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Old 07-11-2019, 04:41 PM   #1
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Hi all. My name is Joann.

I live in Cornish,Maine. My husband and I just bought a 1978 17 1/2' sunline travel trailer. Needs to be renovated.We are kind of overwhelmed. Where do we begin. Ceiling had water damage. not sure what works and doesnt work yet. floor by door soft. appliances like hood and stove all rusting.bathroom in grat shape and cushion have all been redone. we are in our late 60's and want to fix it up to travel. Dont even know the model name/number. Have paperwork but not on any of it. Any help will be very appreciated. Thank you
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:54 PM   #2
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Welcome JoAnn! Congrats on your new-to-you Sunny!

If you post exterior pictures of your Sunny, there is someone here name SunlineFan (and possibly others) that can help you identify the model. You can also PM the VIN to him and he may be able to determine from that as well. I forget what methods he uses.

We love to see pictures of Sunlines and they also help the knowledgeable folks on this site help you with any questions or issues you have. Congrats again. I look forward to seeing what you do with your new Sunline.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:59 PM   #3
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Welcome Joann!

You have come to the right place for Sunline info. I know this might be a lot of bit overwhelming right now, but we have had others in your place and they have done great things with their campers.

If you or your husband have basic woodworking skills, that is a large leap into fixing the camper up. We can help with the "how to" and you do the work. Pictures go a real long way in helping in these cases. We can then see what you are up against and even see things you may have not yet seen. If you have any kind of digital camera, we can help you get pics up so we can see what you see.

Here are 2 links on how to get pics up on our site.

You can attach pics to the end of a post, or link pics in from a photo server of your own. This link can provide some help on how to do this.
Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics

And you can upload pics to your own photo album here on the forum. See here for more on how to create your own album.Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics

Once pics are in your album, then you can link then into any post or replay you make.

When the time comes and you want to start doing repairs, consider making a new post in the "Repairs and Maintenance" forum to capture your little campers transformation.

Hope this helps

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:59 AM   #4
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thank u so much. my husband is a builder and mason by trade so we are all set there. Just dont know where or how to begin. we know need to take off roof and ceiling cuz inside it has caved in the back area. i will take pictures and post so you all can advise us how we attempt this new project of ours.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:05 PM   #5
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Hi I'm in Brownfield just around the corner. I can help getting everything working but you're own your own fixing the woodwork been there. I have a 90 it's a T1700 but it's 17' 11" so why it's called T1700 is kind of beyond me seems real clost to 18' maybe it's only the "box".
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:50 PM   #6
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That would br great.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:59 PM   #7
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When r u available. My hysband is semi retired and works tues and thursday so just let us know when u are available to come check it out . We cleaned it all out today. But didnt have an ele rtical adapter in tge right size to test power. So thats as far as,we got. Look forward to hearing from u. Thanks so much.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefcope View Post
thank u so much. my husband is a builder and mason by trade so we are all set there. Just dont know where or how to begin. we know need to take off roof and ceiling cuz inside it has caved in the back area. i will take pictures and post so you all can advise us how we attempt this new project of ours.
These 3 posts can help show some of what you are up against and how to start. We have many more posts on water damage and fixing, but I did not want to bury you in them. When the time comes to start taking yours apart, create a new post and take lots of pics of everything in detail for yourself on how it all was before you took it apart. Trust me, pictures remember all those details we seem to miss place every now and then.... Ask any and all questions.

Since yours is an older one, this post still ongoing by Sunline Fan, can help on how the camper comes apart, it's a 79 vintage
New Project Sunline - 1979 12 1/2' MC

And this one too by Thomascine who is now camping in the camper. I do no recall the year, but it is an older one. Water Damage Assessment and Repair

This is a newer camper, my son and I did, but can help on roof structure, rafters etc. and putting your camper back together and sealing it up. Do not know if you are thinking to reuse the old metal roof or put a new rubber roof on. This one is a rubber roof. A Winter Project - Roof Repair (Picture heavy)

Hope this helps and have fun.

