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Old 08-16-2010, 11:26 AM
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Default HappyTrails repair blog

Many years ago, TMO member Happy Trails did extensive restoration and repair of a TM Model 25 that was in poor condition. He posted extensive documentation on his web site, but the site later disappeared without warning, and much of the content was lost. This thread contains the part that could be recovered from the internet archives.

This PDF is the captured web page shown in the next post.
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File Type: pdf TM%20archive%20document.pdf (3.50 MB, 3144 views)
Old 08-16-2010, 11:26 AM
Posts: n/a

Welcome to the TM repair how to page, have a problem with your TM's structure, well, this is the place for you!

Initially, I found a bargain TM for only $400.00, little did I know how much was needed to make it right!

This is a picture of the TM all set up in the RV shop. It saddened me to have the RV shop tell me that there was nothing I could do with it, and I'd be better off selling all the appliences out of it, turning it into a car hauler, and finding something better. I just couldn't let it go, especially when all it needed was some TLC!

So, I decided to take it on myself. What was wrong with it was all the wood in the outer front shell had rotted out completely. When it was set up, it took 4 people to get it right till it could be tied up to where it looks in the above picture. After conversing with the manufacturer, it would go to the sides because the wall where it connected with the ceiling was messed up, and therefore caused it to go outwards to the side. It would also open up too far which was explained to me that I needed 4 "Pocket Stop Kits", which I ordered from Trailmanor at a cost of only $10.00 apiece!

Here's a picture of one of those pocket stops, as you can see, there's not much to it, two screws hold it in place, then a piece of rubber is mounted to the end where the travel arm bumps shimmed up till everything's lined up. 1/8" shim under the stop equals 1 full inch of travel forwards or backwards. (If you look closely, you can see the white nylon shim just above the rubber, about .05 at any hardware store.)

As you can see, I made my own modification with it using the rubber grommet used for a radiator mount. I used plastic washers underneath that are 1/8" for the shims. I had to drill the holes to mount them to the pocket stops. Shown above is where only one was used, I used two side by side.

So, where might you ask yourself did I start? The roof/ceiling problem was first on the agenda. As the roof would fall over to the curbside without that being fixed, thats where I began.

In the above picture, what you see is where I knocked the old wood out completely out of the wall section, and replaced it with a 1"x1" piece of aluminum purchased at the local hardware store. To get it where I could work on it, I simply left the shell locked down, and inserted an old mop handle that was sitting atop a car jack. In retrospect, I probably should have put a small 2x4 above the mop handle so's not to put all the stress on one spot, but it turned out to be ok. I jacked it up a couple of inches, and voila', got it where I could work on it very easily. I then gently knocked out what wood was remaining with a chisle and rubber mallet, (there wasn't much), and blew it all out with my air compressor to clean and dry it out real good.
As per the Trailmanor factory, I just had to cement it in place with contact cement, but to take it a step further, I did some extra and drilled pilot holes every 15" and used 1" stainless steel screws to secure it in place. (Any longer than that, and it would have drilled right through to the inside). So what you see here is the finished wall section. As for the ceiling part, well, you can see there's not much wood left in it either, to include that small chunk down towards the rear, most of it was rotted out. Again, I simply used my chisle and mallet and got the rest out leaving only the screws that were there to secure the ceiling to the wall hanging down and a few rogue staples.

Now, as you can see in this next picture, the roof of the Trailmanor is comprised of actually two skins. The screws that held down the metal track along the top simply went through the two skins as far deep as the wood in the ceiling, but not into the wood in the wall. As I got into it and removed all those screws, and lifted the metal track that contains the screw cover, I found there was a second skin shown here where I stuck one of the short roof screws in to hold it up to access the much longer 2.5" screws that were alternated between the other screws that actually held the roof to the wall section.

In the above pic, the metal track is sitting up on it's side as I didn't break the bead of sealant on the center side of the track, just the one on the outside edge. This paid off later as I will tell why. For now tho, I still had the problem with the long 2.5" screws hanging down. With that old screw sitting where it was, in most cases, I was able to simply pull the old screws out. Where I couldn't, a dremel tool with a cutoff wheel got in there just fine and took care of business! I used it to cut the heads off the screws, and let them fall to the pavement below. Mind you, I'm less than 1.5 hours at this point into the whole project! Yeah, it only took me about 30-45 minutes to do the wall section, that's why there wasn't many pictures of me actually doing it, it went so fast, I didn't have time to mess with the camera!

