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Old 09-05-2010, 01:48 PM   #21
cochise
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Originally Posted by fotozeman View Post
I have a Nissan Quest MiniVan, rated 3500#. I went to a dealer today, and they basically told me that I would not be able to tow a Trail Manor, not even the 2619, that basically all I would be able to tow would be a pop up. I am new to trailering, so I am a bit confused what I can really tow.

In simple terms, does anyone have any suggestions for what to look for in a trailer weight that I can tow with my Quest?

Also, does anybody have any experiences of towing Trail Manor trailers, possibly the 2619, or 2720, with vehicles rated at 3500# such as mini vans?

We really like the design of the Trail Manor Trailers better than the Pop Up Trailers, but if we really shouldn't tow them with our Quest, then we will have to begin searching other options.

Thanks for any ideas or help.
Based on weight information from both TM and Texas RV Center in Cleburne, we drove from Tucson to Texas to purchase our Elkmont 24. It was listed in their brochure as weighing 2498#, with a tongue weight of 320#. We had a one year old Santa Fe with the factory installed tow package and tow limits of 3500# with a tongue load of 350# MAX. Texas Rv installed both a brake control and WDH, and we believed we were safe. During our trip back we were often told that it appeared that we were towing in excess of our capability. After arriving home we decided that that was probably true. We had the rig on a scale and found that it weighed 3600# empty with 600# on the tongue. We also found out that we had probably used 12 – 15000 miles worth of rubber on the front tires towing the trailer back to AZ. AND… the Hyundai dealer here pointed out that there was a warning label on the tow bar not really visible unless you got on your back under the car, which a couple of guys from Texas Rv did. The label stated: Max 3500#, Max Tongue load 350#, AND “do not use with WDH. So much for trusting the Texas RV Center Dealer.

We got the funds freed up and bought used Chevy Silverado with a 5000# tow capacity and the factory installed tow package. It has the fancy tow transmission deal where you can press a button and the gears will changes differently.

We have now owned the Elkmont 24 for a year, and we are now finishing up with all the problems that we had with the trailer, and believe me the list is long. A person i9nterested in a travel trailer asked me about my opinion, and I told him that after a year of bickering with TM about warranty repairs etc., we have concluded that we were promised a quality trailer, but ended up with “a One star rolling mini hotel at a Five star price”. That said it all to that person. He thanked me for being honest.

Would we do it again? NO WAY! TrailManor had a really good concept, but decided to butcher it as best they could, including peeing on their customers. They never answer mail. They only accepted responsibility for their poor quality and dangerous flaws after we contacted RVIA and the furnace manufacturer.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:31 PM   #22
BamaFlum
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I have a similar question. We are contemplating a TT or a pup and came across the TM. It is an intriguing concept, albeit a bit on the expensive side. However, getting a more pleasant daily driver that can tow is much better than a tank for a TV.

Here is what we are considering for the TM. We love our Hondas and saw that the 4wd Pilot is rated at 4500lbs. With my family of 5 (three adults, tweenager, and two elementary school sons), we can safely tow around 4000lbs according to the manual. Would a 4wd Pilot handle the 2720? We are teachers and travel extensively in the summers. The TM would probably be going as far the Yellowstone and eventually we want to take the kids to Washington state. Anybody here tow a TM with a midsize SUV for great distances care to elaborate their experiences?

BTW, all cars, TT, pups, etc. (including TM) will have people that have had problems, so I understand there will be people who have problems. I know that Honda had problems with Odysseys in the early 2000's, but that didn't stop us from buying a 2003 one which has been a good "swagger wagon" for us.

Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:12 PM   #23
M&M Hokie
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My 2720 weighed in at 4160 pounds recently when fully loaded with freshwater and a charged toilet and all of the other accessories, supplies, etc. Add a full toilet and a gray water tank and it could get heavier still.

