View Full Version : Another newbie jumps in

traveling trailer poodles
08-19-2007, 07:41 AM
Well, I went to a dealer yesterday "just looking" at a 2720SL--wound up leaving the proud new owner of an '08 2619. Layout was well suited to taking 3 young grandchildren along (which I hope happens quite often) and it saved 200 lbs and a few $K compared to the 2720. I should be able to pick my little baby up on Friday, provided I can get a class 3 hitch reciever and brake controller installed on my tow vehicle (2001 Toyota Tacoma). As this is my first RV, I plan to set it up in my driveway next weekend for a dry run. If that goes well, it's off to the "wilderness" on Labor Day weekend.

I've seen many of the very useful lists and discussions on this site, but any suggestions on what you wished you had on your first trip (but didn't) would be appreciated.

Dave, Rebecca and the trailer poodles (Bridget, Billie and Buddy)

08-19-2007, 10:13 AM
Congratulations on your new TM!

We also set up in our driveway and took the time to become more familiar with our unit. Our first outing was within 20 miles of home, just in case we overlooked something or ran into unforeseen problems. My goal was to spend 3 days and 2 nights with full hook ups (private CG) followed by 3 more days and 2 nights (at a state CG) without any hook ups. I felt that would be the best way to check out all systems and to get a feel for dry camping.

And yes, we did run into a small inconvenience at the private CG. The water hook up was shared and as such was some distance from where our unit sat. I ended up traveling back home to pick up an additional 50 feet of water hose.

My suggestion would be to carry extra water hose and a 30 amp extension cord (as we've also stayed in CGs where the power source was beyond the OEM power cord).

08-19-2007, 11:15 AM
My two cents:

Make sure you two are in a good mood when you hitch, unhitch, and maneuver your TM for the first time.

Leave the top 1/2 of the door open when opening or closing the TM to prevent rub marks forming on the rear 1/2 of the unit.

Make sure no outside wiring is getting kinked when opening or closing

Make sure the front and back latches that secure the TM after closing are not in the up position and in the way when closing up the TM.

Check to make sure the heater cover and screws are tight - we had to change ours out and add bolts.

Don't pull on the 12v outlet / television jack or bump up against it too hard, the screws in ours were too close to the hole and it popped off and had to be repaired (easy to do).

Grease the ball joint.

Buy mirrors that extend out of the TV or attach to them for driving safety.

Bring your brake controller instructions (along with every other manual) with you in case an error code pops up.

Print out Mike and Kelly's Trailmanor guide (http://www.pinecon.com/TMDocs/MikeD_TM2720UserManual_v4.pdf)... buy a 2 inch binder with pockets to hold all of the documentation.

Use the front middle burner on the stovetop before attempting to use the propane for anything else in the TM. It gets the air out the propane lines.

This is all the absolutely necessary stuff that we may have learned the hard way. There is other fun stuff to add on, buy and carry with you that you will write down like Leon said. This was our first experience with RVing and camping.... after 4 trips we finally know how everything is supposed to work in and on the TM.


08-19-2007, 03:41 PM
Great link to Mike and Kelly's Trailmanor Guide. Thank's much.


08-19-2007, 10:13 PM
It's a good idea to have several TM brochures on hand for those people that are really interested in your TM. I'm sure your dealer would be happy to give you some with his address stamped on the back! We have had a lot of people interested and several that have looked the trailer over closely.

08-20-2007, 01:26 PM
The Trailmanor always makes the perfect ice breaker in any Rv park... When they see your "Transformer" called Trailmanor open from 18 ft to an impressive 27 ft., it always brings amazement from the crowd ... The question that is almost always asked... Can you stand up in that thing ??? I always say.... take a look for yourself !!!! Then when they peak inside and see a living room, kitchen, bathroom and queen size bed, they are blown away... So brings lots of brochures.... they go fast around my campgrounds....

08-20-2007, 04:22 PM
I just put on an "aw shucks" attitude, and tell 'em that we got a wicked good deal on the price because the factory forgot to add the upper half. Sure, we have to crawl in through that short door to sleep and stay out of the rain, but it was too good a deal to pass up.

Some laugh. Some look confused. Some believe me.


08-21-2007, 02:54 PM
Welcome to TM camping! We have the same set up as you, Tacoma '01 and 2619. So far it works just fine.

08-23-2007, 12:24 PM
You say you this is your first RV so here are a couple of things I found very nice to have thought not required with a TM. A propane camp stove and small portable propane grill so you can cook outside. I also have found it is nice to have a 10lb propane tank(this will take some time to find) with a distribution tree(get the one that has a flexible hose for the tank side connection). Then a propane lantern to sit on top of the distribution tree for lighting. This will give you a nice outdoor setup for cooking.

08-23-2007, 07:31 PM
On one trip I discovered that 100 feet of water hose was not long enough to refill my tank. Fortunately I also carry two 6 gallon collapsible water containers.

