View Full Version : TM 3023 Big Lemon

10-06-2007, 09:32 PM
Has anyone had endless problems like us?
Bought a 3023 at Willingboro RV in NJ. Took 3 short fall trips right away and it was ok. Winterized it and waited for spring. On our 4th and 5th trips we noticed problems starting to happen, so took it back to the dealer.
Some problems include; stove coming loose from the counter, bath walls being damaged while driving, a gouge being made inside by the back bed every time it is opened, mirror fell off bath wall, door latch allowed exterior door to open while traveling, entry door screw heads breaking off, crown molding keeps coming down, velcro for side flaps not staying on wall, rubber bumpers where lowered body rests need to be replaced for second time already, and more problems. All in the 1st year of ownership.

:eek: Our TM was at Willingboro RV for 127 days between July 5,2006 and December 13,2006 :eek: The camping season was pretty well shot.(127 of 162 days)

Willingboro was guessing at how to fix the problems and while doing so they caused more damages. It took 6 trips to try to get it fixed, and it is still not done.
Willingboro service told to not bring it back, that we should contact TM. This after they pressured us into spending $1000.00 on a 7 year warranty.
At one repair visit Service Dept. Jim Solomon told us we should be repairing the trailer ourselves.
We talked to the TM Northeast Rep about the problems and he said he would check into it. 3 days later we received a call from the Rep stating he talked to Manager Steve Fisher and was told that we had our TM back and were happy with it. :eek: Problem is it was still sitting in their shop for repair. When asked, Steve Fisher denied anyone ever talking to the TM Rep. I still have The Rep's phone call message recorded.
We have used the TM twice this year, 2nd camping season shot, and now instead of the stove coming out of the counter, the cabinet with the stove pulls up from the floor because of their questionable work.
There are more problems not mentioned here, but thank you for letting us vent a little of our frustration.

We spent approximately $28,500.00 on our TM, and we will be paying on the loan for many years yet. We started a lemon law case to have the TM replaced with a current year same model/options TM, or the retail cost of a current year same model and same options about $32,000.00.
TM came back with a joke offer of $8,000.00. :( They dont want us to go camping anymore, because we could not afford to get a new non-lemom TM or other type trailer since we will still be paying for the first one we bought.

Please let us kow if you have had any problems like this.

10-07-2007, 06:37 AM
Has anyone had endless problems like us?

Sorry to hear of your horrible experience. I am a newer owner so can't speak with much authority personally. However, I did research quite a bit and actually found the opposite to be true - TM owners seemed to have fewer problems than most (adjusting for the fact that it's a small market for TMs).

Anyhow, I don't blame you for pursuing it. Any given model can be a lemon, but the dealer needs to make you whole. Good luck. To date, our TM 3124KS has had only a few niggling problems, but the dealer experience has been marginal. We'll see.

10-07-2007, 04:41 PM
Yes things get loose, fall off and break. If the metal is bent it's there for life.

We brought our TM used. Although it was hardly used. The first owners most likly were over come with the chore of set up and break down of the unit.

I have seen a steady increase of problems developing with the unit. At such a high purchase cost I'm not Happy. But every thing requires constance maintenance and up keep. Even the most well thought out jet fighters quickly loose their newness. And become a race against small break downs, scratches and dents. So will the Trailmanor. A well plan out mainance schedule to keep the unit clean and repaired is an owners only defence. A fellow has to do it yourself. So often I and my son will be found repairing something, cleaning or trying to replace some broken thing. While the wife and daughter is playing cards or watch TV.

The Trail Manor is a fine camper. We have been across the country, East to west. I am glad to have it. I need to wax it and get ready for the next family adventure.

10-07-2007, 06:04 PM
Sorry to hear about all the problems you are having with your TM.

I have had a few minor problems. Nothing that I would not expect from a trailer that is subject to road vibrations. Replaced velcro and have cut some custom fit foam rubber sheets to protect mirrors and walls and to keep dust out. So that while towing all would be protected. Check for and tightened loose screws on occasion. Had I not done that it is possible that it would have resulted in problems similar to what you have experienced. It would seem that when towing something like the TM a ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure. What struck me about your experience is why wait 127 days for satisfaction? No matter what the service, car, house, anything... If one does not get satisfaction in a reasonable amount of time, ( say a couple of weeks? depending on what the repair work is and the availability of parts ) does not one have the responsibility to seek satisfaction through other means? I think I would have taken the trailer to another location for repair at the very least than miss out on camping. I have had my TM since January of this year and given what it does ( solid walls folding down ) I am pleased with what minor repairs have been needed in its 7000 plus miles of use. All repairs and even lift kit installation have been performed by me (a field service engineer, medical equipment ) and my wife ( executive assistant ) in the back yard with help from this forum. Try some repairs yourself if you are able. Do not give up. You are indeed having a bad experience, but the TM is IMO a good product.

