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Old 01-21-2019, 12:16 AM   #41
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Hi John,

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Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
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.
Yes, agreed. So much of the wood is still pristine, as was the insulation. For that matter, the lower aluminum on the front was pretty nice too, so it couldn't have many miles on it for the age.

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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 I’ll explain.
I was just surprised at how sticky the putty tape was all over still. When I've removed original parts on '90s Sunlines, the tape is hard, not stuck well. This stuff is still pretty pliable and sticky.

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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.

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.
Yep, and I'll detail more when the roof metal comes off. Unlike trailers with a rubber roof, this is all one piece until a few feet into the roof where the next piece connects.

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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.
I should note, leak 2 originated from the area where the coax cable went through the wall for the TV antenna. If the antenna were in the up position, I suppose water could have traveled along that cable and into the wall. I'll admit, the putty tape on the rock guard rail did seem suspicious, so that might have been the source too.

Quote:
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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.
I agree, it appears to be a corner molding leak. No, I didn't notice anything suspicious with the putty tape on that corner, but I can try to take more pictures of the back of the molding and metal. I can't say that I saw a ton of putty tape on these corner moldings, so maybe the lack of thickness caused leaks in the valleys of the aluminum.

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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 it’s 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 I’m pointing out or other things now that I mention them?
I saw the signs and suspected all the leaks except that ODS front corner molding leak. I agree that it wasn't all caused by the antenna.

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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
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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.
Yeah, I haven't taken everything off up high yet. But, if there are any leaks up above, the paneling is very solid, so they aren't far developed. Just to confirm, I don't believe there are leaks on the side wall paneling here, that's just different coloring of the wood.

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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.
This doesn't surprise me, especially since the screw cover was missing on the top edge there. Since it didn't go too far yet, the screw cover may have only fallen off in recent years.

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Leak 3, the bottom window corner is a larger leak or has been ongoing longer then leak 1 and 2.
For what it's worth, the previous owner said he left the right rear window slightly open "for ventilation" over the winter one year. He found the interior wall damage that following spring. Do you think it's possible for snow to blow in enough to cause significant damage, in an aluminum framed window?

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Leak 4, That area is in the area of the right tail light. Water may have made it’s way in from the light or water pooled from the rear window flange leak and rotted more locally.
I think I had mentioned previously that these replacement taillights had been installed with silicone behind them. Since the new lights used different holes than the old ones, that made double the holes and an extra set that water could leak in from.

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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.
Yeah, this looks like entry at the corner too. In looking back at the first picture of where the trailer sat when I bought it, three of the four corners were covered by tree branches. Those same three corners are the ones with the worst rot. I think the tree helped slow drip water onto somewhat already compromised corner seams.

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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.
It surprises me that water wouldn't stay on the outside edge of the corner molding and ride down the wall against that, instead of penetrating into the wall.

Quote:
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And the corner molding. This pic I “think” 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?
Yes, that's the DS front corner. I have another pic at the same time that's a little farther away.

I don't have a picture of the ODS front wall putty, but I can try to take some of the metal.

Thanks for analyzing all of this, I really really appreciate it!
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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 01-27-2019, 06:06 AM   #42
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Just bought a similar model, but in much worse shape. Looking forward to watching your progress.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:08 PM   #43
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Day 3!

Let's get started with a fun picture!



I started pulling metal off the last side and saved the best for last. I knew the bathroom wall was bad and it definitely looked worse on the back side. I had to stop when I reached the furnace vent because it wouldn't come off, so I moved inside and started more disassembly in there. I removed the refrigerator, stove top, benches, upper bunk, and lights.













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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 01-27-2019, 11:36 PM   #44
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Day 4!

After consulting with JohnB on the furnace vent, I tried to break it loose. It should just be pushed on, but it's likely frozen with a lot of rust. With trying a pipe wrench to twist the pipe, tapping on the pipe with a hammer, and just plain pulling on it, nothing was breaking the pipe loose and I feared the pipe would crush.

