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View Full Version : How did you find your used Trailmanor?


SCBillandJane
01-16-2008, 06:03 PM
Several owners have posted about finding their new to them Trailmanor at some distance from their home, and some have felt that they found great deals. Would you share how you found them? Secondly, would you share how much it cost to get it in camping condition after purchasing?

MidwestDave
01-16-2008, 06:19 PM
Hi Bill, I think the first place to start is on this form. There is a link to see "trailors for sale or wanted". If there is a dealer in your area he might have information on a "used" unit. Hope this helps! We bought new so I did not need to go this route to make my purchase. I am sure there will be other ideas expressed on the form so hang in there. Good luck and hope you find a unit!

B_and_D
01-16-2008, 10:36 PM
Our journey towards our present TM was an interesting one.

I found an ad in the Boise, ID newspaper for a 1998 2720. I emailed the seller, and they said that their unit was in very good shape. We drove there to buy it, and it was not in the shape that we expected. They were not willing to negotiate much, so we left it behind and drove towards Oregon where we had many relatives to visit. We made an enjoyable trip out of our failed TM purchase trip, and on the way through Salem OR, we visited my cousin and told him why we were passing through, and what we were seeking.

A couple of days after I got home, my cousin called me and told me that he had found us exactly what we were looking for. He does janitorial work, and one of the places he works for is a RV dealership in Salem, OR, who just happened to have an 2720 on their lot. They sent me pictures of it, and it was immaculate, so we agreed to purchase it, pending inspection.

We returned to Salem on Labor Day, the TM was beyond our wildest dreams, and still is. Nothing was wrong with it; it was hardly used. We really lucked out. The only thing that broke right after purchase was the Winegard TV booster unit..but it only cost about $40 to fix.

We paid $8900 for it in September, 2003. It was my best birthday present ever!

wmtire
01-17-2008, 12:17 AM
I searched awhile for my used 3023, learning everything I could about them from these forums during that time. Fortunately, I have an ebay junkie wife, who kept looking there for us. She found one in San Antonio, TX that looked like it fit the bill on what I was looking for.

A used RV dealer there had it. I started asking him questions thru emails about it. The more we exchanged mails, the more the negotiations went. We quickly moved from emails to telephone calls. Alll of this transpired within 24 hours. We were still about $400 dollars off my price, when he throwed in the clincher. He said he would end the auction early for me, and pay my hotel bill if I wanted to come pick it up. As much as I like visiting San Antonio and hard as a good used Trailmanor is to come by.....he sold me.

When I arrived at his business, it was just as clean as he said it was, and the only thing really noticeably wrong was a dent in the upper half of the door, which he had disclosed on his ebay listing, with pics of it. This used dealer was knowledgeable about Trailmanors and took me thru the steps of opening and closing it (which I already knew from these forums). He had water in it, and showed me that the hot water heater, pump, etc. worked. I even climbed underneath it, looking at wiring, framing, seals, etc. I noticed after closing it, that one of the spring-loaded latches was barely holding down the front shell. The dealer had some heavy duty plastic cinches, which we used to help secure it for the journey back.

After arriving home, I gave it a hard inspection and found a crack on the frame. It was in a place that was hard to see, and I missed it on my initial inspection at the dealer. I won't hold that against the dealer either, because I called myself looking for things like that, but missed it and would have expected others to miss it too. It was very hard to see. I followed the advice from Leon and other members here about the crack, and emailed Ed at the TManor factory. After Ed conferred with their guys, he emailed me back precise directions on how to fix the crack and how to reinforce it. That right there sold me on the great customer service that Trailmanor has. Fortunately, I have an employee who is a welder, and he easily fixed the crack for me, following Ed's instructions.

http://www.trailmanorowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3728&highlight=frame+crack&page=9

I replaced the spring latch after I got it back home for $8 and the hot water heater anode rod for $13, all which my local Trailmanor dealer had in stock. I also replaced my tires, but I kinda have an inside source on those things. That's all I really had to do to get it in camping shape, outside of fixing the crack in the frame.

I had took a friend/co-driver of mine with me to pick this trailer up, and he had never seen the Alamo. We easily pulled my newly purchased TManor thru the streets of San Antonio down near the Alamo/Riverwalk. It was hard to find a parking spot, because of some kind of charity walk that was going on that morning. I finally found a paid parking lot with some other RV's in it. They charged me $50 bucks to park there. Me and the girl haggled over whether or not I had a true rv or not, but I lost that argument. :)

One of the first things I did after becoming a trailmanor owner, was to officially join this forum group. Best thing any Trailmanor owner can do.

mtnguy
01-17-2008, 07:34 AM
The missus and I started looking for campers in Oct. 06 after the wind bent 1 of the support poles on our pop-up. The canvas blowing all nite also convinced us that something else was needed. We wanted a lite weight camper to pull behind our Blazer, which was replaced with a truck about the same time we bought our TM....another story. We were beginning to check out Casitas, Hi-Lo's, Trailmanors, and others online to get ideas. The nearest TM dealers are ~150 miles away, and we were planning a trip to 1 to see what they looked like. Lo and behold, my missus found a TM advertised in the local trader magazine. We went to look at it without knowing much about them. The lady had to get the directions out to work everything.....they hadn't used it for about a year. The unit was filty, musty smelling....the shady side actually turned green from the algae growth....wish I had taken pictures. The TM didn't appeal to the missus, but I saw potential. So, with the wife's reluctant blessing, I went to check it out a second time, and negotiated a deal.

At that time, I was not aware of this forum, so I attacked things the 1st month or so without help. After getting it home, spending a weekend or 2 cleaning it up with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Black Streak Remover, it looked brand new again. I had to scrap off a bunch of old caulk from the roof vents, and recaulk. Scraped and recaulked a lot of the roof seems, and will have to more in the future.

All of the appliances worked, except for the oven. The battery was toast. There was a spill/messed up spot on 1 of the dinnette cushions. The outside shower door hinge was busted. There were a couple small dents. The rest of the wear and tear items are what should be expected on any TM after a couple of miles. But we considered ourselves very lucky with our purchase.