10-07-2007, 08:50 PM
We bought a new home in 1986. Well, it isn't new anymore.

I need the following:

Redo all floors, 2345 square feet of them. They are all original.
Tent the house for termites.
Redo some of the exterior siding.
Tuneup the concrete tile roof.

When I bought the new home I was young enough to do the work myself, but it didn't need it. Now I just don't have the energy to do it myself.

My TM is now in its third season and has needed almost no work at all. Right now the TM is looking real good to me.

10-07-2007, 09:59 PM
This is a general reply to the suggestions and comments we have received as a whole so far.
Not counting service trips, our TM has been used 3509 miles on 11 camping trips. We loved the weight and the way it towed, then the problems showed up.
The 127 days is the total of 6 repair trips for the same things, of which only 1 has been repaired and several other problems were found when it was returned.
I would call once a week while it was in the shop, and George the service scheduler would tell me parts are ordered, or Trailmanor was sending parts, or designing a solution, even though none of this was happening.
The stove had been re-attached on the last repair trip, but whatever they did has caused the stove to stay in, but the cabinet to pull up from the floor while driving and the counter top to have a bend downward.
We are getting the gouge in the rear section, but for some reason they adjusted the front. This caused a 1 inch gap on top that allowed rain and leaves in when set-up. When closed up and traveling the front section did not line up on the rub strip and wore off some of the finish on the rear section. This was returned to the old way.
A section of bath wall was finally replaced on the 6th trip, and adjustments made to the hardware, but we were told we had to pad the walls while traveling (isn't this a design flaw) and you should see the condition they left the back storage compartment in after replacing the wall.
There are still other problems besides these too.
The last time I picked it up, they got upset when I made them clean up the grease/dirt trails on the carpet (they did not put down anything when they were working on it), not a very customer oriented service facility.
Currently I can not do any big repairs myself do to a work injury 17 months ago. But the cleaning and general/preventative maintenance has been kept up by us and family helpers.
We started with the lemon law case last November, and we were told by the courts that we have a case. Once Trailmanor was served they had 45 business days to respond, their lawyer asked for an extension. We could handle that, we thought.
While waiting we tried to get a trade in value, all but one dealer within 35 miles would not even look at our unit since we were not trading it in at the time, or did not want to look at a TM. I will not go near Willingboro for anything.The one dealer who did look gave us a quote of $8,000.00 because of the repairs needed, and said since TM/Willingboro hadn't been helping us, they wouldn't be helping him either.
We did not think it would really take this long but we finally heard that their lawyer is really busy and needed more time yet, on business day 120.
We offered that we would keep the unit for trade in as long as they settled at $20,500, or we would turn it in for a settlement of $28,500, and lastly we would settle for a 2008, 3023 with the same option as what we had.
On the 131st business day we were told their lawyer had to research more. Sounds like our dealings with their authorized dealer/service center at Willingboro RV.
Now on the 134th business day we were given the offer of $8,000.00. We cannot accept this because it is going to be starting to be unsafe if we keep using it, and if we trade it in plus the $8,000, we are still a long way from the price of a new TM or of some other light weight unit in the same 30' size range.
It has been 11 months since we started on this case. We have basically missed 2 camping seasons, so really we have paid $28,500.00 for a large driveway/lawn ornament that we can not enjoy.
We enjoy camping so we can not back down. If we do we will not be able to have a trailer to go camping for many years, since we will still be paying for the one we won't have.
I guess its time we have to say lets take it to court, whenever we hear from their lawyer again.
Thank You All for your input and support.
Bill, Barb, and Alyicia

10-08-2007, 07:21 AM
Sounds to me that you have very unbalanced tires causing some of your problems. They will shake the heck out of your TM causing things to come loose.

10-08-2007, 07:42 AM
What model year is your 3023?


10-08-2007, 07:55 AM
As we write this, we are waiting for the delivery of our brand new 3326 King.

Naturally as new TM customers, your post caused us some considerable concern.

Our dealer in Sacramento, California has only been a TM dealer for a year or so and our salesperson clearly had little knowledge of the product although they seem to be making a concerted effort to answer our many on-going questions and concerns.

Is there any advice you would give us as our delivery day approaches in about 3-4 weeks.


3326 King (on order)
Suburban 1500

10-08-2007, 08:44 AM
The dealer network seems to be a weak link for TM. Even in this Lemon case, a good dealer would have verified the situation, gone to bat for the owner with the factory, and done everything to make it right. Instead, they have only become part of the problem.

