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Old 06-08-2019, 05:45 AM   #1
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Happy wife, happy life? A 2007 264sr looked nice but this 280sr was better!

It's 6:30 a.m. on a fine June Saturday morning at a Delaware campground and I'm sitting outside of our 2003 T-1950, pondering if I should buy this 2007 264sr that is being offered just a few miles up the road.

https://www.delmarvarvcenter.com/200...er-de-i2471618

https://www.delmarvarvcenter.com/200...er-de-i2471618

We've gone nearly 2,000 miles with the 1950 and I've got it just about the way that I want it after a lot of time, effort and expense. The only thing is, it's really difficult climbing out of the bed in the middle of the night to go to the restroom. This is not an infrequent occurrence and what seemed like an ideal floorplan is now showing some misgiving.

Given that, I've started looking through want ads at newer Sunlines to see what might work.

I went yesterday and took a first look at the 264 listed above. they want $10,000 for it but I'm sure that's negotiable.

The wife is very interested in the additional space that the slide room offers. Also the queen size walk around bed in the nose of the camper. she has only seen pictures so far but we are going back today to take a second look at it. From what I have been able to glean from posts on the forum about the 264sr, the 2007 is pretty much the apex of what Sunline built in that size range.

The camper is very clean on the inside and only missing a few odds and ends such as the sliding doors for the bedroom and the bar stools which are both pretty easily replaceable. The exterior is dent free as far as I can tell but the vinyl stripes are not in nearly as good shape as the ones on my 4 year older 1950. Conversely, both the front and rear Sunline decals are in excellent shape!

The tow vehicle will continue to be the 2005 Chevrolet suburban half ton model with the 5.3 l engine. I asked but they will not permit the Camper to be towed out on the road and road-tested. I will only be allowed to pull it around their fairly good sized lot.

Any thoughts or questions on this would really be appreciated.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
It's 6:30 a.m. on a fine June Saturday morning at a Delaware campground and I'm sitting outside of our 2003 T-1950, pondering if I should buy this 2007 264sr that is being offered just a few miles up the road.

https://www.delmarvarvcenter.com/200...er-de-i2471618

https://www.delmarvarvcenter.com/200...er-de-i2471618

We've gone nearly 2,000 miles with the 1950 and I've got it just about the way that I want it after a lot of time, effort and expense. The only thing is, it's really difficult climbing out of the bed in the middle of the night to go to the restroom. This is not an infrequent occurrence and what seemed like an ideal floorplan is now showing some misgiving.

Given that, I've started looking through want ads at newer Sunlines to see what might work.

I went yesterday and took a first look at the 264 listed above. they want $10,000 for it but I'm sure that's negotiable.

The wife is very interested in the additional space that the slide room offers. Also the queen size walk around bed in the nose of the camper. she has only seen pictures so far but we are going back today to take a second look at it. From what I have been able to glean from posts on the forum about the 264sr, the 2007 is pretty much the apex of what Sunline built in that size range.

The camper is very clean on the inside and only missing a few odds and ends such as the sliding doors for the bedroom and the bar stools which are both pretty easily replaceable. The exterior is dent free as far as I can tell but the vinyl stripes are not in nearly as good shape as the ones on my 4 year older 1950. Conversely, both the front and rear Sunline decals are in excellent shape!

The tow vehicle will continue to be the 2005 Chevrolet suburban half ton model with the 5.3 l engine. I asked but they will not permit the Camper to be towed out on the road and road-tested. I will only be allowed to pull it around their fairly good sized lot.

Any thoughts or questions on this would really be appreciated.
Your 1/2 ton Suburban is going to struggle to pull a 264SR.

I have an '07 276SR that I pulled for the first year with a Dodge 1500 Off-Road 4x4 with a 318 V8. This truck is an absolute bulldozer for pulling, but it struggled at roads speeds with the trailer. We knew going in this was the trailer we really wanted and we were going to get a bigger truck....and a year later we bought a 2500 Diesel........
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:14 AM   #3
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As a former owner of a 264SR I can tell you a 1/2 ton suburban isn't a good match.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:03 AM   #4
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I don't think you will be happy trying to pull that trailer with your current tow vehicle. Trailer is over 6000 lbs empty.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:04 PM   #5
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Hi Dig,

That is a nice camper.

