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Old 10-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #1
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SUN #965
matislia
New to TTs - Just purchased a 19' Sunline 1984 model T-2261

Hi. I'm brand new to TTs but just purchased a used one yesterday. I don't have all the info in front of me, so can't specify the model at the moment. Was told it was a 1970's model and about 19' with orange trim.

I am planning to use it to live in and wanted to know if there is anything I should be concerned about, or know before hand.

It has a hook up for two propane tanks. I won't have access to electric. What will this mean as far as what I can/can't use in it? i have a stove, fridge, microwave, shower, toilet, sink. I was told there was a holding tank for the water and that the stove and hot water heater runs off propane.

I am guessing the large white propeller thing on the roof is an Antennea, is that correct? Will that even work for TV any longer since the analog signal has been shut off (I realize w/o electric that is a non-issue).

I may have access to electric through someone's home, but is there a special extension cord I have to use or something?

Sorry for all these stupid questions, but I'd appreciate any and all help.

Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:34 PM   #2
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Re: New to TTs - Just purchased a 19' Sunline (197? model)

Quote:
Originally Posted by matislia
Sorry for all these stupid questions, but I'd appreciate any and all help.
No, they are stupid questions at all! Actually they bring up some good points that you should know about.

If you can get me some pics, I can help you figure out your year and model. If you are unsure how to post pics, send me a PM and I'll send you my e-mail so you can get them to me that way.

Normally, it's never been advised to live in a Sunline, or in any RV for that matter. I'm assuming you mean living full time. If you were to spend a few weeks at a time, that's probably fine. The biggest issue with living full time in it is things are just not designed to hold up to constant use, like especially appliances. Appliances these days are built better because people do full time.

There are a number of concerns I have with you living in a '70's coach full time:
1) You don't list your location, but if you plan to spend any time in it in the winter, you will find that it will be very difficult to keep the trailer warm because the coaches from that age don't have much insulation. The new ones really didn't even have much. Sunline's were always designed to be "three-season" coaches, so spring, summer, and fall. Even if you can keep the inside living area of the coach warm, there's also a number of issues with the plumbing system when you get down to the 20's and below at night. The lack of insulation in the walls will cause the cabinets to get very cold, sometimes at or slightly below freezing, which will cause your pipes to freeze and then you'll have leak issues. People who typically camp during the winter months either take many precautions or simply dry camp and utilize campground showers and restrooms.
2) With a coach of that vintage, you won't have any safety detectors for LP gas or carbon monoxide. If you're living full time in there, and especially if in colder months when all the windows will be closed up, it would be a good idea to add these. If you don't have a smoke detector or the one that's in there is pretty old, it might be a good idea to replace that too.
3) With just having propane and no electricity, you will only rely on your 12V battery to run things inside. Of course this means that all of your household outlets in there will be dead. Only your 12V lighting will work, as well as the furnace blower and water pump. Maybe the refrigerator if it's original or a replacement RV one and it's just an electric dorm unit. Also, the microwave will not work. All of this 12V stuff will only work for up to maybe four days if you aren't using the furnace much. If it's cold and the furnace is running almost all the time, then you'll be lucky to get a day and a half out of a battery before it'll need recharging. Some people use solar panels to keep their batteries charged, but those are a costly undertaking, as are a set of 6V batteries which will last longer than one 12V. The last, and probably most common solution to battery charging is a generator. You won't need much of one for a 19' trailer though. Obviously you would only want to run this for a couple hours a day to recharge the batteries, and don't fall asleep with it running.

Also keep in mind that when it's real cold, the furnace will go through a lot of propane. I would guess at around freezing, between the water heater, reefer, and furnace, you'll be refilling a 20# LP tank probably every week or sooner.

I'm not sure about the TV antenna. I've heard some of them will work and some won't. Since yours probably didn't come with that style antenna when it was built, if it even came with one in the first place, so it depends on when it was added.

To get electric, your coach should have a 30 amp, 3 prong cord coming out of it now. This cord provides the maximum power to the unit. There are adapters that allow this to go down to a 15 amp household outdoor extension cord, but what you can use inside the coach is much more limited. For example, if you want to use the microwave, that's about all you can use. Not even many lights at that time. The only problem with running 30 amps long distance is the extension cords that dealers sell are very expensive. You can usually get 25 and 50' lengths and the 50' will probably be in excess of $50.

Jon
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:02 PM   #3
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matislia
Model Number

Hi. Thanks for your response. That all makes sense. I didn't get to take pictures, but found the model number: T2261. I'm going to look in the brochures and specs section to see if I can find it now.

One more questions. There is a grey tar like substance on the roof. When I went to look at it, there weren't any leaks but that substance is peeling. So, I think while driving it home, some much have pulled back, because now I have a leak in the roof. Can I reseal these areas, and if so, what do I use to do it?

Thanks again, I greatly appreciate the help.

I believe it is the 1984 Model, is that correct?

One more thing, where could I find an owner's manual for this thing? I'm realizing I'm way over my head and really need some additional help. Anyone in NE Maryland willing to give me a crash course?? lol
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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Living Fulltime

We lived in our small trailer for 10 of last years 12 months without issue. I must say that I had spent a year getting the trailer renovated, it's a 1982 that had been sitting for six years.

