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Old 03-26-2011, 08:01 AM   #1
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We Had To Do It. Alumni Members Now.

I know it's been quite awhile since I've posted. It's been a very hectic Winter season at work...60+ hour weeks. (I'm not complaining about the work though.) The coach last left the driveway for camping the first week of September .
Well the Sunny left the driveway for the last time two weeks ago. We traded her in on a SOB. The fiver held it's value really well to this point, so I had to trade her while I could still break even. The breaking point was the dreaded slide floor rot...which was pretty bad in the dinette area. So we had to make the difficult choice. I couldn't make the repair myself, and the estimates on getting it repaired almost sent me to the hospital. We traded our beloved third Sunline in on a Forest River Sandpiper, 37' triple slide.
We still look forward to remaining members of the Sunline Owners Club, and attending the M&G in June.
Lowell
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #2
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It is sad to say but someday "most of us" will have to face the same decision!!!!

Glad you still look forward to remaining members.....some people think no Sunline no membership.....but you have been around long enough to know that ain't so!!!!!!

Much happiness and memory making in your new Sandpiper.....sure is a BIG unit!!!!
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
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Lowell and Amanda

Congrats on your new camper! New campers are always cool times!

And.... we need pics'!!! You know us way to well by now.....

Triple slide, H'mm bed slide, table and chairs slide and the 3rd? Is it a kitchen slide or a double chair slide?

"When" we meet up in a CG again we can redo your pin weight. See who is heavier, Sunny or Sandy? Though Sunny didn't have the bed slide, I think, so Sandy is maybe some 500# up on her already.....

The slide floor rot... Yes we know it well..... Out of curiosity if you do not mind stating what range repair costs did they give you? Trailblazers floor was done by the dealer before he took ownership and on mine I only paid the materials so have no good clue what a charge to repair could be. If shop rates are $85 to $100 and they spent the hours I did, well..... if it was 2 guys 2 to 3 days that is $3200 to $4800 = ouch and that is no materials.

Happy Camping and looking forward to the pic's!

John
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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Congratulations

Well, eventually I think we will all be in the same position. Unless we manage to keep our Sunnies alive & well with a lot of repairs & maintenance. It becomes a choice of spending wads of $$$ to fix/repair an older rig OR bite the bullet and change to another brand I see JohnB as the one most likely to "rebuild" his in place of getting rid of it.

Gary & I talk once in a while about "when" Sunny might have to be replaced and what would we choose. We said we'd be looking for used Excels. I have also been looking at/reading about New Horizons. I don't see us ever buying brand new.

Now,
"TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW RIG INCLUDING MODEL # and PICTURES"
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:19 AM   #5
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Congrats on the new rig!

As others have said, one day we will all be in the same position of deciding when it is time to replace our Sunny's. As John said we were lucky enough to get our slide floor replaced by the dealer prior to taking ownership. I can't imagine what it would of cost if we ahd to have paid for it ourselves.

Last August, we visited Elkhart Indiana and toured the Forest River Plant, the Jayco Plant and the Heartland Plant. After doing all three tours and comparing them to the Sunline tour I did years ago, I can tell you I was very impressed with the Forest River tour. At Forest River, there was Quality Control inspections at every 3rd station and repairs done immediately if anything was found. There was a major inspection near the end of the line where they went over every rig with a fine tooth comb. Any items found required correction prior to the unit being allowed to move on. In addition at the end of the line each unit has it's water lines tested, the propane lines tested, the electric tested and then each unit was pressure checked for leaks. The rig was then weighted on a scale and the weight printed on the VIN sticker before the unit left the plant. This level of inspection was not seen at either the Jayco or the Heartland plant where they claimed they only inspected one unit out of every 50 to 75 units.

I am sure you are going to have many happy years of camping with the Sandpiper and I look forward to seeing it in person.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:40 PM   #6
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Lowell, Amanda......

