Rebuilding a 1989 Toyota Dolphin Motorhome
Bought a 1989 Toyota Dolphin micro-mini motorhome without knowing much about motorhomes in general (my first mistake) and then when I discovered extensive water damage I decided to try and fix some of it (my second mistake). Pictures and blogs that others posted when they were doing rebuilds was very helpful to me, so I figured that blogging about it may be helpful to someone else.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
(1/8" luan is difficult to find. You won't find it at Lowe's or Home Depot, and even most RV shops don't have it. I finally found some at a mobile home supply shop.)
The contraption you see is basically strips of 3/4" pine (1x3's cut in half) screwed to 2x4s on 3" centers (to match against the grooves in the fiberglass). I used 5/16 all-thread bolts to go through the window and tighten against some other 2x4s against the inside wall. Once the glue dried, the walls became quite firm and appear to be quite strong. "Synergy," indeed.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I chose to use poplar for the framing since it is marginally better than the white wood that we replaced. Instead of using framing that is 1.25 x 0.75 inches, we used 1.5 x 0.75. This will add a little more weight, but it will be much stronger. The poplar was $5.50 for an eight-foot piece (pine was about $3.50).
For exterior surfaces we used 3M 5200 caulking. From what I read online this stuff is the gold standard for caulking. It's a marine caulking that sets when it gets wet, takes 48 hours to be tack-free, and then cures in a week. It's supposed to be nearly impossible to remove without some pretty hazardous chemicals. I'm not planning on ever tearing this apart again, so I figured we'd use the best stuff available. (It was $15.99 a tube at West Marine. I could not find it at Lowe's or Home Depot.) The fiberglass is glued to the wood using gorilla glue.
The next step will be cutting the foam and luan paneling to fit and then clamping it all together until it dries. After that we'll build the bunk and that should finish up this project.