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Old 03-25-2011, 04:18 PM   #1
Boonedoggle
 
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Default Good questions to ask when buying a TM

I am going to be driving across the state to see a TM 2720 that is for sale. It is a 2007 and looks good in the pictures.

My question is this. Are there any good questions I should ask before wasting my time driving such a far distance? Also, are there any basic questions that any new / prospective owner should ask or look for?

Thank you in advance for the help. I am REALLY excited to finally pull the trigger and join the TrailManor nation!

This has been a great site.

John
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Are you buying from a private owner or a dealer? We drove to the California coast for ours and thought we had it covered . . .

We did end up buying it but the dealer had not been honest with us. The first obvious thing was that the ads said that it had been stored inside and that was clearly not the case. The curtains were bleached almost white and it came with a cover. "Hello, McFly!" The dealer sold park models and took ours in on trade. They didn't have much of a clue about TMs. A private owner would know if they were taking you or not.

We asked them to have ours filled with water and power run to it. Spend the night in it if you can. TEST EVERYTHING!

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Old 03-25-2011, 06:14 PM   #3
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Set it up and take it down, to make certain the lifting mechanism works. Run the heat, AC and water pump. Ask them to start the fridge ahead of time as it is impossible to see if it works well in an hour or so. Assume you will need to replace tires and battery ( figure that into your cost) unless they have been replaced since new. Check for major rust. Look for water stains on curtains indicating a leak. If possible open it up and hose it down while set up then check for leaks. Check to see that pump in toilet works. Hook up water and electric to check for leaks, and electrical problems. Ask for the owners manuals ( separate ones for each appliance) They come with a new TM. Unroll awning and check for mold and rips. Check propane tanks for major rust as the horizontal ones are not cheap to replace.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonedoggle View Post
I am going to be driving across the state to see a TM 2720 that is for sale. It is a 2007 and looks good in the pictures.

My question is this. Are there any good questions I should ask before wasting my time driving such a far distance? Also, are there any basic questions that any new / prospective owner should ask or look for?

Thank you in advance for the help. I am REALLY excited to finally pull the trigger and join the TrailManor nation!

This has been a great site.

John
When doing this long distance, this is what I did:

Do they have the title? (they did, I had them fax a copy) (I also googled their street address and phone number to see if everything seemed to match up with the title)
Are there any liens? (If yes, I'd have called the lien holder and asked them how you can make sure they get paid, and then figured out how to do exactly that)

Get the VIN number.
- Then I Googled it, looking for any reports
- I called my insurance agent, and told him I planed to be insuring it with them, and asked him to run it in his computer.
- I tried to figure out how to look it up in it's home state DMV, but couldn't (trailer VIN numbers were hard to research), so I called the trailer's home state DMV on the phone and asked them if their computer showed any reason why I couldn't title it if I bought it (they didn't want to answer questions for "privacy" reasons, but they said "no" to this most important one).


Is there any damage?
Does everything work?
(then I negotiated the price, made a handshake deal on the phone, and when we got together, I would have renegotiated a subtraction for anything that wasn't exactly right with the representations they made on the phone... but everything was great).

I went with them to a branch of my bank. I had the bank make copies of their driver's license and the title and had them prepare the check to pay them. I had them sign the title at the bank in my presence, and I handed them the check (banks have such great surveillance systems, I figured that any crooks would be nervous about this arrangement).

Yes, a dealer could have been easier, particularly if you have towing vehicle hitch and controller installations or issues. But I met some nice people and got a great deal this way. (But you could easily arrange to pay a dealer near the point of purchase to go over the trailer and to install a hitch and brake controller for you)
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:53 AM   #5
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Default Salvage title!

Make sure you are not buying a salvage or rebuilt title!!!!!

Some wrecked TM's have been sold for salvage and then the buyers have tried to resell them. You absolutely do not want to buy one of these.

Make sure you take a rug or cardboard and look under the trailer. Look for any damage or repairs on the bottom, pipes and tank. Also look to see if there is a lot of rust. There will be some but not a lot. Is there a spare on the rack?

My wife and I just bought a replacement to our wrecked 2720sl while we were on vacation. We spent 4 hours going over the unit. Found that the toilet leaked and forced the dealer to fix it. We opened and closed it ourselves. Checked that the heat, AC, fan, fridge worked (gas and electric), hot water heater (gas and electric), pump, stove and oven. We opended and checked all cabinets, looked under the mattress, looked under the sofa, and turned on every light.
We noticed that the axel grease caps were gone, that dealer doesn't carry them so we will have to take some with us.

Does anyone know the axle grease cap diameter for a 2007 2720sl? They are only a couple of bucks but are really necessary to keep the axle grease dry.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
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Just take your time. After it is open-sit in it for 30-45 minutes and see what comes to your mind. Look in the different compartments especially under the sink compartment and take a good flashlight so you can look back towards the wheel well which is in the back of that compartment.

Look in the long storage compartment above the bed at the front for any signs of water leaks. That is one place out of many to check.

Others on this forum have provided good advice on other concerns to look for.

If you are buying it from a private individual, there is an old saying that I've found helpful --inspect "the seller" as well as the item you are buying.

If you have doubts or are on the fence tell them you want to think about it for a little while and go get a cup of coffee and talk it over with your spouse or SO.

If it is a dealer they should cover any surprises you find for at least 30 -60 or perhaps even 90 days after you get it home and start using it, unless they sell it "as is" at a significant discount.


Good luck-hope it is in good shape or if not you get a real good deal if you don't mind putting a little "sweat equity" into it.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
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Default Thanks!

It will be with a private seller. The pictures and email exchanges have been great, so I am not too concerned about the sellers reputation. I will still use caution though.

Great advice from everyone and I will adhere to your council. This site and all of you are really great. I can't wait to post my own pictures and be a part of TM community. I look forward to seeing a fellow TM owner in a camping spot someday soon!
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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There is some really good advice in this thread and I would follow it!

One of the things I would recommend is be willing to say "pass." That can do two things for you. One, you may get a better deal. Two you may not get hit with a rig that has problems.

Another thing that is a good tip is to go look at trailers you are not interested in buying. They do not necessarily need to be TMs, though that can help a bunch. You can go to a showroom and do this, especially if they deal in used trailers. This will help calibrate you eyeballs and your nose. Believe you nose may reveal a significant water leak problem where your eyes may not.

One final thing that is a not a bad way to go, is to do the title transfer at a dealership. RV places know the law and know what Ts need to crossed and what I(s) need to be dotted. I don't remember what we were charged for that (I think it was free--previous owner was buying a 5th wheel) but the dealership told us the charge would have been small anyway...
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