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Old 06-25-2018, 09:29 AM   #21
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Finished painting the rock guard this weekend. All in all, I have about ten hours into it, and loved every second.

I had two pretty blurry pictures in my collection of Sunlines still sporting some level of an original rock guard. I used them as a guide:





In both cases, since the yellow and orange are the colors that remained, I assumed those were the same colors on the S. The yellow I had matched is darker than new striping, but it matches the darkened striping on the trailer. All yellow striping of this vintage weathered to a gold color from brighter yellow. The sun actually has a color band of red and orange around it- I could see shadows of two narrow stripes.

The panel matches the trailer really well. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. All the color is brushed on, I didn't get these colors in spray. I could have, but at a higher cost, and masking would have been difficult. They are 1" stripes, about 3/32" apart.



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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:50 AM   #22
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Oh wow! That's awesome. It turned out great!
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Old 06-25-2018, 09:26 PM   #23
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Looks nice!

A labor of love.
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:53 PM   #24
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Wow Jon, You have mastered the rock guard restoration process. It looks great!

The black box in the fridge cabinet, if you can lift the cover off and take some pics, we might be able to confirm. Or some kind of model and brand sticker if you find one. That might be a very simplistic 12 volt power supply. A transformer, bridge rectifier, a few capacitors and maybe a simplistic voltage regulator. It is not a battery charger but a 12 volt DC power supply. For sure an add in by someone other then Sunline.

Any idea if the original power converter works yet? If it does not, the power supply would be a solution to run the camper on 120vac and not need a battery or at least a charger for the battery

Your doing great! Amazing these old campers can come back the life with a lot of work.

Look forward to seeing the next slug of work

Thanks

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Old 06-27-2018, 09:46 AM   #25
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Wow Jon, You have mastered the rock guard restoration process. It looks great!

The black box in the fridge cabinet, if you can lift the cover off and take some pics, we might be able to confirm. Or some kind of model and brand sticker if you find one. That might be a very simplistic 12 volt power supply. A transformer, bridge rectifier, a few capacitors and maybe a simplistic voltage regulator. It is not a battery charger but a 12 volt DC power supply. For sure an add in by someone other then Sunline.

Any idea if the original power converter works yet? If it does not, the power supply would be a solution to run the camper on 120vac and not need a battery or at least a charger for the battery

Your doing great! Amazing these old campers can come back the life with a lot of work.

Look forward to seeing the next slug of work

Thanks

John
Thanks John!

I'll work on removing the cover on the black box at some point soon. It looks like there was a silver foil label on top, but whatever text was on it has worn off.

I haven't hooked a battery up yet, but I did plug the trailer in briefly to verify lights work. The bathroom light is 12v only, and it did work. This box was plugged in, so I'm not sure if the light was running off that box or the main converter.

Progress is a bit slow these days, having to fit it in around working lol. Between that and the heat/rain, it's hard to dig in far. I did get the original awning washed the other night, it's in really good shape for the age! It doesn't have the usually pinhole and cracking issues since it doesn't roll up.
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1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:29 PM   #26
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New tires installed today! Correct whitewall for what it had new from the factory:



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1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:11 AM   #27
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As requested, here are some interior pictures. The cushions were covered in a brown elastic type material, held on with (rusty) safety pins. It was kinda nasty, covered in dog hair. I removed all of them and the material to reveal the original green cushion covers.







I don't have any of the bathroom yet- it's pretty small and I haven't found a place to put the microwave that's stored in there yet.
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1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:37 AM   #28
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Looks great! ❤️❤️❤️ the new tires!!!
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:38 PM   #29
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WOW... those original cushion look great! What a surprize!
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:23 AM   #30
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WOW... those original cushion look great! What a surprize!
They do, but unfortunately they are falling apart. I'll need to do something with the plaid/backs. I brushed my arm up against the part that's falling apart there and a piece fell off!
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1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:41 PM   #31
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Thanks for posting the interior shots, Jon! It doesn’t look too bad inside for its age. (Also commented in the Album section)
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:59 PM   #32
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They do, but unfortunately they are falling apart. I'll need to do something with the plaid/backs. I brushed my arm up against the part that's falling apart there and a piece fell off!
Wellllll... at least you can take real good pics of it to help the hunt on what to restore it with!