That is right at your max but you should also be looking at tongue weight and GCWR for your Pilot. I have scale-based calculations showing 560-720 lbs tongue weight depending upon how much tension I put on the WDH. What is your Pilot capable of after you have all of your family and any other gear in it? You might find that you cannot fill the Pilot with your family and meet the GVWR and GCWR when you add 500+ pounds of tongue weight and 4000+ pounds of trailer behind it.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:26 PM   #24
brulaz
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Ditto what Mark says above. Toyotas can have all sorts of Tow Capacity, but the Tow Vehicle itself can have very little payload capacity, especially when you consider that Trailmanor's usually have high tongue weights. My guess is that your Pilot will severely exceed it's rated GVWR when fully loaded with all those people, gear and a trailer.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:35 PM   #25
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It looks like a Pilot may be pushing it. I figured out a few measurements. The Pilot weighs roughly 4600lbs. Add the hitch weght @500lbs and passages at @500lbs, plus the trailer at @4000lbs, that puts the GCWR at 9600lbs and the limit for the Pilot is 9579lbs. Of course, that doesn't include any cargo in the Pilot itself. Crude. How do people tow the TM in minivans without going over is beyond me.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:54 PM   #26
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. How do people tow the TM in minivans without going over is beyond me.
It would tow fine. The problems would start when trying to stop, climb a steep hill or handle a panic stop or quick manuever. Let alone any inclimate weather.

There's a lot of guys here that preach safety and tell it like it is. Not always what we want to hear, but it has saved my butt at least 2 times.
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Old 09-06-2010, 10:08 AM   #27
Mr. Adventure
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Default Towing with a 3500# tow rating

Quote:
Originally Posted by fotozeman View Post
I have a Nissan Quest MiniVan, rated 3500#. I went to a dealer today, and they basically told me that I would not be able to tow a Trail Manor, not even the 2619, that basically all I would be able to tow would be a pop up. I am new to trailering, so I am a bit confused what I can really tow.

In simple terms, does anyone have any suggestions for what to look for in a trailer weight that I can tow with my Quest?

Also, does anybody have any experiences of towing Trail Manor trailers, possibly the 2619, or 2720, with vehicles rated at 3500# such as mini vans?

We really like the design of the Trail Manor Trailers better than the Pop Up Trailers, but if we really shouldn't tow them with our Quest, then we will have to begin searching other options.

Thanks for any ideas or help.
In this thread, I provide the exact weights for towing my 3023 with a Toyota Highlander: http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ad.php?t=10652
Separately in this forum, we have discussed lots of things about towing. It turns out that tow ratings are guidelines, not laws, and that there is a lot of variation in owner experience and expectation. There are also major variations in how people use these trailers. Major parts of a manufacturer's tow rating include not only engineering analysis, but also durability (will the transmission hold up?) and legal issues (are people really going to drive the speed limit when towing, or are they going to drive like they do otherwise and then blame us for their problems?). In other words, opinions are many and facts are few. For these reasons I highly value real world actual owner experience. Search Nissan Quest on this forum to look for people who have actually done this, and maybe message them separately to find out more about what they've learned.

I almost never tell someone else what to do, but I do speculate about what I might do under a specific circumstance. Here is how I would approach your situation:
- If under warranty, I would be cautious about violating the specs or discussing that very much with the people responsible for warranty repairs. Instead, I'd be talking to RV dealers who are more likely to know about this stuff. In my experience, car dealers don't know much about towing because people there haven't done much of it except for lightweight trailers.

- I would find out exactly what the owner's manual and driver's side door post sticker say about that 3500# rating. Many manufacturers give you a tow rating, and then take a big chunk of it away by telling you to subtract tow vehicle loads from the trailer tow rating. My Toyota axle and tow ratings are actually on the generous side , where the sum of the axle weights is substantially greater than the gross vehicle weight rating (meaning that you don't have to balance the tow vehicle to the last pound in order to be able to use the whole vehicle rated capacity), and where the difference between the tow vehicle loaded on the scale and the Gross Combined Weight Rating is still more than 4000#.

- I think it is very important to know what you tow. My 3023 is 2915# in the brochure and 3950# on the road lightly loaded. But a 2619 should be able to be pretty darned close to 3500#, if not under.