We bought the TM for what we thought was an excellent price. Since then we have put another $1400 into it, including:
Water heater bypass, oven repair, 2 batteries, a radio/CD player, lift kit, new 15" wheels and tires, mud flaps, and many other small items that add up to that amount.....right down to the silver ware trays and storage containers.....my wife things I'm anal. :D

Chap

allenj
01-17-2008, 08:17 AM
We found ours from an ad on this site. We drove 300 miles to check it out and it looked fine. After thinking about it for a week, we made arrangements to go back the next week and pick it up, then took it camping the following weekend.

BobRederick
01-17-2008, 09:14 AM
I found mine in Indiana in RVTraderonline. The web site was on the home page for this forum. It was just 1 year old and described as like new. It was not a TM dealer and they really met my price. We made that our vacation for the summer and visited a lot of friends along the way. We saved about 1/3 of the MSRP. The dealer didn't know how to open it and I believe that had a lot to do with the good price.

John Kelly
01-17-2008, 10:09 AM
Bill,

We found our 3023 2004 TM in late 2005 on the internet. Drove 600 miles from MD to NH and brought it home. This was the first trailer or Rv we have owned. Almost everything worked fine and we are happy with it. This form has taught me everything I know (still have so much to learn) and I thank everyone for all their posts and help.

John & Marion

bfezel
01-18-2008, 06:31 PM
I believe that first and foremost the key to finding a good unit at a reasonable price is patience. I spent approximately one year after deciding to go with a TM before finding what I wanted within an amount I was willing to spend. In fact I was willing to spend a good deal more, but didnít have to.

The internet makes shopping a lot easier than it used to be. I found some attractive deals on new units at dealers in Ohio and New Hampshire on rvtraderonline.com. Another excellent source of clean, used travel trailers is texasrvcenter.com. They donít get a TM very often, but Iíve seen a couple of good deals there. This forum may be the best place. I actually found mine through the mention on this forum of a classified ad in S.C.. No particulars were given except the area of the state. Searching the classified in S.C. newspapers via the web put me onto a consignment deal at a non-TM dealer. Bought just what I was looking for at a price much lower than I was prepared to pay.

As to what I had to do in order to get it ready for use; nothing except purchase a battery. Everything worked without any problems. I did give it a meticulous cleaning and have made a large number of livability improvements, 75% of which were generated from ideas from this forum.

Wishing you the best as you continue your search. I donít believe you will be disappointed after you find the unit you are searching far.

Bill

LifeIsGood
01-27-2008, 04:08 PM
I called the TM factory to get a listing of all the dealers in my area (CT) & at 1st the receptionist was only going to give me ONE dealer in MA. There's got to be a better way to find these things. They are not well known and are very hard to come by. Why is that? It seems to be such a nice trailer but the manufacturer surely doesn't seem to be marketing their product throughout the US that well. You would think after 25 years they would have at least one authorized dealer in each state by now. BTW, I just joined this forum and find all the info quite valuable and interesting. I have noticed that no one talks prices when mentioning they got a good deal. They are quite pricey and I can understand why to a certain point. Would anyone be interested in divulging what they paid for theirs? I am looking at an 08 2720SL w/lots of options in it but need to know if the selling price is a good deal or not. Can anyone help me with this? I'll give more details if anyone responds, which I hope you will. I would really appreciate anyone's help. Thanks in advance - Linda

all4camping
01-27-2008, 04:52 PM
I found my 2006 TM2619 on ebay - no kidding. It had never been used and still had the plastic sheet pieces on the toilet, and hang tags on the appliances. The owner was almost 2 hrs away. She did not get her asking price and sent me a pm after the auction was closed and we went from there. I had a dealer send a truck to pick it up, perform and inspection, etc. The dealer even gave me a small lesson and I was able to purchase a warranty from them since the unit had been out of warranty 30 days. All my friends looked at me like I was crazy! I've had THE MOST fun and family experiences with my TM! Absolutely NO regrets.

LifeIsGood
01-27-2008, 05:55 PM
Wow! Sounds like you were quite lucky. Now, you live in Tennessee where the factory is and you couldn't find a good deal thru a TM dealer in your state? Hmm. What's up with that? I'm really intrigued at how hard it is to come by one of these things. I looked on ebay last week and there were only 2 listed. I wonder if there is anyone throughout my whole state that even owns one! But you know what? I want to own one! LOL My family and I have done the tent camping thing long enough and have been caught in too many rainstorms. We've looked at the traditional travel trailers but we can't see hauling a big, tall box where you can't see a thing behind you and have your gas mileage cut in half - might as well splurge for the small motorhome then if you want lousy mileage. I see the trailmanor as something so much easier to tow with all the amenities and comforts of home with the bonus of saving on gas mileage, too. I know my family would have SO MUCH fun with it! The more I read this forum the more I want one! :p

Linda

janthony
01-27-2008, 10:13 PM
I've noticed that too. Nobody talks prices paid. When shopping for a car, there is so much information out there about how to get the best deal, and about MSRP vs. invoice. I was able to negotiate (all via email) a very good price for our last new car purchase based on a wealth of information on the internet. I simply offered what I knew (some) other folks were paying (somewhere between MSRP and invoice for that particular car) and a dealer a couple hundred miles away met my price. Our first visit to the dealership was to pick up the vehicle at the already negotiated price.

For TMs, I suspect that dealers are willing to come down quite a bit from MSRP, but I don't really know. In California, we have three TM dealers to choose from (Anaheim, Sacramento, and now San Martin). The advertised prices for the Anaheim dealer are lower than those for the Saramento dealer, and the San Martin dealer doesn't talk price at all. The salesperson just invited us to "come into the office and let's make a deal." In all fairness, they're a brand new TM dealer, and they were just opening for business.

