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Old 07-12-2015, 11:44 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: North Carolina
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1981 12 footer is now mine

Greetings, all.

I'm new to the group and have recently acquired an '81 12-footer Sunline trailer to replace a Roadtrek lost to fire in April. This little beauty is in excellent shape, and most of the interior is intact and original. I ran across it while idly searching the net for small trailers, made a quick trip up to Michigan to take a look, and fell in love. It came home with me about 2 weeks ago.

The dealership had parked this gem in the back surrounded and blocked from view by their fancy, shiny, expensive Airstreams. They'd spied it while picking up an older Airstream, made the owner an offer, and toted it away. It was definitely the ugly stepchild on the lot. I'm thankful for that because they made the price very reasonable. They were also pretty classy about dealing with my little low-dollar purchase.

I've discovered the low bottom clearance by knocking a hole in my grey water tank less than 40 miles from the dealership. Since most of the plumbing is polybutylene, I wasn't expecting to use it without revision, but I did NOT plan on venting the tank in that manner. Rats.

Once I whacked the plumbing and finally got the right hitch to tow approximately level, the rest of the trip to the mountains of NC was relatively smooth.

Never content to leave well enough alone, I've already considered "cosmetic improvements," but I will be interested to view discussions regarding restoration versus refurbishment. The original brown and cream soft goods with luan don't really float my boat, but it's all in unbelievable condition. Ok, the curtains are a little crunchy... but they're intact and clean. I'm weighing simple TLC for the wooden surfaces versus a more serious overhaul. Photos to follow (as soon as I can figure out where my computer hid them).

As a result of my recent vehicle fire (of undetermined origin), the electrical system will get a close examination ASAP. I've got questions about bringing a marine battery inside as opposed to tongue mount, the functional life of the inverter, and more.

The Dometic fridge is supposedly toast, so after some testing, I'll probably be looking for info about removing that -- and maybe mounting the door so it looks like it's still there. Weight concerns me, so I'm not likely to replace it with another.

Now that I've been bitten by this bug, I'll probably need a quick link for a 12 step addiction program for Sunlines.

Lucy
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:15 PM   #2
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Hi Lucy

Welcome to SOC forum. No question to dumb, we were all newbies at one time.
I had a similar situation with my black tank. The previous owner had punched a hole in it and fiber glassed it, didn't hold . Clink on link to see my repair. That was 2 years ago and the repair is still holding.
The kit comes with material to span holes. I had some fairly large ones to mend.
Black tank repair
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:11 AM   #3
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Thank you, Jim. I appreciate the information and instructions. Other ideas in that thread, like the drill holes to stop cracks, are also very useful to me. In fact, just knowing that I'm dealing with ABS helps.

The chunk that came out is significant, included the connector, and rounded a corner. Despite that, I think there's hope if I relocate the drain pipe. It's worth a try. It's not like I can make it any worse.

Lucy
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:07 AM   #4
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Definitely worth a try. Trying to find a tank to fit is a chore
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:45 PM   #5
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Lucy,

Sounds like you made a great find - we love pixs here at the Sunline site. If you have an '80s model in great original condition, I think restoration is the way to go. That being said, when you get a chance, take a look at what Mainah has done refurbishing his Sunline. Anyway, welcome to SOC!
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:32 PM   #6
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Here's an outside view. I'll get some views of the inside soon.

Lucy
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File Type: jpg 0712151118_resized.jpg (91.6 KB, 16 views)
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:48 PM   #7
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That is one cute little trailer.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Smile East Tenn, prior 79, 86 Owner

WOW.. N.C.. : CONGRATS, Thats a long way to make a road trip.. Good Deal
on saving a small Gem.. That will be good value going forward as cars get
smaller, etc...
. We are just south of Dayton , TENN , west side of river / lake if you ever
get in this region.. Currently Sun - less for campers at the moment as we are
switching houses... A few years ago got a 79 15 ft from neighbor one street over.. Kitchen was reconfigured & wife really wanted a shower stall... We noticed a out of state ad for the 18 1/2 ft Gooseneck 1986 style and went & paid for it , a private sale,,, that kitchen was mint cond,, roof covers needed replace.. We used for two Jan & passed on.. Sun-Line has good following.. LED lights or any modern upgrade will be a positive project.... Rig is yours, use your style... I think ours had 14 " tires, that may help with the ground clearance.. LIke your story, a level hitch was good choice.. Here is a PIC of our units.. Does yours have a front window , rock guard / sun screen shade.?? They get yellow / faded over time,, we had neighbor artist paint a sunset Mural on our panel.. Again congrats, keep posting.. Our 15' came with a 120 volt only DORM-itory type school refrigerator, versus the original two way (gas).. These resale items can be seen for $25 on Local Craig List or garage / flea markets..(Also use at house , moveable during winter / off season, etc) .. YES, some classic owners keep a vintage door as a false front ,if a modern refrig goes into the cabinet.. . Our rig did not have a 120 volt CONVERTOR down to 12 volt recharge.. Just bring along a basic garage Sears charger , clamp on.. Sometimes a person will keep or relocate a battery outside for VENTING any smell gases.. Ours was under the small front couch or pull out gaucho.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:30 AM   #9
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Great find Lucy!

Wow it is in great shape, Lucy. Our was not that nice looking, but it had been under a shed for most of it's 30 yrs, which was a plus! Ours is a T- (I forgot 1750?) We remodeled the inside, by putting a wood countertop, installing a small microwave under the fridge (which still works gas/electric), new flooring & new back couch/bedding pads. It had been spray painted on the outside,so decals got covered. enjoy, & yes restore as much as possible!
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