buying guides

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buying guides

Postby zildjian » October 9th, 2015, 8:03 am

Waiting to do one for apollo but in the meantime open to suggestions on improving the print-offs make them easier for newbies to follow,
if there are any terms we've used so far you think might be confusing will you mention them please I might have raced ahead a bit.

so please just remind me

thanks guys :D
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Re: buying guides

Postby saDgit » October 9th, 2015, 10:24 am

Richard, don't know whether you want to do a buyers guide for Suntrekkers but, if so, these notes may be useful though they are only applicable to the Island Plastics built fibreglass models. The earlier timber frame models built by Walkers will have a whole other set of issues I'm sure.

Being all GRP they are generally immune to the rot that water ingress can cause but the fixed windows in the front of the luton, sometimes full width, sometimes half width, are prone to leak when old. No damage will be caused other than staining on the internal trim and it's fairly easily fixed either by sealant or, if necessary, replacing the rubber moulding and infill surrounding the window (both available from Seals Direct).

Potentially more serious and more difficult to spot without taking things apart is rot in the door's timber sub-frame. The only visible frame is aluminium but, underneath that, at the top and bottom of the door but curiously not all the way down the side is timber - in fact it's plywood sandwiched between the inner and outer GRP skins. Suntrekkers, uniquely I think, have only three jacking legs one of which, at the back, is to the right of the door and so is significantly off-centre. Over time raising and lowering the camper causes twisting and flexing in the body which can break the seal between the ali door frame and the GRP, and between the sides and bottom of the ali frame, allowing water to get in and, inevitably, leading to rot in the sub-frame. It can be fixed but it does mean pulling the door and frame apart and starting again. (Clive Walker - phoenixsp1 - has recently done this on his Suntrekker).

Internally there is not much equipment fitted as standard and so not much to go wrong. Water system (cold only) consists of a submersible pump feeding a tap with microswitch - both easily and cheaply replaced if faulty. There was no space heating fitted as standard so, if there is a heater (I fitted a Propex into ours), it'll be a retrofit and needs to be checked that it's been done properly and safely. The fridge, if original, will be 2-way only, i.e. gas and 12-volt, and though they were sometimes difficult to light when on gas they were generally efficient and problem free. I think I had to replace the thermocouple once on ours but that's all. Spares and even replacement fridges are still available. Gas supply, however, is very limited - there is locker space for single Campinggaz 907 bottle.

The only other thing worth checking is that, if there are any additions or modifications internally, that they've been done appropriately. Being all GRP, including lockers, doors, etc., screws obviously don't hold and so any fittings need to have been rivetted, bolted or fixed with cavity fixings if they're going to stay put.


Previous demountables: Island Plastics 'Suntrekker' on P100, S.Karosser 'EC8L' on Ranger supercab
Current demountables: Rhino 'Safari' hardside and self-built pop-top on Ranger double cab
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