I really hate haggling in the dealer's office. I want to pay a fair, but not unreasonable, price. How does one know what that is?

mtnguy
01-28-2008, 06:43 AM
I have read somewhere that the markup for RV vehicles is between 20 & 30%.

I have the bill of sale for my TM when bought by the original owners in June, 2003. The list price was $24873, and they paid $19,819. That is a little better than a 20% mark down.

And just like a car, when you drive it off of the showroom floor, the price comes way down, but especially in RVs. Even though TMs seem to keep their values a lot more that others, I bought mine for about 1/3 of the price paid by the original owners just 3 1/2 years earlier....of course, I feel that I got a great deal. :) The NADA on mine is now somewhere in the $12,000 range, so that is only a 40% loss from what they paid 4 1/2 years ago....probably pretty good for an RV. (Why does "an" sound correct in front of the consonant R....or is that just me??? No wonder people say that English is a difficult language :p.)

Hope this helps.

Chap

LifeIsGood
01-28-2008, 07:52 AM
I recently read a book called, How to Buy an RV and Save Thousands, by Don Wright who spent 20 yrs writing about the RV industry (Trailer Life, Camping Life, etc.) and also worked in market research for 7 yrs for two of the big RV manuf. - Holiday Rambler and Newmar. He says that dealers typically mark up each of their products between 30-40% earning gross profits between 23-29%. The thing that really got me was the mark-up on the options. Say a factory-installed TV antenna would be marked up about 150% to the dealer because, of course, they are buying those in volume, and then the dealer would add another 75-80% to their price. So I'm thinking that whatever the MSRP is, offering 20-25% lower should be a fair deal, but maybe not. It's really hard to tell how much of a profit a dealer is making on each of these particular trailers. They are definitely different than your typical box trailer. It could be a lot less or maybe not and I wonder how much the freight charges for the dealer are, especially now. Some dealers don't pass that cost onto the customer like EVERY car dealer does. It seems to me the way the TM factory is presenting their product in a way that it is sought after but hard to get (supply and demand) and the consumer is willing to pay more to get it. Does this make sense to anyone? Maybe that is the reason for so few dealers scattered throughout the states. Gotta run.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Linda

Paul_Heuvelhorst
01-28-2008, 03:11 PM
I recently read a book called, How to Buy an RV and Save Thousands, by Don Wright who spent 20 yrs writing about the RV industry (Trailer Life, Camping Life, etc.) and also worked in market research for 7 yrs for two of the big RV manuf. - Holiday Rambler and Newmar. He says that dealers typically mark up each of their products between 30-40% earning gross profits between 23-29%... So I'm thinking that whatever the MSRP is, offering 20-25% lower should be a fair deal, but maybe not.
Linda, Experience tells me that TM doesn't have the markups in them as do the type RV you refer to above. We bought our TM from Dinuba RV when they were located in Dinuba. At the time, they gave us 10% off the MSRP without our asking. It took a bit of negotiating, after we identified the options we wanted, to get an additional 5% off.

The MSRP is a "ficticious" price, so that is not the place to start. Research shows that you need to find out as much as you can about the dealer invoice and work from that number. In the case of TM, it would be wise to offer the dealer a price that is about $1,000 above his invoice, if he'll share that info in the first place (my un-educated guess is about 25-30% below the MSRP). The reason I use $1,000 is that the dealer is due his profit for ordering and preparing the unit for delivery to you and it seems fair for a unit between $20K-$30K.

On used trailers, always offer a lower price than you think it is worth, based on NADA Guide pricing, and let the owner counter-offer. You should wind up somewhere in the middle between what the listed price was and what you offered.

LifeIsGood
01-28-2008, 09:04 PM
Hi Paul - Are you saying that if you can find out the dealer invoice to offer $1,000 over that price? That doesn't seem like much of a profit for a dealer if let's say a dealer purchases a base TM from the factory for $19,000, plus freight, and possibly tax(?), and he does not pass along the freight cost to the customer, what would be the point in selling them? You'd have to be selling quite an inventory to make a living. There must be more profit in them than that, which I think must come from all the options added on. I am looking at an 08 2720SL w/$4500 in options, base price of $27,581 (dealer actually lists the base price $500 less than TM's base price), is not charging the $1600 dealer prep and freight charge and I have negotiated the total price down to $25,000 total (which is basically 25% off). After looking at selling prices everywhere else, I am thinking this is a pretty good deal or possibly the best price I can find in my area, anyways. Anyone care to offer their opinions? Please? Looking forward to hearing any comments.

Linda

Paul_Heuvelhorst
01-28-2008, 09:47 PM
Linda,
The price structure of RVs is very different from automobiles. However, most auto dealers consider it a good deal ($20-$30K prices) if they can make $500 to $1,000 over their cost. I have purchased several vehicles for my personal use by offering them $500 over their invoice, which is several thousand dollars less than the MSRP.

The numbers you list are still the MSRP, not the dealer invoice, and those should not be the prices from which you negotiate. I think you can realistically figure that the dealer's actual cost on the trailer is about 20-25% less than the MSRP, and the options are somewhere between 30-50% less than the MSRP. Destination charges are usually the actual cost and normally cannot be negotiated. Everything else is negotiable.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the dealer offered me 10% off the top before I even asked for it. Then I started negotiating. That was 10 years ago, so I can't give you my opinion on current TM costs... just a strategy. BTW, did I mention, before I retired I was a professional buyer in public education? That is where I learned to research pricing structures and negotiate.

janthony
01-28-2008, 11:04 PM
Paul,

When you say the dealer initially offered you 10% 'off the top,' are you referring to dealer asking price? MSRP? (Aren't they usually pretty much one and the same?) And how does one go about finding invoice prices for TMs? It seems to me that it's a well kept secret.

Judy

larsdennert
01-28-2008, 11:36 PM
We bought ours three years used for about 1/2 MSRP. It needed a few things but I had been looking for a few months. TMs in ebay auctions went for bank! I was seeing ten year old units selling for over 10K. Ones in printed ads disappeared quick. I got lucky and found a Dealer who had taken one in trade and sat on it for months not being familiar with TMs. They were happy to throw in at least a thousand in extras like a full service and repair, controller and wiring. TMs are pricey compared to box trailers though. About double for the same amenities.