It's in good shape now, I think better than new at least in terms of capabilities. As to appliances, the one that seems most prone to failure is the refrigerator, though it has no moving parts, at least it failred in my case. We replaced ours with an inexpensive, bigger capacity electric.

We also had the water pump fail, the flat wore off the impeller. The pump is one of the easiest things to replace in the whole trailer.

There's no reason for the stove and oven not to work forever. Parts are easy to get and easy to replace.

The statement about the Propane heater is correct, it whistles thru propane and is very inefficient source of heat. Our solution is to use a small electic heater during the day and an electric blanket at night.

We don't have a microwave but do have a satellite dish.

I don't know where you plan to be but we are rarely in below freezing weather. Last year it was for less than 30 days with daytime temperatures typically above zero. I would not recommend below freezing living in an RV, particularly any where it stays below 20F for extended periods.

The biggest old (and often new) RV problem is water leaks. The first thing to do with any RV is to make the roof and windows watertight, and to check it each year for leaks.

We have also converted our hot water tank to electric heat. This saves on propane as well.

In our rig the water tank and the black tank are internal to the trailer and will not freeze if we're not freezing. It's a similar issue for the water pipes.

The grey tank is located under our rig above the axle and has never frozen, probably because it's in contact with the floor and we are never in extremely cold environments.

We do disconnect our water hose if we expect the temperature is going below freezing, a pressureized water system will fail faster than an unpressurized system.

When we were novices we ruined an outside hose when it was pressurized and froze. After that we englosed our hose in foam pipe insulation and heat tape. (This was some years ago when we were in a post global warming winter in Seattle when temperatures were really cold for a couple of weeks.)

We're at home in NH and it's been a cold fall. If I want to feel really warm I go out to our little Sunline, turn on a burner for a few minutes and the electric heater. After 5 minutes I turn off the burner and the electric heater makes and keeps it real toasty.

We did add a smoke detector, but have no propane or CO2 detector. I would be shocked it CO2 was ever a problem in our rig, it's just not that tight with jalousie windows however it would not cost much to add one. As well we never run our heat at night, just the electric blanket.

When home, we run our rigs plugged into our house, each is on a seperate independent 15 amp circuit. Both run without a problem unless I forget to shutoff the heater when my wife is drying her hair or making toast. I can ever run my air conditioner in our Motorhome without a problem.

When we left for our 10 month trip last year we left our Motorhome plugged in for the entire time without a problem. I like to keep my Batteries on charge, they are now 12 years old.

You simply need to be conscious about power and try not to run everything at once.

At our house I have also tapped into the sewer line so I can dump at home.

What I've learned from RVing is that I can really live on a little in comfort.

As a previous person wrote, if you want to live in it you need to prepare and if you live in a really cold place it may be near impossible to live comfortably. However if you live in a non-extreme place you can survive in your Sunline.

Of course we are not typical in that we're not working so we're usually in our trailer in more than you might be.

Good luck.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
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Nessmuk
How are you making out in the trailer?

Some things that might help are thick curtains or window coverings, I am not sure how well it will work with jalousie windows but you can try that plastic sheeting for covering home windows. I'll post how it goes when i try it. Also surround the bottom of the trailer so the wind does not blow underneath. Check all your weatherstripping.

I have a 1977. One rather large heat leak was my range hood. I cover the fan hole with a wash cloth and replace the grate. It makes a huge difference and is easily removable if I want to cook. A fan also helps keep the warm air to circulate back to the floor. I wish I could sleep near the ceiling, it would save a lot of propane.

Be careful with the heat sources, remember that you are in a tinderbox. Be sure your emergency exits work and have a plan for exiting. I would also be cautious about sealing it up too tight.

I would consider a CO reader type alarm where you can see the readout. The standard alarms, ESPECIALLY THE UL LISTED ONES are inadequate. UL was pressured by fire departments and local governments to raise the level of alarm to 70 parts per million because the fire depts were getting a lot of calls which were expensive. Most fire depts require air packs at 30- 35 PPM. If you live in a TT full time and are exposed to a constant 15 or 20 PPM, the effects would be cumulative. Be careful. Don't panic, just be sure the equipment is in good working order and the fire box is sealed. I have lived in mine for months, in the cold with no issues.

BTW, I did go through about 1 tank/ 5-7 days with temps in the 30's to occasional 20's. Not bad considering what rent & utilities cost. I slept using flannel sheets and a big heavy sleeping bag. One of the cheap heavy ones from Walmart or K-Mart. That and a comforter for the cold nights.

I fell asleep with the stove burners on once. Those things get the place HOT!! The ceiling was so warm I got scared. it was far from burning but wow! Like Norm said, they do work great to take the chill off.

If I can help answer any questions please let me know. I don't know if you are on a tight budget, I was trying to full time for as little as possible, thus the 1977 for $500. I would have paid less but for its redeeming qualities and the previous owner's shotgun. (a long story)
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