TrailManor Owner's Forum  

Go Back   TrailManor Owner's Forum > Guest Area > Prospective Owner Questions
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-08-2006, 07:22 PM
clgish
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Generator? Solar Panel? Dealer?

I'm considering buying a new 2007 3023 from theTM dealer in Colorado Springs and towing it with an 03 Toyota Sequoia V8. I've never owned an RV before.

1. Generator?
Does anyone have any opinions on whether I will need to purchase one or more generators. I live in Las Vegas, NV and will likely be using the TM in the southwestern states during the summer months.

If I should get a generator(s), what size, how should it be mounted, and where would be the best place to purchase one? Should I ask the dealer to mount it?

2. Solar Panels?
Whether I have a generator or not, I will be getting solar panels of some type. The dealer is discouraging me from purchasing the factory roof mounted 80 watt solar panel system because of the $1000 price tag. They state they can sell me an 80 watt tripod solar panel for approx. $400. I am concerned that my idiot dogs might knock over the tripod. Additionally, I am not thrilled about storing the tripod panels inside the TM or about having to set it up everytime I camp. Therefore, I am much more inclined to spend the extra money on the roof mounted system. Does anyone besides my wife think I'm crazy ?

3. Dealership?
Does anyone have any opinions regarding the Colorado Springs dealership? They claim they are the best in the country for "dealer prep" of TMs. I could save approximately $500 by purchasing from the dealership in Anaheim, CA but the Colorado dealership says the Anaheim outfit won't do as good of a job prepping. Are the folks in Colorado full of it, or not?

Sorry for asking so many questions in one post. Any information anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thank you?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-08-2006, 09:08 PM
grill-n-go's Avatar
grill-n-go grill-n-go is offline
Site Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Coral Springs, Fl
Posts: 335
Default

You can also search "solar panel" is this forum to look at some DIY fixed roof mount arrangements. I'd never had an RV before getting a TM, everything about camping was over my head. What I've discvored is that over time batteries, solar panels, generator, refrigerator, Thetford, all slowly sink in. It's a lot easier than trying to take it all in on day one. I think that a stock TM less things like solar panels comes pretty well equipped. With a quiet generator you can get by most everything during the first year while you go through your learning curve. At that point you'll have a better feel for what you really want, like, need, etc. If you think you can wait, wait. You'll know your camping needs and what you can do about it a lot better,

Things I discovered I really did needed, the hard way. An extra 20' 30 Amp chord, and extra hose for dumping when the flimsy one my dealer gave me breaks. An extra city water hook-up hose, etc.
__________________
Mario & Idie

'03 2720SL
'07 Tundra 4X4
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-08-2006, 09:27 PM
PopBeavers
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The first thing you need to decide on before buying a generator is will you use the generator to run the air conditioning?

My Honda 2000 will run the a/c at sea level but will not run it at 6,000 feet.

As far as I can tell, the Honda 3000 would run the a/c at 6,000 feet, but it is so heavy it comes on wheels. My strategy was to eventually get dual Honda 2000 and the parallel kit giving me 4,000 watts. There is a chance that the Yamaha 2400 would be adequate, but I am not certain of that yet. I am still looking to find someone that has run an a/c on a single Yamaha 2400 and at what elevation will it still work.

I was discouraged from solar panels because the drop off in power is non linear. If the solar panels were half shaded you would think that it would produce half poser. Aparently they would produce less than half of their rated power if they were half shaded. I do most of my camping in the forest. Being in LV, I might guess that you will only use it in the desert where there is no shade. Solar might work for you.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-08-2006, 09:53 PM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by clgish View Post
I'm considering buying a new 2007 3023 from theTM dealer in Colorado Springs and towing it with an 03 Toyota Sequoia V8. I've never owned an RV before.

1. Generator?
Does anyone have any opinions on whether I will need to purchase one or more generators. I live in Las Vegas, NV and will likely be using the TM in the southwestern states during the summer months.

If I should get a generator(s), what size, how should it be mounted, and where would be the best place to purchase one? Should I ask the dealer to mount it?
If you intend to camp in the southwest where electrical hookups may not exist, then yes a generator is a necessity if you want to run the AC. Do NOT buy anything but an ultra-quiet generator (e.g. Honda EU series)...low cost "contractor grade" generators are so noisy that most public and private campgrounds will immediately tell you can't use them. At low elevations (below 3000 feet), a 2000 watt generator (e.g. Honda EU2000) may be sufficient to start the AC. At higher elevations, you'd need a pair of EU2000s...or simply get a Yamaha 2400 or 2800 watt unit.

