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Old 07-25-2008, 09:07 PM   #1
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SUN #658
Nessmuk
Looking At A 1978 15 SC

Hi All,
I am a new member and am getting my 1st TT. I have been searching around but don't find too much info on the issue I am wondering about, at least not the specific issue.

I am going to test out the trailer i mention above this Sunday. I looked it over a few days ago and it seems okay. It has a 2 way fridge, gas stove, and toilet. I was going to run everything to be sure it works. There was a ceiling leak that affected about 18" of the roof back from the vent and a little bit or floor softness in one corner. I think I can fix or live with these things for the $350 I'll pay.

I do smell what I think to be a little sewage near the soft corner. (Under the bench, in the front right corner.) You need to get within a foot of it but there is something there. The soft part is bone dry when I peel back the linoleum, even after all the rain storms we've had. The ceiling too.

I am concerned abt the smell though. That and making sure I don't miss anything that is a "known problem" with these.
Does anyone have any suggestions on checking out the smell or anything i should look for with the trailer or equipment?

Thanks a lot in advance and I love this site. After I saw my 1st Sunline I decided to get one. The size to weight ratio and features are great. I have also not heard anything bad about them.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:07 PM   #2
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Welcome!

First of all, very little is known about any 1970's or earlier vintage Sunline's, so unfortunately, I don't know of any problems related to the trailers of that age, other than water leaks which are typical of pretty much any RV in existance over five years old. The only Sunline-specific problem I know of deals with the Solaris motorhome, and that just relates to the Toyota/Datsun chassis.

Most importantly, make sure to try all appliances thoroughly. That would most likely be the highest cost for replacement. If one thing is bad, for $350, you can fix that. If much more is broken, I'd consider walking away unless the deal becomes better than that. The refer is my main concern, as those tend to go bad quite often, so make sure to test that on gas and electric. I'd recommend starting it on gas when you get there so you can tell if it gets cold after you've gone through everything. The furnace and stove should be easy to repair if they won't work (most likely just needs disassembly and cleaning), but they are most likely to work when you try them (stove moreso than the furnace).

I am also concerned about the smell. I do think it's 100% repairable, however, I would be tempted to not use it until repaired. My reasoning behind this is I suspect it's coming from the connection between the toilet and the tank (it's probably cracked), and using the toilet would worsen the problem. You'd have to remove the toilet (probably held down with two nuts on either side of the toilet, plus a water line) and inspect everything for cracks. If everything there checks out, it could be the tank. But for you to have a smell inside, I suspect the problem is right there. I suspose it could be as simple as the gasket between the toilet and toilet flange is either missing or broken, but I doubt it.

I'd also suggest to not load anything into the coach until you make the repairs. I've learned that it's pretty hard to have the smell get out of stuff once it's gone in a smelly trailer for storage.

One last thing about testing stuff. I wouldn't put any water to the system. You can flip the switch for the pump real quick just to see if it comes on, but in order to not cause any new problems, don't run water in the coach until you inspect every line and connection. I think most likely the toilet smell problem is caused by improper winterizing, so I'd say it's quite likely you'd find problems with the fresh water system as well.

You really can't test this there, but I would also inspect/have inspected the brakes and bearings to make sure they are properly greased and in working condition. If you are needing new tires anyway, this is a good time to do this.

Good luck on your decision and keep us posted,
Jon
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Old 07-26-2008, 05:12 AM   #3
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SUN #658
Nessmuk
Thanks for the tips Jon.
I'll check out as much as I can. Thanks for the tip on storing things in there.
The bathroom does not seem to smell. It is under the dinette bench seat. There are no pipes or anything nearby. I wonder if there was an overflow or spill at some point.

Maybe bleach it?

I thought I should try the water system when full to see if anything is broken or leaking, you think it a bad idea? I was wondering if I jack up each wheel and try moving it to see if the bearings are good or will that tell me anything?

I was planning on bleaching clean the water system and replacing the plumbing lines before use, at least to the sink. Also getting some cleaner for the black and gray water tanks.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:03 AM   #4
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SUN #379
2beagles
Welcome to the forum!

