7/29/2013 – A different kind of Dolphin

One of our goals for this year’s return to the U.S. was to find and buy a Toyota-based RV, like a Dolphin, a Minnie Winnie, Chinook, etc.  I’d been watching Craig’s List since last November to get a feel for what was available and at what price.  They seemed to be plentiful enough so I wasn’t too worried about finding one that would be right for us.  We plan to use the RV to drive back and forth to Mexico as well as to do some inland exploring in Mexico and the U.S.

The first one we looked at was a 1985 with only 55,000 miles on it.  Being so close, we headed over to give it a looksee.  Well, it turned out to be a bit more of a project than we hope to find.  No bed or seat cushions at all, no settee table, etc.  For the right price it would probably be OK as none of the work was extensive, but it just had a generally hard-used look about it (speaker holes with no speakers, exposed wires, etc.) and it needed to cost a LOT less than the owner was asking.

We went up to Vancouver, Washington a few days later to check out an ’83 with 57,700 miles on it.  What can I say?  We fell in love.

Our new baby.

Our new baby.

This thing was beautiful.  Oh, there’s a rust spot here and there on the cab, and it’s obviously not brand new, but it’s really hard to believe it’s 30 years old.  It’s been stored under cover its whole life and it shows.  Check out this groovy 80s interior:

Have a seat.  Let me fix you a Harvey Wallbanger.

Have a seat. Let me fix you a Harvey Wallbanger.

Counter space anyone?

Counter space anyone?



And check this out.  The cab matches the camper:

Hop in.  We're late for "Magnum, PI."

Hop in. We’re late for “Magnum, PI.”

This little sweetie has 57,750 miles on it.  It has the reliable 22R 4 cylinder engine, the beefed up 1-to rear axle with dualies, and a 5-speed manual transmission, and an auxiliary 30 gallon gas tank.  And we got it for what I think was a bargain.

We’re looking forward to many road trips to come.

Let's call it our Westsail 20

Let’s call it our Westsail 20






About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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15 Responses to 7/29/2013 – A different kind of Dolphin

  1. Tate says:

    Steve, are you guys giving on sailing or just taking a break for some road trips? Can we get a big picture view of the plans. I’m excited to see this as Dani and I have spoken about maybe one day doing the RV thing if we enjoy cruising.

    • sryoder says:

      Planning to do both RVing and sailing. Going to drive the Dolphin back down to La Paz so we can explore more of Mexico than just the shoreline. We actually know a number of cruisers who are also part time RVers.

  2. Jay says:

    Is that landlubber talk I hear? Westsail 20?

  3. Sandy Holeman says:

    SWEET! Can’t wait to see it in person!

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Sweet, plaid & floral coziness! Good job! In the next pics, we’ll expect to see you in a shirtless Naugahyde vest, with a pukka shell choker!

    • sryoder says:

      That is a particularly good look for me. But, unfortunately, you may never get to see me in 80s finery as I make a point of being on the other side of the camera.

  5. That is a tasty little land yacht you’ve gotten yourselves. 🙂 May she serve you well! I am looking forward to hearing about your land adventuring!

  6. Ned Williams says:

    Looks like a real find. Happy RVing.

    Sent from my iPad

  7. sailmama says:

    She’s a beaut for sure. Looks like she just came on the line yesterday, except for the decor of course. We’re jealous of your sit-down tub and ladder with roof-top storage rails. Just a word of warning… we’re learning that, just like sailing, if there is any wind at all it will be on the nose. Looking forward to a Winnebago “raft up” down the line.

  8. Coyote says:

    She would fit in nicely at Burning Man except way to nice compared to most of the rigs that are there. Are you going to paint the name on her stern?

  9. Ken says:

    My best friend has a 83 PU with the R22 engine. It has over 300K and is still a daily driver. Most bullet proof gas engine ever made. Zero repairs. Just amazing engineering. I wonder if Dick and Libby would have stayed out longer if they had that rig. Looks just right when you add a few outside things. A indoor/outdoor carpet about ten feet square (think patio) is great for keeping mud and grass outside. Citronella bucket candles are great in mosquito country. A little Honda moped to get around on would be nice also. Can’t wait to read about your new adventures.

  10. Beverly says:

    Very sweet ride! You’ll love it.

  11. MWhite:LittleCunningPlan says:

    Don’t know how i could have possibly missed this! Once I saw the wall paper in the kitchen, and the tiny little tub, I was sprung. Very cool! Magnum PI, indeed.

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