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Old 10-30-2019, 11:36 PM   #1
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1987 Sunline Satellite T-2261 Renovation/Repair

I recently picked up a 1987 Sunline Satellite T-2261. It was neglected on my buddy's farm and he wanted it gone. I paid $0 for this camper. It does have some water damage and I am in the process of removing the damaged floor. I've done some research and I understand how the camper was constructed. The roof skin will need to come off to replace the ceiling. It's not an easy job but I do believe it is built better than most campers today so it should be worth the overhaul. I'm new to this forum and not sure exactly how to use it but any advice is greatly appreciated.

These are pictures of the first day I brought the camper home. The issue I believe was I was using bing as a search engine on my phone. I had to log in through Google chrome. If this works I will upload more to show the progress as to where I'm at now. Thanks for the reply and the open welcome!
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:42 PM   #2
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More before pics

These are more pictures of how I got the camper.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:49 PM   #3
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Start of demo

This is the rear section of the camper after taking up the carpet and removing the bed. The rear corner has been leaking where the awning was attached with no sealant rotting out the entire corner. It also appears the camper was not winterized because the hot water heater has a huge crack down the center on top.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:06 AM   #4
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Start of demo

I started removing cabinet doors and tearing down the ceiling in the cabinets above the kitchen. It looks like alot of the wood is brace able. I wont know for sure until I get the rest of the ceiling down and figure out where all the leaks are coming from. I'm pulling the couch out this week to check out the floor in the front. I know the proper way would be to pull it into a barn and remove all the siding but I dont have the ability to do that. I'm also doing most if this by myself so... it's going to be what it is. I understand the cabinets and bathroom walls are all screwed in from the outside behind the siding. Im going to try to salvage the majority by cutting the screws with a fein tool or a sawzall if need be to remove the ceiling. If no else fails a trusty old sledge will do the job.i can make do without all the cabinet space if worse comes to worse. Ultimately this. Camper is not to live in. It is to spend a weekend here and there at the race track when I want to go away. The weather here has been rainy the last few days so I haven't had a chance to work on the seals but I know I need beautal tape and a sealant. My buddy put a metal roof on his house and has a good amount of sealant left over he said I can have. I know the stuff isn't cheap and this is a budget job so I'll try to utilize whatever I can for free. When I get my hands on it I'll post pictures to see what you guys think. Any tips and tricks you guys may have for me I would appreciate. Thanks for anyone who actually read all that and has any helpful information. Thank you
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Hi Racer29,

Congrats on you new camper!

Not sure how you are going about attaching pics. See here, there are 3 ways to add pics.

1. Upload pics to a specific post attaching them at the end of the post.

2. Linking them in from a public viewable web photo hosting service you have.

See here for 1 and 2 Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics

3. You can upload pics to the forum in your own personal photo album. Then link them to anywhere in the text of a post. See here on how to create an album. Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics

If you still get stuck, let us know. Pic's go a long way in helping show things you are working on, and we really like seeing Sunline pics!

Hope this helps

John
Sorry John, didn't see the make an album part of your post. I'll try to do that tomorrow so I don't litter your forum with pictures of this can of worms I've opened lol
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:06 PM   #6
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Hi Racer29,

No worries on posting lots of pic's. Keep them coming. These help other camper folks when they run into these kinds of issues.

You can attach them as you have, or create your own photo album here on the forum. You can link your photo album pic's back to a post. After you have the pic in one of your albums, you can link anywhere in your post reply etc.

Like this.

Start a new post or a reply to an existing thread.

Open in a new tab on your PC, fire up another session of Sunline Owners Club in that tab.

1. Go to your photo album.

2. Select the album and the pic. Click the pic. Here is one of mine



3. Look at the bottom of the pic for a BB code box. With your mouse, swipe and copy (ctrl C or right mouse click, copy) the entire code into your PC scrap buffer.
Here is a closer pic of the BB code.


4. Then toggle back to the other tab where your post/reply is. Scroll down an put your cursor wherever you want to put the pic.

Then paste the entire BB code after the cursor. See here in quotes so it will not post.
"[ IMG]https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/members/89-albums689-picture5098.jpg[/IMG]"

And when you preview or post the reply, the pic will be linked over to where you placed it.

If you need help, ask away!
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer29 View Post
I'm pulling the couch out this week to check out the floor in the front. I know the proper way would be to pull it into a barn and remove all the siding but I dont have the ability to do that.

I'm also doing most if this by myself so... it's going to be what it is. I understand the cabinets and bathroom walls are all screwed in from the outside behind the siding. Im going to try to salvage the majority by cutting the screws with a fein tool or a sawzall if need be to remove the ceiling. If no else fails a trusty old sledge will do the job.i can make do without all the cabinet space if worse comes to worse.

. Any tips and tricks you guys may have for me I would appreciate. Thanks for anyone who actually read all that and has any helpful information. Thank you
I'll throw out a few comments to think on. Maybe these will spark a few ideas on your end on how to do it with what you have to work with.

Getting cabinets out from the inside. That can be a bear, that is if you want to save the cabinet and or the wall board. The screws they use are hardened steel, meaning they are tuff to cut. If you are thinking a vibratory tool, (I think that was the fein tool you were talking about) be thinking getting a carbide tipped blades. Those screws will eat up plan steel cutting blades. When the heads rust out and I have the wall opened up, I tried to drill the heads off as the screw sockets where gone. They will chip out any high speed steel bit I use. Cobalt chips off after about 2 screws. I resorted to using a 4 1/2" grinder to grind the head off. I have not tried carbide tipped drills yet. I will soon, I'm sure, as I have many cabinets yet to take out on my project campers.

The Milwaukee AXE blade in the Sawzall I have been able to cut through the screws buried in a wall sill plate of bad wood, but even that can only handle about 10 screws and its dulled up. That blade on wall board is so aggressive it will tear it up in short order.

I see Fein makes carbide metal blades. Dremel also sells them, I just do not know if they are metal cutting rated. I have not tried them on the cabinet screws yet. But the Dremel carbide on wood is beautiful!

Take note, if you bust out several cabinets to not be able to put them back in , it can make the walls wiggle. If you take all the cabinets out, the entire camper shell starts moving pretty good. The cabinets are structural in a sense to stiffen up the camper. Take care how many and where you remove them permanently as it can affect the stability of the camper.

Odds are high you may run into rotted out wall studs. And it may be several feet of them. Or an entire front or rear wall. It is common that the wall bottom sill plate rots out and sometimes 1 to 2 feet of wall stud above it. But the rest of the wall stud is good.

Point being, the siding is stapled to the wall studs. To fix the wall studs several feet up the wall, if you cut out the bad stud from the inside, the siding staples went with the bad wood. While you can sister up a new wall stud patch inside, the siding has to be somehow restapled. The bottom 1 or 2 pieces of siding need to come off so you can re-staple the siding to the new studs. The good news, the siding comes off starting at the bottom and then goes up. You may not have to take the whole wall off, but maybe only 2 or 3 of the bottom pieces. If the rear wall floor joist is gone too, the siding needs to come off there too to replace the wood.

It is not that hard to tarp over a back wall or side wall while your fixing that is apart. You can hold off until the siding has to come off, but odds are high at some point you are going to have to take some level of siding off. While it takes time, it is not hard to take siding off.

You are off to a good start. Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:18 AM   #8
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Thank you John, that was very helpful and informative information. It actually verified my thoughts on the structural integrity of removing the cabinets all together. I have a carbide blade but I've been hesitant to start without coming to a decision on my plan of attack. The wall behind the kitchen needs repair and the ceiling and wall behind the cabinets so it's a very sticky situation I'm in. I've thought about sistering the joists and using the cabinets as a marriage point. In setting a new peice of wall board and ceiling panel inside each cabinet running the inside of those structure supports. It would loose a little room in each cabinet but I'm not too worried about it. I've also thought about the flexing issue if the cabinets are removed completely. I'm glad you said that because I was thinking the same thing. My remedy if it comes to that situation would be some type of direct supports from wall to ceiling at a 45. I don't like the idea as much as saving what I can and replacing panels around it. My father is a carpenter and will be in town for Thanksgiving so I'll get some expert advice at that time. Combined with my own research and your tips I should be in good shape I think. The wall in the rear has screws coming from the outside through the metal into the rotted wood. I was going to utilize those screws to fasten the new support that I'm going to put in there. If a few panels need to come off so be it but again this trailer is only going to be used 6-10 times a year for no more than 2 days at a time so she just needs to be sound for the weekend warrior. Thanks for the advice John, I appreciate it.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:26 AM   #9
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Progress

I removed the body of the couch bed today, I plan on painting the frame, adding plywood and a futon mattress to it. Nice and simple. The good news is the floor in the front of the camper is not wet. The bad news is half the front wall is feeling the pain. The fun got cut short by trick or treating with the kids. Tomorrow is another day
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Old 11-01-2019, 04:41 PM   #10
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Seam Sealant

So the gentleman I got the camper from had recently put a metal roof on his house. When ordering the roof he recieved a few extra cases of this sealant. He gave me two tubes and said if it works out I could have more. I know some people have sworn by Dyco 20/20 but in the interest of keeping cost down I would like to utilize this sealant if it's possible. Does anyone have any thoughts on this stuff. Also for anyone who has resealed the seams on their roof, about how many tubes do you think I would need? Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-04-2019, 12:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
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So the gentleman I got the camper from had recently put a metal roof on his house. When ordering the roof he recieved a few extra cases of this sealant. He gave me two tubes and said if it works out I could have more. I know some people have sworn by Dyco 20/20 but in the interest of keeping cost down I would like to utilize this sealant if it's possible. Does anyone have any thoughts on this stuff. Also for anyone who has resealed the seams on their roof, about how many tubes do you think I would need? Thanks in advance!

