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Old 09-10-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
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Major changes by year

First off, I am an aspiring Sunline owner. I have a lot of good memories of staying in a pop-up camper as a child, but I also remember setting up/tearing down in the rain. Now that I am a parent, I am looking to skip the pop-up phase. (I know my family will not have a full appreciation for a bathroom or the lack of water dripping on your face from leaky canvas) When I researched the best travel trailer using quality as the benchmark Sunline was always at the top. (Yes, I looked at sites other than the Sunline club)
To my question(s), and yes I have been to the brochure files as I have already researched floor plans for some Craigslist Sunline travel trailer finds.

When looking for a Sunline, what are the major changes by year. Using the forum I learned that the rubber roof came out in 1992. Is the rubber roof more durable and or easier to maintain?

Also the front window was last available in 2002. (More of a personal choice issue compared to the rubber roof.)

Are there other major changes I should be aware of? I am looking at 80s to 90s in a 20-25 footer. Thanks
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #2
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Hi happy-camper, just want to welcome you to the Sunline Club.

There are several here more well versed in the changes over the years. No doubt Jon (Sunline Fan) could write a whle book on the subject.

Gene
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:21 PM   #3
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Welcome happy-camper,

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Originally Posted by happy-camper View Post
When looking for a Sunline, what are the major changes by year. Using the forum I learned that the rubber roof came out in 1992. Is the rubber roof more durable and or easier to maintain?
Yes, the rubber came out in 1992. Let's just say I don't have it by choice. It is supposed to be more puncture resistant than the previous aluminum, but it requires a lot more maintenance and like tires, it does have a life cycle unlike the aluminum roof. Rubber dirties easier/quicker, should be treated every so often, and can puncture/leak easier when it gets old/brittle. The aluminum (which they continued to use on the Saturn models in '92-'94) could puncture easier from a branch falling directly on it and poking it, but the seams just need to be sealed every so often and be regularly cleaned (but cleaning should be easier than rubber). I think the benefits were mainly the puncture factor, that it is probably easier/cheaper to install rubber at the factory, and it probably does seal better/reduce leaks for the warranty period.

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Also the front window was last available in 2002. (More of a personal choice issue compared to the rubber roof.)
No, 2002 was the last year of the OPENING front window. From 2003 on, they featured front windows with built-in rock guards, but the windows don't open. Starting in 2006, front bedroom models had the front window deleted, though a few rare ones had it added as an option. Front kitchen or living room models still have the non-opening front window.

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Are there other major changes I should be aware of? I am looking at 80s to 90s in a 20-25 footer. Thanks
- 1983 was the first year for the tan exterior aluminum (off white prior)
- 1986 was the first year for model name designations
- 1986 was the first year for brown framed windows (bare aluminum before)
- 1986 was the first year of standard spoke trailer wheels (no hubcaps except Seville)
- 1987-1989 had the Classic package option, including higher quality fabrics and hardwood cabinet doors.
- 1990 was the first year for the gray exterior (replaces tan)
- 1992 was the first year for the polar white exterior with Krystal Kote (replaces gray)
- 1996 was the first year for travel trailer slide rooms
- 1998 was the first year of low profile travel trailer slide rooms
- 1999 was the first year for the radius top entry doors/storage doors, modern exterior light fixtures, and white appliances.
I won't continue on right now since you said you're only looking at '80s or '90s. I'm sure there's something I'm missing here since I did it from memory.
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:40 AM   #4
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Gene, thank you for the welcome. Sunline Fan, I am almost left typeless by your response. Thank you for explaining the pros and cons of the rubber vs. aluminum roof. I will be printing out your response to keep as a guide as I search for my Sunline.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:36 AM   #5
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...Also the front window was last available in 2002...
Welcome to the group! We have a '95 Solaris. Penny and I chose to go with an older model because we wanted a trailer with lots of windows that open. Stay with older models and get all those jalousie windows you can open in the rain.

Teach
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