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Old 05-24-2009, 07:14 AM   #1
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SUN #857
JACKS_267
New Sunline Owner

Hi everyone, great site. After shopping around for a TT I came across a lightly used 2003 Solaris 267SR for under NADA average. From what I read Sunlines are above average in quality. It looks and feels nice, but I was wondering what all the enthusiam for Sunlines is about. What makes them a step up? It seems to be finished nicely, but is the construction something special in the industry? Either way we're excited about it and are looking forward to using it as it feels like a new rig. Any opinions or feedabck on this model would be appreciated. I plan on pulling it with a '99 Expedition with factory tow package and 5.4. The seller included the hitch, weight dist bars and a sway brake so I think I'm set. Any opinions on the tow set up. Thanks, Jack
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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Jack,

Welcome to the club.

Sunlines were just plain well-built compared to every other TT out there. Better design, better materials, and better workmanship. That's the magic.

Now, about your tow vehicle... First, which Expedition do you have? There are 3 possibilities according to the '99 towing chart:

Hopefully, you have the 2WD version which is rated at 8,300# max trailer. (I've outlined that version and the required options in red boxes.) There are a lot of other variables such as the weight rating of your axles and your weight distributing hitch, but let's concentrate on just the base vehicle for now.

Your T-267SR is 5,730# dry (empty) weight. It has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 8,600# and a unloaded hitch weight of 750#. The GVWR includes the dry weight plus all the stuff you might put in the trailer like clothing, food, bedding, etc., etc., etc. That includes the possibility of all holding tanks being full plus a full load of propane.

Your TV also has a Combined Gross Weight Rating which is the max. allowable total of everything: truck, passengers, stuff in the truck, and trailer fully loaded. You will have to look on the door sticker for your particular truck to get the CGWR and the max axle ratings.

One other issue that is most likely not is your favor is the shorter wheelbase of the Expedition compared to pickup trucks (or even the Suburbans and Expeditions.) Again, most of us are using the extended cab models which give a long wheelbase even with a shorter pickup bed. When it comes to controlling sway, part of the equation is the wheelbase. Longer is better with the heavier trailers. The bigger the dog, the harder it is for the tail to wag the dog.

Conventional wisdom in the travel trailer world is that your tow vehicle should be able to handle at the very least 110% of the GVWR of the trailer without exceeding any of the ratings that I have mentioned. If you look around sunlineclub.com a bit and read some of the signatures, you will quickly notice that almost everyone who is pulling an SR is using at least a 3/4 ton pickup or SUV (meaning the 3/4 ton Suburbans or Expeditions.) There are a few using the newer 1/2 ton pickups that are rated up around 9,800# max. trailer weight, but most have opted for the heavier-duty everything that comes with the 3/4 or 1 ton vehicles.

You asked for opinions, so here's mine. If you have the Expedition that rates at 8,300# max. trailer, you are slightly under the base guidelines that I outlined above. It is my opinion that with a properly set-up weight distributing hitch system including the dual cam sway control system (or a Hensley), you will be able to pull that trailer. But, you will not be happy with it's performance on anything other than flat roads with a tailwind. And, the weight of that trailer will likely shorten the life of the Expedition especially given its age. Even if your truck is rated to tow 8,300#, you are right on the edge of overloading it.

If you have either the 7,900# max. or 7,400# max. versions of the Expedition, I would have to offer that I think you are too far under the numbers to tow safely.

Even if you have the 8,300# max. version of the Expedition, the rear axle ratings also need to be examined closely. With a 750# dry hitch weight, it is easily possible to reach a tongue weight of 900# or more when loaded. I suspect the rear axle is not going to be rated to deal with that kind of weight.

If you read some of the recent posts here in Introduce Yourself and over in Towing and Tow Vehicles, you'll see that a number of other folks have asked the same question with different trailer and tow vehicle combinations. The advice offered to each of them is all based on the same guidelines as I have outlined here.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:32 PM   #3
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JACKS_267
Hey, sorry my first post was so dry, I was away camping and was in a rush. It's funny, I'm excited to be changing to the Sunline from a 41' diesel pusher MH. The new owners should be here Weds to pick it up and hopefully get the 267 home next weekend. We did the USA round trip with her laast summer and used it as intended, really nice to travel in. However since we don't have the ability to repeat that feat, I figured sell while there's a buyer and get a nice TT to fill the need to get away on shorter trips, at a fraction of the cost, and believe me those diesels are way costly. Here are some pics from the seller, the thing is more immaculate in person and the people are the original owners and really nice and fanatical about their stuff. The stove was never used, nor were the propane tanks ever topped off! It's just too nice to pass up, even the wife gave the thumbs up.
Steve, you were very thorough in your response and I really appreciate the advice. The thing is the Expy is a monument in my driveway with only 61K miles and hardly gets used, but I maintain it and I own it and it runs great, so I must use it. I have towed some heavy loads with it before so I know how she handles with weight. I used to buy and sell a lot of muscle cars over the years and loved dragging them home with it, once with a 29' enclosed trailer with a 4000# Chevelle SS454 convertible in it, I know, way over loaded. I don't know what rear is in it, the door sticker says H6, but I was under the impression the factory tow package came with coolers and the 3.73 rear. It has air suspension too. The owners manual only shows that gear available with 4x4 and 17" tires. The sticker on the hitch does show 8300# capacity with a tongue weight of 850#. Either way she'll tow it, or die tryin'. I'll post the details on the hitch, weight bars and sway brake when I get it. Thanks again for reading my post and hope to hear more feedback about the 267sr.

