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We bought our 21' 1986 Sunrader in California at the end of December. It has 85,000 mi.
It was a steal at less than $3K, but had suffered from neglect and a large tree branch that crashed right through the roof in a few places.
I bought it from a trailer rebuilder who repaired the roof. He had it up and running, barely. And then gave up on it.
My plan was to spend a few months and a bare bones budget restoring it.
This turned into six months of hard work. And it continues.
With it came big challenges and an interesting learning curve.

The members here on the forum have been invaluable, and I am so grateful you exist.
In early July we set a date and rushed to get Big Juan ready for a trip up over the Rockies to visit friends and family.
We are back home now.
A few reflections.

The mountains were difficult, but not impossible. Not sure I would do that again. May just stay closer to home and not travel over moutain passes in future.

Juan is not visibly burning oil, but went through a good amount of oil. Looks like we need some work on the top end of the motor.
I replaced all shocks and steering stabilizer, but he is still a bit rough. Probably needs work on springs and maybe install some air bags at some point.
Otherwise, he ran very well, with no sign of overheating despite hot weather.
We always travelled either early or late and avoided the mid day.
Our goal was to avoid campgrounds that are all chock full. We spent our days on the road in parks near lakes and rivers. And then parked and slept at pullouts and safe spots we prescouted.
No one bothered us. In fact, we mostly had a lot of folks gawking at Juan as they had never seen anything like him.
I knew that the Sunrader was a rare bird in western Canada, but didn't realize just how rare.
Overall, the two of us had a great time. We cooked all our meals outside on a camp stove. We don't have a house battery yet, so no power. We used a double cooler system with ice and nothing spoiled.
Seems like refridgeration will be one of the biggest issues camping forward.
I am still working on the exterior. The tree branch caused a lot of damage to the shell. I am nearly ready for paint. It won't ever be perfect, but will be nice to 'finish.'

And it was nice to travel in him without the interior being completed as we learned a lot about trailer life and flow.
It was hot so we converted the rear dinette into a large bed and enjoy sleeping there as opposed to the overcab bed which can be tight for two.

Anyway..... just wanted to check in and again say thank you to everyone here.
Onward and upward.


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Worn rear spring bushings are one of the larger contributors to a rough, noise ride.

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  • 1 year later...

I didn't see the word in your story so I will assume you haven't learned about Boondocking yet.  A websearch will provide multiple hits.  People like yourself (and myself) who abhor RV sites and crowded campgrounds. There are bundles of free maintained and free wild camping sites in the US.  ex.  Virtually all of the Bureau of Land Managements property is free. Two apps I've found very useful in finding sites are Boondocking and Freeroam. One caution if you do option for camping solo in the wild outback, always think about how you get out of trouble before you get in Trouble.  Many times you will be on your own with no option for a cell phone bailout. Good luck you are going to love it


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Actually I'm a little embarrassed, I just searched this forum.  Its got boondockers.  My apologies i'm a newbe

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all i do is boondock but i never go alone. aways with one or 2 outher outfits. i might go on ahead  with others coming along on the same route . behind me. yes in one of our larger groups 3 rigs had flat tires.

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