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Old 07-02-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
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ihsolutions
Picked up the Fiver (long)

I just got back from a very long trip to pick up my new Sunline 5th wheel, 800 miles away in Vermont.

The trip was a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, I'm amazed at the size of the coach I got for the money. On the other hand, I miss the simplicity (and low maintenance) of my old coach and am stressed out about a few minor issues with the new one.

I arrived 4PM on Monday to look the unit over before committing to the purchase. They had it in their service bay which was not well lit, so things looked good initially. I noticed a few fit-and-finish issues which I pointed out to them, and they said they would look at.

After a raining night tent camping I was ready to pick up my new trailer the next day! I packed up and arrived at the dealer at 8AM. Since this is a small, family owned dealer with no showroom or lobby to speak of, I was placed into a nice $200k motorhome with full hookups, where I was free to work and nap, or whatever. Very nice! I told them, that it was a bad strategy as I would not be able to "downgrade" at the end of the day to the Sunline.

The techs installed a Superglide 18k hitch with superrails and did a terrific job. Very skilled guys. Meanwhile a cleaning person was working on the coach along with another tech who was doing something around the kingpin and miscellaneous other touch-ups, caulking, etc. This is a 5-year old coach now so it needed some caulk around some of the storage compartments, etc. They also had to re-configure some wiring for the big couch/dinette slide, which had some 50' extra wire, causing the slide not to clear the initial lift required to start moving inwards.

This dealer did not have a good "PDI" process despite my insistence that I intended to go through it very carefully and test all the systems. It was near closing time by the point they had everything ready, so I simply stayed at a campground down the street so that I could test everything, and bring it back the next morning.

While at the campground I noticed a very, very small leak in the bedroom slide (which is only a closet). All the other systems seemed perfect. Several other fit-and-finish things were also noted, but the main thing was I wanted that leak fixed.

The next morning they addressed the leak, and reinforced the bottom portion of the slides with angled aluminum bracket (an excellent fix, and I will post pics soon).

On the way home, it was raining like heck, and when I pulled over to a rest area I noticed water on the floor. AAAHHH!! After freaking out initially, I determined it was coming from the kitchen slide near the floor, and stuffed some towels under there to absorb any water coming in. Later that night, those towels were quite wet. No permanent damage appears to have occurred.

To make a long story short, I found out that the foam strips were missing from the slideout stops on two of the three slides, permitting water to enter quite easily. Tomorow, I have a trip to the RV store to pick up new foam strips and a ton of other stuff I need. I'm not willing to trust the adhesive backing to the foam strips, so if there is a better way I'm all ears. I'm thinking self-tapping screws with big washers, hollowed out into the foam so as not to make contact with the aluminum bar that it would hit when sliding in.

In short, I love the trailer, just not the headaches (so far) and miss the simplicity of my T-2570 that was a maintenance dream. Three slideouts creates tons of living area, but tons of maintenance and potential problems. I will have to learn to live with that trade-off.

Tomorrow we are doing bunches of maintenance and hopefully waxing. If so, I will post pics when finished.

Jeff
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:45 PM   #2
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That's a real bummer but in time you'll get it all taken care of. I'm looking forward to pics of your new rig.

We've decided we'll never own a trailer with slides. Too many things that can go wrong. Too many place to leak, jam and collect leaves. There's only the two of us so anything over 20' without slides would be superfluous, wasted space. At most we'll get a small lap dog like a Pomeranian. My husband likes the little Sunline because it's small and easy to handle and fits anywhere.

When camping, we're hardly ever inside. Most of our trips will be local. We're heading for Land-Between-The-Lakes next Tue to get that senior type pass to save us money in COE, State and federal CGs. We'll be staying there a few nights.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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Hi and congrads!! on the new 5th wheel , dont let the little things get you down try and look at the big picture of when you have all the projects and modifacations done you will have a very nice rig! I now sometimes when you have a lot on your plate it can seem over whelming but just take it one project at a time good luck and happy camping.. Dan
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ihsolutions

Snip

To make a long story short, I found out that the foam strips were missing from the slideout stops on two of the three slides, permitting water to enter quite easily. Tomorow, I have a trip to the RV store to pick up new foam strips and a ton of other stuff I need. I'm not willing to trust the adhesive backing to the foam strips, so if there is a better way I'm all ears. I'm thinking self-tapping screws with big washers, hollowed out into the foam so as not to make contact with the aluminum bar that it would hit when sliding in.

