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Old 04-05-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Howdy Campers

During our last camping trip, we realized that with our 2 boys (4+6) and a dog, tenting just wasn't as much fun as it used to be. Plus, the wife never was much into camping, and prefers more creature comforts.

I had been looking for a cheap starter camper for several weeks. With our small budget ($5K) , I wasn't finding much out there in our price range that was decent. The wife found a '98 Sunline Advancer 2553 advertised online at a local dealer, so we ran down just to take a look, even though it was priced a little above our budget, and I wanted to buy from a private owner...


It turned out to be in very good condition. The dealer was very nice, hooked everything up, and even showed us the very minor issues the camper had previously had, which they had fixed. So, we made an offer of $4k which they accepted. The even added a brake controller to our tow-rig and threw in a ball, all after the dealer was supposed to close, in the rain..

So, we drug her home. The interior is pristine. Everything, and I mean everything, works perfectly and there are no stains on anything, anywhere. The exterior is great, with only peeling stickers. It could use some wax, but that's about it.

We look forward to outfitting it soon, and have made reservations in a few weeks at a local campground.

Here's a few bad cell-phone pics from the day we bought it. Have since given it a good washing, and the wife has started sanitizing the interior. Anyway, it seems like a well made camper and we can't wait to try her out.










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Old 04-05-2009, 06:48 PM   #2
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Welcome unclebob,nice looking rig .sounds like a great deal
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Thanks. Glad I found this forum, because I know absolutely zilch about campers.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclebob
Thanks. Glad I found this forum, because I know absolutely zilch about campers.
Well I would not say you know zilch, because you towed home a very find coach.

Welcome to Sunline Club. I have never seen an Advancer package. Filon siding also, wow.

You have a good built coach there. While it might be 10 years old it was good to start with and if well kept will last a good long time.

Now to increasing your TT knowledge, you found the right site to talk about Sunlines. We have a lot of really nice folks here all willing to help and all you need to do is, ask. So ask away.

Congrats on your new coach and happy camping.

John
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:34 PM   #5
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The 'Advancer' was a package? Wonder what that entails?

The previous owner kept everything that he ever got with the coach, that I've been reading for days. Sure glad he did, that helps.

What's Filon? I thought siding was fiberglass..
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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Unclebob, That's a nice looking rig you got.

Check this out.
http://www.sunlineclub.com/docs/98.pdf
There is a big selection of the Sunline brochures on the site.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:56 PM   #7
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awesome, thanks!
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclebob
The 'Advancer' was a package? Wonder what that entails?

The previous owner kept everything that he ever got with the coach, that I've been reading for days. Sure glad he did, that helps.

What's Filon? I thought siding was fiberglass..
The Advancer package was basically the fiberglass/filon exterior. They are somewhat rare, too, especially in the T-2552. There are more 2553's and 2653's in comparison, but the regular Solaris version easily outnumbered by probably ten times.

In the Sunline registry, I just have a column for "Advancer?", which is just copied from the other years' "SE?". The SE Package is the exact same idea, but they just changed the name in '99.

I don't have any documented '97's, but I see a lot advertised from then, so the Advancer's may have started in '97, but they took off in '98. Then in '99 it was changed to the SE package, so the Advancer was relatively short lived. The name did reappear in '07 on a coach custom designed for wheelchairs.

The Advancer package did include custom exterior graphics different from those on the Solaris line. The SE package didn't, but after four years, they went back to special graphics.

Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of any of the Advancer graphics. The logos did tend to peel easily. If you could get any good high resolution pictures of them, that would be great. You may think you have peeling issues, but from the pics, your coach is one of the best examples of an Advancer. The front/rear logos and the small side logo in the front peeled the most, and probably 90% of them are missing one or more of these logos.

If I get a chance, I'll look around to see if I have any pics of a '98 Solaris 2553 so you can see a comparison.