Make sure you check the roof and ideally get a moisture meter. Even if there are no signs or smells inside the camper of a water infection. If you need help on the meter, see here or ask away. Moisture Meters For Inspecting a Camper Just because you may find some level of water infection, does not mean not to buy it. But it can mean you may be able to get it at a lower cost and deal with it yourself.

On the 1500 Suburban, that is not a good match. It really is just not going to work. The loaded TW of a T264SR will easily approach 1,200# when loaded. Even if you pack "light" to not a lot, it will be sitting at 1,000#. I have weighed several of them from a 2005 to 2007 and they all fall in that range once loaded.

If you want to stay in a Suburban with that camper, then a 2500 Suburban with either the 6.0 engine and the 4.10 rear axle or even better, the 8.1 engine with the 3.73 or 4.10 rear axle. The 2500 Burb can handle the 1,200 tongue weight with 2 adults and some gear (~300#) in the burb. Both of those will have to be a year 2000 through 2006. In 2007 they did a Suburban redesign and the bumper/receiver can only handle 1,000# in WD mode, even in the 2500 version. That GM redesign in 2007 along with Ford in 2005 with the Excursion, stopped making 2500 SUV's that could handle a 1,200# TW. They forced all camping folks with anything newer into a 2500 or larger tow vehicle of a van or PU truck.

They also have the older 2500 Avalanche that uses the same 2500 Suburban frame and drivetrain. BenB has a 2500 Avalanche with the 8.1 and the 3.73 RA to tow his 2005 T264SR and that match works well.

Crew cab 2500 or larger pickup trucks of any brand will work in most all cases. But still need to check. I use to be a GM 2500 Burb guy but then our camper got too big and heavy when the T310SR came.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:57 AM   #6
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Yeah. I was looking hard for a 3/4 ton pickup after the old truck died but I let it slip to SWMBO about a Suburban that I saw and that was the end of that! Couldn't find a 3/4 ton model at the time and this one had cap chairs, leather and factory ceiling DVD center. I don't think there's any going back to a pick-up, now. She's been spoiled by it.

I never thought I would be able to get anything larger than the 1950 due to the limited access to the parking pad in the back yard (the 264 would never make it back there and even if it did, turning it around would be a tough challenge) but we left the 1950 parked in front of the house all winter. I'm thinking of pouring a driveway, like I've always wanted, across the front and the 264 would fit easily, there.

I planned to go back with a ladder to check the roof and use a moisture meter but as I originally suspected and has now been confirmed in this thread, now is not the time to get a heavier unit.

Bummer.
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Old 06-11-2019, 06:40 AM   #7
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Okay, in an effort to see that all is not lost, I did some more digging though old slide room threads. I saw some recommendations from the forum that the T257SR was more compatible to half ton TV's. I went up into the brochures and came back with T-257SR 4930 dry /625 tongue / 7000 gross and 2070 max cargo.

Assuming that I keep the cargo to half that, does it sound doable? I'm just not ready to give up this current TV but she really liked the slide out space. I get that the 257 slide is only one piece of furniture but it sure looks roomier than a non slide unit.

I found this one that's pricey but it tells me that they are out there.

2007 Sunline SOLARIS Solaris 257SR

I guess these picture links will work until they take the ad down.





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Old 06-11-2019, 08:03 AM   #8
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That ad is obsolete. Those pictures are of the trailer I bought last year from the owner (for substantially less than that asking price). My wife really likes the layout. Even with the slide in, the rv is still fully functional and easily accessible front to back. I tow with a 2015 RAM 1500 QC with 5.7L Hemi, 3.21 rears, and 8 speed transmission. Even though it is a smaller slide (which I prefer anyway), the extra space makes a lot of difference.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:35 AM   #9
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I thought it looked familiar. Good info, thanks!
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
I saw some recommendations from the forum that the T257SR was more compatible to half ton TV's. I went up into the brochures and came back with T-257SR 4930 dry /625 tongue / 7000 gross and 2070 max cargo.

