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Old 11-02-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
yoda911
 
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Default Newcomer needs advice

I am new to this site and am very impressed with its content. I am also very impressed with the TM design and am considering getting our first camper, either the 2720SL or the 2720SD. Hope I am asking this in the right place but I am looking for some advice from the expert users of TM's. My TV is an 07' RX 350 with towing package, tow max at 3500lb, tongue weight max at 350lb (I realize the TM tongue weight is at or above this but a local dealer said it would do fine). I am installing the P3 brake controller and have the Reese 350lb weight distribution hitch. We tend to travel light and camp light so I think I can keep the loaded weight down. I looked at 2010 and 2011 2720SLs and was very impressed with the ease of the manual slide mechanism and how clean/neat the tongue area was. Unfortunately we cannot afford anything newer than the 06', 07', 08' range. One of the used models had much more clutter and iron up front than the newer models have and the slides don't seem as smooth as the newer ones. Was there a design change to the front end and front slide other than the swing hitch? So far, the used ones we have seen have lived a hard life and need a lot of TLC but are still asking 20% over NADA high values. Any insight from this forum would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
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First, welcome to the board!

Second, I'd get a heftier WDH, something in the 800# range seems about right.

Third, you'd probably be fine with your TV (tow vehicle) if you travel light and stay on the flats. If you're towing into the rockies, you may or may not experience issues with power loss at the higher altitudes. There are a lot of opinions out there, this discussion has been had many, many times. But I do think that most would agree that you'll need more like a 5000# tow rating for mountain towing, whereas lower altitude flat towing works with 3500# tow rated vehicles.

I personally use a 2006 Sienna for a TV (3500#) and it works great for me, towing a lightly loaded 2720SL, but I also live in the midwest and there's nothing but flatlands around me. If I were going to go to the mountains a lot, I'd seriously consider something beefier for a TV. I'm sure others will chime in, and many here do mountain towing/camping, so I'm sure their opinions will be more helpful than mine.
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:27 AM   #3
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Ive got a 2002 2170SL, I tow with either a 1999 Blazer or 2002 Chrysler Pacifica and dont use a WDH on either- Im not sure what clutter up front you are referring to, but my slide out operates fairly smooth. ( it takes a little tugging but nothing major ) I also came from a popup camper that took ALOT of tugging so my opinion may be biased.

Also the camper uses a 2" ball so your fine.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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You should check with your dealer to see what exactly their tow package consists of. Many dealers consider a hitch and basic wiring ( turn, stop, running lights) 4 conductor plug a tow package. You will need a 7 Conductor plug with at a min the addition of brake and aux 12V power. Also if you are using this in mountains, I strongly recommend heavy duty brakes and transmission cooler. These are usually not part of dealer added towing packages especially in non HD vehicles. I would love to have you as part of this great TM community, but want to make sure your post after your first outing is a positive one and not one of regret.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:36 AM   #5
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We have a 2006 2720SL that we found on Craigs List a year ago July. We lucked out and it was advertised as a 2005 and had only been used three times before the owner's husband passed away. She stored in her garage after that and it appeared almost new, even down to the new car smell. She gave us a great deal since she wasn't sure if the fridge worked or there were other problems. Everything worked except for a leak in the shower faucet. Also had to replace the outdoor shower faucet and a few dried seals from not being used. I was able to use seal lubricant in the Thetford and it works fine.

We upgraded to 15" wheels and tires and made some mods to make it our own, but no major problems. We've been doing a lot of traveling in the TM this year, so we're shaking out some bugs, just like in new house (loose screws here and there, reinforcing the fire extinguisher holder and over the sink cabinet. We're also replacing caulk and had to fix one of the front pieces of trim coming loose. We expected some to do some of these things, just like buying an older house, but so far, things are pretty good.

The slide can be heavy if we put a lot of items on it while we camp. But it's not that bad, especially if I have the kid help pull it out. But it's light enough that one person can pull out or push in just fine. Done it quite a few times on my own.

Good luck and let us know what you finally get. It took us over two years of looking to find just the right TM at the right price. But for us, it was worth the wait!
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgpmd1 View Post
The slide can be heavy if we put a lot of items on it while we camp. But it's not that bad, especially if I have the kid help pull it out. But it's light enough that one person can pull out or push in just fine. Done it quite a few times on my own.
Rub a bar of soap ( dry) on the metal track on the floor at the side walls where the Slide out runs. It will make sliding much easier. You will have to do it every few times you slide it.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:12 AM   #7
Bill
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One of our members has towed with your exact vehicle, if I recall correctly. Either scan down the titles in the Towing Rigs forum, or use the search tool on Lexus (or something similar).

My personal feeling is that I would not even try the Rockies or the Sierras with a 3500-rated vehicle. My Explorer is rated at twice that, and though it is adequate at high altitudes and steep grades, it is not much more than adequate. But other opinions may vary. If you decide to try it, I would definitely suggest you get a Scan Gauge or AeroForce Interceptor (or other meter) so you can at least keep an eye on transmission temperature. The tranny is probably the most vulnerable part of the drive train, and trannies are EXPENSIVE!

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumbleweed View Post
Rub a bar of soap ( dry) on the metal track on the floor at the side walls where the Slide out runs. It will make sliding much easier. You will have to do it every few times you slide it.
Thanks Rumbleweed! I hadn't heard that tip about about using a bar of soap. I'm going to try that next time I open it. I wonder if silicon spray would work?
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2002 Tahoe 'Marge'
2015 Silverado
2006 2720SL 'Homer'
Prodigy Brake Controller
2.5" Factory Lift Kit
15" Dexstar Wheels
15" Karrier Loadstar Tires w/TR-416 Stems
Bill's Screen Door kit
And a host of other mods...

14 y.o. 'Sasha' (aka 'Miss Kitty), started fostering 12/24/10 and adopted 3/15/11

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:32 PM   #9
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I towed with a Highlander rated at 5000# before i got the Tundra. As Bill said, it was barely enough. It would make it up the mountains OK, but I was concerned about emergency manuevers and the wear on the tranny. Will you be towing only in the mountains? You may want to take the same approach I did, try it with the Lexus and see how it goes, if it works out, great, if not, find a truck. Good Luck and welcome to the board!

And as mentioned above, swap your WDH bars for something heavier, 350# bars will not be enough.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
namklg
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We have a Toyota Tacoma, with a 5000 towing capacity. We do ok in the rockies with our 2720, but things do go slowly and carefully up and down the passes. We do not push things and therefore, we have been ok in our travels.

Good luck with finding the correct TM! You will enjoy it.
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