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  #1  
Old 11-16-2003, 11:52 AM
pierak
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Default many questions about TrailManor

Hello,
I am new to this forum. I do not own a Trailmanor, but my husband and I are thinking of buying one. Please forgive me if I give a somewhat lengthy esplanation of our current situation, it will explain some of my questions.
First, we live in the North Georgia Mountains. We live on a dirt road, not too well mantained, somewhat steep (but not super steep).
Parking the trailer will require fairly tight backing up.
Second, we recently bought a small used class A - 24 ft(Europa). I do not drive it, and my husband has found out that he really dislikes driving it. Because of the width, and the fairly narrow roads around here, and the somewhat mushy steering wheel, he finds that driving the RV is rather nerve-wracking. So we have decided to sell it.
We still would like to camp. We travel quite a lot, and getting in and out of motels sure gets old. THe TrailManor sounds like a good compromise between ease of driving and livability. We would be buying a full size van to tow it with.
Here are my initial questions:
1. Realistically, is towing a TrailManor going to be easier than driving the RV? No sense in going this route if the driving is going to be just as stressful!
2. Are there any problems driving with the TrailManor over a semi-rough dirt road? (About 1 1/2 miles from the paved road to our house)
3. How difficult is it to back up with a fairly tight curve? This would be needed when we park the trailer at our house.
4.When traveling, can you partially open half the trailer without unhitching it, in order to get a snack (or maybe even cook lunch), and use the toilet?
5. We are thinking of getting the 26 foot model. (there is only the two of us) We would be using one of the bed areas for storage. Is that feasible?
Is the area above the bed rigid, or does it somehow 'squashed down'?
6. Can anything be hung from either the sides,top or back of the trailer? (thinking of a porta-bote and/or bicycle)
We are trying to make this decision, and we do not want to make a bad one, like we have done with the RV!
Any help you can give us will be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks,
Piera Kelley :-\
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2003, 06:19 PM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

Good questions, Piera. Let me take a stab at some of them.

Quote:
1. Is towing a TrailManor going to be easier than driving the (class A full size motor home)?
In most ways, yes. It does not get buffeted by the wind like an RV. The slipstream of passing trucks, etc, doesn't "grab" it like it grabs an RV. It weighs a lot less than a Class A, and probably has more horsepower or torque per pound to horse that weight around. It is not as wide, and can turn more sharply than a full size motorhome. You don't have to worry about overhead clearance. You'll get much better gas mileage. And when you get to your destination, unhitch, and set up, you can use your tow vehicle for local travel.

Quote:
2. Are there any problems driving with the TrailManor over a semi-rough dirt road?
Not really. I suppose that one potential problem is that if you drive too fast, and hit a hump or a swale, you may drag the tongue jack or the rear bumper. So don't drive fast. The only other problem I have encountered is that the caulking around the wheel well liners was poor, and dust got in. So I recaulked.

Quote:
3. How difficult is it to back up with a fairly tight curve?
Practice practice practice. The two of you should work as a team, one driving, and one spotting and directing. It is certainly possible to jackknife any trailer - but it is never necessary. Just go slow.

Quote:
4.When traveling, can you partially open half the trailer ...
Not very practical, unfortunately. This is the one area where a full hardside trailer or motorhome has an advantage over any folding trailer, including the TM.

Quote:
6. Can anything be hung from either the sides, top or back of the trailer?
Sides, no. Top, maybe. If you plan to carry something heavy, like a canoe, then you have to remove the item before you open the TM. If you want to carry something lighter, then you can adjust the torsion bars to make up for the load. Back, yes. Several of our members carry a couple bicycles back there on racks. Porta-Bote ought to be OK, though I'm not sure how you would strap it down. You don't want anything much heavier than that, though, as it reduces the tongue weight. Front, yes. You may be able to strap something reasonably light to the A-frame. I carry a 10-gallon blue tote there.

HTH

Bill
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2003, 07:21 PM
Windbreaker
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

What Bill reports is 100% true. I would add a little, as follows:
1. Towing with a full size van you may have to keep looking back to make sure it is still there when on the highway.
2. I would make sure to order the 2" lift kit and see if there is anyway to re-inforce the hold down stirips and check the latches often.
3. Ditto Bill. Another thing you might wish to consider is one of those dollies that are designed for doing just that kind of tight turns. If the area is flat I bet you could get one for under $100 that will work well. If you have to go to electric powered one it might be costly.
4. We have tried it and found it was a lot easier to find a quicky stop with lots of parking room. That kind of kills two birds with one stop, we get to walk around a little and take care of what ever other business we have. It's also a good time to change drivers.
5. Only when it is open. A lot of folks do this.
6. I would only add something to the front. However your post got me to thinking. I would like to know if one of those bike rack things designed as an add on to the hitch could be used for this. Maybe someone who has one will let us know.

Another added item that you should consider is that our gas usage is only increased by about 2 mpg when towing over not towing. With gas prices what they are now, that is a biggie.