These things are NOT like other trailers. A dealer need to know their idiosyncrasies. As to the price they are willing to take it back for (dealer or TM), that will always be a matter of negotiation, but in this case the prior use should be factored in but other than that it should be close to what you paid, IMHO.

I also would investigate whether the frame, tires, or other structural system may be causing excessive vibration in the coach. Or was it in an accident prior to purchase?

What a shame when a great leisure toy becomes the source of a lawsuit, but you have to do what you have to do. Good luck.

10-09-2007, 01:36 AM
We bought ours used and it was well used and traded in at a Winnebago dealer. They had no idea what to do with it or even how to open it. When I bought it, I saw many small problems but none were serious to cause me worry. To my surprise, the Winnebago dealer wouldn't release the unit to me for several days wanting to go through it completely. They checked everything they could, redid the brakes and bearings and replaced whatever trim and brackets they could. Then they sent me off with a care package filled with stuff a new RV'er needs like toilet paper and chem, sewer hose, electrical 30A to 20A plug, an extra awning crank and a new jack crank. They fixed the Toyota RV wiring converter and installed a brake controller. Then they had the nerve to wash the TM and 4Runner to like-new shape.

My point is that Dealers vary. This was Altman's Winnebago Baldwin Park CA BTW. It sounds like the dealers working on your TM are horrible. Altman's didn't fix everything. I ended up using some stouter screws in some of the trim like the wardrobe track and the small bracket that supports the shower walls when folded. Fixing a bunch of little things now will prevent more serious issues later.

I don't want to make light of your issues, but stepping back, they all appear to be minor in problem. If the mirror comes off, use something stronger to reattach it. If the cabinet is loose, a few brackets and sheet metal screws from a hardware store should fix it up. Bath walls could have a bracket loose at the sink too and just need some long deck screws to make it bullet proof. Misaligned shells just need someone slightly skilled to adjust the torsion bars. Take a screwdriver and tighten up the outside door latch. Super glue does wonders for loose velcro. My point is that I don't see any serious structural issues mentioned. I bet if you found the right mechanic/handyman it would cost a fraction of a lawsuit in money and headache. I honestly wish you luck with whatever route you go and hope you will be Rv'ing on that route soon.

10-09-2007, 06:06 AM
Step up to the plate, and become a site sponsor. You will then have access to all the threads about maintaining and adjusting your TM, and upgrades to make your camping experience better. There are plenty of members here that can answer your questions and help.

10-09-2007, 07:07 AM
njtm3023 -

I'm still waiting to hear the year of your TM. A claim (or expectation) for over $28,000 sounds excessive unless your TM is brand new. Your first post tells me that it is a 2004 model or older, and so - well, it isn't new. The NADA guide suggsts more like $13,000 for a 2004.

Frenchy's post about unbalanced tires is important. All of your issues sound like unbalanced wheel shake-it-to-death issues. You wouldn't have noticed them on your initial short trips, but the longer trips the next year would have brought them out.

Am I missing something here?


10-09-2007, 09:05 AM

I agree with Bill. Your damages all appear to be related to out of balance tires. I had this as well and it opened gaps between shells. I didn't have much damage inside except the cover over my furnace kept falling off and scratching the finish where it is pressed against. No problems since I balanced the tires. They needed quite a bit of weight.

For some reason, I posted this right after you posted but it didn't show up, so I am posting it again. I am surprised the dealers didn't recognize this culprit.

10-09-2007, 08:30 PM
I posted a reply but I don't see it. So here is part of it.
'05, 3023 with 98 Dodge Durango or 07 Chevrolet Avalanche for towing.
Picked up Sept. 05 and by Sept. 06 it had been the shop for 60 days.
Started Lemon Law Case October when we hit 98 days in shop. Might expect walls needing replacement, cabinets breaking down, etc. after several years, not 4 months/4 trips. Especially with the price paid for it. I wouldn't want to buy a new car/truck and have it start to fall apart at 1000 miles and need to have some of it replaced/rebuilt by 3500 miles.
A new 3023 with the options we have is retail listed at TM website as $31,634 plus tax registration and dealer costs. If we don't get a replacement we need something to buy another trailer with because we will still be paying for the one we don't have. We don't want to give up camping.
we found out at a different TM dealer on mon. that our TM cabinet was not made for an oven, there is no support built in for it. it was 3 hours each way to get there though. It also took about 5 mins. for them to figure out other problems that willingboro did not over 127 days.
we have not had the tires checked, we did not know about it until now. Willingboro doesn't even know what a tire is! as far as I can guess.
Sorry if I offended someone. Step up to the plate? Become a site sponsor? I just found out about this group and don't understand all of it yet.

