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Old 07-16-2021, 06:47 AM   #1
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What to look for before buying

Hi all! Put a deposit on a 2007 Sunline Solaris T 264SR yesterday from a private seller in Connecticut. Haven't finished the deal yet while I do more research. Number 1 it looked clean, everything works except didn't try heat only ac and all electric and lights good. No leaks that I could see. No smells. How does a first timer know what he is looking for and if a good deal?

Selling for 12999. Got for 12000. Needs new antenna, tires and propane tanks. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks......
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:04 AM   #2
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A moisture meter would be the best advise, it can be leaking even if you can't see or smell anything. There is info here on the forum on what to get and how to use. Our 2006 T264SR was beautiful inside with no smells, but had previous water damage and new leaks. If possible inspect the roof pay attention to the front and rear seams, thats typically where the leaks start. If the rubber membrane seems very stretchy, like a rubber band, there is or has been a water issue that degraded the structure under the membrane. Do not walk on the roof, most likely it is not a walk on style roof unless special ordered. The roof has a "budboard" bonded to the rubber for support, its basically thick cardboard and can't take weight. When the water gets in the bud board disengratretes and just leaves the rubber on top, giving it the rubber band stretchyness. All is fixable (with time and money) but should be reflected in the price paid.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:28 AM   #3
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Hi Seasons4carl,

Welcome! The camper model and year you are looking at is a great camper.

But...water damage is the enemy of a camper, any brand. Often water damage to a camper goes undetected, as you cannot smell it or see it inside the camper living space until years after the leak started. Campers often get "seeper" leaks, small amounts of water at first enter the cieling or walls through failed sealants. Over time, the seeping deteriorates the sealants or wood and the leak gets larger and larger.

If the camper was stored outside most of it's life and the owner did not know about roof caulk maintenance OR siding sealant leaks, odds are more in favor in some type of leak. The unknown until an inspection is done, is how many leaks or how big a leak? Even a camper stored inside for 6 months a year, can have leaks. O a camper stored inside when not used for camping can have a leak as it was infected when camping. Having a camper stored inside or covered with a trap/RV cover is a big help, but still the concern is there.

The one large recommendation I can give, is to get a pinless moisture meter (~$45), gain some some learning on how to use it, this forum is the place to learn it on a Sunline, and inspect the camper all over for water damage. This can be the best investment you do in any camper you are looking at.

The owner may not even know they have an issue, but you are paying full price for a used camper that may need a level of water damager repair. I'm not saying not buy the camper, but know going in, eyes wide open that there can be water damage. And if you find the damage, and the owner is willing to see and listen, they may lower the price. These Sunlines are all fixable and worth it compared to buying a new camper, but most times only affordable to repair if you can do the work yourself. Basic wood tools and wood working skills, a good amount of time, a place to do the work, the will and want to, you can do this. We can help with what to do as you work on the camper. We have many members doing this often and right now. We have lots of posts on folks doing water damage repair.

See this post which the club member asked the same questions early this year. The camper you are looking at is close to the same year and a slide camper. It will save me retyping. And it has links to the moisture meter. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...ner-19999.html

You mentioned this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons4carl View Post
Selling for 12999. Got for 12000. Needs new antenna, tires and propane tanks. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks......
A new roof antenna, you can use a Wineguard or a Jack brand antenna. The Jack unit will be cheaper if the arms of the older Wineguard as still usable.

The tires, yes, you will need 5 new tires if they are out of date by 5 years old. Yes, you should replace the spare tire too. It is common to have old tires on used camper. Trailer tires most times, age out and not wear out. If you are towing the camper a long distance to home, suggest getting new tires before towing it. A tire blowout can do big damage to the siding of a camper. For sure, air the tires up to max cold side wall pressure before towing it, old tires or new.

The LP tanks. While the age of the tank does require a re-certification, that does not mean they have to be replaced. There are places that inspect and if the tank is not rusted badly or damaged, they re-certify them for another 5 years. We just did this just this week on 2, 30# LP tanks at my local propane supplier. The 2 tanks, recertified and filled both with propane for $39.20 for both. If the tanks have heavy rust or damage, then most times then you have to get a new tank. Check if they can pass recertification before buying new tanks.

Hope this helps and fell free to ask or post pics of the camper in areas you need help with.

John
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:11 PM   #4
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Moiosture

Hi Ben,

Thanks for responding and for this great info. Will pick one up and head down to test it out. Is there a range if something is wet that is acceptable or should the entire camper read 0?

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenB View Post
A moisture meter would be the best advise, it can be leaking even if you can't see or smell anything. There is info here on the forum on what to get and how to use. Our 2006 T264SR was beautiful inside with no smells, but had previous water damage and new leaks. If possible inspect the roof pay attention to the front and rear seams, thats typically where the leaks start. If the rubber membrane seems very stretchy, like a rubber band, there is or has been a water issue that degraded the structure under the membrane. Do not walk on the roof, most likely it is not a walk on style roof unless special ordered. The roof has a "budboard" bonded to the rubber for support, its basically thick cardboard and can't take weight. When the water gets in the bud board disengratretes and just leaves the rubber on top, giving it the rubber band stretchyness. All is fixable (with time and money) but should be reflected in the price paid.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:13 PM   #5
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Thanks! Will check the moisture when I get the meter in. Is there a reason why you said I am paying full price when the NADA is booking it out at 14-15000?
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:16 PM   #6
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How is this full price when NADA says 14-15,000? Thanks
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Old 07-18-2021, 04:05 PM   #7
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Roof

