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Old 08-14-2023, 11:55 AM   #1
Deb Mac
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Default First trip report

The dogs & I returned on Thursday from my first expedition in the TM - an 8500 km round-trip from the mountains of beautiful BC to southern Ontario. Did the trip in 5 weeks - 2-1/2 weeks driving and the same in Ontario.. I am happy to report that she performed beautifully.

The old 4Runner handled the trip superbly! We did an average of 15.2 L/100 km (not quite 15.5 mpg). Had to add a half litre of oil midway through the prairies on the return trip. I have a Scanguage II and have set it up to show tranny and coolant temps both of which were great even through the heavy climbs in hot weather.

My poor-man's Sealand toilet worked great, the new water pump was good, had lots of battery power and the portable solar panel did it's job when needed, though I pretty much stuck to serviced camping. I will be doing some kind of mod to the shower curtain - I've seen a couple of threads discussing that. And I will be reinforcing the shower floor just before the rise at the back. It's pretty flexy!

Trailer and truck were great - I however pulled a couple of bone-head moves.

Bone-head move #'s 1 & 2 - fridge... Having been in the habit of flipping the battery cut-off switch when I left the trailer in the storage yard, you can guess what I did on the first day.... Fortunately it wasn't particularly hot on that first day and we were still in the mountains so after 5 hours the fridge was still reasonably cool, and the BougeRV 12V compressor fridge/freezer (which I was using as a freezer) was still -10C (up from -20).

#2 was also fridge related... next morning I flipped the switch from gas (which I had used instead of 120V to get the fridge back down to temp since my last 3-way fridge did much better on LP than 120V) to... electric! Instead of battery. So once again, I had cool contents in the fridge and the 12V compressor unit was still frozen in the -10 region. Day #3 I managed to get it right - switched to battery and the fan on (I had done that right both times, though it was somewhat academic, since the fridge wasn't running!!)

On the morning of day 3 (July 8th) I was in southern Saskatchewan heading east, where I spotted another TM going west at Reed Lake, just west of Morse. So whoever you were, hope you had a good trip!

Also on day 3, my phone decided to pack it in... I think it overheated and the battery drained down past the point of registering. Couldn't even charge it!. It came back to life 36 hours later and I was able to charge it back up with no issues after that.

Had no problems at all after that until I got to my final destination in southern Ontario (the first of 3 extended stop-overs) where the big bone-head move occurred.... The campground map was a little wonky and I had to do a loop and come back to my site from the opposite direction. The slightly wonky map sent me onto the wrong "road" where I ended up at a large picnic shelter, but lots of room to pull a "U"y. She said.... Ended up hanging the TM up on a boulder, by cutting my turn a wee bit too close. Put the 4Runner into 4WD and manged to back her off the rock. It then took about 90 minutes of unhitching and re-hitching to maneuver the TM back at the right angle to get us out of there.
Minimal damage to the TM - slight scraping on the forward strut on the front shell driver's side, but bent the spring bracket nicely. Had to use the handle on my rubber mallet as a pry-bar to bend it back enough to get it to release. I then spent then next 2 days praying to the trailer gods that I would be able to get it to latch again when I was ready to leave. It did, and has continued to work, but I will be getting in touch with Trailmanor for a new one. Easy enough to replace - 4 bolts, but I have to get one first!

Massive amounts of rain in those 2-1/2 weeks in the 3 destination campgrounds, and I am happy to report that there was only one minor leak at the fantastic fan cover - it was coming down in buckets and that was the only water there was. But between the rain and the fact that it was southern Ontario in July, it was incredibly humid and it got hot!! Fridge fins kept frosting up badly & though it never stopped cooling it did have a hard time keeping up. Defrosted it twice. In the last week I actually bought dehumidifier. Took a gallon of water out of the air in there in 4 hours!!! Went from 78% to 45% humidity. We were much more comfortable after that and the fridge was a lot happier! It's small and tucks out of the way nicely at the end of the "hallway" during the day.

Took a chance and opened the awning (helped keep the entry-way from becoming a total mud-hole) and raised the antenna (was & still is VERY stiff - obviously had never been used or lubed since the PO had popped the crank handle off and the tuner and spring had "boinged" onto the floor - it was reassembled bass-akwards). I managed to take it apart and assemble it in the correct order - tuner, spring then handle - and give the set-screw on the handle a proper tightening. It works well now, though still stiff. When it comes time to close her up again for the fall I will deal with the drip at the fan cover & the sticky awning supports and antenna (both need a good cleaning and lube). Also discovered that the drip tray in the Norcold is missing. Have one coming but spent a lot of time with water inside the fridge. Threw together something out of tin-foil and a piece of Sham-Wow to catch the inevitable water that came from having an absorption fridge, on the road for 5 hours in 35C weather.

The remainder of the trip was uneventful, though detours in Duluth ended up sending me through & over the top of the city. Was happy to see that the only thing over-heating was me!!

I had an interesting trip with the TM. Stayed in some nice spots - berry farms, alpaca ranch, found a couple of new little places in small towns (my favourites). Learned lots, and had a wonderful visit with the brothers. All in all, a great first expedition!
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Old 08-14-2023, 10:57 PM   #2
Larryjb
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Great to hear! Maybe one day we can have a TM meet at Logan Lake (or some where else... there are a few TM owners in our province).

I have a few things to fix up on ours, but due to a whole pile of other issues I haven't even begun to start on them:
1) fix toilet seal
2) replace wood panel on kitchen wall
3) rewire wall sconces

Those are the main things
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Old 08-15-2023, 11:10 AM   #3
Deb Mac
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Hi Larry. We do have a lovely campground here in Logan Lake. Very popular!
I have a couple of other small projects to do on mine yet - including installing the tank rinser on the "sealand" (I couldn't bring myself to drill a hole in the tank just before a long trip).
First thing to address though will be the spring latch for that shell, and I want to replace all 4 of those rubber bumpers under the edges of the shells (front and back). Once is missing entirely and the other 3 are badly flattened and worn.
Fortunately there is lots of time left before I have to close her up for winter.

My next item on the agenda will be to take the 4Runner into the shop for an oil and tranny fluid/filter change. She's earned it! Could do it myself, but don't really have a level driveway, and not in the mood to put her up on jack stands and crawl around underneath anyway. I'm now at the age (just turned 70 yesterday!) that I am happy to pay a little extra to have someone else do it!
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Old 08-15-2023, 01:01 PM   #4
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Deb -

A couple things you probably already know.

Re the black rubber pads - they are expensive from TM. You can buy a hunk of the same rubber from Amazon and elsewhere, and cut it to size with a utility knife. See

https://www.trailmanorowners.com/for...ad.php?t=19301

Re tranny flush. There are two versions. One is a simple drain and fill, which doesn't get all the fluid, and may not include a new filter. You want the other, characterized by the phrase "including the torque converter". More expensive, of course ...

Bill
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Old 08-15-2023, 01:14 PM   #5
Deb Mac
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Originally Posted by Bill View Post
Deb -

A couple things you probably already know.

Re the black rubber pads - they are expensive from TM. You can buy a hunk of the same rubber, and cut it to size with a utility knife. See

https://www.trailmanorowners.com/for...ad.php?t=19301

Re tranny flush. There are two versions. One is a simple drain and fill, which doesn't get all the fluid, and may not include a new filter. You want the other, characterized by the phrase "including the torque converter". More expensive, of course ...

Bill
Thanks for the link Bill. That's the info I needed. Happy to cut my own. I temporarily cut a chunk off of one of my rubber stabilizer pads and put it in place of the missing one in the front. A bit thick but it did the job temporarily.

Re the tranny - I plan for a full replacement, including the TC, with new filter. She had a drain & fill a couple of years ago, but not "the full meal deal". After this trip, she's entitled to a spa day! Either at the Toyota dealership or a local transmission shop that I have used before. They are very good and trustworthy. Worked on my old GMC motorhome and did a great job for me.
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Old 08-25-2023, 08:11 AM   #6
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Enjoyed reading about your adventure! Stuff happens...but it sounds like you had things under control.

We travel from Lower Alabama to Montana (Basin, MT) every spring and fall. We leave in three weeks for our fall trip. We are in Basin for about 9 days. You should load up, cross the border, and spend a few days at the Merry Widow Campground!

We would enjoy meeting and visiting with you!

Travis
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Old 08-25-2023, 12:30 PM   #7
Deb Mac
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Originally Posted by FlyboyTR View Post
Enjoyed reading about your adventure! Stuff happens...but it sounds like you had things under control.

We travel from Lower Alabama to Montana (Basin, MT) every spring and fall. We leave in three weeks for our fall trip. We are in Basin for about 9 days. You should load up, cross the border, and spend a few days at the Merry Widow Campground!

We would enjoy meeting and visiting with you!

Travis
Would love to Travis, but this year's travel wallet is pretty empty! And up here, by the time mid September hits, we could easily be looking at snow in the passes and it can get dicey getting home. Not as antsy as it was with the old GMC motorhome (13,000 lb FWD - loved it, but traction in snow was fair to poor to nonexistent!). Maybe on your next spring trip? When do you travel in the spring? Once again, mountains of BC - our snow may not be gone enough for me to get the trailer out of the storage yard & on the road until mid May. But some years we get lucky.
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Old 08-25-2023, 12:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb Mac View Post
Would love to Travis, but this year's travel wallet is pretty empty! And up here, by the time mid September hits, we could easily be looking at snow in the passes and it can get dicey getting home. Not as antsy as it was with the old GMC motorhome (13,000 lb FWD - loved it, but traction in snow was fair to poor to nonexistent!). Maybe on your next spring trip? When do you travel in the spring? Once again, mountains of BC - our snow may not be gone enough for me to get the trailer out of the storage yard & on the road until mid May. But some years we get lucky.
We typically arrive in Basin, MT the last Monday of April.
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