H'mm, the Geocel 2300 this one https://www.geocelusa.com/product/23...lear-in-clear/

I know Geocel makes good products. The 2300 is solvent based and roof rated, I'm just trying to think if it is good for your camper situation.

I have used this of their products, https://www.geocelusa.com/product/pr...xible-sealant/

It is also solvent based and works well on metal to metal joints, or even metal to plastics, like corner moldings or windows/doors, just I have not used it on the roof. Only because it it not rated for rubber.

I'm not really sure about the 2300 on your camper metal roof for the way we need to use it.

Sorry, not much help on this one.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:16 AM   #12
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Thanks John, I'll use it where I can and pick up something else for the rubber to metal transitions. I appreciate your feedback
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:32 AM   #13
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We Have Lights!

So I've been hesitant to hook up the power in the camper givin the amount of water damage and the fact I found some dead mice while cleaning it out. My buddy is an electrician and stopped by today. We plugged in and immediately got good news, the inverter clicked on! The circuit breaker worked as well with no worries. We started turning lights on and one after another after at least 5 years of neglect they all fired up. Multi meter to the power outlets and all work!!! I was ecstatic about it, I couldn't believe it was all still good. I'm going to start replacing the bulbs with LEDs when I get the inside finished. The big test was the AC unit. The fan blows strong on all three settings but when switched to AC the compressor doesn't turn on. It runs on R22 and I don't think I can have that charged anymore so it may be a lost cause. I can get a stand up unit and vent it out the window if it comes down to it. The worst is still to come. The refrigerator did not turn on either and has 110 at the outlet eh t as well as 12v at the junction. I have a mini fridge out of the garage I can put in but I don't think it will be as good as having the original working. I guess over time things go bad. I'm happy to have power and lights though! If anyone has any tips on the AC or Fridge I would appreciate it. Thanks
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The big test was the AC unit. The fan blows strong on all three settings but when switched to AC the compressor doesn't turn on. It runs on R22 and I don't think I can have that charged anymore so it may be a lost cause. I can get a stand up unit and vent it out the window if it comes down to it.

The worst is still to come. The refrigerator did not turn on either and has 110 at the outlet eh t as well as 12v at the junction. I have a mini fridge out of the garage I can put in but I don't think it will be as good as having the original working. I guess over time things go bad. I'm happy to have power and lights though! If anyone has any tips on the AC or Fridge I would appreciate it. Thanks
On the compressor, all may not yet be lost. Buy your electrica buddy a 6 pack and ask him to come back, when the timing and outside temps are good. There is a compressor start capacitor that can go bad. They still sell them. With an older analog meter he can test the capacitor. He can do an ohm check on the compressor motor too to help see if the windings are open circuit. Find the model number of the roof unit and post. I will see if we have a service manual on it. You electrician buddy can follow it I'm sure. He will need to be on the roof with the cover shroud off to test. You have to prep the roof with a scratch protectant barrier of sorts, a tarp, and then some managale sized 3/8 to 5/8" plywood sheets to span the rafters on 16" centers for the most part. If not, he will damage the roof and may come through it. See here. Careful transitioning from the ladder to the roof and roof back to ladder.




The roof unit model tag is buried up inside the ceiling air intake. There should be a removable grill with a mesh filter behind it. Take the grill and filter off. Then with a flashlight, look up at the roof line for a sticker on the very bottom of the roof unit. It would be something like this



The fridge, tell us how you know the fridge does not work? These RV fridges are not like a home compressor motor driven job. You cannot hear them run other then a few clicks and heat expansion sounds. Also hunt up a model number in it too? Look inside the compartment by the door seal area. The fridge can be fixed, the question is what's broke and what does that part cost? You might need a 2nd 6 pack for you buddy, but he may be able to troubleshoot that too with some pointers.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:23 PM   #15
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Ok John thank you, good news is he will work for beer, bad news is I might need more like a 36 pack!!!! Hahaha I'll get pictures asap. The fridge was turned on for about an hour or so and the element never got cold. That's why I thought it wasn't working. I have some manuals that came with the camper. I have to look through and see if any of them are for the units in question. As always, thank you for your feedback. I'll be going through the propane system in a week or two when my dad arrives for Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:19 PM   #16
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The fridge was turned on for about an hour or so and the element never got cold. That's why I thought it wasn't working.
Well, that's good news! Maybe. It takes about 8 hours for an RV fridge to cool down inside the compartment. If you feel the tubes in the back of the unit, (take the outside vent off) the tubes get hot and all of them. Not just on the burner stack area. Gently and slowly feel all the pipes down low for heat. After a few hours they all should be some level of warm. If one side is a "lot" colder and the burner ares really hot, that can point to a possible blocked cooling unit as the cooling fluid flow is not right.

