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-   -   What's wrong with TrailManor? (http://www.trailmanorowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2718)

JessWD 03-02-2005 07:01 PM

What's wrong with TrailManor?
 
I would like to have owners of TrailManor trailers to point out the negative features or operations or opinions they have discovered as owners of their
TrailManor.

I have been looking seriously at the HiLo trailers. I am very interested in
the TrailManor and am planning on visiting a dealer soon to see one in person.

One comment I picked up somewhere is that some people might have a difficult time opening it up if they are not strong enough. My wife is 5' 2" and
is not known for toughness or strength. I'm wondering if she would be able
to open up a TM trailer. How much energy or muscle does it actually take?
I know this is a subjective question; but can you give some idea. How would
it compare with lifting a garage door that is on springs?

What other negative observations do you have? I would appreciate total
honesty. I'm not looking for perfection. But I am a skeptical potential
customer. The brochure, for instance, shows a lady acting as if she is opening up a trailer; but it is not a video, so anyone could have pulled it
up and then had her stand at that position for the photo.

I am not trying to be negative, but seeking the whole truth in practical experience.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

JessWD

TandemKids 03-02-2005 07:23 PM

Re: What's wrong with TrailManor?
 
Jess,

I'll take the plunge for you. My wife and I have had our TM2619 for just over a year, and following is a list (short) of our dislikes.

1. TrailManor's claims that the re-circulating toilet doesn't stink notwithstanding, The re-circulating toilet STINKS, especially during hot weather when the AC is in use. The way I stopped the stink was to create/install a powered vent for the toilet. It works very well.

2. I can open/close the TM with no problem, but my wife cannot. It is more difficult to close when the weather is cold or damp. The seals are so tight that it is difficult to overcome them when they are cold or wet. It is not a problem when two people open or close it.

3. We find our 2619 to be cozy (read small) when we are camping along. It is a matchbox when we have our 5 year old grandson along. Suggestion: Only take small kids along when the weather is nice and you can boot them outside, or buy a bigger TM.

4. Condensation is a problem. We bought a small de-humidifier that works well unless the weather is cold and really wet. In that case, the de-humidifier works but cannot overcome the condensation totally.

That is about it in the complaint dept. Jess. Overall, we like our TM. It is light and tows well behind our Blazer. It can be set up and taken down in the rain without getting everything wet inside.

Hope this helps.

Michael

Bill 03-02-2005 08:11 PM

Jess -

I will admit right up front that I think the Trail Manor is wildly superior to the Hi-Lo. When you compare similar models (in terms of interior space and bed size, the things that grab me), and then compare the weights of the two trailers - well, you can do it for yourself. Hi-Los are HEAVY. Beyond that, much of the equipment is similar, but as I look down the list of options vs standard equipment in the 27-foot size (my TM), there are some significant differences.

I find opening and closing to be a one-handed operation, but a 5'2" lady might not. There have been threads written by folks older than I about how to make opening even easier for someone with very limited upper-body strength or weight. For example, take a look at this thread, where several tips are presented.

http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ead.php?t=2011

My TM virtually closes itself - you just lean against the ends and they float down. There is a current thread about replacing the step-in U-bolts with larger ones, to facilitate snapping the travel latches closed.

I haven't found condensation to be a problem, though others such as Michael have experienced it. However, it won't be any more or less of a problem in a Hi-Lo - it has to do with sources of moisture (cooking, breathing, unvented propane heaters) and venting (do you crack a vent when it gets moist) which will be the same in the two trailers.

My only complaint about my TM is that it is too easy to overload with my stuff. Since I make cross-country trips twice a year, I end up packing heavy, and my next TM will have a heavier axle and tires. I don't know about the available payload of a Hi-Lo.

And I have no idea how they compare in price for equivalent models, equally equipped.

Good luck in your analysis.

Bill

RockyMtnRay 03-02-2005 09:59 PM

For me, not much to complain about
 
Generally my feelings echo those of Bill...if the smaller TMs have a weakness it's the relatively low axle/tire weight rating of the single axle on the 2720s and 2619s (3500 lb axle rating, 3720 (1860 each side) lb tire rating with the standard 14 inch tires). I'm seriously considering spending the bucks in 2006 to retrofit my 27202SL with a 5000 lb axle and 15 inch tires (and disc brakes). If you wind up ordering a 2619/2720 TM (i.e. not buying one off a lot), I strongly encourage you to order the optional heavy duty (5000 lb rating) axle with 15 inch tires.

Going along with the limited axle rating is the relatively small (20 gallons on most models) fresh water and 28 gallon grey water tanks. Not an issue for those who camp in full-hookup campgrounds, but a big issue for those of use who boondock camp for multiple days in primitive campgrounds that don't even have a dump station in the campground.

Based on a lot of posts here, the recycling toilet can be an odor problem if you use it for defecation and don't use a lot of chemicals and dump very frequently. Long ago someone posted some sage advice on this board: if you want to guarantee you'll never have a smelly toilet, then "don't poop in the potty". Seemed like incredibly sound advice to me and accordingly I only use the onboard toilet for urination (mainly at night) and have never had even a slight odor problem. Plus I can go around 10 person-days between toilet dumps.

