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  #1  
Old 11-26-2010, 04:59 PM
pauloh pauloh is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Black Hills, SD
Posts: 90
Default Newbie w/ NTM 2004 3124KB...dealer moved it while set up

Hope this isn't too long for a first post:

After weeks of lurking this forum soaking up information, this week I found and purchased a 2004 TM 3124KB in very nice condition. Here is my experience, with a couple questions at end:

I bought it from a small dealer/trailer lot where they mostly sell flatbed and horse trailers--my TM was on consignment from a private party. This former owner (who'd bought it new) and his wife came out and gave me the TM tour at the lot, after I'd already inspected and bought it (we'd spoken by phone earlier)...they were proud to show me features and truly sorry to see it go. Very nice older couple and I believe what they told me: that it had been pulled less than 5000 miles was verified by the lack of tire wear and the nice condition of the undercarriage. The tires (15 inch Marathons, incl. the spare) are original and still have the little nibs on them...rest of unit is excellent too; the former owners (and elderly mother) had spent considerable time using the TM, just not pulling it very far to do so.

It was unfortunately well below freezing with 30mph wind the day I purchased, and, travel plans forced me to hurry a bit...I LOOKED at everything, and took a chance that appliances will work...it all LOOKS practically new. Former owner stated he had drained the water out weeks ago and that everything else works great. I could not take the TM with me that day, so the dealer is storing until I pick it up in a week or two about 300 miles from where I live. I do have about 50 photos of nearly every part of the unit I purchased.

One oddity was that the former owner said the TM had sat unused for 18 months at one time and the brakes were not working well when he went to pull it afterwards. So he checked the pads and thought they were "dried out"...he had them replaced somewhere, and while there, the shop offered to replace the "wheel assemblies" (maybe he meant "brake assemblies") for just a few bucks more so he did. Now, I'm quite sure the original wheels and tires are on this unit, but where the wheel is mounted does look brand new...new wiring to the brakes, new hub (I think). But I didn't climb under there again with the former owner, too cold. I'll try to post a photo of one side...the tires look worse than they really are because of dried mud on them. Again, I have not actually towed this TM nor tested these brakes yet, and I didn't take the wheels off in my inspection.

The former owner was very annoyed to realize that the dealer had moved the TM about 100 feet from its previous display site on pavement, to a site in the back of the muddy lot, WITHOUT putting down the trailer. This happened a few days before I came to purchase. I of course learned this after I'd already cut the check. There seem to be no major problems from this move (please comment on potential problems if any!) One slider related to taking down the bathroom wall has pulled out its screws...as we took it down this was noticed by the f.owner who pointed it out to me. He claimed it was not that way when he last used it. It looked like something I can fix. The outside bed/slide locks or whatever they are called (piece of square tubular aluminum that engages a pin above it, see photo) were partially or completely disengaged at all 4 corners, but could be pushed back into place without force.

Soooo....

I'm pretty sure (from reading this wonderful forum) that I should replace those tires soon even though they look like new, they are probably at least 6 years old. The size is ST225/75R15. What brand is recommended...are Maxxis currently in favor here? They seem a bit harder to find, from vendors I recognize anyway. Carlisle is now claimed to be made in USA but 4 reviewers at Amazon hated them (they "blow" says one, ha ha). Or back to Marathons, Sams Club has them online ($111.00). I looked at the tires forum here but am still uncertain about this.

I'm thinking I should obtain the "date fresh" tires myself somewhere and ask the dealer or a nearby tire shop to put them on (including the spare). Alternatively, I could try to get 300 more miles out of these tires, probably driving in cool temps from 20 to 50 degrees, and deal with the tires this winter back home at a local shop I trust. Advice welcome...

Despite the dealer's misguided action moving the camper while set up, I like him and he offered (included in $99. prep fee) to check the appliances, hook up water/electric, and go through all functions with me in his large heated shop the day I pick it up. The former owner stated he wants to be there for that, which I expect will be a great help. I am concerned the shop workers will damage something just putting it up, they are not familiar with TM.

The former owner and I put the camper down (it folded smoothly I thought) before parting company and it is stored that way for now in the back of this lot. The former owner is storing the deep-cycle batteries for me, to avoid freezing weather, since I was unable to take them with me at the time of purchase. We hit it off pretty well and I'm looking forward to talking with him again.

I've got other questions but will save them for a much shorter future post....thanks for your patience and any advice.
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Pauloh
TM: 2004 3124KB
Maxxis ST225/75R-15D1 tires
TV: 2005 Toyota 4Runner, V8, 4x4
Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller
Reese 49586-020 Trunnion WDH
Duct tape here and there
2014 update: more duct tape
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2010, 07:42 PM
harveyrv harveyrv is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,120
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Moving the trailer set-up is not a problem. I wouldn't tow it set-up but simply moving it across a lot is no big deal. It will get a lot more stress than that during your 1st good windstorm.

Your pic does show new brake assemblies (old brake drums).

