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Old 05-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #121
PirateJohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudWalker
So how does this work? I want one really bad, I'm pretty handy with screwdrivers and stuff, what will something like this particular beast do to my spare time?

It's like motorcycling. Or crack. It becomes part of your lifestyle. Get ready to open that wallet.

Seriously, I have been building up to wandering and exploring for years. So far this is the best thing that I can ever think of doing. Hopefully this will extend my interest in motorcycling for another decade or two.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:12 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
Do you have "a" starting battery or a bank of batteries to start the main engine?
Yes, just one big battery. The engine is a DT360 which is not exactly a huge (nor powerful) lump.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:33 AM   #123
MudWalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn
It's like motorcycling. Or crack. It becomes part of your lifestyle. Get ready to open that wallet.

Seriously, I have been building up to wandering and exploring for years. So far this is the best thing that I can ever think of doing. Hopefully this will extend my interest in motorcycling for another decade or two.
So what, if I'm lucky and the beast is in pretty good shape I'll follow the initial $8k with another $8k for brakes, ball joints, bearings, tires, AC/refrigeration fixes, valve jobs, cooling system repairs, exhaust work, generator upgrades, storage tank repairs, roof leaks, electrical gremlins, gray water pumps/hoses/fittings, gas leaks, carpenter ants, and then I'll be mobile....ready to roll.

And what about the plumbing systems on these rigs, are systems pretty well thought out or are their days numbered from day one?

Do you think it's possible to get into a rig like this and have a reasonably sound working ride for under $20k?
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:29 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudWalker
So what, if I'm lucky and the beast is in pretty good shape I'll follow the initial $8k with another $8k for brakes, ball joints, bearings, tires, AC/refrigeration fixes, valve jobs, cooling system repairs, exhaust work, generator upgrades, storage tank repairs, roof leaks, electrical gremlins, gray water pumps/hoses/fittings, gas leaks, carpenter ants, and then I'll be mobile....ready to roll.

And what about the plumbing systems on these rigs, are systems pretty well thought out or are their days numbered from day one?

Do you think it's possible to get into a rig like this and have a reasonably sound working ride for under $20k?
Yes.
I have about 10k in mine, including a new engine, suspension, furnace, water pump/heater, radiator etc etc tires,
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:52 PM   #125
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How big, what year as if that matters, Class A? Do you really use it? Are you glad you got it? Is it reliable? The monkey is shaking his head no, but I want one.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:11 PM   #126
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I love my '83 Toyota Dolphin. With a curtain between the cab and "back there", cab a/c works just fine. I've been looking around for a generator small enough to fit in the space that looks like that's what it's for(?) and big enough to run the single a/c unit. No luck so far. Can anyone here help?

The mighty 22R engine is reknowned for its durability, but I wouldn't want to haul a trailer. It has a hitch receiver and I made a bike carrier to fit. Wouldn't want to try carrying anything very heavy, but my Duke II works great. I also carry the gas cans and 1kw gen back there. I get about 15mpg, a touch more if I don't get in a hurry.

I've been on several month-long trips and hated to come home. It's perfect for one person, don't know yet about two.

I've only gone to an RV park twice, I prefer woods or rest stops. Especially the ones with hot water!
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:20 PM   #127
DELTATANGO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudWalker
How big, what year as if that matters, Class A? Do you really use it? Are you glad you got it? Is it reliable? The monkey is shaking his head no, but I want one.
I have a 1982 280 Airstream. It was a basket case. It ran but had very little brakes but I got it home.

I really like it. Its like having a fixer upper car that you can live in. I like having a project.

The Airstream was designed by the same guy that designed Charles Lindberg's airplane.

I haven't really been anywhere, a few overnighters. But I put a new engine in it. I want to know it and have it all sorted out before I go on the road. You can't push a 10000 pound moho.

I need to put a TV set in it. I'm going to polish it. I want a 4 speed lock up tranny. New air conditioners, alum wheels, rubber flooring, window gaskets need replacing, captains chairs etc etc etc fab a MC carrier on the bumper,

Yeah it's reliable. If it craps out it's like having the engine in your living room.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:08 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MudWalker

Do you think it's possible to get into a rig like this and have a reasonably sound working ride for under $20k?

YES!

On the subject of plumbing, that can vary greatly from rig to rig. I don't know anything about yours and would hate to speculate.

I do think it's funny how many conversations with RV folks and sailboat folks start off with "what do you do about toilet odors?"
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:10 PM   #129
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Tom, your politics suck but your heart is in the right place regarding motorhomes. Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:16 PM   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonpcovington
I love my '83 Toyota Dolphin. With a curtain between the cab and "back there", cab a/c works just fine. I've been looking around for a generator small enough to fit in the space that looks like that's what it's for(?) and big enough to run the single a/c unit. No luck so far. Can anyone here help?

I did a Google for "Toyota Dolphin generator" and ran across comments from people that they had installed Onan and Kohler units. Someone installed a Dometic, which I had never heard of; my quick advice would be to stay away from a Dometic generator.

Supposedly there was a factory-installed 2800watt Onan gasoline generator available in the 1989 22' Dolphins.
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:53 PM   #131
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Then again, you could have one of these...

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Old 05-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #132
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:57 PM   #133
Wildcard342
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I have been researching a lot of Rv's over the last year and reckon that this is the safest, most cost efficient way to travel for full-timing. Replace car with motorbike or have it racked on rear of 5th wheeler and you are good for ten years for under $100k.


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Old 05-23-2009, 06:28 AM   #134
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There is a lot to be said for a commercial tractor combination. With a rear-engined bus you get into some weird (and expensive!) issues every so often because of the complication of having a "bus" rather than a truck.

I once suggested to SWMBO'd that we think about building a habitat with bike/car hauler out of a 48 ft. furniture van. That's still an approach that I'd consider in an ideal world of mobile living.

One minor complication that's important to me (although I see that you are in Oz and perhaps not as important to you) is that Mexico has been refusing to allow commercial truck chassis to enter unless, in some circumstances, they are hooked to a travel trailer.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:27 AM   #135
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Here's another possibility for those of you who want to build an RV or bus conversion on a budget. This guy pulled into the Flying J outside Atlanta while I was spending the night there:




The GM "Buffalo" buses can be had dirt cheap. They were built in several models from about 1966 thru 1980. They were all aluminum construction, like an airplane, so rust isn't as much of an issue as it is with buses like a Silver Eagle.

Another inexpensive bus that I hear can make a decent motorhome are the RTS transit buses. Transit buses often are geared very low and have other features that make them less than desirable as an RV, but folks tell me that the RTS's overcome most of those issues:

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