What I did next is the same thing I did for the wall, only this time, I added a 1x.5" piece of TREATED wood behind the aluminum. I treated the wood really good with Thompson's wood sealant.

I got the "C" clamps at Big Lots for dirt cheap, bought 10 of em at 1.50 apiece! Beside that, you can see the wood I cut with my circular saw. I changed my mind about using the wood in the ceiling and used the aluminum instead. Anyway, what I did next was to insert the wood/aluminum combination in the ceiling just like I did with the wall, glued it in place, then instead of trying to deal with the second skin, I put a 2.5" torx screw in every hole along the top all the way through both peices of aluminum drilling a pilot hole for each one, then went back for extra strength, and put one in for good measure in between every one of those holes! There was a lesson learned here in the process though. I at first used stainless steel screws, and they kept stripping out......make sure your pilot hole is large enough to accept the screw! Anyways, to get the screw protector back in place, I simply used a screen tool I had laying around and rolled it right back in the problem....went right in!

Ok, so now the roof and the wall is secured, and that problem's now solved.....where to now being as most of my problem is needing the "pocket stops" installed, and to do so, I need the trailer UP! Well, I thought long and hard about it, and as I've not got the 5 people on hand to get the top up that it took the RV shop I had it in, I had to use a little ingenuity. Luckily, I have a "Boxer dog" who chews everything, including his tie downs and stuff when we're out and about. He chewed right through his leash one time in seconds and got free as he's not used to being tied down. We were visiting my girl's grandma, and he had to deal with a tie down for two hours and got right through it in I was mad at him at the time, but little did I know what he did for me and this trailer. I went straight out and bought him a 10 foot steel cable tiedown and one of those screw in thingys that go into the ground. Tie down has a blue plastic covering for his protection btw obtained at any Kroger's store for about 7-10 bucks, corkscrew tie down, less than 3 bucks. Luckily, I have a steep front yard, and a rock wall going up on either side, so I simply bought two of each, figured out where they needed to be, screwed em into the ground, and connected the tie to the front lift arms on either side to keep it from going too far forwards.

I simply lifted the front section which held in place because of the dog tie downs, lifted the rear section, and voila' the TRAILMANOR IS UP!!!!!!

Finally! Now I can get down to the serious business of getting my trailer up and rolling down the road! Long ago, I had thought about what to do to support the front section to get the pocket stops in place, to include building a contraption to use with the forklift at work when a VERY nice guy down at the Trailmanor factory made me feel pretty He said simply, "well, when we install em here, we just use a 2x4 to support the roof! DUUUUUHHHH.......Needless to say, it was a GREAT help to me.....sometimes it's worth feeling stupid! All I can say about that is Trailmanor is a really great company with really good people that stand behind their product 1000% They were so patient, and ALWAYS there to help, even though I bought mine 3rd hand! That tells ya a lot about a company. I had an RV shop telling me to get rid of it, JD down there at trailmanor said simply, "well, there's a lot you can do to fix it if ya want to, and NOTHING you can do if ya don't want to." It was a simple statement, that told me a lot. The RV shop didn't know or want to know what to do......and I could fix it on my own. Heck, TM could, why can't I? Now what's left is to wait on the new parts to get to me, install em, and install the pocket stops etc. Here's one more picture of it in my driveway.

A few people with newer TM's were curious about how my door keeps together, Soooo I decided to throw a link in there with a few pics
Go visit Bill's TM door?

Coming soon, though not in any particular order:
* 1) Replacing wood in bottom of front clam shell with aluminum/wood combo while replacing the wiring harness back where it needs to be along the outer shell edges.
* 2) Installing the "Pocket Stops".
* 3) Repairing a broken window.
4) Replacing the wood around the vents in the roof with aluminum.
5) Installing a cable socket.
6) Installing a 12v Socket.
7) Repairing the "Grey" water line that's also broken. (About a $15.00 easy fix).
8) Repairing the stabalizer legs, and/or replacing them with the newer style "sissor jacks".
9) Repainting the frame black.
10) Getting the furnace to light.
* 11) Getting the reefer to light.

