Hi from 1979 Ford Courier Mini Motorhome Camper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2015, 02:05 PM   #1
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Hi from 1979 Ford Courier Mini Motorhome Camper

First trailer... motorhome. What I have just bought? Really, we like it, comparing to other trailers and motorhomes we have seen, it is cute and harmonic, but we have never even tried it yet.
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:22 PM   #2
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First trailer... motorhome. What I have just bought? Really, we like it, comparing to other trailers and motorhomes we have seen, it is cute and harmonic, but we have never even tried it yet.
Pictures! Quick!
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:27 PM   #3
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Old 05-11-2015, 02:56 PM   #4
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This was built about the same time (1978)as Dolphin (National RV, Perris, CA) Sunrader (Gardner-Pacific, Vallejo, CA) and a few others were starting to built micro-motorhomes on Toyota and Datsun chassis. Chinook kinda started the truck to micro-motorhome in 1972 with a pop-up version, and had a similar looking/size unit in 1978.


If you look for a builders plate you will probably find out who did the coachwork, for sure it wasn't Ford.



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Old 05-11-2015, 02:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post


If you look for a builders plate you will probably find out who did the coachwork, for sure it wasn't Ford.
Right, the plate says Toyota. Made in Japan... What would you say in general for this product, Bob?
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
This was built about the same time (1978)as Dolphin (National RV, Perris, CA) Sunrader (Gardner-Pacific, Vallejo, CA) and a few others were starting to built micro-motorhomes on Toyota and Datsun chassis. Chinook kinda started the truck to micro-motorhome in 1972 with a pop-up version, and had a similar looking/size unit in 1978.


If you look for a builders plate you will probably find out who did the coachwork, for sure it wasn't Ford.
That is true, the Courier pick-up was a contract vehicle built in Japan. The basic truck used a LIMA 2.3L Ford engine.
Ford was not even allowed to ship whole engine assemblies to Japan for installation, they had to send components which were then assembled using Japanese external parts. I should have bought a Courier, but I bought a Datsun PL620 instead. I am so glad that Ford eventually built the Ranger!

Toyota build plate? Does the 3.2 indicate engine size?
What is it? A courier cab on a Toyota chassis or did Toyota merely supply the camper on the Mazda chassis with the Ford name as the only connection to Ford?
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:14 PM   #7
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We bought a brand new Ford Courier truck in 1977 and it had rusted through in many spots of the body within 4 years. It was fun to drive and we put a pickup cover on it for all types of use. But it was not built to last, that's for sure! I've never seen such a thin metal skin on a vehicle.
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:23 PM   #8
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We bought a brand new Ford Courier truck in 1977 and it had rusted through in many spots of the body within 4 years. It was fun to drive and we put a pickup cover on it for all types of use. But it was not built to last, that's for sure! I've never seen such a thin metal skin on a vehicle.
Kevin, I do not see any obvious rust on vehicle. Where to look? Underneath?
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:28 PM   #9
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Sorry, typo... 2.3 L Japan engine
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Old 05-11-2015, 04:42 PM   #10
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Right, the plate says Toyota. Made in Japan... What would you say in general for this product, Bob?
I have been involved with molded fiberglass & stick built Toyota and Nissan based micro motorhomes for a loog time and I don't know of any that were shipped with coachwork intact from Japan. In fact, in the mid 80's Gardner Pacific was building a special Sunrader for export to Japan with the access doors on the left side.

I think what you found was the chassis builders plate and VIN info.

You might keep looking around. I suspect that you will find a sticker or a plate identifying the "End construction" builder as most were built on incomplete chassis shipped that way to reduce import duties. Look inside the cab, in front of and behind the drivers door, that was usually where they were posted.

Now there is a group for Toyota motorhomes at <<Toyota-campers@yahoogroups.com>> and Linda over there is an expert on orphaned motorhomes and I am sure she will try to help. Because it is on a Toyota built chassis they will flock to your assistance as it is so unusual. On that site I am known as Sunrader Bob.

Good Luck



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Old 05-11-2015, 07:12 PM   #11
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Sorry, typo... 2.3 L Japan engine
2.3L Lima Ohio engine.
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Old 05-11-2015, 07:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I have been involved with molded fiberglass & stick built Toyota and Nissan based micro motorhomes for a loog time and I don't know of any that were shipped with coachwork intact from Japan. In fact, in the mid 80's Gardner Pacific was building a special Sunrader for export to Japan with the access doors on the left side.

I think what you found was the chassis builders plate and VIN info.

You might keep looking around. I suspect that you will find a sticker or a plate identifying the "End construction" builder as most were built on incomplete chassis shipped that way to reduce import duties. Look inside the cab, in front of and behind the drivers door, that was usually where they were posted.

Now there is a group for Toyota motorhomes at <<Toyota-campers@yahoogroups.com>> and Linda over there is an expert on orphaned motorhomes and I am sure she will try to help. Because it is on a Toyota built chassis they will flock to your assistance as it is so unusual. On that site I am known as Sunrader Bob.

Good Luck
If it is a Courier, It's a Mazda chassis.... But then an RX3 looks a LOT like a Corolla Skate doesn't it.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:36 PM   #13
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It has Mazda chassis. According to Wikipedia

Quote:
...manufactured by Mazda. It had greater fuel economy than the full-size pickups of the time. The Courier was manufactured by Toyo Kogyo (Mazda), and imported and sold by Ford Motor Company as a response to the unforeseen popularity of the small Toyota and Nissan/Datsun pickups among young buyers in the West
.

See picture from under hood attached.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:18 PM   #14
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Our heaviest rust was on both front fenders behind the front wheels and again behind the rear wheels. The body rust went completely through. This would be where the road salt and water would hit when driving. We had mud flaps on, too. Hopefully they fixed this problem by your 1979 model.
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Old 05-13-2015, 04:41 PM   #15
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It has a great looking camper body. I bet I'm not the only one who would like to see some interior pics, too.
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:24 PM   #16
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Any progress in identifying the coach manufacturer?

And I'll second the request for interior pics!
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:54 PM   #17
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Interior pics attached...
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IMG_0472.jpg   IMG_0471.jpg  

IMG_0464.jpg   IMG_0458.jpg  

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Old 05-14-2015, 07:40 AM   #18
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Wow! Looks to be in incredible shape for its age! Ain't molded fiberglass great?
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:22 AM   #19
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Wow! Looks to be in incredible shape for its age! Ain't molded fiberglass great?
You are so right! It is all original. Even plumbing copper pipes. One pipe is leaking and I feel bad replacing it
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Old 05-14-2015, 08:58 AM   #20
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I am KevinA's wife. Let me let you in on another secret about this pickup, if yours has it. We went through several months when the pickup would stop, have to sit a bit, and then start and run again for a while, especially on hills (lots of them in eastern IA where we lived at the time - annoying and scary as I was driving to grad school and coming home at the wee hours of the morning).

We looked at the manual, bought other manuals, and even took it in, I think.
Finally, we found and replaced a third gas filter back near one of the rear tires that was not listed in any book. Problem solved.


CindyL

PS: Great-looking camper! I can't believe the space in it.
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