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Old 11-13-2010, 03:21 PM   #21
Unstable_Tripod
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Hello Everyone.

I am new to this forum, having joined it because I am extremely interested in getting a Trailmanor. (I currently have a Fleetwood/Coleman Pop-Up tent camper.) Storage is an important concern for me. I keep the popup in the garage and I'd like to keep a trailmanor in there too but I'm not sure about a couple of things.

First issue: I live on a hill and my driveway slopes steeply downhill from the street to the garage. Right now my popup tongue almost hits the pavement at the entrance to the garage when I back it in there because when it gets to that point it is on the level garage floor but the the tow vehicle is still on the sloped driveway. The popup is only 14" long from the rear bumper to the hitch ball coupler. How much clearance does a 19' Trailmanor have from the ground? (I know it has bigger tires but what about the height from the ground to the axle and the fact that the axle is set farther back from center on a Trailmanor?)

Second issue: A popup is supposed to be level before raising the roof because raising the roof when it is off-level is very hard on the cable mechanism. How far out of level can I be and still raise the roof sections of a Trailmanor? I ask because since I would not be able to set the Trailmanor up in the garage as I do the popup (too long when open), I'd have to set it up on the street in front of the house and that is an extremely steep slope. I'd be well out of level even if I put the tongue on the pavement.

I really want a Trailmanor but really don't want the cost and inconvenience of storing it away from home. Thanks very much in advance for your input.
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:35 PM   #22
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Where are you located? Our dealer (Custom RV in Anaheim CA) brought one to our house prior to purchase to see if it fit. Don't know how steep your hill is, but the main limitation to setting up on a hill is your strength in raising the uphill shell. There is no mechanism like you had on your popup. I suspect you could figure out some way to raise the downhill end of the TM to level it, after careful blocking of course!
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Old 11-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #23
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Regarding opening (as opposed to getting it into the garage):

The TM itself must be close to level when it is opened. If the driveway is slanted (as mine is), you'll need to lower the nose enough to level the trailer before opening it. Will the tongue jack crank it high enough? If your driveway is very slanted, the answer may be no.

The problem isn't damage to the trailer (though that can happen). The problem is that when you open the TM, the front shell lifts UP, and then FORWARD. The torsion bar lift system is designed to take care of the UP part of the motion, but has no effect on the FORWARD part of the motion. If "forward" is also "down", it is your own muscle power that will have to pull it uphill. And it is HEAVY. Closing is just the opposite - it will try to zoom closed, and you probably won't be able to hold it back.

Similarly, opening and closing the rear shell will be very hard, since it will try to zoom open, and you'll have to pull it uphill to close it.

Hope that makes sense. Take a look at the "Opening the TM" video at trailmanor.com, and envision pulling the shells uphill and downhill.

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Old 11-13-2010, 06:02 PM   #24
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As you see can from the pics earlier in this thread, I too park my TM on an incline such that I back the TM uphill. I wanted to be able to open the TM while parked as well, so I built a riser from the tongue jack. I just took an 8-foot long 2x12 of pressure treated lumber, cut it into 1-foot lengths, and stacked them up with the grain changing direction with each board, and screwed them together as I stacked them. I neglected to glue them together as well, so some of them warped a bit, but it still works fine. If I did it over again, I probably would use untreated lumber on all but the board that touches the ground, to help prevent the warping, and glue AND screw them together. But I also live in SoCal, where it rarely rains.

See the below pic -- the tongue jack is not fully extended. IIRC, my driveway slope is about 8-9 degrees, which is fairly steep. I can verify that if you'd like to compare it to yours.

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Old 11-13-2010, 06:05 PM   #25
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Hi Scott O. Thanks for the response. I am just outside Seattle. The closest Trailmanor dealer is in a suburb of Portland, OR, almost 200 miles away. I suspect they won't bring one up here.

Hi Bill. Thanks for your response as well. I've seen the videos and am familiar with the opening process. I would never try to set it up in the driveway because that is at least a 30 degree slope. The street in front of the house is about a 20 degree slope. Unless I created some sort of ramps to back the Trailmanor onto I suspect there is no way I could get it level out there. On the street, it would be the front that is uphill and the back that is downhill.

We will have a big RV show here in Seattle in February. I hope Trailmanor will be there. If so I'll talk to the sales reps about this issue. It may be that off-site storage is my only option if I want one.