I finally just jammed a screwdriver in where the outer flange was riveted, tapped the screwdriver with a hammer, and broke the rivets off holding it on:





Now metal could start coming off to help reveal the extent of the damage:



The roof metal also came off much easier than expected. The front and rear upper sections were crimped into the roof panel, so it all pulled off together after just releasing staples.






Here's the trailer with all metal stripped and all insulation removed!



































So now, we can really identify all the leak points:
- Bottom left corner of refrigerator access panel (I would argue the worst)
- ODS front corner molding putty tape failure
- TV antenna bracket leak
- Rear window DS corner putty tape failure
- Wheel lip molding leaks (both sides)- no putty tape was found on either of these.
- DS corner molding putty tape failures (both corners)
- ODS rear corner molding putty tape failure
- Front window/rock guard putty tape failure
- Refrigerator roof vent roof sealant failure
- Bathroom roof vent roof sealant failure
- Upper door frame putty tape failure
- Other minor leaks

Notice the refrigerator panel leak was so bad that it not only rotted out the entire wall stud and lower frame attached to the side of the floor, it also started rotting out part of the floor there in front of the wheel well.
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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 01-27-2019, 11:41 PM   #45
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John, it may be a little hard to see, but here's the front wall metal next to the lower TV antenna bracket. You'll notice a few of the screw holes are rusty around the edges, but the putty tape is largely still stuck to the metal. I can't look at the molding itself easily right now since there are a lot of other parts on top of them.

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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 03-24-2019, 11:45 PM   #46
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It's been too long since I've updated this!

After all the metal was removed, it was time to take more stuff off inside that's attached to the walls, particularly upper cabinets. These were screwed both from the inside and outside, and they required removing the "floor" inside the cabinets in order to access the screws, which were stapled down. No pictures of all this.

I did take a Sharpie and circle all the cabinet screws I could find from the outside. This way I could find them easier to remove and will know where screws need to go back in on the new walls:



I tried to document wiring and where it all goes too. I labeled and kept it all, but it still helps to know what went where:





Including a lot of electrical in the roof:



Don't worry, the walls and cabinets are screwed in from the roof too!

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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 03-25-2019, 12:17 AM   #47
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Now that the wiring is all removed and upper cabinets down/out, I could remove the roof.

But first, I decided to remove the refrigerator. There isn't much to the refrigerator cabinet, so I didn't want to rely on it to hold the whole thing up without the roof support. After destroying the plastic plugs that cover the screws, four screws, a plug, some wires, and a gas line later, it pulled out of the hole. Unfortunately it's too big to fit through the door way complete, so it'll have to stay in for now.

First up was the front and rear angled pieces. Literally very little holding these. A screwdriver pried these out very easily.

The roof panel was held down with a ton of staples, so I put a pry bar between the pieces and between that and a large screwdriver, I put pressure against both sides and split it apart. Worked my way down both sides and quickly had the panel sitting above the walls. Once it was loose all over (including the bathroom wall top), I went into the trailer and lifted up the roof panel, over the stink pipe vent, and worked it off to the side.

At this point, I will note that the trailer lost significant rigidity. There was significant frame flex when stepping into the trailer with just the roof disconnected.

Roof half off:



And all the way off!






So, using the same logic of disassembly, the rear wall (or what's left of it) pried off pretty easily too. I had to break out a big crow bar to break the bottom piece loose from the floor- the screws were too rusty to be able to remove normally. In some cases, the heads were completely rusted away. That said, they were weak enough that I was able to break off the wall without completely destroying one of the two.









Especially notable here after the door side wall was removed- NO VIN PLATE. There's no sign of there ever being a VIN plate here which surprised me. Not under the flooring either.







Removed the load center too, after the ODS wall was removed. No particular reason for leaving it in all this time, it was just easier to remove now.



Found a piece of paneling dated 12/19/78 in a few different spots, so this trailer was likely an early '79 build.



Had to disconnect some wires from the fuse panel to remove it, so I had to do some labeling. Again, this is all easier to do now while the walls aren't in the way:



Removed the toilet and riser too. The riser actually contains the small black tank. Good thing I never put water to this- the tank was cracked in multiple places. The drain pipe on the bottom was cracked (possibly my fault), and then it was cracked around the stink pipe too. On top of that, the toilet flange was cracked all around the screws too.