LifeIsGood
01-29-2008, 07:12 AM
Public education - now that is quite a business, huh? But seriously, Paul, when you bought your TM did you ask the dealer to show you their dealer invoice and did any offer to do so? The total vehicle price that I am looking at for this particular TM (model 2720SL) with lots of options comes out to $38,258 (w/out taxes) and I've been offered $25,000 total to take it away. It has been sitting on his lot for 6 months and I'm sure he's paying interest on it so he is eager to get rid of it. I'm just looking for any experienced TM owner to please share w/me if they think 25k is a good deal. It looks like a great deal to me cuz w/those figures it comes out to be about 35% off MSRP. Who knows what the invoice is on these things. NADA values don't show appraisals for 08's but if I plug everything in for an 07, I am still above the original 25k, so I think I'm gonna go for it. If anyone out there has any other bargaining strategies they'd like to share with me, I'd sure appreciate it. I'd like the guy to throw in all the little extras to get us started, like a freshwater hose, sewer hose, 30-amp adapter, (maybe some toilet paper & chemical? - lol) but I might be pushing it. :p C'mon everyone out there - let me know what you think?? Linda

mtnguy
01-29-2008, 07:26 AM
Linda, have you gone the Trailmanor.com and built the 2720sl with options to compare that against what the dealer is telling you?? If that comes out to what the dealer is telling you, then it sounds like a decent deal.

I would be tempted with this offer. Just my .02 cents worth.

Chap

LifeIsGood
01-29-2008, 07:39 AM
Yes, I have, mtnguy, those numbers came straight from the TM website where you build your own TM, but I just noticed I made a mistake in listing the total MSRP price - the total MSRP came out to roughly around $36,000 (before tax, which I would pay back in my own state when I register it), so it is more like a little less than 30% off. Still, I'm thinking it's a good deal. Thanks for replying. :-) I am thinking that these TMs are really not marked up as much as some other travel trailers (except for the options, of course). Anyone else care to share? Linda

mtnguy
01-29-2008, 07:55 AM
Well, I should have known with all of your research, that you would have left no stone unturned. :)

The MSRP does not include delivery, dealer prep, and of course taxes. The dealer probably has some flexibility on dealer prep., but probably not on delivery. So, to figure precentages, subtract the delivery 1st, then add it back into the equation after the calculations.

Even at "just" 30% off, that still ain't too shabby.

Anxious to hear of your decision.

Chap

NYJeff
01-29-2008, 09:29 AM
Yes, I have, mtnguy, those numbers came straight from the TM website where you build your own TM, but I just noticed I made a mistake in listing the total MSRP price - the total MSRP came out to roughly around $36,000 (before tax, which I would pay back in my own state when I register it), so it is more like a little less than 30% off. Still, I'm thinking it's a good deal. Thanks for replying. :-) I am thinking that these TMs are really not marked up as much as some other travel trailers (except for the options, of course). Anyone else care to share? Linda
Linda - you're lucky I'm looking at the 3023 or I'd steal that one right out from under your nose!! :) It sounds like a great deal to me (although I haven't yet done as much research as you have). Good luck & let us know how it turns out.

Jeff

Bill
01-29-2008, 10:22 AM
I have no inside knowledge, but I think that $25K for a brand new 08 2720SL, with at least standard options (air conditioner and awning) is a whopper of a deal. I didn't do that well on mine ...

Bill

larsdennert
01-29-2008, 10:33 AM
I'd agree.

LifeIsGood
01-29-2008, 10:53 AM
Thanks, guys, for your opinions! We think it's a great deal, too - just wanted to hear some opinions from others, as we are first-time rv buyers and I like to do my homework. We have researched extensively every kind of rv out there and the TM really fits the bill for us. This forum has been wonderful to be able to hear good and bad comments about them (more good than bad). Ya know, once we make our final decision, we never look back to wonder if we could've got a better deal elsewhere or listen to any nay-sayers that might think we got ripped off. Now it's time to ENJOY it, cuz LIFE IS TOO SHORT! I'll let you know how it goes - might be able to pick it up this weekend! Take care, Linda

jimair1548
01-29-2008, 03:38 PM
I have no inside knowledge, but I think that $25K for a brand new 08 2720SL, with at least standard options (air conditioner and awning) is a whopper of a deal. I didn't do that well on mine ...

Bill

Bill, I did receive a PM from Jeannette......didn't know what to make of it. It came today......JIm

Leslie & Nick
01-29-2008, 04:11 PM
Linda,

That sounds like a pretty good price!! I bought our TM used from an individual, so I don't have any experience dealing with a dealer (cars and trucks yes). But if he's had that unit on his lot for 6 months I'm sure he's anxious to get rid of it.

As you've no doubt figured out by now, TrailManors are not for everyone. They're expensive, and not every potential trailer buyer appreciates or wants (or is willing to pay for) what a TM offers. Anyway, I think you're making a good choice. The 2720SL is probably the most popular model TM sells. We have an '02 2619 (the smallest model) that we bought in 2005. We bought it for a reasonable price, but in hindsight, we could use the extra space. Good luck with your choice.

Nick

LifeIsGood
01-29-2008, 05:51 PM
Hi Nick,
I think I just got lucky finding this one and I heard that if you see a trailer sitting on a dealer's lot for more than 3 months that you can bet he's anxious to sell cuz he's paying interest on a loan so that's the best time to negotiate. At first, I thought I wanted the 3023 because of the two couches thinking that it would accommodate our whole family better, but my kids are all getting older and probably won't always want to go with us, so I guess we started thinking down the road that we would only need space for three of us. We needed the queen bed cuz my husband is 6'-3" or we may have considered the 2619, too. The couches in all of them are narrow and very firm because they are used for sleeping purposes, but how often does one spend sitting inside unless it's raining, anyways. Also, we weren't sure if we wanted to pull one any longer than 20 feet. I remember requesting a brochure for a TM a few years ago and it said the prices started at 18k and up. Only two years later it now says 24k and up - that's quite an increase in two years! We figured we better jump on the bandwagon before they get any higher. ;)

Linda

retiredgoat
01-29-2008, 06:17 PM
That really sounds good for an new trailer, my friend went to the RV show in Tampa Fl and spoke with more dealers wanting to sell low due to high inventory.