10-10-2007, 02:42 AM
I hope what ever happens it works out the best for you. I've only had minor issues with mine and I have to keep in mind that with TM's they are balancing quality with weight reduction. Everytime something does happen like screws come out etc I tell my self I have a heck of a nice camper and I'm getting 15mpg going down the highway. I do wish you the best!!!

10-17-2007, 09:44 AM
I echo a message I heard here. We dealt with an authorized TM dealer. TMs are not like any other TT. Go to the TM website and see where there is a dealer that is authorized to do TM work. We have had our TM for several years and even on dusty back roads, we only got a bit of dust -- nothing major except that we do occasionally find loose screws that we tighten. Queen

Bill & Lisa
10-17-2007, 10:11 AM
Loose screws are not limited to TrailManors.....I just went around my 5th wheel this weekend as part of breaking camp and had lots of screws to tighten. In fact I actually lost one around the frame of my sewer hose storage door. If you drive it on the roads it is going to vibrate and loosen screws. Not sure why cars don't have as big a problem as RVs do but all RVs need to have screws tightened - inside and out. Last month one of the screws holding my fan blade on to my cieling fan fell out and the blade pivoted slightly and started rubbing on the light fixture. Luckily we were there at the time and knew it didn't sound right and found and fixed the cause.

10-17-2007, 10:17 AM
Bill (Moderator) mentioned this to us and we clarified it with Ed Lytle (TM Service Manager):

Wheel balancing issues are rare, but they do occcasionally occur with very unhappy results. Ed Lytle confirmed that TM does not balance the tires at the factory, but MOST IMPORTANTLY if your TM is damaged by vibration cuased by out-of-balance wheels, IT IS NOT COVERED BY THE WARRANTY and recommended having the wheels balanced if you live a long way from the dealer (164 miles in our case).

As we prepare to take delivery of our new 3326 King, I brought up this issue with our dealer. They said that wheel balancing is not part of the PDI. Not only that this dealer said they don't even have a spin balancer. They did, however, say that would charge us 1/2 hour of shop labor to drive the TM to their tire shop and have all the 5 wheels balanced. We would also pay the tire balancing invoice w/no markup to the dealer. We felt that was fair.

Small price to pay for some peace of mind on this issue.



P and B
10-28-2007, 07:27 AM
I wrote about our maiden voyage and posted it here. We also had things jump out...like the MW. The problems you are having sound a lot like what always happens with these things. I've had one other motorhome and was always repairing little things. The common advice that I got had to do with the tire balancing, which I will check on next week. I think all of this advice is too late for you since you've filed for mitigation.

Good luck. I'll be curious to know what kind of satsfaction you'll get. I'm a bit disappointed at TM for not making it right. This is usually an indicator of the integrity of their management.


10-28-2007, 07:46 AM
Looks like TM, or the dealers, would learn to balance the tires before delivery. If that is the problem with some of the issues (and I believe they very well could be), then the couple of dollars in initial cost would be well worth it to them in the long run.

The tires were not balanced when I bought my used TM, and they took a lot of weight to get them balanced. I imagine they had a pretty good bounce going down the road before.


11-17-2007, 08:26 PM
Did you purchase the 3023 TM new?

Goodyear Travels
11-18-2007, 09:27 AM
My wife and I have made approx. 8 trips in our '07 2720sl in just over a one year period. We have met and visited with many RVer's at public and private campgrounds. Here's an observation about the "kind of the people" who seem to enjoy and get the most from their RV experience: they tend to be folks who take pride in being able to deal with unexpected challenges, finding ways to adapt and resolve issues with their own minds and hands. I had the expectation that our new "07 2720sl should be without flaw "from the dealer's door" and "many miles down the road". I made myself suffer big time by holding this expectation. Our dealer is 200 miles away so I decided to tackle nearly every repair with the help of posts from this forum. After a while --- I even stopped growling when things needed attention. I would write them down on our Wish List and face them after doing research and collecting myself. And you know what --- I've done things right and I've learned to take pride in my handywork. Monies spent will never buy complete freedom from RV challenges. I know some will not agree but I believe that our attitudes shape and define our RV experience. Nothing can ruin a trip more effectively than my attitude --- just ask my wife. Change what you can -- let go of the rest. Remember that in the RV world (like Life) -- expectations will make you suffer. We're all getting the lessons that we need for our growth --- whether we like it or not. I wish you well. Eric

11-18-2007, 01:53 PM
Very well stated, Eric! I agree totally with the ideas you mentioned - now if everybody in this country would adhere to that we'd have a lot better country. Instead it seems that there are too many people trying to blame things on other people and not accepting responsibility themselves. I'm not saying we should accept others shoddy workmanship, just that we can accept some things that come our way and "grab the bull by the horns" and deal with them. Life is like that - is it fair? No, but who ever said life was fair - who ever expected life to be fair. I just thank God every day that I'm a citizen of the best country that has ever existed - yes there's flaws, but still the best. Attitude is the most important. Our attitude can affect our entire life for good or bad - depending on how we take challenges that may come our way. Wow, I'll get off the soapbox now!