Actually now I recall we bought a new combo fold out sleeper couch with that same type of fabric weave back in 1980. The color was not green, it was a tan/brownish color as the main theme with black and some red stripes through it. While we no longer have the couch, it did last a good 10 to 15 years. The material did not break down, the cushions did. Since yours is approaching close to 40 years, I say it held up pretty well! I have not seen that type of fabric ever since until the pic of your 79 camper.... It might be a search to find that same kind of fabric.
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Old 08-04-2018, 10:51 PM   #33
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Yeah John, my parents still have a 1978 vintage couch in a similar material. It probably will be a little challenging to find something to match, but I haven’t tried yet. More worried about the rebuild at this point. I think the cost to have new covers sewn will be more of a concern than finding material.

The foam in these isn’t great either. I sit on it and immediately feel the wood lol. Not sure if it’s been replaced with not good foam, or if it’s disintegrating. I’m afraid to open it to find out!
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:28 PM   #34
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Yeah John, my parents still have a 1978 vintage couch in a similar material.
It must of been the "in thing" at the time
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:43 PM   #35
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Hi All,

I apologize for the lack of updates here, it certainly has been easier to update the Facebook group than here over the last few months. Anyway, I made the decision to tear this little trailer down to the frame and rebuild it properly.

To do this on my schedule, I knew it couldn't be outside. With the limits of a 7' garage door that's more like 6' 10" in real life, this is a challenge. The trailer is so small, I felt like I could do it. So, after removing every protruding thing from the roof (two vents, refrigerator vent, stink pipe cap), I snipped the brake wires and fought some very rusty spring bolts to remove the axle and dropped the trailer frame on a couple four wheel dollies. The front remained hitched to my tractor for support:



It was literally like stuffing a ship in a bottle. Maybe worse, since I've never done that. The trailer went in fine initially, until the center opening for the roof vent. This vent had slightly thicker roof structure to help peak the roof and add added support for an aftermarket roof A/C. Using a sawzall and hammer, I cut/broke out the pieces of wood around the vent hole to make this area level with the rest of the roof.





I thought I was clear, but then the front spring hangers became an issue. These are welded to the frame and stick down a good 3-4", and they stopped me hard against the edge of the garage pad. I didn't account for these in my measurements. At this point, with large holes in the roof and all sealant compromised, I was in too deep and had to keep persisting. I sacrificed the spring hangers by bending them up and out of the way with a pipe wrench.



Yes, I was pulling the trailer through the hole with the tractor and a strap along the bumper. The trailer weighs so little, especially with the axle off, but it was dragging the whole way.

One last hiccup right as the front cap went through- it held up on the outlet for the holding tanks. It stuck down below the frame rail, but not as far as the shackles. At this point, I removed the drain cap, lowered the floor jack in the front, and pushed it by hand the last couple feet. I'm hoping I didn't crack the tank, but I'll see when I take that apart. At that point, I really had no option and had to sacrifice it either way.

At last, persistence paid off and it made it all inside. The trailer is very light and I can push it around easily. It sat in this spot on the dollies for a few months:



With life being busy, I didn't want to start working on it before Christmas, so I decorated it instead!

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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:00 AM   #36
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As promised after the new year, I started tear down!

The first step was to remove everything mounted to aluminum. Door frame, windows, wheel lip molding, lights, water fill, etc. I've kinda been working on this as I go.

Day 1 of tear down!

For the most part, everything has come apart pretty easily so far. Due to some sort of old roof sealant stuff covering the screws, the three screws that hold this drip rail above the door frame were especially difficult to remove. There are screws holding the door frame behind this (it replaces the screw cover molding), so the drip rail has to come off to remove the other screws holding the door frame:



Despite all the leaks, I've been quite impressed with the quality of the putty tape seal. At this point, I believe the source of the leaks to not be from the corner moldings, but from the TV antenna bracket and roof seams.





Some minor water damage under the door frame. I still don't understand why the step is off center. For those curious, no sign of a VIN tag here or here in the past, unless it's under the flooring.