Hi all,

Well the owner checked for spongy roof and sure enough it was spongy and flexing in the front area above the bedroom. Never even thought of that he said or to check it. So he said he would return my deposit and contact his extended warranty company to see if it is still covered. He was a stand up guy to deal with but things happen. We are in the middle of prepping to sell our house and move south so this would have come in handy on our land while we build. Thanks for your guys help.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons4carl View Post
Is there a range if something is wet that is acceptable or should the entire camper read 0?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons4carl View Post
Thanks! Will check the moisture when I get the meter in. Is there a reason why you said I am paying full price when the NADA is booking it out at 14-15000?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons4carl View Post
Well the owner checked for spongy roof and sure enough it was spongy and flexing in the front area above the bedroom. Never even thought of that he said or to check it. So he said he would return my deposit and contact his extended warranty company to see if it is still covered. He was a stand up guy to deal with but things happen. We are in the middle of prepping to sell our house and move south so this would have come in handy on our land while we build. Thanks for your guys help.
Hi,

I'll comment some on the above 3 replies.

On what does the moisture meter numbers mean, see this PDF file in our Files section. It shows the moisture meter scanning two different campers. Page 2 has a wetness write up what the numbers mean in "wall Mode" on the General Instruments meter model MMD7NP https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/d...o=file&id=5638

A 0 to 10% number is low to no moisture. From 15% and up, the meter is seeing a level of moisture, it is a very sensitive device. The meter is a tool to help you understand if an area is dry, slightly wet to very wet and how big the wet are is. Odds are you can find leaks that just started and the wet are is small. Other areas may be a lot larger as the leak was ongoing longer, they have higher numbers.

Next comes, well how bad is bad? What is a small fix and what is a big fix? And then, what is acceptable to you to want to deal with after your buy it? If you by chance find a camper that the entire camper is at 0 to 10%, you have found a gem. They do exist, but it all depends on how the prior owner used, stored or covered the camper. And, if they understood how campers can leak and did they do any maintenance to the roof and siding joints? If they did do roof maintenance and siding joint maintenance, on what intervals? Once in 10 years, once a year, 4 times a year? Many camper owners really do not know or understand about the needs of roof and siding maintenance and how important they are.

It appears your camper seller is a stand up person, he found a soft roof spot and is willing to help you with your deposit. There are many honest folks out there and hoping you found one. That camper needs the moisture meter inspection not only on the front roof, but the entire front wall, left and right side walls and the floor all the way to the bottom of the camper. Roof water or a siding joint leak up high, water leaking down inside the walls, damages wood below it was water keeps flowing down until it stops at the bottom and then festers and rots.

If the front has had this soft issue, the rear roof and wall also needs to be looked at. The 4 corners of the roof and wall system and the front and rear roof seam are hot spots for water infections as the camper flexes a lot when towing. And if the maintenance is missed, in time they become leak zones.

The cost, the current NADA pricing appears to be inflated some, and it may be a COVID effect. Year 2004 campers I bought only a few years ago, now have a higher NADA value then they did 2 years ago by about $1,500 to $2,000. A 2007 camper can be a lot more inflated. New and used campers are selling like hot cakes right now. RV parts are 2 to 3 times more then they were in Dec 2019. The Covid situation seems to be pushing all this up as campers are in demand. The pricing you listed is a subjective number, it is what does that value mean to you? If the camper has a good degree of water damage, needing 5 new tires, maybe 2 new LP tanks and other repairs, paying the price range you listed, to me, appears high if you plan on repairing it. But again, it is your investment, I'm not saying it is not a bad deal, I'm trying to help you make a more informed decision as the repair costs add up quickly.

See this post, it is of a 2006 T264SR that had no inside signs of water damage. But there was damage and it is now all repaired and a great camper that will last if well maintained. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...avy-16834.html

There are many others camper rebuilds with pictures here on the forum. One really can't imagine it takes all that time to fix something like a camper, but it does. Yo really never know unless you have been through it or seen someone go through it.

The repair of that camper I linked was done by the owners, the out of pocket costs was for materials only. It was a labor of love to correct it. If you hire out that type or water damage repair at RV shop rates of $75 to $125/hr., plus marked up materials, you will exceed the price you paid for it quickly. These are really only practical if you can do the work yourself. If you can, you can create a really nice camper better then many new one selling now. Just realize this may happen.

We nor you yet, know the camper you are looking at has the same damage as the one post. It may be only the front. I am not trying to discourage you, only help you what to consider and pass along what we have learned. We have had club members join our club where the prior owner never told them there was issues. And they may not have known they where there. Later the new owner finds large water damage and they paid a high price for the camper and they are dealing with it.

The good news, you came and asked first. The price paid is a personal choice for the enjoyment they will gain later. Only you can make that judgment if the cost is in line for you.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons4carl View Post
So he said he would return my deposit and contact his extended warranty company to see if it is still covered. He was a stand up guy to deal with but things happen.
Odds are high, his insurance will not cover water damage. Often the claim is rejected and declared the leak cause was lack of proper camper maintenance.

You have a better chance of collecting on water damage if a tree falls on the camper as mother nature had a hand in that leak. Then the insurance company may declare the camper totaled if it is in the 10 year old range.

I know this sounds sad, be we see and hear it a lot.
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