I would strongly discourage mounting a generator on the trailer. There really are only two places it could go: on the hitch (where it will increase tongue weight substantially) or on (or behind) the rear bumper (where it will greatly destabilize the trailer and make it more prone to sway). The best place to carry the generator is (1) inside the Sequoia, (2) mounted in some way to the Sequoia's front bumper, or (3) inside the trailer.
Quote:
2. Solar Panels?
Whether I have a generator or not, I will be getting solar panels of some type. The dealer is discouraging me from purchasing the factory roof mounted 80 watt solar panel system because of the $1000 price tag. They state they can sell me an 80 watt tripod solar panel for approx. $400. I am concerned that my idiot dogs might knock over the tripod. Additionally, I am not thrilled about storing the tripod panels inside the TM or about having to set it up everytime I camp. Therefore, I am much more inclined to spend the extra money on the roof mounted system. Does anyone besides my wife think I'm crazy
As one of the solar pioneers here, I went the panels-on-the-roof route and mounted 170 watts of panels on my TM's front shell. I considered the tripod method but went with roof mount because:
  • I needed not one but 2 panels (a 50 and a 120) to get the reserve capacity I needed for days when there would only be 2-3 hours of useful sunshine due to cloudiness/thunderstorms. It's bad enough to deal with moving, storing and setting up one panel at each campground; I decided 2 panels would be an unbearable pain.
  • I felt that panels-on-a-tripod were just too easy for a thief to walk off with...even if I could rig up some kind of security device (which would be yet another hassle).
Keeping in mind that the cost was about equal for either roof or tripod as I was designing/constructing/installing the system myself; I still feel I chose the right route with a roof install.

But in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that by having the panels on the roof, I have to carefully select every campsite I camp in so that I can get 4 to 8 hours of full sunshine every day. In other words, no camping under the trees whatsoever (the shadow of a single branch on even one panel will cut output by 80% or more). Because I camp almost exclusively at high to very high elevations (minimum 8000 feet; more often 9500 to 10500 feet) where the daytime highs seldomly exceed 75 degrees, I don't need to have a shady campsite to stay comfortable. If I had a tripod mount, I theoretically could park the trailer under the shade of trees and place the tripod in a spot that gets full sunshine all day. I say theoretically because it's usually the case that if the campsite has enough trees to be fairly shady most of the day, then it's unlikely you'll be able to find a spot suitable for a tripod mounted solar panel anywhere within the general confines of the campsite that remains sunny most of the day.
Quote:
3. Dealership?
Does anyone have any opinions regarding the Colorado Springs dealership? They claim they are the best in the country for "dealer prep" of TMs. I could save approximately $500 by purchasing from the dealership in Anaheim, CA but the Colorado dealership says the Anaheim outfit won't do as good of a job prepping. Are the folks in Colorado full of it, or not?

Sorry for asking so many questions in one post. Any information anyone has would be greatly appreciated. Thank you?
I bought my trailer from the Car Show in Colorado Springs (easy decision...they're just across town from me ) and can definitely testify that they're an extremely honest and very thorough dealership when it comes to new trailer prepping. Although the Anaheim dealership also has an excellent reputation on this forum, I feel you can probably take the word of whoever you were talking to at the Car Show because I've never heard of them to make a claim (especially that bold a claim) unless they can really back it up with convincing evidence. And don't underestimate the importance of dealer prep...the TM factory (like all RV makers) ships a lot of trailers that aren't quite right and its up to the dealers to find and fix the glitches before you take possession. Sometimes the trailers come in from the factory nearly perfect (mine was like that) and some come in with all kinds of poor and incomplete construction (e.g. wiring that's not fully hooked up, plumbing that leaks big time, etc.). Good dealer prep is very important....especially when the dealer is not right across town.
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-08-2006, 10:46 PM
PopBeavers
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I took delivery of my 2005 TM 2720 probably 4 hours after it arrived at the dealer, Dinuba RV in Rio Vista, CA. We were very anxious to get it because we had plans to use it as a base for a mountain bike race, our son races.

