View Full Version : Help me off the fence

10-20-2005, 08:01 AM
Back and forth we go to buy or not to buy, It is just my wife and I and we are looking at a good used TM the exact model we like. There have been health problems in the family and other concerns over gas cost and the taxes are 400 a year for the trailer. My wife is a logical type who counts every penny and if it wasn't for me well we might never have the fun. Money is not a huge concern as we will have the trailer paid off in 1 year. My wife likes the TM but dose not want it to sit in our yard not being used enough in her mind to pay the 50 per month to sit there. We would use it for sure 2 weeks out of the year and then I'm sure a few good long weekends. We are in our 30's don't have any children and two good incomes. No debt except the house so what is holding us back? I really don't know, I want her to love the idea and she says just get it if you want and we will try it. She hates debt. I think life is short and the things we enjoy are nature, photography, hiking, swimming, biking, and just being together. The TM seems to fit our likes. Well it feels good to get this off my chest and any words of advice are welcome. I have to decide by tommorrow.

Thanks and God Bless :confused:

10-20-2005, 08:14 AM
You better hurry!
:) :) :)

10-20-2005, 11:01 AM
I agree with Leon, and I might add that you never see an armored car following a hearse to the graveyard.

What value can be placed on that first cup of coffee a TM owner sips while standing outside the trailer on a crisp fall morning? Either no value, or priceless depending on your point of view.

I'll take priceless.


10-20-2005, 11:56 AM
My wife and I experienced the same anxiety, as there really is no way to justify the cost of our TM based on the amount of usage it recieves. However, at our age (55+), our older pastimes of backpacking and tentcamping just do not deliver the satisfaction they used to without the comforts of our TM. When we thought about this delema, we realized that we were focusing on the wrong criteria, which you "hit upon" in your post. The satisfaction we always experienced, and wish to continue to enjoy, is to "just be (being) together" as you stated. I can think of no better way, given our age and comfort requirements, than to take the TM out for a stay away from home.

10-20-2005, 12:56 PM
The industry in which I work closes down for the first 2 weeks in July, thus that is my vacation. Being a business owner, I can't just pick up and leave to go camping. We go out on some week-ends, but not enough to suit me. Our last trip out, sitting around the campsite, my 12 yr. old daughter said to me,"Daddy I'm glad we have the Trailmanor, if we were'nt camping, I'd be watching t.v., Ben would be on the computer, and Mommy would be doing laundry. This is more fun.and we are all together" Whatever I paid for the TM, it was more than worth it,, after hearing that comment.
I still get a kick out of fooling around with the TM, even if we are'nt using it.
Go for it ,and enjoy it

10-21-2005, 06:47 AM
If you are going to buy any "camper", the TM will save you money over any conventional TT. We had a lightweight TT and got 8 miles to the gallon. Pulling the TM gets 14 miles to the gallon using our same tow vehicle -- a Mercury Mountaineer. We also can put this one up our driveway and we save $50 per month on storage. Good luck! Queeniereads aka Judi

10-21-2005, 01:10 PM
My wife and I also enjoy "nature, hiking, swimming, biking, and just being together". We do a lot of it in our TM, and we do it in places that we couldn't (or wouldn't) afford if we had to stay in hotels. Have you priced a hotel room for (say) a week, and two restaurant meals a day in Sante Fe, for example? But those are purely financial thoughts. We don't use our TM much near home, because if we are near home, it is cheaper and more convenient to simply stay home.

More important to us is the fact that the TM is the tool that enables us to go to places that we simply wouldn't go otherwise. When we are at home in Maine, we go to Mt Katahdin, and we go to Acadia and Monhegan. But much as we enjoy them, there is more to the world than Katahdin, Acadia, and Monhegan. In the last year, we have been to Yellowstone, Yosemite, King's Canyon/Sequoia, Grand Canyon North Rim, the Canadian Rockies, Banff/Jasper/Lake Louise, Canmore (Alberta), Rocky Mtn National Park, the Oregon coast, Whidbey Island, and more. These are places we would not have gone AT ALL if we didn't have the TM. How do you put a value on going places that you would not have gone? I don't know, but I know our TM is worth it.

Finally, returning to the purely financial, remember that the money "spent" on the TM is not money "gone". If you decide that you don't like it, or aren't using it enough, you can always sell it and get most of your money back. TMs hold their value remarkably well, so the cost isn't as much as it first appears.