Jack












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Old 05-25-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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JACKS_267
Here's one more pic. I think he said the big awning was an option. Anyone see any other optional equipment. He does have all the original paperwork though. I can't believe these rigs cost $25k even back then.



Here's my Overland Lorad, I am going to miss her. Seriously great rig.





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Old 05-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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SUN #857
JACKS_267
OK, the nice people picked up my coach today and they are very happy, even though I am somewhat sad. Now I need someone to kick me in the butt and tell me not to miss out on this Sunline. Pros and cons of this model or year? Should it hold it's value in the coming years? Am I getting a good deal at $10K? I guess the key is it "Jumped out at me" and said this is nice and I like it a lot. I guess that's half the battle. If I use NADA as a base line I noticed that people selling "lesser" TT's are asking at least a couple thousand over NADA average, simply because it's a 28 foot travel trailer and it must be worth that much, to them. This Sunline shows NADA average of 10,490, so based on my observations a quality unit under NADA average is a solid buy, plus the thing is pretty mint with low usage and fanatical owners. Thanks again for your anticipated insight. Happy camping.

Jack
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKS_267
Here's one more pic. I think he said the big awning was an option. Anyone see any other optional equipment. He does have all the original paperwork though. I can't believe these rigs cost $25k even back then.

I don't think the awning was an option, they should have been standard by this time. However, the slide topper awning and center tension rafter for the awning would have been options, and it's nice that you have them.

It does appear to be in very nice condition for the age. None of the plastic or fiberglass is yellowed that I can tell, which is remarkable.

I also use NADA. I'd say you got a very good buy.

I guess a pro for the '03 model year is it's the last model year before the modern looking straight maple wood. If you like the oak, then it's the best one for you.

A con that I know of is the fabric. From what I understand, that generation (like '00-'03) had very thin fabric that wore out quickly. It might not be a bad idea to keep the couch covered with something and/or the dinette cushions to prevent them from wearing a lot. Yours might be new enough though that it might not be a problem.

Jon
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:57 PM   #7
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Jack

That is a beautiful coach!! And it will give you very good service. The price, for the quality and condtion of the coach, you did good.

A freindly heads up on your Expy, your Truck reciever and rear axle rating is going to have a tough time with the camper loaded tongue weight. We can help point you where to go looking for the info as it is semi hidden some times in the fine print.

When you get time, make a post in the towing section and we can help walk you thru where to go digging for this. I had a 02 Tahoe in this same situation now 2 trucks ago, and 1 camper ago. Ideally go to a truck scale and weigh just the truck with people/pets only in it that go camping, no camping gear and full gas tank. Both axle by axle so you can get the axle weights as individual numbers. Then look at the driver door sticker for the rear axle rating and the max cold wall tire pressure. From this we can help back into what is left for a loaded tongue weight the truck can hold up and what axle weights will change when you add an estimated TT loaded tongue and WD hitch. From this you will know where you stand to start with and what to look out for in loading the camper to not by accident grossly over load the rear end of the truck. There are some loading things you can do to help the problem up to a point but the scale numbers tell you exactly where you are at.

Good luck in your really nice looking camper. There was one like it at the mid west M & G a few weeks ago and it looked great inside as well. Sunline did a really nice job with that layout and the oak. We like the light colors as well.

John
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:56 AM   #8
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I have a 02 267sr, almost exactly like yours with the exception of some interior colors. I pull mine with my 07 dodge ram 1500. I have the 392 rear end and the 5.7hemi. Now I have a full banks exhaust, cold air intake with an airram in the grill and a edge programmer with the programable dash pod. My truck pulls the sunny pretty well. but it does know its back there. I have a husky hitch set up with 1000lb bars and sits pretty level but like I said my dodge knows its back there! Just be carefull pulling and keep an eye out on your expy, Good luck with your sunny you will love it. We have been blown away by the quality of ours and love it!
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JACKS_267
OK, the nice people picked up my coach today and they are very happy, even though I am somewhat sad. Now I need someone to kick me in the butt and tell me not to miss out on this Sunline. Pros and cons of this model or year? Should it hold it's value in the coming years? Am I getting a good deal at $10K? I guess the key is it "Jumped out at me" and said this is nice and I like it a lot. I guess that's half the battle. If I use NADA as a base line I noticed that people selling "lesser" TT's are asking at least a couple thousand over NADA average, simply because it's a 28 foot travel trailer and it must be worth that much, to them. This Sunline shows NADA average of 10,490, so based on my observations a quality unit under NADA average is a solid buy, plus the thing is pretty mint with low usage and fanatical owners. Thanks again for your anticipated insight. Happy camping.

Jack
Hi Jack

First off, welcome to the club.

Second, Consider this your kick in the butt
If you haven't purchased the 2002 T-267SR, I would jump on it before some one else gets it.
From the pictures it looks in excellent condition, very well maintained.
And the price is definitely a good price.
The floor plan looks to be an excellent choice for your family size.
And Sunline’s maintain the value very well and hold up exceptionally.
We’re on our 3rd Sunline.
Your tow vehicle may be the only weak link, but should be able to handle the T-267SR.

If you’ve already purchased it, congratulations.
You’ll fall in love with it, just as you did with your Overland Lorad.

Let us know how things work out.
Also, if you live in the Northeast, there’s still room and time for you and your family to join and come to the Buttonwood M&G Rally.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Hutch
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