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Old 11-26-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
Beach Boy
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Default Long Term Use of TM

First a little background of myself, I live and work in Birmingham, AL (would like to hear from posters in Alabama) and have a Park Model in Gulf Shores, AL. I bought a 1990 37' Tiffin Allegro motorhome in 2005 and camped in it until 2009 when I sold it. Loved to camp in it, but hated to drive it (dangerous) and the 6 MPG.

I want to travel with my wife throughout South Florida investigating sites for a future Park Model or maybe do some snowbirding when I retire in about six years. I am considering a TM due to that it can be pulled by a SUV and hopefully have better MPG.

Here are my questions:

1. If we snowbird, is a TM suitable for long-term stays (3 months)?

2. Are TM's safer to tow than other towables? Trucks pushed our 18k motorhome all over this place. So how is the sway? I would like to hear from everybody but those who have towed over types of towables would be great.

3. Is the TM air conditioner up to the task of South Florida heat and humidity? If not, any creative solutions?

4. I see posts from people are selling in order to move to a 5th wheel or motorhome. Why?

Love this forum. Can't wait for the replies.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Boy View Post
First a little background of myself, I live and work in Birmingham, AL (would like to hear from posters in Alabama) and have a Park Model in Gulf Shores, AL. I bought a 1990 37' Tiffin Allegro motorhome in 2005 and camped in it until 2009 when I sold it. Loved to camp in it, but hated to drive it (dangerous) and the 6 MPG.

I want to travel with my wife throughout South Florida investigating sites for a future Park Model or maybe do some snowbirding when I retire in about six years. I am considering a TM due to that it can be pulled by a SUV and hopefully have better MPG.

Here are my questions:

1. If we snowbird, is a TM suitable for long-term stays (3 months)?

2. Are TM's safer to tow than other towables? Trucks pushed our 18k motorhome all over this place. So how is the sway? I would like to hear from everybody but those who have towed over types of towables would be great.

3. Is the TM air conditioner up to the task of South Florida heat and humidity? If not, any creative solutions?

4. I see posts from people are selling in order to move to a 5th wheel or motorhome. Why?

Love this forum. Can't wait for the replies.
1. Yes, if you have hook-ups and switch out the recirc toilet for a flush-able RV toilet.

2. TMs are the safest towing camping trailer that I've seen. I've towed several types of trailers.

3. A/C is very efficient and if care is taken to plug up any gaps, it will easily handle the hottest, humid days.

4. I haven't seen those posts but the fact is, people are always looking for "Bigger & better". This is true whether you are talking homes, cars, toys.....whatever. It's just our culture.

Having said all that, If I were going to be staying in one place, for 3 months at a time, my priority would be more on "space and comfort" and less on towability and MPG. I think that I would lean more toward a 5th wheel (with slide-outs all over he place) and a 3/4 ton pick-up truck..........but that's just me.....

The TM is more designed for the weekend and/or vacation camper IMHO.
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beach Boy View Post
First a little background of myself, I live and work in Birmingham, AL (would like to hear from posters in Alabama) and have a Park Model in Gulf Shores, AL. I bought a 1990 37' Tiffin Allegro motorhome in 2005 and camped in it until 2009 when I sold it. Loved to camp in it, but hated to drive it (dangerous) and the 6 MPG.

I want to travel with my wife throughout South Florida investigating sites for a future Park Model or maybe do some snowbirding when I retire in about six years. I am considering a TM due to that it can be pulled by a SUV and hopefully have better MPG.

Here are my questions:

1. If we snowbird, is a TM suitable for long-term stays (3 months)?

2. Are TM's safer to tow than other towables? Trucks pushed our 18k motorhome all over this place. So how is the sway? I would like to hear from everybody but those who have towed over types of towables would be great.

3. Is the TM air conditioner up to the task of South Florida heat and humidity? If not, any creative solutions?

4. I see posts from people are selling in order to move to a 5th wheel or motorhome. Why?

Love this forum. Can't wait for the replies.

We used to have a 37' Winnebago Adventurer, and it was wonderful, except for the 6mpg, a size that fits almost nowhere, the costs of maintaining all that hardware, and a 10 cylinder power train out there quietly depreciating. We were thinking about a full-timing sabbatical when we bought it, but we decided that despite great adventures, even a 37 foot motorhome wasn't going to really ever be "home."

The TrailManor is a great compromise: we can pull it with a fuel efficient, wife-driveable vehicle, yet it has tons of interior space. It is not as cushy as the motorhome in many ways, but with gas on its way back to $3, there's no way we'd see ourselves covering a lot of miles in the motorhome anymore (we get 16-17 mpg towing). Our TV/TM combo has substantially better road stability than the motorhome (it wasn't bad, as motorhomes go, and I would not describe the Winnebago as "dangerous", but it filled the road and took concentration to keep it where it belonged). The TM does not get shifted or noticeably moved about by the pressure wave around the front of passing vehicles.

