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View Full Version : About to make a purchase, advice needed


chopslot
07-26-2009, 10:04 AM
I would like to come out of the lurker shadows and thank you all for your passion and insights! I have followed this forum for a while now and have read and re-read several of your posts and have gained a great deal of knowledge/excitemt for trailmanor
I would sure appreciate any opinions/insights/reality-checks from you all regarding a potetial purchase I am about to make:

1. I just put a $500 deposit down on a 2005 3124kb $12,800
2. I have printed off the pre-purchase checklist (from this forum) and will spend a day doing the once over. By the way this was an EXCELLENT resource!
3. I plan to tow this with a 2008 v-6 toyota 4runner. I am an avid backpacker so I am familiar with light weight products/accessories to stock the trailer with and still keep the weight to a minimum. My load capacity per toyota is 5,0000 lbs, so I should be close with the dry weight of 3,090.

My questions are
1. How good of a deal is $12,800 for the 2005 3124 kb, assuming it is in excellent condition?
2. Am I ok from a tow/weight perspective witht the 4runnner?
3 Should I use sway bars, or something to this effect?
4. I will be traveling to a different state to make this purchase. Any advice on how I should go about getting a loan in one state and making the purchase in another. note: the $500. deposit is contingent that the trailer is in excellent condition. I haven't actually seen the trailer yet, just photos. I won't know if I will actually purchase the trailer until I see/inspect it. Because of the distance I will be traveling, I would like to purchase and bring home the trailer in a single trip if it all checks out. I have excellent credit, so I'm not concerned with qualifying, it's just the logistics that have me confused. I'm sure after speaking with the credit union tomorrow morning I will have an answer.
5. Any advice regarding out of state purchases?
6. Any thing else I should consider, might be overlooking?
Thanks in advance for your response

ng2951
07-26-2009, 11:46 AM
1. How good of a deal is $12,800 for the 2005 3124 kb, assuming it is in excellent condition?Depends on the equipment and shape. It seems like a fair to just above fair price.2. Am I ok from a tow/weight perspective witht the 4runnner?I think you are in the ballpark. One of the main things you want is a transmission cooler. I think if your vehicle has tow rating of 5k# it probably lacks a cooler. That can be added.3 Should I use sway bars, or something to this effect?Yes and WDH would be a good idea too.4. I will be traveling to a different state to make this purchase. Any advice on how I should go about getting a loan in one state and making the purchase in another. note: the $500. deposit is contingent that the trailer is in excellent condition. I haven't actually seen the trailer yet, just photos. I won't know if I will actually purchase the trailer until I see/inspect it. Because of the distance I will be traveling, I would like to purchase and bring home the trailer in a single trip if it all checks out. I have excellent credit, so I'm not concerned with qualifying, it's just the logistics that have me confused. I'm sure after speaking with the credit union tomorrow morning I will have an answer.Some RV dealers will do all of that for you, especially if the seller is buy another RV from them. For what it costs, and the fact that they know all the laws it is probably well worthwhile. For us, it did not cost anything (the seller was buying a very expensive trailer from the dealership, so everyone was happy) and the dealer knew all the "Ts" to cross and which "Is" to dot.5. Any advice regarding out of state purchases?See my response to 46. Any thing else I should consider, might be overlooking?I would join this forum for at least a year. It was certainly very valuable to me for the first year. I would also go over to RV Net (http://www.rv.net). I don't think there as good as this board, but they are useful.

I would also do a driveway camp for my first excursion. That is always helpful.

While you are driveway camping figure out what you are going to stow where, while you towing and when setup. One of the quickest ways to sour on TM is developing a stowing plan. You especially should stay displined about where you put things when you are camping: it keeps the aisles clear and the trailer looking uncluttered.

If you have not had much experience backing up, go to a Walmart and set up some cones. I make sure if anyone is guiding me in, they tell me "curbside" or "driver's side" instead of left or right.

Watch the gas pumps. The previous owner put a small crease in the trailer getting too close to one.