The date on the black tank is surprising to me. So far I didn't think this trailer was built that late in the model year. Maybe a replacement by the factory? It's also interesting that they called it a 1250, when that nomenclature didn't start for another three years.



Finally the floor was completely stripped and cleaned:





In order to remove the gas lines and holding tanks/stink pipe, I thought it would be easier to lift the frame up vertical. That didn't work out so well. Tried lifting through the outrigger brackets, but they really aren't meant as lifting points. Because the chain was pulling them in together, one snapped clean off. I re-rigged chains direct to the frame C-channel and lifted from there.











I did put floor jacks, raised up all the way, on either end of the frame. That way, if the engine lift gave way for some reason, it would land on those to not completely bury me before I could get out.

Once it was all stripped out, I began separating the floor from the frame. I want to reuse this original linoleum, so I couldn't easily expose all the bolts from the top. They were so rusty anyway, I just broke them all off from underneath. With that done, I could lift the floor off the frame.



Here we are with a clean frame!



I ordered a new entry step to replace this one, which has some bad seam rust that has caused the step to bow. It isn't safe to use.



After flipping the frame over, I leveled it and did a squareness test per JohnB's instructions. Even though this isn't a tandem axle trailer, it ensures everything is square and not bent from age or road damage. Amazingly, the frame was perfectly square and true to the spring hangers. I can't say the same for everything else, but at least it'll pull straight.

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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 03-25-2019, 12:23 AM   #48
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Next up, tearing into the brakes! The trailer has the original Kelsey Hayes electric/drum brakes, and I didn't know what I'd find. Since it was running some sort of custom designed brake controller setup inside the trailer and a four way plug setup out front, I expected either heavily used brakes or barely worn.





The grease was quite nasty (hard), which caused half the bearings to be bad, but it didn't hurt the spindle.

While rusty, I found some pretty good looking brakes!

I also found that these are bolted to the axle! I understand that mid/late '80s Sunlines with these same brakes have them riveted and/or welded to the axle. Luckily that wasn't the case here! After some L&L (lube & leverage), the bolts all came off and the backing plate slid off the axle.





Not a lot of wear on these brakes, but since parts are no longer available, I'm going to replace. Luckily the holes are the same spacing as brand new Dexter replacements, so I ordered a set of those to replace. I'll keep the old ones for parts if I run into more of these down the road.
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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 03-25-2019, 12:33 AM   #49
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When I had the frame up in the air, I quickly realized the disappointing fate of the trailer's bumper. I knew one edge was kinda thin on the back, but I figured I could work with it. Upon seeing swiss cheese on the bottom, I knew I'd have to replace it.

I also needed new front spring hangers welded on to replace the ones I mutilated trying to fit the trailer through the garage door. Plus don't forget about the outrigger I broke, and the new entry step. I made three new outriggers- one to replace the one I broke (which was not in the best shape), plus two new ones for the new entry step.

So I found and called a welder, who came to me. I had everything mocked up in place before he arrived. He backed his truck up and welded all these new parts on.















Now for sandblasting. There was so much rust and scale on the frame, I knew wire brushing it wouldn't do it justice. I also figured brush painting anything (POR15, Rustoleum, etc.) just wouldn't cut it in terms of appearance. It had to be powder coated to really make it look like a professional restoration.

My source for powder coating couldn't handle something this big for sandblasting, but he knew a guy, so it was a two trip process. Here's everything freshly sandblasted, before the trip to powder coating the next morning:





And freshly powder coated gloss black! It looks beautiful!





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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 03-25-2019, 12:36 AM   #50
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I bought new brake plates to make sure they will fit on the axle, to determine if I need to buy a new axle or not. Luckily these fit perfectly, so the axle went for powder coating too.





(I do realize this is the wrong side plate, but I was just checking fitment)
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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 03-25-2019, 12:40 AM   #51
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Starting with the floor!

