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  #11  
Old 08-28-2017, 08:08 PM
BrucePerens BrucePerens is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvcycleguy View Post
If not on the roof, where do you mount the AC?
You get an RV basement air conditioner. Dometic makes them, Coleman, etc.
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2017, 09:02 PM
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HoMiPa HoMiPa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrucePerens View Post
Enclosing that space might add at most 6 inches to the overall height of the TM.
You already have people saying that with the a/c on the roof, and lift kit, they are clearing their garage door by mere inches. Granted, moving the a/c off the roof would help. You'd also have to get waste & fresh water tanks redisgned to fit in a space only 9" high. All doable, but myself, personally, I would rather keep the trailer overall profile, as low as possible TM's are already taller than some of the TV people are using. Any addition to that height, and you lose one of the major, if not the most important, advantages TM has. And then you'd have outside storage areas a whopping, what, 6"-7" high after insulation? All just my opinion, of course.
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  #13  
Old 08-29-2017, 06:59 AM
rvcycleguy rvcycleguy is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Shane826 View Post
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?
It doesn't. A heat pump is not that efficient. Off street side? You've got the bathroom, won't go there, kitchen, won't go there, living room, got fresh water storage, pump, seating and oh yea... The furnace.

Most campers use the furnace or more likely, a floor model electric ceramic or oil filled heater. It's quiet and efficient.

As we know, on some models and years, the AC is optional. Just take it out. Hahahaha...
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  #14  
Old 08-29-2017, 08:23 AM
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Padgett Padgett is offline
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All good ideas but somewhat PBIs. Most either increase weight, add height, or reduce ground clearance. Not saying the package could not be improved but would need a group of people (like this forum) to discuss.

One thing not well appreciated is that most of the heavy items (a/c, fridge, water tanks) are close to being centered on the axle.

Had a ducted basement A/C in my Vixen RV but was under the table/second bed and rather loud. Out in the open up top, little of the noise enters the cabin and no problem with A Lot of cooling air. Now in the last few decades there have been advances in weight/size/noise/low power compressors to the point that I would be thinking about combining the refrigerator and A/C, both do the same thing.

The other major change is that most now get infotainment from the Internet and not OTA. Am surprised there has never been a hot/spot extended antenna option.

For that matter the whole power system is pretty far out of date & personally would make 300W of solar with dual GC2s an option, not 80. Would also make it so power could be accepted from any 15A 120/240vac system. May be odd but little of my camping is done at formal campgrounds with facilities, is more likely to be a "mobile guest room" & every year I spend a week dry camping at an air show.

Guess that is part of the reason am thinking about selling mine, is "tricked out" just about as far as currently possible and am ready for something new and maybe smaller.

Still what makes the TM unique is the expansion and the parallelogram/torque arms is a brilliant design. For instance would like to look at slides for both ends & folding bunk beds for one end.

Part of TM's problem IMNSHO is the focus on a single market: conventional campers who use campgrounds. To me there are many more potential applications. For instance collapsible hard sided, self contained, and waterproof emergency shelters (Bill mentioned this). Fully self contained portable hunting blinds. Portable offices. Or even COWs.

Consider the possibility of a smaller unit with swing tongue that could be stood on end against a wall. Probably wouldn't work but just a thought.
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  #15  
Old 08-29-2017, 08:45 AM
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klpauba klpauba is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvcycleguy View Post
A heat pump is not that efficient.
..snip..
Most campers use the furnace or more likely, a floor model electric ceramic or oil filled heater. It's quiet and efficient.
Yes, electric heat is efficient. But a heat pump will concentrate more heat into the space than an electric heater for the same electric costs. But in the colder months, I usually pay a flat rate for electricity at a campground so it doesn't much matter to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvcycleguy View Post
Off street side? You've got the bathroom, won't go there, kitchen, won't go there, living room, got fresh water storage, pump, seating and oh yea... The furnace.
If the A/C evaporator were placed in the subfloor, I bet a duct/diffuser could go in the bathroom. If the water heater, water tank and pump were down there too, there would be room for a duct/diffuser in a kitchen cabinet. Perhaps an integrated duct could be inside the clothes cabinet (armoire) to deliver air to the sleeping area.

C'mon, I'm just brainstormin'/dreamin' here!
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  #16  
Old 08-29-2017, 09:07 AM
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HoMiPa HoMiPa is offline
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They make some unbelievably awesome off road campers in Australia - some pretty ingenious ways of opening, etc. Built to take a lot of abuse, and drive through rivers, etc. Wicked efficient on electric/water usage, since they are intended specifically for boondocking. However, heat isn't something they need to concern themselves with there, although some do have heat, since there are areas of Australia that get cold/have snow. Many of the ideas they have could be incorporated into the TMs.

All that being said, campers that are boondocking and traveling to remote areas have very different needs/wants for a camper, than those that always go to full hookup campgrounds, and stay for weeks at a time in their camper. No manufacturer can please both - they have to choose one demographic, and design something for them.

All THAT being said, Trailmanor can please several demographics - in the future. Their basic concept/design with the two shells which give you great expansion, and great towing ability, can easily be taken in several different directions. But, they need to get back on their feet first, and that means they need to concentrate on one demographic, and get that right - which includes a way better marketing strategy that what has been used in the past.
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2017, 09:55 AM
BrucePerens BrucePerens is offline
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We just boondocked for 4 days in Prairie City for the eclipse. The 400 watts of solar on the rear shell and the Dometic compressor 'fridge worked well. If I have my charge indicator set right, we took 1/4 of the pair of GC/2 batteries to get through the night with the 'fridge fan running (perhaps irrationally I figure moving air across the coils will result in a net saving) and some use of vent fans in the evening after sundown. We were always fully charged before Noon and thus had no problem running both vent fans and the bathroom fan all day.

