Sunline RV Forum
Sunline User Photos

Go Back   Sunline Coach Owner's Club > Sunline Club Community Forums > Sunline Community
Click Here to Login

Join Sunline Club Forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-13-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Posts: 7
SUN #5249
Harlie is an unknown quantity at this point
Sunline Company History

Hi all,
I'm interested in the history of Sunline Company. If anyone has any info to forward, that would be great. Thanks, harlie
__________________

__________________
Harlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
jim44646's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,003
SUN #4040
jim44646 is an unknown quantity at this point
You sure opened a can of worms. Sunline Fan is our historian. You send him your Vin # and he can tell you where, when and what plant and probably what day your coach was made. He even told me what color schem the interior of my trailer. He keeps records of who own what.
http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f1...ins-10948.html
__________________

__________________
Jim and DW Darlene
2001 T-2553 Sunline Solaris
2006 GMC Sierra Duramax 2500HD 4X4
Firestone Transforce AT tires
Reese Dual Cam Sway Control
jim44646 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 10:54 AM   #3
Moderator
 
Sunline Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,977
SUN #123
Sunline Fan is an unknown quantity at this point
Harlie, yes you did open a can of worms... I do have your info, but I haven't had a chance to input it yet- was busy last night, finally sat down in front of the computer, and then fell asleep in front of it!

I will try to get to it this weekend. In the meantime, can you give me an idea of what kind of history you're looking for? Company history, history on your coach, history on 2007 model year, etc.?
__________________
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
Sunline Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Posts: 7
SUN #5249
Harlie is an unknown quantity at this point
I'm interested in the company history as well as info you might have regarding my trailer. Thanks so much, Harlie
__________________
Harlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 05:35 PM   #5
Moderator
 
EMD_Driver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,039
SUN #897
EMD_Driver is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via MSN to EMD_Driver Send a message via Yahoo to EMD_Driver
If you get a chance, you should buy a copy of the factory video.. Pretty cool!
__________________
Gary
SunlineClub Custom Google Search

2007 Peterson Excel Limited 30RKE
2014 Ford F350XLT SRW Crew Cab, Long bed 6.7PSD

EMD_Driver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Ham Radio Op's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 129
SUN #3415
Ham Radio Op is an unknown quantity at this point
Hi Harlie,

Welcome to the Sunline Owners Club. Like you, many of us are interested in the company. My wife Nancy, and I, were fortunate enough to have a tour of the factory at Denver, PA. I didn't know anything about a factory video that Gary mentioned. I would like to get a copy of the video if it's still available. If Gary would PM me with information I would appreciate it. Thanks Gary and again Welcome Harlie. Paul
__________________
Paul and Nancy

1992 T-2251 - Our first Sunline
2007 T-2553 - Our second Sunline
2008 Chevrolet Silverado LT
Ham Radio Op is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: California
Posts: 7
SUN #5249
Harlie is an unknown quantity at this point
Paul, Nancy and Gary,
Thanks so much for the info. I'm enjoying the owners group as this is the first time I have had any contact with other Sunline Owners. I would also love to buy a factory video. Thanks so much for getting back to me. Harlie
__________________
Harlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-15-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
Moderator
 
JohnB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 9,914
SUN #89
JohnB is on a distinguished road
Hi Harley,

I moved your post out of the FAQ forum over here to the Community forum for better viewing.

To help answer your question on Sunline history, there is a 1 pager on Sunline History that shows up in the newer camper manuals.

This link will take you to where you can download a 2005 Sunline manual. See page 3 for the "The Sunline Story" This will help fill in from the beginning up to the the 35th anniversary in 2005. It does not include the sad events that occurred up to November 2006 when the business stopped.

Note: This manual is a 3.4 meg download, you will get the entire manual

Sunline Coach Owner's Club - Sunline Owner's Files - 2005 Sunline Owners Booklet

Hope this helps

John
__________________
Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499
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

Google Custom Search For Sunline Owners Club
JohnB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 10:30 AM   #9
Moderator
 
Sunline Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 5,977
SUN #123
Sunline Fan is an unknown quantity at this point
Hi Harlie,

I haven't forgotten about you, just been really busy. M&G coming up, work, life, all getting in the way. Attempted again to write this last night and fell asleep in front of the computer. So since I have a few free moments here, I'll type what comes off my mind. If anyone reads the below info and finds anything wrong, please question as I'm going completely off memory.

Sunline was started by two guys, I believe they were cousins, Wayne Weaver and Lewis (Lou) Martin. The two of them were building garden storage sheds in the early '60s and decided to build a camper in their garage, I believe near Akron, PA. They decided to build a pickup camper in late 1964 for Wayne's planned honeymoon trip in early 1965. They built the camper and it worked out so well that they decided to build a few more.