PS: Hi Shrimpburrito. Thanks for your response. You must have posted while I was composing my response. I looked at your picture and my slopes (driveway and street) are much more extreme. My issue is not parking it level -- I can do that if I can get it in the garage. My issues are getting it in there without dragging the tongue on the pavement and getting close to level to open it while parked in the street. Thanks again.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:13 PM   #26
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Umm....are you sure about that grade? The steepest street in the world is supposedly in New Zealand, with a grade of about 19 degrees. How did you calculate it? Are you talking about % grade? If so, that's a much different number. A 100% grade is a 45 degree climb.

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Old 11-13-2010, 06:33 PM   #27
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OK, perhaps my terminology is off. I just went outside and measured it with a level and a ruler. The slope is 2" per foot, so that is 16.7%.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:02 PM   #28
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That is very steep. But theoretically, you could still make the trailer level and safe if you build a wide enough riser for the tongue, and you prevented the wheels from moving. I presume you've already read at the beginning of this thread what I did to address the latter issue. Neither is hard to do, but it will take some work.

However, even if you could get the tongue stabilized at whatever height is required to make the unit level, you still need to make sure the rear bumper doesn't bottom out and prevent you from raising the tongue high enough.

When my TM is level in my driveway, the rear edge of my rear bumper is about 9.5" from the ground.

I just measured my driveway, and it is a 6 degree slope. Your driveway, with your measured 16.7% slope, is 9.5 degrees. (the equation is arctan of percentage slope = degrees)

Thus, according to my calculations, if I parked my 2720 TM in your driveway and leveled it, the rear bumper would clear by roughly 3 inches. And note that my 2720 includes the 2" lift kit, so the frame on my TM is about 17" off the ground at the axle. The newer models already have the lift kit installed.

So while it would take some work, you could level a TM in your driveway.

Dave
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:02 AM   #29
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This is a bit embarassing but... my driveway has a slope to the garage and a curve (what was the designer thinking?). I opened up the TM before winter storage just enough to toss in the laundry bag with clean sheets. I didn't bother to insert the locking pins and while I was standing inside the upper shell it "auto closed" on me. It was a little scary for a second and I had visions of calling 911 from my cell phone to extricate me. Of course that wasn't necessary and I just pushed the upper shell open with my shoulders while walking backwards. In the future, however, I won't step inside either shell without engaging the locking pins! - camp2canoe
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:55 AM   #30
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UT - I think you have the opposite problem from most, if I'm reading you correctly: you need to lower the tongue to level a TM on your driveway/street, not raise it. And the issue, rightly pointed out, is that there is an absolute limit to how low you can go (the pavement, in this case).

I can think of two alternatives: One, pull the TM out, use the swing-away hitch (if you have one) to get the hitch/tongue jack out of the way, with the TM supported on one or two jacks--probably at the corners of the frame for clearance, but could also be potentially done with one in the middle, and then lower the front as needed. This will make the distance from axle to nose shorter by almost 2 feet, which will give you more allowance to lower the front to where you need.

Option two is more work and less likely to help, but it would involve making some kind of cut into the driveway to allow the tongue to dip into the surface and achieve level that way.

I think option one is better, assuming you have a swing-away tongue.

As to pulling it into the garage itself, I'm thinking that you could, again, try one of two things. Back it in, use the swing hitch and perhaps some kind of wheels added onto the flat part of the tongue after the nose is swung/removed--like the kind you can put on a rowboat gunwale to move it around. You would likely need some kind of winch at this point, since the tongue won't be attached anymore.

Conversely, you could put the TM in nose-first. Since the wheels are closer to the rear than the front, this would give you more leeway, and make Dave's calculations above work for you. For this, you'd need a winch (again) or the rear hitch receiver, which is listed as the bike-rack receiver. You could then make a bar to go into that to which you could hitch your TV and back it in that way. There should be posts on the boards here with someone else's experience in doing that, I kind of remember from a little while back. The added clearance this way should let you get it in (hopefully) without scraping. In addition, it seems that we are all fairly certain that you could level the TM if the nose is downhill, so that problem would be solved as well.

Me, personally, I put my TM in my garage nose-first. I have an uphill slope, like most, but the TM won't fit if I back it in. So, I put a winch in the back of the garage mounted to the floor, and I use it to get the TM up the driveway, past a small curve, and then into the flat part of the floor. I push from there. It's a very tight fit, but it does fit.
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