Looking at a Sunrader - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-14-2015, 07:03 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Bill
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 1
Talking Looking at a Sunrader

Hi Guys, Got the fiberglass RV fever..

Found a 1989 SunRader 21 ft with dinette in the rear. Just like I want it.

6 bolt floating rear axle, 6 bolt front. and looks clean.. 135k miles.

But it has a v6 efi engine, automatic trans with overdrive...


What is your opinion of this engine and transmission?? Worth the chance?

Haven't checked engine s/n to see if it's had the head gasket replaced.

Let me know.


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Old 01-14-2015, 10:37 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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Bob M, your number is called for the answer

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Old 01-16-2015, 06:40 PM   #3
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Trailer: Bigfoot
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Everyone will have an opinion for you. MY personal opinion is run for cover. Probably THE only "bad" motor Toyota ever built. I have friends with built trucks & all have gotten rid of the 3.0, one downsized to a 22RET & several that swapped in the newer 3.4. You will run into some that swear their 3.0 has run 300K with no problems, but they are well known for HG problems. Think Fords reputation with the 6.0 diesel. The trans has a good history & generally not be the weak link. You might be lucky, but i'd try to get it at a price that WILL allow for engine work.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:19 PM   #4
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
As mentioned, the 3.0 is the weak link in the driveline, followed by the transmission, especially if the owner tried to tow anything. In the motorhome the engine is working much harder than in the pick-up and performing routine maintenance is essential. The biggie is valve adjustment. As the valves wear they tighten up until there is no clearance and you get a burned #6 exhaust valve, quickly followed by others.

The bad news.... Valve adjustment uses shims and is about a $600 job and often is overlooked or done wrong. At 135k that is a high mileage engine and, without a lot of service records I would look elsewhere.

That said, Sunraders are the primo of all Toyota Motorhomes and nice ones with the V6 have sold as high as $18,000+ in the past year. But to repeat what Pete said, the VZ-E 3.0 V6 is Toyotas most problematic engine.

PM me for more info if desired.
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