(* Indicates tasks completed)

PDF of archived web page
Old 08-16-2010, 11:27 AM
Posts: n/a

Here is the text from the link "TM lower clam shell repairs" - no pictures remain:

Trailmanor lower clam shell repairs page!

This is the old wood that was in my trailer. Some of it was so rotted, I could squeeze it into shapes like silly putty! Tho it hadn't rained in quite some time, it was still all wet on the bottom section. That was ok though, just made it easier to get it out of the trailer. This picture shows the old wood next to the replacement, about 4' of aluminum tubing. This replaced out all the wood from the very front, to the first pocket stop where the travel arm goes up into the trailer.

Here's another picture of the wood, as well as some of the screws that were in there. Notice the screws are all almost gone! You will notice the long pin that is the one that goes into the aluminum stop at the front of the camper, it was rusted and almost gone, so I had to come up with a replacement for that. I'll detail that part in a minute.

In the above pic, you can see where I have knocked/pulled most of the old wood out, as you can see from the previous pictures, most of it came out in large chunks. Also, you will notice the outter aluminum skin wraps around the bottom. I had to bend it slightly out to get the old wood out. One thing that helped me was to re-bend it back in a little more than needed just before adding the aluminum tubing so when it went in, it was all flush again.

In the above pic, you can see where I've added the aluminum/treated wood combo. As you can see, the aluminum skin that wraps around is back flush with the aluminum tubing. Had I not bent it back like I mentioned before, it'd be coming out instead of flush. As you can see, the wall is still separated at the front, that's something I'll have to fix when I get to it. Hopefully soon. All I need to aquire is a thin bracket that I can bend at an angle to fix it. (Replacing the old wood in the front section as well.) I have a diagram I can scan to detail this as soon as I remember to bring it home from work.

Here is some of the wood that came out of the other side. As you can see, it's so rotted, it can be formed like silly putty! Those screws are some of the ones that came out of that side, they are almost gone as well. They appear in the pic to be ok, but there is little to NO threads on them.

As I noted before, I found the old pins that go into the aluminum tubing in the front of the bottom section rusted and almost completely gone, as well as bent. So I had to find a way to replace it. After a few mins digging around the rather large selection of stuff at my local hardware store, I had found something called a "dowel" was close, but there were threads that would have had to go down in the aluminum tubing which would have caused excessive wear and tear. At the advice of my friendly hardware store guy, I purchased 2 lag screws for about $0.15 apiece, and simply cut the heads off with my dremel tool! It worked really well, then after cutting the heads off, I simply ground down the rough edges and voila'! Pin problem solved. )

See, here is the finished pin in place ready for service. It works really well as later after this pic was taken, I got the shell back in the pin where it's supposed to be. On an interesting side note, you will notice the "C" clamps in various of these photos. What I had to do to get "to" the rotten wood was remove all the staples that held the bottom part of the lower seal in place. Well, being as you can't really staple them back into aluminum, I simply used the "C" clamps to hold the vinal in place under the aluminum skin, then drilled all my pilot holes into the aluminum tubing through the vinal, using the existing holes as guides that were in the aluminum strip on the bottom. Then I simply run my screws up through the whole thing, and it's all ready to go!
Old 08-16-2010, 11:27 AM
Posts: n/a

Trailmanor Pocket Stop Installation Page! (one picture remains)

**** UPDATE, SEE BELOW! ****

Ok, here's the section I've been just waiting to get at. The installation of the pocket stops. To install the rear pockets of the front clam shell, I simply placed a board on the floor to keep the jack from making divits in the floor, put a board between the jack, and another board going crossways across the ceiling. Then I CAREFULLY raised the jack enough to take the pressure off the bolts that connect the travel arms to the roof section, took them out, and raised it up enough to slip a 2x4" under the front shell to hold it up. Mind you, installing the ones in the rear is a lot easier than the front as there's more of a "pivot" point from the front travel arms so it's not so heavy. I could have simply lifted it up, and had a friend do all that including the board, but it's just me to work on it.