In short, I love the trailer, just not the headaches (so far) and miss the simplicity of my T-2570 that was a maintenance dream. Three slideouts creates tons of living area, but tons of maintenance and potential problems. I will have to learn to live with that trade-off.

Tomorrow we are doing bunches of maintenance and hopefully waxing. If so, I will post pics when finished.

Jeff

Hi Jeff

First congrats on getting you new coach!!!

I also feel for you and your travels. When we acquired our T310SR it was 500 miles away and a once only trip. I knew I would not return with my camper to that dealer to do much of anything. But I knew that when we bought it and that specific floor plan and camper was what we where after. There are only 3, T310SR’s that I know made. There may be more, but there are not many.

Which is now just like your new 5’er. There are not many of your floor plan out there. You may have one of only a few if that. So if you love your floor plan like we do ours, anything else on the coach is fixable. We too wresteeld with slide or no slide, but after having one, the small amount of maintenane is not much compared to the gain of having one.

I know what you mean about going from the smaller camper to the larger camper. While I did not have such a large jump as you, it was still an adjustment. In our case we had (still do on the camper….) a T2499 towed with a K2500 Suburban and even rear wheel steering no less. GM called it Quadrasteer, and it was sliced bread for towing. Could put that camper just about anywhere. Then the new camper came and soon a new TV. Well the learning curve started all over….. Now again I have mastered how to put it where I want it, just have to be a little more selective. Just keep this in mind, drive at least 8 feet past the campsite, then start backing up…. It helps....

We just came back from 4 days camping over the 4th, truly enjoying our camper and confirming once again we made the right choice. In fact I can’t get DW to even want to go back to camping in the smaller camper…..

This past fall I had to replace 2 axles and redo the entire axle alignment. The axle manf messed up and built 2 axles wrong from day one then compounded by the frame manf who welded the spring hangers on out of location Sunline just assembled the system to wrong made components. The end result was the setup was burning up tires at an alarming rate…. Fortunately for the money side of things I have a shop at the house where I can do all my own repairs and only have to buy parts or materials. Sunline built everything on top of the frame and I know I have something sound to start with.

Hang in there, there will be a learning curve going from the smaller camper to the larger one, but after a few months and being out with it several times you will settle into being as comfortable as you where with the little camper and then some.

As far as repairs, if you are hands on, then the rest will come and we here on Sunline Club can help at least be a sounding board. We even have camper reconstruction artists... Both VCRT and Frank have even created moon roofs..... (campers open to the outside world....) while doing repairs and then put them back together.

Which leads me to your rubber seals. They where missing????? Well, if they are not there your right, odds are they where missed from day one. If Sunline was still here I’m sure they would help as I’m sure they would of helped me with my axles in some capacity at least. So now to the SOC support group…

You mentioned using screws all around, heads up on that. Here is something to think thru. On mine Sunline did use 4 screws in the entire slide seal for the outside. And they looked like there where strategically located. One in each corner. Top left and right and lower left and right at the ends. I’m “assuming” they where there to hold location until the adhesive cured.

However there are issues with that even. See here. Mine are wearing into the outer alum flange from road vibration. The heads wore thru the rubber long ago at the screw heads. Fortunately I only have 4 of them to deal with.

Here is the rear lower one. The screw head. Put in on an angle, must have been when the slide was not yet installed.


And the alum flange that mates with it.


Now a worse one. Top front corner


And the alum flange. This one has the most aggressive wear.


I’m going to have to do something about that long term, but have not yet decided what just yet. Since my adhesive has already set, I might just try and take those top 2 screws out and squirt Dicor in the screw holes to seal that hole. Almost any metal head between the camper side frame and the outer slide flange will I’m sure over time wear thru.

