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Old 06-01-2021, 06:47 AM   #1
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New husband/wife resto project

Hi everyone. Just purchased this small single axle sunline camper as a project for 100$! Towed it 25 miles home with no issues. Even with the sketchy tires lol. Its definitely a project but I restore cars and vintage metal stuff for a living, so I believe we can make it good again. Plan on leaving the outside as-is because the stripes are in such good condition. A little patina never hurt anyone lol. And finally a few pics. I want to figure out all I can about this thing so any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance!



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Old 06-06-2021, 03:11 PM   #2
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Any help? Or should this go in another forum section?
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:09 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! That's a cute little devil; congrats.

As for help, you didn't really ask any questions. There's a boatload of information already available on the forum in various threads, and quite bit of information in the Files section.

If there's something specific you need to figure out, ask away. It generally works better if you start a new thread for each question, so the discussion is specific to one issue, in the most appropriate section for that subject.

The first thing you might want to ask for is help with identifying what year and model number you have (if you don't know already). Then include that information when asking about things that may be specific to that model. I can't be of much help with that, but we do have a couple of long-time members who are pretty good at ID'ing them just from pictures.
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply! Thats what I meant to ask in the initial post and just realized that it was more vague than I thought lol.

I would really like to know what year and model this is based off of the vin.

I haven't accessed the files section yet as I haven't been able to locate while using my phone on the forum. I'll need to get on my laptop and investigate.
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:44 PM   #5
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Also I measured 13.5 ft from the end of the tongue to the back of the trailer if that helps. Thanks again!
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Old 06-06-2021, 04:55 PM   #6
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I'm not a VIN guru by any means, but I believe the year is indicated by the tenth character. Yours is an "A", so I think that means 1980. The VIN doesn't indicate the model number.

Armed with that, take a look at the brochures in the Files section.

On your [Android] phone, the default view is limited. Scroll to the very bottom, and you should see a link entitled "View full site". Tapping that will give the same view as you get on your PC.
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:01 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for the year model info! I'll go check out the files now that I know where to start
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:27 PM   #8
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Welcome Trav!

Congrats on your new Sunny!

I agree, the 10th digit is the year and A is 1980 model year for Sunline. From the brochures in the file section you can back into a model number by comparing the floor plan and size/specs.

Amazing how good the decal still look. The newer ones are no way in that god a shape after 41 years... They have a hard time getting to 15 years if outside all the time.

If you plan on restoring the camper, great!! Suggest you start a new post on the restore in the Repairs and Maintenance forum. You already have the pics process down, a super good thing! We can help with the how to rebuild, find leak sources etc, but we know the Sunline brand in general. Each model/year has slight tweaks over the years, and methods changed as years went by.

If you are chasing a water leak, suggest asking how to take the camper apart to get to repair the leak before tearing into the inside of the camper, these campers are not but like a house. Most times, water issues are best repaired from the outside working your way in.

Have fun with your new project!

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Old 06-12-2021, 03:12 PM   #9
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Nice find. I have the younger sister to yours. Mine is a 1982. it's a 13 1/2 RD
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:06 PM   #10
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Awesome! I'll be starting a build thread within the next few months. We will be completely dismantling and rebuilding this one because the floor is soft and interior walls are all trash. Will probably be able to save the cabinets and maybe the stove. I'm assuming the bottom structure of the walls will be compromised too so ill either patch or completely rebuild. I would honestly keep the patina look even though I'm rebuilding the structure but we will see how the wife feels about that lol
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trav View Post
Awesome! I'll be starting a build thread within the next few months. We will be completely dismantling and rebuilding this one because the floor is soft and interior walls are all trash. Will probably be able to save the cabinets and maybe the stove. I'm assuming the bottom structure of the walls will be compromised too so ill either patch or completely rebuild. I would honestly keep the patina look even though I'm rebuilding the structure but we will see how the wife feels about that lol
Hi Trav,

See this post in case you have not by Sunline Fan as he is doing a total restore on his 1979. His vintage is close to yours. https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...-mc-18647.html

Good luck an looking forward to your restore post. We like pics!