The bathroom wall is easily fixed. I just did mine. The factory screws only go into the wood base less than 1/4". I bought new #10 S/S machine screws, the same length (they are slightly larger than the factory screws). I then counter-sank the screws 1/4" deeper into the slide by drilling holes large enough for the screw head to go in. The fix is very strong and the screws don't penetrate through the base wood piece (which is 5/8" thick). I guess that you could accomplish the same thing by simply buying screws 1/4" longer . Be sure to drill out the holes in the upper slide part so that the screws don't grip it but are allowed to pull it down tight against the base wood board.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2010, 09:26 AM
edweidig edweidig is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 53
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I would take the chance on the tires getting home too. Just make sure they are aired up properly and keep your speed down to 60-65 and you should be OK for 300 miles. If you can find LT tires in your size, they'll work better than trailer tires.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2010, 02:53 PM
harveyrv harveyrv is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edweidig View Post
you should be OK for 300 miles.
Famous last words .........As you may well be right, I wouldn't do it myself.

If those are the original tires, they could easily be 7+ years old. Most of us have recognized that you should not push past 6 years on your trailer tires. Some here recommend 3 years (depending on the tire rating).

Several TM owners have had blow-outs on 3-year old tires and the damaged tires (on some) have caused some very expensive to repair damage, They often tear out the holding tank plumbing, sometimes damage the holding tank itself and sometimes tear out the wheel well lining and damage the interior cabinetry.

To ME.....It's just not worth the risk. Even if I had to pay $100 more buying the tires out-of-town, I would opt to change the old tires (if they are 5+ years-old) rather than drive 300 miles on them. Under 5-years-old..... I might consider it but I would never recommend it to others. No matter what, if the tires have rubber valve stems, I would recommend changing them to all steel valve stems immediately (no matter what the cost).

As for LT vs ST tires........quite controversial subject. Myself......I tend to feel that the tire manufacturers know what they are doing when they offer a specially built tire just for trailers.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2010, 04:08 PM
pauloh pauloh is offline
 
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Location: Black Hills, SD
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My thanks to both of you who have posted answers. 1. The fix for the bathroom slider looks great, and I can handle that! Reassurance about the dealer's short-distance moving of the camper while setup is also much appreciated. 2. Considering opinions about my aging tires, and with further reading elsewhere, I am leaning toward Maxxis ST225/75R-15E trailer tires from DiscountTire.com (local stores also). Cost about $120. each plus mounting/steel stems, but from what I understand, the "E" range will perhaps hold up better and I think I can get those installed before I pick up the TM.
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TM: 2004 3124KB
Maxxis ST225/75R-15D1 tires
TV: 2005 Toyota 4Runner, V8, 4x4
Tekonsha P3 Brake Controller
Reese 49586-020 Trunnion WDH
Duct tape here and there
2014 update: more duct tape

Last edited by pauloh; 11-28-2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: typo
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2010, 04:11 PM
harveyrv harveyrv is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauloh View Post
I am leaning toward Maxxis ST225/75R-15E trailer tires from DiscountTire.com (local stores also). Cost about $120. each plus mounting/steel stems, but from what I understand, the "E" range will perhaps hold up better and I think I can get those installed before I pick up the TM.
That sounds like a wise plan....
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2010, 04:12 PM
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ShrimpBurrito ShrimpBurrito is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauloh View Post
I am leaning toward Maxxis ST225/75R-15E trailer tires from DiscountTire.com (local stores also). Cost about $120. each plus mounting/steel stems, but from what I understand, the "E" range will perhaps hold up better and I think I can get those installed before I pick up the TM.
I think those tires are a good choice. High load rating, 15", and a brand with a decent (or at least not a bad) reputation. They will likely be my next set, which hopefully will be at a time and place of my choosing.

Dave
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2010, 04:32 PM
harveyrv harveyrv is offline
 
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I hate recommending tire brands.....it really seems some what of a "Crap shoot". As I've said before, My previous TM had 14" Marathons on it when I bought the trailer and they looked like new. After checking the DOT date code, I found that the tires were 8-years-old and I replaced them immediately.

Now, logic would tell you that if you had a trailer that was heavily used that had tires that lasted that long, one would normally be inclined to stick with success. However, after much research, I found out that Marathons had gone down hill from what they were 8 years ago.

My point is, don't get the Maxxis just because some of us have them.........this is still an experiment on most of our parts. I'll let you know in 5-6 years if they worked out ok.......by that time, the company that makes them may not even be around or they may be making them in Nigeria........

BTW........be sure to get the tires balanced, no matter what the guy at the tire store says. It is local knowledge that unbalanced tires play havoc with TrailManors (and I think any camping trailer).

Last edited by harveyrv; 11-28-2010 at 04:35 PM.
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2010, 06:45 AM
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scrubjaysnest scrubjaysnest is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyrv View Post
BTW........be sure to get the tires balanced, no matter what the guy at the tire store says. It is local knowledge that unbalanced tires play havoc with TrailManors (and I think any camping trailer).
I agree on the balancing, Our tires wore much better after balancing. Checked the date code on our new '11 and they are 2008 tires.
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