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Old 06-23-2018, 04:32 PM   #1
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SUN #10636
holmzie is an unknown quantity at this point
There's another fine mess I've gotten myself into...

You're all gonna think I'm strange, the devil or just a kook. Yep. Bound to be blacklisted. The most shunned member in a Sunline users forum may be one who has found a trailer to put a 70' tower upon. Yah, I'm a Ham Radio operator.



So, Hi folks, Im holmzie. I came across a scrapped 1990 Sunline Star Ray T170. I'm getting it for free. It has been sitting for 20 years. off the tires, and has been attacked by carpenter ants. So I thought I would investigate for information and I found this form, full of thoughtful individuals.



In a nutshell, I like the trailer, and have no idea what damage is under the skin, but I'm not looking for a living space on wheels, (but Hmmm...) The plan is to remove everything and slide or winch the tower onto the frame, and get them both to my property. Then I will build a trailer-tower, fairly common these days.



I of course am tempted to use some of the panels, door and windows to re-build an enclosed communications platform forward of the rear axle. I just cant say without seeing more of the frame. Alas, If I can't afford the extra weight, I may sell or dispose of that stuff. Darn.



The tower stows horizontally, around the 9' level, hinged just behind the rear axle. The rear of the trailer will be modified with a large 2' slot in the center of the rear bumper and frame to allow the tower to tilt up and lock in the vertical position. There will be outriggers to allow this operation, and guy wires to support the fully extend tower.



Almost done talking: The 70' tower telescopes down to around 22' before it is tilted horizontal, all by winches. The tongue will be extended as necessary once the balance point is found. All legal lighting and road requirements will be met.



Hah! The Star Ray trailer weighs 2230 Lbs (?) from the factory, having (2) 2000 lb axles for a 4000 gvwr. With everything but the frame removed, I would be putting an 1150 lb tower on it, with about 500 lbs of additional support structure and modification. Seems close. Oh, yah, a 120 lb generator.



So that's my story , and I'm stickin with it. Stay tuned for my next posts.



Tks for being here!
holmzie N2EXG



Member of OMARC (the Ocean Monmouth Amateur Radio Club)
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:01 PM   #2
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70' is pretty high going to need some long out riggers, 70 feet is a big lever. The bumper is worthless it's stamped 1/16" steel you'll need some pretty rugged fabrication back there. Our group has a plan for a 30' crank up on a trailer frame. Personally I plan to stand 40' away! Best of luck, Tim N3LYT radio tech for the W1MWV ARC.
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:39 AM   #3
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Hmm, this does sound like quite a project, but congrats on getting a free Sunline! We have enough Ham Radio people here who can probably visualize what you're planning, but I'm struggling.

Are you planning something like this?



The only thing I'd caution is that everything from the floor up is all wood framed, and a lot of that wood is probably rotted from sitting and lack of maintenance. So you'll need to do some significant rebuilding and reinforcing to handle a tower, unless you're stripping it completely to the metal trailer frame.
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:27 AM   #4
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Hi Sunline Fan, Hi mainah. Seems I have the same post in two places, I didn't see your reply here until now, and thanks for doing so. Saw your other replies in the other location, though. I'm just a little confused. I have a little trouble understanding the organization of posts and threads.


Hey, Just got notice...the signed title was mailed to me today! Unfortunately it is going to Farmingdale and I'm working on a house here in SUMMIT till next week.



FYI, the outrigers are only for raising the tower to vertical position and not intended to support extending the tower. Sunline Fan, your pic looks like Alumina Towers 35' tower trailer. I don't see any outriggers, because the 3 sections are probably only around 16' long. I can just dream.



And YAH about the wood construction through out. It smells inside, and considering the age and neglect, and a major invasion of carpenter ants, I am almost sure I will strip the trailer down to the frame. Carefully. it's like a giant grab-bag: ya just don't know what your gonna get till ya open it up!



