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Old 09-09-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
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New Sunline Owner, First Time Camper Owner

My wife and I bought our first travel trailer (camping trailer) yesterday, and I will bring it home tomorrow. We bought a 1988 Sunline 12' camper (1800 lb max) that is road ready, but do expect to find things that need attention.

Already had a ball and 4-way connector on our truck - an S-10. Put the adapter on for the 7-way trailer connector this morning, so we should be ready to hook up and bring it home. I'll take care of the legalities tomorrow as well.

Since we are new to this all the way around, so we are more than open to any suggestions/advice that will give us a smooth start. The ins and outs of the various systems on it will take some getting used to - grey/black water, fresh water, various hookups and other such things. Also driveability/handling related issues to be aware of. I've pulled trailers before, but mostly low profile ones such as boats and work/flatbed trailers - 3500 pound or less.

We don't expect to take long trips with it, mostly the Texas panhandle area. Too small a setup (truck and trailer) for longer trips.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:03 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome! Browse the threads here for lots of info and ask any questions. The people on this board are very welcoming and generous with their know-how!
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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Congratulations on finding a Sunline all the way down in TX! You say it's too small for long trips but I think you'll be surprised how much storage Sunline was able to pack into their trailers. They were the masters at that, and awsome floorplans. There are lots of experts on here (not me) who are happy to answer any questions, so ask away!
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys.

Tweety, I was thinking more of the truck as opposed to the Sunline itself. A standard cab S-10 isn't the best for long trip comfort - and towing with a 4-cylinder to boot. Who knows, maybe we'll stretch 'em out a bit down the road. <G>
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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Didn't know they made an adapter to go from 4 pin on TV to 7 pin on RV. My adapters were the other way around, 7 pin on TV to 4 pin for a boat trailer. I couldn't find a 7 pin male adapter to fit the RV plug.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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This is the one I got, j52wf: Hopkins™ Vehicle Wiring Kit, 4 to 7 Connector - 014322299 | Tractor Supply Company
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtstanton View Post
Hi Dtstanton,

Welcome and congrats on your new coach.

Thanks for the link. Didn't know they made that kind of kit. Use the 4 wire flat to power up the body and tail lights and then hard wire in your brake controller, heavy ground and a battery charge wire to make the 7 wire fully functional. If that the way you are using it?

Happy camping

John
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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Thanks, John. You're pretty close. I'm only using the 4 for the body/tail lights and ground. There is no brake on my 1350. Used to be hydraulic brakes and it still has the original brake actuator coupler, but the axle had been replaced with a new no-brake version last year. Should I be using one for the battery charge? I plan on keeping it plugged in to 115 (as it is now) when not rolling.

[As an aside, I worked at Union Fork and Hoe (Union Tool if it's still there) on Dublin for 4 or 5 years back in the 80's.]

-Dale
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #9
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Hi Dale,

A friendly heads up. From the 1988 catalog, the T1350 was rated at a 2,500# GVWR. Catalog says 13'11"

http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=5492

The dry weight was listed as 1,680# which means no camping gear, no battery, no LP gas in the tank and no extra options.

Then you mentioned the coupler had a surge brake and someone prior unhooked it and put a non brake axle on the camper.

Here is the heads up. If your state requires annual inspection on a camper, it will fail for lack of brakes as the original manufacture built it with brakes due to the weight class of the trailer. Then they will get you on there is no emergency break away feature to stop a run away trailer in the event of separation from the truck.

Then there is, does your state have a law on the books which requires trailers over 1,000#, or 2,000# to mandate having brakes. I know Ohio does, do not know in your state.

So now what… The above is just to give you a heads up of what you fell into. If you end up in an accident and someone starts checking this will come up. And then there is can your truck stop the camper in the correct stopping distance without the trailer having brakes?

Well, now you know. There are options and depending on how mechanical you are they get cheaper.

If the axle you have now is an actual brake axle, meaning it has the flanges on the ends for brakes and the spindle can accept a brake drum, this is not too bad.

Drums and brakes can be in the $220 range plus you need a break controller, another $100 range.

http://www.easternmarine.com/catalog...500+brake+axle


If you have to replace the axle tube to get a brake axle, then the add approx $130 to $150 plus shipping. Assuming the springs are OK.

An entire 3,500# brake axle with springs is may be on the $400 range as an assembly. For sure shop around but that is the league we are in.
http://www.amazon.com/Dexter-Axle-3500-lb-Brake/dp/B006UH6JS4

If you want to go to Elkhart IN there are suplus dealers that have lots of trailer parts and brakes axles are in a big pile. Mayge even cheaper however the gas to get there may make it a wash.

If you can do the work yourself, this is not that hard of a job if you have the tools etc. It is however a cost. Again this is just a friendly heads up so you know what you have. If you where to ask my opinion, I would add the brakes.

Union Fork and Hoe, wow it is a small world. They use to have a plant in Delaware. I do not know if it still operating. They made good tools. Lifetime tools. I have some. If you use to work in Dublin, well you where right in our area for sure.

Good luck and hope this helps. If needed I can help more on the axle process.

John
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info and heads up, John. I appreciate it.

Texas has a 4500# cutoff for mandatory brakes and inspections. The title lists it as 1800# gross, and that's what I was going on mostly. The brochure shows 1680# with standard equipment and 1535# standard equipment, dry. We won't be loading it down anywhere near max. I can always have it weighed to make sure.

I will be paying close attention to everything, and will take your comments and advice seriously. Not a big deal for me to do the work. I do all my own mechanic work.

The Fork and Hoe wasn't in Dublin, it was on Dublin Ave., right across the street from a casket company.

Thanks again.

-Dale
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #11
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Hi Dale,

Gee 4,500#... you guys do everything big in Texas don't you...

Happy camping and if you need any pointers on anything in the camper, Sunline Owners Club is the place to ask.

John
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtstanton View Post
Texas has a 4500# cutoff for mandatory brakes and inspections.
-Dale
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
Hi Dale,
Gee 4,500#... you guys do everything big in Texas don't you...
John
While looking at Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws, I found the following states whose brake requirement laws differ from the usual 2000 - 3000 lbs:

states requiring brakes if weight is over the normal 2000-3000 lbs required by most states:
Massachusetts - 10,000 unladen
Alaska - when gross weight exceeds 5,000 lbs.
Rhode Island - gross weight of 4,000 lbs.

states requiring brakes if weight is under the normal 2000-3000 lbs required by most states:
New York - over 1000 lbs. unladen
North Carolina - house trailer weighing at least 1,000 lbs.
Idaho - unladen weight of 1,500 lbs.
Nevada - at least 1,500 lbs.

states requiring brakes to enable stopping in required distance:
Kansas - stop within 40 feet from an initial speed of 20 mph
Utah - stop within 40 feet from an initial speed of 20 mph
Wyoming - stop within 40 feet from an initial speed of 20 mph
Oregon - must be able to stop within legal limits ( limits not stated)

states requiring brakes in other circumstances:
Missouri - coupled by a 5th-wheel and kingpin only
North Dakota - operated at a speed in excess of 25 mph
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:37 PM   #13
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Good info to have, thanks. This, from the same site for Texas:

Texas

A trailer or pole trailer is required to have brakes if its gross weight exceeds 4,500 lbs. A trailer with a gross weight between 4,500 lbs. and 15,000 lbs. is not required to have brakes if it is towed at a speed of not more than 30 mph.
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