These RV fridges remove the heat from the fridge compartment, they do not pump cold in like a home compressor does. Once all the heat in the fridge compartment is removed, the only thing left is cold. I know, it's odd, they heat the gas in the boiler to help extract heat out of the food compartment. But that is how they work.

One thing that will kill an RV fridge, is running it off level. The fluids in the pipes cannot circulate correctly when off level and then the fluids inside the tubes, get too hot, burnt and breakdown. Point, make sure the camper is level, front to back and left to right when you are running the fridge. The older fridges, like yours if it is original, is even more susceptible to cooling coil damage from being run off level then the newer ones.

If you really want to know the fridge is working, either stick a thermometer in the food compartment and or a small open cup of water ( ~ 4 oz in a 8 oz cup etc) in the freezer is a plastic container. The freezer can freeze 8 oz.'s of water over night when it is working correctly. The actual air temp in the fridge by feel, never feels that cold, but the thermometer showing 34 to 38 F is real.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:56 PM   #17
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I ran the fridge for 8 hours yesterday. The burner area got hot. The coils up top not so much. I put a half bottle of water in the freezer and it froze in 6 hours and the fridge got cold. My question now, is it safe to run the fridge if it has the cooling block that you spoke of?
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:33 PM   #18
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You have done good!!

If you froze water in the freezer after 6 hours, and the fridge compartment got cold, your fridge is working!

The issue comes when a blockage happens inside the cooling unit piping, or a crack occurred in the cooling unit and let all the fluid out. In either of these 2 cases, the boiler area can overheat. As there is no fluid flowing through the coil to cool it. And in very high overheated conditions, a fire hazard can exist around the boiler area as it gets too hot. And in these cases, no cooling at all occurs in the freezer or the fridge. From your 8hr test, yours is working.

That said, there has been a recall on many of the Dometic fridges to install overheat safety controls to shut the heat down if the unit overheats. The recall is still in effect and is free which can be done by any authorized Dometic repair shop. Just I do not know if yours is still the 87 original, will that recall fix apply to yours. Here is an updated link from the Dometic site tonight with ones that are in the recall. https://www.dometic.com/en-us/us/sea...t=pages&page=0

If you can't figure the recall thing out, you can call Dometic at the numbers on the recall info.

I see I need to update the links in our sticky post on this as the old links do not work anymore. This one NHTSA Recall Certain Dometic refrigerators (In Sunlines)

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-14-2019, 04:09 PM   #19
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Update

Thanks for the response on the fridge John. I appreciate the information. Since my last update I have done some preventive measures. There is a chance I have to go back over some of this after the winter but in the interest of stopping any leaks I have I pulled the trigger. I've replaced the weather stripping on all four corners as well as started the process of rebedding the roof. I'm using dycor self leveling lap sealant on the roof and non sag on the sides. I've attempted to remove any of the large areas of cracked sealant but in level area I've decided to just go over the old sealant after prepping it with denatured alcohol because I'm racing a clock given I'm in NY. The black tank vent was completely broken and there is a huge hole allowing a highway of water. The coffee container and duct tape is holding until I get an extra hand to replace it. I know it's not the right way but I must stop the leaks before it's too late. If anyone has any advice I'm all ears. Thanks, making progress
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:46 PM   #20
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Hi Racer,

Your doing good. Understand you got to do, what you got to do to help keep water from getting in. Even if it is a temporary patch and you have to go back at it later. The amount of work to fix water damage for sure is in orders of magnitude more work than having to go back and redo some caulk to help prevent the damage in the first place.

Your tank vent cover patch, a tip as sooner or later this will come in handy. Using Gorilla tape, and only that brand, is a good patch on a prior cleaned surface. You do have to get the dirt off the area to apply to, but Gorilla tape will hold and seal as a temporary patch. Once its on and pressed down good, you can lightly warm it with a hair dryer or heat gun and then press firmly. It then even holds better. I have seen it easily go 6 months and in some cases 1 year to slightly more living outside 24/7. The standard duct tape many times only last 2 to 3 months if that. I always have a spare roll in the camper. Stuff happens and you need a quick patch until you can get to it. It does work.

Keep up the good work

John
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