Jon
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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Unclebob,
I am a Sunlinewannabe, so I have been keeping an eye on the market for a little while. From what I can see, you made a heck of a buy!
At that price I would have picked it up in the blink of an eye.
Like I said, I have been looking for a while, so I have read a lot of the postings on this forum and I have learned a lot, even if we are not quite newbies to trailer camping. We graduated from a tent to a small dual axle coach five years ago.
Do like I have done, read as much as you have time for, and you will, like me, learn a lot, and if you are stumped, here are experts that will guide you along the right path.
Happy camping!
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:17 PM   #10
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Thanks Viking, after checking out a few rigs in our price range, this one was heads and shoulders above anything comparable, I am very pleased with the deal we got on her.

I would probably have offered their asking price, but we were really looking for a queen bed in the back for me and the wife. But after talking about it at the dealer, the wife has agree to give me 'visitation rights' when we do go camping.

Plus, we're usually too beat anyway after chasing the boys (4+6) around all day, to actually have any alone time anyway. I think the split beds will work just fine. Not to mention the money we saved can be put towards outfitting it, we need EVERYTHING!

And I REALLY like the front kitchen layout.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:27 PM   #11
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WELCOME UNCLEBOB THATS A GREAT LOOKING TRAILER YOU PICKED UP ENJOY EVERY MIN. WITH YOUR FAMILY CAMPING . THEY GROW UP SO FAST I CAN BELIEVE THAT MY BOYS ARE 8 AND 11 ALREADY GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY CAMPING DAN aka (SUNNYSEAGULL)
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:56 AM   #12
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I'd like to agree, nice looking coach. Looks like a great deal for $4k. Good luck, and most importantly, have fun.
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Old 04-27-2009, 07:04 PM   #13
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OK, time for an update I guess.

I went ahead and replaced the tires since they were a little weather-checked, and I'd imagine a blowout wouldn't be any fun with a camper. What WAS fun (and expensive) was buying all the stuff to stock the camper. Plates, pots and pans (thanks Mom), tools, flashlights, linens, spices, hoses, adapters, chemicals, lights, etc etc etc.

We took it for it's first shakedown run at a local ORV Park a few hours away, for a 3 day weekend.



All systems work 100%! It was a hot, dirty weekend and we really put the camper to the test. Sure is nice having AC, shower, stove, fridge, and entertainment for the kids, not to mention a soft bed to sleep on. I am really surprised how quiet it was in the camper, despite our rowdy neighbors. We never heard a thing. Anyway, we couldn't be happier.


I did have a few questions I'd like to ask, seeing as how I'm new to the whole camper thing.

1. Is the AC supposed to drain on the roof? I had assumed the condensate would drain into the gray water tank?

2. Hot water heater 'red switch'. The red light goes out immediately after turning it on, showing the pilot light is lit. I left it on all weekend. I noticed a few times during the weekend the red light was lit again, briefly. Does this indicate water is heating again, or something else? We had hot water the whole time, even taking multiple long showers, it never got cold.

3. Can you fill the water tank by using the hose inlet? I purchased a white hose with a regulator and tried hooking it up to the hose inlet on the camper, but after a few minutes, noticed that the water level wasn't rising in my water tank. So, I just refilled the water tank with the hose all weekend (low pressure). We went through 5 full tanks. Guess I'll need to conserve the water in the shower. It was just so nice to take a hot shower we all took long ones.

4. I need load-leveler and/or sway control. The tow rig is an '03 Tahoe Z71 4WD, which has pulled heavier loads (boats) which I've never had a problem with, but the Camper was all over the place north of 50mph. I'm reading threads on this now.


Anyway, sure like my camper so far. So do these guys.

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Old 04-27-2009, 08:17 PM   #14
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It sure looks like you got a good deal. You won't be sorry with a Sunline. We looked for over a year and purchased ours this past Jan and absolutely love it. We went to the RV show in Feb and never saw anything that I would want to trade for as the quality just isn't there in other campers. Happy camping.
Love your Beagle also. We have one and he loves to camp.
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