Hope this helps...

chopslot
07-26-2009, 12:03 PM
Thanks NG.
"Just above fair" meaning in the direction of buyer or seller? The 3124kb's that i have seen advertised are considerably more expensive, particularly if they are only 2-3 years older.
Was there any significant upgrades in the 2006-2008 models to justify the significant price difference?
Are you suggesting that I join the forum for a year to better familiarize myself, prior to making a purchase?

harveyrv
07-26-2009, 01:28 PM
IMHO....that price is somewhat low but in the ballpark. I would have expected to see it advertised at $15K and sell for around $13.5K. The important thing is that you are happy with the price....not others.

Sway control is not necessarily needed on the TM (depending on the TV) because the wheels are set back far enough and they tend to have adequate tongue weight. However, you won't know until you actually tow the trailer at highway speeds. You will know within the first 100 miles if you need one. If you find that the trailer starts swaying at 65...... slow to 55, then install a sway control at your earliest convenience. They aren't real expensive and fairly easy to install (especially on a WDH). I have one but I've never used it.

The 4Runner has a fairly short (110") wheel base which may be an issue (with swaying) but you won't know until you try it.

I think that you may find a need for a WDH. The short wheel base and trailer to TV weight ratio may be an issue with front wheel braking and control on the 4Runner.

One other tip....pack the trailer for camping and get it weighed so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. My loaded 2720 weighs 4100#. I'm thinking a 3124 must weigh somewhat more. Not only in the trailer itself but the mere fact that you have so much more room, I would think that one would tend to carry more "Stuff".

Your comment, "My load capacity per Toyota is 5,0000 lbs" may be a little inaccurate. I think that you may have meant that your Tow Capacity is #5000. That may mean that the 4Runner can tow a maximum of 5,000# with an empty tow vehicle (no passengers, cargo and little fuel).

The number that you really need to have is your GCWR (Gross COMBINED Weight Rating). This will tell you the total weight that the 4Runner is able to handle including loaded trailer, passengers, cargo and fuel. I seem to remember that the 4Runner has some pretty decent numbers but you should really find the actual #s for your car.

chopslot
07-26-2009, 03:28 PM
Thanks Harvey...I have always loved the photo on your avatar. I'm a little confused regarding the GCWR figures. I determined that my curb weight on the 4runner is 4320 lbs. Does that mean I only have 680 lbs remaining for 4 passengers, gear, and trailer? if that's case I couldn't technically pull any version of the TM...sorry for the newbness of the question....I am doing web searches and not just being lazy.

harveyrv
07-26-2009, 04:06 PM
Thanks Harvey...I have always loved the photo on your avatar. I'm a little confused regarding the GCWR figures. I determined that my curb weight on the 4runner is 4320 lbs. Does that mean I only have 680 lbs remaining for 4 passengers, gear, and trailer? ***NO*** if that's case I couldn't technically pull any version of the TM...sorry for the newbness of the question....I am doing web searches and not just being lazy.

What is your GCWR???? I seem to remember the 4Runner being around 9,000# but I could be wrong and it's not safe to assume that your GCWR is the same as any similar vehicle. You should find out what YOUR vehicle is rated at.

If the curb weight on your 4Runner is 4320 and the trailer is.....say 4400# loaded, you would need a GCWR of 8720# plus passengers and cargo in the 4Runner. If there are just 2 of you and you weigh in at around ~300# and another ~300# for cargo and fuel you could get away with a GCWR of ~9500#. It's nice to have a cushion too but a 10% cushion is going to put you over 10,000#.

The 5000# tow rating means nothing without knowing what the GCWR is. I have seen vehicles that have a 5000# tow rating and the GCWR is only 5000# more than the curb weight of the vehicle. That would mean that the vehicle can tow a MAXIMUM 5000# trailer with no driver, no cargo and no fuel. That's why I say that tow ratings (or any other ratings) mean little of and by themselves. You have to look at all of the maximum ratings and be sure that you don't exceed any of them.

It is common for manufacturers to rate the maximum tow rating and state that you must subtract all weight in the vehicle from that rating. in other-words, if some vehicles have a MAX tow rating of 5000# and have 1000# worth of passengers, cargo and fuel, that changes to tow rating to 4000#. Although that does not pertain to all vehicles.

Al-n-Sue
07-26-2009, 04:14 PM
Just for reference (and don't let this deter you from looking at the numbers for your vehicle) we have friends that tow a 2000 3124kb with a v6 4Runner. We also have friends who tow a 2003 3023 with a v8 4Runner. The v8 is plenty adequate. The v6 does ok, but he won't win any races! I don't know configurations (tow package, tranny cooler, etc), but you can see that it can possibly be done. They both use a WDH, as do I.

