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4cornersfarm
Mar. 15, 2012, 10:01 AM
I've googled this to death and can't find definitive answers. Maybe some of the trailer gurus here can help? We're looking for a three horse bumper pull and found a 2006 Sundowner 727. All aluminum. No steel frame. But some of the threads I've seen have mentioned floor issues with the all aluminum models? Or not? I'm so confused at this point! The price on this trailer is quite reasonable, so I'm also wondering if there is an issue with these trailers and I just can't find it. Should we just stay away from Sundowner in general? I've seen threads like that (including a long one here) but they were all on older trailers. It's my understanding that the frame issue was up until 2003, and this trailer is newer than that. I've seen threads that say the 777 is good but the 727 is bad. And I've seen threads that say the opposite. Help me, COTH trailer gurus, you're my only hope!

Edited to add - I've seen vans for around this same money, and I would love a van, so I'm tempted to just go for one of those!

Cameraine
Mar. 15, 2012, 10:43 AM
4cornersfarm,

There was a problem with the Sundowner Valulite trailers. It had to do with the way the frame was constructed. But those were from the early 2000 to 2004 time frame I believe.

Lisa Cook
Mar. 15, 2012, 10:50 AM
After owning a Sundowner, no way, no how could I ever recommend anyone buying one, ever. The all-aluminum model you are looking at may be exempt from the infamous steel frame/aluminum skin fiasco that they had with other models, but the company has shown that they were willing to churn out shoddy work for years, and then were less than enthusiastic about fulfilling warranty claims.

Who knows what shortcuts they took with other models. Not worth it.
A leopard doesn't change its spots. Run away from all things Sundowner.

HoofaSchmigetty
Mar. 15, 2012, 11:12 AM
ALL SUNDOWNERS are overpriced and complete JUNK.....STAY AWAY!!!

Quinn
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
ALL SUNDOWNERS are overpriced and complete JUNK.....STAY AWAY!!!

Thank you for your kind appraisal. Really love mine. :)

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

NBFarm
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:53 PM
Thank you for your kind appraisal. Really love mine. :)

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

Really love mine too. Its a 1999 Sunlite 4H head to head and it looks and hauls like a brand new trailer. I have never had a problem with the floor, frame, or any other quality issues. I also have had excellent experiences with the dealers. The only things I have replaced are some hinges and a broken light.

4cornersfarm
Mar. 15, 2012, 03:29 PM
Thank you for all your responses, which leave me just as confused. :D Turns out this trailer does have a steel frame, but the owner said "However, it was made in 2006 so it has what is called “suncoating” meaning it has been treated so it will not rot out like the previous models have. My paperwork says “confirmed approved engineering” which means it has been treated."

I might take a look at it just to see if it has any issues, but I'm leaning away from it. Thank you again for your feedback!

kathy s.
Mar. 16, 2012, 12:05 AM
I own a 1998 Sundowner Valulite. I have it serviced every year (brakes, acid washed, mats taken out and floor cleaned). It's in great shape and pulls like a dream.

Lisa Cook
Mar. 16, 2012, 09:33 AM
1998 is prior to when Sundowner started taking shortcuts. That thing should last you forever. :)

I recently had a problem with my trailer lights and brought my rig to a local trailer guy to fix (turned out to be a blown fuse. Hooray for cheap & easy problems!). Anyway, he had a Sundowner in that he was working on...the ramp had fallen off it. We got talking about Sundowners and he was marveling that a company that had such cheap and shoddy construction practices could still exist. But he was appreciative of all the business they brought him.

17Rider
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:00 AM
Well knock on wood... I love mine 98 3horse GN. I don't store it
Under cover so it's weathered- rain snow ice 6 mos/yr. The door screws and hinges don't like that...
For those who don't love sundowner... What do you have, comparable in size for big 17h wb or broodmares?

My trailer seems bigger taller and wider, but I haven't trailer-shopped in 12 years!

4cornersfarm
Mar. 16, 2012, 12:48 PM
Lisa - was that a blown fuse in your truck? My trailer running lights are out, and we know the problem is the truck, but can't find the fuse. It has to be a fuse (unless it's a loose wire or something,) but there isn't a fuse listed that does just the running lights on the plug.

equinedriver
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:47 PM
Lisa - was that a blown fuse in your truck? My trailer running lights are out, and we know the problem is the truck, but can't find the fuse. It has to be a fuse (unless it's a loose wire or something,) but there isn't a fuse listed that does just the running lights on the plug.

