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  #1  
Old 08-28-2017, 02:28 PM
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HoMiPa HoMiPa is offline
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Default Upgrade ideas for the "new" TM

[EDIT BY BILL]
The thread titled "TM Sold Again?" seemed to split into two topics - the original topic, plus an extensive discussion of changes that the new owners could make in the trailer design. The discussion got kind of lumpy as it lurched between the two topics, so I have moved the "new ideas" discussion here.


There are many different examples of trailers that open up. Other that canvas sided popups, all the hard sided examples simply lift up, in some form or fashion. None of them actually expand, other than vertically. I think it's that horizontal expansion that makes TM unique, and desirable. I have been scratching my head for years, wondering why no one else has come up with a similar trailer. I thought that back in 2004 when I bought mine - how long before there are half a dozen similar trailers on the market - but in all that time, not a single one has shown up. There are concept trailers - but nothing has come to fruition.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2017, 02:34 PM
BrucePerens BrucePerens is offline
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Default Upgrade ideas for the "new" TM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
The real value is in the dies, jigs, and custom tooling used to assemble the coach.
[The TM design] is so due for an update that I question the value. The update I have been thinking of:

Uses an aluminum I-beam frame with fiberglass-foam panels between the frame members and bolted joins rather than welds.
Corners are angles rather than I-beams.
Easy to replace panels and beams.
Roof elements like solar panels bolt to beams, rather than panels.
Wiring is sandwiched between panel edges and beams.
Lift arms pivot at a journal bearing below the shell edge rather than using pockets, and provide better horizontal stability. Similarly the lift arm is supported by a split journal bearing at the end of the torsion rod.
Peak in roof enforced at beam join down roof center rather than being a curve of a foam panel.
Internal aluminum chassis, not box-on-a-trailer.
Lower 1 foot (inside diameter) below floor (fully enclosed) dedicated to infrastructure and storage, floor above that.
External steps set into below-floor area rather than hanging from bottom of trailer. One or two internal steps built in at door.
Shells overlap the below-floor area when closed.
AC, tanks, batteries, heaters, wheel wells, plumbing, spare tire, wiring, gas piping, converter, solar controller, torsion bars, water fills and valves all in below-floor area and fully enclosed except for necessary ports to outside.
Below-floor area is insulated using foam panels and keeps plumbing above freezing for 4-season use.
Actual bottom of the trailer is flat and featureless.
Solar panels are most heavy thing on roof. No AC on roof.
Ledge at bottom of below-floor area for shells to rest upon when closed, protects them from road dirt and provides structural support along the entire area of the lower shell edge.
Probe and drogue latch system for shells with cable release. One lever to release shells.
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Last edited by BrucePerens; 08-28-2017 at 02:37 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2017, 03:11 PM
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HoMiPa HoMiPa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucePerens View Post
External steps set into below-floor area rather than hanging from bottom of trailer. One or two internal steps built in at door.
Shells overlap the below-floor area when closed.
AC, tanks, batteries, heaters, wheel wells, plumbing, spare tire, wiring, gas piping, converter, solar controller, torsion bars, water fills and valves all in below-floor area and fully enclosed except for necessary ports to outside.
All the 'below floor' ideas will basically increase the overall height of the trailer by at least 1', quite possibly 2', or, be some combination of decreasing the available height of interior cabinets, etc on lower half and increasing overall height of trailer. Bottom line is, opened up, you will have an increase in height, and when closed, that increase has to be absorbed somewhere. My parents had a travel trailer that was what the industry called a 'basement model' - meaning all that stuff you mentioned, was below floor level. The 'basement' was 2' high. Gave you lots of actual usable cabinet space inside, since holding tanks, etc, were subfloor, and plenty of external access storage areas as well (and face it, no one wants external storage areas that are only 1' tall, hence the reason I think it would have to be 2' tall). But man, that trailer was honking HUGE. In a TM, that increased height would then mess with the wind resistance, and add weight to the trailer as well.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:04 PM
rvcycleguy rvcycleguy is offline
 
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Bruce,

If not on the roof, where do you mount the AC? To be efficient coverage to cool the unit effectively?

As you know, the older units had the AC stuffed into the cabinetry adjacent to the bathroom.

Rv
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:53 PM
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If they mounted the A/C in a street/off-door side cabinet, they could also hide ductwork to evenly distribute cold air throughout the cabin.

I like a lot of the ideas listed above, some I don't really follow but they sound cool! Biggest issue, of course, is cost. And this new company should probably first look at ways to LOWER the initial price. TMs are some of the most expensive campers around, they need to get away from the "$30k for a pop-up?!? NO THANKS!" initial reaction so they can sell some units. A TM in the campground with a friendly, knowledgeable, HAPPY owner is the best salesperson they can ask for. Also they need to rebuild their dealer network and educate the salespeople on how to operate these campers.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:03 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Bruce -

I don't disagree with you about the value of the updates you suggest. However, the buyer is undoubtedly seeking a turnkey design - something he can build right now, with existing inventory and tooling, to recoup the costs of the purchase and bring the new company into profitability as soon as possible. IMO, this is the mistake that TMMC made with the Rise, the Mini, and the PowerLift. They should have stabilized the new company before branching out to new products. And then re-established the dealer network, currently almost non-existent.

Only at that point would it be appropriate to contemplate fundamental design updates.

Your ideas are all good, and from a fertile engineering mind. Give them two or three years with the base product, and then ...

Just my opinion, and I am no businessman ...

Bill
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Old 08-28-2017, 07:34 PM
RottieMom RottieMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvcycleguy View Post
Bruce,

If not on the roof, where do you mount the AC? To be efficient coverage to cool the unit effectively?

As you know, the older units had the AC stuffed into the cabinetry adjacent to the bathroom.

Rv
I was wondering the same thing. If not on the roof, where would you put the AC.
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2017, 07:51 PM
rvcycleguy rvcycleguy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RottieMom View Post
I was wondering the same thing. If not on the roof, where would you put the AC.
There's a reply that suggests placing in the cabinetry as the older models did back in the 90's and running duct fore and aft? How to do you get the duct past the door opening, by going under the camper, not realistic and with cold air sinking it's not wise to to vent the cold air close to waist high or lower. Only camper I know that does that is a tent style pop up due to no hard roof.

Years ago in some models they placed the AC in the rear only and also in the rear window. Not efficient either. I had a 3326 that needed exposed ducting ( low profile type on the ceiling) to get the cold air back down the hallway to the rear bed.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2017, 07:59 PM
BrucePerens BrucePerens is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoMiPa View Post
All the 'below floor' ideas will basically increase the overall height of the trailer by at least 1', quite possibly 2', or, be some combination of decreasing the available height of interior cabinets, etc on lower half and increasing overall height of trailer.
Before you are so sure about that, please measure the distance between the floor bottom under your Trailmanor and the bottom of the spare tire bracket (if your TM has the spare down there). The tire itself is almost 9 inches wide. Otherwise measure the thing that hangs down the lowest, possibly some plumbing. Enclosing that space might add at most 6 inches to the overall height of the TM.
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  #10  
Old 08-28-2017, 08:05 PM
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Shane826 Shane826 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvcycleguy View Post
There's a reply that suggests placing in the cabinetry as the older models did back in the 90's and running duct fore and aft? How to do you get the duct past the door opening...
Re-read my post. That's why I said put the A/C on the OTHER SIDE (off-door/street side). As for the cold air sinking, can't help ya there. But then what's the point of a heat pump in some of the newer rooftop A/C models? Hot air rises, so what good does it do?
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