It recently occurred to me that I've mentioned my intentions in the past, but I've never formally explained them. I'm hoping this helps get the word out.
I am not looking for just any 1997 T-2653. I'm looking for a particular one, the one I grew up in.
Based on what I've gathered both from my memory and pictures, the coach was very unique, without any of us knowing it at the time. Of course, we made a few changes to make it even more unique.
Now for a little history:
My parents bought the coach on July 24, 1996 from General RV (then General Trailer) at the Wixom, MI location from Marilyn Shunk. She has since moved to Florida to sell RV's/retire and her son Josh now works at the Wixom location.
We traveled all over with it. I believe only eleven states to be exact, but we did cover a lot of ground here in Michigan. I think at one point I did try to estimate the mileage on it and I think we put somewhere around 20-25,000 miles on it.
The coach played a significant part in what I do as well. Actually, if it hadn't been for this one trailer, I probably would have never taken on this obsession of mine. For one, it caused me to gain my interest to the point that I even wanted to take a tour of the Sunline factory, which certainly isn't something that every ten year old wishes to do. I would be excited to go to General every August to get the new Sunline brochure, and everywhere we went, I always carried every brochure with me so that I could identify the models we encountered along the way. Though not in the best condition, I still have each and every one of these brochures, though the bag that carried them has changed through the years. The brochures on this site, which I scanned and made into PDF's, were not done from these but rather mint copies provided to me by Sunline.
I also would actually blame this coach for causing me to start up the production tracking process and just avidly looking for coaches in general. I must say that the internet has made this process SO much easier.
Side track to a short story here. This story is one that is very special to me and I very rarely tell people about it. For those who don't know, we live right next to an elementary school, for which I attended for six years. Though we've not been able to ever keep anything in the driveway long term, we are allowed to bring the trailers home prior to the trip and once we return. One time, I'd guess maybe in 1999, though I don't remember exactly, we had the coach at home. One day, during lunch recess, I (as I always did) stood over and watched the trailer, preventing people playing with balls or whatever from kicking them over the fence. At one point, I turned to it (through the fence) and told myself, one day, I will own that trailer. Well little did I know this would turn into such a big deal...
I better move on before the tears start pouring out...Fast forward a couple years, to August, 2001. We had some significant changes in our lives and ultimately the decision was made to upgrade. The coach was traded in at Vicar's Trailer Sales in Taylor, MI on a Class C Motorhome on August 18, 2001 at 2:30 PM. This was the last time I saw the coach in person. It was traded in very good condition and they gave us a good value for the trade.
That following month, or maybe even early October, we went to the RV show just for something to do. We met our salesman there, Gary Hoagland, and of course he wanted to know how we liked the motorhome. While talking, I wandered over to the board containing pictures of all their used inventory. They had a picture of our trailer on there and it had already had "sold" written across it, and if they got what they were asking, they made some good money on it too. I asked Gary about the new owners and though he didn't sell it to them, I believe he said they were an older couple, though I'm not positive. This was the last bit of knowledge I've gained about it.
I have tried other avenues for attempting to find out both information on the coach and potential locations. Besides searching online and in newspapers, I have approached Gary again as well. He now moved on to a new dealer, where I saw him at the RV show, and he said he had kept all of his old write ups, which he said he'd look through and if he had anything, he'd contact them to contact me. I believe this happened in 2004 at some point and this is when I learned (and he remembered) that he didn't represent the sale.
I have also attempted going to the MI Secretary of State (MI's version of a DMV), and they basically told me I can't do anything without actually holding the title to it, at which time I could have a title search done. I must say this information was also accompanied by some strange looks from them in response to my request...
Oh yes, here are the specs that I know:
VIN: Ends in 5089 (I know the entire thing, but I won't post it here)
Interior: Mountain Green Floral (this green color has white curtains up front, not green)
Build Date: About June, 1997, though NOT confirmed
RVIA Seal #: ?
Some distinguishing features:
- Green Carefree of Colorado Fiesta Patio Awning with brushed nickel hardware
- Mounted bubble levels both on front rock guard and front/right storage door (these are bolted through, so there would be holes left if removed)
- General Trailer stickers both by door and above left rear taillight (though may be removed or covered by Vicar's stickers)
- Large level mounted on front left (of coach), I believe this is covering a dent, though I never saw it to confirm (oops moment, not by me)
- Curved metal exterior entry door handles (not lockset/latch)- these were only used on early '97 models. Plastic handles were later used, which were a little fatter.
- Wedgewood range...I've yet to see another '97 with this, I'm not sure why this was used here.
- "Solaris by Sunline" decal on white tire cover (with white trim bead)
- Hand crank tongue jack with foot
- Standard LP tank cover
- Probably missing some lug nut covers or maybe hub cover on Left Rear wheel
- Spare wheel is probably a different spoke pattern from the rest
- There is a small chip in the dinette table on the edge of the top material toward the door (south, if you will), about 4" or so in from the isle way.
- Thermostat is not original, not sure what replaced it but I do have the original...
- Kitchen Kit Paper Towel holder mounted above tank monitors
- There are holes in the tongue for a sway control plate, and no doubt one was added. We left the bolts in there, but I have the original plate and snap up brackets.
- Was traded in with two original Goodyear Marathon’s, one original Goodyear Marathon that had been patched at one time, and odd brand tire (I think it might have been Carlisle) on the left rear.
- Full set of four Liftco scissor jacks, dealer installed underneath, with two crank handles
- Would not have the original stuffer pillow for under the bedspread (I have it…)
- Likely a slight difference with the front door skin, as it was replaced at one time (though it did have striping put on again)
- The stock LP tank cover was indeed assembled with the (rare, for the time) plastic hardware
- The logo in the front has pushed close to the far edge of the rock guard (Maybe 4” in) and the striping was fairly long on there (these moved around depending on the coach/installer).
- The rear logo was pretty centered, with the point of the tree below the far right light of the center three clearance lights.
- Bumper caps I think would have still had plastic cable ties holding them on.
- I have a note indicating to paint the front cross member and tongue before trading it in, so I know there aren’t any numbers showing on there anymore.
- At time of trade, all logos had been waxed all along and still looked pretty good…still had all color in them. I recall the front rock guard had been slightly yellowed and I recall noting that the logo had shrunk some and there was some (brighter) white showing from where it had been.
- The rear bumper should have some heavy duty reinforcing bolts and brackets holding it on.
- It also was traded in with the chair inside, which is a common thing for most to have go missing.
- Toilet Paper Holder was mounted on inside wall just behind door, not on the door and not on cabinets.
- If I think of anything more, I'll post it here.
I really don’t care about condition. The fact that it is the coach is all that matters at the moment. I can handle most repairs and I have been collecting replacement parts over the years for the “what if”. I am equipped to replace logos, except the front and rear main, and I’m not equipped to re-stripe the entire trailer. I’m also specifically saving a set of original style Goodyear Marathons with the original style scuff guard (like the three on there) for “show”, because at almost 20 years old now, I wouldn’t want to take them far on the road, though they show no signs of cracking).
Now, here are the pictures that I have. We/I never took specific pictures of the coach because I never really thought of the need to and we never tried to sell it on our own. I’m sure kicking myself now! So I apologize about the lack of quality and obstructions of view. A few here we took in the driveway and when it was brand new.
Thanks for your help!