I found mine on the internet and made the deal over the phone (many pictures and inquiries first) but made an great deal I think $11,500.00 for an 2001 3326 KING in good shape. The fun part was driving to Buffalo NY from Daytona beach Fl and back, boy does it pull nice I passed all kinds of 5ers and TT going thru the mountains just because it weights so little for it's length.

Good luck and happy camping

Bob

AstroBruce
01-29-2008, 07:53 PM
List Price is 40% over Dealer Cost. Same for TM installed options.
Don't ask me how I know this.
Add dealer prep, battery,freight, fuel surcharge, and paperwork.

Kentwesley
01-29-2008, 09:36 PM
Linda,

I don't want to burst your bubble, but something I seriously considered was the tire issue (just enter Marathon or blow out in the quick search). Before, I was indifferent...actually looked for 2720s but after reading about all the problems with the 14" tires, I decided to look for models with the 15" tires. Although the resourceful people on this board have come up with creative ways to get around this issue, the last thing I would want to do after spending $25K on a brand new TM is to have to install a lift kit and upgrade the tires. Maybe you can use this to negotiate a lower price or ask the dealer to upgrade the tires to 15" as part of the package. Just my two cents.

Paul_Heuvelhorst
01-30-2008, 11:00 PM
Paul, When you say the dealer initially offered you 10% 'off the top,' are you referring to dealer asking price? MSRP? (Aren't they usually pretty much one and the same?) And how does one go about finding invoice prices for TMs? It seems to me that it's a well kept secret. Judy
Judy, Linda, and all,
MSRP is the price listed on the factory-supplied price list. At the time, the dealer price was the same as the factory MSRP.

If you want to do the exercise to find out if the price you have negotiated on the current new model, not a used unit, check out the NADA guide (www.nadaguides.com) and price last year's model, including all the options you are considering adding to your new unit. The price NADA provides will give you 2 pieces of important information. (1) You will find out how much depreciation is factored in the minute you drive the unit off the lot, and (2) with the exception of the inflation factor, you will learn what the year-old price is. From that you should be able to tell whether or not the deal is as good as you think it is.

It is not an accurate tool to determine what the dealer's cost from TM is, but it should give you enough information about what you are willing to offer.

The price you get when you build a unit on TM's website is the full MSRP (no discounts). I haven't purchased a new TM for 10 years (and don't currently own one), and I have no idea what the current pricing is. Linda, my strategy would be, if the dealer is willing to sell you a $36,000 trailer for $25,000, I would "test him" by offering $22,500 and see what the reaction is. You have nothing to lose, and it could result in getting the unit for a lower price. The worst thing the dealer could say is, "sorry, $25,000 is as low as I can go." If so, you know you've done your best.

Paul_Heuvelhorst
01-30-2008, 11:07 PM
Public education - now that is quite a business, huh? Linda

Yes it is. It is a multi-billion dollar/year business, and includes everything the teachers need in the classroom for instructional purposes, to buying school buses to construction of the buildings in which instruction takes place. My staff typically handled, or distributed contracts averaging $25,000,000 annually duriing my last 13 years (1986-99).

LifeIsGood
01-31-2008, 07:32 AM
Hey Paul,
Thanks for your advice! The 25k was his bottom line and I feel it is a fair price (the dealer makes a little somethin' and I save a little somethin'). BTW, I had checked out the NADA guides before negotiating, plugging all the options in for an '07 2720SL and found that the price still came out to be 27k so even w/the huge depreciation it is still above my selling price. Looking at prices for these things throughout the country via dealers' websites, rvtraderonline, ebay, etc., etc., I feel that this price is the best I'm going to find. We found even at the RV shows in our area the price was much higher for a lot less. Can I ask why you are not a TM owner anymore but are a site sponsor here? Linda

LifeIsGood
01-31-2008, 07:49 AM
Kent,
Did you base your decision on the 14" Marathon tires strictly from this site or did you find stats elsewhere, as well? Since I have been reading this forum (and it hasn't been that long) there seems to be a wide array of circumstances that could be causing these blowouts. I see that some say they've had these tires on for 5 years w/no problems. Then I read some are driving 75-80 mph. Some might be overloading their trailers or maybe not maintaining their tire pressure as well as one might think. I am hoping we will be one of the lucky ones who won't have any problems w/them (send good thoughts our way, please), cuz it's too late now - we've already put a deposit. Has anyone started a thread for asking how many TM owners have had problems with the 14" Marathons? Thanks for your two cents.
Linda

Bill
01-31-2008, 09:38 AM
If you want to do the exercise to find out if the price you have negotiated on the current new model, not a used unit, check out the NADA guide (www.nadaguides.com) and price last year's model, including all the options you are considering adding to your new unit.NADAGuides is a good site. But just to be really clear, when you are clicking the little boxes for "Options", be sure you click only the boxes for true options. The list of checkboxes is long, but many / most of the items are standard equipment, not options. For example, air conditioner is an option. Furance is standard. If you click the checkbox beside "Furnace", it artificially inflates the price.

Bill

Kentwesley
01-31-2008, 01:21 PM
Linda,

I found this site to be very informative and although I have not conducted any independent research, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the information posted about the tires. Here's what I think based on what I've read:

14" tires (strictly based on numbers) do not give a whole lot of performance flexibility. There may be times when you are forced to push your tires to its limits....speed, weight, crappy road. Although I can't say definitively about the prevalence of this problem, it seems like it occurs much more on 14" tires vs. 15" tires. I can't remember who posted it, but someone backed this up with numbers to show why this was the case.