I picked up some new lumber today, and with the help of my awesome neighbor, ripped it to size. I brought it back and chopped it all in the dimensions I needed and built the floor's frame on top of the plywood. Just need to add a couple more pieces to span the transition area of the plywood pieces and then it'll be ready to attach to the plywood.



Once the plywood is attached, I plan to coat the bottom of the whole thing with truck bed liner to seal it. The original floor (pictured in the background) was coated with some type of product like that originally. It may have just been black paint, but it doesn't seem like it.
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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 03-25-2019, 09:50 PM   #52
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Wow Jon!!!

Great pics of the camper being apart! They are really helpful in seeing and understanding the older campers. The evolution to what the 90's and year 2000 Sunlines ended up like, has a lot of similarities and yet differences to your camper.

Your doing a great job. And that frame looks awesome. The ball coupler looks almost new.

Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing.

John
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:45 PM   #53
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That is amazing! And the fact that you have somewhere out of the elements to work is a blessing. The frame really did come out awesome! Can't wait to see how the axle turns out.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:31 PM   #54
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Wow Jon!!!

Great pics of the camper being apart! They are really helpful in seeing and understanding the older campers. The evolution to what the 90's and year 2000 Sunlines ended up like, has a lot of similarities and yet differences to your camper.

Your doing a great job. And that frame looks awesome. The ball coupler looks almost new.

Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing.

John
Thanks John! There have been many times where I've looked at this thing and hoped that they improved on the design after 15-20 years, and I feel they did. On the other hand, it's downright scary now for me to see cosmetically restored Sunlines of this style with a little paint or even some new paneling on the inside. The paneling is such a critical part in the whole structure and it has to be part of the corner structure. Otherwise, it's about as strong as a wet refrigerator box!

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That is amazing! And the fact that you have somewhere out of the elements to work is a blessing. The frame really did come out awesome! Can't wait to see how the axle turns out.
Thanks Tommie! It really is. I feel your pain about having to work on it outside, and honestly I probably wouldn't have attempted it if that were the case. Even though I suspect the prep time of moving things around to make it accessible to work on is about the same as it would be to un-tarp outside.

The axle was blasted and powder coated as well, I just hadn't taken a picture until now. I will probably take the new springs back there for powder coating when I get them too, along with the tongue jack after I figure out how to disassemble it. That'll be a fun one- it looks like the outer jack tube will need to be gloss black, and the inner tube will need to be like a putty gray color.

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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 03-28-2019, 08:38 PM   #55
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Jon, what a great job you are doing! The powder coated frame came out beautifully. Can’t wait to see how it comes together for you! The wife would love to have a 12.5 for no other reason than it’s cute!
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:54 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Wannabes View Post
The wife would love to have a 12.5 for no other reason than itís cute!
I've heard that a lot about the 12 1/2' MC!
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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 04-04-2019, 11:42 PM   #57
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Floor section is done! Attached the plywood to the frame, added the remaining wood spans to cover the plywood seams, and then coated the whole thing in bedliner! The only deviation from factory spec here is with those wood pieces on the plywood seams. The original only had them in the center three sections in the back, so I did it all the way across. Then since I don't have an 8x8' piece of plywood, I put another three strips farther up where the two 4x8 pieces meet together. This will have no effect on how the floor mounts to the frame.

Also, I decided to bite the bullet and do new flooring. The old stuff would be hard to remove if it even could in one piece, and it would still have the stains on it. I tried to find flooring as close to the original look as I could.

Next up is going to buy bolts and drill holes in the floor to bolt the floor to the frame temporarily. After these bolts are secure, I can glue down the new floor.



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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 04-07-2019, 12:19 PM   #58
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Looks awesome! I haven’t said much, but I’m enjoying following along.
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2012 Arctic Fox 30U, SUNLINES - 2006 2753 "Tweety", 2007 QUE "QUEtSE", 2364, 1660
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:52 PM   #59
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Very nice Jon!
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:18 PM   #60
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Thanks Pam & John! It's still great to know that people are following and enjoying the build.
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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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