was a problem with the cylinder
heads on that six cylinder engine and Toyota had a recall, now I’m not sure if
it was just that engine in general or just the ones that were on the cab and
chassis the cylinder heads there was something wrong with them and they had
to take them in and Toyota had to foot the bill for the whole thing, I mean you
had to go to a toyota dealer and they replace them okay so things were moving
along and by this time Toyota was getting a little upset because you know
they had they went to this whole axle thing and now the cylinder heads for the
six cylinder, they refused to supply Cabin chassis to the Toyota Motor home
builders or manufacturers and that was it, so if you ever wondered why you don’t
see any new Toyota motorhomes out because you know people, they could get
good gas mileage and and as you know they’re very the Toyota drivetrain is
usually very dependable well that’s why you know Toyota just got out of it now I
think it was just North America because I think they they actually still
supplied cabin chasis to manufacturers in Australia and Europe you know those
have the steering wheel on the other side some people some people actually
import them in you know but they’re they’re not cheap, you know there’s a lot
of people that have these toyota motor homes and they’re very passionate about
them and especially the 6-cylinder models and they’re usually not selling
and you know they if you want to buy one you have to look for a while it’s
usually some a Motorhome that’s gonna need some repair and the ones that are
really command a premium price are the Sun
Raiders that are 18 foot from that are six cylinder from 1989 to 1991
this one is 86 and it’s a four-cylinder Oh now one of the things that people
always ask is what kind of gas mileage do you get with this, I was driving this
motorhome in Beverly Hills and some guy pulled up next to me and wanted me to
roll down the window and he asked me what mileage do you what kind of gas
mileage you get well I was just running around in the city I get around 11 miles
to the gallon now getting on the freeway getting on the open road I have got as
high as 17 miles to the gallon so roughly you know about 15 between city
drivin and getting on the freeway which is darn good for a Motorhome
because this is got hot water heater has got propane it’s got a stove it’s got a
refrigerator it’s got an oven it has a toilet and it has black water tank gray
water tank fresh water tank and hot and cold water in the shower so there’s a
lot of things, also it has like a roof AC and let me give it just a quick shot
there it is right there and you saw it on the outside, the roof a/c works pretty
good in this thing I was in Vegas at a campground and it was like 100-plus
degrees and I had the roof a/c going and it kept it pretty cool I was up in
Idlewild once and I had the furnace going was really cold when I woke up in
the morning there was snow on the ground I wouldn’t recommend
it’s more of a Fair weather camper type thing but you can camp out in extreme
weather if you want you can see there this is fiberglass so it’s not
really that heavy it’s 5500 pounds well that about wraps it up,
and if you want to watch any of my videos you can it’s at my youtube
channel name is senseofstile, right there that’s it for now, well that was this week’s video and
remember to have your car video highlighted here on my channel, check
this out, so if you never want to miss another one
of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

About the Author: Michael Flood


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  2. That Toyota is in great shape especially for an 86.
    On mileage- I noticed quite a difference on the hwy if the water tanks are at or near empty.

  3. I love these but they would scare me to drive down a mountain or around lots of curves. Could u imagine trying to stop this or start pushing the front wheels it's way overloaded.

  4. Cool! But unfortunately, I’ve heard that class C’s and motorhomes catch fire, and the system’s break a lot, and too the vehicle itself. The gas mileage is horrendous and you can’t go too deep into the woods.

  5. With the tiny house movement they need to build these again that would make billions Toyota open your ears I'm right these yeah

  6. So…. What I am hearing is… If you want one, get a 4 cyl, floating axle, stay out of O.D.
    Basically 86-88
    Got it

  7. Worked at a place that sold and installed just about any kind of after market car/truck/van accessories. Had a customer come in with a very old Toyota Motorhome RV ( not in good shape ) and a newer Toyota PU and got ticked off at us when I told him we would not remove the old RV and install it on the new PU.

  8. That thing is MINT! Those fiberglass shells are the 💩 Funny how the only difference between that and a new one is the news ones are disposable garbage that leak within a year.

  9. Love the Toyota RV's I used to have one but it was a Toyota cab with the aluminum housing unit. It drove great and I could take it anywhere. I had an pretty unpleasant experience with the black water drain my first time draining it – Yup – Thank goodness it had a shower in it so I could take a quick shower and change right there. And thankfully No one was behind me. I have great memories but sold it it to buy a larger one. Great video and love your rig!

  10. hmmm … i know where there is one just parked since years . always thought it was neat . now i'll have to have a closer look . thanks john . very detailed video buddy . now i know what to look for .

  11. Cool video! I have always been in awe for the Toyota motorhomes. Never been in one but I always thought they are really nifty!

  12. I had a 1986 Toyota long bed with the 22R engine, automatic.

    It will pull this, but the 4th gear/overdrive would only pull on flat highway, any type grade and it would kick from overdrive to 3rd gear.
    Great truck, kept it 22 years

  13. This is excellent. I'm trying to put the money together for a rig to take to Burning Man next year, I've got that little 94 Geo Tracker you see in my profile pic , it has a tow rig so I can pull it behind a RV. It's what they were were designed for as far as I'm concerned. About a hundred horsepower and 2143 lb. That's it. And yes it's a manual Scotty. I don't tow anything that has an automatic.

  14. I've been living in a 22' 5th wheel since November 9th, 2018. Okay, it's better than being homeless, but just. Much longer and I'll lose the will to live. Here's a clue. One friend bought a new one. With the pop outs. Same reason as 10,000+ of our best friends. Where we used to live is now no more. He call the company that made it to get some things fixed under warranty. Guess what? Warranty is void. Why? Because he's living in it. They aren't designed to be lived in. They're meant to be stayed in for a week or two. You live in one for any length of time and they're toast. Jesus wept! To take a shower where I can actually do a 180 degree turn without being Houdini. Ever used a plastic toilet? Shudder

  15. Dam checked mine out the other day all things fired up like a champ need new tires 1986 dolphin 22re engine need to get it going for next year..has not beeen on road since 2009..

  16. I’ll bet this thing can’t get out of its own way. That motor was a good one but I’d hate to see how it pulls that big boat!

  17. I've got the Nissan version Sunrader. Works great. Ive gotten 18mpg with a 2 barrell weber outlaw 38 carb on it. Its also got the 5 speed manual. I like the manual better than the automatic with such a small engine. As this gentleman said its got all the amenities. As easy to park as a car.

  18. hi looks like you have or had a damp problem over your head when you ast down i have had a lot of motorhomes bud better get that seen to

  19. 22 r is the best four banger ever made hands down, and that's not exactly an easy achievement to attain, it's the SBC of the inline-4 world

  20. Looks like you have a few leaks. Fix em up or it will mess you up. Those little dark patches on the ceiling are warning you.

  21. The whole thing is HORRIBLE. The van and the old hippy fart doing the video, both are more horrible than they know. Thank God that Toyota stopped making them. Thank's for this one Scotty.

  22. At least it's small. I hate these old farts who think they have to get a giant bus of a motor home, drag an SUV behind it, and drive around in a convoy going 10MPH during rush hour. Hey grandpa, some of us are still useful and working, get the hell out of the way or just do us all a favor and die already!

  23. Just looked up sunraders to see the price of them and found this one is for sale on RVtrader 😂 you can tell my the 9” TV and the grey inverter

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