For additional reference, my Durango has a GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) of 10,500 lbs. (Tow capacity is listed as 5650). I weighed my trailer and TV and found the combination to be about 9400 lbs (I can't seem to find my notes now). The trailer weighed 4240 lbs pretty much as we tow it. So don't be deceived by the dry weight. So I can add about 1000-1100 lbs (10,500-9400=1100) of people and stuff and be within specs. But that is pushing it a bit I suspect.

You don't mention where you are, so another consideration is towing on flatlands or mountains. Here in Colorado I'd say my arrangement is barely adequate for towing in the mountains. We'll test it again this weekend as we tow over Berthod Pass (11,315 ft) from Monument (~7300 ft). If you are in the Florida or other fairly flat areas, you are probably ok.

BTW, I think your price is excellent! I paid $4k more for my 2003 last year!

Good luck.

chopslot
07-26-2009, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the patience everyone (i'm learning). The 4runner is gone at the moment. I will check the tag inside the door for the GCWR. I am seeing in the owners manual the following statement "If towing a trailer and cargo weighing over 2000 lbs toyota rec. using a weight distributing hitch. If towing a trailer and cargo weighing over 2,000 lbs it is necessary to use a sway control device with sufficient capacity. The combination of the gross trailer weight added to the total weight of the vehicle, occupants and vehicle cargo must never exceed a total of the following:
4.0 L v6 engine (9600 lb.).
Exceeding the maximum weight of the trailer, the vehicle, or the vehicle and trailer combination, can cause an accident resulting in serious personal injuries."

As I live in Utah, I will likely not win any land speed records with this, but it does appear that it should suffice...as curb weight 4320 lbs plus trailer weight 3,090 lbs= 7410 lbs. seems that I should subtract 10% 960 lbs from the 9600 lb capacity, leaving me with 1,240 lbs for passengers and cargo, which seems duable. I just hope I am not trying to force a square peg into the proverbial circle to make this work.
Thanks again for your comments and patience as I sort this. I am graterful for your feedback, passion, and wisdom

harveyrv
07-26-2009, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the patience everyone (i'm learning). The 4runner is gone at the moment. I will check the tag inside the door for the GCWR. I am seeing in the owners manual the following statement "If towing a trailer and cargo weighing over 2000 lbs toyota rec. using a weight distributing hitch. If towing a trailer and cargo weighing over 2,000 lbs it is necessary to use a sway control device with sufficient capacity. The combination of the gross trailer weight added to the total weight of the vehicle, occupants and vehicle cargo must never exceed a total of the following:
4.0 L v6 engine (9600 lb.).
Exceeding the maximum weight of the trailer, the vehicle, or the vehicle and trailer combination, can cause an accident resulting in serious personal injuries."

As I live in Utah, I will likely not win any land speed records with this, but it does appear that it should suffice...as curb weight 4320 lbs plus trailer weight 3,090 lbs= 7410 lbs. seems that I should subtract 10% 960 lbs from the 9600 lb capacity, leaving me with 1,240 lbs for passengers and cargo, which seems duable. I just hope I am not trying to force a square peg into the proverbial circle to make this work.
Thanks again for your comments and patience as I sort this. I am graterful for your feedback, passion, and wisdom

BINGO!!!!!! You found it.

Your magic # is......................drum roll please..............................9600# (GCWR).

looks like you may be in the ball park but will need to go to the scales during one of your camping trips (fully loaded) just so you have all the facts and no what you are dealing with. I can almost assure you that your trailer will be over 4000#.......:)....the "Dry Weight" on the trailer does not include, AC, cabinets, furniture, accessories, propane tanks, batteries, cargo etc.

