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View Full Version : Ready to purchase, I think


fife&brown
09-23-2008, 09:28 AM
After months of research and emails back and forth to my closest dealer, 5 hours away, I am now ready to make the plunge. I will be traveling to Salt Lake this weekend, pulling my Coleman pop up in exchange for my new 2009 2720 (and a lot of $$). I still have a few reservations regarding pending purchase, mostly because I have never seen a TM up close, so I am relying on this great forum and brochures.
1- with my dealer 5 hours away, I'm a little nervous about any warranty work or potential issues with the TM. Are there any known issues I should be aware of and make sure I check out before I pull off the lot?
2- Compared to my "pop-up", is the setup and take down of the TM that much faster and easier?
3- I don't know if you can help me with this one, but can you think of any advantage of purchasing the TM this fall compared to next Spring? Do you see the prices of TM change much from Fall to Spring?
thanks and I apologize for the lengthy message.

harveyrv
09-23-2008, 10:03 AM
After months of research and emails back and forth to my closest dealer, 5 hours away, I am now ready to make the plunge. I will be traveling to Salt Lake this weekend, pulling my Coleman pop up in exchange for my new 2009 2720 (and a lot of $$). I still have a few reservations regarding pending purchase, mostly because I have never seen a TM up close, so I am relying on this great forum and brochures.
1- with my dealer 5 hours away, I'm a little nervous about any warranty work or potential issues with the TM. Are there any known issues I should be aware of and make sure I check out before I pull off the lot?
2- Compared to my "pop-up", is the setup and take down of the TM that much faster and easier?
3- I don't know if you can help me with this one, but can you think of any advantage of purchasing the TM this fall compared to next Spring? Do you see the prices of TM change much from Fall to Spring?
thanks and I apologize for the lengthy message.

I just moved from a Coleman PU to a 2720 TM about 2 months ago.

I think that you will be very impressed with the ease of set-up and amount of space that you will have. I do miss the big windows in the PU but I don't miss the flapping of canvas.

When you go to pick-up your new TM, I would recommend finding a campground near-by and spend a night or 2 in your new TM. You really should use everything in the TM.....

Hook up to city water. Water leaking is probably the most common issue in any new camper.

Run the fridge, furnace, AC, water heater and every item in your new TM.

Use your toilet, shower, sinks and holding tank. Fill the holding tank FULL and check for leaks. Dump the holding tank and make sure that everything works and you know how to use it.

Hook it up and tow it around......listen for noises.

Opening and closing will probably be the least concern. Their system is pretty fool proof. It's the interaction of all of the items that are installed in the camper that need to be used and checked closely.

We find our TM so easy to open & close that we often stop on the roadside, set it up to have lunch, close it and go on our merry way. We sure couldn't do that with the PU.....

If you work the bugs out on your 1st trip, I think you will love your new TM. If you don't, you may get frustrated and your experience could vary but I think that would be true with any new camper.

ng2951
09-23-2008, 10:32 AM
1- with my dealer 5 hours away, I'm a little nervous about any warranty work or potential issues with the TM. Are there any known issues I should be aware of and make sure I check out before I pull off the lot?Check everything while you are at the lot. Making sure everything works and how it operates is always a good first step. Some people video tape this activity so they do not forget anything.

Let them set it up for you first. Next try it yourself a couple of times just to be sure it all stuck. Its not that hard and is pretty quick anyway.

Try lighting all the appliaces, especially the fridge and oven. Those aren't difficult, but if you never have done this it may be a little perplexing. One tip is to light the center burner first since that gets the gas very close to the oven and fridge.
2- Compared to my "pop-up", is the setup and take down of the TM that much faster and easier?Probably a lot less cranking. I have a 3326 and the front shell with the AC unit mounted on the roof can be a little heavy to lift. The tip is to lower the front end and then raise the front roof.

Normally, I will set the rear feet on the trailer and leave the fronts retracted until I get the front half up. Then I crank it back to level (on the rear feet) and extend the fron feet. Even on a 3326 that goes pretty fast.

PopBeavers
09-23-2008, 10:51 AM
I had my TM in for warranty work twice:

1) show me how to pop the top of the stove of for cleaning, kink in air vent tube for the water tank, adjust shells and bed as they were crooked.

2) I had a crack in the frame (well documented here) that required welding to repair. Partly caused by design of the swing away hitch. The design has been improved.

Leslie & Nick
09-23-2008, 11:29 AM
F&B -

Good advice by prior posters. Since you are so far from the dealer, it would be great if you could try camping out a night or two nearby. If you have any questions or difficulties maybe someone from the dealership can come by and assist.

While picking up the camper at the dealer, just make sure everything works - refrigerator, furnace, water heater, AC, TV Antenna lift, toilet, etc. If it has an awning make sure dealer shows you how to set it up if you're unsure. Make sure the awning cranking rod is 'present and accounted for'.

