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Chris 07-22-2005 11:27 AM

The biography of the TrailManor Owner's pages.
I had a couple of people ask me recently how the board got it's start, and why I do this. I figured it was time to create the official unofficial record of the TMO.

In the beginining:
I found a 1990 M26 on the web as my family was looking for our first travel trailer. I looked long and hard, and could only find limited information on the web. It was 1998, TrailManor had a website, but there wasn't much other information. On occasion, someone would post about them on the newsgroups, or on one of the boards that discussed Travel Trailers or Pop Ups overall, but no specific info.

After I drove halfway across country to get mine, I decided that I was going to post info from my experiences and share what I had learned - good and bad - with anyone who wanted to know. That was, and continues to be the guiding principals behind the site - to provide unbiased information on the Trailmanor Travel Trailers to help people understand this unique creation. The original URL -

So the web page started with just the basic information - pictures, experiences, things I liked, things I didn't...Upgrades, etc. As Microsoft Front Page was upgraded, they included a threaded discussion page. That was the orginial forum. I advertised the site in a couple of places and let people know that it was available. Many of the people who are on the board right now were there in the begining. I remember clearly celebrating our 50th member, and thinking that this was great - my vision came true. We were helping people and helping each other.

Somewhere in this I decided to sell my TM and buy a 30 foot Trail Lite instead. There was no question about keeping the TMO alive though.

I moved the discussion section to a real bulletin board called YaBB - Yet another Bulletin Board. It ran on the limited software available on our server, and worked much better than the Front Page version. We kept increasing our member base, and increasing the information. The board continued to be a great resource, and was really developing into a community now.

This is where it got into trouble. I was paying out of pocket to keep the TMO alive - which wasn't an issue when it was small, but it quickly grew to the size that it was taking alot of resources from the host, and I was being charged a bunch in overages - a mixed blessing! Part of the problem was the design of the software - it was big, and it loaded big things each time you'd load the page. I had a choice to make...

It was with a heavy heart that I announced the closing of the site. That was 2 years ago. I just couldn't continue to justify the expense. The response was tremendous. Although no one was in a position to take it over, everyone agreed that it needed to stay alive, and that we could do things different to spread the burden. I called the oldest members together and we talked through how to keep it alive. We decided that we'd move to a sponsorship model. We'd charge a fee, put up a trial time, but still make it interesting for those who didn't want to sponsor. I agreed to take the money and buy the domain name - the one we voted on, to buy a software package, a chat client, etc. We decided to make it an even better site.

Now, when you do a search on Trailmanor, we come up #2 on Google. That's amazing for a non commercial site. We are the PREMIER site on the internet for information concerning TM's. We're the largest selling force for TM's in the country, and quite honestly we're the greatest community on the internet. Why is this? Because I had a vision, and you ALL helped me make it come true. My vision remains unchanged and unabated. I still love the TM Design, I still enjoy our community, and I love knowing what we built will stand for many years as one of the premier sites of it's kind on the web Travel Trailer related or not.

Thank you all for your help.

moaboy 12-30-2010 04:39 PM

Thanks for taking the time, energy and expense to create and continue the Forum. It is a great community and resource. And thanks to all of the early "supporters," as well.

knoxjere 12-30-2010 05:03 PM

Thanks for all you do, Chris. Without this forum we would have made a lot more mistakes when we bought our TM this year! Believe me, we made plenty! Again, thanks for keeping it going!

Shandysplace 12-31-2010 11:21 AM

Great job!
And let's not forget Bill Jeffreys, our Moderator, for his commitment to the forum. As we approach our 2,000th member, this is indeed an outstanding resource for TM.

Jim&Joan 12-31-2010 02:00 PM

Thanks from a non-gratis member
Thanks to all the pioneers. We sent in a check to renew, but have lost access and the check hasn't cleared. Guess DW will send another one.

Beak12 12-31-2010 06:15 PM

I join with the other--Thank you, thank you, thank you.

newtome3326k 12-31-2010 09:00 PM

The biography of the Trailmanor Owner's pages.
Just wanted to add my Thank you's to the beginners and what an outstanding job that is done everyday.

Mark & Jill 04-30-2012 10:10 AM

Membership fee cost
I am very new...and been lurking...but can't find a cost to supporting this site.

We just bought our first used 2009 2431KB last month. This site was invaluable in our decision making. Now we desire to make our purchase our own by fixing it to our needs.

Thanks to all you who have contributed.


Barb&Tim 04-30-2012 10:29 AM


Originally Posted by Mark & Jill (Post 93500)
I am very new...and been lurking...but can't find a cost to supporting this site.

We just bought our first used 2009 2431KB last month. This site was invaluable in our decision making. Now we desire to make our purchase our own by fixing it to our needs.

Thanks to all you who have contributed.


$12 year


Scott O 04-30-2012 01:14 PM

Chris, you and Bill have helped more people than you can possibly imagine...thank you very much.

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