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Old 03-02-2016, 04:37 PM   #1
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Taking the Leap

First, I'd like to thank this community for the wealth of information presented here. Wow! Awesome! Thank you!!

I am about to take possession of a 1982 12 1/2MC. It's cute as a button, but pretty rough.

Obvious issues: Water damage. Mice. It looks like there's already been some remediation. Floors were replaced at some point, but it looks like there's been more water since. I'm assuming I'm going to have to pull it all apart to be sure that I'm not sleeping with mold and rodents.

The pluses: It's tiny and has a toilet/shower... exactly what I was looking for. Most everything is original and still in place, although nothing is verified to be in working condition. Frame is solid, tires are brand new, axle bearings repacked. Skin is decent, although someone did an interior repair using screws slightly too long, resulting in a bunch of little holes on the exterior on one side. I'm assuming those can just be caulked.

Most everything I've read has said to stay away from water damaged campers. Believe me, I never would have bought it if I could afford something in better shape, but I can't, so I did. On the plus side, I have a nice, dry garage to work on it in, and no deadlines.

I am a homeowner with very limited funds, so diy has become a way of life, leaning as I go, gaining more confidence with every new project, but I've never done anything like this before. I'm not even sure where to start, or what to ask.

Any general advice would be greatly appreciated, short of talking me out of it. While I have not actually purchased it or taken possession of it yet, it's probably too late to turn me back now. I'm excited about the project and the potential, and finding this community to hold my hand as I go was a big factor in my decision to go forward with the purchase.

The only thing that might deter me now is if it doesn't fit under the 8' garage door height, and I'm pretty sure it will once I take the vent cover off the top. While length, weight, and interior height were easy to find, I could find no info here or elsewhere about the exterior height. I had to actually measure the trailer. It comes in at 7'7" to the roof with fully inflated tires, not including the roof vents. It will be close. I have an agreement to purchase it only if it fits.

I'll post pictures when I have it in my possession.

Thanks again for being here,
Pat
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:52 PM   #2
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Hi Pat,

If you have wood working tools and are handy with them, you can rebuild most anything in these campers. It will take time, but time in these kind of cases is well, pretty inexpensive if you are doing it... We are here to help as needed. Pictures go a long way in helping explain what you are talking about. Post away.

The only advise, get ride of all the rot and get it sealed up tight in the rebuild process. And do not use silicone to seal it, ask when you get to that point we can help point you the better sealants for a rolling house on wheels.

I looked in the 1982 brochure and could not find a camper height. These brochures are in the "FILES" section. Top of the forum with a tab sticking up called "FILES" click it and read on.

Welcome and good luck on your Sunline

John
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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I looked in the 1982 brochure and could not find a camper height. These brochures are in the "FILES" section. Top of the forum with a tab sticking up called "FILES" click it and read on.
This was a pretty rare spec until more recently. Often they'd include interior height, but not exterior.
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Old 03-03-2016, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses.

First goal: Stripped, cleaned, sealed, towable and registered by summer.

I'm starting to understand the expense involved if I want working appliances. I can't even imagine being able to afford a new propane refrigerator, for instance. For now, I would be happy with a clean, dry sleeping area and a functional toilet. Anything else would be a big bonus.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:14 PM   #5
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Hi Pat,

A propane fridge is ideal when camping off the grid and away from shore power. However many have used the small dorm size electric fridges if power is at your campsite. They cost a fraction of the LP fridge.

Good luck

John
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:17 AM   #6
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I will be off grid. But for the price of a fridge, I could buy enough ice to drown in.
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Old 03-04-2016, 06:11 PM   #7
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I will be off grid. But for the price of a fridge, I could buy enough ice to drown in.
Check around there are often used ones on the on line shopper sites (cregs list etc) A gas fridge can't be beat and they don't make things wet!
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:12 PM   #8
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I was really hoping that the fridge might work, but when I opened the door, the ammonia nearly bowled me over, so no chance. A cooler will do for now. Heck, it's what I've always had, anyway. Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely keep my eyes open on cl until I see something. It will probably be awhile before it makes it to the top of my list, so no rush.

I lost sleep thinking that this old camper wasn't worth it. I've been looking for something self-contained this size for a year now, with a budget of $0. Of course, I didn't think I'd actually get one for that, so $800 over budget didn't seem unreasonable. I couldn't build one myself for that. I also love the fact that I don't need to source rare vintage parts for this. But still, it would be a huge undertaking to make it usable again. Most things are in place, but nothing is in particularly good shape.

But then the seller was not only kind enough to agree to sell it to me contingent upon it fitting under my garage door height, she also agreed to bring it here to help me find out. And when I expressed a bit of anxiety over the extensive work ahead of me, she dropped the price to $0. Which means that my dream just came true.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:34 PM   #9
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Now your making progress with a little work you'll come in under the $800.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:09 PM   #10
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Pat,

Welcome to SOC! Love the little Sunlines and hope you can give yours some TLC and take it out camping. As Mainah said on-line sites like Craigslist are good places to find what you need to fit a smaller budget. Don't hesitate to post pixs too.
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