Hi There, I'm looking at one of these in really good condition. However I went online and the INTERWEBS have struck the fear of god in me reading about issues with the steel frame / aluminum floor. I looked on the TRALER Forum here and noted that someone thought this issue seemed to have occurred primarily on the E Coast where they salt roads.
I called Sundowner today and the man I spoke with "had never heard of the issue from mid 90's thru 2008 with these trailers".....So now I'm not sure what to think. I can't tell if I should run away from anything Sundowner or just make sure this trailer seems in good shape.
Posted 2018-05-11 3:17 AM (#171587 - in reply to #171585) Subject: RE: Sundowner Sunlite 727 Frame 2005 West Coast
Location: Rocky Mount N.C.
An old thread.... https://horsetrailerworld.com/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=3507&showall=true
Some good info from our own "jim bob".... The steel framed/alum.skin trailers were called Valuelites from late 97 until sometime in 2003, when all of Sundowner horse trailer models were named Sunlite with a model number following the word SUNLITE. ALL steel framed trailers went out of Sundowners lineup in Dec. of 2007. All Sundowner models have been aluminum framed since Jan. 2008. The Sunlite models that were steel framed were 707, 727, 728, 737, 777, 777SR, Stampede's, 747, or 767. In other words, any model number that ends in a "7" was a steel framed trailer from 2003 thru 2007. I might ad that, the main source of problems resulted in trailers in the midwest and northeast; in which trailers used in winter months with salt and chloride used on roads in this part of the country resulted in accelerated deterioration of the steel frames. However, the majority of these trailers haven't been affected, and are still giving excellent service for their owners. In the earlier post; the VIN number is a very simple way to tell; ALUMINUM is LA or AA followed by four numbers (last six of the VIN); and the STEEL framed models will be VA, VB, VC, VE, or HA and ZA in the case of steel framed living quarters. Hope this clears up the confusion.
Posted 2018-05-11 1:21 PM (#171588 - in reply to #171585) Subject: RE: Sundowner Sunlite 727 Frame 2005 West Coast
?My advice would be to crawl under and bang on the frame with a hammer. I had a 2003 Sunlite 737 which I bought new. I do live in Michigan but the trailer was very rarely used in the winter, it was usually parked and covered for the winter. I was meticulous about keeping it clean and it never sat with salt or mud on it and was always properly cared for. Around the spring of 2012 I had a welder checking an axel mount for me and he banged into a crossmember with his hammer on accident crawling under and it crumbled. Huge chunks of metal just rained down from the frame. The frame appeared to be in perfect condition due to the suncoat hiding the deteriation beneath. I then had the whole trailer checked and two crossmembers were completely rotted out and others had extensive damage. I had to have the two replaced and had the rest of the frame was sandblasted, treated and undercoated at a cost around $1,000 for a small 2 horse gooseneck. The trailer was about 3 months out of warranty when this was discovered and though I sent several e-mails and left several messages no one ever called me back and no one was ever available to take my call. When all I wanted to know is if there was a shop in my area that could make the repairs. I ended up having a body shop do the repairs.
Posted 2018-05-21 11:44 AM (#171620 - in reply to #171585) Subject: RE: Sundowner Sunlite 727 Frame 2005 West Coast
Location: Newnan, GA
thought the issue had to do with the suncoating or whatever they used (black stuff) that caused the issue with it and the aluminum and steel. i am not sure but have read plenty on and off about it for years. even so, the price was right and i bought an '05 a few years ago. 3h slant load w/ ramp etc. just had the rear/ back steel beam/post completely redone and everything else checked out ok. about $1700 and included some custom work i had done (had racks added to my stud panel to hang saddle pads). i live in GA and the trailer came from FLA.
Posted 2018-05-21 4:12 PM (#171621 - in reply to #171585) Subject: RE: Sundowner Sunlite 727 Frame 2005 West Coast
Just to keep semantics straight, SunCoat is the trademarked name for the spray on bedliner Sundowner has used for years inside the horse area on walls & lower dividers. It would not be underneath a trailer, but it would be on the rear beam at the back of the trailer. Underneath the trailer was a basic rubberized undercoating, much like any car or truck might have.