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View Full Version : Moving up from a pop-up


jx4dupay
10-03-2008, 11:46 PM
We are moving from a Starcraft pop-up to something new. The TM looks interesting, but I am concerned about reliability. I have seen a number of comments about leaks and water heater issues. Sounds like the lift mechanism has a lifetime warranty, so it must be pretty reliable. What about other things that usually break. I am sure things break and need to be fixed, but I am wondering how often and how big the issues are on this product. They are pretty expensive compared to smaller TTs so is it worth the extra expense?

harveyrv
10-04-2008, 01:44 AM
They seem to have a lot fewer issues than most trailers....especially PUs. We moved up to a TM this year and we are thrilled with it. The only thing that we miss is the great big windows in our Coleman Tacoma PU. We love the recirculating toilet, shower and 30G holding tank. The fridge is far superior to our Coleman fridge. Set-up time is about half of what our Coleman PU was ad a heck of a lot less strenuous.. I also love the fact that we can pull off the road, pop-up, have lunch in our trailer then go on our merry way. Couldn't do that with our Coleman PU.

Value is relevant to the owner. Mine is a great value to me because I can store it in my garage. That cuts down on wear & tear and storage cost. They tow real well and have about the same wind resistance as a PU (In fact....they are a PU:p).

Water heaters, furnaces fridges etc are the same as you will find in most RVs and subject to the same issues.

The lift system is a lot easier to use and a lot more reliable than a canvas PU.

Scott O
10-04-2008, 01:51 AM
Having moved from a Starcraft to a Trailmanor last year, I agree completely with Carolyn and Wayne. We have had no issues with anything on our TM and would make the change again in a heartbeat.

PopBeavers
10-04-2008, 06:17 AM
Anything that I can not park in the garage will cost about $100 per month to park across town in a gravel field. March 2005 I have saved about $4200 in storage fees.

The TM 2720 is the largest hard sided folding trailer we could find.

We had a couple of minor warranty issues the first year. I have no complaints.

If you happen to be near Petaluma, California, there will be about 32 TMs at a local rally in 2 weeks, so stop by.

Rich_in_Tampa
10-04-2008, 09:12 AM
A few odds and ends are the only issues we have had with our 2008 3124KS. We're selling it but only because we are liked the lifestyle so much that we are looking to upgrade it to a Class A.

If you are thinking about a TM, I would not let reliability be an issue. I believe they are very sturdy.

Joseph
10-05-2008, 06:57 AM
Hello jx4dupay,

I too moved up from a Coleman Santa Fe pop-up. To be honest there are times that I miss the rough and tumble that my old pop-up seemed to take on with ease.;) But then I truly did not like taking it down in the rain either! I would say it depends on what you are going to do with your TM. If you are on the east coast and staying in mostly developed areas I would take the TM hands down over the PU. During time spent in Santa Fe NM I pulled the PU behind a 4X4 into the National Forests surrounding same. Something I have only done once with the TM. TM’s IMHO do not take to the rough two track off road camping that the PU literally bounced over. :eek: I have pulled it slowly over smooth gravel roads in National Forests with no problem. As far as problems with the TM, most of mine have been, ahem, self induced.:o No problems with any major systems. Everything still works as advertised after almost two complete years of ownership that includes 43 nights out and 8100 miles of travel. Most of it interstate but not all! As someone on this forum used to say quite a lot, “ TM’s aren’t for everyone…” but mine works for me.

ng2951
10-05-2008, 11:10 AM
First off since you have already lived in the PU world you already are probably well adjusted to the fact that you cannot have cabinets from ceilng to floor. That is one of the biggest down sides to owning a TM (or HiLo).

The other downside of a TM is the lack of a slide out like you have on conventional TT. Really a TM is nothing more than a slideout that extends forwards and back, instead of left and right. Still until you get to the really big 5th wheels, you just don't get that much room in any TT.

The only bad thing that I have encountered when setting up the TM is if you are setting up at night. I wish I had night vision googles. When you turn on the lights setting up, the varmits zero in the lights. Its not a huge deal but it has been a pesky one. If you set up in the daytime, its no problem.

We have TM 3326 (the biggest TM) and we tow it behind our V6 Tacoma. No problems unless you are going up some steep grades. Even at max load we are still below our truck's maximum rating. You would be hard pressed to do that with the bigger Hi-Los.

Of the TM models, once you hit the 3023 and up range, those TMs are really nice. The have larger storage bays than the 2000 series and are large enough to store 3,000 watt super quiets (Hondas & Yamahas) in the rear bay. People who have the 2000 series sometimes stash a pair of Honda 2000s in their TMs. That is great option for anyone with a TT. If you do not need AC most TT can get by just fine on a single Honda 2000.

While I love our 3326, I really think the 3124 is the best all around deal. Whether you get the living room option or stick with the forward queen bed they are nice.

As far as leaks go, we have had only minor problems. I believe historically TMs have had leakage problems near the awning. Frankly if you level the trailer its pretty hard to have a roof leak due to the design. The roof leak I fixed earlier this year near the roof clamp probably had more to do with with an undetected (until recently) broken shell stirrup screw.

