Why don't they produce this anymore? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-21-2010, 10:50 PM   #1
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Look at this awesome ride! Looks like fiberglass to me.... AND decent sized, not oversized! Could be done with all mid-sized pickup trucks really!

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/49527

Somewhere hidden in there is a link to flickr that I for what ever reason cannot post here. Great pictures of a nice Toyota RV from the 80s.

Gerda
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:20 PM   #2
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Flickr Pics Here

Very nice looking rig.

Closest to them today might be the B-class RVs such as Roadtreks.
http://www.roadtrek.com/



Not cheap for sure.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
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I saw one of these for sale in Twin Falls Idaho, where my wife and I live, just a few weeks ago. They wanted $2500.00 for it and it kept calling my name. I think fortunately for me it sold before I could decide. I had major concerns about purchasing it due to lots of rust ( whole lots !! ) to the cab of the truck. I frequent the Toyota truck forum and there you will find lots and lots of postings regarding frame rusting ( on older model Toyotas ) to the extent that frames broke in half and Toyota paid many owners one and one half to twice book value as compensation. Apparently this type of rusting was limited to northern states where salt and other chemicals are used in winter. Since the body was quite rusted I then had concerns about the frame as well. All told this created enough concerns on my part that I passed on the purchase. I supposed one could have removed the camper and put it on another vehicle ? but this would have been a project well beyond my skill level and paying to have it done probably well beyond my financial means. Lee
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:34 PM   #4
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I can think of a couple of reasons it died on the vine... even Scamp built a few lil' molded fiberglass motorhomes (on a Ford Ranger chassis), is at the time people where totally into the "bigger is better" mindset.

and probably the biggest reason (IMHO) is these things were so horribly underpowered they were actually dangerous to drive. I don't think the particular Toyota had the overhead-cam engine and if that was the case the four-cylinder vehicles didn't have much get up and go.... even when needed!

My parents had one and it was soooo much fun, once we got to where we were going and setup camp. But getting there was terrifying. Going up much of a grade, even the old VW Bugs were passing us!

If I could find one for a reasonable price, I'd swap out that beater motor and maybe put in an older small-block V8... like a Ford 289. It would probably fit in the engine bay without any problems.
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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Two that are for sale
$900.00 http://wilmington.craigslist.org/cto/1645890304.html
$4500.00 http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/rvs/1649361380.html
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:04 PM   #6
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Asking me, those should be produced again. Of course with more oomph to the truck!! Nowaday's mid-sized trucks have all more horse power by default. Tacoma, Frontier, Colorado and such should be up to it! Would be something to consider again for manufacturer's, especially in the wake of rising fuel costs and (hopefully) increased environment conscious thinking...
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:06 PM   #7
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... and pllllleeeeeeaaaaase in Diesel.... Hey, I don't need a Duramax, Powerstroke or Cummins, just a NORMAL Diesel...
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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Ditto on frame rust for older toyotas. I have a 1991 pickup, spent most of the time in ohio and I have frame rust and one crossmember about to go. I love these little rigs but not many appreciate the size, creativity, and gas mileage of those rigs. They want the big stuff. It's a dang shame. I would buy one of those with a smaller diesel engine in a heartbeat. Diesel and fiberglass....perfect combo!
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Old 03-22-2010, 08:13 PM   #9
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A question was raised why not Duramax and such engines on my personal message. Since for some reason I cannot reply there, I just do it here.

Duramax and such are all very nice engines, but for real heavy-duty work. I am myself a fan of those, if it comes to heavy weight!

I just mean a smaller Diesel engine would be great for RVing, still turbo charged, but way more economic and better for the environment. You find those all over in Europe. Also the current Dodge Sprinter has one of those, a 150 something horsepower with enough torgue to get decent towing power, yet getting great mileage! I wish Toyota, Nissan, and domestic manufacturers would offer the SUVs, F-150, Ranger and those with those medium sized Diesel engines. I would immediately buy one!

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Old 03-24-2010, 02:54 PM   #10
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A question was raised why not Duramax and such engines on my personal message. Since for some reason I cannot reply there, I just do it here.

Duramax and such are all very nice engines, but for real heavy-duty work. I am myself a fan of those, if it comes to heavy weight!

I just mean a smaller Diesel engine would be great for RVing, still turbo charged, but way more economic and better for the environment. You find those all over in Europe. Also the current Dodge Sprinter has one of those, a 150 something horsepower with enough torgue to get decent towing power, yet getting great mileage! I wish Toyota, Nissan, and domestic manufacturers would offer the SUVs, F-150, Ranger and those with those medium sized Diesel engines. I would immediately buy one!

Gerda
One problem is our government sees fit to place emissions restrictions on new diesel engines that cut the fuel economy to about the same level as gasoline engines and reduce the power output so their performance is less than a similar sized gasoline engine.

There is also the public memory of the diesels sold in the U.S. in the past that had significant reliability problems because they were essentially just warmed over gasoline engines. Limited injector life span, crankshaft breakage, engine block main bearing cracks, head gasket failures, cylinder erosion due to cavitation of the cooling water, etc.

Somehow the automotive industry in Europe was able to avoid such problems and diesel engines have wide acceptance there.


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Old 03-24-2010, 08:14 PM   #11
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I saw one of these Mirage motorhomes in traffic once, had NEVER seen one before, so went out of my way to chase the person to get a better look at it! hehe The way it's molded it looks like a cloud or something.
I LOVE the great Flickr post, really lets you see what the rig looks like, inside and out. I would love to know what a 'fully loaded' Mirage would come with, bet it's a great rig when optioned out...
Regarding the Toyota motorhomes in general, I have known a few people who have had them over the years, though never had one myself, and here's a few things I've heard:
-VERY reliable
-4cyl-not very powerful, not up for towing anything, but will get you there, just not racing
-6cyl-apparently available in the mid to late 1980's before they disappeared, much more civilized power-wise, usually automatic
I've seen multiple manufacturer names out there on rigs with Toyota chassis, but I think this Mirage is one of the few fiberglass ones. Another I see every once in a while I believe is called a Sunchaser, toured one at a campground one time, owners were very friendly, loved their rig, and raved about how nice it was. Still small, like the Mirage, sleeping 4 people, but a nice alternative to the big monster motorhomes!
Overall, GREAT to see more 'Glass, maybe they'll make a comeback when people get more sane, huh? hehe

Joe
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:13 PM   #12
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Why no more - no slide-outs and over 7 sec to 60mph acceleration.
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