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Old 07-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #1
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Happy new owner of a 1985 1751!

Hi all,

I grew up camping - my Dad owned a dealership. We always had big extravagant motorhomes or huge fifth wheels. Well, when I made it to adulthood myself, I turned out to be simple and not too fancy. But I missed campgrounds- I have a lot of great memories of fun I had as a kid while camping. I've exhausted every day trip imaginable nearby and I want to go further afield without staying in a buggy old hotel.

So I started looking for a used unit and kept falling in love with one old Sunline after another. I finally found mine at a price I could afford and with repairs I can handle.

I've gotten myself a well used (nice way to say it) 1985 T1751. The cabinets are all original but I think the floor vinyl is "new" and the upholstery and cushions have been replaced. It has some water damage but is mostly sound. I think I can get away with pulling out the front paneling and front subfloor and deciding from there how crazy I want to get with the repairs. Looks like the big window leaked and the awning holes weren't sealed.

Luckily, I'm a handy gal and I like this kind of stuff. I could camp in it just like it is but I actually want to fix it up. I already ordered butyl tape so I can get those windows out and resealed.

And, best of all, I opened every single nook and cranny today to take stock of what needed work and I found, gasp, an owner's manual!

I'm going to upload lots of pictures to my personal album on here. And I'm sure I'll have more questions than ya'll can stand.

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Old 07-12-2012, 06:57 PM   #2
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Hi Really!

Let me be the first to welcome you to the forum. You will find this group to be friendly, helpful, non-judgemental and everyone will tell you no question is a dumb question.

We do have a Sunline Historian ( a title we all gave to Sunline Fan)....he will be along here soon I'm sure, he does have a data base of Sunlines..and if you are welling to give your vin# and some details of the new to you Sunny.....he would love to add them to his list.

Again....WELCOME!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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Hi Really,

Congrats on your new Coach!

Your first post is a very nice read and thoughtful sharing some of your back ground. Thanks, it was a nice read.

Everything in your unit is fixable, and most with using wood tools. We have many here who have tackled a camper rebuild, some minor some from the ground up and all willing to share to help a fellow camper.

Your right about missing the camp ground. The world would be a better place if everyone went camping. Seems the respect factor is a whole lot higher in the campground.

Best of luck to you in your Sunline adventures. We look forward to seeing and hearing about them.

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Old 07-12-2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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Welcome, and great story! I too miss going to campgrounds like when I was little, and I haven't been able to get back to too many in the last decade or so. But at least I have my own Sunline now to help bring back some good memories, and then I'm all set for when I can venture out to campgrounds beyond just doing SunlineClub meet and greets.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:50 AM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcome! I added some albums to my profile showing the camper's condition upon arrival. I'm itching to get started on it so I bet it will look different in there by the weekend.

Last night, I removed tons of things from it, sprayed for bugs, and took a bunch of measurements - and snapped pictures of course. Tonight, I'm going to plug in and see what works and what needs a little help. I figure a little bit at a time and I'll be finished before I know it - hopefully in time to make it to a meet and greet!
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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Hi Really -
We are also the proud owners of a 1985, but ours is a T-1550. I have found this website extremely helpful and everyone is so nice and friendly. We were lucky when we bought ours as we had no idea that Sunlines were such good campers. After we bought I discovered this website and found a wealth of information. Now I am so happy we bought the Sunline instead of something else, we were looking at several and all the other ones were newer. But I just liked the way ours was almost brand new inside for almost being 30 years old.

We are also in Maryland, in fact I saw your camper on Craigslist, I believe, recently. I recognize it by that sticker in the back window!! And I just love the bike rack. I take my bike with us but we have to put it inside the camper.

We have never been to a meet and greet either but we have reservations for the Shenandoah one in October. Depending on where you live in Maryland that might not be too far for you.

Jenny
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Thanks for the warm welcome! I added some albums to my profile showing the camper's condition upon arrival.
For some reason, your albums aren't showing up when clicking the "PHOTO" tab.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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Jenny-Yep, same camper - although we don't root for that team so the sticker is doomed. I commented on your pics a few days ago - your camper is in wonderful shape for a 1985!

CC- They're showing up now. It was my settings. I had to change my User Control Panel -> Profile Privacy -> Albums setting from 'Registered Members' to 'Everyone'.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Jenny-Yep, same camper - although we don't root for that team so the sticker is doomed. I commented on your pics a few days ago - your camper is in wonderful shape for a 1985!

CC- They're showing up now. It was my settings. I had to change my User Control Panel -> Profile Privacy -> Albums setting from 'Registered Members' to 'Everyone'.
So glad to hear that team sticker will be gone! Yes, our camper was really nice inside but the outside was pretty bad, especially the striping and faded paint, and the decals. I think it was kept out in the sun too much. Yours looks much better.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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So, I made a little headway on the camper this weekend. I knew it had a leak or two and set out to start the process of finding them and assessing damaged areas. I also wanted to know why the door had dropped. I got a little worried after what I found.

I removed the rock guard over the front window because it is badly broken and flops around and scratches up the siding. (I'll fix it and put it back before the first trip, which won't be too far off, I hope.) With the rock guard removed, I could inspect the front window and I quickly found areas that allowed water to enter. I have butyl tape on the way to my house via UPS this very second, so for now, I duct taped over the seams.

