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Sunrader over cab window area strength

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We are looking for a Sunrader (been for awhile), and was wondering what years have the wrap around windows in the section over the cab, and if these windows weaken the over cab area more than the smaller windows which don't wrap around?  Thanks!

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Mine has the wrap around windows and no I don't think they weaken the area. I know a lot of people don't like them and say they leak too easily but mine still have the original rubber seal and don't leak at all. 

Linda S

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Thanks, They look so much better than the non-wrap around ones, and I bet you can see so much more with the wrap around ones.  Also don't these come on the newer years, so with wrap around ones you get all the other updates as well?

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The first and last Sunraders were build in the California plant. They all had the wrap around windows. Sunrader also had a plant in Indiana and all Indiana Sunraders had the smaller windows.

 

I'm not enough of a Sunrader 'scholar' to be able to say if Indiana Sunraders ever had the 'updates' (Fiberglass cabinets, roof supports).

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Thanks, didn't even know about the Indiana plant, when did the added supports start  being added?  Thanks- 

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Roof beams were added in 1987 in most cases. I have seen a few Sunraders with factory beams as early as 1984 but they are an extreme exception. Even in 1987 you need to make sure they are there because the rig could have really been made in 86. No Derek east coast Sunraders never had fiberglass cabinets but then neither did rear dinette west coast Sunraders. 

Linda S

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How can I locate the beams to be sure they are there?  Are they enough to handle the roof air conditioner?  Thanks-

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You can't miss them. A 21 footer will have 2 and an 18 footer will have one. Gently curving beams from one side of the camper to the other that come a little bit farther down from the ceiling. As far as can it hold the ac well it will certainly help. My 86 has no ceiling beams. When I got it, it still had the original AC on it but it didn't work so I removed it. Let me tell you they used to weigh a lot more than they do now. My roof with no beams has only the slightest droop in the middle after wearing that beast on it's head for 18 years. 

Water damage from bad ac gaskets and plumbing vents is more likely to cause roof degradation. The strength of the roof is the result of the composite structure of the roof fiberglass glued and compressed to the layers of ceiling material. If water gets in and separates this bond the roof becomes substantially weaker. 

Linda S

 

 


 

 

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Hi Linda.  So if the walls don't show any staining, if we still either smell something a little funky or see any roof sagging or nasty looking seams around AC or vents, should we plan on checking the interior of the roof?  Can we see enough if we remove the interior cieling panels?  The idea of having degraded, moldy roof panels is not the way we want to start out our great Sunrader adventure.  Thanks-

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Your missing the point. Those ceiling panels are all part of the compressed material that make up the roof support. Sunraders can only leak where there are holes. On the roof that means AC unit , vents and plumbing vents. Any major water leaks will show up as stains on the ceiling near those areas. Small stains aren't usually a problem. If the stained area has severe damage it will feel loose and detached. Even that might not be a major problem. I have shot 2 part epoxy into areas like that and braced it up while it dried and had very good results.  Severely sunken roof would be a problem.

You haven't even looked at a Sunrader yet. As soon as we can start traveling freely and safely you should start looking at any Toyota motorhome that comes up for sale near you. Hands on is the best way to learn to determine the good from the bad. 

Linda S

My Nissan Sunrader lived most of it's life in Alaska and then spent a couple of years abandoned in a field in upstate New York. Literally thousands of pounds of snow on the roof every year for many years. The roof is fine. It also has no beams. Sunraders are far more durable than some of these guys think. 

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Other potential leak points on any MH (including Sunraders) are clearance lights, roof racks, antennas, solar panels, etc. Of course any physical/mechanical damage.

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Hello Linda, thanks, sorry if I seem gunshy about the water damage, I've seen so few Sunraders for sale where I come from (Upstate NY) that I want to be as prepared as I can be when one comes up.  The one Toyota I looked at last year seemed great, no stains, but luckily I saw it in a downpour and the seat cushions in the back dining area were soaked,  I'd guess from the window gaskets, surprisingly there were no stains though.  As you said, once all this clears up I'll start looking.  Also your saying that small areas of water damage can be dealt is comforting.

 

Derek-thanks for the additional places to look, they all seem logical once someone mentions them, I'm just hoping that any water damage will leave tell tale signs, but I'll try to get an RV place check the roof out if I see one that checks off the other boxes .  Stay safe-

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It's easy. Just don't look in New York. Do your shopping in Vegas where it's dry. Far easier to find Sunraders on the west coast anyway and L.A. isn't that far away

Linda S

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That sounds like great advice, there actually was a sunrader for sale in Las Vegas a few months ago, missed it, will just have to keep looking...

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