1984 Toyota Mirage RV
We sold our Mirage on eBay in April of 2007 for $7600. Here were the details as advertised.

1984 Mirage Motor Home on a Toyota Chassis
Sleeps 4, 107,000 miles, We Are The Original Owners

Titled by Mirage as a 1984, but built on one of Toyota's last 1st generation design 1983 Cab & Chassis.

This Mirage is six inches shorter than the vehicle it replaced, our 1971 Oldsmobile Delta 88. It's selling features is fuel economy, mechanical simplicity, car-like size, and it's multi-uses. Also it's extreme reliability.

Dimensions: Length, bumper tip-to-tip 17'-6" Height: 8'-6" Max Width: 7'-8"" at rear
(dimensions are from memory and need to be confirmed)

My wife used it the first 6 years as her car to go where ever a stay-at-home mom goes during the day. In this motor home, you can actually use the inside rear view mirror. You can look out the rear window, and see cars, not the sky. It's rear door-in-a-door was marketed as an awning, but we use it more when moving over-sized items. I've helped people move with it a number of times. You can get a full size fridge, a motorcycle, couches, and other large items inside. I have brought home 4x8 sheets of plywood and drywall with the greatest of ease. Even a huge stack of 18 foot deck boards when building my deck. The long lengths just hang out the rear door. When we want to hit the bike trail, no problem with the bikes either.

This motor home is for an individual or family who wants to upgrade from tent camping, but does not want the full motor home life style. It officially sleep 4 adults, but we slept 6 on a few weekend trips, 4 small children in the top bunk laying in the other direction, and my wife and I on the dinette bed. There is also enough room to have another person sleep on the floor if you really had to. This RV gets you there with great sleeping accommodations, excellent storage, and no gadgetry/appliances to trouble with. On rainy days, we place our camp stove on one of the counter tops and we're cooking! The dinette seats the four of us comfortably(6 tightly) for a meal. When it's real cold out, we pull out our electric heater or tiny propane heater. When it's hot, we turn on the two 12v fans & exhaust fan. When we have to go to the bathroom, we go to the campground bathroom, outhouse, or the woods. Our good sized cooler is stored in a cabinet at the rear door so access to cold items is a breeze even from the outside, just reach in without getting in the RV. One more great feature is when you are sightseeing in the National Parks and you want to stop at a scenic over-look. You are just like a car, so just do it! So many motor homes have to drive by, missing out on the very things they came to see.

Though this motor home is without the typical features of a normal motor home, it has a lot of nice comfort features that are very useful.
- has drapes and shades for a nice look and true privacy
- all camper windows have insect screens
- sink with 7 gallon water jug supply and 12v electric pump, drains onto street (very basic)
- one 110v outlet
- four 12v interior lights provide very good lighting
- one 12v outlet on the wall, we use for one 12v fan when needed
- bank of three 12v outlets, one for a 2nd fan, and two for the kids hand-held video games
- a privacy curtain that snaps on to cover the opening of the driver's cab
- am-fm-cd stereo up front in the cab
- am-fm-cassette stereo in the main area
- the over-head bunk is nicely sized and has a removable insert to help in getting in & out of the cab area
- the dinette for four converts into a second double bed
- the custom made cabinetry has nice drawers for kitchen utensils and other small items
- over-head cabinets, pantry, closet, lower cabinets, and the dinette seats are all finished nicely inside
- without all the typical RV features taking up space, there is a huge abundance of storage
- 12V ceiling fan, exhausts through the roof
- four cup holders

There are numerous mechanical related features as well.
- gross vehicle weight empty is 3500 lbs. (2500 lbs. Toyota cab & chassis, 1000 lbs. camper portion)
- camper shell is seamless one piece, very strong and insulating double-wall honey-comb
- 110v electrical plug-in when electricity is available, with circuit breaker protection
- second automotive deep cycle marine battery to support all 12v operations in the camper
- power converter to generate 12v from 110v for charging the 2nd battery and for lighting
- microprocessor controlled unit, to charge both batteries in priority while driving, the engine battery first, the rear battery second
- air-ride adjustable rear suspension with on-board compressor, with controls & gauge by the driver
- rear axle & truck brake upgraded in 1995 from 1/2 ton to 1 ton, now have "True" dual rear wheels
Toyota supplied the rear axle, brand new 1995 design
- lifetime Bilstein shock absorbers all around
- 10 air filters, and 5 oil filters
- a box of extra stuff accumulated over the years
- owners manual, lots of documentation, 1983 Toyota C&C brochure and Toyota service manual
- spare tire under the rear of camper, jack, lug wrench, etc.

Other data
- We ARE the original owners, purchased new in September of 1983
- Garage kept since 1988 with seasonal use since 1990
- gas mileage last monitored in 2005
20.2mpg open interstate driving over the course of one day
18.6mpg over-all 4000 mile vacation, combined mountain, interstate & city driving

No Surprises on features
- no automatic transmission (it has a 4-speed stick shift)
- no a/c up front
- no power windows
- no power door locks
- no power steering
- no cruise control
- no power seats
- no toilet
- no shower
- no roof a/c
- no stove
- no refrigerator
- no oven
- no microwave
- no water heater
- no fresh water tanks except the 7 gallon carry-on one
- no black or gray sewage tanks
- no propane tanks
- no heater in the rear
Do you get the idea here? We special ordered this RV without all the fluff, and over the years it has proven a very wise choice. Nothing breaks down because there is nothing to break down. We spend our vacations outdoors, cooking and all. On a rainy day, we can sometimes be found in a restaurant. At night it's campfires.