10-21-2005, 01:57 PM
We don't even have our TM yet, and I am so excited about it. We will have it next week. I tried for a long time to get my husband to buy an RV of some sort. He refused because he didn't want to haul or drive a big rig. He discovered the TM's on the web and was sold. I wasn't sold at first because I had my mind set on something different, and wasn't expectin to pay as much as we did. But I've read many reviews about the TM, especially on the forum, and reviews play a big part in our decision making. We both had some anxiety, believe me, but we believe we made the best decision for a trailer for us. We know we will take it out more often than a big rig, we will feel safer, and it will not be a burden on gas costs. I'm looking forward to my husband and I having some time together doing something fun in our retirement. We have earned it. I think the money will be well worth it.

Jo Ann

10-25-2005, 09:03 PM
We had a 26' motorhome that we renovated about 6 years ago. We took the kids camping everywhere - even across the country twice. We ALL loved it. About 3 years ago, financial things happened and we could no longer afford the gas (6 MPG). Last year we sold it - although a sad day, the reality of it sitting there and never getting used made it necessary. The kids were very sad with the finality of the fact that the camper was gone. A month ago I purchased a Trailmanor 3023; almost on a whim. When I brought it home the kids were beyond ecstatic. I mean that they were so happy that we could go camping again. We went camping and ohh how sweet - I remember what 'the good old days' were like. Oh yes, it is soooo worth it...and isn't that why we earn the money in the first place?

11-24-2005, 10:55 AM
From where I stand it is not a cost but an investment, as a house ,a nice car, etc. Since you like the outdoors you will probably find if you had a TM you would go more often. GW an I are about to retire and plan to run the wheels off ours!
Go for it!

Bill & Lisa
11-24-2005, 11:57 PM
IF it comes down to pro's and cons: :new_argue

Pro's ;)

*Real quality together time
*Always available--no reservations needed, keep it stocked and you're ready to go in almost no time.
*economical to tow-takes about 1-2 mpg off TV mpg
*little or no sway - forget it's there
*Unique Camper--not your ordinary TT or pop up
*True RV comforts -
*Full kitchen - MUCH better than any pop up (we had one!)
*Climate Control with furnace, fantastic fan and AC -also better than canvas pop ups
*Full use bathroom: not a combo of toilet in the shower you can still find in TTs today.
*Great storage-no wasted space
*Easy to use - Set up time and effort minimal
*"tinkering" and customizing fun - the possibilities are endless and awesome in creativity and ingenuity
*Learning oportunities - about each other, your unit, and your location
*Trailblazers club & activities - jubilee, rallys, friendships
*Lifetime warranty on lift mechanism
*Holds value -
*Easy resale

Cons:[/U] :(
*Storage Fees - (if needed) in our area up to $85/mo.
*Not enough vacation time to use it - okay, who ever has enough?
*Sticker Shock - consider engineering, weight, drag, sway, and appointments. Is it still a shock to get a "pop up" TRAVEL trailer for this price? Most TT's require a V8 TV, anti sway hitch, power & cooling mods to the TV, etc.; not so with a TM.
*"Customizing" costs -- the extras we all put in our units
*Small refrigerator when compared to TTs but infinitely better than using a cooler
*Unique Camper-- everybody stares as you drive down the road, or wants to ask tons of Q's about your unit.
*No rooftop storage
*No built in television area
*No rear speakers
*Special shell adjustments a dealer should handle
*Lots of "stuff" to learn - any TT has!

So it comes down to whether the fun, learning, fellowship, existing and new relationships, and a new sense of adventure are worth the hastles of any kind of camper trailer--much less an easy to use TM.

You may wish to note that the majority of the "con's" most of us have overcome in one creative way or another with the help of the forum and a little creativity.

Hope you join us!

02-01-2006, 07:37 PM
...for us as travelling birdwatchers is that we wake up in the campground where the birds are. We don't have to get up in a motel, eat, drive to the birdwatching site. Most of the time with the TM we are there!!

Of course this is true of any camper, but we love the TM warts and all.

02-01-2006, 09:40 PM
I and my wife went to Yellowstone, Black Hills and Rocky Mountain National Park.; tent camping and fire cooking. Took showers in public bath houses. We have a boy 9 and a girl 13. We had fun. We are not whimps even if we have a TM camper now.
The wife was happy to camp, she loves me , but wanted to be off the ground and more Bear safe. The girl would most likly had not camped again. They looked at Pop-Up Tent campers. Several of them, $5k to $14k. They are not bear safe. You cannot leave cooking supplies or food or any thing that smells in them at Yellowstone or Grand Tetons. In a tent or Pop Up Tent camper you are required to put such stuff in your Van at night or if you go visiting. Its the rule and when you see the Grizzle a mile from your camp you agree its a good rule.
Cost for a TM is high. But its the only hard sided bear safe rigg you will pull behind a lite truck or van. We have a Dodge Grand Caravan. It's nice. As nice as the more common 5th wheel campers my buddies pull to the lake.
They do have trouble pulling them even with their trucks. Most would never go as far as I have this winter and last fall with our TM.
You are right the TM is costly even used. Just like at the plant we know that to decrease cost you have to incease production with the same folks and machines. I plan to go camping in the TM often. There are a lot of State Parks. Though it costs! Yes, Oh my. It adds up. But the TM is a fast productive machine. I haven't be able to beat the fun we have using it. My son and I do repairs on it or rather PM it in preparation for the next outing. My wife loves the adventure of a trip out of town into a RV atmosphere. The kids are good with it, even the girl. Special note the bathroom is girl approved. The kitchen isn't home but wife acceptible. I sleep well on the beds, big star for this as sleep time is hard to get. We have a small color TV, some RV parks have cable TV. And a radio with CD.
There's more for us to experience! I cann't wait till June's two week vacation.
I enjoy trying my hand at this type of open ended communications. I will tell my friend a TM is a good tool for a particular job. Don't try to use it for something it is not designed to do.