I took out the big section of the front dinette and started peeling back the vinyl. The front corner of the trailer on the non-door side is a sponge of soaking wet smelly wood. This wasnít surprising, as it is obviously the worst area of the camper and was where the window had a visible gap. But, Iím also concerned that the storage compartment door on that corner could be leaking- there is body damage thatís been siliconed over on the outside and the cargo door is wonky. I didnít take out all the wet wood on this side yet- this weekend was sort of an assessment of the level of mess Iíve gotten myself into. This side might be scary.

Next, I peeled back the vinyl on the right side, near the door. This side was completely rotted and had crumbled to something that looks like mulch, but is bone dry at least. The board that should have been at the base of the sidewall and under the door is GONE from rot. Thatís why the door has sagged. Hereís the funny partÖ The awning was originally bolted through the siding and then through this now-rotten-and-gone board from the outside. As the board disintegrated, the awning must have gotten loose. Someone decided, rather than fix it correctly when they found the problem, to just tighten up the bolts so the awning is just bolted to the aluminum! They had to look and see that rot and leave it that way. If youíre in there, why not fix it? This side has major structural problems, but at least it is dry.

It rained last night, so I wanted to see if the camper was wetter after Iíd taped up the front window- and it was. My taped seams appeared ok, so I took a closer look and saw ants coming in and out of the marker light above the front window- I figure if there is a hole they can fit into, water can fit too. So, Iíll tape over that when I get home. Iíve sprayed the camper twice for ants, but theyíre persistent, so I also bought some bait poison traps that I hope will kill them. It seems pretty much infested.

I was hoping not to have too much work on this camper, but I can see that it will be a lot of work before it is ready to go. Some folks have already let me know they think Iím nuts and I should just do a patch job and hit the road, but I have perfectionism issues, so Iíll be making the fixes to the best of my abilities. The good part is that I had planned on resealing all the windows and other exterior seals anyway and redoing the vinyl, so hopefully Iíll only increase my costs by the cost of flooring and lumber. (Iím trying to be positive!)

Did I mention that the back corners have had water issues too at some point? I havenít even LOOKED back there yet.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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Really - we also had a problem with ants. On our first camping trip with this trailer we left marshmallows out and within an hour the ants were swarming on the stove area. We assumed they were from the campsite, but when we got home we realized they were actually living in the camper, they must have had a nest somewhere. My husband absolutely hates ants and is a fanatic about spraying them, he was following their trails and spraying every couple days but they kept coming back. I got baits and put them outside the trailer where they were exiting, and a couple days later he saw them leaving the trailer and carrying their little eggs with them. Since then, no ants. They must have taken the bait back to the nest with them. Hope the baits work for you too.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:26 PM   #12
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Thanks Jenny-Today I baited for ants, even adding the irresistible lure of potato chips and sugar to get their attention. Hopefully I can get rid of the critters soon. They aren't even my ants, they came with the camper!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
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They aren't even my ants, they came with the camper!
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:41 AM   #14
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:03 PM   #15
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Welcome and good luck with your repairs!
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #16
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Thanks!

We had a few much needed days of soaking rain and the camper is leaking in more spots than I thought. I sniffled a bit, but then cowboyed up and went to Lowe's to get supplies.

We hope to get the front end rebuilt and sealed up first, then start poking around in the back to see what's wrong back there.

I'm wondering how good an idea getting this camper was, but, it isn't unfixable, just a bit daunting.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:40 AM   #17
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The front wall is reframed, the window is out and ready for new tape, and we're reassembling the front wall this weekend. I feel better about things once I see that they're doable, but I fret about them until we get started.

Next up is new floor joists and new floor plywood in the front. We'll be taking off the door, redoing the floor, rebuilding the door, and putting it all back together. It's like legos, with drills!
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #18
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It's like legos, with drills!
Now that is funny And so very true.

One needs a few spare square bits and a good cordless drill motor as standard work equipment on these campers....

Good luck, your doing great!
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:46 AM   #19
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Thought I'd use this spot as a progress update. So far, we've:

Removed and resealed most windows- still have to do the rear window, the kitchen window, and the shower window. But all the other ones are snug!

Reframed the front wall, removed rotted wood and reinstalled the window into dry new wood.

Removed all the rot in the floor in the front of the camper and prepped it for new wood.

Removed all curtains, upholstery, valances, and rods. I'll be installing light wooden valances instead of fabric ones and blinds instead of curtains. The front dinette is getting new cushions and the rear foldout will have a permanent foam bed.

Removed all cabinet doors and drawers for repainting.

Removed the entry door so it can be fixed and reinstalled.

And all this has taken ages! I feel like it will never be finished. We still need to:
Reseal all external holes. Rebuild the entry door. Install new flooring and wallboard. Remove the rear window and fix the backend rot problems. Paint and paint and paint. Install new vinyl flooring. Purchase and hang new window coverings. Purchase and install new cabinet hardware. Find a new tabletop and install the table support in a new spot. Remove the old and reinstall a new counter top.

At this rate, I'll be ready to camp by retirement...maybe. I did at least get my tow vehicle back from the shop this weekend, so I can finally move the camper from where it was dropped off when I bought it. I've got to buy and install a brake controller.

Any tips on removing and reinstalling the kitchen countertop?? That's the fix that's got me the most anxious about being able to do it at all correctly.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #20
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Any tips on removing and reinstalling the kitchen countertop?? That's the fix that's got me the most anxious about being able to do it at all correctly.
You have been busy!!! and made good progress.

The newer vintage Sunlines have the counter top screwed in from below. Yours "may" be the same. Look under the sink area at the outer edges for screw heads. Once they come out, then the entire top and counter top frame comes off.

Good luck.

John
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