What comfort features did we special order? Upgraded the front seats to matching interior ones…that's all!

Current Mechanical condition
- mechanically excellent, starts, runs, drives, handles, with no issues or concerns
- over the 23 years, we replaced things like a water pump, alternator, batteries, etc.
- brakes are good, rear truck brakes came with the upgraded rear end in 1995 and they don't seem to wear out
- front tires are good, rears are okay, but you'll want to replace them in the next 5-10,000 miles
- recent tune-up done, maybe 6-10k miles ago
- original clutch, but mostly highway miles so minimal clutch wear
- oil changes the first 100,000 miles were every 2000 miles, lately every 3000
- the engine takes 5 quarts of oil, 5 goes in and 3000 miles later, 4.5 quarts come out
- there is a small engine oil leak, but not enough to add oil, and not enough to drip on the street

Current Cosmetic Condition
- rear camper fiberglass portion developed a few cosmetic stress cracks the first year and never got worse
- Toyota cab was rust proofed when new, and it did good. No rust, expect superficial frame rust
- cab paint is shiny new, but numerous stone chips on the paint that is under the front bumper
- three coin-sized chips in the gel coat on the left rear side from clipping a mail box and later a hose reel.
- Toyota front cab area interior is excellent
- under-hood is excellent
- interior portion of the camper is acceptable, but if you are like me, you'll want to replace the carpet, wall & roof fabric. I looked into Line-X, a rubber spray-on pickup truck bed liner material. It comes in colors. It seems a great finish for the interior walls and ceiling. Cost is around $1000 to have it applied by Line-X.
- cabinets are in fine condition, and can certainly last as long as the rest of the vehicle
- hardware was recently replaced, so cabinet doors open, close, and stay closed well, outside door good too
- I hate squeaks and rattles so our Mirage does not have any.

About all 1983 Toyota's Cab and Chassis (C&C)
The C&C was marketed specifically for motor home and utility truck manufacturers. C&Cs were not purchased as whole pick-up trucks. All C&Cs came without a rear hauling bed. All 1983s were equipped with the 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder, carbureted engine and also had California emissions. This engine produced 96hp, 4 less than a non-California emissions pick-up truck. The transmission choices were a close ratio 4-speed stick shift or a 3 speed automatic transmission. Included were bigger vented front brakes and a High Altitude Compensator. According to the service manual, the HAC advances the timing of the distributor so the engine starts and runs right at high altitude conditions above 3930 feet elevation. I can say it really does work well. Standard equipment on a C&C was the 4-speed stick shift transmission, tilt steering wheel, and a temperature gauge in the gauge cluster. The floor of the cab is a rubber mat with a thick insulation backing. Fuel economy was not given in the brochure I have. The cab comes 100% complete, and is equipped with bucket seats. I am not sure if the cab came with the rear wall or not. RV companies might have needed to cut out the rear wall to allow passenger pass-thru into the camper portion. Lastly, the 1983 C&C front marker lights adjacent to the headlights are clear, unlike the amber colored ones on the pick-up. This provides noticeable illumination for night driving.

All C&Cs produced for many years until some time in the middle 80s, had the rear axle and rear brakes of a standard pick-up truck. Motor homes using Toyota and other brand C&Cs were equipped with an unusual dual rear wheel where the outer wheel bolted to the inner wheel. The inner wheel bolted to the rear hub with 5 lugs. This design was later determined to be dangerous where a pair of wheels could fall off due to loosening lugs, or broken lug stems. RV companies blamed the vehicle manufacturers, and visa-versa for over-loading the chassis. Our Mirage never had this failure.

Each C&C maker handled this problem differently. Upon request of the C&C owner, Toyota supplied free-of-charge, a completely new rear axle, brakes, wheels, lugs, etc.

We bought our Mirage NEW in the fall of 1983. The RV slowly developed handling problems beginning around 1991 which we tolerated until 1995. The vehicle wandered on the road though we would hold the steering wheel straight. In 1995, I contacted a local trunk frame & alignment company. The mechanic there told me of Toyota's free rear end.

I called Toyota and received a large envelope with the scoop on the situation from their prospective. I had to sign a waiver of responsibility for Toyota, and then they shipped a coffin-sized crate to the local truck frame shop. The axle is a true dual rear design like a semi-truck. It doubled the hauling capacity of the C&C, from 1/2 ton to one ton. I have all this documentation, including a good photo of everything supplied.

Along with the new rear axle & tires, we had the shop add new Bilstein shocks and a 10,000 lb. rated air ride suspension. The air ride included an on-board compressor with pressure gauge & controls located by the driver. The end result was a motor home that rides & handles like never before. Since 1995, this RV handles extremely well, even under high cross winds and during semi-truck passing. And there is never a concern of over-loading the RV, whether on vacation, or hauling very heavy things around town.

Ron Dittmer
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