Rare 1981 Toyota Sunrader With 5th Wheel Camper

This is another reason to have a city block-sized warehouse, at least for me. Although that would fill up in no time with unusual vehicles like this 1981 Toyota Sunrader and 5th wheel trailer. The seller has this one posted here on craigslist in the capital city of Wyoming: Cheyenne. They don’t list an asking price.

The Toyota Sunrader and 5th wheel trailer combo has to rank in the top ten of unusual recreational vehicles, at least of the modern era. I’m not quite sure why the dually Toyota pickup with custom cab extension wasn’t painted to match the trailer or the other way around to make them look like they were meant to go together, but the trucks are usually yellow or tan and the trailers always seem to be white. They are super unique, there’s no question about that.

Last fall, a seller listed their Toyota Sunrader combo here on Barn Finds and it really looked like a jewel. The one for sale here could have looked so much nicer than it does in the photos with a weekend of cleaning and detailing. I’m sure that the seller could have gotten a lot more money out of it if they would have cleaned it or had a detailing company go through it. It looks really nice overall as far as not showing rust or dents or any glaring issues like that, but man is it dirty and dusty.

You can see what needs to be done here without my telling you that. Just one hour of cleaning even! Ok, enough of that, this combo is rare enough and it’ll give the next owner something to do. I think the velour is worn off of the seats more than they’re dirty so your upholstery shop will have something to do. The custom stepped roof and rear seating area are great but this Toyota also comes with dual rear wheels for hauling that nineteen-foot trailer.

Another single hour of cleaning back here would have done wonders for the presentation but it is what it is, as they say. Things look pretty good overall, just dirty A_ and messy. This 5th wheel trailer has all of the goodies that a family needs to spend time on the road, like a full kitchen, a dining area that converts into a sleeping area, and a bathroom with a shower.

The engine is equally dusty and dirty and this 22R 2.4L inline-four with around 100 horsepower needs some work. The seller thinks that it needs a fuel pump due to it running with gas poured in the carb. This rig also needs brake work which isn’t surprising with such a heavy load having been towed for who knows how long. It has at least 123,000 miles on it so there will always be work to do but if you want about the most unusual pickup and trailer combo out there, this is it. Have any of you seen one?


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  1. Moncton(was Winnipeg)carnut Member

    100 hp with this combo would be a bit scary on the highways nowadays. Backroads only if this was mine.

    Like 4
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    I’ll bet it would run better on the highway if it had all the rear wheels on it. Covered with dirt really doesn’t instill excitement for buyers and there’s not a lot of excitement here.

    Like 5
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! I thought that, too, Bob. That’s a big tumbleweed covering the rear wheels on the left side in the second photo.

      Like 1
  3. Ben T Spanner

    What could go wrong? A 40 year old unmaintained 4 cyl pickup hitched to a ratty trailer. I began to itch just looking at the seats in the truck or anything in the trailer. Needs a carved sign that reads “Mildew Manor”
    This rig will make a weekend glamping trip seem like a month.

    Like 13
    • 19sixty5 Member

      These photo’s make it look like it drove through the dust bowl with the windows open and parked. But… if you go to the actual ad on BF, it turns out to be in pretty amazing shape!

    • Gerard Frederick

      You have a way with words – Mildew Manor – indeed. This rig has been abused. It probably needs everything to be redone and then it is still an abused poor orphan. In my experience, NEVER buy an abused machine.

      Like 1
  4. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Gotta love (not) the arrogance of some sellers…”If you’ve made it this far here are the rules… I know what this truck is, I know what it’s going to take to buy it… I’m not listing a price”

    Go pound sand, buddy. Good luck with your fishing trip

    Like 29
    • AMCFAN

      Obviously WAS you haven’t listed anything online in the last ten years. One can simply write a textbook ad. Take a battery of pics. Go as far as paying a shop to put said vehicle on a lift etc. It doesn’t matter.

      Despite this 90% of the people don’t read what has been posted. I do agree that he has done himself no favors at detailing and making it more presentable. That IS on him. However in his defense. Adding a price will only open the door to those who are out to steal it or beat him down with no effort to see it and put their hands on it. You can add any number and you will have those who offer $500.

      Buyers are lazy. No one wants to do anything for themselves. Like pick up a phone and try to speak to the person directly. No one wants to travel if it is an hour or more. The guy that knows what it is about may or may not come back with a deal or better. The truck is very interesting. Very likely he may have something else even better laying around that wasn’t listed.

      Like 3
      • wuzjeepnowsaab

        @AMCFAN we all have our opinions and that’s ok. fwiw I list a crapton of things on craigslist, marketplace, etc. Not putting a price is almost a guarantee of missing the majority of buyers because like me, they just ‘walk past’ the listing. Not putting a price AND taking an adversarial stance before people even think about pursuing your ‘for sale’ item is a sure way to have people walk past AND give you the finger as they do

        It’s the 21st Century. People want to see a price, send a text back and forth, then meet up after the initial conversation. All but gone are the days of print ads and phone calls, and while we can pine for them not accepting that the world is different today is folly.