I have a '77 15 1/2 SC that I'm refurbushing, and yours souds pretty good for the price. The smell under the bench could be a number of things, from the smell of old rotted wood to the remains of a sewage leak to the smell of a long gone mouse nest. If everything's dried out and in decent condition, I'd think that a spraying with a bleach / water mixture would get rid of the problem. You may have to go so far as to replace a section of the subfloor, but that's still not bad.
It's a nice liitle coach, and it's surprising how much of the parts are still available off the shelf at your RV dealer or on eBay.

Here are some before photos of "Junior" http://good-times.webshots.com/album/560976290RmRjHC
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:04 AM   #5
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1982 Sunline 15.5 SB

I have an '82 I bought last year. We bought it solely for our trip to Labrador but have come to love it and are taking it out west this year.

You can see it under Files at Other Files. My biggest problem was the refrigerator. New ones are expensive. I replaced mine with an electric that is larger than he original and fits virtually in the same space.

I don't think the odor is from the toilet or it's black tank though I did have to replace the gasket between the toile and tank. A relatively easy and inexpensive job.

Generally the stove and heaters are not a problem. Though our gas heater works we usually use an electric heater unless we're dry camping.

We had a soggy floor under our hot water heater that I had to replace but the rest of the floor is OK though not great. I drilled some small holes into the floor at key spots and filled it with liquid construction foam.

Norm Milliard
1982 Sunline 15.5 SB
Honda CRV


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Old 07-27-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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SUN #658
Nessmuk
Thanks for the welcomes and advice.
Norm, That was great info on the 1982. I see they did a lot of changing but some very useful mods and info. Did you take the trip yet? What was the weight? You really get 3-4 days on the fridge? That is good. I loved the generator idea too.

Chris, Great pics. How is it progressing? This appears to be a similar set up to mine (or my potential future one). I wish they had a bigger "wardrobe" though.

I thought I would have liked a shower but saw a way to rig a portable one on another site.

It did not seem that there was a lot to go wrong with this since the unit is relatively simple. Gas line to range and fridge, water line to sink and toilet.

The owner told me he left the vent open and water got in to damage the ceiling for about 18 " from the center vent toward the front of the unit. That makes no sense to me. I think It just leaked. He said that the unit should be pitched to the rear. Semms to me that would kill the fridge. Any feedback?

Thanks again all.
Ray
I am near Nashua
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Update

The post on Preparing the Sunline was written before our trip. I have subquently wrote an expanded post on our trip to Labrador and additional changes propmpted by the trip. Sarah ha not posted it yet but if you like a copy send me a private email and I'll send you the file.

We weighed our trailer just before we levft and the weight was about 2200 lbs, easily towable by the Honda.

Though it appears the electric refrigerator will run for a couple of days we never ran it for very long on the trip. Generally if we were connected to electriciyt we would just turn the refirgerator down before we left, pushing it down to 32. By the end of the day the temperature would still be acceptable, always less than 40. Of course the only time we'd open it wa at Lunch. Some of the stretches would be 7 hours.

We continue to find new storage places in our rig and ways to make the storage more useable. We're used to having virtually infinite storage ability in our Bounder but find our Sunline to have more than adequate storage. WE actually had empty spaces on our trip to Labrador. Afyer 8 years of seven months a year we find we need less and less.

Norm Milliard
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:25 PM   #8
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Nessmuk
Well, it is done. I actually ended up buying a different 15 SC. It is a 1977 for $500. It looks like it was better taken care of but I did not test at it as thoroughly as I should have. I did notice it was cleaner, had no funky smells or soft spots on the floor. It has a smaller soft spot on the ceiling.

The toilet was removed to make a closet. The former owner said she could get a toilet. It was painted inside and as I said, well cared for. The city water connection sprays some when pressurized and the roof is kind of flexy and loose. I wonder about that roof but with such a solid interior and lack of water damage and staining I assume it must be good.

Is that really bad?

Some of the lights are a little iffy on 12v but I figure I can look at those or get some from JC Whitney.

Wish me luck! I usually do more thinking and investigating before I buy anything. For general soundness, this is one of the best oldies I have seen. The people seemed honest too.

I need to mount a hitch and wires on my truck, and go pick it up.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:13 PM   #9
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SUN #379
2beagles
Congrats on the NTU rig!
Hopefully you'll post some pics whe you get it.
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http://inlinethumb62.webshots.com/18...200x200Q85.jpg
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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Nessmuk
Thanks! I will, as soon as I figure out how. I just got it registered today. I am going to try to get it this weekend, or maybe next week.
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