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Old 08-17-2016, 08:58 PM   #1
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If Only I Had Checked the Roof and Windows!

We bought a 1996 Sunline Solaris 2670 new from the dealer. We loved it and took our 3 youngest children on many wonderful camping trips. It was perfect for our family! As the children grew up and we acquired more responsibilities--we used it less. But now with grandchildren, we would like to start camping again. We took very good care of the interior--every thing works and had been in great condition. But, now since it has been sitting a couple of years without the roof being checked--it has developed leaks. This damage is more than I can fix but I hate to just junk this family friend. It is has many usable parts--the sofa bed, dinette, etc., are all in great condition. I guess if someone had the skill it could be fixed? What do you experienced Sunline owners think can be done with our travel trailer?
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:04 AM   #2
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Water-something that enhances our camping experience (indoor running water, toilets etc.) but at the same time can spell destruction of our campers.

I have a fair amount of experience with water damage, most recently the replacement of some (up until recently), perfectly good flooring under the bathroom cabinet because of a leak at the sink connection. It only took leaks that occurred during a few weekend camping trips to necessitate this work.
Since your camper has been leaking possibly for years, it all depends on either your enthusiasm, energy and time to do the work yourself, or money to pay someone else to do it.

Sunline, and I suspect many other RV manufacturers, did not use the best materials nor the best techniques to prevent water from being trapped and causing mold and rot in places that are often downright inaccessible. Fail to replace the affected materials and you will be overwhelmed with the strong odor of mildew every time you open the door to walk in. Not something I want to put up with.

So, consider the extent of the damage, triple your time estimate to fix it and make your decision.
And if you decide to do it yourself, search this forum and ask plenty of questions if you need help.
Rich
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:39 AM   #3
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Rich,
First, I would like to thank you for your reply and the realistic advice. I have done many rebuilds of mobile homes and know how they can grow.

My wife and I have an emotional attachment to the trailer, but we know it is now time to cut ties with our old friend. Would it be possible to sell the camper for a nominal amount to someone who would fix it or sell it for parts?

We have found other Sunline Trailers (2653,2553) for under $8,000 that are in good condition. At my age (69), buying a replacement trailer is the best direction to go. Any advice as to what Sunline trailer we should purchase would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Vince
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Old 08-18-2016, 08:59 AM   #4
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Sounds like the best way to go although I do know how attached one can become to an old friend like a camper, old cars, houses etc.

I'm sure there is someone who, for the right price will buy your camper.
As far as which to buy now, that depends on you requirements, what's out there for sale and how soon you'll need it.
Good hunting!
Rich
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:29 AM   #5
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We had a '99 T-2453 that we dearly loved. We bought it new and cherished it for 11 seasons, finally trading it for the Cougar. When we let it go, the only issues were the peeling decals, and a tiny crack in the skin above the front entry door which was securely patched with vinyl tape. And the front carpet was beginning to show its age. I had made many improvements and upgrades over the years, and who ever purchased that 2453 after us got one heck of a great camper.

The T-2453 especially appealed to us because of the flip down couch, swing away dining table, and swivel rocker. The center queen bed in the rear was a big factor, too. (They also offered it with two single beds and a center aisle in the rear.) The 2453 was a 5,500# GVWR trailer and was a mirror image (front to back) of the 2499's. But the 2499's were a 7,000# GVWR trailer with tongue weights over 1,000# which back then greatly affected choice of tow vehicle. With today's tow ratings on 1/2 ton trucks, it's not nearly as much of a concern, but close attention has to be paid to the tongue weight.

Truth to tell, I would be perfectly happy to still have that rig today. Don't let Mama know that. She's totally fixated on the Cougar.

Most any of the Sunlines in the mid-20' size will work well for an empty-nest couple except maybe the bunk house ones. My advice is to shop condition first, especially given your experience with the '96. Then floor plan and towing issues, followed by price.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:05 AM   #6
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Steve,
Thank you for your reply! Your four step process is excellent advice for purchasing a travel trailer. I like the T-2453 size and floor plan but my wife wants a full dinette.

Our T-2670 bunk house was too long for my liking--which is the appeal of a T2453. I like all the floor plans with a pass through bath and two entry doors. The extra door is a great safety feature.

But first things first, I have to make room and move out the old. In the meantime, I am looking to see what is out there for sale.

Vince
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:30 PM   #7
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One word of advice. I've said it before but it gets lost in the archives. Get a moisture meter. Not just for looking for a new TT but to monitor what's going on in the walls and under the carpeting and vinyl. A small investment for what can be a major problem.

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Old 08-18-2016, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim44646 View Post
One word of advice. I've said it before but it gets lost in the archives. Get a moisture meter. Not just for looking for a new TT but to monitor what's going on in the walls and under the carpeting and vinyl. A small investment for what can be a major problem.

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x2 on that! I use mine more than I thought I would have.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:02 PM   #9
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It's a tool you don't realize you need till you have one

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Old 08-18-2016, 04:29 PM   #10
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It sounds like you know what to look for, which is good. While your '96 may have some issues, I fear that many other Sunlines you look at will have many of the same issues, to some extent. Hopefully you're able to find a good one.

Yes, there are definitely people out there who would buy it as a project trailer. I've seen much worse be sold on Craiglist, including some pretty terrible repair jobs.

Unless you are really wanting to explore a different floorplan, I'd look at having your current one fixed. For the little bit you could sell your '96 for (say, maybe $1000), and then go spend $7000 more on a new trailer, you could pay someone to do an awful lot of repairs to the '96 for $7000.

I'd suggest visiting a local RV dealer and see if they recommend someone who works on these things on the side. It's a lot of work, and to put a tech on it for that long is a rare thing for a dealer to commit to. So they might have someone who does side work at their house and can replace roofs, fix rotted wood, etc. No Sunline ages well when left unattended, but I think yours is in one of the best eras of quality for Sunline.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:45 PM   #11
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Jon's comments make a lot of sense and he knows Sunlines!
If you have any intentions to keep and fix your old camper, consider posting some pictures of the damage for some more input on this.
Rich
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:27 PM   #12
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Thank you for advice about the moisture meter! I will definitely be buying a moisture meter before I look at any used trailer.

I had wanted to go a bit smaller than the T-2670 now that I am older and the kids are grown. The grandchildren will be going from time to time but we no longer need a trailer that sleeps 8 with bunk beds. So between the damage that has occurred and the fact that I want to tow something a bit smaller--it makes sense to try to sell it and buy another trailer that sleeps 6.

If I do decide to rehab it--I will be posting photos.

I really appreciate all of the information that I am receiving from this forum!

Vince
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:00 AM   #13
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When looking at other trailers just don't look inside. I take a fold up ladder with me to to take a good look at roof and all the seams. I crawl underneath and look at tanks and plumbing all the while using the moisture meter.

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Old 08-19-2016, 05:57 AM   #14
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The moisture meter I have is a General brand (don't have the model # as I write but I can get it) with a pad on the back that can be slid over a surface. It reads to a depth of 3/4". I've never used the pin type (and I don't think a seller would appreciate having his walls punctured while you inspect his camper).

The pad type will give "false" readings when it encounters any metal, so as your moving across a wall or floor and you pass over a nail, screw, staple, it will read high. Moisture will show up over a wider area, so a spike in "moisture" may only be metal under the surface in a small area.

A very helpful method, besides the meter is a good nose. In other words, I think most people can smell mildew and will immediately react when walking into a camper but I suppose there are those to whom this odor will go undetected. If that's you, then you might want to enlist the help of a friend who can smell it.

Rich
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