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RV Remodel of a 1986 Toyota Dolphin

An adventurous couple by the name of Cassandra and Matt are the creative and interesting people behind the RV remodel of a colorful 1986 Toyota Dolphin. Both of them are freelance technology talent in their respective specialties. This gives them flexibility and the flexible schedule it takes to really get into a RV renovation.

RV Remodel: Before

Before (

They work remotely while traveling which is becoming more and more popular these days. They run a very interesting blog showcasing their RV travels and photos. It is full of great travel adventures and photos.

The couple purchased the 1986 Toyota Dolphin off of an ad on craigslist with the intention of doing a RV remodel. As you can see from the photos it needed some serious love. They went to work on renovating their new RV only to realize it would be a larger undertaking than they expected. Their remodel was plagued with water damage, holes in the floor, roof leaks, and other issues that are typical in a 20+ year old RV.

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RV Remodel: After

1986 Toyota Dolphin RV Remodel 6
After (


This 1986 Toyota Dolphin RV Remodel project had a series of updates made to it:

  • Resealed entire roof with Eternabond
  • Ripped out broken air conditioner on roof
  • Replaced roof vents
  • Removed bedroom window and reseal
  • Ripped out carpet and install laminate floor
  • Filled in hole in floor with scrap wood
  • Rebuilt area over cab
  • Ripped out existing dinette and installed table and bar stools
  • New curtains and curtain rods
  • Painted cupboards white and replaced handles
  • Painted every surface including ceiling
  • Ripped out old generator and install quieter/smaller generator
  • Covered refrigerator door with contact paper to look like stainless steel (it was woodgrain before)
  • Ripped out kitchen countertop and replaced with tile
  • Installed plastic panels in bathroom to replace old wood and wallpapered walls.
  • Caulked bathroom
  • New futon mattress over cab area
  • New carpet in cab area
  • New seat covers in cab area
  • Reupholstered couch
  • Cut out area in cupboards for microwave
1986 Toyota Dolphin RV Remodel

In the end it was all worth it as they departed on the trip of a life time seeing many of the sites that most travelers envy. This is a fine example of what some TLC can mean to an aging RV. You can certainly tell that the interior of this RV received the artist’s touch. Yet another great example of whats possible when you see that dated RV on the road side with a for sale sign on it. Seeing renovations that come out this clean is bound to inspire another. Are you working on one? Just thinking about it? Share in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “RV Remodel of a 1986 Toyota Dolphin”

  1. I used Eternabond Tape on 1987 Odessey it really works great,but it is not cheap, the lowest price I found was at Big Rock Supply ,Bensenville IL.

  2. anybody know a good product to seal the seams on my new roof with…. I’ve been using 3m 5200 and I have run out and its$15.00 a tube( small) for my gun.I used 26 gauge galvanized sheet metal for the roof and I’m using 5200 on all the hatches…I’m looking for a compound to finish all the lags thru the roof into the new beams…all the roof overlaps and lag heads will be covered
    …input po favor….billy

  3. I am presently doing the demo on my 1986 Toyota, says rogue on side, but like a dolphin. It has water damage throughout the camper. I feel that I am up to making the renovations. But may have some questions along the way. The bed over the cab area has to be redone also. I took the cabinets out and am wanting to take the couch and chair out next. I don’t believe the cabinets can be reused. I plan to take a trip to a rv salvage yard in Oklahoma City and see if there is anything I can use there. All in all, I am doing a little bit each day after work. I will need to know what to replace the walls with and the type of insulation to use. And about the wiring, would it be better to replace all the wiring while I have it open?
    Thank you

  4. Looks great!
    I have a nearly identical camper with considerably more water damage & I was wondering if you had posted a more detailed account of the cab over rebuild anywhere? Or perhaps you could forward to me some of the references you used?
    Feel free to email me directly

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