Welcome into the Alumni Chapter. Clearly, no sales pitch necessary.


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Old 03-26-2011, 02:24 PM   #7
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Hey, we are members and Alumni members. We bought our 2006 then sold our 1998.

I believe if we take really good care of our 276SR we will never have to get another. We built a large garage to store it inside and we are hoping it will last longer than we do. No reason it shouldn't.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:46 PM   #8
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Uhhhh...slide floor rot? Is this a disease known only to campers with slide out sections or does one, one day walk in the front door of any camper and slide to the other end. Sorry for my ignorance...I do not jest, and am sorry for anybody who encounters any condition that causes them to have to part with their camper!
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Uhhhh...slide floor rot? Is this a disease known only to campers with slide out sections or does one, one day walk in the front door of any camper and slide to the other end. Sorry for my ignorance...I do not jest, and am sorry for anybody who encounters any condition that causes them to have to part with their camper!
Hi Drake

I did get a chuckle from your post, not at you just the words we have used that can get taken the wrong way

While some folks have had camper floor rot.... and at least one here on the club has replaced his entire floor in the camper, see here for Bob's saga. Floor Repair part 2 Slide floor rot is only refereed to on TT's with a slide out unit.

Slide floor rot is common in the RV industry, Sunline was not unique to this. They where however one of the 1st ones to change the way slides where made to eliminate the problem. In the tail end of the 2004 model year they changed the slide floor construction to not have Darco vapor barrier on the bottom of the slide floor. The issue was not so much the Darco but the way the floor was mounted. They drilled holes thru the Darco to mount the floor. In doing so that hole, if the raining conditions where just right, and you luck not good.... water could wick under the slide, find that screw head hole and wick in up under the Darco.

Well once water went in there the Darco would not let it come out. So it would fester, and fester and then poof, the floor has a soft spot that destroys the glue that holds the OBS board together. I went to the RV show this month and there are still many brands that build the slide floor that same way with the same holes in the same place just waiting for that right combination to get infected. And just because you have one of the older Sunlines made this way does not mean water has come in yet. It is truly random luck it can happen. The conditions have to be right. If any one has a 2004 or older model, they should plug those holes up now if the floor is not yet infected. If it is then now is the time to fix it before it keeps spreading.

See here for my saga and the fix. I never knew I had it until I went looking one day after talking with a fellow Sunliner on theirs. Mine was infected when I bought it used. I just was not educated enough to know where to look then. No one on the club here yet reported it happening at that time in 2007.

Slide Floor Water Damage

John
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:26 PM   #10
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John.....Oh My!!! What a mess. Whenever I think I'd like to have more room in my old solid sided Seville...I'll just remember that picture of you with the ice pic through the Darco!!!!
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:39 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the well wishes from everyone on the new coach. We hope it will bring us years of faithful service, and if not...they make more everyday.
I did some research before we bought and we had decided that we couldn't afford a KZ Durango, SunnyBrook, or a Titanium by the late Glendale RV, so I started looking at some of the more reasonably priced units. We looked at some Keystone products (Cougar, Mountaineer, and Montana), and some Thor stuff (Cardinal, and Crossroads), but couldn't find anything we really liked. BTW, I think the Montana line is really over-hyped. So we started looking at Forest River. After I waded through the reviews written by clearly angry authors, I thought that FR seems to make a decent unit. I figured that since they are the largest (or second largest) maker of RVs in the country that I would find a fair share of bad reviews. The floor plan fit the bill, so we took the bait. Rear LR, center kitchen with entertainment center, fridge, stove, sink, in rear slide. Dinette and sofa front slide. And the bed slide up top. Oh, its a 2007 Sandpiper 335RLT.

John, I did scale the rig on the way home from the dealer and I got the following results.
Steer Axle 4,540
Drive Axle 5,500
Trailer Axle 8,080
Gross Weight 18,120
Thats an empty trailer, with full propane, battery, full truck tank, driver, passenger, and the two dogs.

