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Old 04-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
Camping Kids
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Default Thinking about a 2720

We have wanted a Trailmanor for a quite a while so have been browsing this forum off and on. Finally we have enough to buy an older model. We have four little children so need one that sleeps six. I think the 2720 would fit our needs the best but would rather have the 3023. The problem, we have to tow it with our 2008 Toyota Sienna. From what I’ve read on this forum it is pushing it to even tow a 2720 with only 3500lb tow capacity let alone a 3023. We will be going on a cross country trip this summer so will have to tow through some mountains. We are looking for one that is $6000 or less and that is no more than a days drive from Spokane, WA. Another question, we were told by a prior 3124 owner that the older models were quite flimsy. Is this true for all models? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Roxanne
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:53 AM   #2
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Hey Roxanne,
Glad to hear you are looking. And camping with 4 little ones sounds like an adventure!
I have a 2004 3023 and I don't consider my unit flimsy by any means.
I think the unit you are considering will be fine for sleeping until kids get older. Your problem will be with storage, but that is something we all deal with and figure out.
Work out a system that works for you and do a trial run before you long trip. I have overpacked my TM and now am doing a purge. I packed stuff I thought we would need and we never use it. The less you have, the less you need to organize.
If you are definitely going to become a TM owner, suggest you join this forum and read all the posts. Many other TM owners have some great ideas about how to manage clothing and supplies while camping with children.
Good luck on your search. Hope your fine "your" TM soon!
Karen
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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A 2720 might be a little cramped
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
Bill
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"Flimsy" is not what the other owner meant. He was proabably referring to the fact that the upper shells in the older models were framed with wood. If the owner let the caulking deteriorate, then water got into the walls (just like caulking arund the windows in your house). In a few cases, the water rotted the wood framing, requiring that it be replaced. Not a pleasant job.

Starting in about 2002, TM eliminated the wood frame in the shells, and starting using aluminum.

If you search the forum for the word "wood", you'll find a lot of info.

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
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If you have a 2008 Sienna, make sure it has the factory tow package installed, which mainly consists of an oil cooler.

Presuming this is your TV, I've found that my 2006 Sienna tows my 2720SL fine. I don't do mountains, but the 2008 has more horses than the 2006. Stay light in your packing, be safe, and have fun!
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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There's not a lot of weight difference between a 2720 and a 3023. We have several owners who tow with a Sienna. Most of the mid sized Toyotas we've looked at closely allow a full 3500# of trailer on top of the tow vehicle payload. In other words, if your Sienna was rated the way other manufacturers do it, the tow vehicle payload plus 3500# is probably going to be in the 4300# to 4700# range.
More to the point, there are a number of happy Sienna owners in this forum towing TrailManors, and owner experience is worth a lot. To make it work, you'll need to travel light, manage your load carefully, drive conservatively, and always use a Weight Distributing Hitch, of course. But then, these things aren't bad ideas for most of us anyway.

However, there are also some of our members who started with a Sienna and then decided they needed more TV, and there are a lot (most?) of our members out West who describe a need for bigger tow vehicles to be able to get to their favorite places. If you search on "Sienna" in this forum, you'll find a lot of discussion and first hand experience. I'd suggest reading your owners' manual about towing and see what you think, and contact some of our past and present Sienna drivers by private massage to hear their recommendations. I tow with a Highlander, and here are my numbers on the truck scale: http://www.trailmanorowners.com/foru...ad.php?t=10652

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Old 05-07-2012, 12:19 AM   #7
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Thank you everyone for all your advice and quick responses. I have been reading many of the posts about towing with a minivan and gathered quite a bit of good information. I am in the process of joining this forum so hopefully will be able to access more info soon. We do have a tow package on our Sienna and we will have to stick with it as our TV. Four car seats do not fit into SUVs and trucks and we couldn’t afford an upgrade anyhow. I guess we will just have to master the technique of packing very light.

Another question, can the air conditioner be easily removed to save on weight? Or are there other items that may not be needed that could easily be removed also?

Roxanne
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:21 AM   #8
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I would say in a sentence, the AC cannot be easily removed for many reasons to include weight, electrical connections, roof access, etc.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camping Kids View Post
Thank you everyone for all your advice and quick responses. I have been reading many of the posts about towing with a minivan and gathered quite a bit of good information. I am in the process of joining this forum so hopefully will be able to access more info soon. We do have a tow package on our Sienna and we will have to stick with it as our TV. Four car seats do not fit into SUVs and trucks and we couldn’t afford an upgrade anyhow. I guess we will just have to master the technique of packing very light.

Another question, can the air conditioner be easily removed to save on weight? Or are there other items that may not be needed that could easily be removed also?

Roxanne
I might try to compensate in other ways than removing major features from the trailer (like the AC) because they are expensive and would cost a lot to replace.

Some things I've done:
- Carry very little water in the fresh water tank and gray water tanks (use campground water, and use the dump station on the way out).
- Keep one propane tank empty and the other half full.
- The battery on the tongue weighs about 80#. I replaced it with a 40# sealed gel-cell version in the aft storage compartment to reduce the tongue weight.
- Store things in plastic bins in the garage, not in the trailer (when you go, they fit on the floor in the kitchen area and stack outside at the campsite). That way you can load what you need for each trip and you don't end up hauling the beach stuff when you go to the mountains.
- Use plastic dinnerware and aluminum cookware.
- Don't drive fast, particularly when you're new to trailering. Stopping distance (approximately) and fuel consumption increase with the square of your speed. Keep longer following distances when towing. Keep your brake controller adjusted.
- Heavy trucks are very heavy vehicles compared to what we drive. Try to think like they do: allow your vehicle to climb hills in the right lane at lower speeds. Use a lower gear to control downhill speed like they do.
- Use a Weight Distributing Hitch, balance your loads (generally, forward is better), and use the truck scale to know where you stand. Read the owner's manual and manufacturer's instructions about towing. Keep axle weights less than their axle weight ratings.
- The 3 part Toyota Towing Guide is available on their website and has excellent information about towing.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Four children

We have a 2720 and four young children as well. We put the the two middle kids in the back (3 and 18 months) and put up a small gate between the dresser and bathroom that prevents them from rolling out of bed. We put the oldest (5) on one half of the couch. With the table folded down, a standard pack-n-play fits perfectly between the two couches. We use it for the baby at night and nap time during the day for the 18 month old. It easly breaks down and can be set outside out of the way during meals.

Enjoy! Best purchase we've ever made.
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