As you can see, the TM is lifted in the rear of the front section off the travel arms where I can get to the pocket stops. The sun was back to the rear of the TM, and you can see the small crack of sunlight going across the trailer from where the front roof section was lifted off the rear roof section.

Here's another view with the rear of the front section raised. In this picture, you get to see what the travel arm looks like that goes up in the trailer. I do understand now why TM is so careful about the weight on the torsion bars, I could pull back the travel arm no problem. The whole front section probably doesn't weigh 500lbs. Just one of these torsion bars only has to support 1/4th of that weight.

Here you see the new pocket stop, I changed my mind with the rubber stop as I didn't know how big the original was, and decided to go with what was in there. It turns out it was 3/4" thick, by about 2.5" long, and a half inch wide. I had thought about screwing it in there, having the pocket stop machined, and threaded, but finally decided to just duct tape it in place. Mind you, this is a temp fix just for now. I can't see duct tape holding for years.........Besides, I still have the new bumpers on order as of this writing. I had to cut a peice of wood to go in the other side, as the wood was completely gone out of the other side, as well as the rubber bumper. (To fashion a bumper). I also put some wood up in there to hold the pocket stop. If you look at the picture before this, the wood was completely gone out of the back side of the section just behind the door, but the wood where the door is was ok. (The doorjam side.)

Here is another view of the pocket stop with the rubber bumper in place. There are a couple of interesting side notes here. One, you will notice the bolt cutters.....they were used to cut the old rusty screws in some places, I guess I need to set up a "tools needed" I'll work on it.......I just happened to have the set from my Army days we used to "breach" wire obsticals...(why they are camoflaged). But more importantly, in this pic, you can see how taught the line is that was holding the front section up. After just installing the rear pocket stops, I didn't even need the line on the door side of the trailer, it was completely slack, so I took it down. There was however a little slack in this side, so left this one up just as a safety precaution.

Here's another picture of the pocket stop getting ready to be put in place. For the most part, the replacement stops fit PERFECTLY in place.

Finally, one last picture of the trailer up where it can be worked on. As you will note, there is a 55gal drum sitting in front of the trailer. As per the TM notes, this was supposed to be needed, but mine did not need to rest the front on it like the diagram showed.

I will be updating this page on the replacement of the front stops soon. It still has the separation of the front roof to the sides which will have to be repaired first, so stay tuned!

**** UPDATE! ****


Here is the "new and improved" pocket stop. What I did was drill a hole in both the pocket stop, and the rubber bushing, as well as (1) 1/8th inch shim, (to limit forward travel), then I threaded the pocket stop. Then I simply added a #10 x1.5" countersunk stainless steel screw to hold the bumper to the pocket stop. I did however experience a setback though today. I went to raise the back of the front section again to take out the taped old stops, and put in the newer ones, and wouldn't ya know the wall separated on the door side from the ceiling? Drats!!!! LOL, yeah, I kinda had a feeling that was going to happen at some point, but was really hoping it'd hold together long enough to get the stops in. So down the TM went again to completely replace out the wood in both the wall, and roof section on the door side with aluminum.

I tried to jack the rear up, and, wouldn't ya know the ceiling came apart from the wall.....oh well. Luckily I had the aluminum and wood I needed to repair it hastely. Which I did. I simply knocked the old wood out, and replaced it with aluminum, and or aluminum/wood combo. Having the knowledge from working on the other side however, made it go a LOT faster. Instead of cutting off the long screws hanging down with my dremel tool, I just cut them with my bolt cutters. I would bet it took me an hour to get the old wood out, screws out, and put the aluminum in. I will screw it all together tomorrow after my cordless drill battery's charged up. (Screwdriver, bought at big lots for 35 bucks). So I guess cut the 2.5 hour job down to 1.5 hours from the other side. Lol, I guess from looking at it, it seems bad...almost "unrecoverable" to me, it was a 2.5 hour job that I cut down to 1.5....... ;o) I've spent more time fixing a toilet in my't scare me much.

I just stuck some wood in there, then added my aluminum. I added from the rear and pushed it in forward. What you see in the above picture is a .5"x1" piece of wood used as a filler.

Above, you can see how I then added the aluminum tubing, again from the rear, and pushed it in forwards.