As for difficulty in opening the shells, I find it hard to believe even the smallest, least muscular woman can't open the shells if (1) the trailer is carefully leveled and (2) the torsion bars (4 per shell) are very carefully adjusted. I personally can open both the rear and front shells on my trailer with just one finger. Yes I work out a lot and have a lot of upper body/arm/hand strength but the one-finger opening is mostly due to having the torsion bar adjustments perfectly tweaked and careful leveling (which is pretty easy with an electric tongue jack and an electric drill to operate the leveling jacks).

As for size/sense of spaciousness, it all depends on how much personal space you and your wife need/want and how much crowding you'll tolerate for a few days of camping. Me...I like/need a lot of personal space and find a 2720SL is great for one adult (namely Me!...I almost always travel solo), is pretty bearable with 2 adults; and would feel pretty crowded with just 3 adults or 2 adults and a teenager. 2 adults and 2 preteen kids is probably do-able if you really liked the kids. :) No way would I try camping with a 4 adults in a 2720SL.

BobRederick 03-02-2005 10:29 PM

Jess,

I looked at the TM for a long time to be sure I would like it or could live with it. Now that I own it, I love it. My concerns re the TM were the following:
* Window height is high. I wanted visibility and got it in the 3326 where you sit up on the dinette.
* Bending over to get stuff out of the cabinets. This is helped in the 3326 by the dinette being right across the isle from the galley. You can reach into the refrig, the oven or stove, and the pantry while seated. Also, don't have to carry food over the carpet. I am working on putting baskets in the cabinets with rollers to bring them out so I don't have to reach way inside to get stuff. That makes much more efficient storage as well. Get the overhead cabinet -- its great.
* You can't walk around the bed to make it or to get in. Have to crawl in. I got the King bed so we can sleep lengthwise of the trailer and neither has to crawl over the other to get out at night.
* The moisture collection inside is due to moisture from humans and cooking condensing on the cold (single pane) windows. All campers will do that.
* Jacking is a work out. Get the electric jack if that is a bother.
* Lifting the shells is a pull. Maybe 40# or so? I bought mine 2000 miles away and camped in it on the way home. My elbow hurt from that. I learned to hook the crook of my elbow under the shell to raise it and that greatly reduced the stress on my elbow.
* The refrig on 12V is a pain. It likes to drain the battery. I have two ideas to mitigate this: a) turn off the refrig on the road. Put dry ice or the frozen dry stuff in the freezing compartment to keep it cold on the road. b) Put a switch outside the TM so I can turn off the refrig when I go into a restaurant and back on when the TV is running. Then I'll get to the camp with a fully charged battery.

I'm scratching the bottom of the barrel here now. Lots more good things to talk about than shortcomings. All campers are a compromise and none are like your house. They all depreciate, have screws come loose, need maintenance, have a small bathroom, have to have grey, black and fresh water tended to and need to be stored somewhere when not in use. Batteries are marginal and need a lot of TLC when dry camping.

I like mine so much I have been sleeping in it the last month. That memory foam pad really calls out my name!

The bigger ones cost more and are more comefortable. The smaller ones may go into your garage, are easier to tow and set up, and go into tighter places for dry camping.

By the way, outfitting the TM is a great pleasure to me. Trying to find a way to add creature comefort at minimal weight and volume is a challenge. Think of yourself setting up housekeeping for the Space Shuttle or the Space Station! It's a lot like that but much more affordable. I do hear Camping World calling me.....

Check it out carefully. Go look at one. Sit in it and pretend it is yours. Set it up and take it down. Check out the bed, the refrig, and cabinets. I'm an ex-Coleman guy, so this is a great upgrade to what I am accustomed to.

Best wishes and hope to hear you as a new owner for the '05 camping season!

Bob Rederick

B_and_D 03-02-2005 11:27 PM

I can open our shells unassisted with very little effort, and the torsion mechanism on our unit probably need to be adjusted. I open and close up the TM all the time by myself. I'm not much taller than your wife. As has been said here before, the trick is to get it level first, but you have to do that with any trailer if you want to run the frig properly. Opening the TM is not as much lifting as it is pulling back and upward as you slowly step back. If there is only one person doing it, the outer shell must be grasped in the center so that it glides straight out.

I suppose the toilet can get smelly if you overuse it, but it's not an issue if you have full hookups or can dump when needed. When we dry camp, we bring along a 5-gal blue tote that we use for transportation to the dump station.

Condensation. We've experienced that. I think that any trailer would probably have that, given the new synthetic, non-moisture absorbing walls and finishes that are in most new TT's. It comes from cooking, showering, and breathing in a tightly-sealed, enclosed space. Best bet is to crack the vents a little at the top and slightly open the windows on either end. We also carry along a fan to run when this happens.

The cabinets in the TrailManor are low. I think that was the worst thing for me, at first. Now I've fitted each cabinet space with sliding tubs that can be easily pulled out and the contents easily viewed. Sometimes I have to get down on the floor to find the things that are stuffed way in back. I think it keeps me limber.