John
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:27 PM   #9
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Omg i didnt think we would be taking the camper completely apart. We thought just the roof and inside ceiling. But I think i found model 1978 sunline 17 1/2 sb. Will take pic tonight and post. Thanks for all the tags to other members restoration. Will be very helpful once we start.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomascine View Post
Welcome JoAnn! Congrats on your new-to-you Sunny!

If you post exterior pictures of your Sunny, there is someone here name SunlineFan (and possibly others) that can help you identify the model. You can also PM the VIN to him and he may be able to determine from that as well. I forget what methods he uses.

We love to see pictures of Sunlines and they also help the knowledgeable folks on this site help you with any questions or issues you have. Congrats again. I look forward to seeing what you do with your new Sunline.



Where do I post my pictures?
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefcope View Post
Omg i didnt think we would be taking the camper completely apart. We thought just the roof and inside ceiling. But I think i found model 1978 sunline 17 1/2 sb. Will take pic tonight and post. Thanks for all the tags to other members restoration. Will be very helpful once we start.
Hi,

Didn't mean to scare you on this, we know the realization on how bad water damage can be is "shocking" at times.

And right now, we nor I think even you, know how much water damage their is.

When you mentioned roof and ceiling that you know needs repair, those indicators point towards other areas. The way campers are built and they way they can leak, a high up leak in the camper not only affects the area you can easily see, but many other areas you cannot yet see. Gravity works very good in a camper.... meaning a leak at the roof line or above/below a high up window etc drips/flows downward in the camper as time goes on.

If the leak is large enough or even a small leak been on going long enough, (years) all that water accumulates and travels down in the camper. Often traveling down inside the walls of the camper and eventually down under the floor where it can stay there a long time and start rotting wood wherever it lays in one place. The high up wall area and the way down might be drier than the floor. Roof leaks are notorious for rotting out the floors and the bottom parts of the walls of camper from the bottom up.

But there is hope! All the Sunline have the ability to be rebuilt and in some cases better than new. It does though, take large (very large) amounts of time.

And we have learned how to use tools to actually see inside the walls, floors, ceiling etc. for moisture that you cannot see any stains of water on the inside of the camper. I recommend anyone wanting to buy a used camper, or who even has a new camper... spend approx $40 to $45 and buy a good moisture meter and scan the camper. See this post for more on the topic. Moisture Meters For Inspecting a Camper

In your current situation, using the moisture meter on the walls, floor and ceiling of your camper, before you take one board apart, you can see how far the water damage may have progressed. The findings may alter your next steps on what to do. Or at least be prepared for what may occur if you do start taking it apart. If you intend to find another camper, the meter can help you inspect it before you but it. May be able to get at a lower price or pass on it all together. Often times, good folks selling their used camper they loved for years, have no idea the camper can have a water infection as they see no indication inside of a leak.

The moisture meter is not 100% fool proof, but it is a very good tool to help inspect campers. Once you understand the meter and what can cause false readings, like metal in the wall which creates a false high blip of moisture then it does not trick you. Water damage normally is not a dime sized blip of high moisture where a metal pipe fitting or screw can be. Water is a larger area, many inches to feet in size. There is a learning curve on the meter but it can be very short understanding the basics.

Another reality, meter does not do well at detecting what is called dry rot. There is not enough moisture present at times to register the dry rot. Dry rot is wet wood that has later totally dried out but yet the mold fungus of dry rot taken over and left the wood totally compromised. While dry rot does happen in some cases, odds are favorable if you have dry rot, there is wet rot somewhere still in the camper. That is unless a very wet camper has been stored for many years inside a dry building and never used.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefcope View Post
Where do I post my pictures?
Ideally, totally new topics have their own separate post in a corresponding forum to match the topic, but... in this case you are introducing yourself and your camper. For identifying what camper you have, you can create a new post in the community forum or just post the pictures in a reply here on this post of yours and we will see it. It is very common for folks introducing themselves that they need help sorting out the year and model of camper they just bought, so it fits A OK in this post of yours.