To check these things the trailer will have to be set up. Have dealer show you how to set up the trailer, and take it down for travel. Take good notes, and pictures if possible for later reference. Trailer is not particularly hard to set up or take down, but there is a sequence that you'll need to follow or else you wind up doing things twice! Best of luck with the new TM!!:)

Mr. Adventure
09-23-2008, 01:38 PM
3- I don't know if you can help me with this one, but can you think of any advantage of purchasing the TM this fall compared to next Spring? Do you see the prices of TM change much from Fall to Spring?
thanks and I apologize for the lengthy message.

You never know what's just ahead in this world, but the advantage now is a dealer trying to do end of season business and the advantage in the Spring is that dealers often have RV show prices that may include some factory concessions. If I was not going to use it this Fall, I might wait until Spring unless I was getting a deal that impressed me. From what I've seen, it looks like TrailManor has had a pretty good year for both new and resale units.

One more thought, since you asked, is that RV dealers typically want you to go to the office first to sign papers and then out to the lot to do the walk-through. In other words, you've already bought it before you do the detailed examination. If I could arrange it, I'd like to insist on doing it the other way around, so that first we work up the punch list and then we decide about being ready to accept it while there's still some leverage before money changes hands.

It took me a year working with the dealer to get the kinks out of a Winnebago motorhome a few years ago. The TrailManor has never failed me (we're not counting a dumb thing or two on my part).

Keep us in the loop!

lnussbau
09-24-2008, 08:18 AM
There's a lot of good information above. I might add that our dealer, the Car Show in Colorado Springs, spent close to two hours showing us all the ins and outs of operating the TM, set up, take down, where things are, going through the manual, how to start the fridge on propane, and more. Hopefully your dealer will do something similar. And the above suggestion to video tape the demo is an excellent one.

With practice, I've been able to do the basic setup or teardown in under 10 minutes, often close to seven minutes, without hurrying, although that doesn't include raising/lowering the jacks and leveling. Nor does it include any inside housekeeping, such as folding blankets, storing food, pots and pans, etc. If yours is the straight 2720 (no slide out), it'll go slightly quicker.

You don't mention your tow vehicle. Smaller TVs will do better with a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) -- my 2003 Explorer Sport Trac certainly benefited a lot -- while larger ones (such as my F-150 with heavy duty towing package) may not need one. And you'll certainly need the 7-pin electrical plug on your TV, along with a class III/IV hitch. Hopefully, if you don't already have the proper setup on your TV, the dealer will be able to get you set up quickly (talk to them about this before you make the trip).

One other thing -- be sure that they have the TM prepped and ready to go before you go pick it up. We made two (1 1/2 hour) trips to COS, one to look things over then buy it, another a week or so later to pick it up. With a five hour trip I'd certainly have done things a bit differently.

Shandysplace
09-24-2008, 09:11 AM
Very good advice. Do not sign for your TM until the Pre Delivery Inspection is complete and then your walk-through understanding it all. We had no RV experience. Our dealer tried to do the same thing--but understood our concerns. Our walk-through took nearly 4 hours + the time to install our WDH. Our dealer is 2 hours away. With 5 you want to be very sure all is as it should be.

fife&brown
09-24-2008, 09:38 AM
This advice has been great, but everyone keeps mentioning a WDH. I have a sway bar that I used with my PU, but what is a WDH? I will be pulling the standard 2720 with an Acura MDX (aka Honda Pilot). The 2720 is only about 300 lbs. more than the PU, so I was assuming I wouldn't need any additional equipment. Thoughts?
Thanks

camp2canoe
09-24-2008, 01:15 PM
If you are sensible about loading your TM, sway control won't be an issue. Just don't carry your barbell set behind the axle. I personally don't know any TM owner using a sway control system - TMs tow great.

WDH is our shorthand for "weight distributing hitch". There are hundreds of posts concerning same. They aren't expensive but add just a little time to hookup. As you'll note in the posts above, WDH is essential with some tow vehicles and totally unnecessary to others. I was at a TM rally in Indiana last weekend and the owner of a Pilot and a 2720 was using a WDH. A friend who tows with both a Honda Odyssey and a Ford Sport Trac uses a WDH with the Honda but not with the Ford. I tow a 2619 with a full size Ford 4WD Supercab and have no need for a WDH. My suggestion, unless your dealer strongly argues to the contrary, is to try towing without a WDH and then add one if you need it. You don't need to return to your TM dealer - any RV dealer or U-Haul franchise should be able to help you out.

Did you mention whether or not your MDX has a brake controller or not? That is something you will need. - camp2canoe

harveyrv
09-24-2008, 02:05 PM
I tow our 2720 with a little S-10 PU. I have no WDH and no sway bar. The trailer tows like it isn't even there. Only my credit card knows.....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v333/wkavery/8-10-08003.jpg

PopBeavers
09-24-2008, 02:36 PM
I measured the height of my rear bumper on my truck and then measured it again after I connected the TM. Adding the TM caused it to sag 5/8 inch. I found no need to use a WD hitch.

If you have a substantial sag, then that indicates, I think, that a WD hitch might be a good idea.

A better way is to weigh the front and rear axles of the TV before and after connecting the TM. There should not be very much unweighting of the front axle.