On one trip I wished I had slightly more than one bag of Lego blocks. I now have two bags.

On one trip I discovered that I had a sudden desperate need for ant spray.

I would really hate to have the toilet fuse trip in the middle of the night and find out that I did not have a spare fuse.

08-23-2007, 08:35 PM
On one trip I discovered that 100 feet of water hose was not long enough to refill my tank. Fortunately I also carry two 6 gallon collapsible water containers.

On one trip I wished I had slightly more than one bag of Lego blocks. I now have two bags.

On one trip I discovered that I had a sudden desperate need for ant spray.

I would really hate to have the toilet fuse trip in the middle of the night and find out that I did not have a spare fuse.

That's why I have an excel spreadsheet packing list of things that I bring with me that contains over 250 items. Call me crazy, but something always comes in handy.

The last trip we took, we blew an inline fuse (twice) for our battery charger line. I had spares (plus a couple left over). The flashlight bulb burned out. I had a spare (plus several other flashlights, including a wind-up one and a solar one). The hinges on the campsite cupboards weren't tight, so I added some screws and tightened the others.

When we're camping the last thing I want to do is have to drive into town to buy stuff (if they have it where we are) when I'd rather go exploring, or fishing, or just spending the day at the lakeshore.

I feel that the better prepared you are, the better time you'll have camping. You can deal with more of the things that happen when you're far from home and stores.

08-23-2007, 08:46 PM
Welcome to the TM family. We have almost finished our 1st year with our first RV. Very good ideas above. Also other info on this site for 1st timers, but we are all still learning as we go. Be patient the first few times. I spent the first week-end out reading the manual.

Curious --where did you buy and did everything go well?
(We purchased our 2720 at CRVS last Fall and replaced it with a 2720SL this season when we realized we picked the wrong floor plan for our needs. Our 2720 is posted on this site and currently at CRVS, in case you find someone looking for a good, like-new TM).

ENJOY!! Definitely come back to this site for lots of good information.

traveling trailer poodles
08-31-2007, 09:01 AM
Thanks to everyone for the ideas/advice. I picked up my TM2619 last weekend in Salem, VA (Snyder's RV) and was generally pleased with the experience. Rigging my tow vehicle is another story (for another thread, I think). Long story short, I couldn't get a hitch reciever on the Tacoma in time, but fortunately have a backup Toyota 4Runner with factory tow package. Four-hour (250 mile) drive home was uneventful--okay the check-engine light flickered twice, raising my heart rate a bit--and consumed about 2-1/2 gallons of gas beyond normal consumption. Backed into my driveway more or less successfully and have been equiping ever since. This weekend, we head to a regional park about 20 minutes from home for the maiden voyage. I'll let you know how that goes.

Dave, Rebecca and the traveling trailer poodles

Goodyear Travels
08-31-2007, 10:22 AM
Welcome Newbees,
Since I have the same or very similar tow vehicle ('01 Tacoma, 4x4, V6, 3.4L w/ manual tranny) I thought I share a few thoughts and experiences. The tongue weight of your TM almost hits the max. rating for your Tacoma. I absolutely wouldn't go on the road without a weight distribution hitch. You need to distribute some the TM tongue weight to the front wheels of the Tacoma & to the TM axle. I have an Equalizer hitch which I installed myself that works quite well. It's a bit pricy and a bit heavy. If I had it to do over again I'd probably go with a Reese hitch and save some $$$ and some weight.
At six years old --- my rear Bilstein shocks needed to be replaced as they showed signs of leakage and no longer did their job. I replaced them with adjustable Rancho's which I really like. I turn the rear shocks up to a 6 or 7 setting when I hook up our 2720SL and with Equalizier hitch -- the Tacoma's suspension is not noticeably compressed and the truck rides perfectly. I also changed out the front struts --- but went with Monroe Magnums up front.
We just got back from a Colorado trip where we climbed some 10k ft mtn passes with a full truck bed and the TM in tow. Our Tacoma did great until about 9k ft --- then it began to labor with some of the inclines and I had to use 2nd gear (38 mph) a few times. Usually I was behind someone else who was having even more problems with power loss. I'd have to say, however, that I have had very satisfactory results with my K & N air intake system. It doesn't work well on some (even many) applications (especially Tundras) but it sure adds ahout 10 hp throughout much of the power band on my 3.4 L. You just have to be careful that you don't over oil the filter when you clean it. If you do --- you can foul the mass air flow control sensor. I've cleaned my filter twice and have had no problems. I should also note that the K & N adds somewhat to engine noise but only when you're really getting on it. Also, the Tacoma front brake rotors are very susceptible to warpage. Avoid riding the brakes if possible. When we were pulling in the mountains I increased the boost setting on the Prodigy to make the trailer brakes work a bit harder --- and I used my gearing to reduce downhill speed.
The Colorado campground that we stayed in was full of Taco's -- although most were newer than ours. Apparently, we both have a good little work pony.
Take Care, eric