We have many regular followers that read every post regardless of what forum it is in. And they comment on them. We are a small forum and if you read the forum often, is not that hard to stay current with everything posted.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:50 AM   #13
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ould appreciate any help getting started

Quote:
Originally Posted by mainah View Post
Hi I'm in Brownfield just around the corner. I can help getting everything working but you're own your own fixing the woodwork been there. I have a 90 it's a T1700 but it's 17' 11" so why it's called T1700 is kind of beyond me seems real clost to 18' maybe it's only the "box".



we would appreciate any help u can give us. are main concern is fixing the ceiling and roof. just dont know where to begin. here is a picture of the inside.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1997.jpg (57.4 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1998.jpg (53.2 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1974.jpg (48.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1978.jpg (63.1 KB, 6 views)
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #14
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1978 Sunline 17 1/2 SB (super bath) ????

we think our camper is a sunline17 1/2 sb (super bath) here is pictures. more pictures posted in album file.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1956.jpg (101.0 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1955.jpg (88.7 KB, 4 views)
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:11 AM   #15
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Hi Joann,

Thanks for the pics. Now we can see what you are up against.

Seeing your pics, you have what we call major water damage. Odds are favorable the water damage is in the walls from the roof leak and then down under the floor. All the water that damaged the ceiling, ran to other places.

Where to start, I mentioned the moisture meter. The meter will help confirm the walls and the floor are also damaged and how much and better prepare you for what is about to come.

After using the meter you now have an idea of what is or is not water infected. If you decide to move forward with repairing the camper, I will suggest the way on how to do this to make the repair as complete and long lasting.

I would start by taking the roof off the camper first, with damage as bad as in your pics, odds are high the rafters are rotted and need replacing. These campers are built from the outside in. The cabinets are screwed in from the outside in of the camper. So to get cabinets out, the screws are buried up in the ceiling top down and some in the walls, again outside in. You may or may not need to take a cabinet down, but time will tell.

With the roof off, then the rafters can be evaluated and replaced. And you can also see the wall top sill plate. Odds are high the top wall sill plate is rotted out as well. In this process you will take down the falling pieces of ceiling from the inside. There may be places the ceiling is over a wall or cabinet. And at that point you need to evaluate the repair seeing how large the damage is to determine next steps.

Now to the walls. In many cases the wall board is semi intact and maybe even some of the ceiling. On wallboard and ceiling that is still intact, it can often be repaired easier from the outside in along with the wall studs, top plate and the floor is needed. Basically you are trying to save the wall board, and parts of the ceiling that are OK. And the wood studs in the walls and rafters that are rotted can all be fixed from the outside. Along with treating the good intact ceiling board and the wall board. Basically you will damage less usable items if you take the camper and fix it from the outside in. And the repair will be easier and better dealing with rotted wall studs etc.

The siding comes off starting at the bottom. The way the siding is attached, they installed the long sides of the camper first. Again starting at the bottom. There are folded over tabs of the side walls siding over the wood frame work. Then the front and end walls are installed over the top of the folded tabs of the side walls.

To take the siding off, start with the back or front which ever shows the worse top wall plate rot. Start at the bottom and take each piece of siding off as you work your way up the wall. Things like windows, tail lights etc all need to come out as you work you way up the wall. When the siding comes off, then you can see the wood damage. And keep going on the siding until you get to the roof line. If you find the wall corners are rotted out and the top wall plate, then that wall side needs to come off to repair it. If the rot is more then 1 to 2 feet down the wall length of the camper, odds are high the whole wall siding has to come off to repair it. If only the corner is gone, you can leave the siding on the entire wall and just open up about 2 feet down the side.

You can also access the floor and what it's needs are.

I know this may sound like way more than you wanted to do. We are trying to explain what is needed to remove the rot and repair it. Those post links I showed you describe a lit of the "how to" take things apart.

