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  #1  
Old 09-12-2006, 04:37 PM
delawareprogrammer
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Default 87 m23 "difficult" opening one side

Hi, me again.

This forum is so helpful, I thought I'd ask another one.
The 1987 TM 23 (which I haven't seen yet and which is 260 miles away) is reported to have a problem opening the front side.
Not that it won't open, but it takes two people to push it up instead of the ease of opening that is indicated in the TM videos. It closes easily. The back also opens and closes easily. I don't have a problem if it takes a good push to open, and I'm going to try to see if opening it with the front leveled lower will help, but my concern is whether I may be in for worse problems later. Might this indicate some sort of damage that might get worse to the point where it won't open at all? Could an adjustment of the torsion bars help? That side of the trailer has been "redone" for some unknown reason. Aluminum replaced, etc.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2006, 05:32 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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DP -

If it is hard to open, there is clearly something wrong, probably with the torsion bars and surrounding apparatus. Do this.

Peer underneath and find the 8 torsion bars (4 front, 4 rear), and make sure none of the ones associated with the front shell are broken. This would be unusual, but it can happen.

You say the front shell closes easily. Question: does it close "easily", or does it drop like a rock? If the latter, I would again suspect a broken torsion bar. If it closes "really really easily", but doesn't "drop like a rock", it may be grossly misadjusted. Easy fix, at least by a dealer. Or Search for a post by Denny_A on the topic, if you would like to do it yourself.

When the front closes, does it tend to close crooked? Or does it drop nicely and squarely into place?

The body work that was done on the front - was it done on the lower part (the "box") or the upper part ("the shell")?

Has anything been added to the roof of the front shell? Any weight up there (bikes, solar panels, air conditioner, etc) will make it hard to open until the torsion bars are adjusted to compensate for the added weight.

Look around all the seams in the front shell. Look around the inside of the front shell. Any sign of water damage (or recent camoflage cleaning)? If there is 40 pounds of water in the walls, it could cause the problem you describe.

I realize that you can't answer most of these questions until you actually see the unit. However, this can be an easy problem, or a very expensive problem. I wouldn't buy until you get it resolved - or a satisfactory guarantee from the seller.

Bill
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2006, 06:00 PM
delawareprogrammer
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
DP -

If it is hard to open, there is clearly something wrong, probably with the torsion bars and surrounding apparatus. Do this.

Peer underneath and find the 8 torsion bars (4 front, 4 rear), and make sure none of the ones associated with the front shell are broken. This would be unusual, but it can happen.
In the pictures, the torsion bars look okay. They're laying down horizontally when the rig is closed, vertical when open. What would be "broken" about a torsion bar? Bent? Missing? I have no idea how they work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
You say the front shell closes easily. Question: does it close "easily", or does it drop like a rock? If the latter, I would again suspect a broken torsion bar. If it closes "really really easily", but doesn't "drop like a rock", it may be grossly misadjusted. Easy fix, at least by a dealer. Or Search for a post by Denny_A on the topic, if you would like to do it yourself.
I didn't get the impression that it was dropping like a rock... but maybe. I'll look for Denny's post. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
When the front closes, does it tend to close crooked? Or does it drop nicely and squarely into place?
There was mention of a 1" gap when open that could be fixed with a towel stuffed in. Would misalignment cause this also?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
The body work that was done on the front - was it done on the lower part (the "box") or the upper part ("the shell")?
Has anything been added to the roof of the front shell? Any weight up there (bikes, solar panels, air conditioner, etc) will make it hard to open until the torsion bars are adjusted to compensate for the added weight.
The shell. Nothing up there in the pics. The a/c is on the side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
Look around all the seams in the front shell. Look around the inside of the front shell. Any sign of water damage (or recent camoflage cleaning)? If there is 40 pounds of water in the walls, it could cause the problem you describe.
The claim is no water damage. Wouldn't there also be a "sloshing" sound?
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2006, 08:16 AM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Delaware programer wrote
Quote:
There was mention of a 1" gap when open that could be fixed with a towel stuffed in. Would misalignment cause this also?
Depends on where the gap is, but yes, this is suspicious. It means the shell is not square, which is probably due to a misaligned lift system.

and
Quote:
That side of the trailer has been "redone" for some unknown reason. Aluminum replaced, etc.
The TM is built with lightweight materials, which are not easily duplicated. If, for some reason, a lot of the original material had to be removed, then it is likely that the replacement materials were heavier. Adding steel struts inside the wall, for example, would add a lot of weight. Refinishing the outside with sheet steel or heavier-gauge sheet aluminum, rather than the original aluminum, would be heavier. If this is the case, adjustment of the torsion bars on that side would probably overcome the problem and square things up. But you need to know WHY all this work was done in the first place.