chopslot
07-26-2009, 06:09 PM
9,600 lbs, Most wonderful!! Good points about the AC, Awning, Cabinets, Propane Tanks, Batteries etc!....but it's going to be close. It will be a significant drive to see/inspect and drive, but in the spirit of adventure, I'm going for it. I'm thinking that I will load up with the type of gear, I would plan to bring with along, in order to drive and assess with an aproximate load. One thing going in my favor is that most of my gear has been chosen amongst other things from a weight perspective. I was planing to go to a weigh station to check overall weight. Our family owned a TT when the kids where little, ****ed over to backpacking as they got older...and now with a baby granddaughter (our first) we decided to go back to the days of car/TT camping. I am really intrigued by the TM and hope that the 3124kb will prove to be a good fit for this next chapter in our families life. In order to fit everyone we will likely bring our Honda CRV along for additional passenger room and cargo when we bring everyone. Over the past few years we have always gone on summer trips typically the Oregon Coast, Olympic Peninnsula, Montana, BC. We have typically rented a vacation place, and now with this purchase we will be approaching these same areas from whole new perspective i.e. hopefully National Forest (free camping), and quiet state parks. We will bring along light weight backpacking equipment and a North Pole Party 30' party tent for outside time. Blah, blah, blah,
Many of you have helped inspire my wanderlust
thanks

harveyrv
07-26-2009, 07:14 PM
When you pick up the trailer be very careful about your first impression with towing it. I think that you may find that it "Pulls" quite easily (except up-hill). However, "Pulling" the trailer is only part of the towing experience and it must be noted that it is the easiest part.

Watch your speed going down-hill. You will find that the trailer pushing you down the hill may be one of your biggest challenges. It's best to go slow until you know what your TV will handle. If you have to use the brakes too much, they can over-heat and you could experience brake fade. Brake fade is something that you may want to study-up on if you do mountain driving. Often times, there is no 2nd chance with brake fade. It's the scariest part of towing.

chopslot
07-27-2009, 02:55 PM
Good points regarding braking. I have scheduled an apointment with the Toyota dealer for tomorrow to install a brake box, check for/install trans cooler and engine oil cooler...hopefully won't cost too too much. One added bonus is that because I am purchasing this in Montana there is no State Sales Tax, so an unexpected savings on top of what I think will be a great deal. We are expecting the grandaughter now any day. As soon as she is born (ok maybe a day or so later) I will drive up and pick it up. I will likely take my two boys along and we will take it out on the inaugural trip. I will update here in the forum in terms of how things work out. Everything is contingent now on the trailer being in excellent condition as the seller states it is. I went and looked at the 2027 model at a nearby dealer in SLC. The salesman told me that they were going to discontinue selling the Trailmanor. His reasoning being that they "are too expensive comparitively speaking and too many moving parts." He freely admitted that he wasn't the biggest fan, however, another salesman (who wasn't there that day) absolutely loved them. I informed him that I was planning to purchase one pre-owned and told him the price we were paying, interestingly he significantly altered his assessment. His feeling was that Trailmanor was an excellent choice/product ( i.e. the weight, design, etc) IF you could find one pre-owned at a decreased price. He also went on to say that TM's meeting this description were extremely difficult to find. I looked at the 5th wheel trailers on the showroom in a similar price range and have to agree that a Trailmanor would be a difficult sell for the salesman to the average person walking off the street not really knowing what they were looking for. I could see many people taken by the width, appearance of the bedroom, etc, and be taken by the 5th wheel. However, based on our needs, this was the better aproach considering (1) The 3124 should provide plenty of room for what our needs are. (2) We can tow it with our 4Runner. 3) We already have a lot of light weight car camping equipment i.e. xtra long rei roll-up table, Black Diamond LED lanterns, Backpacking stoves/ fuel cannisters, Propane Heater, tarps, down sleeping bags, etc (4) Less depreciation, better resale.
We have always tried to be frugal, so it's somewhat different for us to be do something along this scale. Hopefully with our research and the wonderful feedback from others that we have recieved along the way, and a little luck, we will have found a wonderful value to resources spent.

sail_ski
07-28-2009, 08:25 AM
5. Any advice regarding out of state purchases?

Yes bought mine out of state. I stayed overnight @ dealers site to check out.
if you can't stay on site make arrangements @ a campsite nearby so if any problems show up you can take back to dealer pronto with out having to put on many miles. Leave yourself extra time off for any issues that may occur. Make sure to check refrig. in all modes. Gas, Elect, & 120V ac. I had problem with gas operation of Refrig on my 2005 2720SL.

