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Old 06-08-2018, 09:52 AM   #1
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New Project Sunline - 1979 12 1/2' MC

I picked up a new project trailer last night, a 1979 12 1/2' MC. The opportunity presented itself and I was in the right place at the right time. It hasn't been used in a few years and it's a little rough, but mostly just really dirty. It seems to be pretty solid overall and just needs a lot of TLC, especially with fixing various small issues- electrical and the entry door hole especially. Of course I'll try to restore the exterior to as close to original as possible.

At first look, it's very well optioned for the time, with having the optional marine toilet with black tank, optional gas/electric refrigerator, optional water pump, and possibly optional gray tank- have to crawl under to see. It also has a vintage pole awning that attaches to it, which I have yet to inspect.

In addition to fixing this up, I'm hoping to learn a lot about the construction and design of 1970s Sunlines, which seem to differ quite a bit from later ones. This is uncharted territory for me, so I will get to share this learning opportunity with all of you.

Here are a few teaser shots. More this weekend after I dig more into it.

As found:


After a wash and scrub down. Still need to do the roof, but it made it look more presentable:



Original interior is there and mostly complete:



Stay tuned!
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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
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 06-08-2018, 10:18 AM   #2
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Congratulations!

Itís amazing how good the decals look.

I also bought a new Sunline project last week. Will start a new thread soon.
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Old 06-08-2018, 02:31 PM   #3
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Wow! Congrats!
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:18 PM   #4
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Wow Jon,

That is quite the find!

The hub caps... are they the original ones? I thought they has the solid black and silver hubcaps.

Well, your Excursion should have no problem towing that camper...

Have fun with the restoration. And yes, please post pics of the construction. The methods for sure changed over the years.

Thanks for sharing

John
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:26 PM   #5
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I was thinking the "exact" same thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post

It’s amazing how good the decals look.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Wow Jon,

That is quite the find!

The hub caps... are they the original ones? I thought they has the solid black and silver hubcaps.

Well, your Excursion should have no problem towing that camper...

Have fun with the restoration. And yes, please post pics of the construction. The methods for sure changed over the years.

Thanks for sharing

John
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
I was thinking the "exact" same thing...
Hubcaps aren't original. They are some sort of Hyundai hubcaps that were spray painted like a primer gray. Had to remove them to fill the tires and left them off. Luckily there's one original on the spare tire, although it was painted over with the same primer gray I think to match the others. Some of it is flaking off and the hubcap looks decent underneath, so hopefully I can just keep peeling off the gray to reveal original. I just bought a mate on eBay for it, so it'll have original aluminum and black hubcaps once again.

Decals are in really good shape. It's a shame the door skin is trashed since it still has so much original striping. The old saying is true, they don't make things like they used to. Decals especially. The rock guard on this will be a learning experience, I'm not sure if they were decals or if it was printed on somehow. There's not much left of what is there, but I'll try to restore what I can. The main Sunline decals have a few cracks, but they aren't peeling and I don't see the need to change them. I really wish it was two years older though, because those would be fully painted.
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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
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 06-09-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunline Fan View Post

Decals are in really good shape. It's a shame the door skin is trashed since it still has so much original striping. The old saying is true, they don't make things like they used to. Decals especially.
Thinking of semi wild ideas for you.... "Maybe" if you are replacing the door skin, cut the old door section of skin with the decal on it off the rest that is trashed so you can save the decals. Do not know how thick the older skin is but think on, can I bond this cut off decal panel on top of the new skin? Then the decals will be "authentic". Or if someday you want to make new decals, use the part you cut off the old door as a sample.

Maybe the wild idea will spark something you can morph it into that would work.

Thanks

John
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Old 06-10-2018, 08:18 AM   #8
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Cool looking gem of a find. I like the layout of that one a bit better than mine. My plans are with mine once I get a replacement camper to live in is to redo it with that floor plan. I will have more invested in my 1984 T-1350 and it's worth but over all it's the cutest camper I've ever owned. I just need a big barn to work in.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Thinking of semi wild ideas for you.... "Maybe" if you are replacing the door skin, cut the old door section of skin with the decal on it off the rest that is trashed so you can save the decals. Do not know how thick the older skin is but think on, can I bond this cut off decal panel on top of the new skin? Then the decals will be "authentic". Or if someday you want to make new decals, use the part you cut off the old door as a sample.

Maybe the wild idea will spark something you can morph it into that would work.