        My experience and dos centavos…ymmv…

        Like 12
    • chrlsful

      yeah, Danda Man’s got it all down. Wait for ur 40K$ (on the other hand ~ who knows).

  5. ace10


    Like 4
    • AMCFAN

      WUS, That’s great. I sell on the same sites. It only takes one buyer. My opinion comes from experience. About 7 years ago I read an ad for a Javelin and it was similar in tone to the one above. Poor pics no price and horrible description.

      Not put off I made contact and we set up a time to view the car. I looked it over and because I knew ahead of what to expect (after having many AMC’s) I wasn’t disappointed in the condition. So the question was asked. What did he want? His price was way less than I thought. I couldn’t contain myself.

      Seems he bought it in the early 1980’s and he wanted his money back. I also ended up buying a really nice 1969 AMX and a collection of nos parts. I sold the collection of parts that paid for the cars.

      The crux of this is I live in the 21rst century too. I read through the BS. I can determine if a kid writes and ad or a guy in his 70’s. I am not quick at passing judgement. For what’s worth I have came home empty handed too but have gained many contacts and a few friends.

      For the Toyota above. Its unusual and for all those put off for a lack of price and want to run. That’s fine. Someone like me will step up…….I would leave the camper behind tho.

      Like 1
  6. Bud Lee

    For the guy that travels with his wife but , wants to stay away from her ?

    Like 4
    • Pugsy

      Bud, I love you…………

  7. Steve Clinton

    Top speed 60 MPH…going downhill. Add another 5 MPH if the dirt is cleaned out.

    Like 2
  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking truck. So it’s not a crew cab, so what? If you have children under the age of 10 yrs old, you don’t want them to try to get out of the truck whilst it’s driving. Assuming parts are still available, I can imagine this being an awesome restoration or possible restomod. The only mechanical upgrade I’d give it if I were to buy it would swap out the original engine for a 2.4 litre Toyota Turbo Diesel engine and a compatible automatic transmission. I don’t know about the 5th wheeler. I imagine it can be upgraded with a little imagination and know-how.

    Like 2
  9. Troy

    Buy this strip that 5th wheel down and make it a little car hauler then go get that 82 Celica GT also listed in today’s email you will have yourself a couple of dependable Toyotas without all the chip shortage crap and you don’t need a computer science degree to work on them.

    Like 4
  10. Mutt

    I can smell that trailer from here…

    Like 20
  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Good call Scotty!

  12. mickey tee

    dear owner, I am glad you already know what it is worth so we dont have to waste time back and forth with stupid offers and counteroffers. I have the 500$ t obuy it and can meet to pick it up. thank you for not wasting my time

    Like 1
  13. Butch Smith

    Looks like this rig doesn’t have enough oomph pull its own shadow let alone a trailer.

  14. Bill McCoskey

    Take a good look at the photo of the interior bed area, enlarge the photo, and it becomes easy to see long-term water intrusion damage in the corners, top to bottom. Look at the outside of the trailer, at the rear corners. Lots of duct tape now falling off after years of holding the panels together.

    The trailer has major body frame rot. Yes, the trailer cabin is framed in wood, and the entire back half is in need of replacement after you have removed the sides and rear outer panels. More work than the trailer is worth.

    These trailers often began leaking small amounts of water soon after being built. I repaired back sections of trailers like this one when they were 5 to 10 years old. Buyer should bring an ice pick with them and poke into the trailer inside framework, especially the roof. The white vinyl covered interior panels often began losing the vinyl covering once the panels became saturated with water, causing the glue to fail. You can see the interior roof panels are peeling inside.

    Due to the extensive body rot, this trailer has little to no value.

    Like 4
  15. chrlsful

    i think the SunRader was a “permanent slide-in” like today’s (this wks?) Chalet. Not sure – ford guy here, but 1 has come in the shop for 17 yrs…

  16. Howard A Member

    Seems I need not add anything to what most have said, I DO however like the truck itself, kind of an “Aerodyne” sleeper found on semis. The “singled out duals” on the back are a nice touch. This truck couldn’t get out of it’s own way bobtail ( no trailer) and only a fool would think this is a good idea. Slow vehicles, I’ve found, pose a far greater risk to safety than speeders. Why? Because you wouldn’t believe the ungainly risks people take to get around a slow vehicle on 2 lanes, the majority of roads here. The trailer, ANY trailer, is going to need complete restoration, like that POS Airstream, involving a complete teardown, catching most off guard. Price building materials lately? They increase hourly. The proverbial saying, “a can of worms” started with repairing old travel trailers.

    Like 2
  17. bone

    Another thing to consider is parts availability . These trucks are Toyota from the cab forward, but things like the rear end and all those fairing and glass are all aftermarket items, so not only would you not find toyota parts for it, its very likely theres no interchange and you would be scrounging for parts. I worked at Toyota in the 1980s and 90s ; companies like national traveler would convert vehicles and when people came looking for repair items we couldn’t help them out .The rear axle bearings would frequently go bad on these but as Toyota didn’t make a dually rear , the stock bearings wouldn’t work.

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