And finally, you see all the aluminum in place ready to be screwed down.
Old 08-16-2010, 11:31 AM
Posts: n/a

Text from "Tools Needed?" link in post 9 archive: (there were no pictures on this page)

TM Repairs: Tools Needed!

This section is here to show what tools and parts I used in the repair of my TM.

1) Hand Saw
2) Power Saw
3) Hack Saw
4) Large Rubber Mallet
5) Small Rubber Mallet
6) Chisel
7) Drill
8) Cordless Drill
9) Dremel Tool
10) 2 inch "C" Clamps (10-12)
11) Small, long flathead screwdriver
12) Bolt Cutter
13) Wire Cutter
14) Needlenose Pliars
15) Dog Tiedown (Corkscrew type)
16) Dog Tie (Steel line coated with plastic)

1) Saw - Used very little for cutting what little wood I used to replace out the original wood. Most wood was replaced with aluminum tubing.

2) Power Saw - Used very little as well. I used a power saw to cut a 2x4x15' board into 1 inch by 1.5 inch strips. A typical 2x4 is in reality 1.5 inches, by 3.5 inches. The wood in the roof section of the TM is 1"x1.5".

3) Hack Saw - Used to cut the aluminum tubing when needed.

4 & 5) Rubber Mallets - Used to knock the old rotted wood out with the chisel, also used to tap the small flathead screwdriver under the staples used to affix the vinal seal along the bottom out.

6) Chisel, Used to knock the old wood out, and make small modifications to what wood I used in it. Also, by tapping the chisel up in between the wall and the wood, it would break the grip of what glue was still in there holding the old wood.

7 & 8) Drills, corded & cordless - I used a corded drill to do all the drilling as needed for two reasons. One reason was it was a hassel to change the bit out with the screw driver bit, and two, by using the cordless drill as a screwdriver only, it saved on the battery on the cordless drill. Also, it had the power I needed to drill through the aluminum. One important note here, be sure to match the correct drill bit to the screw you're using to drill your pilot holes, too large, the screw won't hold, too small, you will strip out the heads on the screws. Aluminum tubing is soft, but it won't act the same with the screws as wood, so it is VERY important to get the proper match!

9) Dremel Tool - Used quite extensively to make small adjustments to the aluminum, cut off the heads of the lag screws used to replace the pins, and for other odds and ends. I recommend the really heavy duty fiberglass reinforced cutting wheels as the other ones will constantly break off.

10) "C" Clamps, 2 inch - Used to hold the aluminum while it was being glued to the wood. Also used to hold the vinal from the seals in place while it was being all screwed down.

11) Small long flathead screwdriver - This was extremely useful for removing the staples in all the vinal from the seals. By placing it under the vinal and staple, a small tap from the small rubber mallet would pop the old staple out.

12 & 13) Bolt Cutter & Wire Cutter - Used to cut off the screws that were on the inside portion of the trailer that held the old wood in place that held the vinal seals in place.

14) Needle Nose Pliars - Used to pull the staples out after knocking them loose with the small screwdriver, as well as other odds and ends.

15 & 16) Corkscrew Type Dog Tiedown & Tie - Planted in the ground next to the trailer at the exact length needed to support the top to keep it from travelling too far forwards.

Other materials used in the Trailmanor repairs:

1) Aluminum tubing

2) Wood, 1"x .5"

3) Wood, 1"x1.5"

4) Screws, Panhead, 1", size 12 (Stainless Steel)

5) Screws, Panhead, 1.5" size 12 (Stainless Steel)
Old 08-16-2010, 11:31 AM
Posts: n/a

I believe the above series of posts is all that is recoverable, unless someone knows of other archive sites to check. I tried to recover several of the blank photos, primarily from the main page, but got server errors in all cases, so the archive is linking to a dead page most likely. The web archive page that shows the dates this page was archived can be found at*/ if anyone wants to try and recover other photos.
Old 09-20-2012, 10:03 AM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Location: The mountains of Scottsdale, AZ, and the beaches of Maine
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Very nice work, MisterP - thank you.

Members might want to know that there is another repair blog similar to this one. Look for posts by member MariaG, and check for the link in her signature line.

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