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 > Rebuilding my 1981 Sunline 17.5SB

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U.P. BLDR

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Joined: 07/23/2005

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:44am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been driving by this old Sunline for years and finally stopped by the owners house when he was out shoveling the driveway. He was willing to sell, at a decent price. I gave it a good look over and I knew it needed work, lots of work, but I was confident I could do it within a strict budget and time frame. Yeah right

The good:
The exterior looked real nice.
All appliances worked.
New tires
Layout worked for me

The bad:
Rotten floor, roof and wall
No AC, no tv antenna
No awning except a cheap 8' unit that was junk
Water heater tank was split I discovered later

So we dug it out and hauled it home. Didn't take me long to dig in and start tearing it apart. Regret set in rather quickly and I wondered what kind of mess I got myself into. I'm good at that. But in the end I'll have a nice booddocking unit. I had been looking for a small TT under $5k and just couldn't find anything. They were all either well over that mark or old junk like this one. So to work I went.

I first tore out the areas I knew were rotten. The roof, floor and wall with entry door. They were as suspected. The floor had been fixed before I found, not very well either. the bathroom was the worst, there was literally nothing left to the floor system. They had put new plywood over it all so it was hard to see.

Here it is as found


The roof was rotten around every penetration



It became clear once I tore into the floor that I would have to darn near gut this whole thing. the bathroom floor was really bad.



1981 Sunline 17 1/2SB - under construction
2003 Toyota Tundra SR5 TRD 4x4 4.7lt

Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Joined: 07/22/2007

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From my experience these 'projects' are best to improve our skill sets. If kids are at home it is a good teaching window.

Other than that these kinds are projects are kind of like pushing a log chain up hill.

For me it is the fact that all the work and money does not really improve the resell value but if kept for another 10-20 years that is not a real concern.

U.P. BLDR

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Joined: 07/23/2005

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:51am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The floor was the first project to tackle. Removed the old floor to the tin/frame and rebuild. The floor was bolted to the frame, I used bolt cutters to remove the carriage bolts. Once clean I reframed with treated lumber bolted to frame, insulated and new 1/2" plywood. It's very strong and well insulated. While I was under the camper on my creeper tightening up the new bolts, I also re-installed the brackets that support the black and gray tanks.






U.P. BLDR

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Joined: 07/23/2005

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Posted: 02/28/12 07:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gale Hawkins wrote:

From my experience these 'projects' are best to improve our skill sets. If kids are at home it is a good teaching window.

Other than that these kinds are projects are kind of like pushing a log chain up hill.

For me it is the fact that all the work and money does not really improve the resell value but if kept for another 10-20 years that is not a real concern.


Agreed. I am doing this out of necessity though. I need a small TT for the places I go. I've done this before, and I'm a builder so I knew what I was getting into. I have the skills, the tools, and the shop space to do it. In the end I'll have roughly $1200 into it including original purchase price(almost free). Not bad imo for a completely rebuilt, well insulated(that's important to me) boon docking rig. At that price I will always be able to get my money out of it, although no intentions to sell anytime soon.

hilandfrog

Montana

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Joined: 09/23/2006

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Posted: 02/28/12 08:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice work.

It seems like at some point just redoing the floor and not patching it comes up.

Are you planning on "topping" the 1/2" ply to tie in all the pieces?

Have fun see ya in cyberspace.

repo


05 Tundra 4x4
1976' SIX PAC, cut to size and function.
$800 1977' Road Ranger, not yet road worthy (AUG '11')


Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Joined: 07/22/2007

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Posted: 02/28/12 08:00am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like you are doing a super job. I know some that spend their money/time hanging out in bars but at least with your project you will have some nice to show for the time/money in the end.

walt7474

Dalton, OH

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Joined: 02/18/2004

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Posted: 02/28/12 08:20am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks great! Keep us updated on your progress with pic's. Big help to anyone that's thinking about starting a project like yours.


walt7474
DW, DS, DS, DD
2000 GMC Savana conversion van
2001 Trail Lite Bantam 23s



SWD

Land of Living Skies

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Joined: 06/07/2005

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Posted: 02/28/12 09:16am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like you've got quite the job on your hands. Good luck and remember...have fun!

U.P. BLDR

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Joined: 07/23/2005

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Posted: 02/28/12 09:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Having finished the floor, it was time to move on to the wall and roof. I tore the roof completely down leaving just the metal roof overhead. I re-framed the wall with 2 x 2's, the original walls were 1 x 2's and I'll be furring the rest of the walls out with 1 x 2's so it's all 1 1/2" thick.




2 x 4's were used for rafters. I cut a 2" crown into them. Used 1/4" BC plywood on top. Had to cut it all and temp support it then install each rafter up against it. I put subfloor adhesive to every rafter so the plywood is glued to them. Very strong you can dance on top of this camper and leaves lots of room for insulation.



Pulled all the penetrations before hand. Later cleaned the roof, what a chore. Ended up using mineral spirits, simple green, scrub brush, scraper and what not. Came out good but was a lot of work.



pasusan

PA

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Joined: 05/13/2009

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Posted: 02/28/12 09:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The crown in your rafters is great - should've been that way in the beginning. Are you planning on using Eternabond? I would use that on all the roof seams and around all roof penetrations to prevent any future leaks.

Good job - thanks for sharing!


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"I'm out here to enjoy nature -- don't talk to me about the environment!" ~Denny Crane

Susan & Ben ~
84 Bronco & 90 Award Classic 23 joined with a Hensley Cub


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