Finally. The outer ends of the torsion bars are captured in the white rectangular lift tubes / lift arms (what is their real name, someone?) - two on each side of each shell. If the work on the shell involved pulling the end of the torsion bar out of the lift tube, and if the torsion bar wasn't replaced by re-inserting it exactly the same distance back into the lift tube, then the lift won't be proper. Again, this is something covered in Denny_A's tutorial. Adjusting them is a lot of work. You'll find a lot of good info in these threads, the second of which contains the "tutorial" I referenced.

http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...read.php?t=565
http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ead.php?p=4694

Bill
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2006, 01:03 PM
pbuck1
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Delawareprogrammer,
I'm planning to go camping near MD Eastern Shore tomorrow for a few days and considering staying at Trap Pond SP in Southern DE. If you're in DE as your username suggests, you've never seen a TM firsthand, and you want to come to the campground, I'd be happy to show you around the TM including the support system and how it works, the WDH, TV brake controller (which I installed myself), etc.. You might getter a better idea of what to look for in the TM23.

-Paul
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2006, 01:31 PM
delawareprogrammer
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Default some clarification

Got my first in-person experience with a TM today, thanks to pbuck1 and his wife who were camping nearby in one of our Delaware State Parks. Thanks, Paul, it really helped to see things close up.

Some more searching on this (wonderful) site led me to some posts regarding the adjustment of old-style torsion bars. I found some posts by skoegler in 2004 and found out via email that he was the previous owner of the 87 tm 23 that I am thinking of buying. Apparently, the front section of the tm was redone with new (heavier) aluminum and this increased the weight of that section by < 200 lbs. The torsion bars were designed for a lighter weight, thus the difficulty in raising the section. Scott adjusted the tension as far as possible, but it wasn't enough to compensate for the weight. I emailed Ed at Trailmanor regarding the replacement of the torsion bars. He says it is a big job but could be done with the help of a welder. I haven't seen the rig yet (I'm driving to see/probably buy it this coming Friday), so I'll have to try it for myself to find out how difficult it is for me to get it open. I'm optimistic. I think the price allows for some idosyncracies such as this.

skoegler also filled me in on a bunch of other "history" of the rig, so I feel comfortable enough to make the long drive to see it. I have made an appointment in the town where the trailer is to have a brake controller and 7-wire connection installed, assuming I'm happy with the sight inspection.
Also, I want to see how the hookup looks when I hitch the TM to my van, to determine whether to get a WDH hitch right away or to wait. Thanks for all your helpful comments on the brake controller. I have no experience with this since my 1967 Shasta 14' has no electric brakes, and receives a 4-wire electrical connection.

Thanks again for all your advice so far. I'll post again next weekend with the results of my trip home.

Randy in Delaware
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2006, 01:45 PM
delawareprogrammer
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Default another thank you

As I was reading over my previous posts, I realized how silly I sounded talking about torsion bars, when I didn't even know what they were. Thanks Paul for showing me the torsion bars under your rig today, so I can avoid such gaffs in the future.

Randy in Delaware
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2006, 11:20 PM
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Default Not only that, but.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Camper View Post
DP... that 87 model TM is 19 years old and now you find the front end has been modified and is now heavier. .....snip......
....the tongue weight will be greater than calcumlated during original design. So maybe the UVW tongue weight is say 400 lbs instead of 350. Sounds like the trailer tongue wt., if purchased, should should be checked imediately. More the reason to have a WDH and have a handle on the ACTUAL, vs. that assumed at the Unloaded Vehicle Weight!

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  #9  
Old 07-08-2021, 01:13 PM
mvp8500 mvp8500 is offline
 
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Default Torsion and Shell adjustments

Hello all, I Too am having some issues opening my front shell and I am afraid it my fault.
We just purchased a new to us 2720 and I noticed the front slope was a bit much so I adjusted the arm on the torsion bar using the instructions on this post ([URL="https://www.trailmanorowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19181"]) and now it is very hard to open on the front. Would you have any advice on how to correct this issue?

It does lower ok but when Open it it seems it hangs on the front.
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  #10  
Old 07-08-2021, 03:00 PM
Larryjb Larryjb is online now
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Welcome to TM forums MVP! I'm sure you will enjoy your new-to-you TM as much as we enjoy ours.

Just so you are aware, the thread you are referring to applies to a very old TM model that used a different method to adjust the torsion bars.

When you say you adjusted the arm on the torsion bar, I am assuming you meant that you loosened the 4 bolts at the bottom of the lift arm to raise the shell. I am also assuming that you checked that the distance from the lower edge of the box to the inside of the pocket stop is 39.5".

Do you feel any resistance at all when closing the shell, or does it seem to "free-fall"? Also, I know I previously PMed you with the following link: https://www.trailmanorowners.com/for...ad.php?t=19939 . Did you check everything over I mentioned in that pdf article?

I'm sure others will chime in with ideas to check out as well. Good luck!
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