Thanks

John
I like that idea! Unfortunately, the top edges of the door stripes are a little chewed up, and the panel is cracked through the top stripe, if not the second. Since they are just solid color stripes, I would probably just get the paint matched again and spray the stripes like I did on the '97. Without metallics or inlay stripes, it would be pretty easy to paint. I have a few other stripe spots to touch up, so I'll need the paint anyway. Something about Good Sam in the '80s, it's like everyone had them and everyone put the GS sticker on their trailers! Sam disappeared at some point in the past here, and took some striping with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mquaife View Post
Cool looking gem of a find. I like the layout of that one a bit better than mine. My plans are with mine once I get a replacement camper to live in is to redo it with that floor plan. I will have more invested in my 1984 T-1350 and it's worth but over all it's the cutest camper I've ever owned. I just need a big barn to work in.
Your 1350 should be almost the reverse floorplan as this one? I guess the bathroom is a little larger on yours, and by larger I mean maybe that one can actually fit in it!
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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
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 06-11-2018, 08:52 AM   #10
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I don't have much of a weekend update today, because this weekend was really wet. I did have a few dry hours yesterday and made some progress.

I started with an idea. About ten years ago, when Lode bought a '78 truck camper (link here) and was working on rebuilding it, he sent me one of the decals from it, cut out. I scanned it and looked at it closely- the middle section was all faded out and it looked like it may have been white, but it was so washed away, it was hard to tell. I've never seen a '78 or '79 with white in the decal like this, so I didn't know. I mocked it up in photoshop and it looked too bright to believe, but it was my best guess. I decided to take a white paint marker and mock it up on this trailer:



Standing back, I believe this to be correct. It looks right, and certainly completes the letters. You'll also notice I added silver back to the RVIA plate. These were originally chromed, but silver paint will have to do. Definitely woke it up.

So I proceeded to freehand it with white paint and a brush, to make it more solid white. I'm liking the look. I completed two of them so far. Yes, I realize part of the E is covered up on the side one, I'll have to fix that later. There was so little residual white left on that decal, it was hard to see what should have been where.





It's a pretty cool looking logo now. I like it! All of the brochures I have from this time period are photocopies, so I have no way to know what is correct for original.

I also stripped almost everything off the bumper and tongue and scraped/painted them, along with the step. I haven't removed the bumper reflectors yet since I'm not sure what I'll do with the holes. The previous or original owner of this definitely had a reflector fetish. I can only imagine what the tow vehicle looked like. In the process, I also removed the cool Winegard TV antenna from the front. It's a really cool piece, but looks proportionally out of place on this trailer. I think it will become a part of my collection, off the trailer, and I'll seal up the holes after removing the brackets.

Lastly, I worked on stripping one of the original hubcaps. The trailer only had one, on the spare tire, and it was painted gray as mentioned above. I worked on scraping it off with a plastic putty knife. Slow going, but it's working. I may have to mask and respray the black due to scuff marks, but we'll see.



I didn't do anything with the rock guard this weekend besides look at it. I always wondered why the decals never remained on them. After looking closer, it looks like the decals, at least the stripe on them, were some sort of clear decal tape with color printed on top. The color washed and faded away over the years, leaving the tape behind with no color. You can barely see the tape in the picture. The center S decal I don't think is the same material. I've only ever seen one original rock guard like this in decent shape, I'll have to find the picture to compare against.

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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
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 06-11-2018, 04:26 PM   #11
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You made some headway. Looking good!

So I assume this camper has a metal roof and metal underbody?

Also, howís the paint look? 1979 was before Krystal Kote correct?
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:37 PM   #12
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Your decal touch up looks great Jon. Good job!
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
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You made some headway. Looking good!

So I assume this camper has a metal roof and metal underbody?

Also, how’s the paint look? 1979 was before Krystal Kote correct?
Yes, metal roof. Not much under said metal roof, I washed it tonight lol. Has a lot more give than rubber with bud board.

Haven't been underneath it yet, but I moved it tonight to a better spot and will soon.

Paint is fair, and yes, it is before Krystal Kote. Most of it is good, it can be polished out and is still pretty thick. The worst spots are those that someone in the past tried to touch up, with a white that definitely doesn't match. They tried painting over a Good Sam decal (I can see Sam's head trolling through), among other things. Those spray bomb spots don't look good, color match aside. Lots of orange peel and peeling.
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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
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 06-12-2018, 05:45 AM   #14
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Wow it’s looking amazing! What’s the trick to getting the rock guard clean? A friend just asked me and I wasn’t sure.
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