To boondock well, the TM could use a larger fresh water tank and gray water tank. Two tall people did fill up the Thetford in 4 days, this can be extended to 8 days if you want to use a 6 gallon sewer tote, which I ended up doing just to reach the dump station without moving the camper at our next destination.
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2017, 10:25 AM
BrucePerens BrucePerens is offline
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Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
Most either increase weight, add height, or reduce ground clearance.
Actually, I think my proposal can be done without increasing the limiting dimensions of height or ground clearance at all. Measure the difference between the roof height of your AC and the next highest roof protrusion. It's at least 6 inches. Measure the underhang of the spare tire and its holder. Given the known tire width of almost 9 inches, it must be about 10 inches. Now, take those 16 inches and use them more efficiently. You end up with a roof with low-profile vents and nothing taller than those, and a floor with no protrusions whatsoever. So the exercise is taking a bumpy rectangle and making it fit within the same rectangular volume while making it less bumpy, thus increasing the internal volume without exceeding the limiting external dimensions.

Now, let's consider weight. Trailmanor builds on an external steel trailer, like an old fashioned car body fit on top of a separate chassis. It's heavy, rusts, and wastes space. Replace that with an aluminum frame that is integral to the trailer, just as modern automobiles are unibody. We lose some weight from getting rid of all of that steel. It might be necessary to weld the lower frame, for long-term structural stability. But welding aluminum is conventional now, unlike when TM was designed.

Then there is balance. The variable weights that are difficult to control are liquid tanks. TM presently puts fresh water far in front of the axle and gray water far behind it. These can be moved closer to the axle, especially if they are made larger. Batteries, AC, water and air heaters, spare tire can be balanced against each other. Weight of electronics is not significant. Conventional gas bottles will fit inside the subfloor if the internal height is 13 inches, but not 12 inches. They would need to be in their own well-vented enclosure.

No batteries or gas bottles on the A frame mean that it can hold bicycles or other storage, eliminating the issues of a rear receiver and rear bicycle rack. I saw one older TM that had been modified to hold a motorcycle on the front A-frame. Hinging the A-frame to fit the TM in a garage might also be easier with this design. An A-frame that swings up for storage against the front of the TM might be possible.

Add air cylinder shell raise/lower. Torsion bars are still needed, I don't want to have the heavy shell depending only on air cylinders to keep it raised.

Add permanent bed stairs with hinged top and internal storage, and modify cabinetry and wardrobe to work with that. The wardrobe might have an open bottom and lower left side and might nest over the stairs when lowered. Or I might delete the wardrobe or just attach a clothes rod to the ceiling there. There is more inside storage space anyway due to movement of infrastructure to subfloor, and the wardrobe makes the rear bed area a bit claustrophobic and does not work well for storage when lowered. I don't have one in my TM and don't miss it.

So, what storage do you gain? No internal wheel wells, no heater under kitchen cabinet, no infrastructure under street-side couch so that area can all be drawers or cabinetry.

No converter, plumbing, or bathroom vent hardware under shower, so you can expand the tub / shower floor rather than have that bump in the back.

Expand cabinetry/drawers into dead spaces under 4 couch arms and make sure drawers use the depth of the couch space (present ones leave a void behind them, and you think anyone doesn't know that's where you keep your gun, huh?).

I am also thinking about a lower door frame that lifts slightly and then swings in as one piece to close the trailer, rather than the three-piece door. So the motion would be to unlatch the upper door and swing that out, lift the inner door frame and swing it in, latch the inner door frame to the side of the couch, latch the upper door frame closed.

Acoustically insulate the AC and heater (which share air ducts) and their ducts from the living space, and put an s-curve or duct muffler in the ducts after the heater and AC so that noise from them is not transmitted through the ducts. Use flexible insulated ductwork, it's sound absorbing.

I was not proposing this for the new owners of TM to manufacture. All of the intellectual property rights to the TM design are open, and another enterprise can improve on the design and start from a clean slate rather than having TM's history and liabilities.
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Last edited by BrucePerens; 08-29-2017 at 12:21 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2017, 10:35 AM
Larryjb Larryjb is offline
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I really like the simplicity of the TM. Many parts can be replaced with standard parts found in any RV shop. I know I can fix just about anything.

As Bruce said, a larger grey water tank would be nice for boon docking, but transporting even 40 gallons of grey water in a tote would be tough. I think the most I'd want to tote away would be 20 gallons, which would mean 3 trips total: 1 for the blackwater, 2 trips for the greywater.

In our family, the females would practically fill the 40 gallon grey water tank in a single shower. (I guess boon docking isn't for us!)

Improvements I would like to see would be in structural integrity of the slide models. I'm noticing that the walls that the slide tucks into are tilted out a little. The walls of the slide itself are braced so they're good.
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  #20  
Old 08-29-2017, 10:39 AM
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Right they need to concentrate on three core models, 2518, 2922, 3124 (think more people would like a longitudinal king than a transverse queen in back). Start with a shell and build common options involving one or two slides.

Minimise the base price and make profit on options like power slides and opening. BTW there are many needs for dry capability including AC than just boondocking:
- mobile guest room/party overflow
- dry campgrounds
- rest areas
- emergency housing
- fairs, shows, conventions, and auctions
- hunting blinds
- vacation cottage

and I agree, at this point to many TM is a complete unknown. Good marketing is essential. If there really is not much in the way of tooling it is too bad forum members could not have created a consortium, I have know that to happed to other vehicles.

Note that everything exists other than with a rear slide, where to carry batteries/generator.

One place I would work with a hungry generator/inverter manufacturer is for an integrated system that could use the coach batteries to absorb the starting surge for the AC. Then a "soft start" would not be necessary.
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