Having said all that, people have posted many ways to reduce your risk - everything from upgrading to 15" tires to changing tire brands. I just think it's something you should consider. Personally, I would not feel comfortable pulling at TM with 14" factory tires on a long distance trip.

Again, I didn't mean to burst your bubble. I think TMs, overall, are great and you should be excited about owning one. But I do think they have a problem with their 14" tires.

mtnguy
01-31-2008, 01:59 PM
Linda,

Congradulations on putting the deposit down on a new TM......I betcha have no regrets when you get your unit!!!

Even though I am a TM owner that switched to the 15" tires, there are many owners out there that never had a problem with their 14" tires. For me, I was running 4 yr. old Marathons with no problem, but I knew it was time to replace them. I had already installed the lift kit (for better ground clearance in the boonies), so I thought if I had to buy new tires, why not wheels also.

As you have probably read, if you keep fairly new tires (less than 4 yrs. or so), keep the pressure up, be careful around curbs at sharp turns (so you don't damage the sidewall), cover them from the sun when not in use, keep speeds under 65 mph, and keep the weight on the TM axle manageable, you probably won't have a problem. But yet, you still can even with all of these precautions.....even with the 15" tires, but maybe less likely since the weight rating is higher.

As a further precaution, I (and several forum members) use a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that gives me further peace on mind. I have also installed mudflaps so that a blowout shouldn't damage my plumbing.

And even if you do decide to go with the 15" tires later, your TM might already have the lift kit, or the Dexter 45 degree axle, which should give you enough room without any further alterations.

So Enjoy, and Happy Camping.

Chap

UpAndDown
01-31-2008, 02:57 PM
List Price is 40% over Dealer Cost. Same for TM installed options.
Don't ask me how I know this.
Add dealer prep, battery,freight, fuel surcharge, and paperwork.

Wrong Bruce, MSRP -Invoice is 99.99% time about 25-30% difference(mostly 30%) you'd be amazed what you can find out calling a factory as a perspective dealership in the making. That being said you can expect that most dealers do not go much below 20% off MSRP, they could, but they wouldn't be the quality of dealership that is going to be around for long, this isn't like cars, what most people do not know is that car dealers also get whats called holdbacks after a vehicle sale which is 3-5% so they are making 500.00 even if they invoice it to a customer, not a bad deal when most dealerships sell 100 cars a month or more. RV Dealers are independent meaning they can cary many different makes but they do not get holdbacks like cars and most average RV dealers sell 20 RV's a month(there are a few super centers that average around 80-100 units per month), so they need a little more than 1000.00 per Trailer to pay for 4 service guys, a Cashier for the store, 2 Salesmen, the owner, the mortgage on a 800,000 commercial lot, that may not include a building, not to mention the utilities they spend filling each camper with water and the electric and supplies for all the preps. The thing that cracks me up is when people want a spotless perfect camper and want a dealership to give it away to them for free. I'm fine with a 10% mark up over cost it ensures my servicing dealer is able to grow and hire more quality people to take care of my unit. But to each his own.

UpAndDown
01-31-2008, 03:03 PM
and as for asking to see a dealers invoice, thats just ubsurd. Do you go in to walmart and ask the department manager to see the invoices on all the stuff on their shelve.
A camper is either in your budget and has everything you need it to or it isnt

rarin2go
01-31-2008, 04:36 PM
Looking at buying a 2720SL TrailManor that will be kept on one side of a two
car garage.I assume the leveling scissor jacks will be used while it is in the
garage.Do these jacks swivel so you can get to the two that will be near
the garage wall side. Or do you need clearance on that side to operate
these two.Or do you have to crawl underneath to get to them.I didn't
talk to the salesman about this.

NYJeff
01-31-2008, 05:30 PM
Looking at buying a 2720SL TrailManor that will be kept on one side of a two
car garage.I assume the leveling scissor jacks will be used while it is in the
garage.Do these jacks swivel so you can get to the two that will be near
the garage wall side. Or do you need clearance on that side to operate
these two.Or do you have to crawl underneath to get to them.I didn't
talk to the salesman about this.
I don't know the answer to your question but I can say that I don't bother to put down my stabilizer jacks when storing my TT ('98 TowLite 18TD) in my garage. Don't see the need.

Leslie & Nick
01-31-2008, 05:58 PM
Looking at buying a 2720SL TrailManor that will be kept on one side of a two
car garage.I assume the leveling scissor jacks will be used while it is in the
garage.Do these jacks swivel so you can get to the two that will be near
the garage wall side. Or do you need clearance on that side to operate
these two.Or do you have to crawl underneath to get to them.I didn't
talk to the salesman about this.

You should be able to get to the 2 wall-side jacks from the side of the trailer. That's what I do when storing the TM in the garage. The jacks don't swivel.

Nick

LifeIsGood
01-31-2008, 06:32 PM
Thanks, Chap, for the good wishes and the excellent advice. I will take heed to all of it! Can you explain to me what a Tire Pressure Monitoring System is? As you know, we are first-time rv'ers, so we have a great deal to learn. I'm sure I could look it up, but I'd rather just ask you - ha-ha! I'm hoping we will be able to do the same as you did and not have to change the tires until at least a few years. Wish us luck! I spoke to the dealer and he said that no one he has sold a TM to has had problems with the Marathons, at least to his knowledge. Do you all take along a portable air compressor w/you, too? I didn't realize you have to keep the tires out of the sun, too. Why is that? I will also have to remember to ask the dealer if the 08 TM's have the lift kit or Dexter 45-degree axle. Thanks again for all your recommendations. Linda

LifeIsGood
01-31-2008, 06:46 PM
Hey, UpandDown - I think you are right on with all of your information. Personally, I don't know how some RV dealers can make a decent living. Unlike car dealerships who sell all year long, RV dealers do experience a lull in some areas of the country like the Northeast. I just can't see with all of their overhead how some dealers can even stay in business. I'm not even sure if they get any rebates or incentives like car dealerships do. I know I am getting this TM for a steal because the dealer has been sitting on it for far too long and is paying interest on a loan, so he is glad to get rid of it. But, seriously, I don't think anyone is trying to get a perfect rv for FREE. Does $25,000 sound like free to you? LOL I am glad you posted that info, though. It's information like that that everyone is looking for when making their first purchase. This is a whole new world for me, I can tell you that! So thanks! Linda ;)

mtnguy
02-01-2008, 08:14 AM
Can you explain to me what a Tire Pressure Monitoring System is? As you know, we are first-time rv'ers, so we have a great deal to learn. Do you all take along a portable air compressor w/you, too? I didn't realize you have to keep the tires out of the sun, too. Why is that?

