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  #1  
Old 02-13-2016, 02:04 PM
kevin425
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Default Disappointed in Trailmanor quality

I have been been looking for a used trailmanor for two years. I've wanted either the 2922KB or 3124KB. New was too much money, so I've been waiting for someone to sell a newer used one. I've looked at different models mainly out of curiosity and see how they worked, and was impressed with the design and engineering. Now...to find the one that fits my family.

After checking craigslist, oodle, etc for two years, a 2013 2922KB was being sold two hours from my house. I drove down to take a look with the intent to buy if it was in good condition. Having had a bad experience with a travel trailer a few years back, I was going to inspect it very closely before buying.

I had never looked at a trailmanor with the level of detail I put into this one. I spent about an hour going over every inch of the rig. I was severerly disappointed in the overall quaility of the unit. Now, this was a 2013 model that had been stored in a garage and barely used. It showed very little signs of extensive usage, and was bought new in 2013 from an Oregon dealer. The family wasn't all that "into" camping, and was now selling it. So for all stents and purposes, it was a barely used rig.

1.) The front vent was leaking, leaving a puddle of water on the floor. The owner had pulled it out of the garage for me to look at, and it was pouring. (I live in the Seattle area.) A 2013, barely used trailer shouldn't be leaking already. I inspected the outside and there wasn't any damage to the vent. It was a poor caulking job that let to the leak.

I pulled off the plastic vent molding that attached to the inside ceiling of the trailmanor. 2 of the four screws pulled right out, not needing to be turned. It's not a surprise as the screws are sunk into less than a millimeter of aluminum framing, with nothing substantial to bite. I looked at the foam insulation, and wasn't impressed. Trialmanor could have used a much better, closed-cell insulating foam that would have given a higher R value then what they used. They used a very cheap styrofoam.

2.) I noticed that many screws throughout the interior were either missing or had backed out. There just isn't enough structure for the screws to bite into and hold.

3.) I checked the battery and one of the cables pulled right out of the ring terminal that fit around the batter post. There wasn't any rust. It was that the ring connector wasn't properly crimped to the wire.

4.) there was a lot of gaps around the beds where they meet the shells. It allowed for a lot of cold spots, bug and rodent entrances. The small peice of fabric that goes over the bag seals to close up the gaps just isn't robust enough to provide any insulation, though it would keep out the bugs and mice...maybe. This would limit the cold-option camping I would like to do.

5.) Half of the piping under the sinks was not secure. The pipes wiggles around and I could see where trailmanor attempted to secure them, but it was an inadequate job.

6.) When closed, there was a quarter-inch gap in the top-shell bag seal where it met the bottom shell. This gap would allow bugs, water and rodents to enter. I understand that the torsion bars can be adjusted to make it fit tighter, but its only 2 years old with almost no use. It needs adjustment already?

7.) Everything was super light weight, thus lacking any real durability. The drawers, drawer slides, table, bath framing, etc all felt that it could easily break.

8.) Too many gaps all the way around the unit. I would have to store this outside. There was too many gaps that mice and rain would get in. If I could store it in a garage, all these gaps wouldn't be an issue. But it's not a "leave outside over winter" type of unit.

While I still love the idea of the folding trail, I really wish Trailmanor would make a version that's a bit more robust. I'd gladly buy one that's 500lbs heavier and much more solidly built. As the seller stated to me, they make everything so thin so it can be light.

It seems like a great trailor for someone who has a mini-van style tow vehicle and garage to store it in. For someone with a full-size truck and no garage, it just doesn't make sense to spend that type of money for something that seems so flimsy.

I feel crushed. I was so excited about purchasing it, had the cash in hand, waiting two years for the right model, and walked away disappointed. If I had bought it, I would have had to spend a number of house recalking the vent, adjusting the torsion bars, fixing/tightening all the screws, checking all the electrical crimps and securing all the plumbing. That just seems like a long to-do list on a two-year old trailer that cost $30,000 new.