The purpose of the WD hitch is to move some weight off of the rear axle of the TV back onto the front axle of the TV. A side effect is that some weight is also shifted to the TM axle.

After adding two motorcycles to my TV, I started having more sag than I was comfortable with, a little over two inches. Since I routinely have my TM loaded to the max, shifting weight onto the TM axle is not a good idea for me. I bought a bigger truck to solve my problem.

I am willing to bet a modest amount of money that almost no one takes more stuff with them than I do.

fife&brown
09-24-2008, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the information. I think I will tow it back without the WDH and see how it goes. And yes, I already have a brake controller.
Thanks.

ShrimpBurrito
09-24-2008, 04:18 PM
The TM tongue weight is about 600 pounds. So get THREE 200-lb guys to stand on your rear bumper and see how far the front of your car is angled up. 700-lb of weight might be more accurate because the weight from the TM tongue will be further back from where the guys will stand on the bumper.

The distance that the fenders move with respect to the wheel should be the same on the front wheels vs. the rear wheels. If it's not close, you need a WDH.

Dave

Mr. Adventure
09-24-2008, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the information. I think I will tow it back without the WDH and see how it goes. And yes, I already have a brake controller.
Thanks.

I think you'll find that a weight distributing hitch is both a requirement in your owner's manual and necessary to keep the weight on your front wheels from being reduced by the tongue weight on the hitch. The point is that the front wheels do all the steering and most of the braking, and these are both important for safety and handling. For me, the test is to measure from the front fender to the pavement before and then after hitching. If it rises, I need a WDH.

Scott O
09-25-2008, 09:13 AM
You have received excellent advise above. All reples are 'spot on'. I would add two things. Except for the cranking, set-up on the TM is about as easy as on a pop-up. I do find the take down to be much easier - no constant tucking in canvas! Also and probably most important, get your tires balanced immediately and keep a close eye on the tire pressure. When considering a WDH, don't just look at the rear sag. What the front end is doing is probably more important, since that controls steering and quite a bit of your braking power. If you error, best to make it on the side of caution.

harveyrv
09-25-2008, 10:29 AM
The biggest difference that I enjoy (from my old PU) is not having to squat under the bed platforms and push them up with my back to put the bed-support-poles in the bumper. I just simply couldn't do it any more.

Putting the TM roofs up & down is nothing compared to cranking up that top (with an AC on it).

No more messing with canvas support braces, lowering that door into place and messing with the lift-up galley sink.

I suppose if you are in your 30's or 40's, these aren't issues but when you get into your 60's they become a bit of a pain.

The thing that I really love is that after having to get out of the CG before noon, we don't have to stop at a fast food place on the way home :). We just find a nice spot, pull off the road, set-up (without unhitching) and enjoy a meal from our own home. It saves $, saves time and we get a beautiful view in the package. We're only 5 minutes away from being a TT at any given moment.

Beak12
09-25-2008, 10:37 AM
We're only 5 minutes away from being a TT at any given moment.

And a TT is????

harveyrv
09-25-2008, 10:45 AM
We're only 5 minutes away from being a TT at any given moment.

And a TT is????

Sorry.....TT="Travel Trailer" ;)

Goodyear Travels
09-25-2008, 10:27 PM
Don't have time to read everyone's advice -- so I don't know if this suggestion has already been shared. A number of us have had a problem with leaks from the top of the gray water tank. I don't believe that anyone discovered the problem in the "check out" of their unit ---since no one fills the gray water tank in the dealer's lot. Well, if I were buying another unit --- I wouldn't leave the site without topping the gray water tank. That's the only way you can discover the leak. I had to drive nearly 400 miles (round trip) and leave our trailer for 3 weeks at the dealership because I didn't fill the gray water tank. I should have filled it with 30+ gallons from the dealer's hose then released the water in a landscaped area.

Good Luck to you. Just know, you're still going to miss something, we all do. We have an 07 2720sl.

djkeltn
09-27-2008, 02:20 PM
Since you are 5 hours away from your dealership, I wanted to mention this to you. When we purchased our new TM this year the company rep was at the dealer and showed us a lot about our new TM. He also mentioned that repairs under warranty could often be done at a local TT repair place, even if they do not sell TMs.

If something significant shows up, Id call the TM Company and see if they would authorize a TM repair at a center closer to where you live. Worth a try

penny48656
09-29-2008, 07:50 AM
We became owners this May. Spent many weeks camping and towing around MI and OH. Love it. I don't need to spend a lot of time cleaning and my hubby loves the tow. Our dealership is absolutely wonderful. They spent several hours with us the day we picked it up. Even test drove our vehicle after hooking up the TM. We have a 3124KB. I'm amazed at the storage. We did add shelves to the wardrobe. We were even able to find the formica that matched our counter tops to cover the shelving. We plan to go away in it this winter for about 3 months. That'll be the true test. Also thinking Alaska next June. We are purchasing the screen door. Too many flies get in and I don't like keeping it closed. Good luck. I'm sure you'll be very happy.