They sold the campers locally and kept doing that for a few years. I never got true confirmation as to when, but they started building travel trailers and fifth wheels around 1970/71 to expand. Granted, they were still only building maybe 200 units a year, at most, and that's probably overstated. They continued building truck campers, truck caps, trailers, and fifth wheels until 1975 when the company was partially sold/new management brought in. At the time, Shasta trailers had a large plant in nearby Leola that Shasta shut down in consolidation. Sunline picked up a bunch of Shasta management to help them grow the company. 1976 was a larger year for production, and by 1978, they probably built more units than the rest of the years combined. They also added the mini-motorhomes to the line up too. John Zimmerman I believe was the president from 1975-1989, though the Martin family continued to stay very involved through the end.

Throughout the early '80s, Sunline focused on lightweight units built with excellent quality, and gained a reputation for such. They were primarily sold on the east coast, mainly New England and PA. They expanded to many more floorplans in 1983 to really give the customers a lot of choices.

I believe 1989 brought W. Larry Lawrence as the new president, though little change happened. In terms of appearance, Sunlines went from an off white color to tan in 1983, and then to gray in 1990. The gray only lasted through 1991 when they went to the bright polar white in 1992. In the early '90s, Sunline started focusing on adding amenities to add value to the trailers, which did result in a price increase. I personally think for the price, the mid '90s Sunlines were an excellent value for the product. Sunline did realize they were cutting out part of their original target market, so they introduced a line of 'affordable' trailers in the late '80s. These were never all that popular and Sunline tried to revive that theory many times, failing at each one.

Sunline built their last truck camper in 1994 as the market was saturated and people wanted bigger units, aka trailers. No more gas shortage.

Sunline first introduced the slide out on the 1995 line of fifth wheels. These were carried over into the entry level line of Saturn travel trailers for 1996, when the fifth wheels were discontinued. Sunline only built travel trailers from 1997-2002.

The first website came about in 1997.

The 50,000th Sunline was built I believe in August 1999, and I think was a 2000 T-2475.

I believe 2000 brought Larry Lawrence's retirement and Dale Zimmerman (son of John Zimmerman) came in. The 35th anniversary was a big celebration too, with many awards and celebrations.

Fifth wheels were introduced again in 2002, but proved too luxurious and too large for most of the New England customers, so they didn't sell. They had MSRP's north of $50k.

The Martin family and whoever else had a stake in it decided to sell to a group of outside investors in February 2004. Dale Zimmerman remained on the new board, but he wasn't alone. Joe Bucara, and I forget some of the others, were fellow board members and investors. They wanted to change it up some, as most investors do.

2005 brought the 40th anniversary and relatively few changes from past years. Some special anniversary things, but generally status quo. It did bring the Tran-sport toy hauler, which was a unique idea, but it didn't quite match up with the needs of the overwhelming majority of toy hauler buyers.

They really scaled back floorplans and options for 2006, as well as brought in an interior designer, a Sunline first. The trailers went to a whole new level of luxury with leather upholstery and LED lighting options. 2007 also brought the addition of standard cherry wood inside (though the maple was still optional), as well as the new, modern Que. 2007 production totaled less than 1000 units, which is small compared to most later years were around 2000 units. The 2007 model year was also started early, so it had about 10 solid months of production, which is close to a full model year.

Due to declining sales, poor marketing (trying to sell their new market trailers in the wrong target market), increasing costs, and a potentially large liability, the investors decided to liquidate Sunline. The intangible assets were 'sold' to Sunline Acquisition Company while the rest of Sunline Coach was auctioned off. The last I knew, what was left of Sunline Acquisition Company tried to sell the product lines with all documentation necessary for a few hundred grand each, or like a million and a half for the lot. Of course due to the downturn in the economy and panic in the RV industry as many started falling, it's no surprise that it didn't sell.

What exists of Sunline Acquisition Company today, I don't know.

In the end, about 65,000 Sunlines were built. I never got an exact total other than for a few certain product lines.
__________________
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
Sunline Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #10
Moderator
 
Tweety's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,262
SUN #128
Tweety
Today Martin Construction resides in the building. There is a field next to that building where the Sunlines sat before being shipped off to the dealers. You can still see the rows where the trailers sat, but each year they get less pronounced
__________________

__________________
Pam
Lance 1475 "Snoopy"
2012 GMC Sierra 3500HD 4x4 D/A
2012 Arctic Fox 30U, SUNLINES - 2006 2753 "Tweety", 2007 QUE "QUEtSE", 2364, 1660
Tweety is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Here's a bit of history... OPIE Modifications 2 06-14-2011 08:40 PM
SUNLINE COACH COMPANY AUCTION Sunline Fan Sunline Community 36 05-08-2007 09:27 AM
Sunline Coach Company Store Sunline Fan Sunline Community 3 02-16-2007 04:54 PM



Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sunline RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:29 PM.