Trailmanor is off my list. Now to start researching for a different brand.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2016, 02:24 PM
Redtail Cruiser Redtail Cruiser is offline
 
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Kevin, sorry for your disappointment in Trailmanor. I had the opposite experience three years ago when I traveled six hours to look at my 2007 2720. DW and I spent well over an hour inspecting and testing out all aspects of the unit and it was in excellent condition with no issues at all. I know that some of the newer units have had quality issues, but I wouldn't write them off, if I were you. Try looking at another one that is around the 2010 era and you might find less issues, if it has been well cared for. JMHO

Good luck in your search
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:28 PM
TrailManorMan TrailManorMan is offline
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Good luck, welcome to the real rv world. I love mine and having owned six different pop ups and a TT have yet to find perfect. If you find perfect let me know😀😀
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:59 PM
scrubjaysnest scrubjaysnest is offline
 
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This lack of quality control if you will is pretty much an industry standard, not just a Trailmanor problem. Every camper new or used we have owned has some kind of problem. Our Mallard class C we bought new in 1989 had to make several trips back to the dealer; and these were considered the best rental units for use in Alaska at the time. We still love our TM the best of all even with the problems it had before we got it home.
But keep checking the forums and one will turn up I'm sure you can't do with out.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2016, 06:55 PM
davlin davlin is offline
 
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It is not my intent to start a big brouhaha here (Bill will chastise me ) but Kevin425, I really would like you to pay careful attention to Tim's (Redtail Cruiser) response. I've been a TM owner for 20 years and they are fabulous trailers. Before you give up on them altogether, please go and look at a well cared for 2010 or older model. Apply the same thorough inspection standards you used with the last one. It would be very interesting to hear your results here on this forum.

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  #6  
Old 02-13-2016, 07:02 PM
br2_wdc br2_wdc is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin425 View Post
It seems like a great trailor for someone who has a mini-van style tow vehicle and garage to store it in. For someone with a full-size truck and no garage, it just doesn't make sense to spend that type of money for something that seems so flimsy.

I feel crushed. I was so excited about purchasing it, had the cash in hand, waiting two years for the right model, and walked away disappointed. If I had bought it, I would have had to spend a number of house recalking the vent, adjusting the torsion bars, fixing/tightening all the screws, checking all the electrical crimps and securing all the plumbing. That just seems like a long to-do list on a two-year old trailer that cost $30,000 new.

Trailmanor is off my list. Now to start researching for a different brand.
Good Evening Kevin:
While I am not questioning your breakdown of this one TM, I would caution you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. As some of the others mentioned, the RV industry as a whole is not known for it's quality control, so I'm not sure why you are "crushed" and then go on to denigrate all TM's because you found some issues with one TM?

Also, I'm curious about your last point: full size truck and no garage. All the advantages of the low towing weight, ease of towing with a lower profile, and the ability to park your TM in a garage go right out the window for you, so I'm not sure why a TM was even on your list of options?

For many of us, our choices are limited to a TM or Pop-up due to size, tow vehicle, or simply wanting a less bulky travel trailer option, and none of those apply to you.

You are fortunate to have many RV options, and I wish you good luck with your search ...
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2016, 09:26 PM
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Padgett Padgett is offline
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Well I just like mine and is not in a garage (well a natural carport and under tarps) but agree, what you want to find is a slightly older (depreciated) one owned by a fanatic will little else to do who replaces everything that ever looked worn (and has drawers full of spare parts).

I've also wondered about using expansion screws.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:59 PM
LoveToCamp LoveToCamp is offline
 
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Kevin,

I have had two TMs (and a popup before them), so I have seen the quality on two straight-from-the-factory units.

1) My first had a leak around the vent that didn't appear until second summer. Maybe we had not had enough rain before, for me to know there was a leak. However, it took 2 hours to pull all the caulk, and re-caulk to non-leak condition. Not a problem, for a great trailer.