John
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Old 01-27-2022, 04:38 PM   #12
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I've just uploaded 20 photos to my album. The resto is actually underway! I've been using sunlinefans thread as my main reference up to this point. I've got it all torn down. I have made 3d models of the framework(with material modifications) and saved one side of the trailer for future reference. The chassis has been disassembled, repaired , powder coated and reassembled. Ready to start building the floor!

I'm going to end up replacing the belly pan material too. Any suggestions on a good source? I've found some online but don't want to overlook a possibility to buy local.

Also, is there any detriment to polyurethaning the floor structure? Or the walls framing? I want to make this thing last for a long time and figured that can't hurt. But all suggestions are welcome. I'll add the pictures to this thread soon
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Old 01-27-2022, 04:44 PM   #13
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Old 01-27-2022, 04:48 PM   #14
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Old 01-27-2022, 09:00 PM   #15
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It looks like you're making great progress Trav! Sorry I missed your initial posts- you do have a 1980 13 1/2' RD, and it's a very late production build in that year. As you may know from your automotive interest, the 17 digit VIN structure became mandated for the calendar year 1980. Sunline built the first half of the 1980 model year with the old VIN format and the second half with the new 17 digit format.

I've been tracking Sunline production and VINs for nearly 15 years with nearly 4000 Sunlines tracked. There were lots of units produced in the 1980 model year and those around it, but relatively few remain (or at least have been shared on the internet) so my data on them is limited. That being said, yours is higher than the previous-high VIN that I had recorded. To the best of my knowledge, they did start the new VIN sequence with the last four digits starting at 5000, making yours the 384th built after that transition. I estimate they built a few thousand that year, but a lot of them were truck bed campers.

I'm at a very similar stage with rebuilding my '79 12 1/2' MC as well. I tore it down just like you did, replaced the bumper and step too, then had it all sandblasted and powder coated. I rebuilt the floor and am partially done with building the walls, but a classic car restoration has also been consuming my time instead. I'm hoping to get back to it yet this winter, hopefully in the next couple weeks.
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Old 01-29-2022, 08:33 AM   #16
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Wow Trav,

Nice frame job! That looks great. And if you can, the way to do it off the camper

I sense by your pics, restoring old metal into new looking is something you have done before. You do nice work.

Thanks for sharing.

John

PS. Have you pulled a brake drum yet to see what the brakes look like? Some of the older ones were in rough shape and pending the brand, parts were an issue while others were not.
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Old 01-29-2022, 08:59 AM   #17
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Thanks guys! I'm really excited about this thing. I also have a car resto project im finishing up now. A 77 z28 camaro. I've been restoring things and doing metalwork for about 20 years so I guess it was inevitable that I would find myself wanting to restore an old camper when I got interested, instead of just buying a good one lol.

Sunlinefan,
Thanks for all the info. I had a feeling you were a car guy when I found your rebuild thread lol. What ya got? Any idea where the best place would be to get replacement roof and belly pan metal? I can use my side tin but the roof and belly are pretty trashed. I saved them anyway for reference.

John,
Thanks! My dad and i run a custom powder coating and restoration shop, so this isn't much different than my daily work luckily. I have put power to the brakes and I can hear them moving, but haven't looked at them. I just blasted and epoxied the axle. There are some markings on the drums. Max dia 7.310 and a logo that I didn't get a picture of. Any brands that are common?
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:48 AM   #18
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77 z28 restoration that im finishing up now. Factory 4 speed, non-ac car that i swapped a 5.3 LS engine into. It was a rust bucket. I had to replace both 1/4 panels, floor pans, trunk pan, lower tail pan, patch both fenders(with new metal) and weld in a new bottom on one of the doors. Its all good now though. I've had the car since 2002 when I was 14. Started working on it in July of 2020 lol. I did literally all of it by myself. Body and paint included.



















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Old 01-29-2022, 02:24 PM   #19
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Very nice car.

Good luck with the camper rehab!
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Old 02-02-2022, 06:20 PM   #20
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More progress! Any input on what bellypan material to use? Its getting about that time lol. 3/4 plywood will go down next. Is there any reason I shouldn't polyurethane the whole floor before I install the belly pan? I'm thinking it would just preserve everything even longer



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