After being a 'tent-camper' my whole life, including many days in the field as a career Marine, and after a lot of research on RV's, I finally broke down and 'went-big' by purchasing a (barely used) 2002 Dolphin 5356 from the original owner in Riverside, CA, just a few miles from the old (defunct) factory in Perris, CA where these were supposedly built. The rig is extremely clean, seems to be well-built, and is in excellent shape. I got it for what seems to be a steal ($19K).
I'm a single dad (one young son still left), and was actually considering a Class C, but this Class A Dolphin popped up and I jumped on it. Seems this Covid crisis has a lot of people jumping into the mix and buying-up RV's!
It has the Workhorse chassis with the 8.1L engine and Allison transmission and has only 20,144 miles on it!
Of course I'm planning on changing the engine oil, filter, air filter, and transmission filter, along with topping off any fluids. Plus I'll change the oil and filter in the Generac generator, and inspect the water heater(s) and replace anything that needs it (anodes?).
I did an initial inspection of the roof, but will be doig a closer inspection and re-sealing anything that needs it.
I'll also be doing a bleach and water sanitation of the entire fresh-water system, and installing high-flow water filter. The owner gave me the (suggested) lubrication for the slide-out's so I'll do that too. Any other suggestions are welcome!
The white paint and decals are in perfect shape with no fading or cracking. All the tires were replaced not too long before I purchased it, and the seller is including the tire covers.
The seller included a lot of extra things in the storage compartments that look as if they were barely used (if at all). He also included all sorts of kitchen utensils etc. that also look like they've never been used. The stove and microwave/convection oven also look like they've never been used as well. There's a new ladder in the basement, and a slightly used Coleman tailgating grill, 2 brand new sleeping bags, 2 new Eddie Bauer camp chairs, and a large outdoor mat for under the awning.
The coach has the usual 2 slides, but the kitchen is on the driver's side slide-out next to the sofa, with the table on the right side near the door. I like that configuration with the table nearest the area outside under the awning.
Not all is perfect and there are things that actually need fixing;
- one of the side pads on one of the table benches needs to be re-attached
- one of the small drawers on the bed pedestal is broken
- the house batteries both need to be replaced (but has a brand new vehicle battery)
- the wipers need to be replaced.
The coach was essentially clean on the outside, but the inside needed a minor cleaning of the small amount of dust that has accumulated since it seems it has been sitting in (covered) storage outside.
Nonetheless, I'm super excited to join the RV culture, and have even planned to use it locally here at any of the San Diego area beaches that have re-opened (after the Covid thing). It's about 'baby-steps' at this point so I figure everything out and have a routine.
I just reserved a spot in one of our favorite campgrounds, Hurkey Creek, near Lake Hemet and Idyllwild, CA. So far I have about 8 people going, including 2 of my adult kids, my young son, a daughter-in-law, and some friends.
My intention is to take this Dolphin on a big loop around the West, to include, but not limited to, the following; Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Canyonlands, Yellowstone, and Yosemite (not in any particular order).
Let the fun begin!!