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Old 02-25-2007, 01:25 PM   #1
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SUN #148
niteowl
Full-Time in a T2363

Hi Everyone. This is my first post ever on any website.

We are American missionaries living in Tanzania and I am coming to the USA in July for 14 months to travel all over the country (speaking)-- we will be full time in our year 2000 T-2363.

We owned a 1984 T-1950 for 15 years and I loved it!

Is anyone around that has done some full-timing in this model Sunline? I purchased it off the internet and although I have seen the unit (on a short trip back to the States) I haven't used it yet. Any advice would be appreciated. Any thoughts on wintering in it in the mid-west? We are thinking about installing two 6 volt golf cart batteries. Satellite TV. Internet via Verizon aircard. We are planning some other mods too but that discussion is for the mods section of the forum, I know.

Basically, just want to plug into the Sunline fraternity here.

Thanks for any advice.
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Foreground: My year 2000 T-2363 and Nissan Titan truck. Background: my old 1984 T-1950 with Lincoln Towncar. Gave it as a wedding present to my daughter and new son-in-law.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2154/...9be17d28da.jpg
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:05 PM   #2
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Hi,

Welcome to the site! I have copied and pasted your post and included answers:

As for your 2363, how many people do you plan to sleep in it? As you can see from my signature, I had a 2363, so I know that anything over 2-3 people is a little tight.


We are American missionaries living in Tanzania and I am coming to the USA in July for 14 months to travel all over the country (speaking)-- we will be full time in our year 2000 T-2363.
-Is there any relation to you and the people on the Sunline website who do missionaries in Africa?

We owned a 1984 T-1950 for 15 years and I loved it!

Is anyone around that has done some full-timing in this model Sunline? I purchased it off the internet and although I have seen the unit (on a short trip back to the States) I haven't used it yet. Any advice would be appreciated.
-There is one member, Emam, who is full timing in a 2499, but since he is full timing (and touring), he sometimes isn't online for a few days. He is an excellent source for anything full timing. To the best of my knowledge, no one on this site is full timing in a 2363.

Any thoughts on wintering in it in the mid-west? We are thinking about installing two 6 volt golf cart batteries. Satellite TV. Internet via Verizon aircard. We are planning some other mods too but that discussion is for the mods section of the forum, I know.
-Again, Emam has done a lot, batteries for sure. As for winterizing in the midwest, you don't need to winterize the unit unless you don't plan to stay in it for a day or two and you turn the furnace off. If you do plan on having the furnace off, let me know and I can give you directions on how to winterize. I would recommend planning northern travel sometime not in the winter!

Basically, just want to plug into the Sunline fraternity here.
-I never thought of it that way before, but I guess its true!



Also, I hope I'm not the first to let you know, but Sunline closed its doors in November. So far they are not officially shut down as they are looking for a buyer. However, the future doesn't look too good right now. Look down at posts from November and you will see all of the discussion about Sunline closing. Since you have owned a Sunline before, you probably know about the quality of the customer service department, and no longer having that makes things difficult. Just remember, we're all here to help you out, should you have a problem.

Jon
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9461.2 (as of 10/01/16)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
2008 T-286SR SE scale model, #5001
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:59 AM   #3
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emam
Hey Niteowl,

My wife and I are fulltiming in a 2499 as Jon had said and would love to answer any of your questions as best we can. I am not an expert in any of this so I'll tell you like it is, but I can really only comment on past experiences in our short time in the coach.

We added to 6-volt AGM Batteries as they were the best reccommended from multiply posts on various websites. We installed a Xantrex 2000 watt inverter, which I have now found out is a pile of junk and wouldnt reccommend it to anyone. We have sent numerous emails to the company and have never heard anything back from them in responce to a problem we keep having with the brand new unit.

I spoke to a guy that specializes in Solar installs and wish I would have found him before we had paid the $1500 for it. He says he has 9 or 10 sitting on his shelves as so many people have them removed to put in better ones. Check out his website and give him a call for more answers
www.jolynenterprises.com They are in Central Florida if you're going to be near there.

ANother great site that is loaded with info is www.AMSolar.com and that is where we bought our panels and batteries. We installed 4 6-Volt batteries and can go for numerous days without needing shore power. We are in South Florida and with the full days of sunshine, we have been unplugged for a week straight now and havent had a single problem. Granted, we arent using any heat or tank heaters, as that tends to suck the power pretty fast.