I've never heard of "sway" as a problem in the folded TrailManors, and I have no experience in the newer full height models.

The TM AC has twice as much capacity as is needed here in Virginia. I think of our hot days as just like Florida, with the difference being that they just have 5 times as many of them as we do.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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Spent 6 months on the road with a Coleman pop-up. Dropped it off in Tx and bought a new '11 2720SL so we could retain the low towing profile. The TM has the same AC unit as our pop-up had only newer. In Florida the AC unit will work great. We towed the TM home about 1100 miles, no sway problems and got the same MPG as when towing the pop-up. We also have an '02 28 ft Outback. It stays at the fish camp. I towed it back from Md a year ago and MPG wasn't real good, about 10 to 11 mpg at 60 to 65 on I-95. We plan on another 6 month trip in 2011 and look forward to boondocking out of the TM
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:26 PM   #5
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On our first trip with our new TM, spent 7 days in Orlando Fl last August, AC kept us cool.

Tim
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Old 11-26-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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I've stayed in mine for 6 months while relocating closer to Orlando, Fl (new job) and the A/C worked super and the space and windows a very good. I had a blast staying in it.

The trip when I purchased it was from Buffalo NY to Daytona Beach, Fl pulling with a F-150 using an WDH and it was sooooooooo worry free, no swaying around semi trailers. It tows like a dream compared to the old campers or covered trailers I've towed.

It's not easy for most to grasp the uniqueness of this trailer but those who buy and sell quickly might get caught up in the easy towing and cheaper fuel prices and did not lay enough weight on the setup and tear down which some find harder as they use it more.

This is just a guess because I have fun setting up mine (it's like getting to build something for me every time).


Good hunting on your next camper anyway you choose, where always here or camping.
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Old 11-26-2010, 07:18 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why you would have to switch out the recirc toilet if you have full hookups? We've stayed for a week in an RV park with full hookups and I just left the drains connected and emptied when needed. No big deal.

I'm with everyone else, towing is amazingly easy. No sway issues, or high wind issues. If I was snowbirding it, I would want one of the larger TM models. The monster motorhomes don't make sense to me when you consider price and upkeep. I would think you could rent a house for 3 months and come out way ahead. But that's just me.
GOOD LUCK! Keep it fun.
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:48 AM   #8
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We used to have a 34' Bounder and got sick of the hidious MPG and maintenance costs. We now have a 2619. The longest we have been out is 37 nights. We could be happy as clams for a long time in our TM as long as the weather is good. I think we'd go nuts if we had to spend a lot of time inside.

We have considered how many nights we could have stayed in a really, really nice hotel or rental house compared to what we have spent on RVs. For us, camping right on the beach, river, lake . . . priceless.

Malinda
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:49 PM   #9
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For us, camping right on the beach, river, lake . . . priceless.

Malinda
I agree.
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Old 11-28-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
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I think that your questions were just directed at the traditional TrailManor. If you are serious about snowbirding and still want something that is easy to tow & get good gas mileage, I would seriously look at the Elkmont TrailManors. They are built just like the regular TrailManors, and if you look at the weights for both units, you will be surprised that there isn't much difference.

Having owned 3 TrailManors since 1992, we bought the Elkmont 26 in May, and we just love it. It doesn't have all of the counter space as our 3326King had, but the Elkmont has a lot of other positive points over the 3326King. I get about 1 to 1.5 miles per gallon less pulling the Elkmont, but it tows just as well as the 3326King. It's nice to have a lot more storage space, huge 6 cubic foot refrig, large screen door, and no more opening and closing it. It's real nice to stop at a rest area, and just unlock the door, and get something out of the refrig or just use the toilet instead of the public restrooms which can be pretty nasty sometimes.

Please don't think that I am knocking the traditional TrailManor. We would not have bought 3 of them over the years if we didn't think that they were a great unit. But now at our stage in life, the Elkmont fits our needs better. That is why TrailManor builds different models of the traditional TrailManor as well as 3 different size Elkmonts plus different floor plans for the 24 foot size one.

Another thing that you did not mention was if price of the new TrailManors was a big issue. If it is, you will find that the Elkmont will cost a lot less than the traditional TrailManor. If we had bought a new 3326King, the retail would have been at least $41 to $42,000.00. Our Elkmont 26 retailed for $35,000.00 fully loaded. Big difference in price. Of course we bought it out right & we were able to get a huge amount off the suggested retail.

So, take a look at the Elkmonts if you are seriously looking at buying a TrailManor of some kind.
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