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Old 04-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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Smile Just bought our First Camper-Sunline Saturn T1661

I just bought our first camper this coming week. I always wanted to get an older model camper because to be honest, I just like the way they're laid out. The newer campers seem to be way overpriced and outfitted with too many options and amenities...we're camping for crying out loud, not living at the Hilton! I know some people love to go and show off their assets but that's not what my family is about, we're more into the whole enjoying our adventure and the actual camping. We use to camp in tents for years, but I've gotten to old for that as I don't enjoy blowing up air mattress and running to walmart in the middle of the night because the current one blows a hole in it (who else has done that one?)

Anyway, I paid a thousand bucks for this camper and it needs some work, but I'm a handy man and I think we'll probably be in it for a long time for less than $300 bucks in repairs.

What I'm impressed with; the camper was made in 1987, it's 25 years old and yet the fridge still works, the air conditioner still works, the water pump still works, "Everything" still works! YAY!!!!

What I found wrong;

*some damage from a leaking roof around the roof vent in the bathroom. The damage actually extends through the bathroom into the actual living space in the cieling and down the back wall of the camper. So I have to rip out the wood and replace it, no big deal, about 30.00 in supplies from home depot.

* A leaking shut off valve on the toilet; $5.00 at home depot/lowes.

* Three dry rotted tires; maybe $60.00 each.

* Some missing lights/covers "running lights" etc. 3 total- another $15.00-$20.00

* Seals need redone on the roof; maybe $50.00 bucks for some good sealant.

* Battery missing; "New Tractor/Truck Battery"- $100.00-$125.00"

* Propane tanks are out of date; New Propane tanks: $75.00-$80.00.

Other than that, there isn't much the camper needs except some cleaning and we're ready to move in and have a fun camping season!

If anyone else uses/has this type/model of camper please get in touch with me as I would enjoy exchanging feedback! I'll post some pictures of the repairs etc...and share how I went about the work so as to assist anyone else who's interested in reconditioning/fixing theirs.

Thanks for reading!

Happy Camping!
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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Hi Dave,

Welcome to the group and congrats on your Sunline purchase. Even though it needs a little work, you still have a great little trailer. I had a 1661 for years & miles . I still miss that great little trailer.

I had an awning installed, and it needed new tires, so I put aluminum rims & new tires on it.

The stripes were missing off the door, so I painted them back on using auto dupla-color spray paint. They looked original when I got finished, but this picture was taken before I got the stripes put back on. I also had to replace the dry-rotted curtains and cushion covers. Here are a few pics of my project:









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Old 04-08-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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She sure looked pretty Kitty. Those were great little trailers weren't they! We have many a found memories of our 1660.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Trade your tanks in at WalMart bet they'll never even look at them.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Trade your tanks in at WalMart bet they'll never even look at them.
I was going to say that too and YES, they didn't look at them when I did that.

(great minds think alike)
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:49 AM   #6
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The only caveat to that is don't take them back there to refill haven't seen one yet that was full. If you really want quick service just take it into the store in a shopping cart!
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:04 AM   #7
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Dave..we also owned a 1987 1661 back in 1989..it was a great little camper! Would you believe we sold it to a couple with two little kids who were traveling thru here in Dec. of 1990--their axle broke on their overloaded little trailer and they bought ours to live in full-time!!! The young woman said it was the nicest ""home"" she had ever lived in!! They hitched up during a snowstorm--I packed up some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children--and off they went to Ohio or Mich. someplace to sell velvet paintings on the roadsides..sad story.. Janalee
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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Thanks guys for all the replies and advice.

I've discovered some further damage that is causing a set back in the repairs.

I found some holes in the roof, and a lot of the rear walls, cieling etc, are rotted out. I gutted most of the rot out and with it came some structural studs etc.

Being a handy man and quite useful with tools, I figured this would be an easy fix, but I have since discovered that the manufacturing methods used to build these things are exactly the opposite of what I'm used to doing. (They're built from the inside out)

No worries, I'm a finisher, I always finish what I start, it was just a bit depressing to find all the bad wood and rot in there. Some of the floor is rotted out too and I'm wondering when I start cutting away the bad stuff how much there will actually be.

I pulled the door apart last weekend and fixed the framing in the door itself, it had a dry rotted frame piece so I pulled that out, put a new piece in with screws and liquid nails. When I place the door back on the hinges, I noticed the frame (jam) was out of square and that was the reason the door wouldn't close right. Needless to say, I unscrewed the door jam and pulled it out; more rotted wood-most of the frame holding the jam in place. Someone actually tried to tig weld the jam together to keep it square, but the welds broke and the jam was out of square because it had no good wood holding it there. So now that the door and jam are out, I'm going to start at the base and get some new wood into the trailer frame so I have somewhere to start with the new jam framework. I still love the trailer, I just didn't see the amount of work coming.

Feeling like Tom Hanks in "The Money Pit"!~ lol
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:18 AM   #9
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we love seeing pics of the before and then of progress you are making!
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
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I feel for you I had to replace floor joists and flooring in the back end of mine and work through the side hatch! I had to half lap the joists because with out being able to put it together in pieces I would have had to take every thing out of the inside and start from scratch to repair a 2X4 section. I found that if 2 staples were fine 25 should be better and trying to get the old wood away from the staples was far harder then just pulling them out. Oh well I guess it's part of the fun of owning 20 year old campers
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #11
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Wow, what a story!
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #12
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I've taken out most of the rotten wood and I'm slowly inching my way toward piecing it back together. I'll definately take pictures tomorrow and show what work I've done.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikaldave View Post
I'll definately take pictures tomorrow and show what work I've done.

Break out the popcorn! Can't wait to see them!
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:52 AM   #14
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Okay guys, I posted some pictures of the camper and the work I'm doing/have already done. I've got about fifteen pictures on my profile now with descriptions of what I'm doing with it. Sorry if the pictures are small, I took them with my cell phone and that's the way they came out. After the I finish repairing the camper, maybe I'll buy a new digital camera! LOL! Thanks!
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