A friend just had this problem and they found a second fuse box in the truck that had the blown fuse. Hers is a Chevy, don't know what year.

4cornersfarm
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:53 PM
Mine's a 2003 Chevy. Any chance you know where this second fuse box is? There's nothing in the manual.

Lisa Cook
Mar. 16, 2012, 04:45 PM
I have a 2001 Chevy. I have no idea where the fuse was that he fixed, to be honest. I didn't ask him to show me. Just paid my very small bill and left with grateful appreciation! This is the 2nd time that a fuse has needed to be replaced in my truck that impacted my trailer lights.

Joyleen...I used Johnny Reese of Reese Enterprises, in Pepperell, MA. He's a wonderful guy. When I dropped my rig off, I was going to call my husband to come & pick me up. Johnny was all "No, no dear, don't do that. Here, just take my car to use while I fix your lights!". Honest to God. I felt a little awkward, but he insisted, so I borrowed his own car while he worked on my rig. Like I said, he's wonderful. :)

17 Rider. You should be good. 98 was a good vintage year for Sundowners. :) But to answer your question, I now have a Jamco. It is every bit as spacious as the Sundowner, if not more so. And now that I have the Jamco, I can truly appreciate how cheap some of the Sundowner stuff was done. (I had a 2000 model Sundowner.) The Jamco is just much sturdier all around.

equinedriver
Mar. 16, 2012, 09:38 PM
I called her and she said the inside trailer lights were not working and it was in the fuse box on the drivers side in the row closest to the engine, in the front and it was a 50 amp. There is a second fuse box in the wire line that goes back to the plug that just has a couple fuses in it and there was a blown one there also.

HOpe that helps.

Lady Counselor
Mar. 17, 2012, 06:25 PM
Thank you for all your responses, which leave me just as confused. :D Turns out this trailer does have a steel frame, but the owner said "However, it was made in 2006 so it has what is called “suncoating” meaning it has been treated so it will not rot out like the previous models have. My paperwork says “confirmed approved engineering” which means it has been treated."

I might take a look at it just to see if it has any issues, but I'm leaning away from it. Thank you again for your feedback!

Unfortunately, the current owner is misinformed. Sun coating is just rhino lining. It hides the problems. A 727 made in 2006 will be made exactly like the previous models. Btw, they all had sun coating too. There was no difference from an 06 to an 04 or earlier. They did not change until 08 and then they discontinued the steel frame.
That sun coating is actually a part of the problem.
They had the same type of issue that Toyota had with their frames. No one realized when they made them that the "laminated" steel (many layers rolled to form one piece) could and would get moisture INSIDE the steel frame, causing them to rot from the inside out.
The spray on lining and powder coating only hid it more.
You really don't want to buy someone else's problem. Unless you completely cut out and replace the frame, you will have a problem.
It's too bad. At one point, they had some nice designs. Unfortunately the company reacted in a poor fashion to the issue. (they tend to deny there is a problem)
I wouldn't buy it.

Pennywell Bay
Mar. 17, 2012, 06:51 PM
Thank you for your kind appraisal. Really love mine. :)

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

Love mine,too

Flagstaff Foxhunter
Mar. 17, 2012, 07:07 PM
Have owned a 1998 Sunlite 4H since 2000, hauled it cross country 4 times and all over the west, down hundreds of miles of washboard and ruts, in all weather. Great trailer! We have to have the aluminum welds done from time to time at stress points, and repair horse damage, like where the bored mare just willfully removed the weatherstripping from two windows. It's easy for unhappy people to rag on a manufacturer, so to keep it fair, I want to say I love my Sundowner and it will be around for a long time. I would not hesitate to buy another one.

Flagstaff Foxhunter
Mar. 17, 2012, 07:13 PM
Just read 17Rider's comments and I have to add, we bought our Sundowner after being unable to find another slant load that will fit draft crosses. The one we have is 8' wide and the stalls are still a little short for the longer horses. The height is excellent. We had purchased another slant load without trying the horses in it and had to resell it. I saw another post saying that the '98 was a good vintage for Sundowners, certainly that has been true of ours. Asa a bonus, we have a California king mattress in the nose of the trailer--crosswise.