We have not experienced any battery drain while enroute with the refrigerator on 12V. Others have experienced this. I think it's how the wiring is done in the TV to the 7-prong connector, plus how the TV is wired. We have a 2001 Chevy PU 1500. We always arrive fully charged and ready to camp.

Go visit a TrailManor somewhere. We did that before we bought ours. If you would like to visit ours, and try opening and closing it, you are welcome to. There might be some other board members even closer to you that would show you their rigs. We had two different board members show us their TM's before we bought ours, one of them even opened it up an closed it down a few times for us (thanks, CWB!). :)

Factor 03-03-2005 01:19 PM

What's Wrong with Trailmanor
 
We have not had ours long enough to make a real intelligent response, but, here is. It's easy to tow, lots of room and no difficulty in raising and lowering it. If I wasn't concerned about towing costs and weight, I probably would buy a Hi-Low. I do believe the TM's are very expensive compared to some other units. Hopefuly, the quality will compensate over the years. We purchased the TM because of weight, room, towability and the fact it has hard sides.

John
2003 Montana AWD TV
2004 - 3023 TM

CC_Turtle 03-03-2005 02:41 PM

Hi,

we have a 2720sl.. which is great for 2 people.. or 4 for very short times. since we do have the slide out, i have to remove the propane tanks to have them filled - which is not as easy as i think it should be. we can open our shells together - but i cannot do it by myself. overall we really like our TM!

Teresa

live2shopnc 03-03-2005 05:16 PM

The lp tanks are a pain to change in my 2720sd. My biggest problem is not being able to leave the bed made and close it. We have a memory foam pad and it makes the bed too tall to leave made up. Condensation has not been a prob. for me. Wife and I usually open and close together but we can do it alone with no prob. We usually stay in CG with full hookups so smell is not a prob. I have the lift kit and heavier axle and 15 in tires.

JessWD 03-03-2005 05:26 PM

What's wrong with TrailManor?
 
This is directed to B&D, Ray, Leon, Bob, Teresa and John - - I think I covered all who were so kind to respond with "your" negatives AND positives. Which
reminds me, I should now ask you to list any additional positives that come to mind. Maybe typing to me will keep you out of trouble! :c) :rolleyes:

I do thank you all. I have printed all your comments off, read and discussed
them with Bonnie.

By the way, what does DW and DH stand for? Bonnie said, "It better not
stand for "dumb wife!" ha ha. I told her it meant "Designated wife" lol.
But DH is probably "dumb husband!" It's a new one for both of us.

I would like to ask just how hard is it to make up the permanent Queen size bed? Contour sheets sounds like a preference. I don't like the idea of climbing over each other during the night...especially following and evening when my thirst cannot be quenched and I drink two or three ice teas or a couple beers!

I wish they had a length wise double or queen to eliminate the crawling over bit. "If wishes were fishes," eh?

We've camped in Wyoming with four kids in a tent for a weekend. So a TM
experience would be a defnite upgrade.

I read somewhere that if you order one, there is some room to customize your own TM. I sure like the looks of the 3326 King with the dinette and couch and lounge chair - but the length, weight, not to mention the price!
And I have not even started to examine the realm of a used TM. I think
"used" might be our only way of getting into one. Unless Martha Stewart
hears about us, feels compassionate to us, and wants to share a third of one of her $100 million she earned while in the pokey. I think that was the first month!

Our concerns center on the two of us. We think it would be rare that any other family members would be traveling with us. Our Tundra has that small back seat, so if anyone did come along, they'd probably have to drive their own car. Not likely to happen.

Bob Rederick, I assume you drilled a hole in the side of the trailer to attach your outside On/Off switch for your refrig.

If you use battery powered lamps for light, and only use trailer lights for very brief periods.....does anyone know how long the battery lasts with running the frig on it?

No one has mentioned a Honda generator for dry camping.

Is there a guage to show how much LP gas remains in the tanks?

I hear talk about a "converter." Ignorant regarding a lot to do with electrical matters. Is a "converter" something "extra" one needs to purchase? Or is
it built in? Does it convert the current from AC to DC and vis versa?

I talked to my tire man today while having new tires put on our Tundra. He
said he only will run 8 ply tires on his travel trailer. He said the tires do not hold up the weight of the trailer. Air does that! You don't often think of it
that way. He said he talks to RV people all the time who are running 5000 pounds with 37 or so pounds in the tires. Does everyone run 8 ply tires?

He also said Goodyear runs a steel belt around the inner circle of the tire.....the part that meets the rim. Bridgestone uses rubber. But it's so hard, he said, you can pound it with a hammer and not even leave a mark.
But it gives a much smoother ride. I've run Bridgestones on our vehicles for many many years, exclusively. Today with these new tires it's like riding on
a soft cloud. Even the steering is so soft feeling. And quiet! He also said
to rotate tires every 4000 instead of 5000 as I have in the past. I got 72,000 miles on a set on our Buick Regal once, by faithfully rotating the tires every 5000 miles and keeping air pressure up. That was incredible! Those were Bridgestones too.

Oh, I think I figured out DW. Has to be Italian for "Da Woman!" Right?

Jess


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