View Full Version : What to look for in a used TM

Nature Recorder
07-03-2009, 01:20 PM
Here is the first pass at a checklist for evaluating a used TM. I know it is not complete. I tried to glean as much out of the many posts as I could and am sure I missed something.

Feel free through comments to add as you see fit. I will edit as these adds become available.

My goal is to provide all with something a new buyer can take with them on their next inspection of a used TM before they buy one. When we think the list is complete, I will post a document that may be stickied to this section for all to use.

What to look for in a used TM
You want to be as thorough in your examination with a TM as you would for any used vehicle.

Some major milestones in the TM build history (note there is no specific timeframe for changes. The year references infer sometime during that year the list change took place).

2000-2002?; design moved away from wood framing to aluminum tubing framing. This, in part, is due to the older TMs having the framing rot away with exposure to the elements.
If the TM your are looking into was manufactured at or before this timeframe, inspect all the framing at the edges for softness or give. These could be signs of the wood framing may be rotting away.

2002?; moved from side mounted AC to ceiling mounted AC.

2008?; moved to factory installed lift kit and 15" tires. 


This list is intended as a guideline for the purchase of a used TM. None of these are intended to make or break a deal. They are provided for information to the potential buyer as to what might be additional costs, in the way of repairs/replacements, with regards to the purchase.


o If possible check out your potential TrailManor trailer in both the folded and opened positions. Look at the seams and seals closing tight at both positions. Check out the locking/latching mechanisms in the closed position.
o Do the tires look old and cracked or recently replaced?
o Does the hitch look solid or does it show wear through from the receiver ball?
o Does the rear bumper look OK? (Dents may mean possible body/frame damage)
o Does the hitch look straight? (if bent or off center, could be a sign of body/frame damage)
o does the plumbing look to be intact under the trailer? Grey water (sink, shower water) valve close and open freely? Black water (toilet) valve close and open freely?
o Gravity drains have valves and open/close freely.
o does the exposed portions of the under-frame look straight? Excessive rust for its age? Any wrinkles or dents?
o Do the outside storage compartments lock/unlock/ open properly?
o Are the compartments clean for the age of the trailer?
o Are you close to the expiration date on the propane tanks? May need new/re-certified tanks before you can get them filled in the near future.
o How old is the battery and what shape is it in? Will it need replacing soon? Are the terminals clean?
o Does the awning, if equipped, open and close as it should?
o Do the stabilizing jacks adjust easily? Do they all appear to operate the same (one not tighter or freer then the others)? Do they rise and lower straight or at an angle?
o How many years on the brakes? when was the last time they were changed?


As in buying a house/renting an apartment, when doing your walk-thru, look at the wear and tear on the interior. Check what options you can with both shore power and battery power.

o Does the door open and close as it should? Do the locks work? Does it latch without having to tweak it?
o Do the appliances work?
o Do all the lights work?
o Do they have all the documents for the trailer? appliance manuals, trailer manuals and such.
o Are the fabrics on the couch, chair, window curtains, beds worn or well kept?
o Does it smell clean? Not talking about, 'had it just been cleaned'. Is there odor from pets, tobacco smoke, smoke/fire damage, mildew, toilet odor, etc.
o Do the corners look clean? Do they show signs of mold/mildew?
o Is the fridge clean?
o is the stove/oven/microwave clean?
o Do windows open and close freely? Sticky or tight windows could be a sign of possible body damage, shifting, tweaking.
o Do curtains open/close as they should?
o Do the ceiling vents open and close smoothly.
o Do the vent fans, if equipped, work?
o Do all the doors, closet, cupboards, bathroom and main entry, open and shut properly?
o Do the Velcro closures on the flaps seal completely or are there areas where they do not?
o If possible, test the toilet flush. There should be sufficient flow around the bowl during the flush cycle.

07-04-2009, 05:24 AM
2004?; moved from side mounted AC to ceiling mounted AC.

My 2003 had the low profile AC mounted on top of the front shell. There was also a short time period (2002?) where the AC was mounted on the rear shell on some models.

Nature Recorder
07-04-2009, 09:34 AM
This is great feedback. The dates posted were what I found through other posts in the forum. The question marks after the dates are there in hope of further confirmation/corrections.

If any have additional points that should be added please bring them up here with a post :p

If anyone has additional information as to dates of major transitions please post so they can be added. :)

07-05-2009, 06:33 PM
Just FWIW - as noted here
my early-build 2002 2720SL had the air conditioner mounted on the roof of the front shell. A surprise both to me and to the dealer, as I recall. I think the transition of the A/C from the cabinet to the roof happened rather slowly.