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Old 10-07-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Trail Manor 2720SL Question

My wife and I have been looking at travel trailers off and on for 4 or 5 years. We've always thought that if we hold out for another year, we would find "the perfect trailer" for us. As you might have guessed, after a lot of looking we still haven't found the perfect trailer for us.

We thought we found it with the 19' Gulfstream Visa RGU ($17K price), Rockwood Mini Lite 2109 ($14K price), and Trail Manor 2720SL (hard to determine the price because so few Trail Manor dealers we've talked to actually have a 2720SL in stock). It looks like the Trail Manor price tag would be considerably higher than the Mini Lite or the Visa, but there are several positives that might make the extra price work it - mainly the ability to tow with a more practical family vehicle.

I was reading another forum last night and was pretty alarmed to read a lengthy discussion about whether the 2012 Ford Explorer was really desireable for towing anything more than a 3,000 lb weight trailer. Both the Visa and Mini Lite would be closer to 4,000 lbs than 3,000 lbs when loaded for camping.

It's pretty easy to find fault with just about any trailer / tow vehicle combination. I used to have a F-150 for 13 years, but with the cost of pick-up trucks these days I find the Explorer a more practical family vehicle / work commuter vehicle.

And just when I thought the Trail Manor 2720SL was the perfect trailer for my wife and I, she brings up the almost double MSRP versus the Mini Lite and she sheepishly asked how warm they would be on a cool early spring or late fall day here in Michigan. Is the Trail Manor comfortable enough to sleep in with outside temps in the 40's at night?

Any thoughts, suggestions, and opinions are welcome.

And just in case anyone is wondering....a Ford tow vehicle is the only option I am willing to consider.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:54 PM   #2
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Default Warm enough for us

I can't comment on the price. For us there was the overwhelming benefit of being able to keep the 2720SL in our garage. Tangental benefit is the lower cross section to tow behind the truck. Already had the truck and want it for my diving past time, anyway.

But, on the comfort, we use ours in very chilly and cold weather and like it fine. We do use a space heater if we have hookups but the heater works fine, just noisy. Only issues we have are common to any trailer - watching for freezing water lines/hoses when it gets real cold.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:07 PM   #3
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It was 29 degrees and windy in Longmont, CO last night. My wife and I made do with a single electric space heater, and didn't turn on the furnace because we are low on propane. We were comfortable, but not wildly toasty. The furnace would have made all the difference, of course, but we chose not to use it. Our preferred solution is an old-fashioned electric blanket (which works only when you have hookups, of course), topped with a comforter.

I've had two Explorers, a 2002 and now a 2007, both with the small V-8 and factory tow package, and both tow-rated somewhere around 6800 pounds. For our traveling (heavily loaded, travel in the Rockies and Sierras), I would not have a smaller vehicle. But as you know, Ford fundamentally changed the Explorer in 2010 (?). It is now a completely different vehicle (a Taurus, actually), and I'm not sure I would tow with one.

You might take a look at the specs for the 2013 Explorer, even if you don't plan to buy one. It shouldn't be too different from the 2012, but the tow ratings are supposed to be more "meaningful" since the industry adopted a set of standards for determining tow ratings.

I haven't done a lot of research yet, but the F-150 with the Eco-Boost engine is kind of exciting. The bi-turbo should do a lot for high altitude work - if that matters to you.

Don't know if this helps, but there it is.

2020 2720QS (aka 2720SL)
2014 Ford F-150 4WD 5.0L
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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I can't find the towing capacity on the 2013 Explorer with Ecoboost engine. The Ford website still has it as TBD:
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #5
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We had the TM 2619 then went to the TM Elkmont, which is similar to the other trailers you mentioned. I really liked the 2619 and had no issues with the toilet or setup, but the wifey got tired of having to set up after a long day of traveling and wanted a more conventional bed arrangement, so we switched to the Elk. I love the Elk (it has it's own issues) but the major difference in towing compared to the 2619 can't be over stated. I had to purchase a WDH with sway control and lost approx 2 MPG with the Elk. I much prefer the RV style toilet, the bed, the full size frig, and layout of the Elk. I guess it best to say for the towing, you can't beat the 2619 (or 2720) TM, once set up though, I MUCH prefer the Elk. If you are towing all over North America, serioulsy consider the 2720, if a lot of weekend or week long camping trips in the home state are the plan, you'll probably be happier with a lite weight TT. A hard decision for sure, but it's pretty easy to deal with it either way. It kind of sounds like your wife is wanting the traditional style camper... if that's where you think you'll end up, well, you know the rest.
Best of Luck....make it fun!
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:58 AM   #6
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Wink If momma ain't happy