Assuming that I keep the cargo to half that, does it sound doable? I'm just not ready to give up this current TV but she really liked the slide out space. I get that the 257 slide is only one piece of furniture but it sure looks roomier than a non slide unit.
Hi Dig,

Trying to help here explain some of what you are up against with your 1500 Suburban. While yes, it is a 1/2 ton SUV, be careful in understanding the infamous "1/2 ton towing" talk.

What is the rear axle ratio in your 2005 Burb? the 3.73?

As to pulling, when I started out Sunline TT towing, I had a 2002, 1500 Tahoe. Odds are high it had the same 5.3 V8 and the 3.73 rear axle ratio as yours may be. We bought a brand new 2004 T2499 (a 7,000# GVWR camper) that weighed empty in the 5,000# area with LP gas, battery and added options that came with it.

In my case, pulling was not the problem, it pulled it OK, (sucked fuel but they all do). The issue was the rear axle capacity on the Tahoe and the
GVWR of the Tahoe. Lucky me we picked one of the highest tongue weight floor plans Sunline made when loaded. It is not the only one, but one of the heaviest. The dry TW was just under 800# before I ever put anything in it. And it for sure went up from there. 1,200# actually and 1,400 # if I hauled fresh water.

Your Suburban mimics the Tahoe as far as drive train and GVWR. But the Suburban being longer, weighs more to start with.

If you really want to know what size Sunline you can tow and stay with that truck, we can back into that.

Need the door sticker axle ratings, the rear axle ratio, and actual scaled weights of the front and rear axle on the truck with all passengers who will go camping along with the bare minimum must have items in the truck along with a full tank of gas. A scale weighing at a truck stop is usually under $10. If you provide them, I can help you see how it calculates out to what it can handle and be at or under your trucks ratings. If yours has the 3rd rear seat and you do not use it, take it out. It will save you about 75#.

Point being, I have done this enough with others on the year 2000 to 2006 1500 Suburbans that with all the must have things in the truck, what is left over on rear axle capacity and the GVWR may only be in the 700 to maybe 800 # range. That means the "loaded" camper needs to have loaded TW of 700 to 800 # or less.

The full size longer 1500 SUV will never be able to tow as much as a properly equipped 1500 pick up truck. The 2 trucks are made different. All those SUV creature comforts add weight. The PU has no rear glass or permanent roof cap on the back, it has larger rear axle capacity most times and the whole truck is lighter than the SUV.

In my case on the T2499, after realizing I messed up, I learned where to look in the fine print of all the ratings. Even my own Chevy dealer who sold me the Tahoe told me it would tow that camper fine. He said that when I was trading it for a 2500 Suburban and he did not have one on his lot. Yes, it could pull it, but it can't hold up the loaded tongue weight and be inside the truck ratings.

The T-257SR you are looking at, if I recall right the TW is about 750 maybe 800# with only the LP gas, battery and then some minor gear. I had thought I weighed Jim's (j52wf) T-257SR TW but I cannot recall the number. It was in that range. I see he is on this post, maybe he recalls.

A thought to consider, the crew cabs in some of the pickup trucks can come close to what your 2005 Burb has as far a creature comforts. The biggest shift will be how to pack gear under a tono cover or open truck bed verses the enclosed Burb cargo area. That said, be careful on the 1500 crew cabs as some brands and models eat up a lot of towing and TW holding ability with all those extras. This is where the 2500 crew cab can get you out of most situations towing campers.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:56 AM   #11
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Unfortunately, we did not weigh the tongue on my 257sr when JohnB was here. We got busy setting up the WDH and going over the frame issues that were noticed. The Sunline brochure in the files section lists tongue weight on the 257sr as 650 lbs., which is on the lighter side due to rear kitchen and smaller slide being almost centered on the trailer axels. The next side up sr model has a tongue weight more than 100 lbs. heavier. It has a much bigger slide with more weight in front of the axles. The main issue with my RAM half ton is payload due to coil springs. It has the lowest payload of half tons at 1900lbs. In contrast, Ford F-150 is, I believe, around 3000 lbs. But it's a Ford. Lol.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:50 AM   #12
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Iíve exceeded the capacity of a half ton towing a t-1950, easy enough to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Hi Dig,

Trying to help here explain some of what you are up against with your 1500 Suburban. While yes, it is a 1/2 ton SUV, be careful in understanding the infamous "1/2 ton towing" talk.