We found out the hard way that when camping in Cold climates, the tank heaters and furnace suck the batteries in about one day of use. I'd reccommend that you stay in a moderate climate, as winter camping you almost have to have shore power so you can have a ceramic heater plugged in, or plan on having your propane tanks refilled bi-weekly That gets expensive and the camper closes in real fast when you're stuck in it in the cold. Being in the warm is great, as we really only use the coach for sleeping and showering and spend 90% outside.

Sorry this is so long, there are some great posts on this site, and check out iRV2.com & RVNet.com which both have loads of posts on Drycamping/Boondocking where we have learned some valuable information.

Hope that helps and feel free to check out our site to see if we can answer any more questions

Sunline fan can probably answer any question you have on a SUnline Coach as I think he secretly worked for them at one time....LOL
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:59 AM   #4
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SUN #148
niteowl
Thanks to both Sunline Fan (Jon) and emam for the replies. I have never posted before so I hope I am doing this right. If I make mistakes, please let me know!

Jon, we are probably the missionaries on the Sunline website you are referring to. I wrote an email to Larue in their customer service department and she wrote back and asked if they could use it on their new website and I said sure.

By the way, I got a nice letter from Larue a couple of weeks ago. She said she is accepting a new job with another company. I really guess that means it curtains for Sunline. There are some companies that people might throw a party if they went out of business... but not Sunline. People, including myself, really loved that company.

Our travel plans for the USA will be set in stone before we set foot in the States. We will be traveling and speaking east of the Mississippi for almost a year. We do have some engagements in TX, OK and a few other western states but we will be mostly in IN, IL, PA. Since we are "working" and not in charge of our own schedule, we will be staying in the trailer in some cold weather (but hoping that Global Warming kicks in just in time to save us!). I will keep as far south as I can but it probably means camping in KY to speak in Indianapolis, etc. You might be reading about two frozen African missionaries who turned to popciles.

It will only be my wife and myself in the 2363 for 14 months.

Emam, I am not familiar with your floorplan. Where did you mount your two batteries. Are they inside the trailer with you or outside? Can the trailer tongue physically hold two batteries where Sunline had put just one?

Emam, I will make a post on the Mods forum to continue the modifications discussion. I am planning on doing several things to the trailer before we move into it and I will really appreciate you following me to that forum to continue the discussion on how to make this unit work for us by making some improvements. Hope to see you over there when you can...

Well, if nothing else, this will be an adventure for us. I told my wife that some people save up all their lives to be able to do this. And we get to do it for free!! She is game but not overwhelmed with joy at the idea of it all. But it should be better than living out of suitcase in motels.

Sunline fan, your secret is safe with me! LOL

Lowell
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Foreground: My year 2000 T-2363 and Nissan Titan truck. Background: my old 1984 T-1950 with Lincoln Towncar. Gave it as a wedding present to my daughter and new son-in-law.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2154/...9be17d28da.jpg
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Hi Everyone,

Although I'd like to say I worked at Sunline, I never did (I'm not hiding any secrets!). Niteowl, you can even ask LaRue. She is well aware of who I am, and knows my lifelong dream was to work there in the future! Any chance you could put me in contact with her?

As for staying in your 2363, it is a perfect floorplan for two people. I tried to sleep three full size people and a dog one time, and it just didn't work. My dad would wake up in the morning and come up front to watch TV (from the chair, drinking his coffee), which woke me up and made me mad. I really enjoyed the days when I was growing up when we had the 2653 (it is the one in my sig, we don't have it anymore, though I would like to find it). We weren't cramped at all and everything worked out well. I just requested we take my trailer for that one trip (instead of their motorhome) and it just didn't work, especially with a dog that insists on sleeping on the bed. I think you will enjoy your 2363. I have heard it is a really popular floor plan for couples. I actually bought mine from an older couple who wanted to upgrade to a unit with a slide. He would have stayed with Sunline, but he needed extra interior height because he was so tall.

Here is Emam's floorplan. It's just a little bit longer than yours:


Lowell, let me know if you plan on coming to Michigan sometime in your travels. I some knowledge of campgrounds in southern Michigan, but I have better knowledge in those "up north" (as we call it), which is the northern part of the lower peninsula.

Jon

P.S. Just in case you didn't find the link to Emam's site, its www.everymilesamemory.com.
__________________
2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9461.2 (as of 10/01/16)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
2008 T-286SR SE scale model, #5001
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 02-26-2007, 12:24 PM   #6
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SUN #115
emam
Hey Lowell, we had General RV in Michigan do our battery install and they were able to fit four 6-volt batteries behind the propane tanks with no problem.