Linda

Linda, the Doran TPMS that I use has a small recieving unit that you plug into a power outlet, and it either sits on, or attaches to your dash somewhere. There is a sensor that goes on each trailer wheel, and this sensor contantly monitors the tire pressure and relays that to the reciever. If the pressure in a tires goes down by 12.5% in a tire (appx. 6 lbs. for a 50 lb. baseline), it alerts you by sound and a blinking reading on the unit. If there is no problem, the sensor only updates the reciever every 5 minutes, and you have to push a button to see what the pressures are. Kinda neat to watch the pressure go up as the tire heats up underway. I got my 16 sensor reciever from: http://www.tirepressuremonitor.com/, which has a tutoral on how this system works. The 16 sensor reciever is an overkill for my setup, but the only smaller unit has a 6 tire capacity, which would not be enough if I wanted to monitor my truck tires, and mayby a tandem axle trailer in the future. The 16 sensor reciever could monitor a tandem class A rv, a toad, and the spares!! But at $50 per sensor, I am just monitoring the TM tires for now. Another thought, is that most new vehicles now have their own TPMS, so the smaller unit might be right for more people now.

I had PMd RockMtnRay several times before purchasing my system, on how he liked the Doran TPMS, and whether it would work without the repeater, or an extra antennae. Both of our systems work well without those options. You are welcome to PM me about further questions on this, or post them here if you think others would benefit from learning about this.

I don't carry a portable compressor, just my spare......which is still a 14" wheel and tire, because I haven't gotten around to Bill's spare tire carrier modification yet. :rolleyes: I did pull the TM with 1 14", and 1 15" tire to see how it tracked, and I couldn't tell any difference, but I will get around to traveling with a 15" spare in the near future.

Maybe Bobby (wmtire) will chime in here to explain how the sun damages tires.......all I know is, that you should keep them covered while in storage.

Chap

mtnguy
02-01-2008, 09:06 AM
Linda,

I found this thread on the Doran TPMS: http://www.trailmanorowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4607&highlight=doran
1 member did have a problem with the signal to the reciever, but his unit was mounted low on the dash. I have mine on top of the dash, and no problems. And I did get metal valve stems installed when I got my new tires, plus I had them balance the tires with the sensors in place.

Hope this and the previous post and website help with understanding another complicated angle of RV ownership, and how to spend more money. :p

Chap

wmtire
02-01-2008, 09:16 AM
Maybe Bobby (wmtire) will chime in here to explain how the sun damages tires.......all I know is, that you should keep them covered while in storage.

Chap

Chap, here is a good an explanation in easy to understand terms. Although some things have changed in the industry (which I emboldened) since the article was published, it still holds true for the most part

Tire Tech Facts

The sidewalls of tires which are parked for extended periods, dry check and eventually crack and split. Annually, tire "dry-rot" is a multimillion dollar problem for RVers, trailer boaters and owners of classic cars. This engineering memorandum is a scientific examination of the whys of this process.

Tire manufacturers blend into the tire polymer certain chemical ingredients which inhibit damage from ozone and ultraviolet light, the main environmental degradants of tires and all other types of synthetic and natural rubbers. Ozone is an odorless gas, but is commonly thought of as the "electric train smell". Though more severe in cities and manufacturing centers, ozone is part of the air we breathe everywhere on earth. Hastened by the hazardous effects of UV light, ozone eventually causes rubber to dry and become brittle no matter the locale.

Ultraviolet Light
The need to protect rubber against UV damage is why tires are black. For this purpose, a common type of UV stabilizer called a "competitive absorber" is used. Competitive absorbers work by capturing and absorbing harmful UV light wave energy (instead of the adjacent molecule of tire polymer..that's why it's called "competitive"). Competitive absorbers have the added ability to convert harmful UV light wave energy into heat so it can dissipate harmlessly. All tire manufacturers use the same competitive absorber, carbon black...an extremely inexpensive compound. All other UV stabilizers are prohibitvley expensive. This is why tires are black and why tires are not available in designer colors. All UV stabilizers are sacrificial, meaning they are gradually "used up" to where they can no longer protect against UV damage. As carbon black loses the ability to do its job, it turns gray. This is why rubber grays as it ages.

Ozone
Tire manufacturers use waxes to protect against ozone. When tires are in use (regularly running up and down the road for example) they flex. Flexing causes the protective waxes to migrate to the surface where they form a physical barrier between the air (ozone and oxygen) and the tire polymer. This process...the waxes migrating to the surface of the tire during flexing..is called "blooming". When tires are not regularly used ( a parked RV, boat trailer, or classic car, etc), blooming does not occur. Ozone begins eating away the protective wax and before long reaches the tire polymer. Often by this time, the surface carbon black has lost its ability to protect against UV. With UV light and ozone working in concert, degradation starts. The tire dries, checks, and will eventually crack.

Other Degradants
Petrochemicals and silicone oils can remove the protective waxes and increase the rate of degradation. Common automotive "protectants" and "tire dressings" are typically devoid of UV stabilizers of any type and contain petrochemicals and/or silicone oils which dissolve away the protective waxes and can actually aggress the sidewall. In the event of warranty sidewall failure, one of the first things tire manufacturers look for is evidence of the use of these types of products. When found, this is often cause for not warranting the sidewall failure.