What is the rear axle ratio in your 2005 Burb? the 3.73?

As to pulling, when I started out Sunline TT towing, I had a 2002, 1500 Tahoe. Odds are high it had the same 5.3 V8 and the 3.73 rear axle ratio as yours may be. We bought a brand new 2004 T2499 (a 7,000# GVWR camper) that weighed empty in the 5,000# area with LP gas, battery and added options that came with it.

In my case, pulling was not the problem, it pulled it OK, (sucked fuel but they all do). The issue was the rear axle capacity on the Tahoe and the
GVWR of the Tahoe. Lucky me we picked one of the highest tongue weight floor plans Sunline made when loaded. It is not the only one, but one of the heaviest. The dry TW was just under 800# before I ever put anything in it. And it for sure went up from there. 1,200# actually and 1,400 # if I hauled fresh water.

Your Suburban mimics the Tahoe as far as drive train and GVWR. But the Suburban being longer, weighs more to start with.

If you really want to know what size Sunline you can tow and stay with that truck, we can back into that.

Need the door sticker axle ratings, the rear axle ratio, and actual scaled weights of the front and rear axle on the truck with all passengers who will go camping along with the bare minimum must have items in the truck along with a full tank of gas. A scale weighing at a truck stop is usually under $10. If you provide them, I can help you see how it calculates out to what it can handle and be at or under your trucks ratings. If yours has the 3rd rear seat and you do not use it, take it out. It will save you about 75#.

Point being, I have done this enough with others on the year 2000 to 2006 1500 Suburbans that with all the must have things in the truck, what is left over on rear axle capacity and the GVWR may only be in the 700 to maybe 800 # range. That means the "loaded" camper needs to have loaded TW of 700 to 800 # or less.

The full size longer 1500 SUV will never be able to tow as much as a properly equipped 1500 pick up truck. The 2 trucks are made different. All those SUV creature comforts add weight. The PU has no rear glass or permanent roof cap on the back, it has larger rear axle capacity most times and the whole truck is lighter than the SUV.

In my case on the T2499, after realizing I messed up, I learned where to look in the fine print of all the ratings. Even my own Chevy dealer who sold me the Tahoe told me it would tow that camper fine. He said that when I was trading it for a 2500 Suburban and he did not have one on his lot. Yes, it could pull it, but it can't hold up the loaded tongue weight and be inside the truck ratings.

The T-257SR you are looking at, if I recall right the TW is about 750 maybe 800# with only the LP gas, battery and then some minor gear. I had thought I weighed Jim's (j52wf) T-257SR TW but I cannot recall the number. It was in that range. I see he is on this post, maybe he recalls.

A thought to consider, the crew cabs in some of the pickup trucks can come close to what your 2005 Burb has as far a creature comforts. The biggest shift will be how to pack gear under a tono cover or open truck bed verses the enclosed Burb cargo area. That said, be careful on the 1500 crew cabs as some brands and models eat up a lot of towing and TW holding ability with all those extras. This is where the 2500 crew cab can get you out of most situations towing campers.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:05 PM   #13
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Trailer Life Magazine has a booklet of all vehicle Tow Ratings published each year. Maybe it can be found online or maybe your Library has a subscription to Trailer Life and will have a hard copy.
We have Sunline 2007 2753 (no slides) and tow with 2003 Suburban 1500. Does fine.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:11 PM   #14
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ps NADA has a Trailer booklet - like the car one - that will value your potential 264sr
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:37 PM   #15
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I just upgraded from a 1995 T1950 to a 2006 264sr classic. Towing issues aside, we love the space in the new camper. The walkaround bed was essential, the bigger fridge, the bigger bathroom, all great. Downside is its a toungue heavy camper. I removed the sliding doors and bought a tongue weight scale.......right at 950 lbs......no fresh water.