Coming from South Africa this picture might give you chills, but this is what the batteries look like and how they are mounted. General RV just took pieces of angle iron and welded it on the front where the origianl sat between the two frame pieces and straped the batteries to the angle. In a month of solid travel and over a few thousand miles, they havent loosened or moved one bit.

I'll check the other forum to see if I can answer any of your questions.
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2007 Sunline T-2499 4" Lift
Rigged Boondocking & Dry Camping

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www.everymilesamemory.com
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:59 PM   #7
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SUN #148
niteowl
Hey, you guys are great! Thanks so much for your posts.

Sunline Fan, I contacted LaRue through the attorney for Sunline handling all the bad news. Although I have her address now, it is probably best that it is not posted. The attorney is really a nice guy and would most likely be able to forward a letter for you to her. He did for me. The Sunline attorney's contact info is:

Anthony D. Giannascoli, Esquire
Siana, Bellwoar & McAndrew, LLP
941 Pottstown Pike, Suite 200
Chester Springs, PA 19425

Phone: (610) 321-5500 ext. 117
Facsimile: (610) 321-0505
Email: adgiannascoli@sianalaw.com

I just wanted to send a small expression of thanks to LaRue for all the kindness she showed to us and all other Sunline owners over the years. Won't it be nice if all the people she was so kind to expressed their appreciation somehow? Something to think about...

I can only imagine the scene with the three of you and a dog! A new definition for a nightmare.

You won't believe this, but I actually bought my Sunline over the internet from JPRVs in Whitmore Lake, MI. Jessica couldn't have been nicer. I based out of Lansing, IL when I am stateside so it wasn't all that far. (My new home state is going to be South Dakota this time.)

The original owner had bought it from General RV in MI. Spent less than 10 days in it when her husband didn't want to RV anymore. It was essentially new. I was fascinated by emam experiences with General RV. Based on what he said, I think I will start my year of full-timing with a trip to General RV for maintenance. I am impressed by his website, too. Wow!

The T2499 floorplan looks absolutely great. Because we are planning on hauling our trailer on such a busy schedule for long distances, I wanted the absolutely smallest Sunline that still provided a walk-around bed and a comfortable chair. So that is why I chose the T-2363. But the T-2499 with the options he chose makes my mouth water.

Emam, that battery pack is impressive. The ice makes me want to... well, stay in Africa! It is about 88 degrees here right now. I am so glad to get that info as I can easily adapt that idea to my needs. Can't say enough good things about your website.

Sunline Fan, we do have a couple of churches in
Southern MI. Buchanan, MI for one. I will keep your kind offer in mind for info on campgrounds. Spring Lake MI is a big stop for almost all missionaries I know as they donate all kinds of "nearly" free stuff to missionaries. Missionaries are a cheap lot, by nature...

Thanks to both of you fellows for welcoming me to the website and your answers. It is late here so I try to get to the Mods posting another day.

Blessings.
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Foreground: My year 2000 T-2363 and Nissan Titan truck. Background: my old 1984 T-1950 with Lincoln Towncar. Gave it as a wedding present to my daughter and new son-in-law.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2154/...9be17d28da.jpg
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:33 PM   #8
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Lowell,

Let me also welcome you to the Sunline "Family".

Just keep in mind that when using your Sunline full-time, Sunline's are not designed for 4-season camping. So if you get into weather where temps fall below freezing, you have to take some precautions to protect from water lines and tanks freezing up on you.

I had a 1999 unit and its fresh water tank was located inside (under a cabinet). My 2005 has the fresh water tank located on the underbelly of the unit (i.e., outside exposed to the weather). I think your 2000 may still have the fresh water tank inside but I'm not sure.

All the places you mentioned you'll be at, if you're there during the winter, there's a high probability you'll get into some cold, below freezing temps.
Some precautions you might want to consider if you get into freezing temps are:
1. Turn off and Unhook from city water connection. (if you have water hook-up).

2. Keep Antifreeze in both black and gray tanks.
Make sure there's no chemical reaction between the antifreeze and the tank chemicals you're using.
I would keep the gray tank empty as much as possible with antifreeze in it when empty. Nothing's worse than having a busted valve on either your black or gray tank. I carry a twist-on valve with me as a back-up / protection, just in case.

