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Old 09-10-2013, 10:30 PM   #1
Yonke Manor
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Question Considering 1991 TM23

I have a chance to buy a 1991 TM 23 in rough condition for about $1000.
I have a few questions. It needs a through cleaning, new tires a new bag seal (more like 2 ) and some side flaps.
1) can the 1991 TN 23 have a lift kit added so that we can put 15" tires?
2) Undercarriage, are new gaskets and seals expensive to replace?
3) Replacing the beds. Can you use the new Memory foam or is the weight prohibitive.
4) I noticed the side had some scratches on it from being rubbed when lifting the roof up. Any ideas of what might cause this problem?

The owner is a friend (yes, I know about friends) and he seems to think it is a good deal, and he does know old trailers, he restores mid 50's and Airstream trailers. It is his Father in Laws, and I just happened to ask about trailers in general and he told me about this TM that has been taking up space at his place.

Thanking all input in advance!

PS after reading through this Owners forum I feel like a pro and I think surprised my husband how much I knew about the TM 23.
Thanks to y'all in all the forums. I hope we to can become TM owners soon.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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If your friend restores old trailers, perhaps you might start by asking what he would charge to restore the TM you are considering. Make the request sound at least semi-serious, so he feels he is at least semi-committed to the amount he states. You would need to discuss the degree of restoration, of course - you're not looking for showroom-new. But it would at least give you some idea of what you are getting into. And if he declines to give an estimate, you could ask him why he is reluctant.

In the meantime, I would suggest you do two things here. First, look for posts by MariaG - she has gone through the restoration of an old TM, and has a blog documenting it. A chat with her would do you a lot of good, I think.

Second, go through the posts looking for discussion wood rot in the TM walls. Up until the early 2000's, TMs had wood-framed walls (they went to aluminum in there somewhere), and if water got into the walls, often through lack of basic maintenance, the frame would rot. We've had a lot of discussion about it, Maria could help, but it is the one biggest obstacle to getting an older trailer. The fix is not easy, and the phrase "rough condition" is not encouraging.

More thoughts will be offered, I'm sure, but if the trailer is right, it could be a good deal.

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Old 09-11-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Central Texas
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Just one man's opinion. Restoring ANY old RV has to be a labor of love, with a strong desire to see something old look its best again (I'm always hopeful the DW will want to take ME on as a restoration project).

It's almost NEVER the most economical way to go. If you truly keep detailed records of all you spend during the restoration, the math will say that you would have been better off putting that money (plus the money you spent on buying the old RV) into a newer version.

Just one man's opinion.

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Old 09-11-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
Yonke Manor
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Dave & Bill thanks so much. Your information was helpful, and sobering. We are going to wait save a little more cash, and then look for a newer TM with less work needed. We are so busy and the TM would have been used when we visit the Kids in Frisco and League City Texas which is quite a haul from El Paso.
Perhaps a 1998 to 2001 model would work best. If you hear of units for sale in the Southwest, if you think of it post a note to me.
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