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Old 02-23-2021, 08:36 PM   #1
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Chantelle is an unknown quantity at this point
Unsure of what year satellite model is from?

Hi everyone, I recently purchased a 22ft with the word Ďsatelliteí on it. I have to tow it about 90 mins to bring it home. The previous owner can only guess that itís an 80s model & has no idea of the weight of it- this is obviously a problem for towing it. Can anyone help me to identify it?? It has 1 door towards the front, kitchen on the left as u enter, then turn right to see 2 single beds, through a narrow doorway there is a bathroom on the left (could have been added later) & some bunks on the right. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:18 PM   #2
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Welcome Chanelle!

Congrats on your new Sunny!

If you happen to have the VIN number, we can decode the actual model year.

OR if you can post a picture of all 4 outside walls, and it is not painted over, we can back into a year and model.

I'm not the guru on the older Sunlines, but I "think" the Satellite" models ran from 1986 to 1989. The Star Ray started in 1990. So it appears yours is maybe a camper from 1986 to 1989. Club member, Sunline Fan is the guru on the older campers, he can pick this things out in his sleep.

It is hard to follow your word description due to the left and right part and front and back. On campers, the sides of the camper are like auto's. The left and right are declared with you inside facing the front/forward of the camper. Front wall is the front where the tow ball is, back wall or rear, is the rear where the stop lights and bumper is.

The left side or non door side, is the driver side of the camper.

The right side or door side, is the passenger side of the camper.

You can also help by looking up the sales brochures on the model year of your camper. Then look over the floor plans and match the floor plan and year to the model. The brochure then has all the weights in it. Some floor plans/models carry over from year to year while others do not.

In our FILES section you can search for your model year and download a copy of the brochure. Start with 1986 through 1989 and see if you can back into the year/model from there. We can help too, but we need pics or a something more to go on. We can help confirm your choice too if we can see it.

To get to the files section, you need to be logged into the forum.
At the top of the forum are tabs, look for the word "FILES" click it.


Once into the files section, scroll down to the "Sunline Brochures" section. Go in there and find a sale brochure for the camper you are looking at and down load a copy.

Hope this helps,

John
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Old 02-23-2021, 11:27 PM   #3
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Chantelle is an unknown quantity at this point
Thankyou so much John, I’ll have a thorough look. I wasn’t sure how to post pics, so I created an album with a few pics that I’m hoping you can access? Or anyone who would like to solve the mystery of the year this satellite is from??
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:38 AM   #4
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I went to your photo album. A picture is worth a million words.

How exactly did you come to know it was a Sunline? Sunline did offer a Satellite camper, more of a trim/package/offering of features then an actual model, but what you have in your pics is not Sunline looking.

This pic of yours


On the back side, there is a label of some kind on the top center, do you have a closer pic of that? Can't read, this still does not look like a Sunline, but may help us with what brand it is.


Here is a link to your photo album with your four pics in it.https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/m...albums832.html

Maybe Sunline Fan, our resident old Sunline guru will recognize the brand. He is into the older campers of all brands.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chantelle View Post
I wasnít sure how to post pics, so I created an album with a few pics that Iím hoping you can access?
There are 3 ways to add pics. You already figured out no. 3 below. 1 & 2 can help also.

1. Upload pics to a specific post attaching them at the end of the post.

2. Linking them in from a public viewable web photo hosting service you have.

See here for 1 and 2 https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...html#post86041

3. You can upload pics to the forum in your own personal photo album. Then link them to anywhere in the text of a post. See here on how to create an album. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...html#post87945

If you still get stuck, let us know. Pic's go a long way in helping show things you are working on, and we really like seeing Sunline pics or what ever brand camper you have!

Hope this helps

John
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Old 02-24-2021, 03:32 PM   #6
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The word on the rear of the caravan says ‘satellite’, that’s how my research began. Unless there is another company I’m unaware of that made ‘satellite’??
Thankyou so much for the photo posting advice, it’s very helpful.
So the mystery continues....... what caravan did I purchase?��
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Old 02-24-2021, 04:52 PM   #7
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Starcraft has a Satellite line. They've been in business long enough to match the apparent vintage of that trailer, but I don't know how long their Satellite series has been around.
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Old 02-24-2021, 10:31 PM   #8
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That's definitely not a Sunline. It does look a bit European caravan like. It also looks like mid '60s by design, which was before Sunline was building trailers.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip on Starcraft making satellite caravans- unfortunately no match, their satellite range is all year 2000 + models.

So it’s not a sunline???☹️
And it looks like a 60s model?? Not an 80s model??

Can anyone help me with any info at all as to what on earth this caravan is??
Thanks
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chantelle View Post
So it’s not a sunline???☹️
And it looks like a 60s model?? Not an 80s model??

