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Old 05-23-2017, 10:29 AM   #1
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2002 T-2053 Sunline Trailer Trauma!

Hi All!

Thought I would start a thread as to how to go about baptizing a once beautiful Sunline Travel Trailer.

Allan & I have the long story in the Introduction area. I'll add it here soon!

I submitted some pictures to a repair service about 65 miles from here and the response was, worst case scenario $5-$6,000 but thinking it will be closer to $4,000. I wanted to ask before towing it over what the worst would be on the repair, possible rebuild. He also said they would love to look at it in case we decide it's just more repair than we want to invest in.

I've started an album with pictures of the damaged areas.

SO- that's where we are with our 'project' today! Off to feed the chickens!


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Old 05-23-2017, 11:45 AM   #2
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Suzie here: I wanted to edit my last post to say I'm going to find information here on getting the camper covered today! Couldn't find the edit button for the post.

I want to be depressed that I didn't do my homework prior to purchasing this camper. Lesson learned! I don't think it a good idea to pay another possible $5,000 to have it repaired. Your thoughts?

I'm thinking if I could even get 1/2 of the $2,000 out of it by selling it- I could buy a vintage Sunline in 'restored' condition for the worst case scenario estimate I was given to repair it. Granted this is my first inquiry in having it repaired.

When Allan gets in later today I'm going to encourage him to look over some of the rebuild threads here and get his opinion on us doing the work ourselves. We do have young 'farm-hands' that could get into the tight spots with Allan overseeing it.

Anyway- I appreciate your thoughts and I promise to try & not ramble here. I just feel a great need to get our direction with this poor damaged Sunline in place. *SIGH*

One thing is for certain- she needs a cover.. yesterday!


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Old 05-23-2017, 12:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Allan View Post
I submitted some pictures to a repair service about 65 miles from here and the response was, worst case scenario $5-$6,000 but thinking it will be closer to $4,000. I wanted to ask before towing it over what the worst would be on the repair, possible rebuild. He also said they would love to look at it in case we decide it's just more repair than we want to invest in.
Hi Suzie & Allan,

1st to address you cost of repair worth it, if you had it repaired at the facility you mentioned, you would end up having $6,000 to $8,000 invested in the trailer, based on Allan's post on the Introduction form indicating you have $2,000 currently invested in it.

The NADA value on your trailer is $3,900 low retail and $4,680 high retail.

So you would end up having more invested in the trailer then the NADA assessment value.

As far as doing the repair yourself, it is very doable, particularly since Allan indicated he has extensive background in construction.

Plus there are many members here that have done the same thing, so you have great help and suggestions on how to do things and where to get parts, if needed.

In my opinion, I would say go for the "fun" project.
For 2 reasons, 1st, you'll probably save money, and 2nd you'll know the job was done right. You'll probably do a better job then the repair facility would do.

You also mentioned about covering the trailer. I would get a large tarp that is of sufficient size to cover the whole roof area and with still some left to come down the side partially. Stack or tie the tarp down and you should be good to keep any additional rain and moisture off the roof.

Hope this was of some help.
Good luck.
Mary & Tom (aka Hutch)
2015 Jayco Eagle Premier 361REQS
2014 GMC Sierra 3500HD 4x4 CC D/A
Sunlines: 2005 Solaris T-280SR; 1999 Solaris T-2670; 1998 Saturn T-24A
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:19 PM   #4
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Thank You Hutch!

It was of great help. We really appreciate you taking the time to give us direction! 'Knowing' is half the battle'!
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Old 05-23-2017, 01:50 PM   #5
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I recently purchased a trailer with a rebuilt title. It appeared that the professional repairs were done correctly and the interior was in perfect condition along with everything working...we were pretty happy campers spending a little more than the camper was probably worth.
Subsequently I have found areas that were not repaired properly or up to my standards. So in order to protect our moderate investment, I plan to use the camper and do the repairs needed myself along with the advise of the great people on this site. Kind of making it a pet project of sorts.
My first priority is keeping it dry and then start digging.


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Old 05-23-2017, 02:02 PM   #6
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Hi Suzie,

I have been working on my Sunny for a few months. It is completely covered. I got a tarp from Harbor Freight for a decent price.

I have even been able to work on it while it is raining out. I have no real construction or carpentry experience and so far I have managed (very slowly as I am learning too) to make repairs. It is definitely doable and there are members on this forum that are more than willing to help you through the process if you decide to take on the project.

Good luck and welcome.

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnít do than by the ones you did do..." Mark Twain]
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:57 PM   #7
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Thank You John & Tommie

Suzie here:

I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us John. I thought I was the only one who had been shocked in a 'reasonable' (???) trailer purchase. I have learned today- there are MANY who have found what they thought was a great deal only to learn later that it would come with much repair. One day I hope to really believe that saying, 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is'. Who would have thought trailer roofs and soft spots would have such huge time and carpentry requirements behind them? HA! I hope your repairs are easy & go well-!

Hi Tommie!


I have read your entire rebuild thread and I must say I am very impressed with your thorough accomplishments. I enjoyed your picture documentations and how well the experts here stood by you throughout the process. It was your thread actually that sobered me regarding my 'great' buy! And just what we are facing. You have done so well with yours! Congratulations!

Thanks also for the suggestion regarding a tarp. It has rained here for the past few days. Should I cover it once it dries off? Knowing what I do now I'm just short of hysteria with the rain and damp weather we're having today. There's NOTHING I can do! That I know of anyway.

I look forward to following your, 'from damaged to brand new' trailer journey! I see a campfire on your horizon!
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:55 PM   #8
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Hi Suzie,

I read your last post in the intro forum and now this one here. I looked at the pics you posted. I will comment in this one post for you.

I will echo PTHutch's response, as for the financial side of this, doing the rebuild yourself is the practical way to do it, especially with Allan's skill set and your help. Hiring this out due to the large labor cost can cost more then the camper is valued at or what you may be able to sell it for.

From your pic I can see the ceiling damage which points to a water infection in the roof that is either very large or is small but has been on going for I would estimate 2 to 3 years or more. By the time you see the damage show up inside like that on a "slow" leak, the leak has been on going for a good 2 - 3 years, maybe more, as the leaks grew in size over time. And the roof leak allows water in which seak's the lowest point it can go. Odds are your front wall and some of the side walls near it have some damage.

Many here on the forum has been through this and their campers now look great!

I myself acquired a "project camper" (the 2004 T1950) this year too that is not as advanced as yours, but will be using just about the same repair process. I knew what I was getting into when I acquired it, but I know these Sunny's can be restored to their full glory in time. In my case the rear wall board is in need of replacing verses the ceiling. And then there will be other repairs up in the roof with rafter correction and under the camper dealing with trapped water in the underbelly. I have not started the disassembly process yet, I may within the next month to just open it up and let it dry out. The rebuild itself may need to wait until winter time with everything else we have going on.

When the rains stop, I agree if you can, cover the camper to stop more water from getting in. Letting more in, makes what you have worse. However while covered, it has been shown that wet trapped in the ceiling, walls or under the camper above the black waterproof membrane (we call this the Darco underbelly covering) will stay that way until you open it up and let the open air start the evaporation process. The batt insulation acts like a sponge and soaks up a lot of water that will not evaporate out. And the rubber roof will not let evaporation go up and out, nor the siding. The water is trapped in there... Or it is will take a really long time, maybe a year or more if then. And if it did evaporate out, odds are likely a dry rot fungus has started which is as bad as the wet rot. The dry rot leaves you with dust of a beam looking thing rather then wet rot which is a soggy mess.

When you open it up, it is going to look really ugly... and that it seems hopeless, especially seeing this for the first time. But... don't despair it can be brought back to life after you get the wet yuk out. When the camper dries out, it actually starts looking better. And it all gets better after each work day from there! This will take time to do but when you are all done, the camper can be a really great unit you can keep as long as you want. There is a real good feeling of pride when you are out camping is a restored camper. We really get attached to these campers... trust me.

A year ago, my son and I redid a 2006 T264SR that ended up having 3 roof leak areas. The inside was still perfect, but the damage above the ceiling and rear walls was there. That camper is now in perfect condition with a full walk on roof better then my good T310SR. He also took it further this year and Eternabonded all the roof seams to not have this issue happen again.
That camper will last him a life time now if it wants it that long and it is taken care of from here forward. This post documents the process and the costs along with the hours it took the 2 of us to get it done. While yours will be a little more dealing with the inside ceiling, what is in this post is very applicable. And your camper is smaller so that helps too.

By your pics, the cabinets and other things in the camper still look in pretty good shape unless there is a photo anomaly going on. What you have is a "project camper" but you can turn it into a real gem when you are done.

One thing that does help, take lot of pics (detail and far away) of every stage of the disassembly process. It helps when you start rebuilding, h'mm what did that look like? Those details come in handy when you start the fix it portion of the project. And you can share them with us so we can help see what you are up against and suggest how to make the repair.

Hope this helps. We are here rooting for ya!!

Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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Old 05-25-2017, 02:26 PM   #9
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I think you're in a good spot to repair it yourself. You bought it for a good price- so you have more room to work with compared to if you bought it at full retail.

It's important to note that the number of Sunline owners who proactively check their roof for any problems is very small. If you sell this one to buy another, there's no guarantee it wouldn't need the same repairs, unless you really have documentation of what's been done. And that said, since they do cost more to repair than they are worth, most everyone repairing them will get their enjoyment out of it for that value instead of selling right away. Finding a freshly "restored" one that has really had all leak issues taken care of would be very rare, and likely a lot more money.

2007 T-286SR Cherry/Granola, #6236, original owner, current mileage: 9473.8 (as of 6/18/21)
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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