In my case my side uses prop rods inside between the interior wall and the slide interior flange when the slide is in while traveling down the road. This keeps the top of that big slide from wiggling and tipping out while traveling. See here





Does yours have prop rods? Mine is a 2004 model and in 2005 they seemed to not use the prop rods any more. I know PTHutch here on the forum does not have them on his and I looked under his couch and really could not see if his slide drive system was made any different. And it really was not in the Lippert slide drive from a quick look anyway. The slide itself is a little different but the slide drive and roller rails looked the same, yet his has no prop rods.

Reason for talking about the prop rods is on mine that extra holding strength on the top will hold the slide against the camper better and as such the screw heads can work on those seals more and the alum slide flange. I still prop rods add value but it is something that mine has that others do not.

If your post was about 2 plus weeks sooner, I could of looked at the Buttonwood M & G for you as there many Sunlines with slides there and how they fastened the seals. And if they had any screw head wear.

I also noticed this on mine in the top corners Sunline used caulk around the seal and the camper in the corner. Assuming to better help seal it. See here


Another question, does yours have the seals on the inside which seal the slide to the camper when it is extended out? It is really odd Sunline missed your seals but anything is possible as you have it.

Hope this helps and let us know how you make out.

John
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #5
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ihsolutions
JohnB,

First, thank you for taking the time to respond to my post with such detail (not to mention pictures). I have now been working on my Sunline for 5 straight days, encountering problems that I have never imagined.

First, by the time I got home the tires were all ready to explode due to dry rot that magically magnified during the course of my trip. Nothing that $430 at the tire store didn't fix. I also noticed a small tear in the black vapor barrier in the driver's side wheel well, where the large slideout is. Because I drove the entire way home in the rain, MUCH water had gotten in there. I had to remove about 13 feet of vapor barrier (can you say "bad design"?), dried everything out, and installed aluminum roof flashing (about 9" wide) attached to the i-beam with self tapping screws with rubber washers. On the top, I attached to the bond/lentil with galvanized screws through Dicor and 1" aluminum strip, with RV butyl tape behind. It came out fantastic, but took an entire day and annoys the *&#(*#& out of me that it was ever built this way in the first place. Pics to follow in a separate post of the whole job.

To answer your question, I was only missing the 1" thick foam strip that has a sticky backing that attaches to the metal along the BOTTOM of the slideout... to prevent tire water from entering the coach along the floor. It came on the coach (as evidenced by the remaining adhesive) but had come off some time ago.

We're leaving for a 5 night trip tomorrow (hence my urgency and frustration with all these "repairs" on a new camper). I hope you are right about getting settled in with this thing. As of this moment I would be more than happy for someone to take it off my hands for what I have invested.

When we get back I will post a great many pics (probably in separate threads as it relates to the repairs). Thanks again for your thoughts.

Jeff

P.S. I did find one "prop rod" in the bathroom that fit the bedroom slideout perfectly. I had been wondering what the &*#&$ that could have been, and I'll sleep well tonight now that I know the answer!
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:59 AM   #6
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Jeff I feel your frustrations I went through the same thing with water leaks on a brand new camper,my recommendation and what I did to fix the slide is get some weatherstripping for a car or truck that goes around the door opening then up under the slide install it the whole length on the edge of the aluminum angle under the slide.If you want pics of mine let me know and I will gladly snap a few for you.I hate to say this but the slide setups on these sunlines is a poor design and I had all kinds of problems with mine and finally got all the issues straightened out.hang in there we will get you in tip top shape
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:15 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by rich2500

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,my recommendation and what I did to fix the slide is get some weatherstripping for a car or truck that goes around the door opening then up under the slide install it the whole length on the edge of the aluminum angle under the slide.If you want pics of mine let me know and I will gladly snap a few for you.
Rich

I do not have any leaks "yet" but always open to learn from others and "prevent" before it happens. Any pics, greatly appreciated.

Thanks

John
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:18 PM   #8
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here is the rubber seal I added because the aluminum angle is bowed(you can see in the pic) and did not seal
[/img]
here you can see how it now seals tight by the compression of the factory seal
[/img]
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #9
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Rich

Thanks for the pic. Now I understand. I'll check mine this weekend.

John
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