- For all these reasons, I'd expect a Dodge Caravan to have issues with a TrailManor, yet we have owners reporting good experiences. I ascribe this to people being cautious about their towing speeds (65mph on a flat road on a hot day is harder on the transmission than you might think) and not living or vacationing in extreme places (altitudes above 6000 feet, unpaved trails, and 50 miles off into the boondocks).

- I would ALWAYS use a properly adjusted weight distributing hitch and brake controller, even from home to the storage yard.

- Depending a bit on the actual tow vehicle axle and payload ratings, I'm thinking I'd like to try towing with a Nissan Quest before deciding it wasn't going to work (unless I lived out West, of course, where the consensus of user experience seems to suggest that more tow vehicle is always better). A Nissan Quest has enough horsepower to do this, but I think I'd probably want the factory tow package. You WILL need a 500# rated hitch receiver (not 350#) because you will have nearly that in tongue weight under the best of circumstances.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:54 PM   #28
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fwiw...

This past Labor day weekend it was interesting watching the temperature gauge on my GMC 2500HD gasser while towing the 2005 TM 2720 wet and loaded for bear, with two motorcycles, 20 gallons of gas, generator, and a bunch more heavy stuff in the 8 foot bed up to Bass Lake, Ca (elevation 3380 feet) with an outdoor temperature temperature of 104F.

Good thing it was 5PM, otherwise the outdoor temperature would have been a little hotter.

On any uphill section that I was on, I was able to accelerate any time that I wanted to. Under no circumstance was there a reason to pull over to allow others to pass, as I was towing at the speed limit of 55 (I'll never admit to driving at 60 in California). At times I passed minivans that were not towing. Perhaps they just liked to drive slow.

Nominal transmission temperature is usually 175-180. This time I saw it hit 210 at times. It might have hit a bit more when I wasn't looking.

I was going to weigh it on the way home but ran out of time.

I am happy with my configuration. It does all that I expect it to do.

I would not recommend a small tow vehicle to go where I go. California has some serious foothills.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:40 AM   #29
Mr. Adventure
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Originally Posted by cochise View Post
The label stated: Max 3500#, Max Tongue load 350#, AND “do not use with WDH. So much for trusting the Texas RV Center Dealer.
Golly, that's pretty disappointing. There is a little engineering in all towing, I suppose, but a hitch receiver labeled "max. 350# tongue wt" and "not for use with a WDH" is a hitch receiver not for use with a TrailManor, and anyone who's ever towed a TrailManor and anyone in the industry should have been able to point that out to you.

I learned several RV's ago that they are a collection of independent parts from different manufacturers. Winnebago taught me that you need to allow enough time at the time of purchase (months, if necessary) that you don't take it off the dealer's lot until everything is working (it took about a year with a good dealer to get through all the delivery issues on that one). Thankfully, most of us have had better experience than yours with our TrailManors and the dealers, and hopefully you'll have a better experience going forward.
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2005 TrailManor 3023
2003 Toyota Highlander 220hp V6 FWD
Reese 1000# round bar Weight Distributing Hitch
Prodigy brake controller.

"It's not how fast you can go, it's how fast you can stop an RV that counts."
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:24 PM   #30
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This is well over a month after the last message on this thread, but I tow with a 2004 Nissan Quest. Now I'm a guest on this site--not a TM owner--so my experience is not with a TM but with a KZ Coyote 18 ft. trailor with dry weight of 2500 lbs. The hitch has weight distribution bars, etc. And I added a transmission cooler. I've driven the Quest (2 adults, 3 kids under 8) with trailer in tow all over Northern Ontario 2 summers ago, plus I've taken it from W. Lafayette, IN to the Florida panhandle and back over spring break 2 years ago (past couple of summers we've just camped in Indiana State Parks). The transmission cooler was improperly installed initially (not much space in engine compartment) by Aamco (local Nissan dealer refused to do it), and on returning from Florida my transmission acted strangely. Aamco fixed it free of charge and the problems have not returned since. We're planning a trip next summer, when I hoped to get a trade-in for a fuel efficient SUV. I'm envious of TM owners; I'm looking at getting one down the road.
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