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Old 01-19-2018, 10:56 AM   #1
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Cool Greetings from Maine

My husband and I just bought 22.5 acres in central Maine. Our plan is to have an "early retirement" (so to say) in 3 years when our daughter graduates college. We'll build a cabin on our land eventually, and have gardens and some small livestock.

A 1987 Sunline Satellite came with the land. It's in decent condition - the former owner said everything had been working a year ago [supposedly]. There was a rodent nest in the oven, and one under one of the bench seats where something a bit larger than a mouse chewed through. I tried cleaning, but it was -4F so the cleaner froze as soon as I sprayed it lol Below is a link with the first photos taken of it.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/5eoiyMTnuVbUHbTx1

Is there a plate or something on the trailer that has the model number?

We look forward to spending much time on our land in this trailer.

Any tips on getting the propane heat going? I don't care about electricity or water, but heat is pretty important.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:17 PM   #2
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Hi HeatherB.

Welcome and congrats on your Sunny! It looks like everything is still the original. One of the senior members will be able to help you with the model number. I am a newbie so the best I can do right now is welcome to the group. There are a lot of knowledgeable and helpful people here so ask away!

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Old 01-19-2018, 12:21 PM   #3
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Welcome Heather!

You do indeed have an '87 Satellite, and it looks like a T-2000 model. Here's the brochure with all the specifications: Sunline Coach Owner's Club - Sunline Owner's Files - 1987 Sunline

That model number would have been typed on a sticker, on the front left corner of the trailer. These stickers didn't weather well, so chances are you won't find more than a shadow of where it was. If the sixth and fifth digit from the end of the VIN are 20, then it would be a T-2000.

As far as getting the furnace started, there isn't much that goes wrong with them. I would try to start it as is right now. You will need an RV/marine battery to hook up on the tongue of the trailer. Make sure there aren't any visible wires chewed through before you connect it. Assuming you have propane in the tanks, turn the tanks on and then go turn the furnace on.

I forget the specifics on your style furnace, but after a minute or less, the fan will likely kick on, and then after another 30 seconds or so, the burner will try to light. If the air doesn't get warm at all, or it shuts down, then you'll know there's a gas/ignition issue. The most common gas supply issue is due to spiders getting in the LP gas line, which requires disconnecting the furnace (tanks turned off though) and cleaning out the orifices. We can dive into that deeper if you do have an issue.

All this said, if the furnace does seem to work ok, your battery won't last long. With as much as it would run in winter temps, you wouldn't last more than a day or so with a standard RV/marine battery. You need to have either electricity to hook up to on the property, or a generator to plug the trailer into. Keep in mind too, Sunlines are not really four season trailers, especially older ones. You only have 1" thick walls on it, so there's not much insulation there. The furnace will run a lot and probably struggle to hold temp.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:27 PM   #4
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Welcome Heather!

Glad you found us and congrats on your Sunny!

Since you know it is a 1987 and a Satellite you can back into a model number by looking through the 87 sales brochure we have here on our site.

At the top of the forum page are "Tabs" to different areas of the forum. Look for the one called "FILES" Click it when you are logged in and scroll to "Brochures" Click in there and then look for the 1987 brochure. Download a copy and look at the floor plans to match up the model.


There should also be an instruction sheet there for your furnace under the Heating and Cooling section. Odds are high your's may be a 7900/8000 model furnace being that old.

You mentioned you wanted to get the furnace going, as a start you need propane in the tanks on the front of the camper turned on, assuming tanks are there and full. And you need 12 volts DC. 12 volts DC can come from a battery on the front of the camper when the battery is hooked up or it can come from a power converter in the camper when you plug the camper into 120 VAC shore power. The furnace needs 12 V DC to run the fan and control system.

Since you mentioned rodent nests, it would be a good idea to take the cover off the outside of the furnace and look for mud dauber or other pests may have made a nest in the outside compartment. Inside, you can take the brown cover off the face of the furnace and have a look in there with a flashlight.