Windows seemed sealed pretty well to the siding too:





The original tail lights and porch light appear to have been replaced around 2002, and the installer used A TON of silicone and zero putty tape. While it was hard to remove the taillights, I suspect some water may have entered from these. The side clearance lights right by the taillights appear to have been added then too, which were wired through the wall.



Some rot found at the corner of the door frame here. Not bad but the structural integrity is completely compromised. I expected rot farther forward where the door catch mounted, but it turned out that the holes were just between the two pieces of wood and the screws were basically going sideways into paneling. There was a little moisture there, but the mounting problems were mostly unrelated to water damage.





Farther back, the bottom board is far from great, but it isn't terrible either. The rot above the wheel well kinda surprised me, I didn't expect that. The back corner is another story, for later.





I've been labeling and saving all aluminum and trim pieces as if they'll go back on the trailer (and if not there, on my wall), but I'm seriously debating trying to find new metal for it and re-striping the whole thing.

And that's a wrap for day 1 teardown.
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:18 AM   #37
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Day 2 of tear down!

I didn't take as many pictures along the way this time. There wasn't much notable in the tear down process. I definitely uncovered a lot more fun though!

Front and rear walls are apart, as well as almost all of the door side. At this point, the remaining front and rear pieces are tied into/become part of the roof, which will take ladder work to disassemble. Due to overlap, the final side piece can't come off until the roof panels are off.

As predicted, the right corner of the rear wall has some pretty extensive rot. The framing is pretty shot too, but honestly there's more left than I expected to see:









Front wall was equally as bad, if not a little worse:





The white you see poking through is a bottle of Aqua Kem that came with the trailer. When I removed the insulation and vacuumed the gunk off, the paneling here just fell apart. I'm sure if I were to touch more of it with the vacuum hose, a lot more would fall off:



I expected the side wall of the bathroom to be bad; I didn't expect the front wall to have this much rot. Like I've previously said, the moisture meter didn't do much here because there isn't a lot of moisture in this wood anymore, unlike rot in newer trailers that's trapped.

I'm also surprised at how little went into the construction of this trailer. It's really nothing more than some 1x1s glued/stapled to a piece of paneling, and then those sections were stapled together with a single large staple. While I do plan to do this restoration to appear as factory correct as possible, I think I can and need to improve on the construction integrity.

And that's a wrap for day 2!
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:42 PM   #38
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New Project Sunline - 1979 12 1/2' MC

You go Jon! Nice that you were able to squeeze it into the garage.

Knowing you, itíll be a museum piece when your finished. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:27 PM   #39
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Knowing you, itíll be a museum piece when your finished. Thanks for sharing.
That's the goal!
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:16 PM   #40
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Hi Jon,

You are doing a great job. And where there is a will, there is a way! Your will to get the camper inside your shop was very creative, and it will reward you big time. So much better if possible to do this type of repair indoors. Thanks for sharing.

Good folks posting pictures of their handy work truly help all of us learn. I myself have not been into one of these oldies yet. It is really interesting to see how the Sunline build has evolved. I can see several differences in construction technique between this 79 unit and the newer ones, say mid 90ís until the 2007 models.

I want to highlight some on a few areas leak locations. While Sunline was very good at putting quality into their product, however they were still part of the RV industry and followed many industry practices.

As seen by your 40-year-old camper, the siding material, the roof material, the wood materials that are not rotted are all still very good. Amazing! The bad news, the camper had leaks. And this is not a Sunline issue; it is an across the industry issue.

Iím honing in on your corner moldings and other leak locations as an example. Any penetration into the siding or the roof has the same issue; the sealants are the weak areas. These pictures of yours help show my points.

You said this:
Quote:
Despite all the leaks, I've been quite impressed with the quality of the putty tape seal. At this point, I believe the source of the leaks to not be from the corner moldings, but from the TV antenna bracket and roof seams.
I always want to continue my learning on how leaks happen in a camper and the trail they leave behind. Every camper tear down has its own story to tell. So here goes on what I am seeing. Take a look and see if you agree. The pics may be deceiving.

