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Old 07-12-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
tgpmd1
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Default Considering buying a 2005 2720SL from private owner

O.K., been looking at purchasing a TM for some time. Even convinced dh to go to and RV show in another state earlier this year to see a TM 'live and in person'. We don't have any TM dealers and no RV dealers near home.

Since I'm staying home and we're a one-income family, we're looking at a one-owner 2005 2720SL that's been used only a few times. From looking over the forum, it looks like we might need to replace the tire, check the seals and maybe re-caulk. Also, it's been in a garage and we don't have one, so we'll need to purchase a cover. Found useful info in the forums. We don't have room for a garage, but I think I'll set up one of those portable garages on the side of the house and use a cover as well.

Is there anything in particular that I should look for when I see the unit? I've already checked into insurance and know that there may be other costs involved, but want to make sure I do my homework before taking the plunge. Also thinking about joining the Good Sam club. Anyone use that with their TMs?

Thanks!

Potential TM
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:41 PM   #2
Scott O
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Assuming they haven't been changed, 3 tires FOR SURE, with metal stems. You didn't mention your tow vehicle (tv), but you may need a weight distributing hitch (wdh). You will need a brake controller for your tv to actuate the trailer brakes if you don't have one. Your tv should have a tow package, which will make life easier. Need a 3" drain hose, a white drinking water hose, and a gray hose to use so your drinking hose doesn't get contaminated. I'm sure others will chime in, but these are some of the biggies. Hope it works out for you.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:56 PM   #3
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Regarding Good Sams, are you talking about the camping discount program or Emergency Roadside Service? ERS is absolutely critical if you travel any distance from home. It's cheap and even covers things like tire changes. Good Sam is my ERS. Camping World offers GS and at a discount for first year customers. I do not subscribe to any camping discount services but if you check it out and it covers the campgrounds you want to go to, then it's a deal.

Looking at the unit, it would be great if the unit can be set up with the fridge cooled down before arrival. That can take a while and not easy to do when you go to see a trailer - a more expensive appliance to replace but I've only had one fridge problem in several years - due to a manufacturer glitch - not a problem that developed. Also, there are checklists for buying RVs which are pretty universal. I don't have any particular one I prefer but if you search here and other RV forums for an "rv buying checklist", you should find some great sources.

The main "deal breakers" are water damage and associated problems - soft floors, water stains, repairs which were "just fixed" or "easy to fix" (usually means RUN). Also check for rodent damage. Check means "ask" and "inspect". Conflicting stories (and thus, red flags) come out easier that way. Other potential deal breakers are pet history and smoking. Pet dander is easier to deal with but may be intolerable if anyone has severe allergies - smoking odor will probably never be satisfactorily eliminated.

Other than that, I'd go through the whole process of opening *and* closing the unit, soup to nuts, then you or DH will see exactly what it is made of. Everything in the TM should operate smoothly and without brute force. No strange noises. You'll know quickly if something has been "used", "used and abused" or "babied".

The 40 gal fresh water tank is a bonus - so I'd check for that (not familiar if this model/year came with that standard). The swing hitch would enhance future value even if you won't currently store in a garage.

Have fun. The looking and buying is fun so enjoy that process.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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Good Sam membership for camping discounts is a good deal assuming you use RV parks. As for Emergency Roadside Service, there are other options. In some states (including Utah where I live) a standard AAA membership also covers travel trailers at no additional cost. Also check your insurance policy. Often you can get roadside service coverage for a lot less than Good Sam. I have no beef with Good Sam. Just think you can get the same coverage cheaper.

Keith
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:31 PM   #5
Wavery
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As you rightly pointed out, it will probably need 3 new tires and possibly a new battery (5-years is about life expectancy on most batteries).

I would also stop at the closest garage and have the wheel bearings serviced before towing it home (if it's a long drive) unless the owner has proof that the bearings have been recently serviced (don't take his word for it....nice guys are a dime a dozen). If they haven't been serviced, I would obtain a new set of bearings and seals, just in case. They're cheap enough and you can usually take them back if not needed.

Your comment, "a one-owner 2005 2720SL that's been used only a few times" leads me to think that this trailer has sat in storage for long periods of time. The worst thing that one can do to trailer tires and bearings is let the trailer sit for long periods of time.

Sounds like you may have stumbled upon a real jewel here. If you conduct this transaction wisely, you should get many years of good service out of a lightly used 2005 TM.

BTW.......I wouldn't be overly concerned about the caulking if the trailer was garage stored and lightly used. Inspect it carefully before tearing it all out. That's a lot of work and chances are the original caulking may be just fine. Sun exposure and towing stresses are what cause the caulking to fail. Sounds like this trailer may have had neither.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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You didn't mention price which may be the most critical item. Regardless of condition the price must be right.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:19 PM   #7
tgpmd1
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Wow! What great info! Due to a death in the family right after the unit was purchased, it was garaged and stayed there until now. They claim everything works just fine. So, I need the help of the experts on the forum for what to look out for, especially with a TM.

I'll be towing with a 2002 Tahoe. Has a towing package, so I don't think I need a wdh. Hope to pay about $12,000 or less for the unit. We need to negotiate a price. I'm getting a list of options tonight so I can run a blue book.

Not towing far, they live just a few short miles away. But, can any sort of mechanic perform the wheel bearing work? Also like the suggestion of turning on the fridge before we arrive to make sure it cools down. How do I test for leaks? Do I have them take out of the garage and set up and hose it down? Didn't think of that. I was going to look for water damage, but if it hasn't been used in a while, may not be any evidence.

Thanks everyone. I'm starting to work on dh and convince him that this is a good time to be a TM owner. His cons are that it's a lot more work that tent camping. My pros are that the dw will be happy! When mamma's happy, everyone is happy, right?
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:45 PM   #8
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Not to be too contrary, but "it's a lot more work than tent camping"??? Very few things are as much work as tent camping! Certainly one of them is NOT camping in a TM!
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgpmd1 View Post
His cons are that it's a lot more work that tent camping. My pros are that the dw will be happy! When mamma's happy, everyone is happy, right?
More work than tent camping? How? With the TM, you don't have to pack dishes, cooking utensils, paper products, cleaning supplies, bedding, lights, stoves, coolers - we do still take one for drinks - fuel for cooking.......so many things! This alone beats tent camping. If it rains, you don't have to pack a wet, muddy tent and tarps up and go home to dry everything out. And you have a SINK! And a bathroom! And a stove and a refrigerator and lights with switches and heat if it gets cold.......yeah, momma will be really happy. We tented for years - I didn't mind it, but the TM is soooo much better.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
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His cons are that it's a lot more work that tent camping. My pros are that the dw will be happy! When mamma's happy, everyone is happy, right?
More work than TENT CAMPING?!? The TM is less work than even camping in a pop-up! When we had our pop-up, it was lots more work pulling out the bed ends, then arranging the canvas, go inside and put the canvas support in place, once for each bed. Usually took us around 15-20 minutes to set it up completely ready for camping. TM takes us just under 10 minutes. Then, taking down the pop-up for the trip home was another story, especially if the canvas was wet.

Good luck,

Bob
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