Buying a used Suntrekker, print this off...

Buying a used Suntrekker, print this off...

Postby zildjian » October 9th, 2015, 10:45 am

When buying any used camper we always recommend taking along a damp meter these are cheaply available from Ebay at £6 and simple to use and can save you a lot of money and act as a bargaining tool.
Try everything electrical you can, ask about heating and water systems, and decide if its been lucky enough to enjoy winter storage out of the elements or has been damaged in the past.


Image

buyers guide for Suntrekkers 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.

Bodywork;
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).


Inside fitments;
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 riveted, bolted or fixed with cavity fixings if they're going to stay put.
User avatar
zildjian
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10382
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 3:30 pm
Location: Tooooo far from the coast!

Re: Buying a used Suntrekker, print this off...

Postby zildjian » January 10th, 2017, 8:36 pm

Image
User avatar
zildjian
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10382
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 3:30 pm
Location: Tooooo far from the coast!

Re: Buying a used Suntrekker, print this off...

Postby zildjian » June 26th, 2017, 9:40 am

Floor; are inside doorway can become a bit flexible over time, again its repairable usually with additional steel straps bonded or fixed to existing fibreglass underside

Electrics;
fuses were the ceramic design and while still available (sort of) its often the case the whole fuse board is replaced with a smaller modern one, benefits include fitting tell-tale blade fuses which actually light up to indicate they have blown!

Gas bottles;
Suntrekkers were designed and built years ago when the norm for gas bottles was small and blue, modern 4 & 6KG propane won't fit in the gas locker to right of entry door
User avatar
zildjian
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10382
Joined: September 8th, 2013, 3:30 pm
Location: Tooooo far from the coast!


Return to Buyers guides all popular campers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests