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Old 06-03-2004, 10:43 PM
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Default Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

I purchased my 2004, 3023 TM on Feb. 14, 2004 (Valentine's Day). I've been on about 5 camping trips none lasting more than 3 days.

Unfortunately, my TM had some problems which did not seem like the norm for the experience of the vast majority of owners. These were not expected as I always try to find quality products and felt very confident that TM was the choice. These were not operator errors or ignorance, but real problems which have been posted previously and will not be mentioned in this recommendation.

TM did rectify the situation at no charge to me except for my time and energy. I am satisfied with their response. I would have preferred never having the need to call them.

There was a learning curve involved with the TM and operator ignorance as well. This is my first RV. I am not being critical of TM. I am just offering for continuous improvement opportunity for a very neat product.

I find the TM very attractive. I have always received great comments on the TM from other campers each time I camped. She is beautiful and people seem to gravitate towards her. I had a lady come up before I even set up to get a close look. I invited her in to take a look. I had one gentleman who helped me back up to a tight spot and turned out he knew more about it than I did since he wanted to replace his real old Pop-Up and doing some serious research. One kid remarked, "that is so cool". I also have friends who we've invited and more are looking forward to a trip. So she definitely attracts a lot of positive attention and I am growing fond of her. So here is my recommendation:

#1 - Have a owners manual that matches the elegence and engineering innovation of the TM. Why not innovate and come up with a video guide (video, CD, DVD, whatever) or use pictures extensively. A picture can say a thousand words. The current manual is outdated, incomplete and poorly written. Most owners' manual or instruction guides are poorly written and I am sure everyone has experienced having to assemble something using an instructions that was probably written overseas by those who don't speak English or see illustrations that do not match your product (how frustrating). Once in a while you find a manual that is well written. These are priceless! Come up with a better manual to do justice to the neat product.

#2 - Provide options for the bed. I think the current one is too hard for me and I have yet to experience a good nights sleep in it. I sleep better on the couch bed. Why not offer a few options rather than having to improvise or modify and get egg foams and foams of other kind, etc. when the bed does not suit the owner. The manufacturer can provide some sales points on the importance of a good nights sleep. Pennywise and pound foolish may apply where sleep is concerned. But, preferences for beds are also very individual so offer options. Coleman does for their pop ups.

#3 - Have some sort of access for the water tank for dry camping. A hole with a door approximately 3 inch by 3 inch (similar to outside shower) should do it. To put water in the tank, you have to open the shell. Both camping sites I went to where I had to fill up with water had severe slope which was less than ideal for filling up with water. The other option is to fill up at home and haul 20 gallons of water for the trip. Perhaps you've considered and decided against it due to safety, engineering or cost. If not, consider it.

#4 - The pin mechanism for the dining table is dangerous. It pops out easily when you put the table back to the folding position. In addition, when you have little kids, they could easily pop it out accidentally or intentionally. Once loose, it is took me hours trying to figure out how to get it back together and darn near pop me in the face as the small metal piece is both sharp and springs. Even my dealer had a hard time with it. I cut myself trying to put the darn thing back it place after getting the how to from the dealer. It has been a major source of irritation for me even after learning how to use it properly. It needs to be more secure, especially for kids. This would be an easy and cheap fix. The explanation I got was that it is standard and purchased from a vendor. TM has a choice of which product and vendor to use. Go with a more sturdy and idiot proof design. I will make a modification to this item. And where is the instruction for this item?

Many of the tiny mechanisms need to be reviewed for design. The window awning also did not screw properly never holding the awning in place because it would not screw to a tightened position. The dealer was well aware of this issue. These little minor items need permanent, idiot proof solutions during manufacturing install and when the owner operates.

This also applys for the screws holding the shells. Mine came loose and was missing. In this case, it could be a potential safety issue or cause damage to other parts during tow. I now check each trip. Can you have a design where screws coming loose would be darn near impossible? I'm sure you can.

The same applies for the fire extinguisher holder. Each time, I've towed, it came loose. I just put it secure between the sofa parts when towing after the first 3 times. There must be a way to have it hold and make it easy to get out when needed. Perhaps 2 straps are needed instead of 1.

#5 - Make sure wooden doors are not squeaky when delivered. I didn't know whether this was normal or not until, the first night camping when the we needed to go during the night. It was fixed with PAM oil spray the following morning. Similar situation with dresser door. Squeak check should be SOP for QA checks. I now have WD-40 handy.

#6 - Make sure that a bumper to bumper inspection is done on the unit. I didn't realize all the tiny little yellow specks all over the TM until I went to wash it. I suspect it is adhesive residue. Also there is way too much excess caulking all over the place. My fingernails came in very handy to remove the yellow residue, but it took time and energy. I still have not removed all.

#7 - The entrance door pin and latch needs to remain fixed when towing. The hole for the latch is a single screw. When I opened the shell the last time, somehow the pin hole and latch worked loose so that the latch got turned upside down and the door could not be opened. For a moment, my blood pressure shot up. Thankfully, I was sharp that day and within a few minutes got out a plier and turned the hole and got it back in the normal position to open the door. The hole for the latch needs to be mounted so that it will not move easily. A single screw will move with force, so a design with 2 screws will be needed or some other solution.

The clamp that locks the door in place on the left side has also lost tightness. I suspect this area needs some additional attention. The screws used for this area is not an Allen or a normal Philips. Therefore, I have decided to make a 100 miles to have it taken care as a secondary item along with another issue (warped cabinet door).

I also recommend that TM have an illustration of all the different tools needed or provide a simple tool kit needed for the different types of screws, Allens, nuts and bolts they use. These could be sold as an option or provided. The cordless drill which makes raising and lowering the leveling jacks so much easier could also be provided or sold as an option.

#8 - Definitely provide extra fuses for free. This could save a camping trip. Fortunately, I've had no issues here.

#9 - Review some of the top modifications done on this site and implement some of the great ideas. Shower nozzle holder? Fluorescent light? etc.

One day, I could imagine TM having a titanium based trailer that is stronger and lighter than it is today.
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Old 06-04-2004, 07:40 AM
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Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM


i think those are great suggestions.. i especially agree with #4 - the table legs. i have had so much problems with those... i was thinking of just replacing them with something else.. has anyone done that?


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Old 06-04-2004, 11:34 AM
BobWilson BobWilson is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 130
Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

Those are all nice-to have options and conveniences and perfection that costs somebody time and money. You can hire someone to do it for you. Or you can buy a more expensive RV. TM is in business to make money like everybody else. I had problems with my TM when I bought it too and each person is going to have a different set of problems and needs. But I wouldn't expect more out of TM than what you got. The engineers have worked hard to try and please the general public and that is a hard thing to do. But if there is a manufacturing flaw that they made, they will try to do whatever is reasonable to fix it.
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Old 06-04-2004, 12:51 PM
Cateye Cateye is offline
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Posts: 128
Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

My issues were never with the basic design but rather workmanship and shipping units with obvious and visible problems that should have been corrected before leaving the factory. Quality Assurance is not implemented effectively at TM.
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Old 06-04-2004, 05:23 PM
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Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

Originally Posted by BobWilson
Those are all nice-to have options and conveniences and perfection that costs somebody time and money. TM is in business to make money like everybody else. I had problems with my TM when I bought it too and each person is going to have a different set of problems and needs.
The more perfect the manufacture the more money they will make in the long run.

It appears there is a lot of opportunity in the RV industry for someone to really to stand out for quality. Why not TM? I guess Toyota is synonmous with quality in the auto industry. Why should TM not strive to be the Toyota of the RV industry? I personally think that the more they think about the customer satisfaction the more money they will make.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:06 PM
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Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

I love my 3326 and hate having to sell it. That goes for my previous 2720SL too. But what I learned in the process of researching before buying was that the RV industry is highly unregulated and anyone can build just about anything. There are lots of complaints about junk that has been produced and sold (check out The Court of Public Opinion). Fortunately for us, the TM has remained in good standing.

I belong to quite a few forums and have seen nightmares and feel sorry for those who did not investigate their purchase first. It appears that most of the big problems belong to big rigs, specifically Class A motorhomes.

I have my list of wishes for the TM. I am hoping that my new TM will have some, if not I can ask for them from the factory. I am sold on this product . There are some quality issues, but for the money, savings in tow vehicle and now the savings in gas, I'm glad I own one.

I will be leaving on Aug. 1st for three weeks, TX, NM, CO. Can't wait 8).

BTW, all of your points are well taken and I know they are watching us ;D.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:45 PM
ess2 ess2 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 12
Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

ccc6588: Thanks for info. I have been concerned about quality & short cuts in some areas of the TM. I looked at new 3023's built in Nov.03 & Apr.04. There was improvement in some places so maybe they are getting the word-Mostly good design but poor workmanship. Having spent years debugging a Class A/454 where chassis maker didn't talk to RV maker I'm not going to get stung again! I was close to making a deal on new 3023 but the more I see & learn on this forum the more I think I'll wait for 05 or 06. In time feedback & QA should make a Great TT.
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Old 06-05-2004, 07:15 AM
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Caver Caver is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 102
Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

My dealer (Auto Ventures in Chesapeake VA) did take the time to go over every item in our 3023. For the table leg adjustment he reiterated that it was a poor design and showed us how he dealt with it. It's come apart on me and it takes a few minutes to put back together since I have to figure it out each time.

I have only found one item that was not installed correctly which was a plastic vent for the gray water tank under the shower which is like the vent on your kitchen sink. It was just laying there so I screwed it in. I'm a little concerned that the vent is only a few inches away from the converter but I haven't read of anyone having a problem with this. I'll be careful about over filling the gray water tank which would be indicated by standing water in the bottom of the tub.

I would like a more up-to-date manual which lists the fuses and bulbs like a car manual does. I had to go around and look at the fixtures to see what bulbs were used to purchase the spares. However, there were some spare screws included in a small plastic bag.

I actually received more accessories with the TM than I expected such as the hoses, stool, TP, and toilet chemicals.

ess2: It's a tough call to delay purchasing an item to wait for improvements. You can see how much fun the TM owners are having and you'll have to decide how long you can wait.

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Old 06-05-2004, 08:47 AM
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Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

I was close to making a deal on new 3023 but the more I see & learn on this forum the more I think I'll wait for 05 or 06. In time feedback & QA should make a Great TT.
about a year ago we bought a 04 2720sl.. we had 1-2 minor issues (one being the table) but we returned it to our wonderful dealer in Anaheim and they fixed the problems immediately and of course without charge. when we bought our TM, Matt and Scott from the dealership went over everything with us--spend hours learning how to raise and lower, etc. This is my first anytype of trailer, but the quality is great... after a year of use...still looks brand new!

i think one of the biggest differences between the TM and other trailers is the support you recieve from the dealers. I have a friend who just spent 50K+ on a new RV...the gas tank doesn't fill full, the toliet doesn't work, the seals on the door are not straight.. etc.. the worse part is that the dealer/manufactor won't fix the problems! she had to get a lawyer and is trying to get a buy back through the lemon law.

today's TM models are great now - fun - easy to use...we love ours when you are ready to buy, you will know it.. everything you buy always will have improvements in the newer models.. but if i waited for a product to be perfect before i bought - i would be a millonaire because i never bought anything ;D

good luck with your decisoin...
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Old 06-06-2004, 06:36 PM
shunter917 shunter917 is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 128
Default Re:Specific Recommendations for Improving TM

I agree with your assessment of the water tank. It would be much better to have exterior access.

I've never had problems with the table leg - just lucky??

The comment about the awning I don't get. You do realize that after you extend the awning and adjust the "legs", you then reel the awning back in a little until it is tight, yes?
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