Maybe I was lucky. The dealer had no time to do much of anything. The first time we washed it we did find saw dust scattered in various nooks and crannies. I'm not complaining. I knew I was taking a modest chance by not allowing the dealer to have it for a whole day.

Warantee work in the first year was:

- take the kink out of the vent hose for the fresh water tank.
- demonstrate how to open the top of the stove for cleaning.
- adjust front bed that was out of level.
- install service bullitin kit for the Norcold Fridge to fix a problem when running on propane.

There was another warantee item later on. There is an entire thread here decated to the subject of the cracked frame.

In my particular situation the value added by the dealer was in the cracked frame situation. The other items were such a nit I could have done it myself.

Was I really that lucky?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-09-2006, 08:08 PM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 823
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopBeavers View Post
Was I really that lucky?
Yes. And I was also...good dealer, good trailer. But some weren't...like the woes of the TMO member in this thread: http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ead.php?t=1708
If you do a search for threads started by his username, you'll find that he had other problems as well.

And there were several members from the midwest who had a lot of problems with their trailers...mostly because of poor dealer prepping.
__________________
Ray

I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-09-2006, 11:56 PM
clgish
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thank you all very much for your prompt and knowledgable replies.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-10-2006, 01:10 PM
coopersmom
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Talking

We purchased 2004 3023 from Custom RV in Anaheim in May of 04. We chose for our unit the roof mounted solar system (one 80 watt panel with a charge controller mounted inside of the trailer). We also were advised on the possiblity of a tripod mounted solar panel, however over the same concerns of kids and dogs and the possiblity of tipping over the solar panel set up while camping we decided it to be safer just to have the solar mounted to the roof. It works great!!! I dont believe it was a factory option at the time of our purchase, so Custom RV did a very nice job installing it.

I would highly recommend Custom RV as a dealership. I have worked with both Matt and Scott in regards to parts needed and Warranty work. Scott even came out to my place to provide warranty work while in my town to save me a time and money hauling the trailer to Anaheim (I lived in Phoenix when I purchased the trailer). I found Matt to be very helpful and honest during the entire buying process. He even delivered it to my house (out of state delivery) free of charge. They are a smaller dealership, but have been selling TrailManors since 1998 and are extrememly knowledgable on the product. Something to keep in mind too is the service after the purchase of your new TrailManor trailer. Do you have a local facility to service your trailer in Vegas (is there a dealer in Nevada now?) Do you have to go to Colorado Springs to have warranty work done? I have found Matt and Scott to be very professional and they seem to always go out of their way to make sure our unit is in good working order so we dont miss any trips!!!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-12-2006, 10:19 AM
Tonopah
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I have a 2007 2720SL purchased from Custom RV in Anaheim. It was a good buying experience and I will also praise Matt. My trailer was delivered to me well prepped and dealing with Matt was a pleasure.

I considered the generator vs. solar issue and decided to have Custom RV install one 80 watt solar panel. I also upgraded the batteries to two 6 volt deep cycle. The combination has been working well for me. The 80 watt panel is not sufficient to refill the batteries on a daily basis (appears more like 150 watts of capacity would be needed for that) but the single 80 watt panel does insure that I have full batteries before every trip, and does extend the batteries significantly during camping.

I understand that slow charging provided by solar is easier on the batteries than the more vigorous charging provided by a generator so, with solar, the batteries may have a longer overall lifespan.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-21-2006, 11:54 PM
clgish
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up Just Ordered an '07 3023

We just ordered a 2007 3023 from Custom RV in Anaheim, CA. Matt from Custom RV was very helpful and knowledgeable, and is also a really nice guy. He included two options for no charge and two options for cost. He also included free delivery to Vegas. THANK YOU MATT. We are very excited about getting the TM and taking it and the idiot dogs to Reno for Thanksgiving (we are in Vegas).

We ordered the following options:

AC; Awning; Sattelite Dish/TV Combo; Cabinets over sink and stove; Microwave Box; All vinyl floor; Swing Hitch; Panel at Sofas; Rear Hitch; 40 gallon tank; tv shelf; 80 watt solar panel; and the 17" built in flat panel TV.

We will be using the outstanding infomation on this site to prepare our checklist for the day the TM is delivered.

Our TV is a 2003 Sequoia.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 2011 Trailmanor Owners Page.