What has amazed me about the roof system, is just how few TMs have had problems. I looked at few older TMs and even the one that was stored outside did not have evidence of leaks. This is what swung me away from Hi-Lo because I thought Hi-Lo one piece roof would offer fewer problems. With no evidence of leaks, a lift system that required no electricity, and a lighter trailer, the scales tipped rapidly towards TM.

The other nice thing about the TM is the equipment used. For example the hot water tank is both gas and electric. If you are staying at a park with services, you can run it on both systems and get super recovery time. Or if you want to save propane, just run it on electricity.

Of course, moving from the PU world, the bathroom must look like it came from the Ritz. It fascinates engineer types with its ingenuity of its design. The Theford toilet is an either "you love it or not" affair judging from this forum. I am in between those groups, and while I would say that I do not love it, but it does the job just fine, especially as you gain experience setting it up. If you are in area where water is scarce (like it was at End of the Trail in NM), it works really great.

One of the options in the 3124 (and maybe 3023, and some of the 2000 series) is a 40 gallon water tank. There are a number of people in this forum that really like that option.

The other nice thing about TMs is just how many of them have real ovens! We just got rid of the microwave we bought for the trailer because we just were not using it. I can get pretty elaborate in our cooking since I have an oven.

The fridge is another issue. I have never been able to get it to work right on 12 volts while mobile. I think I understand the problem (a problem for longer trailers with the power system in the rear of the trailer), but I have not figure an elegant solution. The only reasonable solution MAY be to install an inverter and running 120 back from the TV to fridge. A DC to DC converter might do the job, but finding one has been the trick.

Once you get to queen bed sizes, you do not have to crawl over each other to get out of bed in the middle of the night. Maybe you can do that with the double beds, I just haven't tried it. Our 3326 has the king bed which is tons of room and our two dogs just stake out their corners. Actually, I think the dogs love the TM because there is room for both of them in bed. Lady I think wishes I would sleep somewhere else because she has my side of the bed to herself until I crawl in!

We use our TM to go to Cowboy Action Shooting. I guess we haven't learned enough yet because we haven't filled all the drawers in the trailer yet. We can stow all the toys, costumes (period wear), everything my wife wants to drag along, the generator (if we need it) and still have room in the truck for the two dogs in the back seat. True, the dogs have less clothing needs than two kids do, but we have a kennel in the TM for the dogs...that might be a good idea for TM owners with kids...

Bill
10-05-2008, 11:34 AM
SS&FCN -

That's a nice summary. Just one quick comment about this issueThe only bad thing that I have encountered when setting up the TM is if you are setting up at night. I wish I had night vision googles. When you turn on the lights setting up, the varmits zero in the lights. Its not a huge deal but it has been a pesky one.In about 2004, TM added a street-side outside light, to help with nighttime utility hookups. I'm sure you have one in your 2006. This was a wonderful addition, since it eliminates holding a flashlight in your mouth while you hookup the water hose, etc. A yellow bulb in this fixture, along with yellow bulbs in the curb-side lights, greatly reduces the accumulation of bugs.

Bill

B_and_D
10-05-2008, 12:04 PM
.
Once you get to queen bed sizes, you do not have to crawl over each other to get out of bed in the middle of the night.

This might work for some of us, but it's even a little too short for me at 5' 6" to sleep sideways in that queensized bed. Definitely way too short for DH :)!

Al-n-Sue
10-05-2008, 09:11 PM
One thing to add that was a big issue for us - hard sides keep out bears! In Colorado virtually all the state parks and forest service parks require food to be kept in a hard sided vehicle. I'm sure that applies to northern NM, western Wyoming and Montana and other mountain states as well. That means tenters and pop-up users have to ferry food back to the car or truck each night! TM qualifies as hard sided at these places and eliminates the nightly ferry-dance. Now we can plan that trip to Yellowstone and stay with the big boys.

Bill
10-06-2008, 07:10 AM
Al -

In Yellowstone's Fishing Bridge, and some campgrounds in Yosemite/King's Canyon at least, the situation is stricter than that. Carrying food to the car, or to the bear boxes, is not enough. You simply are not allowed to stay in the campground if you have a canvas-sided trailer. I don't know how many other campgrounds are like that, but yes, the hardside nature of the TM is a real nice thing.

Bill

larsdennert
10-18-2008, 01:58 AM
I have taken ours off pavement a few times. The two inch lift and bigger tires have really helped keep things from getting ripped off. Newer models have a different axle with more lift. I like the flooring in the new ones and recently tore out the 5 year old carpet. I feel like I have a new TM now!
http://67.122.16.97/lars/albums/album22/DSC00266.sized.jpg
We checked out the HiLo's in detail at the Pomona, CA show recently. I had really considered one when I was looking to buy. Now that I've seen them up close, I'm really disappointed in them. I think the HiLo is poorly engineered. You have to open both door halves all the time instead of together. The interior doors are more like cabinet doors with little thought on how they are supposed to close and are latched with a snap and cloth. etc.
On the other hand the TM is not nearly as nice inside as an Airstream. I am, however, very happy with the TM.

I hope you find a trailer that fits you.

(Our 2003 has the street side light too in case someone is keeping track.)