If momma ain't happy, nobodies happy...
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:03 AM   #7
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Ditto on the storage. I park in the single side of my 3-car garage. The wife keeps "suggesting" storage. I point out that, in our area, uncovered storage is $200/mo. No thank you. Plus, that 3rd space would be filled with junk.

I can tow behind my minivan. (Controversial, but works for me). I didn't need to buy a new TV. I can store in my garage. I have plenty of space for my family (2 + 2 kids) and the dog. It's about as perfect as I can imagine, and those parts that aren't perfect, I'm continually working on trying to improve, or at least remove the major negatives.

So far, so good
2009.5 2720SL
2006 Toyota Sienna
2018 Audi Q7
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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My brother has a 30+ foot 5th wheel. He can only stay in RV parks. He can not go to an California State Park or national park because he is too long.

I sometimes camp in forest service campgrounds and sometimes just boon dock in the forest.

I don't like to go where my brother can go.

My brother can not go where I like to go.

Since 2005 we have gone camping together once.

I refuse to pay more than $20.00 per night for a camp site.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:42 PM   #9
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Our TM is a 3023. When we weighed it on a CAT scale while on a trip we came up with right at 4000 lbs. 2720 owners report similar weights, sometimes even more depending on what they carry in it.

We tow with a 2010 F-150 with a 4.6 three valve V8. A few months ago on a trip from Orange County CA to Tucson AZ we got 20.0 mpg between Quartzite and Gila Bend AZ. (truck computer) We tow at about 55-60 mph. From Gila Bend to Tucson, crossing some low mountains, it went down to 18.6 mpg.

The reason I am sharing this with you is that here in CA gasoline is now running on both sides of $5.00 per gallon. ,

In a conventional stand up Travel Trailer you get between 8-12 mpg towing. I got 7 mpg once bucking a headwind. (different truck)

Many folks really pay attention to the cost of gas and their mileage. I am one of them. If you are in that bunch as well, you can see the advantage of the low profile Trail Manors. Then you add in the no-sway advantage, the lightness, and the storage advantage. For me, these were very attractive.

The high cost of the new ones was, for me, a problem. So I bought a 3 year old one. Each of us is different and in different $ circumstances. But for us the TM was the hands down best choice. After 3 years, it still is.

PS, to us the toilet issue is only a minor annoyance, and only on a few occassions.

TM 3023

TV 2010 F-150 4.6, factory tow pkg, air bags
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by thebbqguy View Post
I can't find the towing capacity on the 2013 Explorer with Ecoboost engine. The Ford website still has it as TBD:
My guess is that the V6 Ecoboost Explorer's tow capacity will be 5000#, same as the other Explorer V6. IIRC the Ecoboost in the Explorer will marketed more for the sportiness of its low-end torque, not for the towing abilities. For example, the Ecoboost V6 comes with paddle shifters. So they will probably not improve the other aspects of the Explorer required to increase tow capacity above 5000#. The Ecoboost V6 also comes with a lower final drive ratio (3.16) compared to the other v6 (3.39-3.65), so that low-end torque will be weakened somewhat.

Loaded, figure your Trailmanor will be ~4000#. So any of the V6 Explorers with the 5000# rating should be able to handle it ok.

And although no payload is specified, the Explorer's 6 passenger specification can maybe translate into 1400#?

(The Chevrolet Traverse is a similar 7 passenger SUV which has a 5200# tow rating and claims a 1600# payload for the AWD model.)

So assuming that the tongue weight of your trailer is ~600#, you'll have ~800# for yourself, passengers and gear in the Explorer.
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ford explorer, gulfstream visa, rockwood mini lite

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