First, can you explain what you mean about the quality of the putty tape being good or you are impressed but it? I agree the TV antenna may have contributed to the leaking problem on the front; however there are indicators which point to a classic corner leak on the front left corner. Let's have a look, and Iíll explain.

Here are some of your pics of the prior owner installed antenna mount. There is a high up bracket above the window and then one down by the knee bend in the front wall.




Followed by these pics




Your leak, I see signs where leaks could originate from several spots and the heavy staining and light staining left by water. I see at least 4 areas that exhibit leak marks. There are potentially more; just the picture is not close enough on the upper corner wood to see it good.

I marked up your pic to show what I am referring to.


The red circles are the locations of areas of infection. The blue dashes indicate the potential flow of water.

Leak 1, shows a water stain up high that appears to align with the upper holes in the upper front siding. While this is stained to confirm a leak, the leak is small. The level of water infecting at this location is low. The wood downstream from this area has low staining of water damage. The water path from leak 1 to leak 3, the corner molding, does not show the heavy mildew rot staining like the corner molding.

Leak 2, is hard to tell from the one pic. It appears to be water was staining the wood from a putty tape failure on the window flange. If this is a leak, it is not a big one. It could be a small one contributing to some luan discoloration.

Leak 3, has the classic appearance of a corner molding leak. This large black area is several inches above the lower antenna mount and many inches below the upper antenna mount. A corner molding leak that is a heavy leaker can create that large black area and the water can flow down towards the lower antenna mount area. If a large amount of water came from the upper antenna mount, the blackness would leave a trail to the corner molding, however, there does not appear to be that, only light staining.

Leak 4, is the area where the lower TV antenna mount was. There is a lot of black staining there. I suspect it is a combo of water coming from leak 3 and very possible a leak at 4. That larger flow of water then makes itís way back towards the corner and then down. The water from leak 4 would not want to flow uphill to leak 3.

Since you are up close to it, did you see these signs Iím pointing out or other things now that I mention them?

Now let's look at the rear wall. It appears putty tape failures are here too. See these 3 pics of yours. Great pics, by the way, we can see many of details on them.







I marked these up too. It appears putty tape leaks where here are well. I marked up your pic



And a close up of the area


Each of those 5 leak areas has a different level of leaking rate. Meaning the hole size is smaller or larger.

Leak 1 can be one of these or combined. A roof seam across the back or a DOT red light appears to be a low volume leak, but a leak still. I cannot see the wood behind this area due to the roof metal hanging over. The water staining of the wallboard is not much. And the corner wood up high is not a rot advanced or even water stained as down low.

Leak 2, the top window corner area shows what looks like a small leak. While this area is slow, it adds to the water flowing across the wallboard between the window and the corner molding rotting the wallboard out.

Leak 3, the bottom window corner is a larger leak or has been ongoing longer then leak 1 and 2.

Leak 4, That area is in the area of the right tail light. Water may have made itís way in from the light or water pooled from the rear window flange leak and rotted more locally.

Leak 5, I see as a corner molding leak. If you notice, the corner has water staining in the corner wood above the horizontal bottom window framing starting at about the staple between the corner wood and the window frame. If Leak 1, 2 and 3 were flowing across the lower window frame stud towards the corner wood, then the corner rot would be starting higher up above the staple window frame wood leading to the corner would be more rotted and its not. See it? This leak starting at the staple, points to it came in the corner molding.

The corner could have several places along the lower wall knee area where it leaked in. Not just one. The lower knee being on an angle I have found can aggravate leaks in the corner. A lot of water flowed down the rear wall starting at the top of the window, over the knee area and down to the bottom of the camper. The water staining on the luan supports it flowed this way. The water at the corner could be a combo of the rear window water and the corner leak.

And the corner molding. This pic I ďthinkĒ is from the front right side. Please confirm. It showed up when you were describing the front LH antenna leak. The right side doorway seems to be in the background, and I can see what I think is the RH siding folded under the front siding. I cannot find a close-up pic of the putty tape on the LH side near the TV antenna and the window area corner molding, or the rear wall. Do you have one?


Take a closer look up and see if this aligns with what I have presented. This corner molding pic shows putty tape failure. Iíll explain in my next reply. I have more on the sealants.


Thanks

John
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Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

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