02-02-2006, 02:52 AM
We just recently purchased a used 1988 TrailManor. I have been reading in the forum about the quality of the customer service from TrailManor. I have e-mailed several questions about our "vintage" trailer to TrailManor and I always get a conscientious and carefully considered response. Yesterday I ordered some replacement parts over the phone. The representative was courteous and helpful. At the end of our transaction he said, "take a look at the order when it arrives and make sure we sent what you need. If not, give us a call, othewise, send us a check". I asked, "don't you want a credit card number?" He replied "no". I was shocked.

I get the impression that the employees at TrailManor are interested in helping people and in having a long term relationship with their customers.

That's really refreshing. Even though ours is not a new trailer, I feel very good about owning it because of the way the company seems to stand behind their product.

If you're considering TrailManor, I think that's something to factor into your decision process.

02-02-2006, 08:46 AM
You've mentioned the one thing that surprises me about TrailManor. The only thing I've needed to order was a screen for the door and the ordering process was a throughback to the 1950's. I had a pleasent conversation with the woman who handles such things there but instead of asking for my Visa#, name and address like I was expecting she told me to send a check and a letter and she would send it out pronto. Instead of getting the screen in 3-4 days it took two two weeks.

I had a small hobby business for a few years that only grossed about $7,000.00 per year but I was still set up to take credit cards - It isn't a big deal.

02-02-2006, 01:05 PM
I agree with Texas Camper. The merchandise has always been shipped with and invoice, then paid . Very easy and I feel VERY trusting of Trailmanor.

As far as getting off the fence, it is up to each individual. I have had an RV, one type or the other, since 1964 and I would not be without one. The TM solves all of whimms. Love it.


02-02-2006, 02:07 PM
Frank -

Yup, I've had the same experience as Texas_Camper and SenorSedona. Stuff comes, and comes fast. Then you pay. Wonderful service. Several times over the last five years.

Perhaps you encountered someone new ...


Glenn in TN
02-19-2006, 04:21 PM
JJ - looks like you haven't piped in since October. You know us TMers can ramble! Heres my TM ramble (eh - story):

We had been camping out of a Coleman Popup (no AC) for several years. My wife gets a call from a camping friend to come see a "very weird looking camper". Turned out to be a one year old 2619. It was very "unique" to say the least and when my wife heard the tow rate, she wanted one. We couldn't afford a bigger RV and TV at the same time, so we started looking (as we couldn't afford the $15000 for the year old). Searches proved fruitless. All the TMs we could afford were over 800 miles from Memphis. We finally found one outside Atlanta and cut a deal. We left with a check and reservations for a week in the Great Smokies. That one did not pan out as it was a bigger model and older (read very dingy looking). We had several others on stand by, but at more cost (remember the check). After driving to Chattanooga and finially Knoxville, we found others.

Heres were my wife gets a story told on her to this day. The Knoxville dealership had 2 TMs. One was the 2619 that we have, the other was an older, but nicer looking 2816. The 2518 did not have an oven since the missing foot put the AC somewhat under the range top. The sink also was missing this foot. But the price difference between the 2 was over $4500. You know which one I (the husband) wanted! She really wanted the oven, and after much "debate" we bought the 2619 (having to finance the difference between the check and the price). We tease my wife to this day over her "$4500" oven. She has made some wonderful scratch biscuits and cobblers with it!

Although we want to have a motorhome someday (I thought this year, but I don't think so), I haven't regretted any camping in the TM. We've done some fall camping (even one winter trip to Gatlinburg) and remain very warm. I wish we could get some of the $11000 when we sell it, but I'll be lucky to get half. But that's much better than if we'd bought new!!

JJ - let us know what you've done.

Glenn in TN
02-19-2006, 04:22 PM
By the way - we had friends that scoffed at paying for the TM over staying in Motels. After they spend their money, they have nothing. At least we have an RV to use more or sell!