I updraded from an 03 Tundra, which pulled the t1950 great to a 17 tundra. Im maxing out the tundra tongue capacity and the load capacity though still well within the total trailering weight capacity of 9500 lbs. I bought new Load range E tires and installed firestone airbags in the rear suspension as well as updrading the weight distribution hitch. I havent taken it out yet with the new configuration but I expect it to be safe but will likely be going a bit slower up hills.

I wanted to keep the old camper for weekend trips but no space. The 06 was used by the original owner for two months at a construction site then NEVER AGAIN.....his wife wouldnt sleep in it.......spoiled. inside practically showroom.....he never used the toilet. Paid only 7500, but i think that was a once in a lifetime deal . Anything under 10 grand is worth it. Of course have 42000 into the new truck.....mmmmmmm, maybe not such a good deal afterall....lol.
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:02 PM   #16
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This is a two-parter:

1. We decided to bite the bullet in our own fashion and are zeroing in on purchasing a 2002 Ford F-250 Shortbed Supercab 7.3 Powerstroke Diesel. It has a few issues (fender rust, brakes, ABS, high miles) but at the rock bottom price, I can deal with those. The '02 Powerstroke is some kind of holy grail as far as I can discern. Tow vehicle issues solved (pending purchase).

2. We went back to the dealership with a ladder (they wouldn't loan me one when I called and asked) and a pinless General Tools moisture meter. Using JohnB's advice in other threads, I ignored the false positives of wiring and such but I got a huge hit in the left front corner shirt closet. There were 100% scores from top to bottom as well as the wall outside of the closet. I went up the ladder and found a roof membrane with a dime sized flap torn near the wet corner and the entire roof area was splotchy gray and white instead of pure white. There was a triangular area at the front corner that was about a couple of square feet in size where I pushed down on the membrane and it never bottomed out. I could feel where the roof stopped and the nothingness began.

I raised the issue with the staff and asked if they would perform the necessary roof repairs. They decided they needed to kick it upstairs and promised to get back to me on Monday.

If the leak is stopped, does the wall ever dry out inside?
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Old 06-15-2019, 08:28 PM   #17
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No! No, the wet area begins to rot from the inside. The wood used literally turns to dust after getting soaked. That's why the roofing seems gone. Because it is. I would run, not walk, away from this unit.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post
2. We went back to the dealership with a ladder (they wouldn't loan me one when I called and asked) and a pinless General Tools moisture meter. Using JohnB's advice in other threads, I ignored the false positives of wiring and such but I got a huge hit in the left front corner shirt closet. There were 100% scores from top to bottom as well as the wall outside of the closet. I went up the ladder and found a roof membrane with a dime sized flap torn near the wet corner and the entire roof area was splotchy gray and white instead of pure white. There was a triangular area at the front corner that was about a couple of square feet in size where I pushed down on the membrane and it never bottomed out. I could feel where the roof stopped and the nothingness began.

I raised the issue with the staff and asked if they would perform the necessary roof repairs. They decided they needed to kick it upstairs and promised to get back to me on Monday.

If the leak is stopped, does the wall ever dry out inside?
Dig,

Your new proposed tow vehicle will really help correct the towing situation.

Now to the camper. I'm assuming you are talking about the 2007 T264SR? Please confirm. Not that it will change much what I'm going to say, but I could hone in closer with the model. I am glad you took the advice and acquired the moisture meter. Your hunting came back very fruitful. Now you know and can help make a better deal or not deal on it.

If you are getting high numbers on the wall from ceiling to floor, odds are high water is now under the floor. The floor itself may or may not be an issue. But the floor joists and the band board on the bottom of the camper can have issues. If you go under the camper and scan up at the black membrane, you can see if moisture is lying trapped above the membrane.

