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Old 12-09-2010, 11:49 AM   #1
Beach Boy
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Default I Thinking About Buying Used.

Is there a "Golden Age" of TM quality? I read on this forum about some people's concerns about the present quality of newer units. I just wondered if there is a period of production for example 2003-2007 which had high quality.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:51 PM   #2
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Is there a "Golden Age" of TM quality? I read on this forum about some people's concerns about the present quality of newer units. I just wondered if there is a period of production for example 2003-2007 which had high quality.
TrailManors are remarkably similar over the years, and that can make buying used a pretty good deal. Apparently there were some new model issues with the early Elkmonts, but I would expect that the factory hasn't changed the output quality much over the years. The more stuff in the RV, the more stuff there is to keep running!

I'm a fan of as little wood as possible, having fought those battles on other RV's in the good old days. TM has been steadily reducing the use of wood, so I'd be thinking 2003 or so and later (in the drier climates, this may be less of an issue). Obviously, the newer ones have higher values and have less wear and tear on everything.

Mine is as solid as the day it was new (unlike any other RV I have ever owned after it was 5 years old). I bought it on Ebay from a guy in Georgia, but I'd recommend going through a dealer to people buying their first RV (the many issues in hitching up and fixing things make this handy for a newby). I try to tell others what I might do, instead of telling them what to do, but here's an exception: Regardless of how you buy it, see the demo in YOUR unit before you sign the papers, being prepared to back away if it's being delivered to you in a condition substantially different from what was represented before the sale! In the states I have purchased RV's over the years (IL, MD, GA, & VA) the consumer protection motor vehicle dealer laws about warranties were applicable.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:48 PM   #3
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I have already decided to buy an unit manufactured in 2003 and newer due to the wood issue. I am gravitating towards a 2003 to 2007 model - after the elimination of wood and before the current downturn in the economy. Just wondering what other people think?

You mentioned Elkmonts. When did TM start manufacturing them? When did the new manufacturing problems work themselves out?
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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I can only speak for our 2010 2720SL which we got new in August of this year and have had four trips with it so far. We have had a few problems all of which i consider to be minor and were easily fixed.

Tim
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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This may not be directly relevant, but might contribute.

My first TM was an early 2002 2720SL. I joined this Forum, and naturally all of the discussion centered on pre-2002 models. I seemed to notice that TM's development pace was evolutionary before about 2000-2001. Then came a series of rapid improvements - the pace had gone revolutionary - in the 2001-2004 time frame. And by 2004, things had gone back to an evolutionary development pace.

It could be argued that changes went back again to a revolutionary pace in the last couple years, as evidenced by the vastly-extended options list. In 2002, I think there a total of 4 options. Today there are ???

Bill
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:47 PM   #6
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Having owned a '98 and recently purchased a 2004, I would say that the newer, the better. Of course, you would pay accordingly.

I have found that 2004 was sort of an odd year where they sorta made changes that weren't completely thought through. By 2005, they seemed to have fixed some of that stuff.

If I were to pick "golden years" for a used TM purchase, they would be 2006-2008. Just my opinion.

If you are handy and enjoy retrofitting things (like I do), then add 2003 and 2004 to your list.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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I purchased both of my TMs used. My first was less than a year old and the current one was 3 years old. In both cases I paid about half the cost of a new one. I have been patient and done my homework. Most important is learning how to do an inspection or use a good checklist.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:22 PM   #8
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We have a 1997 2720, and I think that it is very well built. We have had very few issues with the trailer body and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another well-kept and maintained older TM. It's solid, we've had it for 7+ years, and we've only had two very minor leak problems that were easily corrected.

The only thing that has failed was a side A/C unit and we took it out and put in a microwave. I don't really miss the A/C unit as we don't camp that often where it's needed.

It seems to me that (1) either there are not that many older TM owners on the board, or (2) the newer units have more issues than the older units.

All of our appliances still work great, they may have their quirks, but they all work just fine when you figure out how to make them work.

JMHO, plus we've put a lot of work into maintaining our TM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:15 PM   #9
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Having owned a '98 and recently purchased a 2004, I would say that the newer, the better. Of course, you would pay accordingly.

I have found that 2004 was sort of an odd year where they sorta made changes that weren't completely thought through. By 2005, they seemed to have fixed some of that stuff.

If I were to pick "golden years" for a used TM purchase, they would be 2006-2008. Just my opinion.

If you are handy and enjoy retrofitting things (like I do), then add 2003 and 2004 to your list.
Interesting observation. The year you left out (2005) is what I have.

I have no complaints. Just the usual maintenance issues.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:59 PM   #10
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Interesting observation. The year you left out (2005) is what I have.

I have no complaints. Just the usual maintenance issues.
Sorry, I meant 2005-2008.........typo.

BTW, now that I've fixed the propane tank issue and a few other little oddities, I'm very happy with our 2004. That propane tank set-up on the '04 was just plain stupid IMO.
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