Have fun & enjoy

Bob:)

chopslot
08-01-2009, 11:03 PM
Just returned yesterday from Helena (13 hours round trip drive in 24 hours). I made several copies from various threads from this forum, which I used to direct the inspection. Everything checked out wonderfuly, the trailer was in excellent condition, just as the dealer indicated. So we went ahead and did it! The WDH (1,000 lbs) worked excellent, no sway what so ever...didn't take long to get used to the brake box. My only concern was how it would tow..up hills and most importantly down them, with my V-6. I was very impressed with how the 4runner performed...no complaints. I now wish I would have gone with the v8, but I can definately live with this. I stopped at the weigh station and we came in at 8,740 lbs (three passengers, limited cargo). I used the inventory/item lists from this forum and went to walmart today and picked up nearly all the essentials..due to the feedback of another poster, I purchased a #2 square head driver and checked/tightened all the screws both inside and out that I was able to access. I don't think that I will go with the car stereo option, and instead use some nice portable speakers that I already have (save the money)that run on AA or 9 v ac. I turned the AC on at 5:00 pm (the trailer is south facing, quite warm today) and within 5-10 minutes things were cool. I am going to buy an amber bulb and replace my porch bulb with it. I have some minor maintenance tomorrow I noticed that one of the edges of wood on the inside of a cabinet appears to be chiping away and I am going to somehow glue it in place. The only other item of concern was a 1.5 inch cut in the vinyl flooring near where the vinyl meets the carpet (about an inch from where the metal strip holding the carpet in place is). Fortunately the cut is clean and there was no tearing. I stopped by a flooring center and purchased some liquid seam sealer. This evening I applied the sealer and tried to hold the vinyl in place with a butter knife untill it started setting up. I will let it sit for 24 hours, and hopefully everything works.
I purchased some levelers as was suggested. Seems like the levelers would prevent the wheel chocks from a flush fit. I'm not currently using the levelers as the TM is in the driveway. I am considering having another fantastic fan installed in the Bathroom, has anyone done this? Should be a fairly simple procedure by a qualified person...no? My two sons and I are planning on leaving for a trip in about a week. Were excited.

mjlaupp
08-01-2009, 11:16 PM
I am considering having another fantastic fan installed in the Bathroom, has anyone done this? Should be a fairly simple procedure by a qualified person...no?
The Fantastic Fan will not work (fit) in the bathroom roof. There is no room for a vent between the front and rear top shells when the TM is closed.
Mike

PopBeavers
08-01-2009, 11:58 PM
My vinyl flooring has had a spot abut 3 inches long in the kitchen at home that I have had to repair several times. What I did was:

1. clean out any gunk in the split as best as I could.
2. insert some vinyl flooring adhesive, as best as I could.
3. Press it down to squirt out excess adhesive and wipe it up.
4. cover with a single sheet of wax paper.
5. place my steel carpenter's square over the top of the seem on top of the wax paper.
6. pile a bunch of heavy stuff on top.
7. wait 24 hours, just for good measure.
8. peel off the wax paper, some of it might stick, but it is pretty easy to remove.
9. apply seam sealer.

So far, the vinyl flooring in my stick house has held up well. Perhaps even above average. We bought the house new in 1986 and all flooring in the house is original. 23 years is pretty good, I think.

larsdennert
08-02-2009, 02:03 AM
The Fantastic Fan will not work (fit) in the bathroom roof. There is no room for a vent between the front and rear top shells when the TM is closed.
Mike

Yea don't do any mods until you are really familiar with the trailer. It has a lot of sneaky (thought out) engineering that is easy to confound yourself with. Besides there's already a fan in the bathroom.

BTW your 4Runner has a tranny cooler but you can add a second if you choose. Avoid leaving the tranny in overdrive which is 5th gear on yours I believe unless they've put the 6 speed with the V6 now.

Enjoy! We will be in Utah next week with our rig. Pray for cooler weather.

Bill & Lisa
08-07-2009, 10:37 AM
Congratulations on your new baby (grandbaby and tm!). If you got Lynx Levelers they also make chocks that fit onto the leveler blocks.

Here is one link I found on the internet

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/ItemBrowse/c-10101/s-10101/p-100000276880/mediaCode-ZX/appId-5000002008286/Pr-p_CATENTRY_ID:1000002768805000002008286