Also to the battery, it will use a 12 volt lead acid "deep" cycle battery. It looks like a car battery but it is made to deep cycle specs which help with long slow draws of power from the battery where a car battery uses quick high power draws to start the car.

When you are done using the camper for that trip, you need to unhook the negative wire off at the battery or turn off a disconnect switch if the prior owner added one near the battery box. If not, there are small power draws in the camper that will drain the battery fairly quick. You may have a battery on there now, it might be unhooked and it might need charging before you can use it.

Once you have power and LP gas, then by turning on the Thermostat the furnace will start a fan running and then try to start the burning going after a blower purge cycle timer of the heat chamber times out. You may have to purge the LP gas lines with a grill lighter at a stove burner. It helps on a dry empty gas line system that has not been on in a while. The furnace will try and purge the line and may go out on safety if it does not light the burner in time.

Hope this helps and have fun with your camper. This is the place to come for Sunline info or most anything RV camping related. There are no dumb questions, just ones you need help with.

Thanks

John
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:29 PM   #5
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I see Sunline Fan and I where typing at the same time.... Both replies will help.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:47 PM   #6
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Thank you very much everyone! I've already learned so much. Can't wait to get back to our camp!
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:44 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum! Seems you are about to begin a fun adventure. This forum is a great place to ask advice...everyone here has been so helpful and kind to me...I would have been lost without all the guidance they offer.


Good luck in your quest!
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherB View Post
My husband and I just bought 22.5 acres in central Maine. Our plan is to have an "early retirement" (so to say) in 3 years when our daughter graduates college. We'll build a cabin on our land eventually, and have gardens and some small livestock.

A 1987 Sunline Satellite came with the land. It's in decent condition - the former owner said everything had been working a year ago [supposedly]. There was a rodent nest in the oven, and one under one of the bench seats where something a bit larger than a mouse chewed through. I tried cleaning, but it was -4F so the cleaner froze as soon as I sprayed it lol Below is a link with the first photos taken of it.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/5eoiyMTnuVbUHbTx1

Is there a plate or something on the trailer that has the model number?

We look forward to spending much time on our land in this trailer.

Any tips on getting the propane heat going? I don't care about electricity or water, but heat is pretty important.
We are in Maine near Fryeburg on 80 acres along the Saco river. What I would do if that is going to be your residence for awhile is build a simple pole barn pretty cheap project and it would make staying in the camper a bit nicer and protect it too. They can be heated but there is a limit we have suffered through - weather as much as -25 for extended periods this winter frankly that's not doable in a camper it's hard enough to keep a stick built house warm at -25. 20's not too bad I camp early and late in the season and I can tolerate that but it grows old fast.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:09 AM   #9
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Mainah, are you in the area that the saco river flooded from ice jams? Hope all is well.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:51 AM   #10
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Yes we are on the Saco river, where we are the river often floods over a mile wide it is no real problem for us because we don't live on the river we are on high ground but I was just down there this morning and the fields still flooded and covered with ice. The area just to the west of us is low flat farm land, the river flooded the route to Conway NH and covered it with slabs of foot thick ice and it took them about a week to clear it! The river at that point is still jammed up with ice but the water has gone down. To the north of us the Kennebec river did pretty much the same thing in the capital city, flooded a good portion of the down town and numerous cars were window deep in water that of course froze.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:34 PM   #11
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Yeah, I know some people in Hallowell affected by the floods. Crazy this time of year.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:36 PM   #12
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Hello and welcome to the forum, Heather!
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:20 AM   #13
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Hi

Hi Heather and welcome to this great forum. You'll find more info here than you'll ever use. Lots of great ideas and lots of great people to answer you questions. Good luck with your project.

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Old 02-03-2018, 06:48 PM   #14
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Hello HeatherB. I'm new here. I hope you guys enjoy your Sunline and new camp. I have a mountain top property in the PA Laurel Highlands. I have a 1990 Sunline T-243 that I will be pulling to the top of the mountain in the spring. When the camper gets there it will be staying and I will do all my camping there. It is my plan to build retirement home up there. I plan on retiring in 8 years. I look forward to hearing more about your new adventure.

Chris
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