This is why I have preached in other forums, not to use Armor-All on your tire sidewalls.

mtnguy
02-01-2008, 09:29 AM
Linda,

This is why I referred your tire/sun question on to Bobby. In case you haven't seen any of his posts yet, he is our resident tire expert. He has been a great asset to this forum, and I PMd him numerous times when I was thinking about my tire conversion.

If he ever threatens to leave this forum, I imagine we can scrape up enough money to pay his suscription cost.:)

Chap

wmtire
02-01-2008, 09:44 AM
If he ever threatens to leave this forum, I imagine we can scrape up enough money to pay his suscription cost.:)

Chap

ROFL :) Thanks Chap

LifeIsGood
02-01-2008, 12:32 PM
Thanks mtnguy and wmtire for all of your great advice! Wmtire - your explanation was very well written - even a woman could understand - ha-ha! I know my husband will not be leaving on our first trip without all the necessary tools in case of a flat, will bring portable air compressor, tire guage, etc., etc., but if you have any other tips that you think we might not know to bring, please feel free to mention them. I know he will be as prepared as he can like the boy scout motto - LOL. We have an 07 GMC Sierra Supercab that came w/a free 1-year OnStar service that does a complete vehicle diagnostic check, including monitoring the tires, telling you the psi in each of them on a regular basis. It's pretty neat - hands-free telephone, lock-out service, etc. It will be kind of another insurance to have when we are ready to take longer trips. Thanks again for all your help! Have a great day! Linda :)

LifeIsGood
02-01-2008, 12:34 PM
BTW, this forum is GREAT EXERCISE for my BRAIN!!! ;)

larsdennert
02-03-2008, 08:42 PM
I agree on ArmourAll. That stuff drys out plastic and makes it crack.

Everybody should have a compressor and a pressure guage. Tire plugs aren't a bad backup to a spare. Get stuck in the sand and you can air down to half pressure or less and drive right out and air back up for the pavement. Since I 4wheel a lot I often rotate the air in the tires HAHA. I have a 3/4 hp compressor permanently mounted to my truck.
http://www.larsdennert.com/4runner/compressor
You need a long hose to reach the TM. Portable compressors take longer to fill but they work. You have to figure out how to power it far from the truck. Some have clips to connect directly to the battery. There are little compressors in some of those power packs too.

LifeIsGood
02-04-2008, 09:37 AM
Wow! Larsdennert - you just went way over my head :confused: but I'll be sure to show this setup to my husband tonight! Thanks for sharing all of that. Linda

SCBillandJane
02-20-2008, 09:28 AM
Well, we started this post, and we are excited to tell you that we followed all the advice and found a 2003 3124 KS in Tampa, Florida. That sucker just latched on to our 2007 Tundra and followed us home last night on a 600 mile trip. It is sitting in the driveway, and we can still hardly believe that it is ours. Thanks to everyone for your advice. You made the difference.
I do have some advice to prospective buyers of a used Trailmanor. The previous owner's brother had been in the RV repair business for 14 years. His explanation of the hook up of a weight distributing hitch kept me from a dangerous situation by showing me how to take the weight off the bars before hitching and unhitching. I knew that it was good to have one, but nothing else. Advice number one: know how to use one before you go. I was lucky.
I had 3 new Denman 225 ST 15 225 R75 2640 load capacity tires installed at a Tire Kingdom. Be ready for poor service and a lack of knowledge. I had read on this forum (I think) not to jack the trailer by the axle which is exactly what they were going to do. My wife whipped out the owner's manual, and they brought out a portable jack and used the frame behind the tire well. They installer gave me funny looks and said the spare hasn't been on the ground, and the tires on the trailer were in new condition. They were new in 2002 when the trailer was built, and due to the owner's illness, had probably had only a few thousand miles or less on them. I could tell they thought I had money to burn. They coudn't remove the wheel fenders. I had the square head screw driver thanks to the forum again. I had to remove the spare because they didn't know how. The installer jammed the air gun against the wheel chipping the paint on the wheel. After installing the tires I asked the man to use a torque wrench to 95 pounds (thanks forum). He refused twice holding up the air gun saying that it was enough. I had talked with the manager about putting in 65 psi which is what the sidewall called for. Thank goodness we went only a short low speed distance for the night. The next morning there was only 50 psi in the tires. We had to go to four gas station air pumps before we found one that would pump the tires to 65 psi. We did keep the spare as a an extra spare because we want to go to Alaska.
Be prepared. Thanks wmtire, Bill, and many others! There were no surprises. It pulled with no sway on I95 when surrounded by trucks. Even my dear wife fought me for the right to drive. Towing was no problem.
Thanks again to all who helped us. We can't wait to take our TM on our maiden voyage (soon!) and start making memeories and meeting other TM owners!

Bill and Jane

mtnguy
02-20-2008, 10:34 AM
Bill & Jane,

Congratulations on your new purchase and successful trip home.

And about the tire replacement: I had a trailer shop attempt to jack my TM up by the axle to check my brakes and bearings....I am glad that I was watching to prevent this. That is a good excuse with the TM when you tell them "I have to raise it so you can pull the wheels", then you can keep an eye on things. And you didn't have the option, but I took my wheels in to have tires mounted, and the reinstalled everything myself, so that I wouldn't get the wheels scratched up, and to torque properly.

I have almost been tempted to drive all of the way to a tire shop in northern Louisana that I know about just to get things done right. (huh, Bobby??)

Chap

Pat Stafford
02-29-2008, 05:26 PM
We bought used through the forum and got a good deal. As far as preping it? We towed it about 2000 miles and used it immediately. Over the years, we made a few improvements but nothing worth mentioning. Everything worked when we bought it and still does today even though it is 8 years old.

Bill & Lisa
03-26-2008, 10:07 AM
Congrats on your new baby