Now the results of the Sunny, 7-19-2009 on the way home from the M&G.
Steer Axle 4,880
Drive Axle 6,040
Trailer Axle 8,920
Gross Weight 19,840
Thats trailer with camping stuff, half full propane, battery, no water, half tank of truck fuel, driver, passenger, and the two dogs.

Im not sure why, but with the Sunny I got a lot of chucking. So far I'm not getting near as much with this coach. Do you think it may have been the massive pin weight of the Sunny that was causing that? Or maybe the placement of the trailer axles?

I just tried to upload some pictures, but it's not working. I just get the please wait uploading files forever. I'll try again shortly.

Lowell
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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I think it worked this time.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:00 AM   #13
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Lowell

Wow, very nice

Thanks for sharing and enjoy your new camper.

John
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCampers View Post

Im not sure why, but with the Sunny I got a lot of chucking. So far I'm not getting near as much with this coach. Do you think it may have been the massive pin weight of the Sunny that was causing that? Or maybe the placement of the trailer axles?

Lowell
Lowell

I'm not a 5th wheel hitch guy, "yet" anyway.... EMD_Driver, Traillblazer and Ihsolutions may be able to shed some words of wisdom.

A thought might be your not fully loaded. I'm assuming you are still using the same Reese hitch you had with the Sunny? Or the fact that you now have 2 heavy slides in the rear where Sunny only had 1 changing the weight dynamics.

And or is the pin box the same on Sandy as it was on Sunny?

I'll sit back and learn from the 5er guys on this one.

Thanks

John
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Old 03-27-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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When I had my Sunline 5'er, I had quite a bit of chucking also. It had a relatively high pin weight (as a percentage) especially considering the length.

Now my newer 39' fiver has a slightly lower pin weight (in absolute terms) and much lower as a percentage. When I first brought it home from the factory the chucking was really bad. Then, once I put my stuff in it went away almost completely. We're not talking about a ton of weight difference, but what I have noticed is, small differences equal big change in ride, especially on a longer fifth wheel.

The biggest reduction in chucking came when I installed ride-rite airbags to level out the truck. They absorb much of the chucking and do a lot to eliminate the harmonic bouncing that can occur, especially on local highways like I-75!

I have considered going to an air-ride pin box to further improve the ride, but I'm not sure it's really necessary for me right now, especially given their cost.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCampers View Post

Im not sure why, but with the Sunny I got a lot of chucking. So far I'm not getting near as much with this coach. Do you think it may have been the massive pin weight of the Sunny that was causing that? Or maybe the placement of the trailer axles?

Lowell
Hey there Lowell,

Our Sunny had a lot of chucking, until I put the 5th airborne pin box on it. With the 5th airborne, the chucking is now almost gone. I'm not sure how much of a difference this makes, but the new pinbox has Sunny riding nose-high now. Not too much, but it is noticeable.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #17
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especially on local highways like I-75
We always say "You can tell when you've reached the MI/OH line with your eyes closed"
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:32 PM   #18
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Lowell, Very nice looking unit! Congrats.

With regard to the chucking, I did notice some when I first brought the 5'ver home. However, after the first tow, I had the Air Lift 5000 wireless air bag system installed on the truck to help level out the truck when towing. With this system installed I noticed very little chucking. Like ihsolutions, I suspect the air bags are absorbing most of the chucking. I was originally considering adding the 5th Air borne pin box, but have decided to wait for another season of towing before deciding whether or not I still need it or not.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #19
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Lowell & Amanda

Very nice unit, congratulations.
Can't wait to see it at Buttonwood.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:06 PM   #20
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Lowell:

Call me the next time you're ready to back that big boy into your yard. I've got to see how you accomplish that feat. If you open the slides, it will fill your entire yard! Seriously, you have a beautiful trailer; can't wait to see it in person.
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