View Full Version : one armed bandit

08-24-2006, 08:07 AM
I came back from vacation and managed to rupture my bicep and tear a muscle in my forearm in a competitive game of disc golf (don't ask). This has rendered my right arm useless for tasks that require more effort than lifting my favorite beverage to my mouth. Since I am right handed this has proven to be most inconvenient.

However, it got to me to thinking about set-up/tear down on the TM. So a little different wrinkle than the "I'm a 25 lb weakling and I wonder how difficult it is to set up the TM?" question. I'm wondering how difficult would it be to do so alone with the use of one arm/hand?

I'm guessing that IF the torsion bars are set correctly that this could probably be done fairly easily as far as opening and closing the shells (I'm still a fairly strong guy even with one hand). I'm also guessing that setting up & tearing down the bathroom walls would be pretty easy. However, not quite so sure about the wardrobe (with items inside it), the hanging cabinet nor the microwave if it needs to be moved from the floor to the shelf.

Input appreciated!

08-24-2006, 08:45 AM
I'm very sorry to hear about your injury - it sounds painful. From your post, I am assuming that you have a permanent loss of strength in your arm, but can still use it a little, such as for holding a latch in place with your fingertips while your other hand does the hard work.

If this is the case, the only tasks that I can think of that would be almost impossible are attaching the hanging cabinet above the sink and changing the horizontal propane tanks that are found on the SL and SD models. Vertical propane tanks would probably be OK for you, but someone with one of those models could answer that one. The horizontal ones have to be lowered in at an angle to get a tab into a slot, and it requires a bit of wrestling.

Setting up the dinette table in the SD models would be tricky - it depends on how much use you have in your weak arm. Changing a flat tire would also be very difficult, so I suggest joining an emergency roaside service. Lowering the scissor jacks with one hand doesn't seem possible, but you could adapt a cordless drill for this, as many of us have done because we don't like cranking.

I think you are right about the torsion bars, especially given that you are strong. I couldn't do it with one arm very easily, but I could get it done if I had to, and my bars are not adjusted properly (they are stiff). Setting up the bathroom wouldn't be bad if you have the use of your weak arm just to help with the latches. As for the wardrobe, I think you could lift it up, then get your shoulder involved in holding it while you reposition your strong arm, then lift some more, etc. The wardrobe is a lot easier than it looks, even when loaded.

I have known a few people with only one arm, and they had developed amazing and creative ways of doing almost anything. Things will get easier for you as you go along if you are determined, which it sounds like you are. Good luck!

08-24-2006, 09:26 AM
I never meant to imply that I have a permanent disability. Fortunately, my arm is simply injured and will heal. However, thank you for your kind words of encouragement!

The injury caused me to wonder as quite often from 9/15 thru 11/15 you will find me camping on my own, preferably boondocking. Coming back to camp after grouse hunting with minor injuries is not that uncommon. With my current injury coupled with that knowledge, it occurred to me that this could be a potential problem.

That's why I asked.

Again, my apologies if I unintentionally mislead someone with my original post.

08-24-2006, 11:15 AM
I would think the wardrobe would be impossible to set up with one arm. I have had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder and it's amazing how you can adapt over a 6 month recovery but some things just gotta have 2 hands.

08-24-2006, 02:10 PM
I never meant to imply that I have a permanent disability. Fortunately, my arm is simply injured and will heal. However, thank you for your kind words of encouragement!

No problem - misunderstading a question is a common occurrence on this forum, but it still yields useful information that someone else might need later on.

After Cheri mentioned that the wardrobe sounded hard to set up one-armed, of course I had to go try it, given that I am doing post-trip clean-up today and just finished. It's not too bad. Putting it up is much easier than setting it back down and you have to use your shoulder, upper leg, and hip, but after three tries it went quite well. Sorry, no videos of my method will be available. . .

08-24-2006, 02:34 PM
Since no-one has tackled the microwave lifting/lowering problem yet:

I think you could make a harness out of rope. Two (loosish) loops to go around the microwave and a link between them on the top as a lifting strap/handle (you could maybe do the something similar using 3 belts).

Now, all we need is a way to tie knots in ropes with only one hand.


Leslie & Nick
08-24-2006, 02:59 PM
Just my opinion - I have never tried it - but I would think raising the shells with one arm, by yourself, would be quite difficult. I can raise the shells by myself by spreading my arms/hands as far from the centerline as possible, and pulling up. I don't think I would be strong enough to do this with one arm though (???). I'll have to try this just for grins next time I have the TM out - but I'm not optimistic! :)

08-24-2006, 06:57 PM
I can open the TM with my left hand only, and I am right handed. Grabbing the center can be difficult, so I just lift one corner an inch or two and then can grab the center.

I have demonstrated to other several times how easy it is to lift by just using my left hand.

DW, on the other hand, uses two hands, on the rare occasions that she has demonstrated that she can open it.

My daughter can not close it because she is too light and can not bounce hard enough. I think my torsion bars are slightly too tight, but I see no reason to soften them. I expect they will soften by themselves a little over time.

08-24-2006, 07:19 PM
I'm interested that some of you are grasping the center of the shell to open it. The instructions I received specifically warned against pulling on the center. Did I misunderstand? Or has the design changed, and you can't use the center on newer models? I do have to use two hands to open, but I have more trouble closing. I have resorted to a baseball bat to act as a lever to get the latches to connect.

08-24-2006, 07:34 PM
Our TM is sitting in the driveway getting ready for a six or seven week trip to Williamsburg, Va. I went out just now and put the wardrobe down and back up without a problem (left handed). However the only things in it right now are two Travasaks and two pillows. You may put more stuff in yours. If I had the problem you do right now, I would leave the hanging cabinet at home. The microwave would be awkward to lift, but I thing it could be done. Good luck!

08-24-2006, 10:22 PM
I never saw anything about not lifting the shells from the middle. In fact if you try to lift from the sides it is all but impossible. The shell will tend to bind if not lifted straight out. I am assuming that we are talking about the front or rear wall of the shell. I can grab the center of the shell with either hand, turn my back to the trailer and sort of walk away to lift with one hand. Now pulling the slide out on my 3124KS is a different story. I have to use both hands and a foot to get it started, and several tugs to get it all the way out. I do have a heavier recliner that I have to turn over on the couch when I close down though, and that adds a lot of weight to the slide until I can sit the chair on the main floor.

08-24-2006, 10:49 PM
The verbal instructions, as well as the small pamphlet I got from my dealer states: "Firmly grip the bottom front edge of the front roof section at an off-center point. Never grasp or pull from the center of the section. PULL gently outward, don't lift." I thought it might cause the front or rear section seam to split over a period of time. I agree with edweidig, I have to go from side to side to get them open.

08-25-2006, 07:21 AM
Page 12 of our TrailManor manual says "lift rear roof at center of rear wall" and does warn against pushing or lifting the stone guard. We have the impression we should lift and push at or from the center. Page 16 says " close front top by pushing at the center of the front wall"...