Once you get into the repair, creating an all new post on the repair in the "Repairs and Maintenance" forum is a good idea to keep it all together and it helps others in the future when they have to go through this.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:23 PM   #16
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Still havent started any repairs to our camper. Husband is having hip replaced so not physically able to work on it yet. But I found someone who will repair roof by putting a complete new roof on it. He gave us a price of $1000 was wondering what u all think of this price. we have no clue what is usually charged to put on new roof. my husband will be working along with him. not doing it til spring once husband has recuperated. he did ck it all over and says it is worth repairing. Any thoughts
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:45 PM   #17
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I found someone who will repair roof by putting a complete new roof on it. He gave us a price of $1000 was wondering what u all think of this price. we have no clue what is usually charged to put on new roof. my husband will be working along with him.
Hi Joann,

Your husband being able to help, is good thing and will lower the overall cost. There are some other areas to think through on this beyond the roof.

The $1,000 seems low in cost to include parts and labor, but it needs to be put into context of what work will be done, and what will not. Did they give you a written quote of items that be included in the repair? Has he done camper roofs before? Just trying to help here so you know going into this what the costs may add up to when hiring it out.

Some questions to ask if you have not already,

Does the pricing include the labor to remove the old roof?
What type of roofing material will you be putting on? (aluminum, EPDM rubber, TPO and PVC membranes are the common travel trailer roofs.)
Does the pricing include new roof decking and if so what type/thickness would you be using?
Are all new roof vents included?
Are all new new tank vents included? (the black and gray tank vents)
Will a new AC unit gasket be included? (assuming you have a roof AC unit)
What will be reused from the old roof when you install the new roof?
Will all sealants on the roof and the roof to side walls be included?
Does the pricing include all labor and any tool charges to install all the above items?

Does the pricing include wood rot repair to the ceiling, rafters or walls (material and labor)?
How long do you expect the roof project to take?

What is your hourly charge rate if extra things arise?
What does the pricing not include?

To give you a materials cost comparison, I did a T2363 roof this past winter. That camper is about 5 1/2' feet longer so there will be some less materials. For an all new rubber roof, all roof vents, shower dome, all tank vents, new AC gasket, all roof sealants, 3/16" exterior grade underlayment decking, fasteners, those materials came out to $880. This was without any labor charge or dump fees.

Here is a picture of the new roof in the process.


The materials I listed was only the roof. No wood rot repair and no extra Eternabond treatment that I do on the roof seams.

While your camper is smaller and the materials a little lower, the water damage is a lot more. The water damage to the roof wood system has to be fixed before the actual new roof can be put on. The material cost on wood stud/rafter repair is not that high, but it does take a lot of labor. Yours needs new ceiling board also. The wall/ceiling board may one your biggest wood cost.

Odds are high there is wall water damage and possibly floor water damage. Then comes, who fixes the walls/floor as the walls hold up the roof? On a camper rebuild, the normal course of repair is to correct the walls and floor before installing a new roof as the top of the wall is what the roof system rests on.

If your husband is concerned about doing the roof himself, we can help explain the process. If it still comes to, he does not feel comfortable enough to do just the roof, and you have a good feeling about this repair guy, maybe you can work out and agreement on what he helps with and what your husband will do before hand. Maybe this is a 2 part process. The repair guy comes to help take the roof off. Then he goes away for a while. Your husband fixes the walls and roof trusses getting it prepared for the new roof. Then the roof guy comes back and they both put the roof on.

Point being, fixing water damaged campers can be a large project. You need to be prepared for hired out costs, what it includes and what it might turn into.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:52 PM   #18
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Here is a link to an all new roof. It will show the process. There was water damage in roof area, the front wall and the rear wall. The repair chased the water damage all the way to the end of it and repaired it. The camper was rebuilt with the intent to last many, many years.

This will give you an idea of what is involved. This is a new rubber roof over 3/8" walk on decking. The 3/8" decking may be too heavy for your camper. But the process is the same for thinner decking. There is a lot of pictures to look and see.
A Winter Project - Roof Repair (Picture heavy)

Hope this helps and ask away for any questions.

John
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