And if this is the T264SR, there is a pass through cargo hole under the head of the bed at the front wall. Scan the portion of the front and side walls in that cargo hole. You can see if the moisture is in that area as well. You can scan the floor too. Wet carpet may peg the meter and it is hard to tell what the OSB floor is under it.

To help show what you could be up against, here is a front wall wet camper. A little roof leak but a lot of front window leak. This is not a slide model, but the same issues will be there on a slide model. Just floor to ceiling in your case. The lower band board (2x3) may have some damage on the sides of the camper and all the way across the front. Those 2 x 3's can have water just sitting under them from the water falling from above.
2004 T2475 Repair - Project Camper No 2

And on the roof, this post is on a 2006 T264SR, it had a rear corner issue and a front corner issue, but the front was not as bad as you are describing. The back wall had large issues. If you end up wanting the whole roof done, this post can show you that too and the front wall siding removal and some rafter repair.
A Winter Project - Roof Repair (Picture heavy)

Odds are high the dealer will not take on a full rot and roof repair to sell that camper. Things they might do, they have many more options too

1. Nothing, no price drop and if the inside is clean looking, sell it as is to the next buyer.

2. They might agree to caulking the leak on the roof and patch the hole. This will only stop new water from getting in for a short time and not address the wet walls, floor etc.

3. They may deal with you. How far they drop the price is TBD.

If you are talking about the 2007 T264SR in your first post, and the inside is in great shape, just you know you have water issues, that camper is a great candidate for restoration. That can be fixed to better than new other then the appliances ages. But, odds are high you will not be able to hire all that work out totally and be able to afford it at shop rates. If you have woodworking skills, you can do it. But it will take a good amount of time, and be tied up in your driveway or in a storage building. It can be done in phases, so don't be selling your 1950 too soon or you will not be able to camp for a while.

The ideal is if you want it, to buy it not at the full price they are asking for and get them to do what they are willing to, assuming that is worth something to you. I do not know the bottom threshold they will go, they are not going to lose money on it. There are a business.

Hope this helps and good luck with your decision. We are here to help, whatever you decide.

John
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digmenow View Post

If the leak is stopped, does the wall ever dry out inside?
Simply put, if the leak has 100% on the meter like you mentioned, ceiling to floor, the roof is soft for a few feet, that leak has been there for several years and is a good leak.

Will it dry out if the leak is stopped? From what I have seen, the roof area may drain out the water, gravity will take it down. It might take a 1 - 2 years to drain it that way. The rubber roof will not let it evaporate out easily. But I have seen them come out dry once the leak has stopped. The issue is, dry rot then sets in and the rafters turned to dust. The dry rot fungus is left over from wet wood not dried out fast enough and or treated properly.

The water that made it down the walls and if it is inside the basement of the camper, it is less likely to dry out. Gravity cannot take it any further. The waterproof membrane will not allow it to even drip out. So the wet just sits and festers. The rot will continue. How many years will it take, that is a good question. It all depends on how much wet is inside. While I have seen ceilings drain out, I have never yet seen a floor drain out with the plastic membrane under them.

Having just bought a 3rd restoration camper last weekend, that the floor is to totally gone in, if the leak is not stopped and is large enough (this one had at least 2 leaks sources maybe more) , in 2 to 3 years the whole floor can be gone to the point you cannot walk on it.

Stopping the leak does buy you time. Just sooner or later you are going to have to deal with it, or sell it.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:38 AM   #20
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Thanks, gents. That is discouraging news as we really liked this 264SR. I told my wife that there was a very small likelihood that they would repair the damage properly and would most probably decide to say no and sell it to the next fish that comes along. At this stage in life I have little interest in taking on a project of that magnitude so we'll keep looking.

We walked through a number of other campers of similar vintage while we were there and every one of them had areas with high, if not pegged values on the meter. Another couple came into the 264 and saw us using the meter. I tried to explain the value of it to them but they seemed uninterested and moved on, preferring to depend on visual clues inside the units in which they were interested.

This will be more difficult than I thought.
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