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Old 06-08-2023, 08:24 AM   #1
Shane826
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Default Tech Update Ideas?

Letís play Armchair EngineerÖ If you could add some modern tech updates to new TrailManor campers, what would you add? How would you keep costs in check so as to not price the camper out of a realistic price range? Also keep in mind light weight is a key component for TrailManor campers?
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Old 06-08-2023, 10:38 AM   #2
Bill
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Shane -

Over the years, TM has done some really nice upgrades to the design. The swing tongue was a masterpiece, and the folks in South Dakota have made it a standard item (not an option) on new TMs. Great move! Moving from LR-C to LR-D tires was badly needed, and the factory has made that a standard as well. The switch to torsion axles that have a built-in lift angle was a really good move, and took away the need for lift kits. Raising the kitchen sink to the level of the adjacent countertop has saved my back. Aluminum framing instead of wood was badly needed. The power slide on new TMs is a wonderful addition - I love just pushing the buttons and watching it! The all-lights-off switch at the entry door was simple, unexpected, and welcome. And getting rid of the carpet, which seemed like such a good idea until you actually had to live with it, was great. The engineers and builders at the company have stayed on top of things.

What would I suggest for a next move? The first thing on my wish list would be to upgrade the materials and methods used to build the door-side kitchen cabinet assembly. I've had three TMs, and every one has had problems with the cabinetry simply falling apart. In my experience, it is great in the showroom, but is not built to withstand the shaking and impacts of road travel. It is built with 1/16" or 3/32" sort-of-plywood over a skimpy poorly-braced white wood frame, all held together with a million short staples and a bit of glue. For example, on a recent trip, one of the kitchen drawers simply fell out because the staples holding the rails on a shim block failed. The shim block is far back in the cabinet, so access for repair is hard. The hanger bar in the wardrobe similarly failed. And for the third time, the oven in my TM is falling out of the cabinet because it is not adequately supported - and that is a big, expensive failure since the oven mfr (Furion) refuses to help.

It would be easy to improve the cabinetry while it is being built on the big flat construction bench, and before it is installed in the trailer. It is a lot harder to work on after the unit is installed and access is poor. I would gladly accept 10 pounds of increased weight and $50 of increased cost to have sturdy cabinetry. It would avoid my need to spend hours mending, re-assembling, and bracing things.

Make no mistake - I love my TM. But you asked ...

Bill
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Old 06-08-2023, 11:14 AM   #3
rich2468
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I agree what Bill has started and will add in electrical....
Transitioning to LEDs was a necessity, but having dimmable LEDs from the factory would be a cheap factory upgrade.

I'd also like to see the factory include LED lighting as an option when an awning is factory installed.



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Old 06-08-2023, 04:10 PM   #4
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I would look at adding a couple of USB ports. One in the front bed/couch area, and near/incorporated with the 12V cigarette plugs.
I'd go with a higher rating with the solar panels, or allow an extra panel to be installed during assembly. Maybe add an outside port so say a suitcase solar panel could be easily plugged in.

I'd delete the am/fm radio and pre-wired speakers. In hindsight, I would not have gone with the am/fm radio set up and speakers. One of my speakers is bad, from the start, but I didn't know that. I've used wireless speakers with my phone or tablet bluetooth. Make that area a small drawer for cables or a usb charging hub panel.

I'd like to see the folding bathroom walls more waterproof. Use a mold resistant or non-molding material or at a minimum seal the bottom where water tends to seep in an causes damage.

Beef up the oven wall nearest the door. As I get older, I'm finding that I'd love to add a grab handle or strap to grab as a hand hold to help when coming inside the camper. I've added one to the lower door half and already use the lift arm when entering.

Find a way to beef up the roofs to prevent sagging. Can a flat stiffener be on the inside or add something light weight but stiff to strengthen the shells.

Make replacing the kitchen sink faucets easier. Mount the faucet on a screw/bolted down stiffened plate. You could remove the plate, easily change the faucet and then reinstall the plate. Flexible hoses underneath only need to be long enough so you could get to the hose connectors. I had to remove my water heater to get mine changed. Nor should ya have to be Gumby to get to those connections.
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Old 06-08-2023, 06:43 PM   #5
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Bill -- check out my post #18 in this thread on how to beef up the oven mount. My oven has not moved since, and is solid. Tens of thousands of miles later, including some seriously awful dirt roads.

https://www.trailmanorowners.com/for...t=10246&page=2

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