Make sure you go look at the TMs before you bid on one. They are smaller on the inside than they look in photos. We are wishing we had one that was just one size larger than what we have. (but then we are both large people, maybe we just take up too much space)
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2003, 08:50 AM
mjlaupp mjlaupp is offline
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

[quote author=pierak link=board=23;threadid=1531;start=msg10805#msg1080 5 date=1069005162]
6. Can anything be hung from either the sides,top or back of the trailer? (thinking of a porta-bote and/or bicycle)[/quote]

I have a Porta-Bote and the only good place I have found to carry it is on top of the truck. I use a set of roof racks and a modified load extension device. There was a place to carry the Porta-Bote on the older TrailManors on top of the front shell on the curb side. The newer units have a vent fan installed in that area now. The area is now too small for Porta-Bote mounting on the 2619 and 2720 models. The larger models may have roof space in front of the vent fan.
MJL
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2003, 12:17 PM
Chris_Bauer
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

I agree with all the above and would like to add one thing. Many times we stop for lunch and a nap at a rest stop and always open up the TM while it is hooked up. Takes a couple of minutes but it is worth it. You get back on the road refreshed .
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2003, 01:59 PM
pierak
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

Hello,
and thank you all for the great information! It is really appreciated! The only remaining problem is the width, which is still over 7'. My husband thinks that is still too much (I am also collecting info on the much smaller aliner), but I think maybe if will be acceptable, if the trailer is as stable as your answers indicate. The problem with the RV (about 94 inches wide) is that, on a narrow road, you have to 'correct' it a lot to keep it centered. But I think that if the TrailManor does not sway, it should be easier keeping it centered even on a narrow road.
The reason we are being so fussy about ease of driving is that we travel a lot (my husband is a just-turned-professional nature photographer), sometimes driving for 8 hrs a day, 2 or 3 days in a row. Not getting too fatigued and tense is very important, and necessary for safety.
Again, thank you, and keep the good info coming!
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2003, 05:43 PM
Windbreaker
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

Quote:
5. We are thinking of getting the 26 foot model. (there is only the two of us) We would be using one of the bed areas for storage. Is that feasible?
I don't wish to sound too trite, I'm just an owner of a TM but the ALiner does not have a full time bed does it?
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2003, 08:27 PM
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B_and_D B_and_D is offline
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

I only have one thing to add. We live on a long, narrow private road (1.25 miles to our house) that is paved, but with some sharp turns and limited visibility. Before we decided conclusively to buy a TM, we tested what it would be like to tow something of that length home by using our utility trailer and attaching some long 2 x 4's with clamps to imitate the length and width of what we thought we would be towing. When we pulled into the driveway and parked it, it fit. So did the TM. If you could "tryout" your road and parking area somehow, it might help.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:02 PM
pierak
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

Hello,
I am reading your comments/suggestions, and I want to answer some of them:
Windbreaker - you are absolutely correct, with the aliner you have to make the bed out of the dinette every night (at least on the model we are looking at). There is clearly no comparison between the Trailmanor and the aliner. The only reason I am looking at the aliner is that if my husband definitely nixes the Trailmanor (because of the width), the aliner becomes just about the only other alternative.
I am a safe but slow and reluctant driver, so in reality he is going to be shouldering the burden of driving most of the time. So it is only fair that the decision be his. I can only nudge a little... and all the info you are giving me helps!
B & D - that is a great idea! The road going to our house is uphill, and the only way to get to our driveway is to backup into it at a 60 degrees angle to the road. (If we want to get out of it again, that is!) I think that trying it out with a mock-up is really going to show us if we can do it or not.
Texas-Camper - What you say about the difference between driving the RV and the trailer with respect to the width makes a lot of sense. I am going to print out your email and show it to my husband (I have just reported to him in general terms up to now), and see what he thinks.

Thank you! This forum has the most helpful people I have encountered yet on the net! It is almost worth buying the Trailmanor just to have an excuse to stay on it!
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2003, 03:29 PM
mjlaupp mjlaupp is offline
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Default Re:many questions about TrailManor

[quote author=pierak link=board=23;threadid=1531;start=msg10829#msg1082 9 date=1069124522]
....with the aliner you have to make the bed out of the dinette every night (at least on the model we are looking at). There is clearly no comparison between the Trailmanor and the aliner. The only reason I am looking at the aliner is that if my husband definitely nixes the Trailmanor (because of the width), the aliner becomes just about the only other alternative....[/quote]
There is one other hard side folding RV that compares with the A-Liner. That is the Chalet: www.chaletrv.com The Arrowhead and Aspen models have a couch that converts to a bed as well as the dinette conversion. Like the A-Liner, it is smaller than, and has fewer amenities than those found in the TM.
While my TrailManor is a great RV, I almost bought one of the Chalets for size reasions. It would have been a better fit my '90 Isuzu Trooper II. There is also an "off road" option package for the Chalets. I know of several lake side camp sites in Arkansas that are located at the end of logging roads. I used to tent camp in them. I need to scout the roads again to see if I can get my 2720SL back in there.
MJL
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