03-22-2008, 09:47 PM
Freedom: well stated, ably said.

03-24-2008, 08:34 PM
I've read about the problems with this trailmanor with mixed emotions. From what I'm understanding, this unit had problems from near the beginning, and more occur.

If I spent $28,000 on a new trailer, my expectations would be very high, and I could easily see myself soured by each ensuing problem. Consistently, I see people on these pages talking about how they like their trailers. Interestingly, even the people that like their trailers describe problems that arose from poor quality control from the manufacturer.

It seems that the owners with problems are willing to accept the problems, figure out how to work around the problem and go forward. I bought a used trailer and expect problems to some extent, and look forward to figuring out how to repair most or all the problems I'll encounter. Also I look forward to learning about how to avoid possible problems such as those possibly caused by out of balance tires.

While some of you may disagree with me, I'm seeing this as a matter of perspective. Some don't seem upset with poor construction issues. Some are upset.

If I paid full price for a new trailer, and had significant problems in the first year or two, you can bet I'd be hopping mad!

Now it's time to take the wheels down and balance them before our first overnighter.


03-25-2008, 02:11 AM
Contrary to most trailer manufacturers, my understanding is that TM is now balancing their wheels. As far as blowouts, I believe that the margin is tight but I think that there are several factors that play into it. Age of tire, inflation, load, speed, luck...

Other than that, loose screws are my only complaint. Luckily I own a screw driver and know how to use it.

03-25-2008, 03:53 PM
I did not notice this thread last Fall but its revival gave me another chance to read it. I found it intriguing not only because of the large number of things claimed to have gone wrong with a single TM trailer but also because of the unusually large requests for compensation.

The writer stated that he purhased the 3023 in Sept. '05, took 3 short fall trips with it and then stored it for the winter. Sometime in the spring or early summer during 2 additional trips with it the problems began. Some of the problems he mentioned seemed to me to be minor ones that many of us have experienced. He used the TM two more times in 2007 but mentions having taking a total of 11 trips in it - from Sept. '05 through Oct. '07, when he initiated this thread. Although it spent a lot of time in the dealers' shops, it is now a 3 year old model.

In the first posting he stated "We spent approximately $28,500 on our TM, and we will be paying on the loan for many years yet." His lemon lawsuit, however, gives Trailmanor three options for making good on his defective trailer: "We offered that we would keep the unit for trade in as long as they settled at $20,500, or we would turn it in for a settlement of $28,500, and lastly we would settle for a 2008, 3023 with the same option as what we had." In spite of the fact that he seems to have paid off only a small part of the initial loan on the trailer (". . . we will be paying on the loan for many years yet."), he wanted reimbursement of the full purchase price in one form or another. A more reasonable request might have been replacement of his defective trailer with another 2005 model certified to be in good condition plus all out-of-pocket expenses for repairs. He did use it on 11 camping trips for part of 2 years. He's frustrated by the length of repair shop time his TM has accumulated. Yet, one option he gives Trailmanor is to reimburse him with a brand new 2008 model. I wonder why a customer who has experienced so many breakdowns in one brand of a trailer would want to continue using another one of the same brand?

03-26-2008, 08:01 AM
When this thread first posted, our new '08 3326 had not been delivered, and since we had no prior RV experience of any kind, caused us some significant concern.

As a result primarily of this thread, we had all 5 wheels balanced prior to delivery (took several large weights) and further spent an entire day on delivery just checking things extra carefully with our dealer.

We ordered our trailer on 9/23/07. In the first week of October we were told our trailer had arrived at the dealer so badly damaged that they could not deliver it and returned it to the factory. We took delivery of another one on 12/3/07 and have been enjoying it ever since. Most issues we had were minor and the result mostly of our inexperience.

So while we're saddened by the writer's experience, at the same time his thread essentially may have prevented a similar experience from happening to us. This forum also is responsible for connecting us w/Ed Lytle at the factory. And while our dealer had been with TM less than a year with a sales dept weak on TM knowledge, the service department was top drawer in knowledge of the product and customer service. An excellent dealer and quality factory support made all the difference for us.