I understand the concern expressed that the trailer/tower will be "topheavy" In fact, the 7' wide commercial tower/trailer pic in the other post (bottom) is a current product with the same 70' tower and trailer geometry, and I fashioned my "design" (cough) around it.



Tks again for reply, good to know some hams around here!
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:05 AM   #5
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Me too

Im also a ham Radio operator but the only equipment i bring camping is 2 meter stuff with about 20' of mast. Too much to bring HF equipment. I do bring the camper to field days.

Paul KD2KCY
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:45 AM   #6
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Cool, Paul KD2KCY...AND... I received title: Next steps...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwb01 View Post
Im also a ham Radio operator but the only equipment i bring camping is 2 meter stuff with about 20' of mast. Too much to bring HF equipment. I do bring the camper to field days.

Paul KD2KCY

Hey, 2 mtr is fine, nice thing about Amateur (Ham) Radio is the operating choices. For camping with the Sunline, simple is good. If you have a lovely XYL like in your photo, Ham Radio takes a second seat?



Back to Sunline Tower/Trailer project. Next step to see trailer for second time, look for any manuals, paperwork, etc. Will pass on info to forum as promised.



Planing to pigtail trailer cut-off stub wiring to my new 7 pin jack. Work on tires, two known bad valve stems, only one tire holds air, wheel rims and beads need cleaning up too? Will have compressor, generator, power washer, pole brush, soap. Jack stands.


QUESTIONs: Did the trailer originally come with a weigh distributing hitch? Anti Sway bar? I will check if stowed inside. Will check fork too.


P.A. title GVWR and unladen figures are incorrect? (see attach). The plaque on trailer states a GVWR of 4000 lbs (two 2k axles) and the dry weight around 2230 lbs. I wonder what the frame/chassis really weighs without the "house" on it.



More to come! Enjoy Summer!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P.A. Title GVWR.jpg (65.4 KB, 5 views)
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Old 07-09-2018, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holmzie View Post
Planing to pigtail trailer cut-off stub wiring to my new 7 pin jack. Work on tires, two known bad valve stems, only one tire holds air, wheel rims and beads need cleaning up too? Will have compressor, generator, power washer, pole brush, soap. Jack stands.
Swapping the pigtail should be pretty easy- just plan to wire in behind the front crossmember, under the trailer. The new pigtails you can buy are just about the perfect length to wire to there.

It's fairly common for the valve stems to go bad or the tires themselves to leak from cracking. As long as they haven't been sitting flat in the dirt, the bead area on the wheels should be ok. But it's hard to say. Are you planning to get new tires before you tow?

Be very careful with using a pressure washer- in fact, I'd recommend leaving it at home. I know you plan to deconstruct it, but those usually do more harm than good on trailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmzie View Post
QUESTIONs: Did the trailer originally come with a weigh distributing hitch? Anti Sway bar? I will check if stowed inside. Will check fork too.
No, those were always dealer accessories. The trailer came with nothing when new- no brackets for WD bars, no ball mount for a sway control, etc. They are often left with the trailer, or parts of them are. If the ball for a sway control is installed, that's the hard part. They should be a common size, so you can go buy a new sway control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by holmzie View Post
P.A. title GVWR and unladen figures are incorrect? (see attach). The plaque on trailer states a GVWR of 4000 lbs (two 2k axles) and the dry weight around 2230 lbs. I wonder what the frame/chassis really weighs without the "house" on it.
Can you post a new picture with some of the VIN showing? I'm fearing this may not be the right title for the trailer. There's also a Sun-Lite brand, which were pretty light weight and small and sometimes had pop up roofs, so those numbers on there seem like they could be true for it. Have you verified the title VIN matches the trailer's VIN?
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2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9467.8 (as of 5/26/19)
1997 T-2653 Blue Denim, #5471
1979 12 1/2' MC, Beige & Avocado, #4639
Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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Old 08-09-2018, 09:10 AM   #8
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See ya all at my "Travel Trailer to Tower Trailer conversion" post

Swing on by, folks!
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