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Old 02-14-2011, 11:43 PM   #1
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Newbie Questions

We recently purchased a 1984 Sunline model T-2850. The camper itself is in very good condition but the new owner (myself) isn't the sharpest tool in the shed for figuring things out. I have only ever owned a pop up camper so this is all new to me. Now that we have that all out of the way, here are a few questions that I have since it did not come with an owners manual. First, how do I get the hot water heater to work? I am assuming that it is gas operated but I'm not sure what the proper way of getting it started may be. Second, how do I get the furnace to light? I know that this is gas operated also but I don't want to blow the camper off the frame by lighting it the wrong way. I know these are silly questions but I just want to be safe when it comes to gas. Also, are there any other precautions that I should be aware of with the operations of both these items as well as anything else in this camper? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am looking forward to many enjoyable weekends this spring and summer. Once again thanks for all your help.

Mike
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Old 02-15-2011, 04:18 AM   #2
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Mike,

Welcome to SOC! You've come to the right place to ask questions regarding your "new" Sunline. The members here are very friendly and helpful. No question is silly; so if you are unsure about something, you'll find the members here are very friendly and helpful. I will tell you how my appliances operate; yours are probably the same.

To light your water heater, first make sure it is filled with water. Running it without water can burn up the heating element. I'm not familiar with the layout of your model, but there will be a door on the outside of your camper to access the pilot. There should be lighting instructions posted inside. It is basically like a gas water heater at home. Turn the control knob to "light" (you will need to hold it or it spring back to off). Hold a lighter at the end of the gas tube. When it lights, turn knob to on. FYI, spiders like propane and may make a web across the tiny opening making it difficult if not impossible to light. To keep spiders away, I put a dryer sheet in the compartment when in storage.

You probably don't need to light the furnace, it should have an electronic ignition. There is a small lever on the thermostat (mine is on the bottom, yours may be on top). It doesn't slide easily, but moves left to right to turn the furnace on. These levers have been know to break -- don't pull it to the front or back. Set the thermostat to desired temp. Again, just like at home. Be sure to move the lever to "off" when not using the heat or you'll risk using up all your propane and draining the battery if not hooked up to electric.

You probably have a gas/electric refrigerator too. This should also have an electronic ignition. It will cool faster on gas than electric but can be set to switch to electric as soon as power is supplied and back to gas if power is lost. I don't have the ability to keep our camper at home where it can be plugged into electricity. Operating instructions are printed inside my freezer. When we are going camping, I go to the storage unit and turn the fridge on gas at least 6 - 8 hours before we leave and pack prechilled food in a cooler with ice. When we get to the campground and plug in, the fridge is cooled down and will switch over to electric. I then unload the cooler and put our drinks in the ice. The cooler is kept outside, the drinks cool fast, and are easily accessible without having to open the refrigerator so often.

If you give SunlineFan (our resident historian) your vin #, he can add it to the registery he's put together and maybe give you some history on your Sunline.

If you need help with hitches and weight distribution, JohnB is the man to talk to. He will give you detailed info along with lots of pics.
 
There is some great info in "Sunline Owners Club FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)" in the Community Admin, News & Specials Events forum that JohnB has put together. You can also check the "Files" tab at the top of the page and find info to help with most anything you have a question about if you don't have an owners manual (which is just a three ring binder filled with manuals showing how to operate the appliances and awning -- pretty generic stuff).

Here at SOC, you can find help with maintenance, repairs, and mods, along with campground info and comaderie among the members. You don't say where you plan to camp, but you might want to attend one (or more) of the Meet & Greets to put some faces with the names you see here. We all like to share pictures of our Sunlines and camping experiences too.

Spring will be here before we know it and we can all begin enjoying our Sunlines again!
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:30 PM   #3
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Welcome to the club Mike.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
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If the rig has been sitting with the gas empty for a while it may take several attempts to get the gas appliances to light. I notice that with mine when it has been stored for the winter and the gas off.

Make sure you have good gas, smoke and CO2 detectors/alarms. Keep the tires properly inflated and the brakes properly adjusted. give the entire water system a good clorine treatment prior to use. When hooking up to RV park water systems, have a pressurre regulator connected on the upstream end of your hose.
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