Toyota Dolphin RV – What You Should Know

Toyota Dolphin RV – What You Should Know

Last Updated on :

Toyota dolphin RV is one of the most popular recreational vehicles since it was manufactured. Many campers have been using these RVs for many years due to the many advantages that come with them.

They are highly reliable, compact, and provide enough space for storing your camping gear.

If you are planning to buy a old RV at reasonable price then you should consider buying a Toyota Dolphin RV.

Here are some important things you should know about Toyota Dolphin motorhome.

The History – When It Was Made

From the late 1970s through the early 90s, Toyota started manufacturing pickup truck chassis mostly used by RV builders to make motor homes.

From the year 1970 to around 1990, Toyota started manufacturing and creating Dolphin recreational vehicles. Unlike other RV manufacturers, Toyota hit the market by producing small and compact RVs that were affordable and practical for most campers.

In 1982, the Toyota Dolphin RV was upgraded to a 20 foot model of a motorhome. The RV has a convertible settee, a small bathroom, and a small kitchen. It also has a double bed, a toilet, and came with automatic transmission.

In the same year, the Toyota Dolphin RVs used the same engine as the Toyota 22R. The engine had a maximum horsepower of 4,800 RPM. The torque was 129 pounds. The engine had four cylinders, and the fuel was delivered through a carburetor.

Dimensions of a Toyota Dolphin RV

The Toyota Dolphin motorhomeis one of the smallest RVs in the market. They are known for their small and compact features. They are about 21 to22 feet long and 7 feet wide. They are about the same size as a Sprinter van but come with more usable space.

Toyota Dolphin RV Specs

This RV comes in different models. There are 300, 500, 700, and 600 models. These models are almost the same. The only differences are the specs. Here are the standard specs for all the above models of Toyota Dolphin RV.


It has a 2.4-liter engine. The fuel is injected electronically and propels a 2.5-ton rig down the road. Most of the Toyota Dolphin RV models are equipped with overdrive automatic transmission, which works efficiently.

Living Space and Amenities

Though it is small, it has a relatively large living space, making it convenient when camping. It comes with a home section that has a variety of appliances and amenities to keep you comfortable throughout your traveling and during camping.

The home section is fully contained. It comes with a flush toilet and basin, water heater, fresh water tank, carpet throughout the floor, large wardrobe with wooden drawers, and cushions.

Other amenities included in the Toyota Dolphin motorhome are a low voltage clock, porch light, fire extinguisher, battery charger, sewer drain horse, and a refrigerator.

These RVs have built-in shower rooms that are fitted with a flush toilet and a washbasin. Additionally, there are two waste holding tanks, stainless steel sink, and a side lounge that makes into a bed.

The Toyota Dolphin RV allows you to have a home out there in the campsite with all the amenities and appliances that you need for comfort purposes.


It has a standard construction that includes fiberglass insulation on the roof and walls that ensure the RV has the right temperatures in all weather conditions. It has a tapered roof that allows proper drainage.

Chassis Section

The gross weight of the this RV is about 4825 lbs. it comes with a four-speed transmission with dual rear wheels. It has heavy-duty springs and gas shocks that ensure the RV is safe, especially when traveling off the road. It comes with a large radiator for cooling the RV.

Can You Buy a Used Toyota Dolphin Motorhome?

You can easily buy a used Toyota Dolphin. To buy one, ensure you locate a reliable Toyota Dolphin RV dealer. When buying, it is essential to know the manufacturer’s year of the Toyota Dolphin RV to be in good condition.

Most used models from the 2000s are much reliable than those from the 1980s. Before buying, you need to inspect the roof, the walls, and the overall condition of the RV.

have seen ads on craigslist, so do check out there as well. A lot of people list their motorhomes or travel trailers on craigslist, eBay and even on RV forums.

Pros and Cons of Toyota Dolphin RV

In this section, we shall discuss why you should consider buying the Toyota Dolphin RV. It comes with many advantages and a few cons.

They Are Small

The biggest advantage of traveling with a small RV is its fuel efficiency. This means that you will not spend a lot of money on fuel, especially when driving long distances.

The gas mileage for toyota motorhome is about 15-16 mpg. If you are a regular camper, you will need an RV that does not consume a lot of fuel.

Drivability and Flexibility

Another reason why you should consider this RV is because of drivability as well as flexibility. Just like big trucks, the Toyota Dolphin motorhome can be able to drive on different terrains without any difficulties.

Additionally, driving the Dolphin motorhome on such terrains is easy and comfortable. It can be able to drive through on everything from asphalt, sand to gravel roads.

Since this RVs are small, it makes them highly flexible; they are short and weigh less than standard RVs, enabling it to drive through steep roads ideal for camping, which is not possible with larger RVs.

More Living Space

Although the Toyota Dolphin RVs are small, they have plenty of living spaces. This makes camping with this RV feel like home. It comes with a separate area for both sleeping and relaxing.

It has a stationary bed that is located above the living space. The couch can serve as a bed for sleeping if you are more people camping with the RV.

The large living space allows you to carry more camping gear and supplies that you need. You can also carry your favorite pet along.

Highly Reliable

The Toyota Dolphin motorhome is a highly reliable recreational vehicle. If you maintain it well, it will last for many years without major repairs and replacements. You should constantly inspect your RV to check out for any damages before they become a big problem.

One of the things that make this RV reliable is the chassis. It was strongly built, common to the Toyota Hilux. This means the parts are cheap and easy to find in case you need repairs pr replacements.

Additionally, this RV will not easily break down, especially when you are camping off roads.

They Have a Compact Size

The Toyota RV has a compact size that makes it very popular among many campers. The compact size makes it in the category of a mini RV. It is 22 ft inches long, and this allows you to park it almost anywhere. You can easily park the Toyota Dolphin camper in most residential areas and driveways without any problems.

Moreover, when camping with Toyota Dolphin RV, its compact size will allow you to camp anywhere. This is not the case with larger RVs that cannot be able to penetrate some campgrounds.

Excellent Mpg

Toyota Dolphin RVs gas mileage ranges between 12 mpg to about 20 mpg, which is great compared to other RVs in the market. The Mpg depends on the Toyota motorhome that you choose.

This gas mileage helps you to save on costs. Therefore, if you are a regular camper, you should consider Toyota Dolphin RV, and you will save a lot with the low gas mileage.


It is Slow

The Toyota Dolphin RV is slower than other RVs. This is because they have a V6 engine that makes it slow on the road. On a perfectly flat road or going down a hill, the maximum speed for Toyota Dolphin motorhome is 65mph. Though it allows people to see more on the road, it can be tiresome when driving long distances.

Repair Issues

Though this RVs have sturdy constructions, sometimes they may be faced with issues that require you to fix or repair them. This is because they are over twenty years, and getting their original layouts can be challenging.

They are prone to water damages that destroy the floor and the carpets. Getting to fix and repair these parts is very difficult compared to new RV models in the market.

It is Wider

It is the widest version among the Toyota motorhomes. The width of this RV is most noticeable, especially when traveling in smaller towns and narrow roads. This can limit you to traveling or camping in some places.

Renovation Tips for Toyota Dolphin RV

When you buy a 20+-year-old RV, you can renovate it to look like new. Most of these RVs require renovation due to water damage, roof leaks, and holes on the floor. Here are some of the renovation tips for the Toyota Dolphin motorhome.

  • Reseal the entire roof
  • Replace the roof vents
  • Fill in holes with scrap wood
  • Adds new curtains and curtain rods
  • Paint every surface, including the ceiling
  • Add new seats and couch
  • Rip out the old carpet and add a new one.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
Close Menu