Can anyone help me with any info at all as to what on earth this caravan is??
Thanks
Here is a place to start. There is a camper club called, Tin Can Tourists (TCT). These folks. https://tincantourists.com/ They specialize in "Vintage" campers. And while some of the older Sunlines are vintage, the looks of how a camper is built is unique to the brand. Us Sunline enthusiasts can spot a Sunline by the features of the shape and how it was built. The look and build is unique to the manufacture.

From TCT site they have a for sale page and I looked through the pics of t he campers for sale, I found this one that is close to yours. The front nose over of the roof is a unique feature that sort of matches yours. The windows look a little different, but that could be due to evolution of the brand and model year. A 1956 Franklin, https://tincantourists.com/classifie...lers-for-sale/ I may be way off on it being a Franklin, but it a place to start.

And here is a link from their site about identifying an unknown camper.
https://tincantourists.com/identifyi...known-trailer/

As an interesting read, there is also a marketing write up on the bottom of that unknown camper link about homemade kit campers from the real early days. The truck and camper looks later 40's/50's. The two assemblers, well I do not know what year, era fits the dress styles. This has nothing to do with your camper, just a curiosity thing.

Another possibility is The RV Hall of Fame, https://www.rvmhhalloffame.org/

I have been there is it is really neat. Any one into RV'ing, and close to northern IN, this place is a for sure go see it kind of place. I tried to look to see if I could spot yours in the pics, but no luck. There are lots of online videos and pics of folks making the trip there.

Hope this helps, and if you do find out the brand/year, let us know. This is very interesting.
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chantelle View Post
Hi everyone, I recently purchased a 22ft with the word Ďsatelliteí on it. I have to tow it about 90 mins to bring it home. The previous owner can only guess that itís an 80s model & has no idea of the weight of it- this is obviously a problem for towing it.
This may help on the weight, Vintage campers where built heavier and stronger then modern day campers. The camper in your picture shows tandem axle. Tandem axles start at approx. 3,500# axles each, the axle tube would be around 2 3/8" diameter. The next jump is 3" axle tubes and they are close to 5,200# each. The camper manufacture then can rate the max weight GVWR, per the weakest link in the camper, which could be the running gear, (tires, axles, springs etc) or de-rate the max load due to the frame or other reasons. And then there is empty weight and fully loaded weight.

That camper, just by the axles, could have a capability of 7,000# or 10,000# or something in the middle for max weight. Empty weight could range from 5,000# to 8,000#, again wild estimates based on modern day campers and not knowing how much stuff the guy added inside.

The camper has what looks like a surge brake master cylinder on the front ball coupler. Have no idea if it still works or the last time it was towed and allowed it to work. It should have a reservoir for brake fluid. Check the fluid and check the steel brake lines that are not rusted through and the brake plates for oil from a blown wheel cylinder.

The tires, make sure they are aired up to max sidewall cold pressure before you start towing. Look at the date code on them, they may be 15 years old or older. If there is no date code, they may be 20 plus years old. The DOT date code is only on one side of the tire, look both sides. Ideally bring or get a spare tire. Come with jack and wrenches.

Check the DOT body, stop, turn lights they they work. Come prepared for them not to work.

I have picked up enough 12 to 15 year old campers too see the above things not be working anymore.

Take it slow, old tires when they heat up can fly apart.

As to the truck, since it has surge brakes, many times they do not allow a weight distributing hitch. You may have to tow it on the ball only and the truck handle the loaded tongue weight. Suggest a 3/4 ton pickup or larger to cover the unknows. 90 miles on an overload 1/2 ton truck will not be fun.

In case you did not know, surge brakes can lock up if you go up hill or too fast in reverse. The coupler sees the heavy back up load and try's to stop the trailer. Some have a place to put a pin in the linkage to prevent this if you have to back up hill. If they lock up, pull forward, they normally reset then and try again, go slow.

Hope this helps and good luck.

John
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Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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Old 02-28-2021, 03:14 PM   #12
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Hi,
Ok so I was too nervous to ‘wing it’ & just guess how much the big old beast weighed, so I hired a truck driver to bring it home safely for me. Now I face the next huge hurdle of trying to insure it.... it’s impossible without knowing the year, the make or the model!! I have to transfer it into my name, I haven’t checked the transfer forms yet, hopefully they’ll contain some info that will help identify the mystery van???
As always any help is appreciated, Thankyou for everything so far mystery solvers
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:21 PM   #13
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Is there a VIN number somewhere on the camper?

Is there a title for it? If it had license plates on it at one point in time, the state that issued the plates would have some record of a VIN number. That VIN number can back into the manufacture and a model year in many cases.

Glad your transport to you place went well. Good idea hiring a guy to transport it. They are most times, very equipped ot handle these kinds of things.

John
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Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
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