2) Yes, some screws don't seem to be seated well. So, I do what is necessary for each situation, to get a better seating for the screw. I would love to go to the factory to show them some of the poorly-positioned screws. Still, not a deal-breaker, as I have been at RV shows, and have seen loose screws in many units. Lightweight does have trade-offs.

3) Yep, the employees make some mistakes. I am in no way chastising you, but your post also has may typos. We all make mistakes, and overlook something that others would call a quality-control issue. All units have something that does not work right, just as every new house has problems. I have fixed some manufacturing oversights, with little effort, and have a great trailer.

4) The gaps are due to the collapsible design. I have small cloth strips that I wad-up and put in the gaps. I camp when it can be down to 10°, and we are plenty warm. If you put the "plugs" in, this reduces drafts considerably. This is another trade-off, as I can take my trailer wherever I want, vs. a full-height that won't fit under low-hanging trees on Forest Service roads. Also, I get a minimum of 25% better fuel economy towing my TM than an identical vehicle towing a full-height trailer of the same weight.

5) Not sure if the "pipe" you are referring to are the drain pipes, or the PEX water lines. Some flexibility is needed as things shift while on the road. Rigid mounts may pull out if you have too rough of roads that you travel.

6) The gap at the top can be solved by adjusting the hold-down latch. A simple adjustment. Torsion bars are not the culprit in this situation.

7) Every trailer I have been in has lighter-weight material than my house does. This is the nature of lightweight trailers. If you want heavier duty, you will pay much more, and have a much heavier trailer. Tradeoff.

8) See 4), above. I store mine outside, and have no damage from anything. No bugs, rodents, or water infiltration.

Pardon my post, but I love the TM design. It has many more pluses than shortcomings. Could they build them better? Sure. But, it is simple to fix most of what they were lax about constructing. If you go to other trailer forums, people are complaining about build quality of every brand of trailer. I believe that you will find shortcomings with every trailer you inspect closely. Maybe it is a matter of expectations.

The choice is yours, obviously. However, I think the TM is a great unit for what I purchased it for, and no other unit is as versatile for me. Your needs/wants are likely different, so what you decide on will, hopefully, fit your needs. As all above have said, the TM is not different from the rest of the affordable (as opposed to custom units) TTs, in that all have shortcomings in their construction. I think TM's shortcomings are easy to overcome, so I am quite happy to do a thing or two to my TM.

Enjoy your search for your family's camping experience.
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2016, 12:19 AM
Popupbenji Popupbenji is offline
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Although I'm not a trailmanor owner yet which I will be as soon as I sell my pup.I will say this all trailers and rvs have there quirks if you work them out sometimes the rv can become great or to your liking.I have owned different types of tent trailers from apache to star craft to Coleman and they all have there ups and downs and little things and bugs to work out there's no perfect u it but if you can get through it and fix them if it's not major a little caulking or maintenance then do it.I have a friend that wanted to rv so bad and naught an motorhome and sold it within a rv and realized hotel or cabins was more of there thing remember be prepared because all rvs have there bugs that need to be worked out believe me I had a retired friend that had a prevonbus coach that cost more than most folks houses and guess what there was bugs to work out ...either way I wish you the best in your journey and camping endeavors......Ben
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:09 PM
ChefLamont ChefLamont is offline
 
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I am not a TM owner yet either, but my family has owned and actively camped in everything from tents to a 40' diesel pusher. What I will say is that, unless you are ready to pay big BIG money, there are always going to be little things here and there breaking, leaking, needing attention, or needing modification or upgrade. Even the diesel pusher, which retailed new for comfortably north of 100 grand needed things here and there. It is the nature of the beast.

I also wish you the best of luck in your search. I will offer if anyone tells you [Brand X] never leaks or has problems or whatever, be very skeptical and cautions. They all do.
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