3. Keep the temp inside warm (i.e., above 50) all the time. A ceramic heater can be used to help on saving propane.

Good luck
Hutch
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:23 AM   #9
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emam
Hutch is right, The ceramic heater was our best friend until we got into warmer temps. The only draw back is a ceramic heater, electric blanket or anything that has a crude heating element in it will kill a battery faster than anything.

I spent many nights wondering why my 2000watt inverter wouldnt power the measly little ceramic heater. We found out we had to be plugged into shore power for any of those to work. This was after many calls to Carl over at General RV who would answer my question usually before I could finish the entire thing.

Thanks for the compliments on our website. It is a work in progress as I am teaching myself as I go. I'm just thankful I have a brother who is an expert at computer graphics and I keep on retainer for anwering questions.
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Rigged Boondocking & Dry Camping

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www.everymilesamemory.com
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Old 02-28-2007, 03:24 PM   #10
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SUN #148
niteowl
Hutch, thanks for jumping in here. I appreciate it. Emam, I am still cold from seeing your icy battery picture. It has affected me mentally.

I think the thing I worry about the most is keeping warm. (Africa has thinned my ability to handle the cold weather.) I am not so much worried about the sewage tanks freezing, as I am ME freezing.

I know something about electricity and needing shore power for electric heaters. But I guess I worry if, even with the furnace going and a ceramic heater going, it will be possible to stay warm in really cold weather – say ten below zero in blowing snow and ice.

How worried should I be? I have heard some people use a vinyl skirt around their rig to keep the wind from blowing underneath. There is a guy out in Colorado making them. Do you think it is something I would need? I can see me in the blizzard trying to install and uninstall that thing.

I am thinking about a Mr. Heater Big Buddy but it seems that a lot of people are having trouble with them. And they need to have a vent open a bit to use them… brrrr.

I know I have to be totally pragmatic. We aren’t retired and this isn’t going to be a vacation. We are on a schedule that says you “absolutely, positively, got to be there…” I guess if it just gets too cold we winterize the rig and go to using motels until things warm up a bit. That will be possible. The real reason I am going to try this with the Sunline is not to save money but to make it nicer for us. Living from suitcases for 14 months isn’t fun. But freezing to death doesn’t sound like fun, either.

Blessings.
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Foreground: My year 2000 T-2363 and Nissan Titan truck. Background: my old 1984 T-1950 with Lincoln Towncar. Gave it as a wedding present to my daughter and new son-in-law.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2154/...9be17d28da.jpg
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:34 AM   #11
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emam
One thing I just thought of that you might want to check into is if you are traveling in the winter like we did for the first few weeks, we couldnt find any camp grounds open?!

Most campgrounds in the Northern part of the States close during the winter. So I'd make some phone calls before you even start to check that you'll have places to stop in for Power/Dump Stations...e.t.c. and wont be stranded staying in truck stops.

You'll learn real quick on ways to conserve body heat. Dont go outside unless you have to. Opening the door cools off the camper real quick, so if you do have to go outside to adjust something, make sure you get it done the first time and not go in and out multiple times. If you're plugged into shore power, then two $20 ceramic heaters (Any Kind, dont go wasting money on a fancy item, they all do the same thing) will keep the camper toasty warm. I cant stress how quick the battery will die if you're Boondocking and running the heater off of Propane along with the tank heaters. With 4 6-volt batteries, we'd loose juice within one day running our heater, water heater and two tank heaters. This also meant we would run out of Propane every ten days which got expensive quick. The ceramic heater we spent $20 on saved us hundreds in propane costs.

Another thing that is a must, but you MUST be plugged into shore power, is an electric blanket. For us, we have storage under our bed that isnt insulated. I plan on getting to that, but we left in the winter and couldnt think of crawling in the pass through hatch in 10 below trying to glue insulation in. So the bed is cold until your body gets in to warm it up. That has to be the worst thing ever getting into an icy cold bed in the winter!! This is where the electric blanket came in handy. 20 minutes before bed, we'd turn it on and then getting into bed was a nice warm feeling.

The insulating skirt would probably be a good idea as well as warm slippers are a must. The floor of our coach was always freezing cold. If you were going to be staying in the same spot for some time in cold weather, I'd think putting the skirt on and placing a ceramic heater under the coach on dry ground would keep things thawed and warm.

The summer months will be great, but I dont envy you on those cold winter months. We looked into having the underbelly sprayed with this new insulation they use that can adhear to anything it's sprayed on and can be layered as thick as you want it. A few inches thick is the equivilant to an R-30 rating. Might be something to look into?
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